Excalibur (Halmatic 30)

MMSI: 235102024
Call Sign: 2HAK6

Excalibur is my second boat within 2 1/2 years.

My first boat Moonpenny was a cheap little 28ft Salty Dog, intended as a place to live on, and to see if sailing was something I would enjoy.

2 1/2 years later and one Atlantic crossing under my belt I’m glad to say I’ve now got a proper boat ūüôā

Excalibur is a Halmatic 30. The Halmatic 30 is a long keel heavy displacement cruiser, a strong capable little boat I’ve read, and have been told so by a few people. Time will tell, but I certainly hope to put her through her paces. Excalibur has already been to¬†Venezuela and back, so I’m sure she’ll look after me.

My reasons for going for a boat such as the Halmatic 30 largely revolve around the type of sailing I wish to do. I like the style and design of older boats, and I’m less concerned with speed and more concerned with¬†having a strong tough little boat. One day it’s inevitable I will be faced with some¬†undesirable¬†sailing conditions, and when that time comes I want to be thankful for a nice thick hull, and a deep cockpit among other things. From what I have picked up, boats produced around the era of Excalibur were over compensated for in construction materials. With the aid of computer modelling I don’t doubt that the boat manufacturers of today are pushing the limits of boat design, and how much savings they can make in the manufacturing process. For this reason I’d much rather have a older boat which is cheaper, with a bit of character, and a well established reputation. I also wanted a small boat, as I want to keep the cost of sailing down as much as possible, and carry out as much work as can by myself.

After doing the ARC with Oliver on his Rival 32, I am more than happy to sail a small boat across the Atlantic (but 32ft is certainly by no means the smallest!). Yes there are challenges to over come with a small boat, but the ratio between the cost of cruising and the enjoyment of sailing is far higher than owning a larger boat, and not having the funds to be able to enjoy what you first set out to do.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Halmatic, there were about 200 Halmatic 30’s produced. The Halmatic 30 was designed by John Sharp, and later the designs were taken on by Barbican Yachts, so a Barbican 30 is basically a Halmatic with a better interior finish. The Nicholson 31 was produced after the Halmatic which caused a rift as Halmatic made moulds for Nicholson, and Nicholson basically started producing their own version of the Halmatic. From this point onwards I believe John Sharp then went his own way.


Tim Butler

1 Comment

  • Reply Josh May 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    I sailed Excalibur from Teceira, Azores to Portsmouth UK in around 2008 as a delivery skipper. I had never sailed a Halmatic before but knew enough to know it should be up to the task. I have done a lot of deliveries and many Atlantic passages and I can safely say that the weather was the worst I’ve ever experienced, between force 8 and force 10 or more for 5 days without any respite. There was just one crew with me and luckily a Monitor Windvane which probably saved our lives as it worked continously with the wind coming directly behind. Excalibur was unbeliveable, she handled the wind and huge swell, never rounding up and kept a straight course through the turmoil. What a boat, I will never forget her. Only damage was a broken gooseneck.

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