Sailing adventure on minimal outlay.

1970 Halcyon 27- £3500

The deal is done!! I’m allowing myself to be massively over excited about next years sailing in, what will now definitely be, a different boat. Having spent the Autumn months going to see potential replacements for dear old Macavity whenever I had a bit of spare time, I was getting the impression that people only sold their boats once they had become blatantly and desperately decrepit and unseaworthy. I know I was looking at the bottom end of the market (as always) but some of these things were only going to be a viable project for someone if they were free to a good home……and they were far from that. However as Winter closed in, the true bargain boats started to appear. Went to see a beautiful Wing 25 in Portsmouth that had been lovingly kept in showroom condition, a couple of tatty Invictas, another (very knackered) Wing in Kent, and finally a tired old Halcyon 27 in Poole. The two boats I made firm offers on were the good Wing 25 (as it needed nothing and was safe in a paid up marina berth until March) and the tired Halcyon 27.

I liked the nice wooden cockpit combings on the Halcyon.

I liked the nice wooden cockpit combings on the Halcyon.

The Wing was a lot more money than I had available so I’d have to borrow a fair bit from our mortgage account to make the change but I figured I wouldn’t have to do much to her for years and this would probably be a good thing (unless she sunk!!). The Halcyon was at a sensible price and I could pay it off completely over the course of the winter with a bit of luck and a few weekends sacrificed to working extra hours, but she would require some repair work and would have to be sailed home somehow. Anyhow, the decision was made for me. The owner of the Wing rejected my scandalous offer on his admittedly beautiful boat, while the owner of the Halcyon accepted my pathetic offer on his. The deal was sealed with a quick blast up to Poole with an envelope of cash and everyone was happy. In retrospect, the Halcyon was the best deal for me by far, as I have a slightly unconventional set of priorities when it comes to these things. I’m quite happy to sail her as a scruffy floating project for a few years while I sort out all the minor damage and little problems she has, as long as I know she is sound underneath and should always be worth a bit more than I’ve paid for her.

Quite a nice spacious interior with standing headroom and a new Plastimo gas hob/grill.

Quite a nice spacious interior with standing headroom and a new Plastimo gas hob/grill.

Her main problems are a rotten floor support and ply bulkhead beside the companionway, rain water ingress through bad cockpit locker lids and deck fittings in need of bedding in. On the plus side she has a very, very good set of sails, a quite recent twin cylinder Lombardini engine, her interior is 99% original and all the electrics are working and professionally installed. Also she was a fair bit closer to the Exe than the Wing and, as a bonus, I can use her over the Winter months in the perfectly sheltered waters of Poole harbour. Result.


Loads of gadgets! Still haven't located them all, but the ones I've found are in good working order.

Look at that switch panel! Loads of gadgets. Still haven’t located them all, but the ones I’ve found are in good working order.

Brought some bits of the original interior trim home to see how it responds to a coat of varnish.

Brought some of the tattiest bits of original interior trim home to see how it responds to a coat of varnish. I don’t think any of it has been touched since it was new.

There will be some fresh videos of her appearing on youtube as soon as I get a chance to make it up to Poole again in some decent weather. I’ve renamed her “Idris” and updated her details on the small ships register.


  1. Lovely blog and videos. Thanks for taking me on some proper armchair sailing. I have Dora, a 17ft Hurley with a triple keel and have been having some fun with her in the Solent.
    If you ever want a crew, then give me a shout and I’ll down harpsichord tools and scoot down to Exmouth! Perhaps I can give a hand with your delivery trip from Poole?
    Anyhow, keep the blogs coming, and best wishes,

    • Steve

      January 15, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Peter, thanks very much for the feedback. Really glad you’ve been enjoying the site. Am making good progress with all the pre delivery work on Idris and am hoping to make the trip back to Exeter a bit of a holiday in March with my other half, (should be some good film footage from this too I hope). I appreciate your offer of help though, very kind of you.

  2. Do I gather you purchased Eagles’ Wings? If that is the case, may you have many happy sailing trips in her – as I have over the years. First sailed on her when she was based on the Medway, and used to regularly take her up and down to the Blackwater. Lovely boat, I never felt worried at sea in her, handled beautifully. You’ve got yourself an amazing bargain. Enjoy!

    • Steve

      April 1, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Hi Andrew. Yes, she was “Eagles Wings” when I bought her. Was she your boat for a while then? I believe she was based on the Essex rivers as a sail training boat originally and clearly many people have had a wonderful time on her over the years judging by the positive comments I’ve been getting about her. I’m really very pleased to have found her as the Halcyon 27 has been my dream boat for a couple of years now. There’s a lot of work to do on her to bring her back to her former glory as she’s obviously suffered a heavy knock on her starboard side at some point. She is perfectly useable as she stands though, and I’ll adopt the same technique I did with Macavity to make gradual progress over a few winters. I sailed her back to the Exe around Portland Bill at the beginning of March in some pretty lumpy conditions and as you say, she handled beautifully. Any further history you have to share would be greatly appreciated.
      Thanks for getting in touch, Steve.

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