Re: Maintenance costs for Amel yachts

John Clark

Hello Orion,
    Welcome to the group.   To go straight to your question;  no,  Amels are not more expensive than other yachts in a similar class. (I can speak authoritatively for Super Maramus and Santorins)    Yes they are quirky....but in a functional way that you will appreciate.  My experience with my SM, Annie, a 1990 model has been entirely positive.  Yes some stuff breaks, but I don't think I have spent any real money on "broken" items.  I did update the electronics, add a second autopilot and solar arch. Those cost a bit, but I consider them wants not needs.   My insurance wanted the standing rig updated so I had it replaced after I purchased the vessel, cost would be the same for any vessel in the same class. 
  I probably could have done none of the above and still had a near perfect sailing yacht.    My equipment failure list in the last three years and 13000 NM sailing is a bilge pump(Amel rebuild kit $100) SW impeller on main engine...failed and melted the muffler(most SMs have a SS muffler I had plastic) repair cost $34 + $300, genoa sail seam split at top of sail 2x, cost about $150 to repair each time, mainsail furler gears ($23 for gears $70 for machine shop to get the old gear out.), frig compressor, replaced with off the shelf bolt in upgrade($800).   Generator SW impeller ($34)  My boat came with set of spare sails so no down time. Most recently the genoa sheet car failed. Replacement cost is between $125(Ebay) and $450(Antal) for a replacement.  Not too bad for three years and near constant sailing. 

My Amel Journey:
I planned for my "big boat" purchase for several years before committing.   I remember I had read about Amels at one point.  The author thought they were innovative, but too complicated to be I didn't pursue them further.  But I know now that God and Henri have mysterious ways.  Years later on one particular afternoon I took a friend to the hospital for an outpatient procedure.  I had a couple of hours to kill while waiting and went for a walk at the local marina.  There I saw a strikingly beautiful boat. know the saying  "one look is all it took."  I looked up the boat, she was an Amel 64...priced in the "double digits" at the know price is 1.5M .  No I could not afford that Amel, but it completely rearranged my view of the brand  stuck in my head. 

A year or two later I was zeroing in on buying an Irwin 68 when just like you I too discovered SV Delos on YouTube.  Looking at Delos I thought wow that is one cool boat....didn't pick up on it being an Amel for a little while.  I think it was some episode where Brian was recounting discovering Delos where I realized what Delos was..  Like me he said he was hooked at the first glance.  I started researching the brand with more diligence and became really impressed.   Just like you, I joined the Amel Owners Forum as it was called at the time, and was referred to a fellow named Joel Potter. He was the Amel dealer/broker for North America.  I called him and we talked for over two hours.  He did not have an Amel that met my price point but still gave me hours of advice and pointers on what to look for.  He even gave me inside info on Amel's I was interested in...he is a resource and a really good guy to talk to.  

The first Amel I saw in the flesh was in Virginia.  I had already arranged to look at an SM in Portugal but my GF at the time thought I was crazy to think about flying to the EU and buying a boat I had never seen.  We found a boat for sale in VA that was priced too high for me but was in brokerage and available to visit. We took a weekend and drove up to look at it.  Needless to say the GF was blown I was just saying yes...this is what I want. The boat was in OK condition but had a few issues.  It wasn't the right one for me BUT it confirmed everything I thought I knew about Amels.  That weekend we looked at Passports, Island Packets, Freedoms, a Manson, a Cabo, a couple of Hans Christians, and....yes a Beneteau.   Nothing compared to that Amel. The very nice broker who gave us the boat show saw our feelings and admitted to us...once you see the Amel you are done.  
So my advice:   Like you, I somewhat superficially fixated on the Delos model, the SM2K.  They were made from 1999 to 2005.  Amel started making Super Maramus in 1989.   I would not restrict myself to considering just the later years.  I got a good deal on Annie...the previous owner's offered price made me take a look at her even though she was an older SM, and at the time not in my window of consideration.  She was perfect.  Now after a few years and hanging out with other SM owners most with newer models, I am actually happy that I bought Annie and not a newer SM.  She retains more of the expedition yacht features than the later SMs and in my opinion has more character inside....wood floors, ceiling trim boards, older more robust furling mechanisms...and some cool sailing history.  

That is another thing you get with an Amel.  You are the custodian/care taker of the boat as much as you are the owner.  I still maintain correspondence with the previous owners who sailed Annie for 16 years...and they maintain contact with the original owner.  I email them from time to time with pictures of the boat and us frolicking.    When I sail into Le Marin and talk to Alban at the Amel service center, he knows the boat and maintains a record of  the entire history of the vessel.  Every time I come back he asks me what I have done with the boat since we last met.  Remember now this is a 30 year old vessel ...and he still maintains a file on her.  The Amel community is very engaging and attentive.

Well my email is getting too long.  In closing , yes you are making an excellent choice to consider Amel.  The SM was made without significant changes for 16 years.  It is a proven design and to date none have ever been lost at sea.   Also, by now probably most have circumnavigated.  Find that in any other brand.    There are a ton of resources and people to support you should you buy an Amel.  In addition to Joel Potter, I suggest you speak to Bill Rouse who runs this Group and also an Amel yacht centric consulting business.  He is an invaluable resource now and when you are ready to purchase.  

      Regards,  John Clark
SV Annie  SM 37
Brunswick GA

On Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 8:43 AM Orion Martin <poonz1@...> wrote:
Hello everyone, I am new to the site and thank you to the moderators for letting me join this group.

I am currently toying with the idea of purchasing an Amel Super Maramu or Santorin within the next two years. Longing to embark on a circumnavigation, I have researched various bluewater vessels looking at characteristics such as comfort, safety etc. Having come across Sailing SV Delos on Youtube, this was the first time I had ever seen an Amel yacht. At first I thought the Amel Super Maramu was rather quirky, particularly the interior. However, after much research and looking at video, photos etc, I am now utterly enthralled with Amel yachts and think it is the perfect brand to travel the world with.

There is one thing that I noticed from the Delos videos, and subsequently online postings and literature pertaining to the upkeep of Amel yachts is the amount of maintenance and the subsequently high cost of such maintenance. I have minimal experience with yachts from a technical point of view, however I was curious to know whether current Amel yacht owners consider their boats to be more maintenance intensive and costly especially compared with other previous yachts they may have owned. Granted, the Amel has a lot more gadgetry (is that the right word?) than what I have seen compared with a Moody or Oyster. Does the preventative maintenance regime required to keep Amel yachts in good shape mitigate costs as much as it would say with a comparable boat? Or is it by its very nature that the satisfaction of owning an Amel comes at a cost compared with similar blue water vessels?

I love the Amel Super Maramu and the Amel 54, and I have been caught in the cult of Amel as they say. But I was curious as to what current Amel owners think about their relationship with their vessels regarding costs and downtime. I figure that owning a Super Maramu would bring me a lot of joy, but also a lot of headaches in particular if I am to do a circumnavigation. Any opinions and comments regarding this subject warmly welcomed.

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