Re: sm 53 vs 54

Barry Connor

Hi Amelia,

Totally agree with your spot on write up. No problem with our Volvo, thank's for the heads up on the turbo.
The alternator can eat up a belt, we carry spares at about £8 each. A service engineer once recommended new pulleys.
For the in harbor slapping we have a "Slap Silencer", works great. You can see it online. We can confirm that after over 3 months at anchor  we are not bothered with slapping noise, it is minimal at anchor.
We have a spare complete Bamar furler thanks to Mohammad and spare internal furler belts picked up in Hyeres. Only time that we have overpowered the furler is when some crewing novice furled. Visiting crew never like me as I will not let them play with the switches! Setting sails on a Amel 54 is not like any other boat.

Very Best

Barry and Penny
"SV Lady Penelope II"
Amel 54  #17
Sainte Anne anchorage Martinique

On Friday, July 3, 2020, 4:08:53 PM EDT, ngtnewington Newington via <ngtnewington@...> wrote:

I have no experience of earlier Amels but my 54 which is hull 019 is a good boat without too many problems. The Volvo 110 runs sweet. The only problem so far was the Turbo boost pressure sensor that failed year 11. It was a simple swap for new in Martinique. About 350 euros. Although it took a while to diagnose the problem.
I did replace the 175a alternator and have had a bit of dust from the twin belts, but I realigned it last year so fingers crossed.
The Bamar furler for the genoa is a bit undersized but if one de powers the sail it is fine. One must not reef under load, so ease the sheet enough to  be able to reef and then sheet in.
I like the layout, the aft cabin is gorgeous. My only complaint is the slap under the counter which can be noisy in the aft cabin whilst in bed but not at anchor in my experience, mostly in harbour.

In light winds she will go if well trimmed. In stronger winds she is great and with a bit of beam aft can really carry sail on a broad reach. She can do 200 miles a day. 
She is a big comfortable mile eater. I think that compared to the 53 she is slightly closer winded and a bit faster due to her waterline length and sail area displacement ratio. Slightly bigger boat with more volume, but apparently less storage. In my opinion there is tons of storage....
She is also easy on the eye in my opinion.

Amel 54-019
Kilada Greece

On 3 Jul 2020, at 06:20, 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 

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