Heapmart 10:53am, 17 November 2013
Just bought an Achilles 24 which needs a bit of work so currently replacing the running rigging - what I inherited was a couple of buckets of mixed sheets and warps, all in a pretty poor state. I've been onto Norman's Achilles Yachts website and the spec for the A24 rigging suggests the headsail sheets are 15m - is this total or each? I'm running a furling genoa which is about 4m at the foot, and I'm guessing about 6m from the cockpit winches to the forestay foot of the reefing assembly - also, although I'd prefer 12mm sheets, I assume the blocks etc. are spec'd for 10mm - any ideas?
SHAMAL411 Posted 5 years ago. Edited by SHAMAL411 (member) 5 years ago
On Shamal the genoa sheets are 12mm and 15m long each side. The standard A24 winch block and cleat are fine with this size rope and I find it easier to handle than a10mm.
Why so long ? Like you I wondered if the15m figure was for both sides , it certainly creates quite a pile in the cockpit . The benefit of this length is that it allows all power to be shed from the genoa in a following wind with the sheets long enough to remain controllable from the cockpit .We have not as yet had a need to do this but it could be useful in some circumstances if say the furler had jammed .
I remain curious as to others practice and advice on this one.

Heapmart 5 years ago
Many thanks Shamal - I'd rather have the end of an albeit long sheet in my hand rather than a flailing genoa!
Fast Lex 5 years ago
Hi , welcome to the club of Achilles owners. Curious to see some photos, when you have time post some! In the mean time if you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask.
Regards Alex
PS I had all ropes for jib and main sail changed from 12mm to 10 mm, due to the blocks, etc.
AchillesHeeled 5 years ago
Hi and welcome. My sheets can't be any longer than 7.5m each and I've never had a problem. In the case of a jammed furler I'd be inclined to turn head to wind. Why not buy a 15m length, attach it to the genoa with a bowline in the centre of the sheet and see how you get on? You can then buy another 15m if you feel you need to. I'd go for 12mm for ease of handling.
Heapmart 5 years ago
Thanks all for the feedback - I've gone for 12mm x 15m sheets for the headsail but will adjust when I've had a chance to play with them - I've got to replace the traveller blocks so will upgrade to 12mm - I've kept the mainsheet and spinnaker sheets at 10mm though and am replacing the halyards with 8mm.

I'll post some photos when I get a chance - she is a fin keel, c. '73 I'm told - sail number 59 - currently named Liselle II - she's sat in a yard at Exmouth for most of the past 6 years - interested to hear from anyone who knows of her - Martin.
spearhead_027 5 years ago
I think that - if she is indeed #59 - then she will be more like 1970 in birthdate. My #176 was built in Feb/Mar 1973. The older boats had a less streamlined toerail section in the deck moulding and smaller lazarette lids as well as the tubular sheet horse, if you want to confirm details from that period.
Heapmart 5 years ago
I've uploaded a few photos, showing the main sail laid out, marked 59. The broker said she was '73 but more fool am I to believe a broker! Does she look like a '70?
Heapmart 5 years ago
The number 59 is also on the spinnaker...
pjbharrison 5 years ago
Helm's Deep, No 64, had the same traveller .Yours has had the winches replaced already and roller genoa too - nice.
Same type toe rail but keel looks different - seems to widen at the bottom
NormanKlipspringer Posted 5 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 5 years ago
Welcome to the site. Boat looks typical of early 70s (no 59 about right). In board shrouds and since anchor is on deck I assume no well. Both indicators of earlier boats. Keel looks standard bulb type for all boats except some very early ones. Stanchions look as though they have been replaced. Other pointers have already been made above. Listed by Butler Mouldings in 1976 when the list went up to 441. Name in 1976 and 1980 was 'Spirit of Barfoil' and sold to Sub Lt Holland from Macclesfield. No 73 was sold as one of a group to Switzerland. Do you know what her current name is and where do you (will you) sail from?
Not sure what the length of my genoa sheet(s) are but I have used one continuous sheet fastened to the sail by pushing a loop through the cringle and inserting the two tails through this loop and the pulling tight. This method lessons the weight on the genoa and works fine on a rolling genoa where the sheets do not have to be removed. I will check on the length when next at the boat.
The genoa cleats are not typical. Usually clam cleats are used so that they can easily be loosened in an emergency. I have recently replaced my clam cleats with jamming cleats which are slightly more positive and less prone to wear than the clam cleats, which I found let go sometimes under load (12mm sheets) and the teeth were prone to wear.
spearhead_027 5 years ago
I've remembered that I made a list of the running rigging for Spring Run over 20 years ago and, remarkably, have been able to find it. Here's what it says:-

Main sheet 11m 10mm white
Genoa sheets 14m 12mm gold - eye spliced in middle & rope "peg"
Spinnaker sheets 12m 8mm red & green originals were 10mm

Main halyard 17m 6mm white originally 8mm
Fore halyard 18m 8mm white diam to hold on Gibb ST3 winch
Spinnaker halyard 17m 6mm white

Pole uphaul 10m 6mm pink (shocking)
Pole downhaul ? 6mm blue - never replaced!
Mainsheet traveller
& backstay tensioner 8m 6mm white
Vang tackle & strop ? 6mm white

Your arrangement may differ, of course, but this gives a starting figure. Lengths include an allowance for knots and splices as appropriate. I think my blocks are all in standard positions and purchases.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
Just measured my genoa sheet - one continuous sheet just over 14metre long. Once the stopper knots are in place the length becomes 14m (7m per side). This is certainly long enough to give plenty of slack in the event of wanting to depower the sail in an emergency.
Below is the picture of the jam cleats I have fitted to replace the original clam cleats which I found slipped sometimes under load.
Heapmart 5 years ago
Thanks Norman - I understand your arrangement and think it can work well. I'm planning to replace most of the cleats anyway so will look to replace where appropriate with jamming cleats.

The boat is currently under the name Liselle II - I know no history of her or other names. She's currently on the hard at The Dauntless Yard on Canvey Island and I'm looking for a berth mooring locally for next season so probably on the Crouch, anyway off the East Coast.

She's had a degree of water ingress from rain through failing seals on the deck fittings and windows and there is a degree of rust around the keel bolts - has anyone had to replace these?

Similarly, the cabin roof at the base of the mast isn;' 'flat' - paranoid about water ingress into the cabin roof balsa etc. - how common is this? The deck does look as though there is a 'designed' deviation in this tares - should it be be uniform?

NormanKlipspringer Posted 5 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 5 years ago
Keel bolts are not likely to be a problem. Unless you have significant problems with the keel-hull joint I would leave well alone. Have a look at the links to this forum from the main site
You are also likely to find links about cabin roof. This is your main problem. Leaks from the fittings close to the mast are common and a major problem. Have a look at the following picture of my old boat Archimedes.
Archimedes halyard bobbins
It shows the base of the mast. There is no deviation except for the mast step and the slight curve of the roof. A noticeable dip would indicate a failure of the balsa core. Search this site or use my index as above and you will find how other people have dealt with this problem. It is all doable. Once you have removed the headlining you can see the balsa core through the fibre glass. It should be brown. If it is black it is rotten. If the rot is reasonably local I think the best way to repair and simplest is to drill holes inside the cabin roof about 1inch dia and spaced out about 2 -3 inches. Using a bent screw driver or similar tool you can then scrape out any rotten balsa. Once this is done you can then squeeze fibre glass filler into and behind the holes. Before you do this the weight will have to come off the mast step so that the deck can get back to the original shape. Either lower the mast or leaving the mast up slacken the shrouds and take the weight of the mast on a wooden frame (like a bridge) under the boom close to the mast and onto the lower deck on spreaders of wood. Leak through windows and deck fittings are very common and take a lot of fixing. Do it systematically and you will eventually succeed.
Below is a picture of a more extensive repair
I am sure others will come in with additional advice.
Good luck
spearhead_027 Posted 5 years ago. Edited by spearhead_027 (member) 5 years ago
Rust around keel bolts - most unlikely to need anything other than cosmetic attention. If you want to get rid of the rust, you might like to try a tip that has come to me from Land-Rover Series One sources: Pour in a tin of molasses or black treacle, dilute with plain water to about 10% and leave to work. If you can get the temperature up to something over 20 degrees C, that will help (the tip came from Australia). After a couple of weeks or so, depending, little bubbles will be seen on the surface above the rusty bits, and this shows that it's working. When rust all gone, rinse out, dry as quickly as possible and paint with 5 coats Primocon or whatever takes your fancy.
Cabin roof - oooer! If you have a definite sag then the balsa will be damp and probably the ply in the supporting beam inside. I think these problems have been aired in these columns before (?Chille Pepper?), so try a search (look at the left column on this page, below the latest topics). Hope it isn't too bad..........
PS: I find that Norman's beaten me to it!
busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
No Chille . Goskar. Snowgoose. Merlin are all dry ..no ingress.. Blue had some work done professionaly .. (the only way to go. Gravity is the problem Ok if the boat is upside down)
I always drop the headlining on any achilles I buy and check this problem . Buying one with a saggy roof is like buying a classic car with a rusty chassis.
Heapmart 5 years ago
Thanks again for all the responses - the cabin roof from the inside looks absolutely as it should do - a nice undeviating curve upwards at the centre - the deviation which gave me concern was a slight dimple about 2-3" aft of the rear of the mast foot - as I'm going to be re-sealing all of the deck fittings I'll have a good look at the state of the balsa once these are removed. Thanks again all - feeling very supported here!

busy home [deleted] 5 years ago
Near that area is a ply insert , to screw the vent to .. maybe just a deformation..
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
I think you have some water ingress which has softened but not yet rotted the balsa core. There is quite a lot of pressure on this part of the deck from the mast foot. The centre of downwards pressure from the mast is slightly to the rear of the cross beam so giving a slight turning moment on the step and hence a tendency to dimple the deck if it can. I would drill into this part of the deck from underneath with a small hole to see how soft/hard the core is. If soft then carry out repair as I described above. If you are getting the mast down then I would be interested to see if the deck springs back. If not bringing the mast down then try taking the pressure off the step as I described above and see if the deck springs back. If it springs back then I think the core is soft.
Good luck.
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