Super Snoopy 050 4:39pm, 31 March 2014
Picked up my new stainless headstock from Peter Richards earlier today (as advertised on the official Achilles website). The good news is that he has some ex stock if anyone wants one. Cracking job, we'll chuffed! Best number to get him on is 07964090639.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
Glad it worked out for you. I presume that his ex stock is the same as yours I.e. The later larger version?
Super Snoopy 050 5 years ago
Yes it is the same as mine. I didn't realise that Peter used to work for Chris making the Achilles yonks ago.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
Yes, it is amazing over the years where I bump into ex employees and what they are doing now.
Thetis2013 Posted 2 years ago. Edited by Thetis2013 (member) 2 years ago
This would appear to be an old thread re-visited...
I am confined to the marina at present as the tiller has detached itself from the rudder shaft!
Upon investigation, I found that there was a cast bracket that fits around the square shaft, retained by a split pin through the shaft. The tiller then bolts on at the back of this bracket, with the cap on the back end of the tiller fitting over the top of it all, and you're tightening up the bracket round the shaft as you tighten the tiller up, all on the same bolt.
...Well, that bracket is in bits! it is obviously just worn with age, but unless you can get hold of the right equipment to so smelting & casting, it would be impossible to fashion a replacement.
I presume it is also equally impossible to go & buy such a thing from a chandlers, as the bracket in question is a pretty bespoke item, unique to the A24.
Is this 'bracket' as I'm calling it, what is meant by headstock?
Any suggestions???
A264 Clytie 2 years ago
Any pictures please?
greyhoundturning18 2 years ago
I had two made for mine (Chille pepper and Goskar) after reading Will Garniers book.
as a precaution..
Soild stainless steel. not cheap... not for sale,,
Super Snoopy 050 2 years ago
Peter Richards has dropped off our radar for a while, but I note that he has a new (to me anyway) offering headstocks - the bit you want , as well as other things.

Website is
Thetis2013 2 years ago
Thanks, I'll get in touch & see what they offer. I imagine stainless won't be cheap though, (you ever tried to drill through the stuff?!) However it'll probably see both me & the rest of the boat out.
I'll get a few shots to post when I go to the boat tomorrow, but the cracked up bit in question is currently in the possession of one of my crew members who MIGHT be able to see someone who does casting.
NormanKlipspringer 2 years ago
Stainless is much better than cast alloy since it bends without cracking
Thetis2013 2 years ago
I've just re-visited the web page for Richards Marine & had a look at the "about us" page... scroll down to "gallery" and there it is! ...come to Daddy! this is most useful to loads of other A24 owners who are bound to either have or will have the very same problem!
Not something you can go & buy off the peg, but something every A24 owner needs, those cast alloy headstocks are, like mine, getting very old & cast alloy is about as useful as plasticine!

Thank you Super Snoopy :)
NormanKlipspringer Posted 2 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 2 years ago
If you read other discussions on this site you will find that I had to remove the reference to Peter on the main site since although his work was excellent he was difficult to get hold of and had to be chased to get results. I could not recommend. He has failed to deliver on promises.
Thetis2013 Posted 2 years ago. Edited by Thetis2013 (member) 2 years ago
Yes, I've noticed! I tried to contact by the phone number given on the web site... it's a dud! I have e mailed about 5 times now and had no reply.
It seems a strange way to do business to me, ignoring potential customers! Presumably they've gone out of business as a result?
You would think, if someone takes the trouble to communicate, you could at least do them the courtesy of replying, even if it's just to say you don't want their business.
Maybe I'm just brought up in an obsolete generation.

Now my crew & I are facing a bank holiday weekend, still stuck in the marina with no steering.
NormanKlipspringer Posted 2 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 2 years ago
If you look at the following discussion you can see there is another supplier of similar headstocks.
Mike Kelly of Bespoke Boats 01905 333232 or 07753884010.
You will also find this link on the main site at
Good luck.
Thetis2013 2 years ago
Thank you, Norman. I'll most certainly look into it. Whilst I was posting on here & chasing this no-hoper, one of my crew members had seen a local engineer who can do casting. He's taken the original to him (jigsawed back together & held in place with masking tape!) and this engineer chappie says he can knock a new one up! It won't be stainless though, he doesn't have the means to work with stainless, given what metal work he normally does. So we'll see what comes of that.
I will pursue the links you gave me as well though, and hopefully we can get ourselves a proper stainless one in due course.
Thetis2013 2 years ago
OK, Thetis is back under way on the high seas again! Well... the Solway Firth anyway! I managed to get a replacement part engineered by a little outfit in Cleator Moor, Cumbria. He took the original aluminium cast (in all its bits!) and fashioned a new one out of solid steel. It's only mild steel, so will need a good coat of zinc oxide (like Dad used to use in the 70's on his Cortina!) BUT, it's got us under way again.
I am hoping to hear from Mike Kelly imminently with regard to getting a stainless one.

Anyone with a similar experience might consider getting in touch with Phil Porter on
0775 981 9376 for a quick fix. It'll only be mild steel as he doesn't have the appropriate tooling for stainless, but it'll get you out of the mucky stuff!

Went straight to the boat & fitted it, there's still a little bit of play left to right, but none up & down like there was before. He also made a second hole in front of the bolt hole where the tiller is bolted on & tapped it out and fitted an Allen bolt so you can crank it up as tight as you dare before adding the tiller & cranking up that bolt as well. A bit of additional packing should sort that slight L-R play.
michaelernst1 2 years ago
Super Snoopy 050:

Hi Alan

Michael Ernst from Canada and previously Dolygaer Outdoor Education Centre.

I am not sure when we met as I was at the Centre from 1979 to 1994. Maybe you could remind me.

The rudder stock is of interest, mine is developing hairline cracks. Can you give me an email for the company in the U.K. ?

Many thanks,
Mike Ernst
A264 Clytie 2 years ago
What kind of price are we looking at for a quality stainless one? Might be an idea to get a batch made up?
Super Snoopy 050 2 years ago

I was there in the Eddie Roberts / Arthur Smith era from 1969 to 1983. Was Sailing Sec and Commodore at various times, you frequently raced the Centre's Toppers and I seem to recall you built a wood burning stove from sheets of steel plate.

The guy who fabricated my rudder stock has gone strangely silent and no-one can get hold of him. Norman's post just above gives details of some other suppliers.


NormanKlipspringer 2 years ago
If I remember correctly Peter Richards was charging £125 for the headstock and £125 for the bracket under the headstock (£200 for both), but as Alan says above heed my warning. He has let me and other down in the past. There are two different headstocks fitted to The Achilles 24. Look at my photostream and you will find both. They are NOT interchangeable since one is for a round rudder shaft (early) and the other for a square ended rudder shaft (latter). Given the cost and the different designs it is impracticable to have a batch made.
SHAMAL411 Posted 2 years ago. Edited by SHAMAL411 (member) 2 years ago
Our tiller headstock also developed a hairline crack and we were thinking
of getting a new one in stainless . However we showed it to a local marine engineer who thought grinding out and aluminium welding would suffice so thats what we had done (and so far so good ) .
However the main point of this posting is to let you know his other advice
which was to point out that the tiller head bolt had been tightened against the moulding sides and had probably caused the crack . What should happen
is that tightening the tiller bolt pushes the two bushes in the tiller bolt holes
inwards to engage the rudder headstock moulding so compressing it
against the rudder tube head .
We hadn't realised these bushes should move in their sockets as the bolt is tightened . Several small washers each side were necessary to allow the through bolt to engage the bushes not the tiller moulding when tightened .

So going stainless may not be the only way ahead - they're very pretty though !
NormanKlipspringer Posted 2 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 2 years ago
I had my headstock welded - didn't last long before more cracks developed. Not sure I understand the issue with the bushes.. To clarify - there are two types of headstock fitted to the A24 Klipspringer / Archimedes compared
The two are shown in the above photo. The top one is the later design. The bottom one is designed to be squeezed -there are 2 bolts one for the pivot and one to clamp. I assume that the comments about bushes refer to the top design. In mine there was one continuous bush so it could not be squeezed as you describe. The big advantage of the stainless version is that it can be squeezed and the metal will bend with no problems allowing a tight fit of the joint. Maybe I have misunderstood the explanation.
SHAMAL411 2 years ago
Hi Norman ,
To clarify Shamal has the later design (sail 411 ) with a bush each side and hence is
squeezable without putting pressure on the casting .
I'm sure a stainless fitting is the best bet but as we know they are hard to source .

Meanwhile I hope to get a couple more seasons out of our present tiller set-up and I have made a crude emergency tiller out of galvanized steel just in case it breaks .
NormanKlipspringer 2 years ago
Very wise to have a backup since when it fails it could go very quickly. There is another contact for stainless other than Peter Richards.
Are you planning on a trip down the Bristol Channel this year?
SHAMAL411 2 years ago
Yes sometime in August probably but as usual finding a span of reasonable weather
will be the deciding factor . Cardiff Swansea Saundersfoot is the plan .
NormanKlipspringer 2 years ago
Let us know when you are in Swansea and we may be able to meet up?
Galwaycub 2 years ago
I am restoring Achilles24 no 510 in Galway.
The tiller, headstock and casting ( Along with many other bits and pieces) were missing when I bought the boat as a project. I priced the new stainless steel replacements at in excess of £600, which although a nice piece of engineering is a large percentage of the boat price and there are many other areas that also need attention.
I am trying to source a cheaper alternative just to get the boat up and running. Might look at the SS replaces at a later date.
If anyone has the alloy originals, even if they are cracked or worn, and are willing to part with them for a reasonable price please let me know.
greyhoundturning18 2 years ago
Round or square?
Round is a piece of pipe
Square is a square tube.
10 mins with a mig and a bit of bar
job done..
Or a mate with a stainless fabrication work shop like mine,
Galwaycub 2 years ago
It's one of the later square ones.
I need to find someone with an original alloy set (and repairing if necessary) or
using a simple stainless replacement.
I can always make a tiller to suit.
PM if you have 10mins with some stainless and a MIG
Galwaycub 2 years ago
Anyone got a spare headstock (square fitting) for an Achilles24?
Thetis2013 2 years ago
OK, here's the update on headstocks, tiller bosses & capping pieces... Just taken delivery of a brand new stainless steel boss & cap from Mike Kelly. had to send him the original parts plus that mild steel boss as made by a local engineer here so he had a pattern to work with.

Absolutely excellent, first class piece of engineering. beautifully made from solid stainless (not plates welded together!), must've created a lot of swarf!!! When it was first pulled out of the packaging, I thought he'd chrome plated it, but it wasn't chromed of course, it was just the sheer quality of the finish. A VERY professionally made, top quality bit of kit, by a perfectionist. Not cheap, but worth every penny. It'll outlive the boat & certainly outlive its crew!

If this was E-Bay or an Amazon review, I'd say very positive feedback, 5 star rating.

One thing Mike did point out was these ancient cast aluminium original parts, apart from when they obviously start to break up, can also have hairline cracks from wear & age, which may look like nothing much, but could put you at sea with no steering!!!!! So it's worth checking yours out... yes you... that's right, your boat!

Mike can be contacted on 0775 388 4010.

I will post photos on the Flickr thing & if I can figure out how, on this thread so you can see the quality of craftsmanship I'm on about.
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