Here a few answers to Ur questions:
The Med is a big place and there are huge differences in quality and
prices of services, what will be Ur route ?
I never used any fuel additive, not in Europe nor in
the rest of the world.
As for antifouling I always used Micron by International paints,
its widely available and self polishing. Ofcourse all depend what
has been used previously.
The early SM had some problems:
1) The early Z-drive was changed to a much more stronger version.
There have been a lot of problems with this early drive. (broken
gears). As the unit is sealed it is not possible to repair.
The new drive solved all the problems. Replacing the old drive for
the new one is possible and best done at the Amel wharf.
Be prepaired for a salty invoice. Try to have a look at a recent SM
so that U can see the difference.
I had personaly no problems with this drive, but I know of several
boats who suffered damage. The people from Amel have warned me
that it was riscky to leave Europe with the early drive.
(I changed it)
2) The early headsail furling was CRAP. Most older SM have changed
this unit to a new version (there a several versions), but some
seldom used boats still have this old unit. Also the older
profile has only 2 sail tracks and a different
head, wich means that U can not roll the ballooner and genoa
together in a downwind squall...a big disadvantage. There a
a few ways around this problem but the best solution is to change
the alu profile and head. (3 tracks)
3) The mainsail electric drive had also its problems. The early drive
gearboxes are Italien industrial gearboxes with a mild steel shaft
wich is exposed. This shaft rusts and the sealing starts leaking.
Amel used normal grease and this grease doesn't like seawater and
It is important to strip these units before a big trip, replace
the sealings and pack with a grease that supports seawater.
(Locktite for ex has such grease, also Amel uses a similar
The early angle reverser is of a very poor design, change it
to the new design or U risk of being unable to roll the main in..
(also not manually!) Got this problem personaly.
4) The original ZEISSE genset created a lot of problems.
Most SM changed to another brand. The main problem was cooling.
The seawaterpump is driven by a tiny belt wich slips and breaks.
I put this pump directly on the cranckshaft (as prepared by
Farymann diesel) and changed the cooling to fresh water cooling.
My unit is still working perfect under all sea conditions.
5) The electrical system of the early SM's is not fit for offshore
cruising. The boat is all electric, the charging and
batteries are completly unsufficient. As Amel tackled this
problem quite late, somewhere in the mid 90, U will see most SM
running their gensets for hours in offshore anchorages.
Some SM's have an alternator on the prop and this works
fantastic. We run radar, lights, fridge, freezer, laptop,
SSB, C-Sat, weatherfax, autopilot, breadmachine etc
without running the genset or engine when
sailing. The problems start when anchoring.
I dubbeled the batteries, replaced the 20amp charger with a 75amp
one (Mastervolt), put an extra 50 amp alternator on the main
engine. 40 min genset in the morning and evening will keeps my
batteries happy (in the tropics).
6) The early Autohelm 7000 had some mechanical problems.
A plastic gear in the drive breaks in heavy seas.
They changed this gear to a copper one. Its easy to
correct this problem.
As I had doubts about the Autohelm pilots (from previous exper.),
I changed the main pilot to B&G, with the added advantage that
it can talk to the B&G instruments.
I heard from early SM owners that they are quite happy with
their Autohelm 7000 (after changing the plastic gear).
7) The electric Lewmar winches on the early SM's had also sealing
problems. If this gets serious then water gets to the gearbox
and moter unit. This can be solved if their is no damage to the
The positive side is that the after-sale service of Amel is very
good and that none of the problems I had are structural.
The 1989 SM and the 2004 SM are basicly the same, wich is a proof
of the very well tought design. That Amel improves equipment and
details is normal. By following their important changes You can
improve Your boat to the new standards and that makes an Amel unique.
Fair Winds !
--- In email@example.com, "Ian Shepherd" <g4ljf@c...>
To the Amel Network: Greetings!years. And am about to graduate as an owner member. I'm excited and a
little daunted. The boat, Signore dei Mari is lying Antalya, and very
soon to become Australian owned. She has been Swiss owned (and very
loved since launch in 1989/90.
relevant to my finalising my purchase. In anticipation - thank you
and best regards.