Davi, I appreciate the white flag but given what you have written, I still feel the need to correct some of the misstatements in your posts. For the record, I have spent 4 hours with Joel potter going over a SM and 3 hours on a 54 - Joel Potter style, with a fine tooth comb, so I am very familiar with both boats.
1. I live on my boat 6 or 7 months a year, usually with my wife and/or 1-5 guests. There is so much storage for personal items in the 3 private cabins in my boat that nobody can fill the room. Your “incredible lack of cabinet space” is simply untrue. Overall, Amel advises me that the 55 has 40% more storage space than the SM, and 20% more than the 54.
- My bow locker holds a Parasailor, a Code Zero and a 40 kg Rocna spare anchor. Way more room than on a SM.
- I store a 3.4 m RIB in the davits. If I go offshore, I can store that sideways on the aft deck. Your aluminum dinghy fits the same way. You can also not get the cutter stay, which is an extra. I wouldn’t dream of doing that, though, because the staysail is a critical advantage in a blow.
- You can do your sunbathing on the aft deck. There are cushions which fit there which cover but have cutouts for the hatches. You can also rig a sun awning over the entire aft deck which you can roll up on the mizzen boom. That entire arrangement is outstanding.
- The suggestion that a wider stern is a disadvantage downwind is “interesting”. Just ask anyone who has actual experience with going downwind in heavy conditions on both narrow stern IOR boats and more modern wider stern designs. No comparison. The 55 is a powerful performer in downwind conditions. I just spent 1.5 days on a close to broad reach in windy conditions with the boat going between 8 and 10 knots under autopilot. Great experience.
- The cockpit design is simply fantastic. A real, sturdy table with room for 6, very protected, great visibility and ventilation via the hatches on top and the opening section in the middle. The benches are sure long enough for me. There is no need to “pop” out because I can actually stand at the helm and look out. The storage in front takes nothing away from the cockpit - just reduces the deck space - and is used all the time to store small items like cameras and cushions. Nothing dangerous that I can see.
Allow me a final remark. It is obvious from your posts that you consider the 55 too expensive for your purposes. I fully appreciate the price of the newer Amel because I started looking for SMs, then looked at 54s and then bought what my wife much preferred: a 55. But I still like the SM and the 54 and don’t trash them on the web. I would ask that you refrain from trashing the 55 with obviously unfounded statements. Thank you.