Is this the end of an era?
I was just looking at http://Amel.fr and was very surprised to see that only two models are listed, the 50 and the 64.
Has the 55 been officially dropped from production? That would certainly explain why it is not on display at either the Newport nor Annapolis boat shows.
I really don't feel that the 50 or the 64 come from the same "genetics" as the Sharki, the Maramu, the Santorin, or the Super Maramu, despite superficial similarities in appearance. Certainly the 55 is a very different boat that any of the older models, but I can still follow a path to see where it came from. I know things change, and I certainly do not pretend to understand the worldwide sailboat market, but still I feel like something is missing.
I certainly do wish Chantiers Amel well, but it seems they aren't building my boats anymore.
St Michaels, MD, USA
With regard to the "genetics" of the 50:
7 watertight compartments
Painted Amel furling mast
Watertight engine room accessible from the bridge only
Large aft lazarette
Power-everything from the cockpit, no need to ever step out
Same electric system as always, "floating"
Same electronics as always, Pochon > Furuno+B&G
Same cable-driven steering
We toured the 50 in Hyères in April and as soon as one steps into the engine room it is the familiar setup as always, down to the same greywater bilge pump we all are familiar with. Except the space is significantly larger.
LOA is 16.5 meters, by the way; this boat is no smaller, no matter what the "50" branding may say. Everything is larger and there is much more storage space than in, say, a Super Maramu. Except for the fresh water. Oh well, fire up that watermaker!
The 50 is the modern version of what an Amel looks like.
SM2K n. 350 (2002)
The 50 is indeed a lovely boat with many of the cherished AMEL features.
We toured it at the Southampton boat show and given a magical windfall would have been the boat we would have chosen to order.
From my own limited ocean cruising perspective, I have learnt to appreciate the attributes of a ketch. I also like the two bow lockers, the vast cockpit locker and the port side ‘Liferaft’ locker which are absent on the 50. Most importantly my 3 year old grandson is able to run all through my Santorin with handholds within easy grasp everywhere. Guess the SM is the same. The 50 needs some additional heavy weather poles down below for an older guy like me to feel secure.
However, a very nice boat and given the price of buying a new one I am very happy about the stability of the re sale value of my current AMEL.
They have to be competitive to survive and it immediately got Cruising Boat of the Year. So hats off to the AMEL team.
Ocean Hobo SN96