Downwind sailing on Amel 54 and storm jibs


Paul Harries
 

As a prospective buyer of an Amel I am so appreciative of the information on this forum, reading the forum messages provides a superb education unavailable elsewhere. I have recently been reading "Heavy Weather Sailing" and my obsession with the Amel approach to boat design and build has been further reinforced!

I do have a couple of questions I cant find answers to though:

I am unable to find anything on the internet regarding downwind sailing on the 54s, I gather unlike the Super Maramou it is not possible to fly true twin headsails, but the 54 is Spinnaker ready and has an inner forestay with furling staysail. Does this setup work as well downwind as the Super Maramou? Does the 54 rock more than the Super Maramou on prolonged downwind passages? Has anyone done a video on 54 sail utilization?

Do any of you carry storm jibs?
Any problems with jibs unfurling in heavy weather on either a 54 or super Maramou?

Thank you

--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


 

Twin poles was an option for the A54. Some 54s have a twin pole ballooner option, but not many. 

Best,

CW Bill Rouse 
Amel Owners Yacht School
+1 832-380-4970 | brouse@...
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com 
Yacht School Calendar: www.preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html


   

On Fri, May 28, 2021, 10:57 AM Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
As a prospective buyer of an Amel I am so appreciative of the information on this forum, reading the forum messages provides a superb education unavailable elsewhere. I have recently been reading "Heavy Weather Sailing" and my obsession with the Amel approach to boat design and build has been further reinforced!

I do have a couple of questions I cant find answers to though:

I am unable to find anything on the internet regarding downwind sailing on the 54s, I gather unlike the Super Maramou it is not possible to fly true twin headsails, but the 54 is Spinnaker ready and has an inner forestay with furling staysail. Does this setup work as well downwind as the Super Maramou? Does the 54 rock more than the Super Maramou on prolonged downwind passages? Has anyone done a video on 54 sail utilization?

Do any of you carry storm jibs?
Any problems with jibs unfurling in heavy weather on either a 54 or super Maramou?

Thank you

--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Courtney Gorman
 

Two down wind poles are available for the 54 and can be sailed as the supermaramu 
Cheers 
Courtney 
54#101


On May 28, 2021, at 5:36 PM, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:


Twin poles was an option for the A54. Some 54s have a twin pole ballooner option, but not many. 

Best,

CW Bill Rouse 
Amel Owners Yacht School
+1 832-380-4970 | brouse@...
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
www.AmelOwnersYachtSchool.com 
Yacht School Calendar: www.preparetocastoff.blogspot.com/p/calendar.html


   

On Fri, May 28, 2021, 10:57 AM Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
As a prospective buyer of an Amel I am so appreciative of the information on this forum, reading the forum messages provides a superb education unavailable elsewhere. I have recently been reading "Heavy Weather Sailing" and my obsession with the Amel approach to boat design and build has been further reinforced!

I do have a couple of questions I cant find answers to though:

I am unable to find anything on the internet regarding downwind sailing on the 54s, I gather unlike the Super Maramou it is not possible to fly true twin headsails, but the 54 is Spinnaker ready and has an inner forestay with furling staysail. Does this setup work as well downwind as the Super Maramou? Does the 54 rock more than the Super Maramou on prolonged downwind passages? Has anyone done a video on 54 sail utilization?

Do any of you carry storm jibs?
Any problems with jibs unfurling in heavy weather on either a 54 or super Maramou?

Thank you

--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Arno Luijten
 

Our 54 has the twin headsail downwind option. It has the custom forestay foil with three grooves and the swivel with the latching system. We have two whisker poles which are huge and heavy. One is mounted at the mast and the second one is on deck. They are a pig to handle.
They work differently compared to the Super Maramu as they are attached to the base of the mast when in operation and one-piece. The reason for this is that the rigging is different with swept-back spreaders and a different stay set up.
I think it works as well as on the Super Maramu but I have not used in in anger yet. We also have a gennaker on a top-down furler. It all was part of the boat when we bought her.
Setting up the whisker-pole is quite the effort as you need to attach a lot of lines at the tip of the pole being in front of the forestay at that moment. The weight and size of the pole makes it intimidating. I had a look at replacing the aluminum tubes with carbon fibre but found that intimidating as well, on financial level...
Once you manage to set up the poles it works pretty easy and you can furl both sails together.

Using the staysail is easy, You just need to use the running back-stays in high wind situations. As the cars for the sheets are movable you can also furl this sail to a smaller area, removing the need for a storm-jib. At least that is my opinion.

I don’t think the is a significant difference in the rolling motion for the 54 compared to the SM. Although the underwatership is a bit more rounded, it also has a bit more stability aft because of the wider hull at that point.  I guess is these factors cancel each other out in this respect.
That does not mean the rolling motion cannot be annoying at times on a 54. I fell almost out of bed once when anchored at Guadeloupe. I’m afraid that is one of the perks of owning a monohull. 


Regards,
Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,
A54-121


Porter McRoberts
 

There are many ways to use the single pole system. And nuances which make it work well or poorly on the 54. It is indeed a pig to set. To do it alone you need relatively calm seas.  It is heavy and that’s the main issue, the mass produces significant tortional resistance to the axial movement of the ship. This loads the guys, and their attachment points significantly: usually the cleats. Using 4 down guys helps. I would also re-rig with dynamic lines as opposed to the very unforgiving dynema lines which come standard, reducing the jerks and high momentary loads of rolling. 

However, once set, past the drama, the pole works well. Getting the angle right is critical for the shape of the Genoa, but too low and you risk dipping the tip in the ocean on a big roll.   Even with a gybe the sail does not collapse. We can sail pole set to wind up to about 150 degrees.  If you’re feeling lucky, you can set the pole to wind and then an asymmetric spinnaker on the Lee side. You go really fast in light winds. 

The problem comes with fickle winds from the stern. Past that 150 degrees the sail cavitates and now you’re limited to a degree to reset the sail on the opposite side, the non pole side. Good to have a little extra length in the Genoa sheet. 

Commonly that happens at night. In the rain. While your crew is asleep.   So you change the boat angle to accommodate the wind, or turn on the motor, or suit up and go on deck in dangerous conditions.  But this is the case with any single pole setup. 

I suspect the dual pole gives a wider angle of potential sailing relative to those deep wind angles. I’m not unhappy with the single pole setup. At 50 in pretty good shape I deal with it. But it might be different at 65. Hopefully I have the chance to know!  





Porter McRoberts 
S/V IBIS A54-152
SavuSavu 
WhatsApp:+1 754 265 2206
Www.fouribis.net

On May 29, 2021, at 10:56 PM, Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...> wrote:



Our 54 has the twin headsail downwind option. It has the custom forestay foil with three grooves and the swivel with the latching system. We have two whisker poles which are huge and heavy. One is mounted at the mast and the second one is on deck. They are a pig to handle.
They work differently compared to the Super Maramu as they are attached to the base of the mast when in operation and one-piece. The reason for this is that the rigging is different with swept-back spreaders and a different stay set up.
I think it works as well as on the Super Maramu but I have not used in in anger yet. We also have a gennaker on a top-down furler. It all was part of the boat when we bought her.
Setting up the whisker-pole is quite the effort as you need to attach a lot of lines at the tip of the pole being in front of the forestay at that moment. The weight and size of the pole makes it intimidating. I had a look at replacing the aluminum tubes with carbon fibre but found that intimidating as well, on financial level...
Once you manage to set up the poles it works pretty easy and you can furl both sails together.

Using the staysail is easy, You just need to use the running back-stays in high wind situations. As the cars for the sheets are movable you can also furl this sail to a smaller area, removing the need for a storm-jib. At least that is my opinion.

I don’t think the is a significant difference in the rolling motion for the 54 compared to the SM. Although the underwatership is a bit more rounded, it also has a bit more stability aft because of the wider hull at that point.  I guess is these factors cancel each other out in this respect.
That does not mean the rolling motion cannot be annoying at times on a 54. I fell almost out of bed once when anchored at Guadeloupe. I’m afraid that is one of the perks of owning a monohull. 


Regards,
Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,
A54-121


Paul Harries
 

Considering the problems mentioned above what sail configurations do you typically utilize in the 54s downwind sailing?


--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Paul,

If I'm not mistaken Amel sold the double foresail as a tradewind sailing solution. Meaning you have days in a row of just downwind sailing. In this case the effort of setting up the whole system makes sense.
For "normal" downwind sailing the gennaker is most applicable, even if that means the occasional jibe to stay off the straight downwind course (also helps with rolling). For stronger winds the genua comes into play but that means the whisker pole needs to come out (only one at that point) with all the wrestling associated with it. The point I noticed is that the genua, when made form Hydranet (standard sailcloth that Amel used) has problems with light winds as the cloth is very heavy.

Regards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Paul Harries
 

I get the impression the 54 pole is heavier than a pair of SM poles? Is that the case? Is it over engineered? I would have thought a lighter pole might be a solution. Rather break a pole than the mast.



--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Porter McRoberts
 

Downwind the fore sails are the power. 
We commonly also fly the Mizzen in lighter winds prevented out. Adds a knot and unless you’re DDW doesn’t steal wind from the Genoa. Once everything is prevented and poled the main then can be used to minimize roll. The problem with the main is overlap of the Genoa when on the same side.   But once the wind moves up from 150, hold on, you’re in the sweet zone. The boat takes off with all sails to keep. 

I’m sure some could criticize the following: we commonly use the main pulling it tight, prevented pointing right into the wind or just off to the side. It flogs but very minimally if tight and dramatically reduces roll. It’s then easy to feather the main in and out as required to reduce roll. It also contributes the top end to speed, so as we creep up into the 8s or 8s putting the main away de powers the situation greatly and you’re back in control with minimal thrash.   Getting the topping lift just right is critical as you want all of the sail as equally tensioned as possible to prevent unequal loading.   It looks weird.  But the crew loves a stable ride. 


Porter McRoberts 
S/V IBIS a54-152
WhatsApp:+1 754 265 2206
Www.fouribis.net

On May 30, 2021, at 10:50 AM, Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries@...> wrote:

Considering the problems mentioned above what sail configurations do you typically utilize in the 54s downwind sailing?


--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Courtney Gorman
 

Yes it’s heavier but as 60 year old no problem to handle 


On May 29, 2021, at 7:17 PM, Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries@...> wrote:


I get the impression the 54 pole is heavier than a pair of SM poles? Is that the case? Is it over engineered? I would have thought a lighter pole might be a solution. Rather break a pole than the mast.



--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


 

BTW, in support of the SM owners, yesterday I was training a crew new to a SM. A small young lady set the pole of the Starboard side. I sincerely doubt that she could have set a 54 or 55 pole. When I was sailing from the Canary Islands to Martinique with about 6 Amels, the only Amel that finished ahead of us was an Amel 55. It finished 1 hour ahead of us but should have been much quicker. The two small ladies could not set the pole. And BTW another SM finished 3rd and was about 1/2 mile behind us aboard BeBe, SM 387.

Bill
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sat, May 29, 2021 at 8:51 PM Courtney Gorman via groups.io <Itsfun1=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Yes it’s heavier but as 60 year old no problem to handle 


On May 29, 2021, at 7:17 PM, Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


I get the impression the 54 pole is heavier than a pair of SM poles? Is that the case? Is it over engineered? I would have thought a lighter pole might be a solution. Rather break a pole than the mast.



--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Sv Garulfo
 



I don’t know how people use their poles, but we have twin poles on our 54 and we never need much muscle power to set the one stored along the mast. 

We lower it with the winch, secure it against the staysail while it rests on the pulpit. Pass the lines. Raise it a bit, detach it from the staysail, swing it aft. Tension the various lines and finally tension the halyard. As always, it’s easier with 2 people but manageable singlehanded. 

The secondary pole, stored on the deck is more work, for sure. We used it during our Atlantic crossing in twin pole configuration. We set them before we left the Canaries and removed them after arriving in Barbados. We extended the genoa sheets to be able to use it with either pole without having to move the poles forward. Perhaps unconventionally, we also passed the gennaker sheets the same way to be able to use either of the twin sails on either side. We were able to run downwind 30° off DDW either side. 

I think our A54 was originally rigged with the 3 groove furling tube for genoa/ballooner twin sailing, but i suspect the previous owner had to abandon it when he upgraded the furler to a Reckmann, that may not have been compatible with that tube... shame. I know a55 have Reckmann furlers, but did Amel rig some of those with the 3 groove tube?

Regarding storm jib, a tiny bit of main sail, being forward of the keel, would also do, i suspect. 

Hope that helps

Thomas
GARULFO 
A54-122
Tahiti, French Polynesia 






On 30 May 2021, at 03:48, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:

BTW, in support of the SM owners, yesterday I was training a crew new to a SM. A small young lady set the pole of the Starboard side. I sincerely doubt that she could have set a 54 or 55 pole. When I was sailing from the Canary Islands to Martinique with about 6 Amels, the only Amel that finished ahead of us was an Amel 55. It finished 1 hour ahead of us but should have been much quicker. The two small ladies could not set the pole. And BTW another SM finished 3rd and was about 1/2 mile behind us aboard BeBe, SM 387.

Bill
CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sat, May 29, 2021 at 8:51 PM Courtney Gorman via groups.io <Itsfun1=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Yes it’s heavier but as 60 year old no problem to handle 


On May 29, 2021, at 7:17 PM, Paul Harries via groups.io <Pharries=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


I get the impression the 54 pole is heavier than a pair of SM poles? Is that the case? Is it over engineered? I would have thought a lighter pole might be a solution. Rather break a pole than the mast.



--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer