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Anyone know of a good Achilles 24 for sale....?

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farmer boy says:

Hi, I am new to this site (and sailing!). I have been looking for a small yacht to get me started and the A24 seems ideal from what I have read!

I am torn between spending more money and getting one that is ready to sail or going for a fixer upper! I think I am leaning towards one that is ready to sail!

Only additional criteria is that I really need one with a road trailer and preferably somewhere near (ish) to Warrington. (dream on!)

If you know of one for sail please let me know.

ps - anyone think its a poor choice for a relative beginner? I have sailed dinghies quite a lot and crewed to Portugal but thats it.

Thanks....
very useful site by the way......
12:54PM, 26 January 2011 PDT (permalink)

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blueachilles says:

If you've sailed dinghies, you'll take to the Achilles like a duck to water, because its a very responsive boat.

But it would be a good idea to do the RYA Day Skipper course because you'll need to know about navigation, tides etc.
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Welcome to the site.
There's one for sale on the Achilles yachts site
achillesyachts.co.uk/page67.html
Its in Lydney harbour, Gloucestershire, about 3 hrs away from you according to Google maps!
Good luck with hunt.
A24 was my first boat after wayfarer dinghy and I find her great to sail. She can be quite forgiving and very rewarding. This site has been a great asset in refurbishment and sailing advice as well as a source for parts etc.
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Hi, sorry I forgot to mention that I have done that.... very wet and very cold off the Welsh coast.... brrrrr...

ps - is it possible to contact members direct via email? I noticed that slycat777 is a new owner and I was hoping to ask for his views?

Thanks..
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Thanks pjbharrison - I will ring the owner tomorrow.
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

You can use flickr mail
(Envelope symbol at top right of webpage)

Norman, our site administrator has 2 A24s, he may be selling one this year!

He's in Burry port which is closer to you
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
pjbharrison edited this topic 103 months ago.

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Slycat777 says:

Too early for me to comment. Just got mine last Autumn and this coming summer will be my first season in her. Can report back around June!
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Many thanks - I shall try and contact him....
103 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

I am in Manchester and sail from Maryport if you fancy a sail in an A24
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Wow - yes please!!! I have a broken foot at the moment - stood on a four inch nail and it broke a bone - ouch! Should be fine in a week or so.
I have never even seen an A24 so its all a bit of a mystery to me so far. Any chance just to get near one and have a chat would be great. I am available just about anytime. Would be interested to hear about mooring costs, insurance etc.... Thanks again
John
103 months ago (permalink)

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Scott and Portia1386 says:

Portia was my first big boat after my Enterprise and Flying Fifteen I have had her for two years now we do some racing as well as the odd cruise I think she is a great boat fast but will look after you in a blow I reckon I would give up before Portia

There are a number of Achilles 24’s for sale up here on the west Coast of Scotland . We are about 4 hours up the road from Warrington
Danny (DAN @ CO).has the May up for sale at the moment she is at Gourock Its is also worth having a look at Apollo Duck There are two Achilles 24 located nearby one at Helensburgh and the other at Loch Lomond

Scott
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Many thanks - I have arranged to view the one in Helensburgh tomorrow (Friday)- although I am not sure what I will be looking for! It looks a bit tatty from the photographs but we shall see... I have read the information regarding things to watch out for but I guess it will be a bit of a lottery as I know very little about yachts. I guess a survey is a must? Anyone know of a surveyor on the west coast they would recommend?
103 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

I never bothered with a survey as at the price of an A24 it seems expensive and the insurance didn't insist. Look for any sign of deck delamination, colour change and spongyness, and signs of osmosis. Most don't seem to suffer from Osmosis, not sure if construction, lack of gel coat on bottom or what but most escape. Rudder slop and general condition, rusty stays not good sign. If on the hard look for any sign of leak from the hull to keel join.

cgi.ebay.co.uk/Achilles-24-MkII-Sailing-Yacht-Trailer-/32...
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
rothwell_neil edited this topic 103 months ago.

busy home [deleted] says:

Make sure the mast is in one piece!
If you have no mooring do you need a tripple or a fin?
Survey ...waste of cash,, Common sense needed!
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
busy home edited this topic 103 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

Good point, Ron. Check out area you will be mooring boat and see what moorings are available as this may determine the type of keel you need.
Survey cost me €250 but couldn't insure boat without it as boat is more than 20yrs old. Had the boat completely stripped before surveyor arrived so he could see everything. He made some useful suggestions regarding restoration and his reports findings gave me confidence in the condition of the boat. He made some nice comments about the standard of work being carried out on the boat in his report too :)
Having a good report should make the boat easier to sell on at a later stage (if ever) and may even increase it's value.
For me the report was essential but it's also nice to have, if expensive.
Make sure that an insurance company is willing to insure a boat for you on your chosen mooring site too. See if they need a report on a boat of it's age.
No insurance company in Ireland will take on any new policies for boats in Skerries but will renew existing policies.
Good luck
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Snow goose had an exellent recent survey but the deck still let go of the hull!!
Insurance ,, £89 third party ,, done in 10mins online ,,, print off yourself ,, £5000000 cover ! Basic Boat Liability ,,,
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
busy home edited this topic 103 months ago.

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rothwell_neil says:

I have had insurance with bluefin and also Nautical insurance, £150 full comp including tender and outboard insurance, total £6,500 and no survey needed for either no matter where kept. (probably except the Skerries).
103 months ago (permalink)

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Snow Goose Tim says:

shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?_nkw=achilles+yacht+&_cqr=true...

Hi there this one on ebay looks like it may be worth a look!!
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Cheap!
103 months ago (permalink)

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IanA24 says:

Hi, I am a member at Loch Lomond Sailing Club we have fleetof A24's that race weekly there are two for sale at the moment. I will be there Fri,Sat and Sun. Helensburgh is not far away
Cheers Ian.
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
IanA24 edited this topic 103 months ago.

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farmer boy says:

Wow - what a fabulous group... thankyou all so much! I have just got back from Scotland having bought an A24 from a nice chap .... Hope I have done the right thing - it looks a bit tatty but seemed sound enough to me... time will tell!

Couple of things I need to know before I pick it up on Sunday.......

1.How on earth do you take the mast down - its currently on a trailer and its a long way from the ground when stood on the deck. Do I need a crane or something?

2. The trailer is original (I think) and needs a few new bits such as wheel bearings and tyres.... does anyone know who manufactured the trailer and where to get spares?

3. I intend to try and get the trailer roadworthy and tow it back - failing that I will pay someone to transport it. How are they to tow.... I have a Landrover Discovery.

4. Do I need a formal ownership document like a car log book?


No doubt I shall have loads of work to do but I am looking forward to it! Thanks again for being so helpful. Just need to get the thing home now (keeping it at the house over the winter)

Thanks again

John
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Mast is easy ,, slacken bolt at foot ,, release foreward lowers
Take line from top of mast,, pull foreward from as high in front as poss
and DIRECTLY in front ,, do not allow mast to sway to one side ,,
Release for stay when slack The shrouds will help ... (slacken others)
Rember to remove boom... Have a pole handy to support mast when half way back down,,The mast is nt heavy I can carry one alone..
use a cushion to protect the hatch garage ,, undo bolt and you will find the mast wi llfit on the push and pulpit. Just.
Some will have documents some not.. Does not matter to much.
The are very light to tow no problem. 2600 lb.
Ask the nearest local garage about bearings etc...
Good luck
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Thanks... most encouraging - hope its as easy as it sounds!
103 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Where are you going to base the boat? Happy to come and have a look as I went through a fair upgrade to Emily so know many of the problems.
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
rothwell_neil edited this topic 103 months ago.

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farmer boy says:

Hi Neil, I am hoping to get it back home (maybe tomorrow) and put it in a big shed that I have. I would much appreciate it if you have the time to pop over and cast an eye over it. It does need a fair bit of work. I will let you know as soon as I have managed to get it here. Many thanks.
John
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Congratulations John.
I'm sure you will get great pleasure from working on and sailing your new boat. Don't forget to post some pictures on the site. Do you know her name and sail number?
Mast lowering, as Ron says, is easy enough. I can manage raising and lowering on my own when necessary but it's easier with two. Surely the seller will help and advise you with that.
You should be able to get bearings from a local motor factors. Bring in a set of the old bearings with you so they can measure them if the part number isn't visible, it should be stamped on the side of the bearing shell.
Good luck
Paul
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

I will take some pics asap... not a pretty sight at the moment though! The previous owner is a really nice chap but he has never lowered the mast so was unable to help. I am sure I can sort it all out. I just hope the trailer is sound enough for the journey - makes sense to fix it in situ rather than pay to have it all transported home and then fix it - we shall see! Just wondering if Flickr has an app for the iphone in case I need advice while in the wilds of Scotland!

Bit nervous about getting everything sorted! I think I will invest in some vehicle and trailer breakdown cover - just in case!
The Big Bloke Small Boat book arrived this morning so I will have a read and relax - cannot pick it up until monday now. If you see a news report of a yacht bouncing down the M6 from Scotland you will know it is me!
The name is Windsong and I think the sail number is 571 but I am not sure...
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

iphone flickr app

itunes.apple.com/us/app/flickr/id328407587?mt=8
103 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

I would check out the location of a bearing shop in the area before you set off, yellow pages are good for this and most bearing shops stock all the standard sizes. Let me know when you have it back and I will come over, not far from me. A friend of mine got his car and caravan towed all the way back from the far north of Scotland on the back of a flat bed courtesy of the AA, claims cover cost less than the fuel he saved! Should be pretty similar to Emily as Emily is No 541.
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
rothwell_neil edited this topic 103 months ago.

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farmer boy says:

I have a list of all the local motor factors and garages and the flickr app is installed. I have joined the AA - only £17 per month for the works - even £500 worth of repairs / parts if needed! and the boat trailer covered as well.... hope I dont need it!

Will contact you when (if?) I get it back with it. Are you in Manchester - I am 5 mins from Ikea near Warrington.

Is the sail number the production number - ie the later the sail the newer the boat?
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Yes shes a late boat. If she has a high bridge deck.
And not the wrong sail!
Have you got a bearing inner cage puller ,
If not a 7lb sledge and a 2lb hammer and a large cold chizel
I would jack up and listen carefully to them ..
But you dont want a wheel passing you and hitting the car in front..
Remember new grease,
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

no puller i'm afraid but I have loaded up a good selection of tools. grease, trolley jack etc... Just hoping the wheels and bearings are in better condition than they look! If not its over to the AA!

ref. transport - I have found a web site (shiply) that specialises in moving big stuff bought of ebay - they put the job up for auction - clever idea - I have had a quote for £300 ( for 250 miles) which sounds quite reasonable...
103 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

I used a really good specialist boat delivery guy called Nick Lancaster from Preston. Happy to pass on number if needed, he has trailers of all sizes and delivers across Europe. Don't think he has a crane so if you were to use him you would need to get a crane to lift off the old trailer onto one of his road trailers.

As to location I am in Sale so a good 14 minutes away from Ikea. Look forward to seeing the boat when you get it back. Should be fine as all down hill from Scotland, apart from the two 1,000 foot hills in Scotland and at Shap!
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

If it comes to it I will need to get someone with a low loader plus Hiab crane.... look forward to meeting you and picking your brains!
103 months ago (permalink)

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sailing bye1 says:

Why not use a car transporter, winch both trailer and boat on top. Not having a 24, don't know the height ?
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Hmmm... good thinking - boat and trailer are about 1.5 tons... would be a lot easier and cheaper...
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

it will fall over on the first corner ,, no ,no.
And the axles are the same width,
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
busy home edited this topic 103 months ago.

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farmer boy says:

PHEW!!!!!
Well, my first epic adventure with "Windsong" is over - thank God! My wife and I drove back up to Scotland yesterday and did the deal and parted with the cash... I was left with a pile of sails, rubber dinghy, engine and various assorted boating stuff - much of which is still a mystery to me - all dumped on the gravel next to a rusting hulk of a trailer and a very sad looking A24. Then is rained.... and rained..... and rained.... oh joy!
The seller had to get back to work and disappeared back to the Trident submarine base on the Clyde and my wife retired to the Landrover and started to ring everyone she new - I think it was due to nerves.

My woolly hat and coat was dug out and I ascended the ladder to survey the decks and remove the mast..... with the instructions from this site fresh in my mind I commenced to find a bit of rope to attach to the mast then forward to the bow roller and then back to a winch.. so far so good. A bit of tension on the rope and then release the forestay - down the ladder get some pliars - back up the ladder - forestay released, now the same for the wires at the side - down the ladder get a spanner, back up the ladder - so far so good.... Water is now dripping down my neck and wife has started to explore every feature of her mobile phone form the security of the Landrover... shall I get her to help? No I will be ok... started to release the winch slowly and the mast begins to descend quite gracefully... at first....
As it began to get closer to the horizontal things got more interesting - but not to worry, they said it was not heavy......
The mast now decided to wake from its slumbers and take control of its own destiny by wandering off towards a particularly nice yacht slumbering next door.. oh shit! I managed to wrestle with it and ended up lowering it carefully so that the gooseneck tried to punch its way through the sliding hatch thing... oh God - lift it up again and ruefully wonder why I am now stuck in the pouring rain, 20 feet up in the air with a mast on my shoulder and no idea what to do next.
Various options were available - call the coastguard on the radio? (no battery and cannot reach it anyway - do not even know how to turn it on) - probably easier to shout the missus... needless to say she was all steamed up in the car with the radio on still exploring the menus on her phone and texting most of the world.
So I shouted - quite calmly at first - after all this is a yacht marina, a symbol of middle class achievement and sophistication - best to try and maintain some dignity and decorum. No answer.... Call more loudly... no answer ...... Call even more loudly..... this mast is getting heavy, I wonder how much damage the gooseneck will do if I let it go...? oops bad idea - lift it up again and call again.
I was now bellowing like a castrated bull and cursing my wife to hell and back - and the rain now decided to pour down and the wind drove it horizontally into my face. So far... NOT so good.

What to do now? Ah ... call her on the mobile (bare in mind she is sat about 10 feet away). I began to search for my phone whilst balancing the mast on my shoulder. I was wearing those stupid walking trousers with a million pockets and eventually located it and gave her a call - bloody engaged! What seemed like ages went by but still engaged.. the mast was getting heavier every second and I was soaked to the skin. So back to basics and I started to REALLY shout. I hope this will be the only time I have to shout "help" from the deck of a boat.

Success! She lowers the window and peers out... did you call? she says.... My reply is unprintable. Of course, she point blank refuses to climb the wet rickety ladder resting on the pulpit and suggests I just let it go. After a lengthy and forceful explanation of the damage it will cause she tentatively clambered as far as the top of the ladder and screamed as it moved a little the swiftly descended like an out of control lift. Back to square one and the mast is now beginning to dig its way into my shoulder. I told her to move the ladder to the side of the boat and she eventually manged to clamber aboard with a look of total disbelief and abject fear on her face. I eventually encouraged her to wrestle a cushion from below (commenting on how horrid the interior was and what a poor choice of colours!) and place it under the mast by the gooseneck. Ahhhh relief.......

Time for a smoke and a coffee from the flask. I left her on the boat and clambered down the ladder. What was that smell? Shit... literally - she had managed to find the only piece of dog shit in the yard and firmly attach it to her shoes then spread it over the ladder and the decks. Not going well I mused.

Half a packet of wet wipes later I was back on board instructing her to support the mast on her shoulder while I removed the nut and bolt that held the foot of the mast. Back down the ladder for a spanner and back up the ladder. Found a bit more dog shit and grabbed it on my way up - past caring now. I had every intention of a careful and controlled removal of the bolt but ended up bashing it out with a hammer and screwdriver (another trip up and down the ladder) and still it rained. The bolt flew out, never to be seen again, and my wife went arse over tit spreadeagled over the stern lockers with the mast and a tangle of wire and slimy green string wrapped around her. She was not too pleased.
Time for a smoke... so far so good.
103 months ago (permalink)

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blueachilles says:

Welcome to the world of boat ownership!

Brilliant account! But don't worry, it can only get better.

We spent a very cold weekend in the boatyard, wrestling with bolts that are too tight, shackles that won't undo, bits that don't fit etc.

But as another boat owner remarked, the first sunny day on the water will make you forget all the nasty stuff.
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
blueachilles edited this topic 103 months ago.

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pjbharrison says:

Was having a bad day till I read this. Thanks for making me laugh!
Since you are posting on the site I assume you made it home safely with the boat. Well done
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Having tied up as many loose ends as I could and wrapping about a mile of gaffer tape around the mast most of the wire and rope seemed to be tamed. Time to practice my knots on the slimy green string and lash the mast to the deck... Jesus what a mess... wire and string everywhere but a good tug confirmed it was solid.... what next? Keep the boat light and move any heavy stuff into the car... up and down that bloody ladder a million times.. what is all this stuff? Tons of old fenders, ropes, buckets, brushes etc... getting tired now and still it rained.
It was now time to turn my attention to the trailer... a rusting hulk .... 30 years of salt water had taken its toll. I jacked it up and inspected the wheel bearings... hmmm. wheel is a bit wobbly... needs a turn on the wheel bearing nut.. remove the split pin and watch it gracefully arc across the gravel. 10 minutes spent searching for it. Mental note - be careful next time. The grease was an interesting colour and consistency but I pumped in some new stuff and was quite relieved that they seemed in good order. Which was more than I could say for the braking system! I managed to get one pair of wheels braking (sort of) but the other axle was beyond diy fixing. Now plug in the compressor and inflate the tyres - a blessing - they inflated and stayed inflated! The tyres were in a sorry state and needed to be replaced - wonder what time Quick fit closes? Time for a smoke and the last of the coffee from the flask. Wife is now an expert on Nokia phones.

Time to sort out the lighting board for the back of the boat. Of course there is nowhere to attach it so a veritable spiders web of bits of string and it was proudly situated on the stern. All the time my brain was telling me "do not, under any circumstances tow this boat" but I persevered with my preparations. What next - ah yes, the jockey wheel. Just need to release the clamp and .... oh dear it has snapped off in my hand....it was seized solid and I was in no mood to be beaten now. I found my trusty hack saw and commenced to remove the bloody thing. At least I was now warm.
Trolley jack lifts the towing hitch and it is attached to car - am I really going to do this? Now it was time to load all the paraphernalia into the back of the car. I eventually enlisted my wife to suck all the air out of the dinghy.. at least she was now warm as well! Needless to say it would not all fit so out came the hateful ladder and various bits and bobs where unceremoniously thrown into the "saloon" . Such a grand term for a damp dark smelly hovel. Lights are tested and all seems in order - time to engage low ratio and climb the gradient out of the yard. Bang bang clatter bang clatter... oh gloom..... The towing hitch was filled with more grease and we set off..... my heart was in my mouth and my imagination kept running through all the possible disasters that could befall us. Wife was silent. Mobile battery was flat.
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Now began what is now known in my family as the night of unending hell.

I managed to slowly tow what felt like the Titanic a few miles down the road and found Kwikfit. Phew - they are still open... it was 5.30 pm.... I abandoned the vehicle with Titanic still tentatively attached to its rear and strode manfully inside (I have a limp due to standing on a nail recently but I am convinced they thought I had just crossed the Atlantic and had that seafarers gait)
" Can you fit four 195 / 14 tyres to my yacht trailer please?" I asked. A quick prayer to whoever is the saint of us seafaring types was said to encourage a positive response..... alas all that followed was a great deal of tutting and sucking of teeth. "We have no been asked for those for years laddie. Och 20 years ago we sold loads of them. But I'll do a wee check for you..." I was deflated. I was beaten. I did not have the balls to head South 250 miles down the M6 with these tyres on. Bed and breakfast, local hotel, ring the AA, hope someone steals it, set fire to it all rushed through my frazzled mind in an instant. Wife refuses to leave the car. She looks ill. Still it rained.
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

The night of unending hell continues......

I paced up and down the greasy Kwikfit office whilst the little Scotsman tapped on his screen to check his stock..... I was dejected and went to get my cigs from the car. My wife refused to acknowledge my existence and appeared to be in a state of mild shock. I was unsure if the cause was the journey so far or the fact that her phone battery was flat. I returned to the greasy office and was greeted by a broad Scots grin and the news that they had 4 tyres that would fit! If my foot was not hurting so much I would have danced for joy. The only problem was that I was 4th in the queue and would have to wait my turn... wonder what time they shut?
I wandered about aimlessly for an hour worrying myself sick about all the things that could go wrong. Will they get the wheels nuts off? What if they shear? How will I get the car and trailer near enough to the fitting bay? 10 cigs, a bottle of pop and a bar of chocolate later a gap appeared outside the fitting bay and I reversed as close as I could. It was my turn. Phew..... So far so good.... still it rained.....

Trailer was jacked up and wheels removed with various comments from passing pedestrians... never seen a tyre changed on a boat before, if it keeps raining you wont need a trailer, I would not tow that thing far if I was you... I had to just smile and agree.

The nice chap in Kwickfit could not believe how old the tyres were - he found a date code of 1979 and proceeded to show it to the rest of the staff who began to take pity on me and help out by cable tieing a few bits that had worked loose on the trailer and offering sympathy. All the tyres had inner-tubes which were replaced with second hand ones that were lying about the place and eventually all new tyres were proudly on their rusty wheels and firmly attached to the trailer. I paid and thanked them all as they lined up to wave me off and wish me a safe journey with instructions to take it slow! It was now 8.00 pm as I strapped myself in and hesitated as I grasped the key. A sideways glance at my wife confirmed that she had lost the will to live and was resigned to her fate. Sod it. Lets go. I was relieved that the traffic through Glasgow was light as the Titanic banged a clattered its way behind me at an embarrassingly slow pace as I crept through Glasgow hoping to be unnoticed. Fat chance.... and still it rained.
103 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Looking forward to the next instalment, still think it might have been easier to sail it home! M74 and then M6 in the rain with a silent wife, I can see it now!
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Well, we eventually found ourselves south of Glasgow as I headed further south into some foul weather. Everything passed us - I mean everything! At one time, due to the spray from lorries that thundered past I was down to 30 mph on the motorway. Luckily it was empty. I have never seen a motorway so empty. I was as if someone was clearing the way for us to make our way home. The trailer, with Titanic nervously perched on it, seemed to quieten down as we trundled along and progress was being made, if slowly. Then came the downhill bit..... what a nightmare. The trailer lurched and banged about as if it was possessed and was trying to free itself from us. The silence in the car was tangible.
We got through it and I stopped at the services for a nervous pee and to check the trailer. All seemed ok... but had the yacht moved..? I thought it was a bit further back than it was when I started? I decided to get out another pair of my new, bright orange, 2 ton straps from Halfords and lash the damn thing on so tight it could not breath. After finding the torch and a knife (packaging these days!) I was ready. Just need the ladder.... shit... ladder is back at the marina. I wonder if my wife could give me a leg up.... but she was striding towards the services without a rearward glance. I tried to throw it through the safety wire things but the wind beat me every time a blew it off course. so I clambered up a bit of rusty steel framework at the front and managed to get a strap across the bows and tightened it within an inch of its life. Surprisingly my wife returned to her throne in the passenger seat and stated that if we ever get this heap of junk home she will never go within a mile of it. I fired up the Landrover and set off. More silence. More rain. More clattering.
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Two hours on a southerly heading and only four more to go. I watched as the satnav slowly tracked our progress and the miles ever so slowly reduced. We sat illuminated by the dashboard lights in silence like a couple on there way to a good friends funeral and waited for the next lorry to thunder past and rock us back to life. It was torture.
Oh God - Police car! It pulled in in front of us and my mouth went dry. I was furiously thinking of excuses - wife made me do it, mid life crisis, give a false name, when they pulled off into the services. Such relief. The concentration was intense. I found a "sweet spot" at exactly 38 mph which enabled us to proceed in relative peace but I was dreading the next downhill gradient. Eventually I began to relax a little and managed to summon the spare capacity to turn on the radio just as we started the clinb up Shap on the M6. Going uphill was a breeze but I new that eventually I would reach the top and had to face my demons again... believe it or not it was still raining and we entered fog for good measure. I thought I had better check the wife's pulse - she had been quiet for a long time.
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

The summit of shap appeared through the fog and I braced for the wild donkey ride that was to follow. I maintained the "sweet" 38mph and .... nothing.... it just glided down the hill with my foot off the accelerator with no drama. Maybe we were going to make it after all. Another police car sped passed - too busy to bother us so we just kept going as the miles and hours passed. I was only getting about 20 miles to the cigarette by this stage but my confidence was growing as the satnav indicated less than 100 miles to home. Midnight was well gone and we had a couple of hours yet to do so just concentrated on the speed and fought the embarrassment as yet another police car whizzed past... thank God it was dark!

After what felt like an eternity the turn for the M62 appeared and we only had 10 miles to go. We were going to make it... we left the M62 at Ikea (warrington) and slowly made our way on the last leg - all went well until we came across speed bumps! Groan!! I thought the back of the car was going to be torn off but we survived and pulled into the yard and switched the engine off and sat in silence. We went straight to bed and I slept like a log.... success!
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

You have probably gathered from my ramblings that this experience has tipped me over the edge.
"Windsong" is parked up in the yard (still attached to the car!) My son groaned when he saw it and my daughter laughed. I see an ocean going pocket cruiser with fine lines and a finer pedigree. Everyone else sees a load of junk!
I have not seen my wife today - I suspect she has left me to join a religious order in Tibet.

ps anyone want to buy a nice A24 on a solid trailer? (only joking) (I think!)
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Entertaining account of your trip!
Got some photos yet?
Tell the wife she's about to become a sailing widow... that'll cheer her up
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Love it... Brilliant writing ,,, Ive read worse books,,,
Told you to mind the garage and carry a pole,
My sympathys to your better half,
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

thanks... still recovering - just need to fix it up now! Can you recommend any good books on yacht care / maintenance?
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

I will think hard ,,, watch this space,!!
Have you looked back on my pics /... Click on 324 icon
Or e mail me greyhoundturning@yahoo.com
103 months ago (permalink)

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blueachilles says:

All we need now are some photos!

As for books on yacht care, the combined wisdom of this group will be a great source of advice and encouragement.
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

I'm sure any work needed on your boat has been completed already by members of this group. If photos of project aren't in the photostream, just ask. I find this group invaluable for it's advice on repairs,upgrades, part finding etc.
Some of the group are engineers or tradesmen and can offer professional advice..and it's free!
103 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

You around Thursday/Friday whilst the sun is still up? Sounds like might be best when your wife is out!
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Friday pm would be good - say about 3.00? Look forward to meeting you... will send you directions etc...
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
farmer boy edited this topic 99 months ago.

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farmer boy says:

Neil - cannot find your email address anywhere..... don't want to put all details on the internet...
103 months ago (permalink)

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Mike A1 says:

Wow - what a trip! The bad memories will fade away by the time you get her out on the water, and you'll have that big grin that most Achilles owners seem to have when sailing.

Best thing to do to get started in my opinion is to take everything out and give the boat a good clean. She will be a lot nicer to look at, and it will be easier to see what needs to be done. The later models all seem fairly similar but if it helps Amare is 561 so was probably made about the same time.

Nice name by the way.

I look forward to the pictures.

Mike
103 months ago (permalink)

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Mike A1 says:

P.S. I knew that name was familiar:

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3206472...
103 months ago (permalink)

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songeur2010 says:

In spite of the trouble gone to get her she looks good especially with all the kit, outboard and tender. Great stuff and good luck.
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

Cirdan windsong amble glasgow have i missed something?
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

"Cirdan windsong amble glasgow have i missed something?"

is this code for something?
103 months ago (permalink)

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songeur2010 says:

Two different boats by the looks, good time to buy an A24!
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

A I mike link to Cirdan at amble ...
Farmers boy new boat Windsong, in scotland...
not the same boat ,,
103 months ago (permalink)

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jendave1 says:

Very entertaining account, has lifted my morning and put my own struggles in perspective! As everyone else has said, when you get on the water the difficulties quickly fade.
With your sardonic style I'm looking forward to sailing accounts - how many nautical miles per smoke do you think she'll do?
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

I have just got her settled in the shed and emptied everything out. Jesus what a load of stuff! It is such a relief to have her home and still in one piece. Niel Rotheram is popping over on Friday to give her the once over! I dont think she is too bad really - the survey from 2009 was very good - (apart from something about her being dangerous and uninsurable.....) she just needs a tidy up and a bit of money spending on her (fingers crossed!)....

My main priority now is to find away of keeping my cigs dry and buying a windproof lighter! I guess I will be looking at about 2 cigs per mile increasing in direct proportion to wind strength!

I have discovered that the most valuable attribute of us nautical types is a sense of humour.

Just hatching my plan to sail around the world... seems quite feasible when she is in the shed..... maybe start with a circumnavigation of Lake Windermere and work my way up!

Jesus - what have I done?
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Mind if I ask how much you paid for Windsong?
Just between us!!
103 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

A marrage?
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

£2250... seemed reasonable to me.... as long as it does not sink!
103 months ago (permalink)

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songeur2010 says:

Geez, don't you sleep or has your bio clock been altered by the expedition, it's 20 past 2 in the afternoon in NZ so must be a bit dark in the UK.
103 months ago (permalink)

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jendave1 says:

Farmer - this year I'm going to dig out the old pipe for sailing.
Cigs get wet and in the wind don't last!
I also have a somewhat romantic notion of myself as Joseph Conrad's Marlow, puffing on the pipe and looking sort of hoary and salty. People will say "he must know what he's doing, he's smoking a pipe"!
Hope it doesn't go the way of my sunglasses and Davy Jones ends up smoking it.
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Songeur in New Zealand! Just making sense of it all.... someone sailed it to New Zealand and it is still there.... I dare not go to bed - I get nightmares about dragging an old yacht behind me on rusty chains.....
Isn't the internet amazing!
103 months ago (permalink)

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Amrum 9171Y says:

Brilliant!! I've just read through the epic voyage from Scotland, and was laughing out loud! What a trip! Then I got my wife to read it. She said you can tell your's is not experienced in matters sailing, as she actually came with you to pick up the boat. Mine swore years ago never to come near a boat with me again let alone sail with me (actually about 40 years ago before we were engaged when I took her out in my 505, and she actually trapezed. Engagement put an end to all such activities - I should have realised....), and 4 years ago repeated the oath after a force 7 on the way back to Largs after a quiet week around Arran and Tarbert in a charter boat. Then 2 years ago she agreed to come in the Achilles down to Cardiff for the BCYA rally.... as long as I promised it wouldn't be windy. Of course, like a fool I promised it would be sunny, warm, and a light breeze, no more than a gentle force 2 to 3. The trip went well for the first 90 minutes to Portishead, and then, once we were past, and due to the tide it was then no good trying to turn back, up came a force 5 on the nose, wind against tide. Needless to say my wife will never sail with me again, ever. We passed the weekend in Cardiff at the rally in pouring rain and near total silence, and I sailed home alone. (To be fair to her it was a little rough, and 3 other wives went home by road as well!).
Farmer boy - welcome to the Achilles fraternity! With a few glorious exceptions, I'm afraid it is only a fraternity - not many 'sisters' can take it, and it sounds like your wife will be one of those who will let you enjoy yourself alone. And you will. She sounds a good boat, and they do come up well without too much work, and once she's in the water you'll understand what it's all about.
103 months ago (permalink)

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IanA24 says:

What a story, hilarious it always is when its someone else's experience you certainly have a talent for writing look forward to seeing your progress in renovating your boat.
103 months ago (permalink)

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farmer boy says:

Many thanks for your kind comments and advice..... I have a growing feeling of being totally and completely hooked! Wife is looking very nervous - I have a barn I need to renovate and convert to a house but Windsong is getting closer to the top of the list of jobs!

I have a de-humidifier banging away inside, sucking every last molecule of water out ready for battle to commence! Hope is doesn't shrink!

Oh..... and I am searching for a local chiropractor to sort out my back after spending hours bent double in the cabin! I have put an advert in "Midgets Monthly" for suitably sized crew - no replies as yet.

I had better go and tidy up a bit - Neil is coming over this afternoon to give her the once over. Yacht that is - not the wife...
Originally posted 103 months ago. (permalink)
farmer boy edited this topic 103 months ago.

busy home [deleted] says:

If you like farmers writing .. dont we all ? Read The Art of Coarse Sailing
Micheal Green on the broads ....... good laugh ..
103 months ago (permalink)

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pjbharrison says:

Hi Ron, Just finished that book 2 nights ago.
Enjoyed it too
103 months ago (permalink)

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