Yachting Monthly reviews the Halmatic 30
What’s she like to sail?
Tough, seaworthy, reassuring and easy to sail solo, the Halmatic 30 is also well balanced on the helm and powerful in a blow to boot. She’s no slouch either. But perhaps her strongest suit is her easy motion at sea. All heavy stowage is low down, along the centre-line – fresh water, batteries and fuel, as well as the engine – giving her a low centre of gravity and a commendable righting moment.
As you’d expect of a long-keeler, she has good directional stability and carries her way well. In light airs she tacked through 90°, but heels quickly. Julian reports that, once down to 25°, she rarely goes further, proof that the Halmatic is no lightweight hull that needs to be ‘sat out’ with crews used merely as shifting ballast.
She takes care of off-watch crew, too, with grabrails and posts in the places you are likely to hang onto in a seaway, yet not too much lurch room: if you do get thrown, you won’t have far to fall. And the nav station, while at first glance a makeshift affair, is in fact delightfully practical and proof you don’t need a whole load of space to navigate when a ‘thwart’ will do!
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
The benefit of a heavy-displacement hull that sits deep in the water, with moderate topsides and a long keel, is low windage. She’ll always lie to the tide and won’t ‘dance’ around her anchor or mooring in gusty conditions, as a flat-bottomed fin-keeler will. But the trade-off is less ‘form stability’ – which means she’s slightly more prone to rolling when swell starts hooking into an anchorage.
There is 5ft 8in headroom under the raised forehatch, otherwise a stooping 5ft 6in in the forward cabin. There are no aft cabins – sensible in my view, as cramming in berths to the detriment of cockpit stowage is the wrong priority in a small cruiser. That said, the saloon is a real joy with over 6ft of headroom in a bright, roomy living space and space for a full crew to lounge in comfort.
She sleeps six if you don’t mind close proximity to your shipmates, but for two she is comfortable and spacious. The galley works well in a seaway and it’s adequate in size, although worktop space is limited. The heads compartment is impressively roomy for a 30-footer.
Would she suit you and your crew?
The Halmatic 30 is a remarkably versatile yacht. Her rig delivers ample power in light airs, yet she’ll take stronger winds in her stride. She’s well-suited to a swinging mooring but her modest overall length won’t make marina berthing prohibitively expensive. While trickier to ‘park’ than a typical ‘fin-and-spade’ cruiser, she’s easier to drive in and out of tight spaces than many of her long-keeled brethren. Her 4½ft draught gives reasonable access to shoal waters and is not excessive for a mud berth. She’ll dry out happily alongside a quay and her external cast iron keel runs right aft, providing a shoe on which the bottom of the rudder sits.
The Halmatic is weatherly enough to tack efficiently down Channel on a summer cruise, but thanks to her sea-kindly hull and seamanlike interior, she’s also an excellent choice for long-distance voyaging, although her low form stability may give a rolly ride when running before the Trade Winds.
Boats of this type are designed to sail upwind with 20-25° of heel, which increases their waterline length to boost performance. But you won’t get on with her if you, or your crew, hate heeling.