Re: 2026 Downwind Circumnavigation Boat Choice: Amel 50 sloop or Amel 55 ketch?
Hi Fred,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
I have no experience of the Amel 50, but my biased opinion is that the ketches are more suitable for a circumnavigation.
This is not to do with the ketch rig as such but to the overall ethos of the vessels. Although I like the ketch rig. I can drop the genoa and fold it on deck alone (not very well) but it is already the maximum weight I can lift. The lower centre of effort is also great at sea….but this is not my point.
The Amel production has evolved from an ocean cruising boat, designed to withstand the rigours of long distance sailing to vessels that are more voluminous, wider with higher topsides.
In my opinion the older ketches offer better compromises for ocean cruising including:
Sea berths V double bedrooms.
Moderate freeboard, allowing crew to climb up the topside from a dinghy or floating pontoon. Climbing up the back steps in a large sea is no fun…V the contrary
Moderate beam V very wide vessels
Extremely rugged skeg mounted rudder V twin rudders that have no skegs.
C drive and protected location of the prop, that is deep in the water. My 54 can motor in very high seas. I suspect the new 50 would chop air in such conditions.
Tough rubbing strake that also helps climbing up from a dinghy V no rubbing strake.
The new 50 is more voluminous and certainly more lux but I suspect as with all things there has been a trade off, and for a circumnavigation I would go for an older ketch.
As I say I am a biased 54 owner and believe that the 54 is really a first class ocean cruiser