websoldtoys 6:25am, 14 July 2009

I'm new to flickr, joined basically for this group, although I've always had an interest in photography as well. Anyway, I'm from Holland and became interested in Achilles yachts when a friend brought one to my attention.

Before college, I sailed dinghies for about 10 years. I quit when I went to college, but now that I am out of college and settled down a bit, I am considering to pick up where I left off. Only with a much larger vessel, so my other half (who never sailed, until twice with me in borrowed boats) will cope as well, and longer trips become an option. Dinghies are fine if you've been brought up with them, but setting your first foot in one later in life gets a bit wobbly. She still isn't fully convinced she likes sailing enough to have our own boat either, but I'm working on that...

Obviously it had to be a quick one, so that's how I ended up looking at the Achilles 24. Another option might be a Meridian 25 - anyone able to compare please do! I will probably use it mostly on Markermeer / IJsselmeer including a few local races. Then when I get brave, I might follow the coast down to my father's new place in Zeeland sometime, or even cross the sea/channel to the UK. "Bulletproof" seaworthiness would be an advantage then, in case I find myself in sudden adverse weather - of the kind that meteorologists struggle to predict even just a few hours ahead.

I've been reading up in this group and on the achillesyachts website, and learned a lot. Still not yet up to speed in terminology for anything with more than one sail, in two languages too, so you may see me struggle with that a bit.

Well, now that I've finished this breakfast post, I'm off to work and will post in this thread later today, about the two 24's I've viewed, and the difficult choice between them. Haven't been after the Meridian 25 yet, don't know if I should. Will try finding more information about that one as well.

Amrum 9171Y 9 years ago
Hi Marcel
Good to hear from you, and welcome to the site. I look forward to hearing about the 2 A24s you've looked at. I don't know the Meridian, so can't help you there, but obviously I'm a fan of the A24, and it certainly sails well, and has the advantage of being well built and easy to work on, and there are lots of enthusiastic owners to advise you if you need help.
I would have thought it would be great on the Dutch seas. I haven't yet been to the Ijsselmeer, but reported recently on my trip between Vlissingen and Stellendamm.
You've probably noticed that Aeolus is now up for sale on the East coast as well.
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
Thanks for the welcome. About the two 24's. I'll describe each, one post at a time.

The first and oldest (set "Briseis" in my photostream) is an early type. No bridge deck, no anchor locker, individual windows. Seems to be in decent shape, but sitting in a boatyard for 10 years (out of the water most of that time) didn't do it much good. I've spotted it last year, and this year it's still for sale in the same yard. The steepish asking price of 4200 quid (4900 euros) better be negotiable, then.

That price would be motorless, but besides that, it's all there and original. Two main sails (one brand new), genoas I and II, storm jib, spinnaker + boom, everything. Now of course some of that will be worn out, but even just the new main sail is worth a pretty penny. It also has the original sailing plug, an outboard plug and a removeable stern mount for an outboard in case you need the cockpit space.

Having sat for so long, it's dirty and a tad smelly inside, some wetness under every cover, lid and panel. While we took that as an opportunity to find out the bilge pump does work, it is difficult to look past. The cabin headlining is sagging - some screws were added to counter that. In addition, the vinyl around the windows has a few rips.

The deck is heavily pitted in many places, and needs paint. Are these tiny 'osmosis' blisters, or just air bubbles that were once trapped under the now damaged gelcoat? Anyway, besides a good wash it seems to need filler and paint for the deck. Every bit of wood on the boat needs attention as well, being gray and weathered.

The hull seems fine, didn't find any blistering when I looked at it a year or two ago. The completeness and not having been messed with much is a definite pro, but I don't like the wetness inside and the overall tatty appearance. It will need a lot of work over time, to make presentable, even if the water inside turns out to be rain or condensation, rather than something more serious.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Then there's number 473, another set in my photostream. A very pretty, well kept ship, asking just under 3k pounds negotiable, with 8hp outboard included, all wired up for remote control.

She's obviously a late model with the bridge deck, anchor lock, one piece window (new one fitted 3 years ago, no leaks) and possibly an important update for those wishing to race: the shroud chainplates are on the coachroof, allowing a tighter sheeting angle with the headsails than early 24's.

It comes with just a basic set of sails, that the current owner assumes are the originals. No spinnaker. There's a short boom included that could be a spinnaker boom, but in my book is probably too short for that - it might be just for 'butterflying' the jib/genoa. (for lack of the correct terminology).

Interior looks nice, original headlining in place and cushions partially retrimmed with the original vinyl still underneath.

The owners kindly took us out sailing with it, which I liked a lot. It's a bit slow to respond to the rudder, but in hindsight that might have had something to do with the stern mounted outboard which we neglected to lift out of the water. As one might expect, the sails are probably ready for recycling as table cloths, but overall the boat made a good impression.

Now I might be easily swayed by the low price and the "Ooooo, shiny!" factor, if it weren't for the degree to which this ship has been modified and generally messed with. When the current owner bought it, apparently it came with no less than two engines. One inboard (a Wankel!!!), one outboard. Those who fitted the inboard apparently found no way to fit it through the cabin, so they *gasp* cut out the whole cockpit floor to gain access! Also added large vents, lines and insulation. leaving little of the original molding intact down there. When the engine was removed, most of that was left in place, and the cockpit floor bolted back in using a few beams of wood. That contraption probably more than negates any seaworthiness gained by the bridge deck.

Also I don't like the reinforcements made to extend the outboard further behind the stern, and the fact that the "engine plug" is missing from the cockpit - it only has the sailing plug.

Well, no ship in this price range is perfect, but restoring the cockpit floor properly should already be a huge test of my fiberglassing skills... although it's not something that needs doing immediately.

There's a third one for sale locally, but it seems to have ugly repair patches on the wet side of the hull, so I'm skipping it for now.

I will look through the for sale section of this group as well, though I'm not sure if buying one on your side of the Sea is an option for me. Will have to look into what's involved.
blueachilles 9 years ago
The first one seems expensive, but sounds basically ok; I believe I am right in saying that you wouldn't get osmosis if it has been ashore for ten years, although if water has been accumulating inside....

Achilles' don't seem to suffer from osmosis... (fingers crossed)

I don't like the sound of the second one. there is no need to hang an outboard on the back, the cockpit well is the best place for it.

You could buy Aeolus and sail it home across the North Sea, I'm sure there would be some willing crew members from this site....
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
I think I forgot to mention the 473 is dry as a bone inside, unlike Briseis (the 1st one). Having seen all the work Geoff Marks had to do to seal up his on Norman's excellent website, the water inside Briseis worries me a bit.

Then there's all the weathered wood on Briseis - I don't know if it's even possible to bring back to former glory, when this far gone?
Skykomish E29 Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Skykomish E29 (member) 9 years ago
As Blue says the first one is well over priced for the condition that you describe pparticularly as it doesn't have an engine!!!!
A new main sail is only around £450 to £500 pounds here in the UK a new engine cost me £800 recently and that was before they increased in price in April.
Considering that it has been in a yard for a number of years and has water ingress , obviously there is a leak somewhere and this could have affected the balsa core.... a pretty labour intensive job as Blue will confirm!
The cut out cockpit floor is quite a common method of accessing an inboard engine, I seem to remember Tim's boat was similar, obviously this is a potential water ingress point and so needs a good seal. Norman has an outboard on the back of his boat as back up to his inboard engine, a sensible addition but does tend to spoil the look of the boat.
Blue is also right in his statement regarding osmosis in Achilles yachts, according to Chris Butler, it is virtually unheard of.
Most of the wood on an Achilles is replaceable, mine looked a bit tired when I bought her , but it is suprising what a power sander can do and looks splendid with five coats of varnish.
before buying you need to ask why it has been sitting around for soooo long, it is probably because of the price. An Achilles in rough condition without an engine is only worth , maybe £1000, I am asking top price for mine, because it is , in my mind in very good condition, that is not to say that it is perfect, it does need new windows at some point but they don't leak, and are just quite crazed, as they all get. It comes with brand new engine, new Genoa, fairly new jib, spinnaker, old but usable storm jib, good mainsail, and standing rigging was all replaced in 2003 at a cost of nearly £900.
I am telling you this really so that you can compare what you can get , against what you have been looking at. I would suggest that you continue looking around for a better Achilles there are plenty about. The second boat is about the average price to expect to pay for one that needs a bit of work but is sound. It is a shame that you are so far away as there are a fair number for sale here in the UK.
Of course mine is available and would suit where you want to sail her, being a triple keel, and built for shallow water (1 metre draft).
but I appreciate that you would have difficulty getting it back home.
good luck with your search. if you need any advice there are plenty of people on here who can help.

By the way thank you Blue for the recommendation
sallybrown490 9 years ago
I don't have many words, just compare or balance money, work and time you like to investigate in this project, and go for it...

Concerning Osmose, I've my Achilles since 10 Years, since then I've some Osmose bubbles, which are hard like steel, so no worries. Test it with a spiky tool. Also check the roof (sanvichconstruction with balsawood) if it is a bit soft. check the attachement of the shrouts there is also wood around which you have to maybe stregthen up ...

good luck
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Duplicating the "outboard" cockpit plug (that I have some access to) should be doable, so it should be possible to move the outboard back into the cockpit. Having sat in the cockpit with 5 people I can see why people do it - although ideally you don't want to sit with your feet under the tiller anyway.
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
I definitely like Aeolus, being a late triple keeler it's arguably the one to buy. Especially compared to the overpriced early one that is lacking an engine. But the added cost of travelling to even see it, then getting it home, sadly puts it a bit outside my league. I could probably enlist help to travel with me and help sail it home, but it all adds up to a bit too much.

On what websites would one find other 24's for sale in the UK? I saw one on a broker's site, two here (Aeolus and one offered by mikevass) and that's about it.

BTW thanks all for the comments here and on the pics - you're a very helpful group!
rothwell_neil 9 years ago
I have great experience in water in the bilge of my Achilles. I also had the boat on a lake so difficult to do the taste test. I bet that the leaks are deck leaks as I had to re-seal all and I mean every single deck fitting on my boat. I will list the items that I unbolted, cleaned off the surfaces and resealed with Sikaflex.
The chain plates all leaked
All cleats had to be re seated
Fairleads had to be reseated
Pushpit needed reseating
Ensign bracket leaked
GPS bracket leaked
The aerial and light connection through deck leaked
Two stanchions were damaged and had to be reinforced and sealed
The biggest problem was actually the horse across the back of the cockpit. This leaked at the deck and also from the traveller into the square section and then inside the boat.
I had to fit an automatic bilge pump to keep her dry 150mm in the bilge in 2 weeks (yes it rains in the lake district) and now after the work never have a drop inside and totally dry. It only took time.

I found that it was worth checking between periods with no rain and then when it rained. There are often tell tales in the bottom of the boat on the inside of the hull. Crawl up the lazarette and look for dirty stains or wet patches where the outboard well joins the hull this will show if leaks from horse or anywhere aft. Check inside rear lockers for drips and stains.

I also know that windows tend to leak but I never suffered from this.

I agree with others the well is a great place to keep an outboard, it can be removed for sailing and can be easy controlled. It can also be used to turn in a hurry in a tight marina. I will say that Emily has had lots of work on her since purchase. They certainly repay the effort in sailing enjoyment.

Helm is very light so would think that a heavy outboard hung where it shouldn't be was the cause.
Skykomish E29 Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Skykomish E29 (member) 9 years ago
try www.boatshed.com

They list hundreds of boats for sale
also Apollo Duck.

If you typ in Achilles yachts on your search engine you will get a long list of sites advertising boats

Having said all of that I have just tried Boatshed Holland and nothing came up for an Achilles
Mike A1 9 years ago
Hello Marcel,

There are A24s which come up for sale on eBay.co.uk. There is one there now - item number 220450585634. Obviously transport is still an issue but it is another source of information about prices.

Good luck with your search.

NormanKlipspringer 9 years ago
Welcome Marcel and good luck with your search. Having throught his group seen the work that Malcolm and Linda have done on Aeolus I think someone is going to get a very nice boat with very little to do. I bought Archimedes in 2006 for £3700 and spent almost that fitting and refitting her so £5000 for a boat already sorted is good value.
Do a Google search for Achilles 24 in Uk and should come up with several brokers who have A24s for sale. I echo the comments made by others above about what to look out for. Search the site for information on beginners advice and this also may help.
Good luck.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Wow, the ebay one looks destined to remain bidless. I mean... a large OVEN in a boat this size??? Well I could ask my other half to bake her cookies and cakes on board, but I'm not sure she'd go for it... ;)

Does go to show there are plenty of these around and regularly coming up for sale around the 3k+ mark.

Boatshed is helpful... lots of good detail pics once you register. Shame they're only 400x300 but the photographer seems to have had that in mind when taking them - there's still a lot to be seen.

I will concentrate on getting the missus approval now, before following up further on any yachts.
craig48uk 9 years ago
Regarding the Meridian. It seems Rhodes up and downscaled his basic design between a range of boats and I am familiar with the Rhodes 33, which looks identical, just bigger than the Meridian.
She has a long shallow keel, but she sails pretty well. Interior accomodation is very good with the tall cabin housing, although it's a bit narrow, but gives good deck space.
Theorising the 33 shrunk to 25ft, I'd expect a boat with good living accomodation for her size and fairly decent sailing performance. I'd also expect her to be seakindly and forgiving. If you haven't found it already there's a good link here astro.temple.edu/~bstavis/pr/meridian.htm
Compared to the Achilles 24 she'll feel more cumbersome and react far slower on the helm, as I'm pretty sure she'll be heavier, plus you have to drag that long keel through the water. I expect the Achilles would outpoint her, be quicker on the wind and forget about having any rudder control in reverse.
Just my observations and having sailed the Rhodes 33 and of course the Achilles 24.
guillainevib 9 years ago
Very interesting post Craig. having spent a bit of time looking at the link you provided, I think the differences between the Meridian and the A24 are so obvious that it should weed one or the other out for Marcel. One is a swift, light keelboat the other a heavy cruiser.
Thanks for the post.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Its smaller draft (about like the triple keelers that I haven't seen at all in Holland yet) is a pro, having about twice the Achilles' weight is a massive con. I do think most other (wider, uglier shaped) boats in this class are even more the 'heavy cruiser' type than the sleek(ish) Meridian, but the enormous difference in weight should count for something. Although, lacking much experience with keel boats, I wouldn't really know how much difference in speed to expect from that, besides the obvious loss of responsiveness. It might carry a bit more sail to compensate for its weight, too. Still would have me leaning towards the Achilles though.

But anyway, the Meridian I'd been looking at online, is no longer for sale, so that decision has been made for me.

I came up with the Meridian on an attempt to find comparable yachts. So far I have found none of similar LOA that are anywhere near the Achilles' extremely low displacement. Surely it cannot be the only one of its kind? Unless it was a complete failure which it isn't. It would be nice to see what alternatives are out there, to make a well informed choice.
rothwell_neil 9 years ago
I had a hurley 22 which I liked. In comparison to the Achilles, more head room down below, as stiff in a blow. Great sea boat just like the achilles as similar plan form and good ballast ratio. On the general comment side sailed well although suffered weather helm in a blow. Long fin rather than narrow fin and outboard in a well behind rudder so reversing not as good as an achilles. Also for some reason they always fetch £5,000+ Had higher sail plan and more sail than achilles but needed it in light winds as heavier. Just like an achilles they carry full sail until a solid force 5.
craig48uk 9 years ago
A comparable boat to the Achiiles would be the Van De Stadt designed Pandora, either the Mark 1, International (fin or bilge keels) or the Pandora 700.
Our first boat was a fin keeled Pandora International, a little slower on handicap than the Achilles 24 but not much. Equally as much fun to sail and a good sea boat. The 700 has a retrouse stern added and is slightly faster, we had one in the sailing club back home that always did extremely well on handicap.
www.pandora.org.uk is the owners association.
rothwell_neil 9 years ago
I have always quite liked the Ruffian 23 as this is in a similar style and seems to sail quite well.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Hurley 22 and its Dutch built sister Hurley 700 are actually dirt common here (especially the 700), and a bit cheaper than on your side of the pond: same price range as A24.

Two feet shorter, same draft, about 1000lbs more weight and very little difference in sail area don't make it very tempting though.

Haven't found any Pandoras or Ruffians for sale locally.
From browsing yachtsnet.co.uk , the Comet 770 might look interesting. Thoughts on that one? Seems a bit pricey though.
Andrew Curry 9 years ago
Ruffian 23 built here in N Ireland. Have raced on one they are good sea boats with slightly more room below than the A24. Usually they have a outboard on the stern which is no good in a chop. Performance wise there is not allot between a Ruffian 23 and a A24. They are faster to windward but the A24 is faster on a reach.
craig48uk 9 years ago
I'm pretty sure the Comet 770 is also known as the Ecume De Mer, a derivation of a 1/4 ton cup boat. www.yachtsnet.co.uk/archives/comet-770/comet-770.htm
She's a slightly quirky looking boat with high topsides that could be disguised by proper striping. Definitely a fast hull, but not lightning speed ahead of a Ruffian or Achilles, I keep one respectfully behind me on my Achilles 7m here every time we race. (It's one of only a few comparable small boats out here.)
Where she wins out is on interior space as you can see on the website link.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
BTW does an A24 have a build plate somewhere, that lists its sail number and such? I didn't notice one, and so far haven't seen one in the photostream either (though I must admit I haven't viewed all 1829 pictures yet!)
Skykomish E29 Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Skykomish E29 (member) 9 years ago
Not that I am aware of, however all panels on mine, i.e. headlining trim etc have the sail number on the back , presumably for reference when she was built. I was going to make up one for Aeolus, but never got around to it.

Wow Craig a lot is squeezed into that Comet for it's length
craig48uk 9 years ago
Chiron has a builder's sticker on the top of the transom by the central stern cleat, but remember she's a 7m not a 24. The sticker has now faded to the point of being a black rectangular blank sticker!
Yes Malcolm there's a lot of room in that Comet, plus the 270 degree view from inside, if you don't count the companionway. Thinking of downgrading already?!!
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
can't afford to lol
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Thanks, I will look in those places for a number, on Briseis.

Am pleased to say I have obtained the missus' approval, so I might be following up on #473 first now. It looks so much better than Briseis, and has the newer shroud positions that I like very much, even though I don't even know if the gain in possible sheeting angle will be of any practical use. The improved accessibility of the foredeck is a big plus for inexperienced crew too. Whatever the main reason, I notice this newer arrangement is also on the 840 and the 9M, so it must be a good one.

First thing I will ask is when they removed the inboard, what they did with its propshaft - whether that left an ugly patched-up hole in the hull or not. An answer to that one that I don't like is a probable deal breaker.

Since it has the plug well, I can safely assume that any propshaft it had was added later, and then removed again. That's unlikely to be good news for the hull. Though I have NO idea what's a common way to add an inboard to a ship that never had one.
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
Snoopy knows all about fitting an inboard engine to an Achilles
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
Snoopy fitted his inboard to a hull that wasn't built for one?

Looking at his photostream, it does look different from the install in Archimedes. Slightly less elegant on the engine side, though perhaps stronger.

First step now is a phonecall to the owner, to find out more about the inboard install that was taken out.
rothwell_neil 9 years ago
I wouldn't be too worried about holes through the hull and repairs. Glass fibre from the 70s was multiple layers of chopped strand matt, a random arrangement of short fibres bonded in polyester resin. In the achilles as it was still a new material Mr Butler went for lots of layers and a thick hull. Repairs in glass are as good as the original skin so long as the edges are feathered and properly edged to allow a key. If the area is then reinforced along the back face again against a roughened keyed surface then there is no reason that a repair or patch won't be as strong if not stronger than the original. Polyester resin doesn't have an ageing problem like epoxy and it is straight forward to get old resin to bond to new resin.
Super Snoopy 050 9 years ago
When we fitted the inboard on Snoopy, we wanted to keep the plug as a removable item so that the prop could be accessed when afloat. Cutting a long slot for the stern tube and a smaller slot for the P bracket always was a cause for concern, so we ensured that huge amounts of chopped strand mat (even more than Chris Butler used) were used to glass them in.

My philosophy to any repair or modification is to ensure that is is much stronger that the original. I'm sure that if the guy who took out the sterntube on 473 used copious amounts of glass/polyester, it will be as strong as when built.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Went back to Briseis today, will upload some pics later. No numbers on the panels, no sticker on the transom. However, the main sail bears number 305. For lack of an anchor locker, I did not really trust that - it might have received a used sail from another boat at some point, after all.

However, when I was about to leave, I noticed a number 'burnt'/stamped into the stern rub strake - number 305. So small it was easy to miss, but there it was. According to an article on Norman's site (the author of which has number 302!) it should have an anchor locker but it doesn't. Well, this ship taught me a lot about the Achilles 24, because I spent another hour or two rummaging about in it, under every lid and cover I could find. Shame it's too expensive for the amount of work it needs. For one, there's about an inch more water in the bilge than there was last week. There has been some rain, but with all other cavities dry without traces of running water, I fear it's the keel to hull seal weeping.

Have not called 473's owner yet, will do monday evening. Reviewing the pics and comparing to Briseis, for all I know the sterntube perhaps wasn't even removed from 473 at all!


To me, this looks like the inboard was once installed on a plywood frame (that's still there) and has an off-center sterntube right next to the plug well. The peeling-white tube beside the scrubber?

I hear offcenter sterntubes are done whenever the installer does not want to cut into the structural centerline of the hull. The connector above could be the exhaust - it does look sooty in there. An engine mount seems just visible beside the blue round bucket.
Possibly only the engine itself was taken out, everything else left in? I shall find out tomorrow, or when I go back to 473 for a second viewing, this time removing all the brooms and buckets and perhaps crawl in there, to see what's what.

Not sure if I'm up to the job of glassing all holes properly myself, next winter. The good news is, removing all that redundant plumbing, insulation and the plywood frame will only make it sail better than it already does. Not to mention removing the prop if it really is still there as well!
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
BTW anyone ever tried craning by the keelbolt bracket lifting eye? (mentioned here) Seems to me it would be a bit too low to balance well, but if it does stay upright, it should be ideal for a quick pressure wash - no straps that you can't clean behind!

Reason I ask - I was thinking of having the 473 craned for inspection before buying, at my cost. And throw in a quick pressure wash as well, so if I don't buy it, the owner will at least have a clean hull for his trouble.
Super Snoopy 050 9 years ago
I tried lifting Snoopy by the eye once (when I was bringing her home to fit the inboard). It was infinitly unstable and very nose down. Even when we fitted a strop loop forward (and had a large fella who liked his food, hanging on the transom) we barely got it onto the lorry -see my photostream, page 3.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Right, not adviseable then, though the balance might be much better with an 8hp outboard hanging off the stern. I notice you didn't have an engine in it at the time. It does look like the lifting eye surprisingly isn't below center of gravity. Goes to show the good ballast ratio I guess.

Stumbled upon a GK24 going cheapish - it is said to be quicker than an A24. Then again, I read a review implying it's pretty twitchy too, and likes being sailed with a large heavy crew to control any broaching and such. Probably not the best ship to sail with not-so-experienced crew then.

I notice the SW handicap for A24 is somewhat slow, even for its length, but I guess that's based on a number of dimensions only, and not actual performance? Perhaps not taking into account its low weight, for one?

So the A24 will remain the yardstick others are measured by, despite looking at numerous other yachts' specs.

What is it that I look for in a yacht anyway?
- ~5k price range or below
- LOA 700 to 800cm (23' to 26'3") for mooring availability/cost reasons.
- draught less than 4'
- seaworthy, well balanced
- low maintenance (In older yachts, that pretty much limits me to osmosis-free GRP)
- should be very good for racing by SW / ORC handicap. I will be mostly up against larger vessels.
- agile, fun to sail.
- two or more can sleep in it, but sitting height is sufficient.

So it looks like I won't be able to do much better than A24 eh?
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
Just called the owners of 473.

Turns out despite all those tubes and lines everywhere, the propeller was indeed professionally removed and the hole professionally repaired (fiberglassed).

With my main worry now out of the way, I decided to make an offer. They will discuss it and call me back later this week. If they want more than my initial offer, I will ask to have it craned so I can inspect the hull before buying (and perhaps give it a quick wash, too)
NormanKlipspringer 9 years ago
Chris Butler said to me that epoxy resin was the one to use. Can you please elaborate your comment above about ageing. Thanks.
rothwell_neil 9 years ago
Epoxy resin cures by cross linking the long chain molecules. As this progresses it goes through a partial cure followed by a slow cure until totally cured, think of it as an exponential decay (steep start to curve followed by slowing down of the slope until flattens off).. Most of the strength is there during the initial cure and until the final cure you can simply add layers of more epoxy as additional layers will cross link with the previous layers as the curing process isn't finished and there are links still to be made. This means you get a lovely strong single product as each layer physically bonds to the previous one.

If you leave it after the cure time (all epoxies give you a re-coat and final cure time) then the surface is fully cured and also tends to be nice and shiny. Further epoxy coats will not stick to this unless you mechanically abrade the top. This will then give you a mechanical bond between coats which is good but not as good as the chemical bond you get from applying coats within the overcoating period.

If you leave epoxy for a few years then the surface will over cure and be less shiny at which point you can again overcoat but always best to abrade if not sure.

With polyester resins it is a total cure and you don't get cross linking between layers unless laid whilst still wet. Polyester sticks well to previous layers of polyester.

There is no problem putting epoxy on top of polyester as long as clean and free of the usual grease, however with any resin always best to abrade to be sure. Most people like epoxy over polyester as it has best mechnical properties and is more flexible, however our 30 year old boats are all polyester and are doing all right.

I tend to use both depending on what I have and the quantities involved as polyester is a fraction of the cost of epoxy. I made the plug mould and the well cover from polyester and am delighted with the results. I repaired the stanchion bases and put in cable hangers with epoxy as well as laminating the tiller and coating it in epoxy.
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
Owner of 473 just returned my call and made a counter offer.

I accepted on the condition of a chance to view the wet side, as planned, offering to crane and wash it at my expense.

He's calling around to see where that can be done on short notice, and at what cost.

I may actually have to start thinking of a name for it...!
(I should ask about the name it had before the current owners renamed it)
craig48uk 9 years ago
Congratulations on your "nearly" purchase and welcome to the Achilles family!
NormanKlipspringer 9 years ago
Many thanks Neil
NormanKlipspringer 9 years ago
Sail Number 473 was listed as 'Helena' in the 1980 published list.
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
Thank you Norman, we might just give her that name back, however common it might be. Any other details, like approximate build date and such? Or perhaps nationality of first owner?

The current owner did not remember, but he did remember it was a woman's name. "Helena" did not ring a bell, but even just the recollection that it was a woman's name was very faint anyway.

An appointment for craning has been made, Helena will receive her shower this friday.

Planning the trip home is another thing - no idea what kind of progress to expect.

Obviously that's a "how long is a piece of string" question depending on conditions, but I really have no idea how many hours to plan for 20-25 nm in moderate winds, approx beam reach according to current forecasts.
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Aim for 4 kts motorsail if necessary.. say 5 hrs tell someone your plan. charge your mobile, prepair a hot flask (tea) and snacks..
test your auto helm (or bungee cord)! charge your battery... welcome ..
Skykomish E29 Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Skykomish E29 (member) 9 years ago
Yes I would agree with 4knots, we averaged 6 under engine with the tide, for route planning I have used 3 knots but that has proven to be too slow, though if you fight the tide you would be lucky to make that.....
Welcome and good luck with the purchase, I am sure that you will not regret it..... looking forward to pictures of work that you do on her
NormanKlipspringer Posted 9 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 9 years ago
Helena was first owned by two people from Holland/Netherlands. if you want their names I will email them to you as I don't think it wise to publish them on this public forum.
4knts sounds about right but be prepared to motor if time is critical and the winds are light.
Apae01 9 years ago
I'm the friend who started all this for Marcel. Briseis is lying on the same shipyard as my converted lifeboat.
As it seems I'll be sailing an Achilles now and then, I thought I'd also join in. Until now I've just been reading up the discussions.
We won't have much of a current on the trip home: Amsterdam-Lelystad is through in inland water, the Markermeer. Still a trip of some hours at 4 knots of course.
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
Welcome aboard!
websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago
Thanks Norman - that means it's been a Dutch boat all its life then. In respect of the first owners' privacy, I will wait until my final decision tomorrow before asking you to e-mail all the information you have on 473.

For the insurance application form that I plan to submit tomorrow, I do need its approx year of build/sale... would that be 1975-1976 or so, judging by the number? Current owner claims 1970, but I'm fairly sure it should be later than that.

About the trip home - there's no tide to help or fight me, since the trip will only cross the "Markermeer" lake (look it up if you like, I will be travelling from the "IJmeer" east of Amsterdam, to mooring just south of Lelystad). The 8hp outboard is an advantage if I need it, but I will need to look at fuel level tomorrow and ask about fuel consumption. Might have to bring an extra can or two of 2-stroke juice, just in case.

No auto helm, although crew should work fine as such. 6 hours tops then. That means we could take just the afternoon off on a weekday with good weather, and be home comfortably before sundown.

Not worried about the battery - it's charged by the outboard. A fully charged mobile is a good idea ; with the non functional log I will need its built-in GPS to keep track of progress. For this, I will be more interested in ground speed than water speed anyway, so GPS will do just fine.

In fact, the only working instrument on board is the compass, but for the price I don't mind, it gives me a chance to upgrade to less antiquated equipment.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Correction: just spoke to the owner and it DOES have autohelm. Still don't know if I'd be comfortable or even able to operate such a device (Never even seen one before), but who knows, it might work.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
Welcome Apae. Apae is indeed the person responsible for pointing me towards Briseis as a ship that might suit my interests, perhaps even over 2 years ago today. It took me about that long to get ready to once again buy a boat.

Apae is also the name of his over 25,000 lbs of steel and wood that is supposed to sail again someday :-) Currently being worked on at the same shipyard where Briseis (305?) lay for sale.

busy home [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 9 years ago
Recon on 2 litres per hour, for fuel , and use marine 2t oil.
(outboards run cool air cooled engines run hot) big differences.
take twice the amount you may need!
Do not use old (2mths) fuel .it goes off,and is usless.
Buy and mix fresh. throw away all the old , cheap in the long run.
and carry 2 spare plugs, and socket wrench,
All this comes from bad experiences.!! (not just me ,,, mates etc..)
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
PS autohelms are magic,, and simple to use,,!
Apae01 Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Apae01 (member) 9 years ago
As I happen to have two bottles of marine 2T oil: does your advice include the oil, or just the fuel? I'm not sure whether the oil itself degrades also, the bottles must be two seasons old.
websoldtoys 9 years ago
I would think that applies mostly to the fuel itself, which is known to last a year at most. Being actively used, I don't think I have to worry about old fuel much. The outboard itself is fairly new too (2006).

Thanks for pointing out the difference though - I would have used bike 2T oil if you hadn't warned me, under the assumption that "Marine" 2T oil was the same thing as bike oil only at 2x the price, as is the case with some other "Marine" labeled products.

On another note, I just went pro because I was too lazy to resize my pics before uploading, and I was nearing the limit. I uploaded a second set from Briseis (taken last weekend), including some "technical" shots that might be of use to someone. Also, all my older pics are now viewable high res.
busy home [deleted] 9 years ago
The oil dosent degrade, but fuel goes off much quicker now than of old. I recently bought a Honda 2.3 4 st, that was run oct last year ..
I t refused totally to fire at all.. I re fueled it and it went first pull.
I used tosail as crew in a Pioner 9 with a Fara Gota in board
Going up the Morlay from roskoff it refused to run slow ..and fouled plugs, as we had boats ahead and mud either side it was not funny..
The owner was using any old oil.. we changed to marine 2 st and totally cured it. You cant do things on the cheap when at sea ..
Years ago old fuel used to smell old! not now .it just wont fire.
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
yes I agree with Ron's observations, I would also add that mixed 2 stroke fuel reportedly goes off even quicker than normal unleaded petrol, I have not had personal experience of this but it is always being warned about in the yachting press.
On our trip up the Essex coast we got through 10 litres in 7 hours running at around 75% power but that was on a 6 hp 4 stroke engine that is brand new
Land&Sea Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Land&Sea (member) 9 years ago

I just read throught this trail. My name is Wouter and live in The Netherlands and sail a Achilles 24 for 12 years now (moored in Italy) please have a look at my photo string. I understand that you have a ladyfriend who is new to sailing and so I would like to let you know that I too took along my girlfriend on my Achilles (Julia) to introduce her to sailing not too long ago.

Adriana just loves it! Part of this may be due to personality, part of it the beautifull wheather and suroundings where Julia is moored but I am convinced that one reason why Adriana became so enthusiastic about sailing is because of the wonderfull way in which the Achilles takes the winds and the waves. She is just an absolute outstanding sailing boat and I would highly recomend you pursue the Achilles especially if you want to learn, she handles very easilly yet is a fully equiped little yacht and would do perfect here in Holland. I enquired a while ago and apparently you can get sticks to mount on her side which would allow you to dry out on the Waddenzee even with the fin keel version.

The only downside to Achilles 24 in my mind is the restricted space. Also using the toilet often means using the bucket. You must have the right mindset for that as well!

Regards, Wouter
Andrew Curry Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Andrew Curry (member) 9 years ago

It might be best to edit your post and sent an email with your phone number.

websoldtoys Posted 9 years ago. Edited by websoldtoys (member) 9 years ago

Thanks for the advice. Your photostream is beautiful - such nice and clear waters, beautiful surroundings, beautiful crew :-)

I've also seen your e-mail, will reply to that later.

But I have a confession to make to this group...

By coincidence, just one day after Wouter's post I ended up buying a Maxi 77. An early '70s Swedish design that lacks the Achilles' elegant classic lines, but makes up for that with a LOT more space both atop and below deck.

It does have a bulb keel and isn't extremely wide. Somewhat like the Achilles, but unlike a few other quarter ton class ships I viewed (Westerly GK24 and Eygthene 24). Should be a bit safer at sea than those late '70s IOR type designs then. (google "Fastnet 1979" if you don't know what I'm talking about). I also met a guy from the same mooring on a local sailors forum, and crewed on his Kelt 800 which has a hull shape much like said quarter tonners. That ride seemed to confirm a bit of my fears about wide round hull shapes and choppy IJsselmeer/Markermeer waves, though slightly unfair because the rigging wasn't up to scratch either.

The extra weight of the Maxi is made up for by much more sail area, all of which is in the fore triangle. That makes the 150% Genoa nothing short of enormous, spanning 2/3rd the boat's overall length at 258 sq ft. Since it's the only headsail it came with, I hope it can be reefed through the roller furling system. I hear some sails made for roller furling systems only use the furling system for storage, while others use it for reefing as well. The second kind being flatter, sacrificing some performance.

The ship does need a bit of work, but overall it's in very decent sailable condition, so I don't think I overpaid at just under 3k pounds with a perfectly working inboard diesel and saildrive. Most are listed at 6-8k... gives me a bit of spare cash to fix it up to my liking.
Land&Sea 9 years ago
Hi Marcel,
Good to hear form you and good to hear you took a decision on a boat. Congratulations! I think the issue of space on the Achilles is a big one and indeed if I would replace Julia at some point it would be for that reason. Good luck with your new boat!
Cheers, Wouter
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
Yes that was what finally prompted us to buy a bigger boat.. 11 nights aboard an A24 really highlights this issue!!!
Land&Sea 9 years ago
Ah, I beat you with 12 night just recently - good crew helps here :-)
Skykomish E29 9 years ago
Yes we have seen your crew!!!! very nice company! :)
Groups Beta