Up top Amelie Rose benefits from wide, flush decks – surrounded by high bulwarks on oak stanchions giving a great sense of security and a real sense of her being a “little ship”. Even when we’re fully crewed (Amelie Rose can take up to 12 guests on day sails) there are still plenty of places to sit – either around the thwart seat by the tiller or, if you fancy some solitude for a quiet chat or to drink in the views, up in the bow by the hand-spike windlass. The amount of space on deck and the feeling of “solidity in motion” that these vessels exude when underway is much of what commended them to us in the first place when we considered what vessel to choose.
At the bow, behind the 16 ft bowsprit there’s Amelie Rose’s 33kg Rocna Anchor and the Handspike Windlass that we use to set the rig and recover the anchor. Past the forehatch and mast is her main hatch, usually topped with Mary Rose, her dinghy, upright, to allow it’s use as the “deck skip” or stowing place for all sorts of deck gear. Aft of this is Amelie’s Coachroof and the Companionway (stairs to below-decks). Her decks are then crossed by her big thwart seat, the usual perch of the helmsman who controls her with an imposing 5 ft Oak Tiller, underneath which we store the main liferaft.
Amelie Rose carries a seemingly endless wardrobe of sail and can set up to 5 at once in light airs. Her mast and bowsprit are of solid Douglas Fir. Her Boom, Gaff and Topmast are also Douglas Fir, but laminated for extra strength. The Boom is also home to the only winch aboard, which we use for reducing sail when the wind gets up. Apart from this every other sailing task is accomplished with blocks, tackles, the tiller and the windlass. Oh and rope. Lots and lots of rope!
Amelie Rose offers a remarkable amount of space down below for a traditionally built boat and is light and airy with plenty of headroom throughout. She is predominantly open plan and has berths for (typically) six guests (including one double) each with an individual reading light and kit stowage space. In the Fo’c’sle (front section) there are four single bunks and access up through the forehatch to the deck. This hatch is also used to transfer sails up top from the sail bin which is opposite the heads. A curtain between the fo’c’sle and saloon enables this area to be used for changing if the heads is busy and also helps to keep the heat in the saloon when we’ve got the stove on.
Amelie Rose has a large heads (toilet) and shower compartment between the berths in the forepeak and the main saloon. Her sea toilet is simple to use and there’s even the luxury of a heated towel rail. Whilst there is a shower on board the need to conserve drinking water and the availability of showers ashore generally leave it unused. The saloon area is a cosy space centred around her big oak dining table at which crew meals are eaten and yarns are spun, warmed by her “Squirrel” wood-fired heating stove and lit by her multitude of glowing oil lamps. As is fitting for a replica pilot vessel the saloon is also home to the Pilot’s Berth.
Aft of the saloon her u-shaped galley to port contains everything required to keep the crew well fed and happy for many days offshore, with a GN Espace “Levante” cooker, Frigoboat sea-cooled fridge and plenty of storage for provisions, pots and pans. Opposite the galley, her Navigation table is home to the traditional tools of the navigators trade as well as some of the few concessions to modernity that we carry aboard. Amelie Rose is equipped with the very latest navigation and safety technology including; MARPA equipped radar/chartplotter, EPIRB safety beacon, DSC VHF Radio, Navtex unit and AIS system.
Behind the chartable at the rear is the wet locker for the crew’s oilys and right at the back there’s two double quarterberths, the starboard bunk being the usual domain of the skipper, although he’s been known to sleep in the Pilot Berth or even, in good weather, on deck. Sandwiched between the aft bunks is more storage and access to another nod to the 21st century; her Beta Marine diesel engine.
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