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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-25-2015 08:52 PM
CharlzO
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdlpps View Post
The San Francisco Bay has claimed its share of boats and one of them is an Excalibur 26. It, however, struck debris and is still on the bottom of the bay as a result of its breeched hull. The keel is likely still attached.
if anyone happens to dive there for kicks, I could use a few parts... lol
09-25-2015 07:53 PM
tdlpps
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
Todd, I'm considering buying a '68 Excalibur for a solo trip to Hawaii. I've sailed them before when I used to teach sailing up here in the SF Bay Area. There are multiple reasons that I think the boat is a good fit for me, but one big concern...

keel flex

There's a thread here on SailNet about Excaliburs and keel flex, and I've read it. I'd love to hear more from you or anybody else who has experienced it, and even better...have fixed it.

I'm competent enough with fiberglass work to put down a couple of layers of roving and mat at the turn of the bilge to stiffen her up, if that's what it takes.
Alan and I already talked on the phone, so we've had a chance to talk about things. I was timed out when I tried to respond earlier after composing a long response. I'll try this again just so my opinion about the dreaded Excalibur keel flex is made public. Again, this is my opinion, based on my research and experience. I am not a naval engineer. I studied English in college and manage a large automotive Service Center.

The subject is brought up from time to time and usually it is either by one individual or as a result of something that was posted by the same individual and then read by someone else. The keel itself does not flex on the Excalibur 26. The keel is a very thick encapsulated fiberglass assembly that is integral with the hull sides. It is filled with ballast material (lead, pig iron, concrete) that makes it very rigid. It can not flex. The concern is that the stiff keel puts an excessive load on the hull bottom in the curved area where the hull bottom meets the hull sides, weakening the fiberglass over time, allowing the keel itself to move.

In my experience, this is completely wrong. In my boat and others that I have been able to look at, it is possible -- if you stand with your legs straddling the bilge area, about 18" up on each side from the center line, and rock the boat from side to side -- to make the keel appear to move from side to side as each hull side is loaded and unloaded. It looks as though the keel itself is moving. It would be alarming if you didn't notice that as you are doing this there is also an opposing movement from the upper hull side on the opposite side of the boat. The hull itself is flexing as it is loaded and unloaded, not the keel, and not the area of transition between the hull bottom and sides.

Aircraft wings are designed to flex because the loads imposed on them are tremendous and the act of damping the load on the wing, through flexing, is safer than building a rigid wing that would not move until it reached the (lower) absolute limits of the construction and then broke off. Hull flexing, while not ideal when absolute speed is the goal, is safe. I don't know if Mr. Crealock intentionally penned a boat with a flexible hull or if it was just a result of his design. He was pretty savvy in knowing what his boats were capable of but, unfortunately, we can't ask him. Today, a design would be drawn within computer software and stress tests on the digital design would determine the characteristics of the hull -- strength and rigidity or flexibility.

It was spoken of that a previous owner was quoted a price exceeding the value of the boat in order to "fix" the floppy keel. In my opinion, this was either a case of a shipyard that didn't understand the design of the Excalibur 26 or a case of one hoping to oversell repairs on the boat. The layup of the fiberglass on the Excalibur is very thick, very strong and, at least on my boat, very high quality. It was was not chopped, blown-in glass.

My hull had sheet after sheet of glass built up one layer after another. The fiberglass in the lower hull area was in exceptionally good condition and showed absolutely no signs of weakening by right to left movement of the keel. Others, Wayfarer and Islander built boats that I've seen, were similarly built.

If an Excalibur owner wants to take the time to reinforce the bilge area, he or she can. I, however, don't think it's necessary on an otherwise solid boat. No amount of additional glass in the bilge area, or even above it, is going to completely eliminate the hull flexing that makes it appear to have a loose keel.

To end here, I'd challenge anyone to use whatever resources that are available to them to find a first-hand or documented case of an Excalibur 26 losing its keel. There aren't any. I've spent hours and hours looking for anyone who has actually lost a keel or been aboard an Excalibur 26 that did. The San Francisco Bay has claimed its share of boats and one of them is an Excalibur 26. It, however, struck debris and is still on the bottom of the bay as a result of its breeched hull. The keel is likely still attached.
09-25-2015 04:20 AM
Alan H
Re: Another Excalibur 26

In fact, I'd figured on doubling the lower shrouds already. That's an easy project. I was also going to build a bridgedeck to make the cockpit a bit more heavy-weather-safe..

If pulling the floorboards and making more, and more substantial stringers would help the issue, then that's not too hard, either.

On the other hand, when I sailed them for teaching classes, they impressed me as being built like the proverbial brick ****house, but yet still quick enough to cover some ground. The SF Bay PHRF rating is 217. The boat I'll buy will be <28 feet, and I'd really prefer something with a PHRF rating under 200. The Excalibur is a bit slower than that but on the other hand it doesn't have a hull liner, and most 70's era boats that I can afford, DO have liners.

I figure, the boats are almost 50 years old. They've had fifty years to fall apart from lousy design or shoddy workmanship, and haven't done so, yet.

Last time I went across I took a Santa Cruz 27, but the flat out truth is that I'm not an aggressive enough of a sailor to really need that boat, and there are "issues" with the SC27 in terms of sleeping arrangements on the long-term.
09-24-2015 10:11 PM
CharlzO
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Can't say that I've experienced it at all on my own. However, the previous owner did have the floor up on mine when I looked. In my case, what they had done was to fill in some of the areas with two-part expanding foam, and, it LOOKS like they put another coat of epoxy on the stringers inside. As I wasn't seeing any evidence of a wobbly keel at that point, I just buttoned up the floor at that point. At this point, I've taken her through some pretty decent weather on Ontario, and given her a good beating both in general, and windward heeled 30 degrees under full canvas, and no issues that I can see as of yet. I'll check again in three weeks when she's hauled out for the winter obviously, but I don't expect there to be any problems. If I were doing the repair myself from scratch, I would probably piggyback the stringers with additional marine ply, and add some glassing over the edges just to be safe. I know there's at least one that's made the journey, though they also changed the shroud design to an external design with dual lowers and an upper, instead of single upper and lower. Obviously going safer, than sorrier by doing so.
09-24-2015 09:20 PM
skygazer
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan H View Post
Todd, I'm considering buying a '68 Excalibur for a solo trip to Hawaii.....I think the boat is a good fit for me, but one big concern...

keel flex
Long trip, I honestly thought you were referring to not being able to stand up in the cabin, and having to always flex your knees!!
09-24-2015 05:36 PM
Alan H
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Todd, I'm considering buying a '68 Excalibur for a solo trip to Hawaii. I've sailed them before when I used to teach sailing up here in the SF Bay Area. There are multiple reasons that I think the boat is a good fit for me, but one big concern...

keel flex

There's a thread here on SailNet about Excaliburs and keel flex, and I've read it. I'd love to hear more from you or anybody else who has experienced it, and even better...have fixed it.

I'm competent enough with fiberglass work to put down a couple of layers of roving and mat at the turn of the bilge to stiffen her up, if that's what it takes.
10-22-2014 10:59 AM
Btchnsailor
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Good to hear. Thank you very much!
10-21-2014 07:44 PM
tdlpps
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Quote:
Originally Posted by Btchnsailor View Post
Hi,

I have a 1966 Excalibur 26, and am also considering buying a new motor to fit in the existing motor well. Can you tell me if the Tohatsu 6 HP 4 Stroke you bought fit in the original motor well without modifications? I tried fitting a Honda 5 HP 4 Stroke with no luck.

Thanks, in advance!

JP
It will fit without modifications.....and should provide you with the same excellent service mine did.
10-17-2014 01:40 AM
Btchnsailor
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Hi,

I have a 1966 Excalibur 26, and am also considering buying a new motor to fit in the existing motor well. Can you tell me if the Tohatsu 6 HP 4 Stroke you bought fit in the original motor well without modifications? I tried fitting a Honda 5 HP 4 Stroke with no luck.

Thanks, in advance!

JP
07-30-2013 04:24 AM
truewin
Re: Another Excalibur 26

Thank you for posting the story - very instructive!
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