s j carter 3:21pm, 31 December 2012
hello, there i am considering purchasing an achilles 9m fin keeled but reduced draft to 4.8 ft, went to essex the other day to see it, 2 things really worried me,
1 the rudder seemed strong but as you moved it back and forth I could hear water gushing around which cant be helping and
2 the keel bolt nuts were very corroded that an an very aged volvo md 7a engine makes me think i mkight be getting myself into something expensive to put right.
On the plus side I loved the boat, it felt strong the design is so wonderfully laid out and comsidered I would love to sail it BUT?
Any thoughts out there on my Dilemma gratefully recieved,
Happy New Year
busy home [deleted] 6 years ago
Im a 24 person . (and a Hustler 25,5) so not sure about the rudder,
The keel nuts .. undo them renew them pence.. The studs will be ok
The volvo .. remove and use as an anchor,,,,,, or £50 scrap,
Put in a Beta, or nanni. 14 hp.. £3000 job ... Peace of mind .
Ask Daddsie ,,, He knows 9 s
Super Snoopy 050 6 years ago
Hi Simon,

Super Snoopy is number 50, with a Yanmar 2QM15 that is as old as the boat (33 years). I'm waiting for it to fail so that I can replace with a new Beta, but it is reluctant to play dice. Don't know about Volvos, but Ron has the odd strong view about them. Beta's are a synch to put in - they'll make custom legs for you to fit the existing mountings. We put one in an A24 a few years ago.

The consensus on keel bolts is to leave them alone, as many Achilles have had them replaced, but the originals seem to have been OK when inspected after removal. Agree with Ron on the nuts if they have been left unprotected under bilge water for some time. Don't use stainless nuts - that will cause trouble with mild steel studs.

Don't quite understand about the rushing water noise, but if an Achilles can be regarded as a brick outhouse; the rudder is as sturdy as a brick outhouse door. I had an insurance survey done on Super Snoopy last winter and the surveyor found some hairline cracks on the skeg. He recommended rectification which I did myself. I'm glad I did, as it reassured me that an Achilles 9m rudder / skeg assembly is a mighty bit of kit! Have a look at my photostream for photos of the skeg work.

Good luck

busy home [deleted] Posted 6 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 6 years ago
I had a Volvo 10 in a westerly tiger. The sea around her at tickover vibrated
The cooker tried to escape...
i had a Volvo 2002 in my Gibsea 33.. As reliable as a Skoda (1970)s
Spares..... are a stupid price...
Give me a Yanmar everyday/
Or now a beta
Its not just me... Not many marine mechanics like them .Try telling your customer a 10hp head gasket is £109 & vat
sailing bye1 6 years ago
Hi, I am the owner of 'Sailing Bye' tripple keel with modified cabin layout. Sail no 66, build 1983 with original Yanmar 2GM 13HP.
Like 'Super Snoopy' just had survey carried out in Nov, no major problems.
3YEARS ago stripped antifouling and heard water in rudder, drilled small hole about 30mm from bottom and water flowed out and then filled hole with filler.
Surveyor suggested i consider drilling another hole and fitting a self tapping screw which could be removed when out of the water and fitted before launching. His attitude was far better to have water in a void rather than wet foam filler. Also suggested it is impossable to keep water out of a rudder.
rothwell_neil 6 years ago
Agree with comments on keel bolts. if you can get nuts off replace. if not and still tight and substantial even if corroded paint with numerous coats of epoxy once cleaned up. you should notice that nut is corroded and no longer hexagonal but at base where it meets keel plate should be fine as only corrodes where it sees oxygen. Thus in stud no corrosion.
Daddsie 6 years ago
I have hull No. 47, fin keeled. As the rest of the guys say, unbolt and replace the nuts. The Achilles is an over engineered bit of kit


as the photo shows.

Like Sailing Bye, my rudder fills with water and likewise I drill two holes about an inch or so from the bottom and let it drain. The water gets in through the pintle and there is very little you can do.

As for an engine, I have a Lombardini twin, fantastic engine, very light, although a bit fancy, electronics, glow plugs but incredibly smooth and quiet and of course will turn the opposite way to your original engine so a new prop may be required.
Daddsie 6 years ago
Just had a look at the boat on Apollo duck. I depends what you want to do with the boat, mud plugging around the east coast then it is a bargain.

If you want to go further afield, or club race it then think again.

A new engine is £5-£6k fitted, new sails £3k, you have to allow a certain amount on replacing or renewing other odds and sods.

All for a boat that is in reality worth £10k in the current market place when in good order.
s j carter 6 years ago
thanks for the advice guys, do you not think a shorter fin keel would be sea worthy? lots of reduced draft boats go lots of miles thinking of maurice griffiths golden hinds etc?
I cruised extensively in my last boat a bilgekeeled tomahawk 25 france several times and would like to take the achilles further, not worried about racing but would want the boat to be safe in a gale? any thoughts cheers simon
s j carter 6 years ago
as an after thought am i right in assuming the porthand locker gives access to the stern gland and filter or is there another way ? thanks simon
Super Snoopy 050 6 years ago
I get to my stern gland via the pilot berth (nav station) to starboard. Being a potholer or having good mining genes helps.

Don't worry about a Chris Butler boat in gales; the Achilles 9M was designed for transatlantic racing!
busy home [deleted] 6 years ago
Snoopy. Have you looked at the pic of this boat. ?
I dont like the look of it .. at all ... Toooo shallow..
Maurice Griffiths were hard chine mainly .. more inital stability
Slow old slugs . a lot different to Chris Butlers ..
Super Snoopy 050 6 years ago

I see what you mean, it does look a little stumpy.

So No45, Trojan, started life as Welsh Dragon, owned by Mr and Mrs Young of Canterbury. The spec says 4'10" draught, instead of the usual 5'6" and allegedly uses lead instead of cast iron. The advertised displacement is the usual 3175kg. I wonder if it's the bulb keel of a triple version without the bilge plates. Perhaps Sailing Bye can help us with the draught of the triple?

I assume it was built like this, so would have the Butler stamp of approval. Incidentally, I have it on good authority that there once was a triple A9m at our club and the owner thought it looked apalling below the waterline; so took an angle grinder to the bilge plates. It sailed OK after the operation, but I don't know its whereabouts now. (Could have foundered in a gale - only joking!)
busy home [deleted] Posted 6 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 6 years ago
Wetted area comes into all this. removing the bilge keels lessens
that area. I do not like the concept at all.
Years ago i had the Gibsea 33 ,,, very fast boat.. my friend had a Sadler 32 .. Wing keel .. held on by two strut things.. hollow in the middle ..
Ie you could see through it ,, (collins?) Sailing side by side in a 2/3 we were hit by a sudden gust, I just heeled a bit more ,,, he was laid flat .. Suddenly... I heard his missus scream .. He sold it quick,,
Shallow draft on a long keel .. ok.....
not on a round bum job...
Not a resailable boat being non standard.
Red Marlin 6 years ago
I have 44 purchased in 1990. I was going to look at "Welsh Dragon" but it was sold before I got chance to look at it. Spoke to Chris and Georgina Butler. Chris said the first owner wanted to go through the French canals. 1.8 depth with a 1.7 keel is possible as I have done it 3 times but not ideal if you need to get near the bank. Hence the shallow draft and if you ever had plans to go to the Med - ideal. I changed my volvo for a Yanmar !GM10 single cylinder. Early Volvos had very small water channels that were OK for the Baltic but in the warm salty water of the Med furred up rotten. In calm water the single cylinder Yanmar pushes me along at 6 knots but does struggle against wind and tide. But it would be so easy to remove as it is so light. I seem to be the only one who likes it and I may be wrong. Volvo spares prices are very high they say due to the fact that no matter how old they will still carry good stocks of spares - do not believe it.
sailing bye1 6 years ago
I would guess 4ft 10 to be about right, never really measured as i would always work on a min of 6ft depth of water.
I access the stern gland and filters down the quarter berth like Super Snoopy.
I believe the keel on the shallow draught boats to be slightly longer than the standard fin and quite wide but never measured.
Never had any concerns with stability, but then i tend to sail under furled genoa only at 5 and above.
s j carter 6 years ago
thanks for the thoughts guys, the more I think about it the less I am inclined to go for Trojan, the blurb does say the keel is lead not the standard iron and I would of thought Chris Butler would not of allowed it to leave the boatyard unless he was happy it was sea worthy, I have seen sadler 29's with deep and shallow draft keels? I would be indecisive if I could make up my mind. Have just seen another this on a triple keeled boat in Milford haven on boatshed wonder if this wouldnt be a better idea although not sure about performance of 3 keels and i know i would have to pay more ?
Thanks for the advice keep it coming cheers Simon
busy home [deleted] 6 years ago
Sailing Bye .. This is not a tripple keel ... Fin ...
Bilge keels were tacked onto shallow fins to stop wallowing ...
Ballerina Silloutte robert tucker m griffiths style
My Seamaster was shallow fin ,,, great little boat but did not sail up wind and was slow.. My Falmouth working boat (converted ) long shallow keel rolled badly down wind , A bugger when the boom was nearly the same length a the mast ,, (Gaff) Over the stern .. HAd to be tied off or it could take your head off. (and break the goose neck. )
SJ no problem s with the tripple keel ACHILLES ,, I would love one ,,
sailing bye1 6 years ago
Sailing Bye is a tripple, she is known locally as a fast boat when compared to craft of similar age and size, performance is great but i do not race. Sailing Bye can also be cutter rigged.
Looking at the photo of Trojan, centre keel looks a similar length to Sailing Bye but my centre keel is iron and i have the 2 bilge fins.
The advantage for me at Watchet, Somerset is no need to worry if i need to dry out and i never get a problem at lift out, no cradle required.
Daddsie 6 years ago
The rear lockers give access to the grease nipple that keeps the pintle tight in the tube as there no rudder bearings on a 9m.
Amrum 9171Y 6 years ago
Agree all the comments about triple keel Achilles. They sail well if not quite as fast as fins, and are a great advantage in the Bristol Channel and East Coast for drying out on beaches or shallow harbours, or on the boat park without a cradle. I have an A24 in the water now ready for the frostbite series starting on Sunday, and I'll be disappointed if she doesn't finish in the top third of the fleet. The A840 is now nearly ready to become my only Achilles, with the engine serviced and the sail drive seals and gaiter replaced. My father had 24 and 9m triples in the 80s, and thought the 9m was a great boat. If i never dried out and sailed in deep water, I'd have a fin, but here I think a triple is a great compromise, and better than bilge keels.
Incidentally, Alan, Gareth Davies of Cardiff Marine Group sends his regards to you and Rhys. He apologises for not being in touch, but lost his phone overboard with all his numbers. It was in a watertight case, but unfortunately not a floating one, so he could ring it but not reach it!
Super Snoopy 050 Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Super Snoopy 050 (member) 6 years ago
Off thread a tad but we couldn't work out who Gareth Davies is. Then realisation - we know him as Whisper. Used to work with Rhys for Pugeot until he went nautical.
Tranquillity1 6 years ago
The rudder on my tripple keel 9m used to fill up with water so nearly 2 year ago I decided to cure it. Once I took it off I drilled some holes to drain it and then proceeded with a dremmel to put a grove in the glass around the pintel entry, the plan was to put an o-ring around the pintel to provide a watertight seal and glass it in. Whilst grinding the grove I found I went very quickly through the class and into a void, the top of the rudder was not very thick, so I opened up a gap all the way around the pintle.

The smell that came out was awful and when I turned the rudder upside down, something resembling mud came out. It took a lot of flushing and poking with a coat hanger through the gap I had created to get all the gunk out from the rudder,

For the main blade I decided to fill it with closed cell foam used for buoyancy tanks so I drilled a series of holes in the blade. I used 2 part foam which meant it could be poured into a hole in a liquid form
and the foamy bit happen whilst safely confined withing the rudder,however I still managed to have a couple of eruptions with foam oozing out some of the other holes. The particular foam I used was a hard foam which once set was like a brick.

For the pintle void, I just used epoxy and poured it in around the pintle and then finished of with some glass.

When the boat came out the water last season, I could not hear any water in the rudder and there was no tell tail weeping, so hopefully it is now cured :-)
s j carter 6 years ago
Hello there I have finally decided to purchase Trojan and spent a very enjoyable weekend with my son going over our new fantastic boat, she may have a reduced draft but the survey was good considering her age. Can I ask what happens when you reef the main with the roller gear, on Trojan the kicker is just removed shouldnt there be a way of pulling the boom down?, I m sure this wont be the last time I have questions. regards Simon
pjbharrison Posted 6 years ago. Edited by pjbharrison (member) 6 years ago
Congratulations, Simon.
Got some pics?

Can I be so bold as to ask price paid?

Freebird 1011 6 years ago
Congratulations and welcome to the very exclusive Yellow 9M owners club. Incidentally I didn’t like the yellow of Freebird when we first got her but after a good clean and polish I am very proud of her original gel coat.

The roller reefing boom works a treat with no kicking strap. If it is blowing hard enough to reef who cares if you are loosing a bit of power? If we are on a long downwind we sometimes rig a preventer type kicker but mostly we don’t bother. Arriving in port you will have the main stowed and be in the dinghy to the pub before slab reefing types have stacked their packs! (Pull it back along the boom and roll gently for stowage) Having said all that the system is very hard wearing on the mainsail and an new slab reefing main on our upgrade list ----- but it is a very long list.

Enjoy your new boat and let us know how things are going
Fair winds, Duncan.
NormanKlipspringer Posted 6 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 6 years ago
Normal way to keep the kicker is to use a reefing claw. See the following link for an installation on an A24 www.flickr.com/photos/49391875@N02/4723248089/
Incidently I raised the issue of the shallow keel with Chris Butler and he remembers fitting a shallow keel for an owner to go through the French canals.
s j carter 6 years ago
Thanks guys Im looking forward to getting Trojan in the water I came round to the idea of a shallower draft I think a previous post mentioned that Chris wouldnt have put his mark to a boat he didnt have confidence in. On the plus side the canals make beckon one day, the keel is made of lead which is easier to maintain so here goes. The build quality is outstanding as is the attention to detail. Very happy man, I have a few jobs to do mainly changing a couple of skin fittings and the cutlasss bearing, the surveyor Ben Sutcliffe [Swansea area] absolutely outstanding surveyor said to consider using Marelon fittings just wondered if any other members have had experience, as to price paid will tell you over a pint one day, i think it may have been less than you paid for boomerang I was considering going over to Neyland myself Good luck with her. The mainsail when we hoisted it seemed to be very low but we hadnt applied much pressure to the main halyard which Im sure would lift the boom considerably. Regards Simon
s j carter 6 years ago
ps any idea where i might get a reefing claw from? cheers simon
Amrum 9171Y Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Amrum 9171Y (member) 6 years ago
They sometimes come up on eBay. Try googling 'reefing claw', and a couple come up at Trident Marine and Gael Force, at between £30 and £50. Also try asking on here - someone has almost certainly converted to slab reefing and has one in the garage! That's how I got mine, and there are pics of the bar I had made on my photo stream.
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