songeur2010 9:22am, 4 August 2010
Gidday gents,
This is to introduce myself to you and to say that I have very recently purchased Songeur. She has been on the hard for two years after being vandalised on her mooring and partially sunk. The yanmar spent 3 days submerged and is now stuffed. I've been busy the last couple of weekends sanding the hull and removing the motor. The keel join had been glassed over but the glass was delaminating from the steel, so I cut it back to the join line whereupon the water in the bilge started to seep out. The keel bolts are not looking good so the keel is coming off in the next two weeks and repairs made as necessary. The step in the companion way needed to come out to get the motor out which was just as well as it was a bit rotten. The interior needs a birthday but the priority at this time will be to get her back safely in the water. I don't have all the log books and history yet but that will be coming, but she did sail to NZ around the horn so I reckon she can take a bit. I'll post some pics once I figure out how to use this site properly.
Regards to you all.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
You are very welcome ,, with such a famous boat . Keep us up dated and shout if you need help,,
I have new keel bolts and nuts, !!! (if it proves difficult )
Andrew Curry 8 years ago
Hi Anton welcome to the site.

Please keep us updated on your progress.
NormanKlipspringer 8 years ago
Good to see you on the site.
pjbharrison 8 years ago
Welcome Anton
I'm sure you'll find the site useful in the restoration project.
Don't forget to post some photos
pjbharrison 8 years ago
What's her sail number?
rothwell_neil 8 years ago
Before embarking on new keel bolts give them a real good looking at as most seem to be better than you would think, if you can get one nut off look at the thread as may well be fine at the mechanical mating bit and only looks bad on the surface. Carbon steel is quite good at preserving the threads buried in a nut/keel.
songeur2010 8 years ago
Thanks guys for your replies. the sail number is NZL823 and the registration number is 363963.
I was out at an industrial area earlier today on work duties and stopped into a steel suppliers on the off chance, I was able to pick up two 24" lengths of 1" threaded rod for for $9.50 each. The question is how long does each bolt/section need to be.
NormanKlipspringer 8 years ago
Have a look at Geoff Marks article on the main Achilles site to see pictures of keelbolts alongside tape measure.
Red Marlin 8 years ago
Great to hear news of Songeur and its restoration. Look forward to following progress.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
The early bolts are shorter (no inner moulding) iwll measure my old ones and post,
songeur2010 8 years ago
Thanks, If Geoff Marks ones are the same then I have exactly the right amount of rod. Is there any reason why they shouldn't be zinc plated, getting black steel in NZ is nearly impossible.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Early boats (about 250) had a 12in deep bilge with no foam filling between the later inner moulding ..later boats had a 8in deep bilge.
Ive removed 6 bolts on chilli and goskar.. none were in need of replacing !!! the nuts look orrrible and are b s to undo,drilling down one side and splitting with a chisel seem s the only way. then a 6 sided hi impact socket,,,, and a long bar!
NormanKlipspringer 8 years ago
If you haven't already found it already you may find Chris Butler's article on Keel Bolt maintenance interesting
You may also find the previous discussions we have had on this site (Flickr) also of interest. See the clickable index on the main Achilles web site
I got the nuts off Archimedes keelbolts with a large socket and wrench but I gave up on getting the keelbolts out after reading all the articles etc.
Good luck.
songeur2010 8 years ago
Well I'm going to make a cradle to lift the boat tomorrow, I'll stick a socket on the nuts and see what happens, if the bolts come out of the keel then fine, if they come off the bolts that will be fine as well.
If nothing happens then it will be Ron's method of splitting the nuts off.
All sounds like fun, not!
songeur2010 8 years ago
It rained all weekend so was unable to build a cradle, so just attended to getting the nuts loose. The must forward one looked almost cylindrical it was so corroded. But once the socket was put over it and tapped with a hammer its coat came off and looked like a new one. It did still need a big bar with about 400 foot pounds of force to release. It made a huge bang and I thought the bar had broken, but it was just the nut freeing up, from there they all just undid quite easily. The most rear one was harder as the socket wouldn't fit against the side of the bilge. I was able to chisel a small amount of glass aside and then it undid quite easily. I must admit I thought the nuts would stick to the treads and the entire rod would undo, but no. Once I drop the keel we'll see if they are worth removing, it does sound like they may be fine to leave in place.
NormanKlipspringer 8 years ago
That is exactly what happened to me and the point at which I gave up and replaced the nuts. Good luck.
rothwell_neil 8 years ago
Carbon steel only corrodes where the oxygen can get to it. On top of this there are two types of rust, magnetite which is a 1:1 ratio for the oxide to the base metal is adherent and good protection and occurs under the classic red rust. This red stuff is Haematite which is a 14:1 ratio of oxide to base metal. Because you get 14 times as much rust as base metal this tends to rapidly jack up the threads/washer/nut arrangement and block them stopping corrosion down away from the surface. Technical reason why they usually are OK once you get over the surface appearance!
songeur2010 8 years ago
Yes it is very interesting and surprising the way the corrosion works. My worry now will be that the bolts are stuck in the bilge and not allow the keel to easily drop. It seems one spends more time planing and preparing than actually doing the job and this weekend is looking no better, my daughter wants me to take her to an equestrian event!!!!.
Eclipse 1 8 years ago
I too replaced bolts on Eclipse the first month I had her; there really was no need. I used a different method to others here, and found it very effective. I basically tack welded the nut to the stud turning it into a big bolt, which I then just screwed out.
songeur2010 8 years ago
Hi John,
How much force did you need to get them to come loose.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Hes not recovered yet!
Two people giving all on a 18inch bar!!
Eclipse 1 8 years ago
Sorry for late reply Songeur, I used a socket extension bar of about 2 1/2' long. Admittedly, it was a bit of a struggle at first, but I managed it on my own. I seem to remember resorting to this because the studding stood so proud of the nuts that my socket wouldnt go on. I just tacked another nut on the end of the studding. I'd probably do it again this way however, as it means that the studding is already out of the keel. I also wanted to use the studding to lower the keel off the hull, if that makes any sense. Youve probably done it all by now however!
songeur2010 8 years ago
The weather has been shocking and so I have been concentrating on other things, but I'm starting to run out of excuses. I really do need to drop the keel to fix the leak and the more I talk to others more experienced than me the more I think I'm going to have to get the studs out first. Welding the nuts on will be a trivial exercise compared to the effort it will be to drop the keel with the studs in place.
I've managed to get hold of a replacement yanmar 1GM so need to get the keel sorted before we drop it in as it covers the rear stud.
The list of things to do seems to be getting longer the more I do so some of the less important cosmetic items will have to wait.
In the mean time I have sanded the entire hull below the waterline back to the gell coat. This has resolved some issues with poor delaminating paint and revealed some cracks in the gell coat which can only have occurred from blunt force trauma, the glass itself looks and seems OK.
The bump strip had started to rot so has been taken off, the hull to top side join looks to in good condition with only a small amount of osmosis which I have ground out and will glass back up.
The RHS at the bottom of the skeg is rusty which will require a grind and reglass. The stainless pintle is a bit of a conundrum as it is bolted through the RHS which means it needs to be glassed over to keep it all water tight and to do this the rudder needs to be in place making the job very fiddly. This may need a slight redesign as it has obviously been a problem in the past.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Have you got new studs and nuts?
Renovating these things can get a bit daunting at times ,, When I was doing chille and Goskar after a quadruple bypass the support on here was very helpfull ,,
We would all like to see some photos when you can,,
Im still in awe that we here can talk to you there!
Our summer is comming to an end here (what summer)
thinking of laying up now,
keep at it , the results are worth the effort ,,,
songeur2010 8 years ago
I've got two lengths at 24" each, it turns out the keel on Songeur was made deeper at birth, looks by about 4" so I may need to get two more. Its not expensive, the nuts were a lot more expensive.
I'll upload some photos in the next few days.
I'm off on a road trip this weekend to pick up the replacement yanmar, four hours each way. The guy I'm getting off could have put it on a truck but then he said there may be other things I want as the boat it came out of is being dismantled, (not an Achilles) could be a bit of a gold mine.
NormanKlipspringer Posted 8 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 8 years ago
Did you not get my email where I told you that Chris Butler said there was a 4" keel insert in this boat? I have also just forwarded you another email from someone who also pointsout the spacer because of its impact on keel bolt length.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Normans a nice guy really ... just getting older..
songeur2010 8 years ago
Just like to say that the pictures and advice etc have been very helpful.
I've uploaded a few more pics on progress to my photostream.
Cutting the old fore stay support out took about an hour but was worth the trouble and will be easy to reinstall with the deck cut away.
The hull looked nice all sanded back but it did reveal osmosis, one particularly bad spot had gone all the way through to the inside layer of glass. Its all easy enough to fix but I seem to be taking one step back for every two going forward, light is appearing at the end of the tunnel however.
Andrew Curry 8 years ago

Would have any pictures of the osmosis damage. They would be interesting to see if you had.

songeur2010 8 years ago
I'll take some pics in the next couple of days. Its raining like crazy at the moment so may not get out to it today.
songeur2010 8 years ago
We managed to extract the last keel bolt last night. Once I had put an inch drill back down the hole I was able to put the old bolt back in and almost screw it all the way home with fingers only, there was still a big blob of grease on the tip. The reason these were so hard to get out was the resin which had been poured down the side of the bolt during assembly. The leaks seem to occur due to this being very brittle. The boat builder/surveyor has told me to use rubberised epoxy (West systems HPR 5 with mil fiber) on the keel join and around the bolts. This should be good for at least another 30 years if the rest of the boat can make it that far.
The cracks along the side definitely line up with the interior fittings so there must have been a bit of flexing of the hull at some time.
It's a lovely blue sky today so hopefully I'll get some glass back on after work.
songeur2010 8 years ago
Finally got the keel separated this weekend, it was almost as hard to get off as it was to get the bolts out, in the end I had to run a saber saw through the join until it finally dropped. There was no evidence of any sealing compound, it appears the keel was clamped up while the glass on the underside of the keel was still wet. The photos clearly show where water was getting in so I was glad that I had gone to this much trouble. Next task is to re glass the timber collar and then bring it up and seal it with the rubberised epoxy.
The rudder turned out to be full of water, by the time I had ground it back far enough to repair it seemed easier just to make a new one out of tanalized ply and glass over with epoxy as per the photos.
Andrew Curry 8 years ago
Your pictures are great. Looks like you have been putting in lots of hard work. When you dropped the keel off how did you safely support the boat?
songeur2010 8 years ago
Thanks, If you have a look at my photostream there's a photo of the boat looking up at the bow, you will see two 100x100 angles bolted across the cradle about 100mm down from the boat at each end. I have propped these and then jacked the boat up up bit by bit bow, stern, bow, stern and blocked on top of the angles. Was tricky but not too tricky. I'll take a photo latter and post it.
songeur2010 8 years ago
Almost 5 months to the day that I purchased Songeur she was relaunched on the 29th December at the Panmure Yachting and Boating Club in Auckland on a very hot and sunny day. Since then she has had three trips out into the Waitamata harbour where she has preformed better than expected. she does nearly 6 knots at just over 2000RPM with the 6hp Yanmar 1GM but its much nicer at about 1800RPM where she will still do 5 knots.
She sails nice and I think the extra 4 inches in the keel depth does make a difference as she doesn't seem as tippy as others seem to have indicated the 24 could be.
There's still a lot of little bits and pieces to tidy up but we needed to get her in the water for the summer holidays.
pjbharrison 8 years ago
Congratulations, Anton
Andrew Curry 8 years ago
Hi Anton

Its great to see Songeur back afloat again.


Amrum 9171Y 8 years ago
Well done, Anton! I've really enjoyed reading the story of how you've brought Songeur back to life, and the photos today are the icing on the cake! She looks truly superb - I really like the windows on the coachroof, which are different to any other Achilles I've seen, and suit her well.
Have some great sailing in her.
songeur2010 Posted 8 years ago. Edited by songeur2010 (member) 8 years ago
Yes I like the windows too, I have had several people tell me how I should improve them and even for cat 1 they are over the top but I like them and they are staying that way.
songeur2010 8 years ago
This is a list of the work completed on Songeur over the last 5 months, it hasn't helped to improve family relations but its all good now:

1. Remove pulpits and lifelines.
2. Scrap and sand back below waterline to gel coat.
3. Sand above waterline back to undercoat to remove cracked and crazed paint systems.
4. Grind out osmosis and fill with glass and vinyl ester resin and microballoons.
5. Grind out stress cracks around bulkhead areas, re-glass, fill and fair.
6. Grind out stress cracks in stern where self steering vain once was
7. Remove rubbing band and grind entire gunnel, re-glass, fill and fair.
8. Remove keel bolts and keel, keel had to cut free with sabre saw.
9. Grind keel to remove rust and paint with loctite rust converter.
10. Re-glass underside of hull keel, re fit keel with West System HPR5 rubberised epoxy with mil fibre thickener.
11. Remove chart table from cabin and extend port ¼ berth to bulkhead.
12. Cut out small bulkhead by cooker, remove crappy shelving unit and for another seat.
13. Re-glass main bulkhead to coach roof where separation had occurred.
14. Make and fit new lifting angle to new keel bolts.
15. Cut open bow and cut out rusted steel fore stay support and fairlead support.
16. Make and fit new fore stay support.
17. Shape and fit timber block to bow, epoxy in place, glass over, fill and fair.
18. Make new goose-neck for boom.
19. Remove rudder.
20. Make new rudder out of ply and glass as old one full of water and cracks.
21. Make new pintle.
22. Grind skeg and reglass.
23. Linish and finish rudder head stock.
24. Spoke shave old tiller sand and re polyurethane.
25. Refit rudder and new pintle.
26. Remove rotten companionway step.
27. Remove old Yanmar engine.
28. Make new engine mounts
29. Fit replacement Yanmar 1GM engine.
30. Replace zinc block, impeller and air filter to engine.
31. Make new springy thing to attach Morse cable to forward reverse lever.
32. Replace cutlass bearing
33. Replace wadding in prop gland
34. Clean out separated grease form gland greaser pump and re-grease.
35. Fit new flexible coupling to prop-shaft / gearbox.
36. Fit prop.
37. Remove and clean water out of fuel filter, replace element.
38. Remove fuel tank and empty 6 litres of water, clean, flush and reinstall.
39. Replace all fuel lines.
40. Make adapter plate for replacement engine remote and fit remote to cockpit.
41. Make new mount for engine instruments and fit under starboard locker.
42. Fit new master battery cut off switch.
43. Wire up new solar panel and regulator.
44. Construct new companionway step, cockpit side.
45. Make new step / engine cover inside.
46. Undercoat entire hull and sand back with 320 grit.
47. Spray hull above waterline with 2 pot polyurethane 4 coats and one coat below waterline.
48. Mark out and mask new waterline.
49. Roll on two coats (4 litres) anti-fouling.
50. Fit new zinc block to keel and prop-shaft.
51. Straighten bent pulpit and refit, apparently it was run into a wharf.
52. Refit stern pulpit and lifelines.
53. Fix new computer cut lettering to bow and stern.
54. Construct new out board hole plug.
55. Have original anchor and chain re-galvanised.

Work still to do.
1. Make and fit new rubbing band
2. Finish off companion way trims to make waterproof.
3. Sort out wiring to mast and ensure all nav lights work.
4. Sort out radio aerial and cable. (Aerial at top of mast for convenience, not)
5. Repair broken track for jib / Genoa block.
6. Repair and refit spray dodger.
7. Refit new hinges to front hatch.
8. Make and fit new fairlead / bow roller.

Another slightly less important item at this time will be to give the interior a bit of a make over but that can wait until this summer is over.
There will always be a number of maintenance items and spruce ups which need attention as time goes on, it quite amazing how long it takes to do what appear to be simple things on a boat, I can only imagine what it must be like to own some thing twice the size.

The repairs to Songeur were quite frustrating at times as every thing required to make her work needed repair or attention like the drive line the fuel system the rudder the hull the bow the pulpit, the boom. I connected all the battery cables and master switch turned her on and nothing happened, the master switch was buggered and needed replacing.
On the day of the launch and only minutes from her being picked up we fired the engine up with a hose attached to the water intake, the water filter blew apart and started filling the boat with water, of course the engine wasn’t getting much of this. We managed to replace the ½ inch screw holding the filter together with a 1 ½ inch screw and all was good, wouldn’t have been good if it had happened at sea in spite of the Kingston cock.
On the good side the depth finder and log worked perfectly and I did get a near new mainsail and genoa along with four other original sails. Apart from the rig which appears OK there’s not much more left untouched which could cause a problem. I’m looking forward to some good sailing in the Hauraki gulf over the next few months and further photos posted by me should be of nice scenic vistas not boat bits.
Thanks again to all those who have posted helpful hints dimensions etc, it would have been a lot harder without your help.
NormanKlipspringer 8 years ago
Well done Anton. I am sure your hard work will be well rewarded by some fine sailing. I have spoken to Chris Butler about your work and he has been very interested. I will keep him up to date.
songeur2010 8 years ago
Thanks Norman, It's a wonderfull resource you have here.
rothwell_neil 8 years ago
Looks like a great area to cruise, enjoy.
songeur2010 8 years ago
My son and I had an interesting sail yesterday bringing the boat home from a trip north of Auckland. After surviving the remains of two tropical cyclones on a temporary pile mooring we needed to bring the boat home, so we left Sandspit harbour with The genoa and main on the third reef. We were on a reach so this worked well and was quite comfortable with the boat reaching speeds of 6.9 knots on the gps. (the log had stopped working due to the impeller seized, this seems to happen a lot)
Half way through the trip home the wind backed and increased strength with one of the other yachties in the same area latter saying he recorded gusts up to 48 knots. The genoa was clearly too big for these conditions and had to come down, how I wished for a furler just then. Even though it was blowing off shore we were out far enough that the waves were up to 1.5 metres with a heavy chop.
I managed to get the genoa down but didn't have a small enough foresail to replace it so decided to crank up the yanmar so we could make better headway. I was very pleased to have an inboard diesel at that time as it started and ran smoothly for three hours without missing a beat and got us back home. I left the main up on the third reef which gave us some stability and also helped with our overall speed. We did get soaked to the skin but made it home safely with no thought that the boat couldn't handle it.
Anyone looking to buy or who has just recently acquired a 24 should be very comfortable that they have a boat capable of handling all that can be thrown at them as long as you can hang on.
Skykomish E29 8 years ago
We had a wonderful sail around the Bay of Islands when we went to N Z 6 years ago, it was that which prompted us to take up sailing. A great place to sail, but wow do you get some big rollers when it has had a blow. We went diving at the "Poor Knights" and remember that hour long trip in the dive boat vividly. We should have suspected the sea was going to be rough when a KIWI told us that we would be ok the dive boats are made from 5mm steel. It was like something off "The Perfect Storm", the dive guide said that had he known that it was that bad he would have cancelled the trip.
songeur2010 8 years ago
Yeah, I've had my fair share of chunders out in the deep, its a bit different when your hanging onto the tiller, makes you watch every wave. The bay of Islands is a fantastic place to cruise, but will take me a couple of days to get there so will wait until I have a few weeks off before taking Songeur up there. As for the poor Knight they are exposed to say the least but worth the trouble if your a diver.
Skykomish E29 8 years ago
Yes it was a great dive as the cove we dived in was really sheltered and saw the biggest fish I had ever seen on a dive. Also dived in Princess Charlotte Sound on South Island were were going to do the Russian Ship (can't remember the name) but visibility was too bad so just did a really boring "Spot the Crayfish" dive instead.
Were also supposed to go out to White Island but trip got cancelled due to it apparently being too rough.
songeur2010 8 years ago
The shipwreck is the Mikhail Lermontov. Diving in the sounds area can be quite dangerous unless you know whats going on, there can be a 2 metre difference in water level between the east and west coast giving rise to huge tidal streams. Some divers were lost in french pass several years ago.
happysalior 6 years ago
Hi I used to own songeur several years ago she is a lovely boat and was in pretty reasonable condition when we sold her.
I often wondered what happened to her and I am so pleased she has found an owner who will look after her and sail her like she deserves to be
She is lovely to sail and part of nz's yachting history having sailed in one of the very early transalantic races then been to moololaba and back twice plus thousands of other sailing miles.
I hope you get many years of pleasure sailing her
songeur2010 6 years ago
Hi everyone, It was with a certain amount of sadness that I traded Songeur in last August for a 34' yacht with full headroom up to the forward cabin including a separate toilet. This was required if I was to ensure happy relations between Kirsty and myself as Songeur was proofing a bit small for her and our son as well. We did spend a couple of weeks away on her but it was extremely cramped and if anyone wanted to use the toilet for number 2's the other two had to sit in the cockpit with the wash boards in place for the duration of the act.
It was a private trade and I now see that see is on the market again from today. Someone will get a serious bargain as not only had I completed all the hull repairs as listed above plus the work which was still to be done, I had just before she was passed on, reconditioned the Yanmar 1GM, installed an electric toilet with 40l holding tank, fitted a Lowrance chart plotter/fishfinder, installed a new VHF radio and completely rewired the mast. She also has a Raymarine tiller pilot and solar panel which always keeps the battery charged.
I notice there have been a few comments and questions regarding her which I have missed as they have been sent to my home email which gets checked infrequently by me as I now have my own business with a different email address, for this I do apologise. I am still more than happy to answer any questions regarding her or the work done on her and will change my account details so I receive notifications again.
Its nice to see the site still very active, there is just something about these boats which is hard to define but you do become very attached to them once you have one. I was almost contemplating buying her back for my son who is now 14, we shall see.
Regards to you all.
Red Marlin 6 years ago
Hello Anton
Yes we all trade up for the same reasons and keep the emotional attatchment to the 24 forever afterwards. If I had loads more money I would also buy a 24 as a second boat.
NormanKlipspringer Posted 6 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 6 years ago
Thanks for keeping us informed of what is happening to Songeur. I keep Chris up to date on all you tell me whnever I see him. Keep in touch.
songeur2010 6 years ago
Jason who now owns Songeur has taken off the market, he said he just didn't have the heart to sell her. It would seem she has a loving home still.
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