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John Alden Challenger GRP Yawl


John Alden Challenger yawl built by Halmatic Ltd of Portsmouth. Built in GRP in the early years of using the material but with classic elegant lines. Shallow draft hull with a centreboard enabling access to areas off limits to deeper boats. 6 berths including a double. Yanmar 39hp diesel. New standing rigging 2023, good condition sails. An elegant boat with a great reputation as a comfortable, fast and easily handled offshore cruising boat. Sensibly priced yacht that has been cruised regularly this last season.


Boat Details

Overall Length: 38'
Waterline: 27'
Beam: 11'
Draught: 4'/7'
Engine: Yanmar 39hp 3JH3E
Berths: 6
Sail: Bermudan Yawl
Designer: John G. Alden
Builder: Halmatic Ltd
Year Built: 1961
Location: Dorset

John Alden Challenger GRP Yawl

John Alden Challenger Yawl built by Halmatic Ltd, Portsmouth in 1961.

The Challenger Yawl was developed through a series of tank tests at the Stevens Institute model basin with the aim of producing a first class seagoing sailing yacht to be built in the new GRP material, but in basic design and finish she was to retain the ‘style of the accepted first class sailing yacht’.  At the time the design was launched in 1960 GRP was very much in its infancy and many were sceptical about the new material.  In order not to worry the market too much, the design of the early GRP boats was similar to their wooden counterparts which was the accepted norm.

Halmatic Ltd of Portsmouth produced these hulls which were finished with mahogany superstructure to keep the feel of a classic yacht, and fitted out below with varnished wooden joinery.

The result is a very elegant and sea kindly yacht, eminently capable but with her centreplate she has a draft of just 4’ with the plate up enabling access to areas most boats her size cannot go.  The split yawl rig is very easy to handle and with a relatively low aspect she does not get overpowered easily.

This yacht has recently had new standing rigging and has a low hours Yanmar 39hp diesel.  The interior could be tidied up in places and improvements made to some systems, but she is a yacht in regular use for family sailing.

Length on deck          38’

Length Waterline       27’

Beam                           11’

Draft                           4’/7’




Glass fibre hull with moulded GRP decks.

Moulded plywood structural bulkheads.

Encapsulated ballast keel.

Bronze centreplate with a manual winch for raising and lowering.

Scrubbed teak toe rails screwed to the outer deck edge.

Varnished mahogany coachroof coamings with chromed portlights.  GRP sheathed plywood coachroof deck.

Self draining cockpit with varnished mahogany coamings and scrubbed teak thwarts.  Access hatch in the cockpit sole to each the stern gland.

Wheel steering on a pedestal with cables to the quadrant.




Bermudan yawl rig on deck stepped painted alloy masts.

Stainless steel standing rigging new in 2023, to internal stainless steel chainplates.

Varnishes spruce roller reefing booms.

ProFurl roller furling headsail system.

Mainsail, mizzen and genoa in good condition.  Staysail and spinnaker plus spinnaker pole.

2 pairs of original Lewmar non-self tailing cockpit sheet winches

Single non-self tailing mast winch

Captive wire main halyard winch




Yanmar 3JH3E 39hp 3cyl diesel installed new in aproximately 2003.

600 hours running time.

Centreline Darglow feathering 3 blade propeller gives 6 knots cruising speed.

80 gallon GRP fuel tank integral with the hull.  Twin filters with changover switch

80 gallon stainless steel water tank under the cabin sole

3 x 12 volt batteries new in 2021.  Charged from the engine alternator with an Adverc regulator system.  Solar panel with a Victron 30amp charge regulator.




6 berths including 2 saloon pilot berths, 2 saloon settee berths and a double V-berth in the forecabin.

6’4” headroom in the saloon.

Steps down over the engine box from the companion hatch with the galley to port and chart desk to starboard.

Chart desk is half admiralty size and faces outboard with switch panel and instruments under the deck head.

Galley has an Eno gas stove with oven and grill.  Single stainless sink with manually pumped fresh water.  Good storage lockers and shelves.

Main saloon has a centreline dropleaf table with a settee berth either side and a pilot berth each side under the side decks.

Solid fuel cabin heater built into the joinery in the forward port corner.

Moving forward to a starboard side passageway leading forward with a hanging locker on the starboard side.

To port is the heads compartment with a Jabsco manual sea toilet that discharges directly overboard.  Porcelain hand basin with manually pumped fresh water.

Forecabin has 2 single V-berths with an infill to create a double berth.




Plastimo steering compass

Raymarine RC530 chart plotter at the helm

Raymarine RL70C chart plotter and radar at the chart desk


Garmin depth sounder

Garmin Log

B&G wind instrument

Raymarine autopilot

Clock and barometer


2 x life buoys

MOB rescue sling

Fog horn

Manual bilge pump

Auto electric bilge pump



Varnished cockpit table

Inflatable dinghy

2hp Suzuki outboard engine

Ensign and staff

Fresh water hose


Solar panel with Victron charge regulator

Adverc battery management system


500 watt inverter


Electric windlass

Danforth anchor with 50m of chain

Mooring warps



ProFurl roller furling headsail system






Varnished wooden spinnaker pole

2 pairs of original Lewmar non-self tailing cockpit sheet winches

Single non-self tailing mast winch

Captive wire main halyard winch


Bunk and berth cushions

Cockpit cushions

ENO 2 burner gas stove with oven and grill

Gas bottle

12 volt portable fridge box

Cabin paraffin lamps

Jabsco manual sea toilet

Solid fuel cabin heater





These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Classic Yacht Brokerage cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.