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  #1  
Old 04-25-2014
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Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

I'm a pretty new guy around here, and whatnot, but I've also been bitten by the bug so to speak, and have been slowly working on my 1970 Islander Excalibur (see sig for site with the full scoop).

She needed some help when I got her, the floor had been pulled up by the previous owner to reinforce a support, according to a previous craigslist ad that came to light recently. A few other interior bits were pulled out, and she definitely needed help. I've tried to get up there almost every weekend over the last few months, and I'm definitely learning as I go (I had never touched fiberglass until now, for example).
  • I've removed the fixed head and plumbing, and have removed and glassed over the original thru-hulls from that. Also glassed over a old depth transducer to which I had no display (I have a new in-hull for my plotter).
  • I've added a hinged mast step, to aid in traversing the NY State canal system over the next couple years. Not often, but it'll save the trouble.
  • Replaced the remaining two thru-hull and seacocks for the sink and cockpit drains, new hoses.
  • Removed, and cleaned chainplates, and rebedded with butyl tape.
  • Working on rebedding stanchions as well, plus adding aluminum plate backing plates to all.
  • Replaced interior cabin lights with LED, as well as purchased LED Anchor light (They were easy to replace, so that's why they got done early).
  • Added new bilge pump, hose, and discharge out the transom.

I also need to securely mount my new GC2s in place, I have a couple ideas for the interim. Wiring should be fine, just have to get it done. And I have a solar panel to mount and wire also. Bow lights need to be figured out. Cabin lights work, mast is down and not hooked up so I can't test that one yet (I have new thru-deck connectors I haven't hooked up yet for that, and the new VHF radio and antenna). Little things that I hope to finish off this weekend.

Sadly, that's the "main" things that have happened so far. Time is not on my side, you see. I have a slip in Alan H Treman park in Ithaca waiting for me, and the locks normally open May 1st. I still have to finish up the glasswork on the hull (I want to go over it again to be safe, being my first boat and my first foray into glass), and then paint the bottom before I have her put in the water, so that next weekend, I can get her from her place in Geneva at the top of Seneca lake, through the canal, and down to Ithaca at the bottom of Cayuga. Worst case, I motor the whole way. But I'm HOPING that the mast raise goes smoothly, and with new halyards I need to still purchase, that she may sail along just fine to her new home.

Once in slip, there's plenty more. But my plan is to get her floating, and at least somewhat stable, and continue the remaining works to be done as I go. For example, I need to finish the floor. There's sealed ply there now to hold over, but I want to glass over the entire thing, once I've mounted the new bilge pump securely. But that work can wait until she's floating. I have a couple spots on the deck that I will likely need to open up and re-core. Nothing I'm going to fall through any time soon, but needs to be done. I haven't finished all the backing plates yet, so they will be done as soon as I can after being underway. It was kind of a triage situation, sort of. The one stanchion that showed leakage, that one got pulled up, resealed, rebedded and I have washers on there temporarily for now.

I also haven't mounted the new chartplotter just yet. I have ideas, but at the same time, I'm also waiting to make sure she floats before I put all the gadgets inside.

Hopefully my strategy of knocking out the major points I have first, and doing the rest over time is a sound idea. Wish I had a better picture of her, but she's in desperate need of the new paint, and a wash. That'll happen in the water though. I'm sure I'll be scrubbing the sides as I float down the lake. But my progress is here if anyone feels like watching an amateur stumble his way through things. The hard part, is doing things in steps, priority-based, and slowly. Not rich by any means, but I will do everything myself to save on labor, and if she's floating, that's half the battle, right? So many things I wish I could do all at once, just not feasible. Probably many others have been in the same boat, no pun intended.

And if anyone has any thoughts (Or knows a place that does custom forming of aluminum - looking for a couple replacement chocks that seem to be hard to find)... Also, I want to put a big thanks to Todd Lipps for his assistance, research and knowledge. His blog was the largest influence I had on actually deciding upon this project.

To the helm!
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

Just for my own tracking:



She's a bit dirty still, and I haven't yet repainted the stripe yet, but we're getting there!

Going to go pay off the boatyard tomorrow for past fees that the previous owner bailed on (long story, not the appropriate place for that here), and see about getting her in. Was fighting tooth and nail to get it in before the canals open on Saturday, got them to agree to get her in by Saturday......and the NYS Canal system has delayed opening until at least Monday. (I have to take her through the canal to Cayuga and down, so with them not open...was NOT expecting that twist). So it looks like I'll be having them wait a week, put it in for NEXT weekend, and then get her to her slip in the state park. Part of me wants to have her put in this week anyway and take her for a spin this weekend, but I have no temporary home for her, and would rather not have her sitting idle with no supervision initially. So, next weekend seems to be the opener for me.
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Old 05-09-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

Well, after a few long mornings, trying to get things settled for the end, she was on her way to the water. I realized yesterday morning, I never closed the seacock for the cockpit drains (which weren't clamped down yet), so I had to go up and do that, just in case they were ready to put her in yesterday. And then this morning, had to go up to try to get the rudder mounted, to avoid having to do it in the nice warm water... Sadly, I wasn't able to watch it touch water, as I was running VERY short on time, and had to start home to get to work. The boat yard is 2 1/2 hours from home, and I had another 45 mins on that to get to work. So, up at 7, to the boat by 9:30, get an hour and a half in, then back home and to work til 11pm... two days in a row lol.

Tonight, shopping for supplies, because bright and early, I'm heading up with my brother, my dad, and my son, to hop on board, motor through the canal to Cayuga lake, hoist the mast, and sail to Ithaca (or motor if we have to, but we're prefer to sail!).

This is the first time in a few years it's been in water, and the first for me. Totally stoked, even with a lot more work ahead. Assuming she's still floating, it'll be a great trip!
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Old 05-15-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

hey just saw this man! the islander threads are a bit slow but all the best wishes on the project...

congrats again on the boat!

christian
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Old 05-16-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

Thanks for the wishes! Can't believe I didn't update this after the weekend. I did on my site, but I should here too!

I'll give the abridged version, but if anyone wants the full(er) story:

A breath of fresh air

But anyway:

We met my Dad and brother in Ithaca around 7:30 AM on Saturday morning, spent a few minutes getting stuff loaded into my van,
and headed up to Stivers to where the boat would be waiting. I had butterflies the entire 45 minute drive, still unsure how I
would be greeted. We pulled up to the side of the road, and after a quick look around, found her sitting alongside the dock, still afloat.
Backed the van down by the dock, and started to load things up. My brother provided a little suspense by going
"Hey, the bilge pump is running non-stop". Gave me a heart attack. But it was just that the temporary mounting slipped and it was JUST
into a few inches that had been in the bottom were enough to trip the sensor on. Go figure.
But it was finally happening. The first time in a few years that she had seen water, and the first time for myself, and my very first boat:



We loaded up, and hit the canal to get to Cayuga. Made great time through the canal, and Jordan got to learn firsthand how locks work.
He thought they were really cool to see. I remember when I was young, school trips used to go to the Erie Canal and experience
it all. Sadly, they don't any more. Great piece of history that kids in my area are missing out on the experience now.



We hit Cayuga, motored out of the shallows under the RR bridge, down through the safe passage, and anchored long enough to step the mast up.
Shortly after, was the moment of truth. Would she sail, and if so, how well? There was enough wind that we started with just a reefed main up.



I was on the tiller, my brother on the starboard and my Dad to port. It didn't take too long before we got daring enough to raise all,
and I went down for a jib. Lucky me, the bag was labeled... Not so lucky, it wasn't until we had her all the way out,
that it was labeled WRONG, and I had just hoisted a 150 Genoa. But, it all worked out, and we were averaging over 6 1/2 knots most of
the trip Saturday, with a peak of about 7.8 at one point, not really pushing hard either. Was great!

Anchored halfway down the lake overnight, got up to a nice smooth lake and bright sun, but a small breeze was enough to get us moving along
at 5 knots as we continued. My brother even got us playing pole-less Wing to Wing for a spell until the wind spun on us.



Stopped at Taughannock park for lunch, where the wind started dying out, so we motored the last few miles down to the slip,
where I cleaned up a little on the deck with some very mild bleach solution and sponges, and she's been waiting since!
Heading back over Sunday to take her out for the day, and do some more cleaning. But man oh man, what a great trip, and great guys weekend!



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Old 05-16-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

man nice sails! they look really new!

the last pic

man does it bring the memories back

btw look at how beaitiful she looks compared to that craptastic mcgregor in the background

keep posting!
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Old 05-16-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

oh btw I forgot, our excaliburs were famous for squatting the stern...you can see it a bit by the lines on the water on the last pic

if you can and although not common try to get as much weight off the stern for all sailing angles but ddw...youll need it then


but for normal cruising around and such you can put you gear and all near the vberth or even in the head and closet...anywhere but in the stern and it will improve performance a bit

cheers
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

Yeah, doesn't help that the two batteries are under the cockpit. But we also ended up with the anchor and everything under there too, which will get moved up under the V-Birth Sunday. I know I've got a few other things aft of the center as well, which will get moved around slightly too.

And believe it or not, there's ANOTHER of those Macs on the flip side. If I had turned around and taken another picture, it's like a half dozen slips down that way. Go figure lol. Normally a power boat next to mine, luckily wasn't there that day Got better pictures floating without the obstruction.

If the weather's too bad Sunday, then it'll be clean up the inside some more day. We'll see
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Old 06-04-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

Following up in the month since she's been on the lake:

No leaking! Well, not entirely, but nothing major. I still have a leak around one of the stanchions, so that's on the near future to-do list, but that's only a couple drops here and there so no danger of flooding. But I've finally gotten confident enough in the hull repairs to not think of it any more.

Have definitely learned some lessons, and new ideas for things.

First, solo sailing this thing, is plenty doable. But man, every time I watch videos of other boats, not even newer ones, but just...better rigged, I guess, it makes me wonder what I'm leaving on the table.

For instance, this is set up as basic as can be. Single winch on each side, with a sliding block next to each for a slight better headsail angle I suppose, though I haven't toyed with them long enough to figure out. But it also means I have no real traveler, it's just the mainsheet on a slide. And that sure makes for some interesting trimming times. So a "true" traveler is on the list.

I also have no furler, so it's hank-on headsails for me. I have a standard 100, a 150 Genny, and my brother brought the storm sail off the Hurley to toss in just for kicks (TINY, that thing is!). I've been sailing with the 150 other than a few minutes a couple weeks ago, though there was very light wind so I went back to it that day. It also means that under any decent wind, it's very difficult to adjust the headsail while underway. I had a few extra degrees under me last weekend when I was out, just because there was... well, it was gusty, which took me over a tad, and I couldn't drop the head out. And without a traveler, I was limited in what I could do with the main. I let the sheet out, but it gets to a point where I start losing the air off the main, and it's just ineffective. So I'm thinking it would just be a lot easier with a furler instead where I could, at the very least, try to reel in some under windier days.

I also have no cockpit lines. Obviously something I could remedy with some hardware, especially with the mast hinge being block-ready. Granted, my lines would consist, as of now, of the following: Main halyard, Jib Halyard. That's it... I don't have anything else to adjust lol. So would it really be worth it? I'm not THAT intent on maximizing every single ounce of airspeed to where I'm constantly adjusting those under way, more of a tighten up and cleat em day. I think it might be nice, but I don't consider that a must-have on this boat just yet.

I did shift the anchor into the V-birth, and moved some other things around, so I think the stern is a LITTLE better off now that it was. Plus I've removed most of my tools and things, all in all probably about 75 lbs worth of miscellaneous things no longer in there.

Still need to clean up the inside, and the major project is still to re-glass the floor in. Other than that though, it's gonna be little things after that.

All that aside, I've been having a great time out on the lake. Got the solar mounted over Memorial Day, and that's been working spectacular. The real test will be this upcoming week; I'm heading out Saturday for a week on the lake, with limited stopping. Plan on sailing up the lake for a few days and back, see how far I can make it. So it'll give it a good test of the power once things are running for more than just a few hours at a time. Reminds me I need to find my inverter for my laptop...

But every time I'm out, it reminds me how great an idea it was to finally find my own sailboat. It makes me forget all the hours spent getting it to where it is now.
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Old 07-18-2014
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Re: Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget

So it's been a while since I've updated this one, though I've been keeping up a bit on my actual blogging thing. Anyway, so it's been a while, and I've been out on the lake quite often. I won't bore everyone with pictures that look the same from week to week. But here are some highlights in the recent times:

let's see...so, starting from as far back as I can remember, I've done the following:

- Replaced the outboard mounting board in the well
- Installed my 100w Renogy Solar kit
- Finished installing my depth transducer / FF525 Fishfinder magic decoder box for the plotter
- Re-bedded the leaky stanchion I had on the starboard side, and filled in a vent hole that was stupidly put there previously
- Fully fastened the seats into position
- Put a few coats of el cheapo teak oil on the wood to see if there was any color left there
- Finished scraping off the remnants of the old name on the transom (awaiting my new one)
- cleared the drains above the companionway so water wouldn't dump inside every time it rained
- Adjusted tension on the rigging, and added some small pieces to keep things from snagging
- Replaced my tiny little Richie compass with a little larger one I got second hand from a neighboring boat
- Installed a Lewmar Size 1 traveller
- Installed some new flooring to cover up the stuff that was there.

I'll throw a few pictures in a minute. Have had a lot of fun though so far. I spent 4 days out a month ago, up and down the lake, which included hours of no-wind floating around, foggy conditions, foggy and NIGHT sailing (puffing along, really) conditions... Then I've had a day where it was probably 15 knots or so, gusting higher, with some pretty choppy water (lake sailing, gotta love it). Even took part in a friendly regatta up the lake.

Still more to go, of course, but so far... she's given me back far more in pleasure, than the labor and parts I've put into her.
Attached Thumbnails
Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget-img_20140609_171056.jpg   Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget-img_20140615_164809.jpg   Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget-2.jpg   Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget-img_20140622_150655.jpg   Excalibur 26 - Resto on a budget-0525141245.jpg  

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