Date   

Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Amel single handed sailors-Disasters waiting to happen

Ian Shepherd <g4ljf@...>
 

Dear Byron,

thank you for your thoughts. Your opinion differs to mine, and indeed that
of Joel Potter. Joel actually has said in his advertisements "Single handing
is a cinch". I agree with him on that. The Super Maramu is a superb boat,
and as you rightly say, very well equipped. You are right also in that there
is no better value on the market. The electric furling, remote anchoring
controls, power winches, bow thruster, electric windlass, excellent radar
and general security make it an ideal single handed boat.

I do not see why being single handed should affect anchoring at all? Can you
explain this further? How many people does it take to survey the area then
operate the switch? I further fail to see how being single handed pushes
the rig to destruction? It only takes one to handle the sail plan. As Joel
says, it's a cinch. I have never had a single problem with Amel's electric
furling system. Sail can be reduced in seconds, and any prudent single
hander will always err on the side of being under canvassed. Even short
tacking is easy to accomplish when using the superb autopilot.

Amel's docking system and the bow thruster also make leaving the dock
straight forwards too. Sure, sometimes you need to devise methods of casting
off the last line from the cockpit, but it can be done. I don't think that I
have ever encountered a problem in a marina. In fact most times, there are
people there only too willing to give a hand. If not, call the marina and
ask for help. But as I have said, I much prefer to anchor off where I can.
More breeze, less chance of theft and much more economical when you are on
board 365 days a year!

Regarding keeping watch, I agree with you that it is desirable to have
someone in the cockpit at all times, but I will say that many a time the
radar has picked up traffic well before I have seen it with my eyes. The
alarm has never failed to get my attention either.

It is not my intention to deliberately sail single handed Byron. It just
works out that way from time to time when crew have other commitments. I
would love to sail as a couple, but had my wife have liked sailing
...............! Familiar story?

I don't think that a warranty ban on single handed operation would do Amel
any favours. A Joel says, the fact that the boat can be handled by one, is
in my view, a very good testimony to its design. Even as a couple, I am sure
that you don't wake your partner when it comes to reefing or tacking? Even
couples are sailing in effect single handed during night watches.

Byron, the Super Maramu 2000 is a great boat. I have no hesitation in
keeping my boat despite what has happened. My only beef is that I have been
given the run around when there has been a proven lapse in quality.

Regards

Ian

PS I have deleted the original text as I know that those downloading by sat
phone do no wish to increase their charges unnecessarily.


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] advice needed - above or below 15 meters LOA

Luis Gonzalez Vallejo <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
 

I have a Mango from 1994. In some european countries ,as in my case in Spain, what is relevant is the kind on navegation that you are allowed for, not the length of the boat.So , if you apply for offshore saling eg. to sail anywhere in the world you have to get the Yacht Captain, and the boat has be licensing for navegation Class A, it means that the boat has to fulfill a list of requirements , mainly on safety equipment, independently to the boats length.On the other hand if your navegation area is less than 60 miles from the coast, your license is for Yacht Skipper, and your boat is licensing for Class B. Your insurance will cover for any specific navegation. I have not any particular problem with the 53 ft of my Mango. Also the harbour fares depends on the LOA x Beam, and there is not particular charge over 15 m. Basic maintenance , is cheaper than any other similar boat of her length. Please let me know any other specific question on Mango.
Luis, from "Aloysius".
,
cjcolclough <cjcolclough@...> wrote:
Dear all

We are writing to you to ask for advice concerning the pros and cons
of owning a yacht, which is larger than 15 meters LOA.

As we suppose you know, European laws, and in our case Danish laws,
with regards yachts > 15 meters are pretty strict. To sail within
Europe we must have a Yacht Captain 3 exam, to sail outside European
waters a Yacht Captain 1. Pantaeneus Insurance informs us that should
an accident happen and we do not have the required papers, the
insurance will formally not cover, however informally it might (the
actual decision will depend on the type of accident. This also means
that to sail in, for example, the Carribean there must at all times
be a captain on board with the Yacht Captain 1 and a second person
onboard with at least a Yacht Captain 3. In all other cases the rules
are violated and the insurance might not cover.

There are no such requirements for yachts < 15 meters

So be it, we would ofcourse get the required exams should we buy the
Mango we currently are looking at. However our concerns do not stop
there. We have been told that harbour prices become much more
expensive as soon as the yacht is > 15 meters. Is this true? And what
about the ongoing costs of maintaining a Mango? How much should we
roughly count on spending on ordinary maintenance?

Basically what we are unclear about is whether the extra 6 feet the
Mango has on the Maramu are worth the extra bother, rules, red tape
and costs. Given that we would use the yacht for blue water cruising
and hopefully long trips to far away places, we have these following
questions in mind:

Is the living space in the Mango that much larger than in a Maramu?
Is the comfort - both the day to day living comfort as well as the
sailing experience - better in the Mango?
Are there other particular issues with having a yacht > 15 meters,
which we should know about and consider?
Essentially is the Mango that much better than the Maramu that all
the extra hassle is well worth it?

We fully realise that we are asking questions that only can be
answered subjectively. However we would appreciate your opinions,
thoughts and knowledge as we are only beginning to venture into the
world of blue water cruising and have therefore very little practical
experience with these matters.

Kindest regards and safe winds,

Christina and Lars
Denmark



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advice needed - above or below 15 meters LOA

cjcolclough <cjcolclough@...>
 

Dear all

We are writing to you to ask for advice concerning the pros and cons
of owning a yacht, which is larger than 15 meters LOA.

As we suppose you know, European laws, and in our case Danish laws,
with regards yachts > 15 meters are pretty strict. To sail within
Europe we must have a Yacht Captain 3 exam, to sail outside European
waters a Yacht Captain 1. Pantaeneus Insurance informs us that should
an accident happen and we do not have the required papers, the
insurance will formally not cover, however informally it might (the
actual decision will depend on the type of accident. This also means
that to sail in, for example, the Carribean there must at all times
be a captain on board with the Yacht Captain 1 and a second person
onboard with at least a Yacht Captain 3. In all other cases the rules
are violated and the insurance might not cover.

There are no such requirements for yachts < 15 meters

So be it, we would ofcourse get the required exams should we buy the
Mango we currently are looking at. However our concerns do not stop
there. We have been told that harbour prices become much more
expensive as soon as the yacht is > 15 meters. Is this true? And what
about the ongoing costs of maintaining a Mango? How much should we
roughly count on spending on ordinary maintenance?

Basically what we are unclear about is whether the extra 6 feet the
Mango has on the Maramu are worth the extra bother, rules, red tape
and costs. Given that we would use the yacht for blue water cruising
and hopefully long trips to far away places, we have these following
questions in mind:

Is the living space in the Mango that much larger than in a Maramu?
Is the comfort - both the day to day living comfort as well as the
sailing experience - better in the Mango?
Are there other particular issues with having a yacht > 15 meters,
which we should know about and consider?
Essentially is the Mango that much better than the Maramu that all
the extra hassle is well worth it?

We fully realise that we are asking questions that only can be
answered subjectively. However we would appreciate your opinions,
thoughts and knowledge as we are only beginning to venture into the
world of blue water cruising and have therefore very little practical
experience with these matters.

Kindest regards and safe winds,

Christina and Lars
Denmark


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Amel single handed sailors-Disasters waiting to happen

Luis Gonzalez Vallejo <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
 

Single handed is a personal decision independent of the type of boat. In case of taking the choice of sailing alone the sailor is facing an extreme risk condition and therefore anything can happen including the worst for him for and his boat,including a collision with other boat. I am a happy owner of an Amel Mango since many years and I never have sailed alone.In any case the Amels are big boats which need to rely on mechanical,hydraulic and/or electrical systems to handle in comfort not being designed for single sailors.
Luis ,from "Aloysious", Alicante-Spain

sailslady@... wrote:
Dear Fellow Amel Owners, Jean-Jacques LEMMONIER and Joel Potter

As an extremely happy buyer of an Amel for the past 30 months I am dismayed with the comments from one of our Amel family owners. My Amel is masterfully built. There is no comparison in value between an Amel and any other yacht even twice the price! The factory has no equal in quality and workmanship. I have been treated more than fairly by every Amel Company person and representative. That is Amel's reputation and I do not like seeing it damaged.

Actually I am shocked that any reasonable Amel owner would consider sailing an Amel singlehandedly anywhere any time except moving it around his own marina for service or repair. I am embarrased that one of our Amel owners would air his exploits and foolish sailing activities as a singlehander and expect the Amel people to be happy with him. I certainly am not. I would tell him to his face if I ever see him.

It is common knowledge that it is not good seamanship to sail any boat without a proper lookout at all times. It is frowned upon by the US Coast Guard and all insurance companies that I know of will NOT INSURE SINGLE HANDED SAILORS for hull damage for bluewater cruising. Amels are for couples to cruise not singles.

I have personally seen in the past six months the damage and idiocy of singlehanded Amel sailors. They have trouble anchoring, entering and leaving moorings and slips and push their rigs to distruction because they have a "first year warranty" on every dumb thing they do.

It is my suggestion to Amel that they immediately put an exclusion in their "first year warranty" that any Amel being sailed one handed at any time during the first year any damage,loss or breakdown of ANY piece of equipment not be honored by the factory! In addition Amel should cease from selling any new Amel to anyone who indicates in any way that their new Amel will be sailing single handedly the first year.

I feel that Amel has been taken advantage of by too many buyers who are now sailing singlehandedly and doing damage unnecessarily to Amel's reputation and to the resale values to all our Amels by abusing their boats.

"Thank you" to all you interested Amel owners who have taken the time to read this letter. I hope you agree and let Amel know of your support and ideas on this singlehanded sailor problem.

Sincerely

Byron Henderson
Sailslady Super Maramu 2000 Hull #340

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Amel single handed sailors-Disasters waiting to happen

sailslady@...
 

Dear Fellow Amel Owners, Jean-Jacques LEMMONIER and Joel Potter

As an extremely happy buyer of an Amel for the past 30 months I am dismayed with the comments from one of our Amel family owners. My Amel is masterfully built. There is no comparison in value between an Amel and any other yacht even twice the price! The factory has no equal in quality and workmanship. I have been treated more than fairly by every Amel Company person and representative. That is Amel's reputation and I do not like seeing it damaged.

Actually I am shocked that any reasonable Amel owner would consider sailing an Amel singlehandedly anywhere any time except moving it around his own marina for service or repair. I am embarrased that one of our Amel owners would air his exploits and foolish sailing activities as a singlehander and expect the Amel people to be happy with him. I certainly am not. I would tell him to his face if I ever see him.

It is common knowledge that it is not good seamanship to sail any boat without a proper lookout at all times. It is frowned upon by the US Coast Guard and all insurance companies that I know of will NOT INSURE SINGLE HANDED SAILORS for hull damage for bluewater cruising. Amels are for couples to cruise not singles.

I have personally seen in the past six months the damage and idiocy of singlehanded Amel sailors. They have trouble anchoring, entering and leaving moorings and slips and push their rigs to distruction because they have a "first year warranty" on every dumb thing they do.

It is my suggestion to Amel that they immediately put an exclusion in their "first year warranty" that any Amel being sailed one handed at any time during the first year any damage,loss or breakdown of ANY piece of equipment not be honored by the factory! In addition Amel should cease from selling any new Amel to anyone who indicates in any way that their new Amel will be sailing single handedly the first year.

I feel that Amel has been taken advantage of by too many buyers who are now sailing singlehandedly and doing damage unnecessarily to Amel's reputation and to the resale values to all our Amels by abusing their boats.

"Thank you" to all you interested Amel owners who have taken the time to read this letter. I hope you agree and let Amel know of your support and ideas on this singlehanded sailor problem.

Sincerely

Byron Henderson
Sailslady Super Maramu 2000 Hull #340


A Considered Reply

Ian Shepherd <g4ljf@...>
 

Ladies & Gentlemen,

we all know from Joel's advertisements that he is not a man to understate his case. In view of the latest developments in this dispute with Amel, it was not my intention to publicly air what has been going on any further on this site. However, had I not put anything on this site in the first place, the truth might never have been known. This is why this site is so valuable. Joel's libelous hysterical outburst is frankly a load of misinformed drivel that I cannot let go unanswered. My apologies to Amel for having to do so here.

Regarding misuse of the bow thruster, of course I am fully aware that you should not reverse the direction without a pause. I don't believe that I have ever done that incorrectly, nor has any other owner nor Amel employee ever commented to me about the way I operated the switch. If they were concerned, then surely they would have mentioned it to me?

Your assertion that I used the bow thruster to recover from a back winded genoa is complete BS. I have NEVER done this and I would most certainly NEVER consider doing so. The only way to recover from such a situation once steerage way is lost is to either sail out of it the long way round, or start the engine and motor the boat back gently back onto the correct tack.

What I DID SAY to Amel was that when approaching my anchoring spot in a crowded anchorage with a strong wind blowing, I would lower the bow thruster ready to save the situation should the wind blow the bow off before the anchor could grab the bottom. Yes, occasionally I had to nudge the boat to stop a potentially serious sideways slide developing, which could have resulted in a collision with another boat. If the bow thruster cannot cope with that, then there is something very wrong.

On the other side of the coin, I very seldom used marinas during the 25,000 miles that I sailed my first boat in two years. I therefore was using the thruster much less than some, though at 10 times the average usage rate. Incidentally, Olivier Beaute also said that after 5 minutes use, the thruster motor should be allowed to cool for 30 minutes.(Might have been 20). Of course NONE of us use it for anything other than a few seconds at a time.

As for the modifications, I did two things. I installed a thin stainless washer on the end of prop shaft, held with a spacer and self tapping screw. I did this to contain the propeller after the nylon screws broke. It was an idea that was passed on to me by another Amel owner. It worked well. Amel are, I believe working on a propeller saving device suggested to them by an Australian owner who was also fed up with losing propellers after fishing line or debris had caused the screws to shear.

I also fabricated a rubber collar that fitted around the through hull structure and led two drain pipes into the anchor locker drain tube. This was to collect drips of water that get past the through hull seals and stop the under floor areas in the forward cabin and by the forward heads from getting wet. M. Carteau liked that idea and developed it further to completely contain the bow thruster in its own water tight box.

Regarding replacing the nylon screws with stainless ones? I am afraid more BS. I did at one time query whether the strength of screws was sufficient. One of the ideas I put to (I think Joel) was substituting the three small screws with maybe low grade aluminium ones. This was discouraged, and I never did it. In any case, corrosion would have made aluminium unsuitable. AT NO TIME DID I SUGGEST USING STAINLESS SCREWS , nor was I ever dismissive of his remarks, though I did say that this was a design area that needed to be improved, as well as the oil seal arrangement and propeller retention. It was he who was dismissive of my criticism as in his eyes, there can be nothing wrong with the product he sells. Amel have now changed the screw layout, and there are now 4 large screws instead of 3 plus 3 smaller ones, and I am pleased to say that to date I have not had the screws shear.

It's all very well to say that there are hundreds of boats out there that have not sunk through the bow thruster falling out of the boat, but the fact is that one did. Both the surveyors that examined the bow thruster were unhappy with it's design. In fairness to Amel and in recognition of their efforts to make the thruster not idiot proof as you claim, BUT SEAWORTHY, I will not go into all the details of what they found in public. It is suffice to say that the problem has been fixed. Amel are very good at doing that. Even Jacques Carteau, Amel's chief designer admitted to me and the independent surveyor that the design was not good enough. He also pointed out that it was not he, but someone else who designed it. He has done a first class job in making the bow thruster safe. Thank you Jacques.

By the way, the modification kit was not introduced to prevent damage from abusive use as Joel claims. It was developed to stop the torque that is developed by the motor from twisting the shaft and damaging the tube. This was something that had been overlooked in the original design. Had the power of the motor not been increased, it may perhaps not have mattered. Also, had the bow thruster been fully enclosed in it's own water tight compartment as it now is, the boat would not have sunk even if the doors had been open.

Joel has a point in saying that the watertight doors should be closed when the boat is left, but I suspect none of us do that every time we go ashore? I did not close the doors as I was concerned about the many stories I have read on this site, and heard directly from owners, about the ceiling linings coming unglued in high temperatures. I wanted to maximize the air circulation and keep the temperature down in the 30C plus heat of an August Caribbean. Crusader was moored stern-to a dock between two other boats. Not much chance I think of a heavy side impact from a runaway boat in that situation.

Amel have since confirmed that they have cured the headliner problem some years ago by using material with a different backing and a different glue. Unfortunately that information did not get passed down the line to us more recent owners. Maybe it would be helpful for Amel to post the latest modifications to their boat, perhaps on this site, so that we are all aware what problems have been identified and rectified? How about it Joel?

As for a lightening strike sinking the boat, well yes it can happen, though with the SM's lack of metallic through hull fittings, the chances may be less than on other boats. The depth sounder may be one vulnerable area though. However, Joel is fully aware that when he sold his past demonstration SM last year, it was struck heavily not once, but twice by lightening, without, I believe any through hull damage.

For sure I will close the doors in future. In fact when I was dismasted, the second priority was to close the doors and drainage valves in case the hull was punctured. The first priority was to stop the mast going over the side, after the PAN call of course. Several owners have contacted me to ask what problems I encountered during the dismasting. I shall shortly write a brief resume, so that we can all learn something and swap ideas on how I might have handled it better.

Regarding the dismasting, Joel obviously has not seen the video that I took moments before the dismasting, nor perhaps the detailed report made by DRB Technology Ltd of Lymington Hampshire. Both are available at Amel's La Rochelle headquarters. I suggests he views the tape and reads the report before passing judgment. Yes the seas were lumpy, following a gale earlier that morning, but well within the capabilities of a sound boat and a skipper with now 29,240 nms SM experience. I started the leg to St Pierre et Michelon without the pole, but as I said on the tape, the wind began to drop off, so I rigged the pole to stop the genoa flogging as the boat negotiated the swell. The pole was rigged well above the horizontal position as suggested by Amel when the seas are disturbed.

There was no evidence of the pole touching the water. I have said before on this site that this did happen once to me on my previous boat in mid Atlantic. As others have said who have had the same experience, the pole jack knifed back against the rub rail. It did not dismast the boat! Furthermore, when this happened, it distorted the hoop in the boomerang bracket. Both my hoops were completely unscathed as is clearly seen in the video. Had the boat rolled sufficiently to dig the pole into the water, I would most certainly have noticed the roll and felt the slew. There was nothing untoward before the mast crumpled to indicate that the boat was in anyway over pressed or that the pole dug into a wave as you suggest.

Furthermore, you would have noticed that on the video there is a taped statement by Mr. David Gauvin who examined the wreckage soon after I got Crusader back into port, he states that "There are clear signs of different shades of oxidization around the failed weld, indicating that the crack started some time before the mast failed". Mr. Gauvin is a very experienced yacht delivery captain who spent some time working for Jongert. Frankly, I respect is opinion a lot more than yours Joel. Mr. Gauvin is neutral. You are most certainly not.

I have also discussed this failure with several mast manufacturers. They have all said that if you lose a lower spreader, you will lose your mast. My mast failed at the pole cup point as the pole guys and genoa sheet were putting a sideways pressure on the mast at this point. When the spreader let go and the mast went out of column, there was probably a squirreling effect on the lower mast section as the top section gyrated when the shrouds went slack. The sideways force on the failed side caused the mast to bend over at that point and that's where it crumpled. It's a complicated situation and I don't pretend to understand the forces involved for one moment, but when the boat is riding other than a flat sea, I am sure that loads can be varied and the peak loads considerable. All I will say, is that M. Qernec, my very experienced independent surveyor, who specializes in spa's, and my insurance company, are both absolutely convinced that the spreader failure was the cause of the dismasting. So am I. Of note also is that when Amel's representative was about to leave Newfoundland, I asked him what he thought was the cause of the dismasting. He replied "The spreader".

Joel did not see the spreader, as I retained it after leaving the boat so that I could have the failure analyzed by an independent specialist to safe guard both my position and that of my insurance company. Amel have seen it now and everyone has agreed that the weld was indeed faulty, though until yesterday, Amel still refused to repair the boat.

The reason why they changed their mind and reverted to their original promise to repair the boat was, I believe this. On December 22nd, Amel wrote to me and said that their surveyor had concluded that they were not guilty of any manufacturing or design concept. Of course he had not seen the spreader as I had it, and probably was not shown the report on its failure by DRB. They therefore withdrew their offer to fix the boat unless I paid despite DRB's report and their representatives conclusion. Some 36 hours ago, I let them know that I was aware that on November 14th, a month before Crusader arrived back at the factory, and 5 weeks after my failure, the very next boat to be built after mine, discovered that it had cracks in BOTH lower mainmast spreaders.

The boat was just three months old, like mine, and it had not sailed across the North Atlantic either. That information was relayed to Amel after a phone call to, guess who .......one Joel F. Potter of Fort Lauderdale Florida! Had that boat left Las Palmas for St Lucia, I think it would have been highly likely that they would have suffered a dismasting before they reached the other side. Well done to that crew for picking the problem up.

As I knew that Joel had previously denied any knowledge of my bow thruster failure to a fellow Amel owner, despite the fact that both I and Amel's Chairman had copied him into the emails about the events at the time, I decided to test his integrity once again. I sent him an email asking if he was aware of any other spreader failures as I was requesting that Amel make improvements to the design to allow for some redundancy should the weld fail. He did not answer.

Both he and Amel had now been caught out conducting a 'how do we get out it this time' operation. Maybe this was because their insurance company were reluctant to pay out, or maybe it was because they could not stomach the fact that they had again let down their customer who had paid some 682,000 Pounds Sterling to their business in the past three years, I really don't know. Maybe they just wanted to get me out of Amel because I used the boat very much more than the average user and were afraid that I would discover something else wrong? I don't know. They have never given a reason as to why they went back on their promise to repair the boat using their insurance.

Finally, trends, traits, single handed fatigue. More BS Joel. I think we have covered the bow thruster in sufficient detail other than to say that at the time Crusader sank, I was just getting on an airplane some 3000 miles away to fly back to her.

I sailed my first boat 25,000 nms, sometimes in attrocious conditions without any rig failures. Everyone should be aware that these two recent spreader incidents have occurred as a result of Amel switching their spa fabrication to a local sub contractor. I don't believe that there is any cause for undue concern. Amel are changing the spreaders on those boats that were associated with the welder at fault.

I left Port Au Basques at midday on October 3rd after spending several days there resting whilst waiting for a weather window to make the leg to St Pierre. The dismasting occurred 1 hour and twenty minutes after departure. Yes sure Joel, I was exhausted! Get real!

If using the pole at 140 degrees apparent is pushing the envelope, then that is news to me. However, having said that, Amel have claimed that the poles are to be used only when the wind is excatly aft. I think that is news to all of us. Just what is the truth Joel.You claim to be the expert. Tell us please. We need to know.

Yes, I have done some adventurous sailing. The North Atlantic trip to Greenland was no Trade Winds crossing, but well within the capabilities of any sound boat, had it been manufactured as intended. The resaon why I bought an Amel was they do indeed have a good reputation. However, averaging 1000 nms per month including layup time, will soon discover any weak areas. As I have said many times to Amel, if only they worked more with their customers by listening to their experiences, they would achieve more quickly their desire to be the best there is. They are quite close to that now, and as a result of my two mechanical failures, at the end of the day, they will be even closer, and we shall all be safer.

In fact just days before the dismasting, I sent Amel an email praising them for such a trouble free first 11 weeks of use, together with a list of suggestions where improvements might be made, though all of those points were of a trivial nature. I was very happy with my boat up to that point, and I told them so. No malcontent at all.

Regarding Joel's second email about Amel's decision to fix the boat, it has always been the case that it would be fixed at no cost to myself. It would have been my insurance company that would have to have paid, not me. Bearing in mind that there was a deffinate manuafcturing fault with the spreaders, my fight has been to protect my insurance company and my reputation. Amel have not yet given any guaranty that my company will not have to pay. All they have said is that they will now start the work. That is not an acceptable solution to me.

So Mr Potter, I shall add your emails to the pile that are bound for my lawyer. This matter is far from concluded yet. I shall never forget the time I faxed you about coming over to Fort Lauderdale from England with my wife to see some second hand Amel's. Your response was 'I have more Amels here than perhaps anyone but Amel themselves'. When we arrived, you had none you could show us! Blah blah blah! Oh well, at least I got a steal on a new sextant at BoatsUS!

Now, as far I am concerened, this dispute is closed as far as this site is concerned. Joel, if you or anyone else for that matter wants to discuss it further, then please call me at +357-99642701. Just remember that Cyprus is 7 hours adrift from your time being on a time zone of 2 hours ahead of UTC. I have lost enough sleep through the run around I have been given these past 4 months!

I am sorry this has taken so long to read, and I am also very sorry that I have had to drag Amel through what must be an embarrsing time for them. Joel left me little choice.

Kindest regards to all, and hoping to see some of you on the water again soon.

Ian Shepherd

SM #414 'Crusader'


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] CRUSADER Debacle

William Reed <wcreed2@...>
 

Thanks Joel. Well said!

"Joel F. Potter" <jfpottercys@...> wrote: Dear Fellow Amel Owners,

First and foremost, this communiqu comes from Joel Potter the Super
Maramu owner, not from Joel F. Potter - Amel's Sole Associate for the
Americas. These thoughts and opinions are my own and may not reflect any
position Amel will assume regarding the self inflicted woes of Mr. Ian
Shepherd.

Mr. Shepherd is the one and only person to sink his Amel by abusing his
bow thruster, using it in ways it was not designed for, and, most probably,
by modifying it in a manner which defeated the designed in fail-safes.
Nearly 600 Amels have a virtually identical bow thruster to the one aboard
Mr. Shepherd's CRUSADER. Not one of them have sunk from ANY bow thruster
related malady. Is the Amel bow thruster design absolutely certifiably
perfect? Of course not, very few thing conceived and created by men ever
are. Is it a piece of s_ _ _ as Mr. Shepherd has often claimed? You be the
judge after considering the following.

Many different individuals, Amel employees, Amel owners, and impartial
observers alike have witnessed Mr. Shepherd operate his bow thruster
improperly by quickly pushing the joy stick port to starboard and starboard
to port without pausing for several seconds as Olivier Beaute at Amel
instructs during the Amel new owner training program. Mr. Shepherd has
stated to me, and others, that he sometimes uses his bow thruster to push
the bow of his boat through the eye of the wind on a failed tack with the
jib back winded. One can only imagine the abuse the thruster would endure
being employed in such a manner. If wind and wave were pronounced, and with
the bow coming out of the water as it often can on a failed tack when "in
irons" the forces the bow thruster would endure are unimaginable.

Several years ago, Mr. Shepherd attempted to inform me about what a
scatological pile of garbage the bow thruster was. He then told me he was
going to ELIMINATE THE FAILURE PRONE PLASTIC BOLT FASTENERS TO THE BOW
THRUSTER PROPELLER AND REPLACE THEM WITH STAINLESS STEEL. When I told him
that these actions would certainly cause a failure in exactly the precise
spot where his thruster failed, he was dismissive and suggested that I
didn't know what I was talking about.

There is a lesson in this, beyond the obvious, for all of us Amel owners.
If you leave your Amel in the water unattended for any length of time over a
day or so, it is prudent to close the water tight doors and secure the
drains. Many a boat has been struck by lightning, hit by an errant drunk in
a speeding hard dinghy, smacked by another vessel and, well, maybe even one
having been tossed off it's own bow thruster while not on the hard. With the
doors closed, most of these situations would result in a correctable mess
and not the loss of the vessel. It takes me just a few minutes to secure the
water tight doors on my Super Maramu when I leave her for more than a day,
and I sleep the better for it.

Mr. Shepherd offers the following information regarding his dismasting and
I quote. "I was sailing downwind with an apparent wind of 140 degrees to
starboard at 14 knots. The genoa was poled out to port as there was
insufficient wind to hold it steady in the sloppy seas." It is inconceivable
that the leeward lower spreader (the port lower) could catastrophically fail
when in an unloaded and all but unstressed circumstance. Think about it. Add
in Mr. Shepherds admitting that the genoa had insufficient pressure to hold
it steady in 14 knots of breeze in sloppy seas...must have been pretty
sloppy seas. Perhaps the genoa was rolled into a wave and the pole assembly
put undue pressure on the shrouds and spreader on the leeward/unloaded side?

I carefully examined Mr. Shepherds boat, rigging, and mast after it
arrived in La Rochelle last December following the dismasting. Mr. Shepherd
retained the spreader in question. It was not available to be inspected. It
appeared that the mast yielded and failed just next to the receiver socket
for the ballooner short pole that goes from the mast to the shroud supported
brace. This adds further credence to my assumption of how the mast failed.
We shall never know.

Why this long defensive epistle to my fellow Amel owners? Several reasons,
actually.

When Mr. Shepherd's boat sank, I spent at least 100 hours on the phone,
fax, and email holding hands with my customers who were unnerved by Mr.
Shepherds claims. Amel took positive actions to idiot proof their bow
thruster with a retrofit kit that eliminates the thruster shaft tubes from
receiving torque during abusive operation. Still many clients needed
reassurance that their boat was not in imminent danger of sinking. Since Mr.
Shepherd's dismasting I have had an incredible amount of clients come to me
for the other side of the story, most not being at all confident in Mr.
Shepherds side of it, some for assurance that their rigs are not in danger.
Most consider Mr. Shepherd a malcontent but, nonetheless, they are
concerned.

My second reason is to set the record straight and defend my friends and
associates at Amel. True, I make my livelihood marketing Amel boats.
However, the main reason I chose this path is because the people at Amel are
the most honorable and decent people I know. Having been in the boat
business at all levels from rigging, outfitting, building, and selling
offshore cruising boats for all but a couple years of my adult life, I can
state with full conviction that there isn't another firm as responsive to
the needs of their customers as is Amel. They truly care about our
customers. They always try to do the right thing.

In closing (finally, yes!) I will not resort to name calling and character
assassination as has Mr. Shepherd against Amel. All I ask is, considering
that Mr. Shepherd is the first to sink his boat by the loss of his bow
thruster and the first to wipe his rig off, not due to collision, does
anyone else recognize a pattern here? Perhaps it's his sailing single
handed. One has got to sleep. Perhaps it's pushing/expanding the envelope of
proper operation of Amel specific equipment. Perhaps it's bad judgement.
Perhaps it's all of these things and more. He hurts us all by his
inappropriate actions as I witnessed at the recent Miami Boat Show.
Potential Amel owners questioned me about the quality of Amel boats in
general and their rigging specifically as a result of his postings on our
owners web site. Today, Amels enjoy a very fine retention of value upon
resale. This is, I believe, due to Amels consistent quality in both
construction and after sales service. Mr. Shepherd's unsubstantiated claims
to the contrary does none of us any good.

I am hopeful Mr. Shepherd will sell his Amel and proceed to build his own
cruising sailboat incorporating all his expertise.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am pleased to respond to
different opinions.

Sincerely,

Joel F. Potter,

AMEL Super Maramu # 400, MARY BROWN





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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CRUSADER

Joel F. Potter <jfpottercys@...>
 

Dear Fellow Amel Owners,

Regarding the Ian Shepherd debacle, I have, just now, been made aware of
some news regarding CRUSADER. Although forensic experts for Mr. Shepherd,
his insurance company and Amel have yet to agree on a definitive point of
liability in this matter, Amel has agreed to proceed with the repairs to Mr.
Shepherd's boat with the guarantee that he will not have to pay even one
penny.

Enough said...

Joel F. Potter
Amel Super Maramu # 400, MARY BROWN


CRUSADER Debacle

Joel F. Potter <jfpottercys@...>
 

Dear Fellow Amel Owners,

First and foremost, this communiqué comes from Joel Potter the Super
Maramu owner, not from Joel F. Potter - Amel's Sole Associate for the
Americas. These thoughts and opinions are my own and may not reflect any
position Amel will assume regarding the self inflicted woes of Mr. Ian
Shepherd.

Mr. Shepherd is the one and only person to sink his Amel by abusing his
bow thruster, using it in ways it was not designed for, and, most probably,
by modifying it in a manner which defeated the designed in fail-safes.
Nearly 600 Amels have a virtually identical bow thruster to the one aboard
Mr. Shepherd's CRUSADER. Not one of them have sunk from ANY bow thruster
related malady. Is the Amel bow thruster design absolutely certifiably
perfect? Of course not, very few thing conceived and created by men ever
are. Is it a piece of s_ _ _ as Mr. Shepherd has often claimed? You be the
judge after considering the following.

Many different individuals, Amel employees, Amel owners, and impartial
observers alike have witnessed Mr. Shepherd operate his bow thruster
improperly by quickly pushing the joy stick port to starboard and starboard
to port without pausing for several seconds as Olivier Beaute at Amel
instructs during the Amel new owner training program. Mr. Shepherd has
stated to me, and others, that he sometimes uses his bow thruster to push
the bow of his boat through the eye of the wind on a failed tack with the
jib back winded. One can only imagine the abuse the thruster would endure
being employed in such a manner. If wind and wave were pronounced, and with
the bow coming out of the water as it often can on a failed tack when "in
irons" the forces the bow thruster would endure are unimaginable.

Several years ago, Mr. Shepherd attempted to inform me about what a
scatological pile of garbage the bow thruster was. He then told me he was
going to ELIMINATE THE FAILURE PRONE PLASTIC BOLT FASTENERS TO THE BOW
THRUSTER PROPELLER AND REPLACE THEM WITH STAINLESS STEEL. When I told him
that these actions would certainly cause a failure in exactly the precise
spot where his thruster failed, he was dismissive and suggested that I
didn't know what I was talking about.

There is a lesson in this, beyond the obvious, for all of us Amel owners.
If you leave your Amel in the water unattended for any length of time over a
day or so, it is prudent to close the water tight doors and secure the
drains. Many a boat has been struck by lightning, hit by an errant drunk in
a speeding hard dinghy, smacked by another vessel and, well, maybe even one
having been tossed off it's own bow thruster while not on the hard. With the
doors closed, most of these situations would result in a correctable mess
and not the loss of the vessel. It takes me just a few minutes to secure the
water tight doors on my Super Maramu when I leave her for more than a day,
and I sleep the better for it.

Mr. Shepherd offers the following information regarding his dismasting and
I quote. "I was sailing downwind with an apparent wind of 140 degrees to
starboard at 14 knots. The genoa was poled out to port as there was
insufficient wind to hold it steady in the sloppy seas." It is inconceivable
that the leeward lower spreader (the port lower) could catastrophically fail
when in an unloaded and all but unstressed circumstance. Think about it. Add
in Mr. Shepherds admitting that the genoa had insufficient pressure to hold
it steady in 14 knots of breeze in sloppy seas...must have been pretty
sloppy seas. Perhaps the genoa was rolled into a wave and the pole assembly
put undue pressure on the shrouds and spreader on the leeward/unloaded side?

I carefully examined Mr. Shepherds boat, rigging, and mast after it
arrived in La Rochelle last December following the dismasting. Mr. Shepherd
retained the spreader in question. It was not available to be inspected. It
appeared that the mast yielded and failed just next to the receiver socket
for the ballooner short pole that goes from the mast to the shroud supported
brace. This adds further credence to my assumption of how the mast failed.
We shall never know.

Why this long defensive epistle to my fellow Amel owners? Several reasons,
actually.

When Mr. Shepherd's boat sank, I spent at least 100 hours on the phone,
fax, and email holding hands with my customers who were unnerved by Mr.
Shepherds claims. Amel took positive actions to idiot proof their bow
thruster with a retrofit kit that eliminates the thruster shaft tubes from
receiving torque during abusive operation. Still many clients needed
reassurance that their boat was not in imminent danger of sinking. Since Mr.
Shepherd's dismasting I have had an incredible amount of clients come to me
for the other side of the story, most not being at all confident in Mr.
Shepherds side of it, some for assurance that their rigs are not in danger.
Most consider Mr. Shepherd a malcontent but, nonetheless, they are
concerned.

My second reason is to set the record straight and defend my friends and
associates at Amel. True, I make my livelihood marketing Amel boats.
However, the main reason I chose this path is because the people at Amel are
the most honorable and decent people I know. Having been in the boat
business at all levels from rigging, outfitting, building, and selling
offshore cruising boats for all but a couple years of my adult life, I can
state with full conviction that there isn't another firm as responsive to
the needs of their customers as is Amel. They truly care about our
customers. They always try to do the right thing.

In closing (finally, yes!) I will not resort to name calling and character
assassination as has Mr. Shepherd against Amel. All I ask is, considering
that Mr. Shepherd is the first to sink his boat by the loss of his bow
thruster and the first to wipe his rig off, not due to collision, does
anyone else recognize a pattern here? Perhaps it's his sailing single
handed. One has got to sleep. Perhaps it's pushing/expanding the envelope of
proper operation of Amel specific equipment. Perhaps it's bad judgement.
Perhaps it's all of these things and more. He hurts us all by his
inappropriate actions as I witnessed at the recent Miami Boat Show.
Potential Amel owners questioned me about the quality of Amel boats in
general and their rigging specifically as a result of his postings on our
owners web site. Today, Amels enjoy a very fine retention of value upon
resale. This is, I believe, due to Amels consistent quality in both
construction and after sales service. Mr. Shepherd's unsubstantiated claims
to the contrary does none of us any good.

I am hopeful Mr. Shepherd will sell his Amel and proceed to build his own
cruising sailboat incorporating all his expertise.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am pleased to respond to
different opinions.

Sincerely,

Joel F. Potter,

AMEL Super Maramu # 400, MARY BROWN





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors

Ian Shepherd <g4ljf@...>
 

Dear Louis,

I would agree that the Spade is the best all round anchor you can get at the
moment. It fits the Amel bow roller well and it's extra weight in the tip
compared to the Bugel makes sure that it always comes over the roller the
right way up, which is not the case with the Bugel. I have used both anchors
and both have excellent holding power on most bottoms.

Good Luck

Ian

Crusader SM 414


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors

Luis Gonzalez Vallejo <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
 

Thank you for your advise ,I will try to get Spade
30kg following the good results of others Amels.
Regards,
Luis "Aloysius"



Anne and John Hollamby <hollamby@...>
escribi:
---------------------------------
Message text written by
INTERNET:amelyachtowners@...
<
There was a lot of stuff about anchors in this site
about a couple of
months ago. All anchors need to be deployed properly
in uncompromising
bottoms and none is perfect in all conditions. However
the CQR was a good
design 60 years ago but has passed its sell by date!
Regards. Anne and John
Bali Hai, SM319


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Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors

Anne and John Hollamby <hollamby@...>
 

Message text written by INTERNET:amelyachtowners@...
<
There was a lot of stuff about anchors in this site about a couple of
months ago. All anchors need to be deployed properly in uncompromising
bottoms and none is perfect in all conditions. However the CQR was a good
design 60 years ago but has passed its sell by date!
Regards. Anne and John Bali Hai, SM319


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors

Luis Gonzalez Vallejo <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
 

Thank you for your advice, surely I will get the Spade 30kg.Good luck in Chile.
Saludos,Luis "Aloysius"

Ian & Judy Jenkins <ianjudyjenkins@...> wrote:

Dear Luis, We have had excellent results from our 30 kg Spade, from Europe
to Chile.Having used a cqr, Bruce and Delta on a variety of boats I really
think that, weight for weight, this anchor is a significant breakthrough in
design and performance.Ian and Judy Jenkins, Pen Azen, SM 302, Chile

From: "l_gonzalezvallejo" <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
Reply-To: amelyachtowners@...
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 10:42:16 -0000

Hello from Alicante,Spain,
I am looking for an anchor to replace the original CQR,I thank your
advice,type and recommended weight.
Regards
Luis





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Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors

ianjenkins1946 <ianjudyjenkins@hotmail.com>
 

Dear Luis, We have had excellent results from our 30 kg Spade, from Europe to Chile.Having used a cqr, Bruce and Delta on a variety of boats I really think that, weight for weight, this anchor is a significant breakthrough in design and performance.Ian and Judy Jenkins, Pen Azen, SM 302, Chile

From: "l_gonzalezvallejo" <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
Reply-To: amelyachtowners@...
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 10:42:16 -0000

Hello from Alicante,Spain,
I am looking for an anchor to replace the original CQR,I thank your
advice,type and recommended weight.
Regards
Luis





Yahoo! Groups Links




_________________________________________________________________
Tired of 56k? Get a FREE BT Broadband connection http://www.msn.co.uk/specials/btbroadband


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors

Luis Gonzalez Vallejo <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
 

Thank you so much for your quick reply.
Luis
"Aloysius"

Randy Kilmon <drifter01us@...> wrote:
We replaced our CQR with a Spade (66 pounds). We
highly recommend it.
Randy Kilmon
"Drifter"



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Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Anchors

Randy Kilmon <drifter01us@...>
 

We replaced our CQR with a Spade (66 pounds). We
highly recommend it.
Randy Kilmon
"Drifter"



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Anchors

l_gonzalezvallejo <l_gonzalezvallejo@...>
 

Hello from Alicante,Spain,
I am looking for an anchor to replace the original CQR,I thank your
advice,type and recommended weight.
Regards
Luis


1985 Amel Maramu for sale in Florida

neurolept2
 

1985 Amel Maramu for sale in Ft Lauderdale by owner
Hull peeled and epoxied and awlgripped
Deck awlgripped 2 yrs ago
Masts awlgripped 2 yr ago
Mainsail and Jib new 3yr ago used lightly
Generator, Airconditioned
new refrigerator
new freezer
new raymarine radar
new gps
interior cushions reupholstered of white
loads of spare parts
lovingly maintained
$185,000.00 U.S.
Serious inquiries only please
email TC215@...


Dismasting

Ian Shepherd <g4ljf@...>
 

Thank you to you all for your replies regarding my request for information on spreader failures on Amel Super Maramu 2000's. It would seem that our manufacturer is not always generous with the truth. The real value of this site is that those of us who have parted with our hard earned cash can freely exchange information here and find out what is really going on with our boats. Let me tell you what has happened to mine.

Last October my 11 week old Super Maramu 2000 'Crusader' was dismasted off the coast of Newfoundland when the weld at the root of the mainmast portside lower spreader failed. Professional analysis of the failure by an independent company showed that the weld had not been prepared at all, had not penetrated the metal throughout the circumference of the spreader tube, was too thin, and was full of porosity due to insufficient argon being used during the process. The failure had started at the trailing edge and the crack had started some time before the spreader completely failed and the mast broke.

When I expressed concern to Amel's chairman about the fact that our spreaders consist of a simple aluminium butt weld of a 6 foot arm to a stamped bracket with no pinned insert like more conventional designs, his reply was "If you have no confidence in our design, then sell your boat!" Unbelievable words to someone who has had to buy two Super Maramu's in the past three years due to a design fault. There is no doubt in my mind now that the A in Amel stands for arrogance.

My first boat sank just 27 months old whilst moored to a dock in Granada whilst I visited my dying father. The retractable bow thruster fell out of the boat after the shaft tube broke in two following wear around the fixing bolts due to the back torque of the motor. The bow thruster was not in use at the time and no one was on board. The waves lapped up through the hole and filled the front cabin till she went down. More about that later.

Amel are refusing to honour their warranty and fix the new boat as they claim that I was misusing the boat at the time. I was sailing downwind with an apparent wind of 140 degrees to starboard at 14 knots. The genoa was poled out to port as there was insufficient wind to hold it steady in the sloppy seas. Amel claim that it is written in the users manual that the poles can only be used when the wind is exactly 180 degrees from the bow. I see no reference to that in my manual. Is it in yours?

The only reference that I can see is that when using both the genoa and ballooner, you can sail downwind in this configuration with the wind up to 20 degrees off the stern. The limitation is presumably due to the windward sail beginning to back, though I have found in practice that by easing the windward sheet, you can scratch a wind angle of 30 degrees off the stern in reasonably smooth sea conditions.

I see no reference at all to not using a single pole at any angle that will fill the genoa. Is anyone aware of any such limitation? If there is one, then I can only say 'what a terrible design', and I would certainly not have bought a yacht that does not allow you to pole out the headsail. I have sailed my two Amels over 29,000 nms in 30 months and have often poled out the genoa alone without mishap. I would appreciate your thoughts on Amel's interpretation.

Meanwhile, I would strongly urge you to inspect your spreaders for cracks, especially on recent boats as Amel have switched the fabrication of these critical components to a sub contractor in La Rochelle.

Regarding my bow thruster failure, many of you will have received an alert from Amel in late 2002 asking you to inspect your bow thruster where the 4 bolts went through the motor housing and into the tube. Although Amel never admitted that they got it wrong, they never the less radically altered the bow thruster design and the drainage out of the bow cabin into the bilge. They have done a good job in putting the problem right, though that is small compensation having lost my home and personal effects, as well as putting my cruising plans back to square one. Not now once, but twice.

Of course, like the situation of the spreaders, Amel will only say that I was the only one to have a problem. I know this now not to be true. What I would like to know is just what did you find when you inspected your bow thrusters? Were the holes through the tube elongated by the Alan bolts? Had the bronze ring inside the tube that is held by a single countersunk screw worked loose too? If you found that you were developing problems too, then please let me know at my private email address of g4ljf@... . Your replies will of course be treated with the strictest confidence as were the replies concerning the spreaders.

Enjoy your sailing whilst I endure another frustrating winter back in Europe. I wish you better luck than I have had with my Amels.

Fair Winds

Ian Shepherd

SM # 414 'Crusader'


Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Sails for Amel Sharki

Joel F. Potter <jfpottercys@...>
 

Dear Mr. Duddy,

The sailmaker with the most experience by far making Amel sails here in the
U.S.A. is Peter Grimm Jr. He is partnered in the local Doyle loft here in
Fort Lauderdale, but can build private label sails that are, to my seasoned
and terminally thrifty eye, the best sails for the money available anywhere.
Peter ships sails to our clients world wide and to the best of my knowledge,
has yet to have an unresolved complaint. He's very good. You can trust
him. He will give you my discount, 20%. Can't beat it.

You can reach Peter at: peter@... or phone: 1(954) 462-3695.
Hope this helps.

Joel F. Potter
Super Maramu, Hull #400 "MARY BROWN"

-----Original Message-----
From: Roy A. Duddy, Esq. [mailto:rduddy.duddylawoffices@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 1:31 PM
To: AMEL YACHT OWNERS (E-mail)
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Sails for Amel Sharki


Hello,

Is anyone familiar with sail makers who have made sails for a Sharki
in the
New England (U.S.A.) area? I would like to contact them. Thanks for your
help.

Roy Duddy
Unwineding # 123
175 Route 101
Bedford, NH 03110
603-472-8500
603-472-7333 Fax
rduddy.duddylawoffices@...