Revised: 12 October 2016

9 metre sail logo

All the known Achilles 9 metres

This is an attempt to make sense of the scattered fleet of boats of the above design built by Chris J Butler at Gowerton (later in Swansea itself) between 1974 and ?1989.

Unfortunately Butlers did not mark the boats themselves with their build number (although each did have one for obvious reasons) and this has resulted in some confusion as to the exact identity and age of many of them. Factory records were lost in the later years following at least one fire, but fortunately two build lists were printed and distributed to the then owners in January 1976 and four years later, and these formed my starting point, going up to hull #061. Not all boats had names when they were built, especially those sold to agents abroad and "kit" boats and, indeed, it's not known for sure exactly how many there were. So it's highly unlikely that this list will ever be finalised!

To find your hull / build number:
Butler's never numbered their hulls on the gelcoat, but just put the build number, as a recognition number, on the mainsail (if they ordered it from the sailmaker). There does remain some hope of finding it, however - because the carpenters would usually write it on the back of each piece of plywood as they fitted it, you may yet find it accidentally somewhere (if not very clearly written). Since a proportion of the boats were sold as kits, the carpenters may not have fitted all the parts but, because of their size, they usually did the cabin ceiling panels, so thatís a good place to start.
The number you are looking for is 3 digits beginning with a "0"; there may be "9m" in front of that. Note there is always the leading zero. On my own boat it's written rather faintly in pencil so you could easily overlook it altogether. If your sail number has been changed to a more official-type racing number, has the original number been incorporated into it? The authorities in those days could be quite obliging in saving the number of new digits required for the sails, so long as they got an extra fiver for it! Examination of the list shows several instances.
What you get in this database:
The table of boats has been compiled using Microsoft Excel in earlier times and Apache Open Office more recently; the ".xls" format in which it's stored should be openable with most spreadsheet programs. If not, please let me know; contact info follows below. Most of the columns are self-explanatory but where some puzzlement might arise, here are some notes.
A yellow background indicates that the boat's currently believed to be For Sale.
Col C Date This is the date on which I found the most recent "report".
Col G Built The year in which the boat, hull or kit left the factory - if a kit, it might not have been launched for some years, and some later date may be claimed. Agents' dates unreliable.
Col H Keels An asterisk denotes something possibly non-standard - look in the notes on extreme right.
Col K Hull Problem to describe all the combinations! "\" denotes stern colour carried forward full length/height of strake; "|" stern colour not carried forward; "--" topsides divided horizontally.
Col N Kit (my guess from photo's) k = kit, n = yard-completed.
If you find errors or can add more details, please send them to:- ian@achillesyachts.co.uk