Sailing the Atlantic, Cruising the Caribbean - Avalon of Arne

About Avalon of Arne and the Excalibur 36

Hauling Out in Trinidad

Avalon of Arne is an Excalibur 36. The Excalibur was designed in around 1961 by the well-know Dutch designer E G Van der Stadt. Avalon was built in 1967, and was originally named Guinevere of England. Most of the Excaliburs have Arthurian Names. The design was originally intended for offshore racing, and Excaliburs were raced successfully for several years during the 1960s. Some still are today. The Excalibur has a long fin keel with encapsulated lead ballast, and an unsupported spade rudder. The latter gives the Excalibur excellent manoevrability, but is arguably a weak point from the point of view of long distance cruising. By modern standards the Excalibur is constructed of enormously thick, hand-laminated fibreglass. To my knowledge, no Excalibur has suffered from osmosis other than in the rudder moulding.

Approximate "vital statistics" for the Excalibur are as follows:

The Excaliburs were originally fitted with Fare Gota 2-stroke Petrol Engines, but most if not all have been re-engined with diesels - Perkins, Bukh, Yanmar, Watermota etc. The standard fuel tank is very small, holding about 8 imperial gallons.

The rig is masthead sloop on Sparlight gold anodised alloy spars. Avalon was equipped with two massive spinnaker poles for twin-pole gybes. Round the boom roller reefing was fitted as standard, but most owners have converted to slab reefing, and many now have roller genoas. As far as I know Avalon is the only one with in-mast reefing. Masts are deck stepped. Standing rigging is robust and straightforward with single spreaders, fore and aft lowers, capshrouds and a single backstay.

Avalon's interior layout is fairly standards for boats of that time. Most other Excaliburs are similar, but a couple are radically different. Avalon's layout is shown in the diagram below. There are 5 berths, 2 saloon, 2 foc'sle and one starboard quarter. All the berths are at least 6'4" long, and there is standing headroom in the saloon even for tall people like myself. The 60-gallon water metal water tank is located in the upper part of the keel.

A number of Excaliburs have made ocean crossings, and at least one (Sherpa Bill) has done a circumnavigation.