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On the surface, it may seem that the great debate where boats are concerned is about monohulls vs. multihulls. Once you get beyond that though, you’ll see that there are a huge number of different monohull designs, each with their own proponents.

To begin, there are the various rig choices: sloop, cutter, ketch, yawl, schooner. Then we have sail choices: traditional sails, roller furling (headsail, mast, boom), gaff rigged, etc. And then we have the boats hull shape/design: center cockpit, aft cockpit, full keel, fin keel, etc. And last but not least, we have the hull’s contraction material: fiberglass, aluminum, steel, ferro cement, wood. As you can see, there are plenty of choices, and where choices and boaters are concerned, you have the fuel for great debates.

Where does the Amel, one of the boats that we’ve been looking at, fit into this? Almost all Amels are ketch-rigged, center-cockpit boats made from fiberglass. While the earlier ones (pre 1985) had traditionally raised main sails, the more recent ones have roller furling main and mizzen sails (that feature alone sparks great debate). While not the only boat that we have been looking at, it does have a number of features that we really like, most notably the deep center cockpit. Click on the pic below to bring up a larger version of the image which lists some of the other Amel features.


  1. Roller furling mains are bad news in bad weather…

    • Are you trying to start an argument? 😉

    • Oh totally agree. We had two hurricanes in the same week lick through here last year and I noted that the majority of the boats with furling sails were the ones that were damaged, sails ripped, etc. Should have taken them down, but people don’t find it too much of a hassle.

  2. Amyl, of I could afford it is my boat of choice. I have been following Delos for several years and they have been all over the world, definitely an ocean cruising boat

  3. excellent ventilation and raw water control

  4. You could really pick any boat, I love several different ones, but once I crawled down inside and saw concrete & iron punching’s was turned off on those. Then there’s iron fuel & water tanks, fuel tanks mounted under motor. The type of thru hull fittings, un-bonded wiring systems, under sized wire size, the list goes on. So for me I am working to find a good used older boat with no concrete/iron ballast & will decide how much tweaks I’m willing to do before I move on my new home. For me anyway a roller furling isn’t or won’t be available on my lower cost boat. Have you asked S/V Delos Capt. about his fav and non fav things about his boat?

    • No, I haven’t. I’m sure they’re busy having fun. I doubt one person’s opinion will weigh all that heavily into my decision making though. We’ve done a LOT of research.

      • S/V DELOS– I’m sure they’re having FUN!!
        The last Blog– 16 Days underway..

          • Say it isn’t so! 😉
            (Just getting caught up here…)
            If you’re going to go mono, then an Amel is a
            fine, fine choice. If we could go mono a Super
            Maramu would be tops on my list.

            Seriously though…reach out to Brian (s/v Delos)
            and pick his brain on his Amel. Many of the systems
            are newer on the SM but some of the design elements
            are the same.


  5. I would never go with a roller-furling main. You can’t have battens in the sails, and the reef shape is terrible. I might go with a boom-furling main, but I’ve only seen them at boat shows, never in use.

    • Like I said, a source of debate. Amel owners love theirs.

    • As the owner of a boat with a furling main, I don’t understand what the poster means. I have found the sail shape during reefing to be much superior to that achieved on my former boat, which had a slab reefed main. The furling main gives you an infinitely reefable sail that can be rolled in or out to suit any conditions, rather than just two or three set reef points. You can go from a full main to a trysail with as many stops in between as conditions call for. The sail is cut flat and the halyard is kept tight to make sure the luff doesn’t develop any wrinkles which would inhibit furling, and since it flies loose-footed, you just tighten or loosen the outhaul to give the sail whatever shape you want it to have. Unlike a furling jib, the furled part of the main is inside the mast and out of the way, and the exposed portion can be bladed out very nicely for high winds. The only negative I’ve seen is that if the excrement truly hits the fan suddenly, you can’t just let loose the halyard to dump the sail. You have to come into the wind in order to roll it up. As a result, we try not to sail with the main when we’re in a channel or other area with restricted ability to maneuver, as it might not be possible to come into the wind in a sudden blow (we get a lot of pop up thunderstorms around these parts, I understand the Chilean channels get a lot of sudden katabatic winds). Fortunately, we cruise along just fine under jib alone, so that’s how we sail in a channel or canal. Finally, at anchor, you can’t beat the clean boom and no lazy jacks, as it makes it super easy to rig a boom tent to provide shade.

      • Good comment!

        I suspect most negative comments are from people who have never had sailed with them.

        I admit that I too have the concern about not being able to drop the sale in a moment of drama though. As we are very conservative when it comes to reefing, I doubt it will come to that.

  6. Any chance of getting a job as a delivery captain on a monohull, so you can spend some real time on one before you make the jump?

    I’ve never read any articles where someone went from a multihull to a monohull and was completely happy with the transition.

    Now I’ve read plenty of articles where monohull sailors are happy with their boats, but, that’s mostly because they were never spoiled by owning a multihull.

    Money always seems to be the driving force for choosing a monohull not any inherent superiority. The question becomes can you really be happy making the switch.

  7. Try looking at alaskawings on Youtube. All things Maramu.

  8. What? No junk rigged scows?

    Kidding, just kidding.

  9. Why not get a performance cruising cat, one that’s rigged for blue water? What’s your reasoning behind switching over to a monohull to tour about Patagonia?

  10. Years ago (mid to late 90’s) I read a SAIL review of the then new Jeanneau or Beneteau CC design. It coincided with my one and only visit to the Anapolis boat show where I actaully walked that boat.
    A few years later there was another article that discussed why CC had never taken off in sales. The main reason was the hobby -horse feeling that sailors complained about from sitting around the mast….FWIW and I don’t recall the other reasons….that one just stuck with me all of these years.

    • Having been on both aft cockpit and center cockpit boats (at anchor), there is no comparison for me. Their sailing characteristics I can’t comment on.

  11. #4. Ok buy it.
    One can never store enough wine.

  12. I think the cat vs mono discussion is dead for Mike and Rebecca. Mike has mentioned that a “suitable” cat for high latitude sailing is out, because of what it would cost. Hence, the switch to a “suitable” boat, in their case, a mono. That is sound thinking as usual from Mike.

    I say, whatever type rig, furling sails or not, ketch rig, cutter, sloop, yawl, the important part is knowing the boat and how to manage storm conditions with that boat….and crew.

    Just curious if you have ever checked out Beth and Evans blog? What I see in “Hawk”, is a rather functional vessel. Probably comfortable, without looking much like a cruising yacht – Look at all that insulation, and that heavy duty storm door at the companionway. No doubt, safety becomes an even bigger concern, when sailing in remote places, compared with cruising the Caribbean. I’m not saying safety isn’t ALWAYS important.

    Interesting change of course for you guys, and I’m beginning to check your blog again, more frequently. I hope it all comes together for you.

    S/V Fugue
    Rockport, Texas for now

  13. Was it something I said?

  14. I’ve seen a few of the 46’s. If you’re going for an Amel, make sure you get one with the dual whisker pole arrangement for poling out the dual headsails. Amen makes a very good downwind arrangement, but I’ve heard that in recent years they got away from that. Have a look. When we sailed true downwind, we really envied that dual headsail arrangement of the Amel 46.

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