Re: sm 53 vs 54

Mohammad Shirloo

We had the read the same issues raised about Volvo in the 54, prior to our purchase. Upon further research and discussions with people who know the actual number of 54s that have had issues with their Volvo, it was our conclusion that statistically, the percentage of serious issues, were low. Also, we figured that in the worst case scenario, we could repower with a new engine and the advantages and extra comforts of the 54 were worth the potential risk.


In our 5 years of cruising, we have not had any issues, other than normal maintenance and the Volvo has been very reliable. When we started to search for a cruising boat and in the 4 year process that ended up in the selection of the 54, we would not have imagined selecting a boat that we would be as impressed with as we are today. She continues to show her talents more and more as we have more time on board.


As everyone has reiterated, most of these decisions are personal and very much dependent on importance of the differences in the designs.


Happy Sailing;



Mohammad and Aty

B&B Kokomo

AMEL 54 #099


From: <> On Behalf Of james Hosford via
Sent: Friday, July 03, 2020 8:31 AM
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] sm 53 vs 54


Thanks for your reply

On Jul 3, 2020, at 12:20 AM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS <simms@...> wrote:

Hi all. After 10 years and 50,000 + off shore miles in Ocean Pearl SM 299 I thought strongly and seriously about stepping up to a 54. However I was put off by following the posts on this site It seemed I would be buying trouble. While I had positive experience of 20 years  with volvo the 110hp  volvo in the 54 seemed a serious problem. The bamar furlers another issue Likewise the multitude of electrical and electronic issues. Also  although I could possibly have avoided them, the number of 54 that had electronic and electrical upgrades concerned me. Complexity is an archilies heel in a yacht that cruises the more far flung regions. Rightly or wrongly I felt that many of these 54s were being converted into marina hopping med or Caribbean vessels

 Lastly, after considering all this I returned to my belief that in the SM, which was the culmination of a life dedicated to designing the perfect yacht for a couple to sail around the world,  Henry had indeed done just that. So I remain the proud and happy owner of SM 299.


Ocean Pearl


New Zealand

On 03 July 2020 at 10:11 Trevor Lusty <trevlusty@...> wrote:

Sorry James,
                     I pushed the wrong button. Personally, the last engine in the world I would want is a Volvo, followed by, what is a centre line aft bunk doing in a serious blue water cruising boat? The 54 is height critical when you are seated, if you are the wrong height it can be very uncomfortable. The SM was actively designed and sailed by The Captain , the 54 was designed in an office. Both boats are fantastic, the SM is the finished article of a lifetime's passion and personal experience.
Any really good design has a flow, where form follows function, which ever one is more comfortable for you has to be the right answer.
The  various electrics and the mechanical parts may fail you, but anything built by Amel will not.
Good luck with your search.
Trevor Lusty 

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.