Re: Amel 54 v Beneteau 55
Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
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Hi Brent et al,
We have a lot of new members of this group and new owners and wannabe owners so I am going to share some of my experiences sailing Ocean Pearl. SM 299
First up, they are not slow and with practice can point quite well.
We bought her in Florida 13 years ago and our first sail was 1000 miles to Newport RI. Then we went out to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. My previous boat had been a lightweight 42 footer cruiser racer. I was utterly disgusted with the SM. I called it an overpriced lump of junk. In light airs I just could not make her go. Then on the sail back from Nantucket I applied myself. I was no longer in a 6 tonne racer. Sail trim had to be seriously different. Much more power was needed ie trim the sails full. Bit by bit I learned how to make her go. Later, on an overnight inter island voyage in the Caribbean we set off in the evening behind a group of 15 or 20 going the same way. Wind probably 10 to 15 knots. We caught up quickly and in the night sailed through the group. One wag came on the VHF with a warning "watch out, there is an Amel Super Maramu coming through and there is someone water skiing behind".
Another time we were going down the Jersey coast at night, Yvonne on the helm. We were sailing past another boat of similar size, he called up on the VHF and accused Yvonne of exceeding the speed limit.
Down wind. If you are disinclined to put up the twin headsails what I call triple wing on wing gives a noticeable increase in speed. Head sail to one side, main to the other and mizzen same side as the headsail. Main and mizzen with preventers on. The wind hits the mizzen, accelerates across it and into the main, accelerates again and into the headsail. This double acceleration put the best effect into the biggest sail. Because of this effect the headsail stands up well even if not poled out. Of course if you have the twin headsails up it is better.
We did the Caribbean 1500 rally in 6 days. Hampton Virginia to Tortola BVI. We had two guys with us as extras. When we got there we said to each other if we lived to 100 we would never get a better dream run that that. By rally rules when corrected for engine time we were 5th out of 60 boats. A Beneteau 50 came in more than 24 hours behind us saying "oh my god, what a nightmare, horrible."
On the Pacific "puddle jump" crossing from the Galapagos to the Marquesas islands, 3200 miles we did in 17 days. 4 days very little wind and wind mostly under 20 knots. No one in the crossing group got there faster than us.
Their ability in gale and storm conditions is legendary. As wind increases it is so easy to reduce sail and even running in a gale with big seas the auto helm still controls things. A rider to that statement. Have the right amount of sail up correctly trimmed.
In true wind up to 20 knots with the apparent wind angle about 120 to 135 degrees 4 sail reaching is powerful and fast. The mizzen staysail is very easy to set and drop. I can do it single handed.
When I cant go cruising I do the occasional race in our small club. The competitors are race optimised 30 to 42 footers. I have learned to get pointing angles similar to them and if the wind is above 15 knots we are very competitive. Of course our water line length helps..
I could go on. The ease of sail control, the cockpit capable of being fully enclosed with clears and the downright safety of the boat are outstanding.
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
On 10 October 2021 at 17:11 "Brent Cameron via groups.io" <brentcameron61@...> wrote: