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Begineers advice

derek.oboyle 8:24pm, 17 December 2008
Hi, just bought 154, I am trailering it down to Cardiff next week - any advice?
Mike A1 10 years ago
Hi Derek,

Welcome to the site. I saw 154 on e-bay and it sounds well looked after with a lot of nearly new equipment.

Any particular advice you are looking for? Ask away - there are lots of people here very willing to help.

Cheers,
Mike
elite request [deleted] 10 years ago
Is it a fin or tri as I would like to see pictures of the trailer? I have a fin with a trailer that has been used for a tri and wish to convert, so a picture or two would help if yours is a fin.

Welcome to the gang, I have only had Amrum for just over the year now and still learning the basics, having great fun and she is very forgiving and very rugged.

Peter
admin
NormanKlipspringer 10 years ago
Hi Derek and Welcome to the site. If you search through the discussion and pictures I am sure you will find lots of helpful advice, but if you have anything specific please ask. Do you intend sailing from Cardiff? If so you may get down as far as me in Burry Port. There are one or two members of the group from up that end of the Bristol Channel. Lets have some pictures of projects you do - before and after. Good luck and if you find anything that looks at first a bit daunting - do not despair since virtually anything is fixable.
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
Bogman. Look at Chille 324 on sail nos page of old site. re trailer design or 303 s trailer on our site.
derek.oboyle 10 years ago
Thanks for the responses - not sure where to start. I am putting the boat in hardstanding in Cardiff for a couple of months - in the meantime I am looking for a club with hardstanding / birthing facilities at the right price.
I am VERY new to yachting - moving up from a dinghy (mirror) so I can include the family.
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Derek,
You have done the right thing buying an Achilles you will find that she is very stable and safe to sail especially if as you say you have only sailed dinghies.
There are no real bad points to these beautiful little boats that I can think of, and the boat will take a lot more weather than you will ever want to sail in, so will always look after you.
Enjoy her.
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
You have been very clever and found the best boat by far for the job,
The Achilles is a dream to sail ,even single handed.
She will sail under jib alone or main alone (not as well)and loves rough seas,Yes spray comes over.and they heel lots but always answer the helm. Do not frighten the family in the early days by carrying to much sail,they go well under canvased.
REmember the basic theroy ,main to tight .weather helm .jib tight lee helm . netural helm by sail trim is easy on an Achilles.
Super Snoopy 050 10 years ago
Derek,

You could always consider Newport Uskmouth Sailing Club (if you have a triple keel). There are no more fin keel moorings available at this time. You mention hard standing in Cardiff so I guess that you are fairly close.

We have 2 A24's at NUSC (Snoopy and Freedom - although the latter is fast becoming a bit of a basket case) and 2 A9 metres (Super Snoopy and Aquilla). There are many ways of getting training and experience at the Club and the fees are frightenly inexpensive.

Have a look at www.nusc.co.uk

Regards

Alan
derek.oboyle 10 years ago
Alan, Hi
yes, the club fees look good, but I have a fixed keel (single?). I would like to keep the boat at (my) a club - Feb onwards. What is a triple vs fixed keel mooring?

Regards Derek
Super Snoopy 050 10 years ago
At NUSC, all boats dry out in mud. Triple, bilge and lift keelers are moored on trots in the River Usk. Fin keelers use a narrow pill where there is enough deep mud for them to lie safely at low tide. However the pill is now full of fin keelers and there is a waiting list for these moorings. If you look at Snoopy463 photostream you will be able to see the set up.

Sadly the Club is now closed to new fin keelers.
derek.oboyle 10 years ago
Hi,
Boat now safely in Cardiff - had a blow out on-route, luckily I had purchased four new wheels in-case of such an event. I will try and load up some pictures.
On the look out for a club now - any suggesstions?
Also, anybody looking for a deck-hand over the coming months - need some experience before I put her on water.
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Derek that is a good path to follow i got my experience with Ron (Chillie) who took Linda and I up the Fal a couple of times whilst we were in Cornwall on holiday, it was really worth it as we too had little experience of larger boat sailing at the time and would never have had the confidence to push our boat the way Ron did, and thus we were able to see just how good a boat the Achilles is.
Last June we motored along the North Kent coast in a head wind over tide situation and hit some really big swell off Margate to the point that we came off the top of the crest on one wave then took the next over the bow. We had never been out in weather like it but had every confidenc in the boat, thanks in part to our time with Ron.
blueachilles 10 years ago
It would also be worth doing a shore based day skipper course, to get some idea of navigation, Colregs, mooring, etc, all the things that you don't have to do with a dinghy.

If you can sail a Mirror, you can sail an Achilles, but the difference is all the stuff that isn't simply pulling sheets and tiller etc.

The Achilles is a very forgiving boat (ours has to be!!) and the transition to sailing a boat with a lid will be easier than you think.
Skykomish E29 Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Skykomish E29 (member) 10 years ago
Well said Blue!! We started on dinghies and have moved up to the Achilles, it's like moving from a moped to a vauxhall vectra
Yes we did the Day Skipper shorebased course and learnt an awful lot, ours was a distance learning one run by Tiller Navigation School

info@tiller.co.uk is their e mail address
Mike A1 10 years ago
I agree with all the sound advice above.

This probably belongs in a separte thread, but can't we find a better car to liken an A24 to? An MG Midget springs to mind...
blueachilles 10 years ago
Mike, I think you've got it in one, I can't think of a better comparison.
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
Mk 1 Escort Mexico, BMW 323,
admin
NormanKlipspringer 10 years ago
If you can't get anyone nearer to take you out and you are willing to come to Burry Port, I will gladly take you out.
blueachilles 10 years ago
Or Lotus 7, in terms of accomodation!!
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
ok guys I realise that a vauxhall isn't the best comparison but it was the size and comfort factor that I was trying to compare.
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
????????...... I find the Vectra quite comfortable....
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
do you ever wish you hadn't started something????
Super Snoopy 050 10 years ago
Getting back to the plot .......

Derek , you will be most welcome to have a bash on a 24 (and or 9m) at Newport, but not until the end of April or so. Unlike the hairy chested one in the Burry estuary, we keep our boats on land this time of the year. I'll let you know when they have been launched.
elite request [deleted] 10 years ago
I had never sailed, but always wanted too, so when I moved to Cowes for a year (aged 54) I had a one days lesson with a expert! Loved it, purchased Amrum and love it even more.

Scared myself a few times, but she is so forgiving and strongly built! I lived and am getting to know what should and should not be done!

I have read a lot of books, but you can't beat doing it and I do it on my own 90% of the time.

I wonder why?
busy home [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 10 years ago
You dont seem a bad old bugg...r to me, Lucky like me you enjoy your own company,
I built a canoe at school when I was 14 (left then ) had various classic
speed boats (motor mechanic) In 1973 bought a new 23ft Reliance Saphire with 185 hp, at the boat show, £5500 ? sold at a profit.
A silloutee Ballerina Cracksman cat Wooden motor sailer Seamaster 23 naticat 33 Gibsea 33 Westerly tiger ,, Mashford 18 Motor home! Achilles Achilles Now 64! Ask me which sails the best,
elite request [deleted] 10 years ago
No Brainer, got the new mainsheet traveller, just need the time to fit it.

Just got back from Spain yesterday.

You have had more boats than I have had Cars, well nearly!

Yes, I do like to sail alone, I find everyone gets in the way and then want creature comforts and go home, long before I am ready.
elite request [deleted] 10 years ago
Sorry, a24aeolus, Cars just sort of slipped in somehow!
derek.oboyle 10 years ago
Alan, Hi
Is the offer for some experience 'end of April' still open?
Snoopy463 10 years ago
Derek , replying for my dad who is away on holiday, your welcome to come out on Snoopy soon. She is being launched on Saturday so any point after that. I'll contact you on FlickrMail to sort out when.
Rhys
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Derek you won't regret it, we went to Cornwall for a holiday a couple of years ago. Ron & Ian kindly took us out onChille Pepper and the experience that we gained was really helpful, we were able to see how the Achilles performed in expert hands, (then Ian handed the helm to Ron,,,hahaha only joking Ron) and so gave us the confidence to Push Aeolus harder than we would have had the courage to on our own.
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
I taught my son all he knows,,, now ee dont now nowt
I know its a long way but you are welcome to a gentle sail with me
like wot Aeolus ad.
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Have you had a stroke ron? your typing has gone all strange...
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
I just thought a little hummer ?/may brighten your day. Tipping it down here..(rain I mean.)
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Glorious sunshine here all day... well actually a bit hazy and no good for sailing as visibility is very limited at sea.
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
Hi guys, I bought my May in November, I am sailing on her about a month now. There are many things I have to learn and I cant find anyone in my area with same kind of the boat. I am looking for someone experienced , who is willing to take me for 1 day sail , teach me few things and answer few questions.
Than you very much Danny
ps. sorry about my english, I am originaly from Czech Republic
Amrum 9171Y 10 years ago
Hi Daniel
I gather from your profile that you sail on the Clyde, so i guess you need a local Achilles owner to help you. If you ever travel down near Bristol, I'd be delighted to take you out.
Rob
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
Hi Rob
Thank you very much.It seems that all our members are based in England, Wels or North Ireland. So I will have to do some traveling , if I want to see any of you. I know about 2 Achilleses 24 in my area, but they both look abandond.
Danny
Amrum 9171Y 10 years ago
Hi Daniel
Wait a little while! Hopefully someone else will read your mail and respond before you have to travel.
regards
Rob
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Daniel I am pretty sure that Achilles' are still raced quite seriously up there in Scotland, possibly on the inland Lochs. You could always hop across to Ireland to see Andrew.
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
I know there is Achilles fleet on Loch Lomond, but I dont know them,and
people some times do not react very friendly when I start to speak to them with my Eastearn European accent and they dont know me.
Well so many things are different on Achilles boats from the boats I use to sail before [RYA Comp. course,or crew for other people] I am still fighting with my boom reefing and with few other things.
Previous owner of my boat died, I bought MAY from the widow. She is very nice person, unfortunately she knows nothing about boats and sailing. I have few sailing friends here , but they are all sailing Bavarias , Benetaus or speed boats. Well, I should probably join some local Sailing Club. I am very grateful for this forum
and all the nice, eutuzhiastic and helpful people here.
Danny
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
Don't worry Danny, the Achilles is much nicer than those "Eurotubs".
What is the problem that you are having with your boom reefing? I can guarantee somebody on here will be able to help.
We have conventional slab reefing system fitted and works really well. I know originally the Achilles came with roller reefing on the mainsail and Snifter has retained that, So we may be able to help
rothwell_neil 10 years ago
I love the boom roller system as it is the fastest and neatest way to put the sail away. I use slab reefing to actually reef. Need to practise letting the halyard slip through one hand as winding with the other. The main thing to get right it the angle of the boom to the mast controlled by the topping lift, get this at 90 degrees and it winds a treat, boom too high and it bunches at the throat and too low and tries to wind back to the stern. Get this right, mark the topping lift and it is easy.
craig48uk 10 years ago
Danny, there is at least 1 board member at Port Edgar on the River Forth, I think he bought "Red" which was raced quite often last season, or the season before. I've seen quite a few in and around the Clyde area and up the West Coast, there's a couple in Oban for example.
Generally they seem to be cruised more than raced, except on Loch Lomond that you already know of.
Where exactly do you keep "May?"
craig48uk 10 years ago
Danny,
Just seen you are in Rhu, my parent's live in Dunoon just down the water from you.
They are members of Toward Sailing Club, but you have Helensburgh Sailing Club (More dinghies than yachts from memory) just by you.
Did you buy your boat from Nick Stratton? We've bought boats through him before and I'm sure he, his son or another of his staff would be happy to show you through anything that's confusing you on her systems.
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
Thanks to all,
I am currently on swinging mooring, Cardwell Bay, Gourock, Unfortunately she has not topping lift, she has newish Saturn main sail with 3 reefs, but has not slab reefing gear . Without topping lift, boom reefing singelhanded seems to be impossible to me.
About Stratton yachts, yes they were very helpful and specialy Miles Sttraton [ Nicks son] is realy nice guy, but they are very busy now and I dont want to bother them anymore. Well I am slowly geting there anyhow.
Good advice about 90 degrees boom/mast ,cheers.
Here are not to many boats out, yet. I know it will get better in few weeks time.
rothwell_neil 10 years ago
Topping lift is the answer!
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
I would have thought essential........
admin
NormanKlipspringer 10 years ago
I would have thought you could improvise by tying off the boom to the backstay and then use roller reefing. I always tie off my boom to the backstay when the mainsail is stowed since this prevents the boom from swinging and is safer if the topping lift should accidently be released.
Amrum 9171Y 10 years ago
I agree with Neil. Boom reefing is easy if the boom is horizontal, and a topping lift is the answer to that, although Norman's idea of tying the boom to the backstay would work as well. A short piece of cord marked at the appropriate point and fastened with a slip half hitch would hold it while reefing as long as you sailed head to wind. Crusader said to stick with boom reefing if I was happy with it 'because it works, and I've found it very quick to use when sailing 2 up, although I'm a bit more cautious on my own, preferring to heave to while I do it.
Bill Garland told me he fitted a block instead of the handle on the front of the mast on his Achilles, and led 2 lines from it back to the cockpit so he could roller reef without having to go on deck.
Incidentally, on the mooring I tie off my boom to the backstay and to the pushpit to take pressure off the gooseneck if it blows a SW gale.
Hopefully the new sails arrive from Crusader on Tuesday!!
rothwell_neil 10 years ago
Daniel
Your pictures show something holding up the boom so I think you may have a topping lift?
blueachilles 10 years ago
The photo of May on her mooring definitely shows a topping lift!
Skykomish E29 10 years ago
I agree and the closeup shot of her boom end clearly shows the end of the boom is connected to something
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
No guys, I am using mainhallyard as topping lift, when the main sail is not in use and while mooring
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
halyard
rothwell_neil 10 years ago
Need a topping lift! Can you use Spinnaker halyard as topping lift whilst putting sail up and down and then swap over for main halyard to avoid chaffing at mooring. Bottom line worth getting a small person up the mast to put in topping lift, drop the mast or tie up next to a wall and wait for low tide. Not much tide in the Clyde.
blueachilles 10 years ago
Sorry Daniel!
DAN @ CO. 10 years ago
Will try with with Spinnaker halyard, or tied boom to backstay.
Thanks guys
Danny
busy home [deleted] 10 years ago
Throw a line over the crosstrees to use as a tempory topping lift.
You do not have to hoist from top of mast.
rothwell_neil 10 years ago
Daniel

I like the idea of tying to the backstay. If you use a climbing knot the prusik knot this will not slip on backstay whilst not risking any damage. Prusiks can also be used for climbing the main halyard in an emergency, put two on as slings and can slide up the rope and grips when you put pressure on a sling, take pressure off and can slide again.

www.survivaltopics.com/survival/how-to-make-a-prusik-knot/
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NormanKlipspringer 10 years ago
I have a short piece of 6mm rope which is permantently attached to the backstay with a clove hitch and a further hitch and then to use simply threaded through the boom end fitting (where the topping lift is normally attached) and then secured to the backstay with another clove hitch and further hitch to lock. I have had no problem with the boom slipping down the backstay. When not in use I leave the rope attached to the backstay and secure the loose end further down the backstay with another clove hitch.
I am not sure about the use of the Prusik knot when attaching to wire. I thought it was designed to use when attaching a small diameter rope to a larger one. However, there should not be a problem with slippage if one is used in this situation as I explained above.
Mike A1 10 years ago
I've never tried it, but does tying the boom to the backstay really work for reefing? I would have thought that you need to keep the boat head to wind to avoid the sail filling and making it difficult to roll away. Plus the foresail would be flapping around the mast, and a danger to anyone standing next to it.
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NormanKlipspringer 10 years ago
Yes mike I think you are right. For reefing you need to be able to free off the main so tying to the backstay would not work. To stow the sail by rolling away would of course work using the backstay method.
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