2026 Downwind Circumnavigation Boat Choice: Amel 50 sloop or Amel 55 ketch?


Fred Vitale
 

I'm facing a pivotal decision on whether to purchase a new Amel 50 (contract delivery already Spring 2025) or a used Amel 55 (availability very limited and unknown in current market).  The big question I have is for any members of the Amel family who have owned an Amel ketch (53/54/55) AND have also spent time aboard the Amel 50 and could attest to the difference between the ketch versus sloop rig.  Are the ketch’s universally accepted advantages of sail balance/stability and comfort a "game changer" recognizing reefing an Amel is easily achieved by push button from the protected cockpit?  Should this be a critical decision factor for our planned circumnavigation?  I have sailed a Beneteau 473 offshore many years and understand the advantages of the sloop in terms of speed and upwind performance but those are not our priorities for this trip.  Any insights to this important decision are welcome.

 

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