Peter (boat name prowler) 9:19am, 24 August 2013
Hello all

just got back from a lovely 13 days sailing from langstone harbour to poole, along the dorset coast, back to poole, then southsea. Was rearly quite happy with how the boat performed. But a lot of the sailing was against the wind, so i was trying to find how close i could sail the achilles, i could sail at 35 degrees, but i would gain a couple of knots if i bore away to 45 degrees. obviously new sails woudl make a difference but i was wondering what angle to the wind you other owners could get?

Peter King
Peter (boat name prowler) Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Peter (boat name prowler) (member) 5 years ago
ps the photos i have just posted are from some of the trips i have done this year (around solent, poole, and dorset) plenty more on my photo stream if your intrested
pjbharrison 5 years ago
Great series of photos, Peter.
Looks like it was a great trip.
How did the boat perform? Any problems?
b.mercer 5 years ago
I think new sails would make huge difference to your pointing but they certainly couldn't improve on that stunning coast. Indeed a great series of photos ! Confession....I have never slept on my boat or used the loo. How is living aboard ?
pjbharrison 5 years ago
I notice that your boat is fractional rigged, I thought all A24s were masthead rigged.
Was the mast replaced?
busy home [deleted] Posted 5 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 5 years ago
Early boats were 3/4.
Chris converted to masthead to cure slight weather helm
Merlin 40 .. has had a new mast and new sails, and of course is 3ins deeper than later fins so points better
Tripple keels are never so close winded as fin but still faster than most 25 footers
blueachilles 5 years ago
Congratulations on 13 days on an A24; we've managed 11. And great photos! I'm not convinced we can sail at 35 degs to the wind, but agree that sailing a bit freer will give greater speed.

(Di has just said she wouldn't describe herself as a yacht prowler....!)
thanks for the replies. For an old girl the boat performed pritty well. Nothing broke, and everything worked pritty much as it should. On the way out is was a force 5 on the nose all the way to poole (two days), which on the second day (keyahven to poole) was intresting beating into 1m swell (first time out the solent, going through the needles main channel i thought it was wind against tide but after i got several miles away i realized it was swell, fortunately i didn't waste my uni years playing on beaches with surfboards, as it was perfect practice for sailing an achilles!). the next few days where spent pottering around poole, then 3 days spent sailing to lulworth, and back to poole (this was the target for the trip, i have walked the coast path several times from Bournemouth to weymouth and have always wanted to sail it). Felt sea sick for the 3rd time in my life of playing in the water when hove too 10nm off st albans head in 1m of swell in a good force 5, trying to make cup of tea in cabin, once back in the cockpit i was feeling better tho. anchored in mupes bay (worbarrow was deffinatly a highlight. The leg from poole to keyhaven was the best sailing, one long spinnaker run across poole and christchurch bays (about 5-6knts boat speed), but i had gone faster than i planned and got the the needles north channel 1 hour before slack and the start of the east going tide, so i thought bugger it and powered through the channel full main and spinnaker against the last of the tide (still doing 4knts over ground!).

i think i would be happy to spend longer on the boat with a few changes like, autopilot, sink drainer, alternator for engine to charge battery's, and cockpit cushions. I was debating staying in poole an extra 5 days, but then realized that it was bank holiday weekend and decided to beat a hasty retreat! The toilet works fine (although my conscience makes me bag up and take home the loo paper as i wouldn't want it floating past!). used the forepeak double once with the wife, then promptly converted it all to storage and now use the pilot berths in the saloon. A previous owner has lowered the saloon shelf's by 3 inches, which doesn't sound a lot, but makes a big difference to sleeping space, and it is on my list of jobs to raise these back up there original height. But in terms of living on it, do one thing at a time, then pack away that stuff before doing something else, i keep on telling kate that tidiness is key to a happy boat, shame it was just me on the poole trip and i couldn't blame her for the mess!

the mast is orginal, but i think the double back stay may be an addition. I have got a set of racing sails which came with the boat (virtualy new), Wanted to get used to the boat this year before getting the race sails out the garage for next years local club wednesday night series (entered a 4 this year and was last over the line in every race, very embarrassing considering i work at the marina! im sure it would help if i took off the dinghy so i could stow the outboard under the cockpit instead of leaving it in the hole! i know james and yana (previous owner who used to live at the marina (and a member of this forum) did quite well at our local races winning a few, and also did very well in the round the island race a couple of times (in the top 100 overall once i think).

PS the boat name is prowler, (orgnianly dolphin prowler!), want to change the name but i am getting to quite like the idea of prowling about, but i need to get a long over coat if i keep the name....
Peter (boat name prowler) Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Peter (boat name prowler) (member) 5 years ago
PPS glad you like the photos. the locations help with the photos, but i did work as a video camera man for 4 years and now sell my photos in my wifes picture framers / gallery / print shop, although it is challenging to get a good shot on a pitching boat! I am almost at the stage of feeling confident enough to start making videos of my journeys on prowler. On my youtube page the nipper dinghy sailing videos may intrest you
b.mercer 5 years ago
I remember the R.T.I photos, she had a really nice set of racing sails then. You should do well , just get rid of the dinghy and get the plug in.
busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
Sailing an Achilles 24 with the outboard in is a criminal offence.
(unless you are a blue boat with a petite lady on board.)
Or the boss of this site.
busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
Goskar has twin backstays
When i got the boat i was determined that i would remove the outboard every time i sailed it, which i did the first 3 times, but then i got the dinghy! what i would like to do is remove the outboard and use the plug when i race (leave dinghy and other excess stuff ashore). But get another plug made to use for my usual cruising which would have a hole just big enough for the OB leg to go through (maybe some rubber to fair any gaps). I think this would make it more like a sail drive rather than an outboard stuck in a big hole! But this is going to involve making a mold from my existing plug, then using the mold to make another plug and adapting this to what i want. anther thing for the list!
rothwell_neil Posted 5 years ago. Edited by rothwell_neil (member) 5 years ago
Check out the thread on outboard plugs as an insert makes a massive difference and once I had made one I didn't mind leaving the outboard in. There is a mould floating around somewhere.
blueachilles 5 years ago
Peter (yacht prowler):

I made a fairing piece, I suppose you'd call it, that blocks the o/b hole apart from a gap for the o/b leg. Its difficult to describe but search our photo stream for "secret weapon".

Its very clunky, and fiddly to fit, but does make a difference.
Blue, your a genius! I was originally thinking along these lines but couldn't figure out how to get it to stay in where it should, having it underneath with a hinge sounds like the perfect solution. And it looks a whole lot easier to make than my idea!
blueachilles 5 years ago
The only hinge is the plastic bit down the middle which enables you to fold it to get it down below the hull, and then it is held on by the elastic and a bit of timber across the engine bracket.

Tested up to six knots!
rothwell_neil Posted 5 years ago. Edited by rothwell_neil (member) 5 years ago
busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
I had the plug mould. (bottom only) Not the job Blue did.
Bert Taggart has it now in Belfast.Hes happy to make up plugs as we need them..
blueachilles 5 years ago
I had plug mould on my bottom too, but antibiotics did the trick....
How would one go about contacting Bert? not that i have any spare money at the moment...maybe next payday!
Mike A1 5 years ago
I also have a mould:
Outboard well mould by Mike A1
which I used to make this plug:
Outboard well plug by Mike A1
You are welcome to borrow the mould but I lent it to someone else so would need to get it back from them first.

busy home [deleted] Posted 5 years ago. Edited by busy home (member) 5 years ago
I spoke to Bert last night,, he will post on here shortly.
Hes Bert a24 on here.
I can phone him if its urgent
Flickermail me
A264 Clytie 5 years ago
This plug is used for sailing with the outboard in place with prop sticking out below? Why?

I had a full plug for when the engine was down below then a frame plug when the engine was inserted. I had a Yam 8hp and could happily get it in and out whilst at sea.

Am I missing something?
blueachilles 5 years ago

We keep the engine in place when sailing because although I am able to hoist the engine in and out when at sea, Di is very petite and would not be able to re-install the engine if I fell overboard/had a heart attack/got hit by the boom.

Also, there have been occasions when sailing when a quick burst of engine has been useful.

The plug stops a great deal of turbulence around the well and so helps with boat speed.
busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
The resistance in the well is greater than the faired leg of the outboard. the prop can spin.
When you get older its quite a job single handed to remove the outboard (worse if you dont stop the boat as the drag throws the leg back, ) Mine had to be twisted to remove.
Yeah its the well that slows the boat not the leg
Blues worked Ok he nearly caught me once.
busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
SNAP.. Morning Blue
I'm in no rush, was thinking a winter project. If Berts happy to make one for me i would be happy to pay him (costs and a bit for his time). Or alternatively i could borrow Mikes, but as he hasn't actually got it at the moment it makes sense to hear from Bert (and I'm a lazy bugger at heart!)
Thank you all for your help with this.
Richiewake1 2 years ago
Hi i know it's an old thread but does anyone have the full outboard well plug mould my a24 is missing it ?
spearhead_027 2 years ago
Where are you? You could come and look at, measure, possibly borrow, Spring Run's plugs but you may not be so keen on coming to Argyll (even with this glorious weather) to do so.....

Fast Lex 2 years ago
Peter, fantastic photos!! I have always wanted to visit your coastline, one day we will do it by camper !!
mancubsa 2 years ago
Hey guys... Richie is in my neck of the woods, Lydney, Gloucestershire. I have the full plug in my boat as I have an inboard. Not sure when I will get to Fishguard to get it so he can mold it. Is Bert not around anymore as it seems he was making them? Also, wondering if it would be better to have the plug with engine insitu as he sails with his two daughters and they are dinky! lol
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