Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 33 Old 07-03-2010 Thread Starter
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Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26

I got an excalabur a few years back. It had been sitting in a cradle the former owner had some health issues and the drains in the cockpit area clogged up. The water built up and poured into the cabin area filled it right up. He was able to pump all the water out but he just wanted the boat gone. I cleaned it up and launched the boat the next spring. Powered the boat from Sodus Bay to Oswego then down the Erie canal system to Seneca lake in the finger lakes area. We stepped the mast and sailed the rest of the summer. As the local marina was putting the boat back in the water this year they told me I have a wobbly keel and that I shouldn't put her under sail. I was told by a few long time sailors thet there should be keel bolts and to check there condition. I look in the inspection ports and I don't see any bolts it looks like the keel is just molded in the fiberglass. The ports are pretty small and the bolts might be out of sight. Any ideas what I can do to fix the keel if there are no bolts?
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 33 Old 07-03-2010
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I hope you are able to find some keel bolts in the bilge to check out and tighten (or replace).
I know that some manufacturers built the same model boats (Tartan 27' for example) with keel bolts some years and with an enclosed ballast in other years. On my boat there are no keel bolts so the ballast is enclosed in the keel by fiberglass.
If it is an enclosed ballast in the keel then the 'enclosure' needs to be repaired or completely re-done which does not sound like a quick and easy job.
I would agree with your boat yard though. If the keel is wobbling now it would be pretty disasterous if the keel fell of while you were sailing it. It would be bad even if you were just motoring.
Keel bolts could also be covered by some FRP.
Is there an Islander 26' owners group somewhere out on the web?
Best of luck.

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post #3 of 33 Old 07-12-2010 Thread Starter
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I found out through more research that there are quite a few of the early fiberglass sailboats ie, cal 25's have the same keel build. I was considering putting a poly foam into the keel up to the bottom of the floor to reinforce the keel but a lot of people i've talked to think this will make the keel to brittle and won't flex as it was designed. Anyone got any other ideas?
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post #4 of 33 Old 07-12-2010
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We had a 1967 Excalibur 26 many years ago and it also developed a wobbly keel. We priced reinforcing the keel and it was more than the boat was worth back then -- thirty years ago. I would be especially reluctant to fill it with poly foam as that might make any real repair impossible.
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post #5 of 33 Old 11-30-2013
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Re: Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26

I have an excalibur 26. The keel is fine leave it alone. The hulls oil can and flex. I would not start taking the boat apart and changing it. The lead ballast is encapusulated so no keel bolts. All the boats flex. You want that, it is part of the boat's physics. The keel wont fall off. You won't find a competent answer here. If you have such doubt, have the boat inspectied by a marine engineer, preferably by the marine architect that inherited Crealock's designs. His name is Bill Luther, you can google him and the Crealock Legacy. The yard is not familiar with the boat and neither are any of the above sailors.
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post #6 of 33 Old 11-30-2013
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Re: Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26

Three year old thread. I'm sure the issue has been dealt with in one way or another.
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post #7 of 33 Old 12-06-2013
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Re: Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26

No offense meant to anyone. Some people still have this boat. It's a rare inexpensive find. The answer was never really resolved and not posted here because no one knows what to do, not many of the boats still exist and not many were made. Do you ask mercedes how to tune a 67 chevy? Ask someone who has the boat and who worked with Crealock. When he was alive he worked with me on my boat on the rigging and ballast or go to Luther or someone like him. All I did on my boat is make sure the rigging is tuned. Miraculously the the keel stops wobbling. The purpose of this site I thought was to offer someone or a novice our personal experience. With a thread like this, it counts more because the thread isn't answered properly and a novice who follows wrong advice may cause what he is trying to prevent.
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post #8 of 33 Old 12-06-2013
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Re: Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26

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Originally Posted by mikulash View Post
I have an excalibur 26. The keel is fine leave it alone. The hulls oil can and flex. I would not start taking the boat apart and changing it. The lead ballast is encapusulated so no keel bolts. All the boats flex. You want that, it is part of the boat's physics. The keel wont fall off. You won't find a competent answer here. If you have such doubt, have the boat inspectied by a marine engineer, preferably by the marine architect that inherited Crealock's designs. His name is Bill Luther, you can google him and the Crealock Legacy. The yard is not familiar with the boat and neither are any of the above sailors.
x2 I had a 64...

remember you make one part stiff on a flexy boat and all hell will break loose in other areas there are no keel bolts on the excalibur 26...its an encapsulated lead keel in the AFT part of the deep keel. the keel is close to 5 feet deep and its long fin...flex is normal but most importantly RIGGING TENSION can make a loose keel REALLY loose

the excalibur is a fine designed boat...its the mini CAL 40 almost to the T

one particular issue you should pay attention to is rigging tension, try to get the specs from crealock...I once had the designs in my boat and lost them...it was a tragedy...


If I can help in any other way Id be glad to do so

I restored mine back in 96 it was renamed LA PAZ in stockton, california
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Re: Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26

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Originally Posted by mikulash View Post
No offense meant to anyone. Some people still have this boat. It's a rare inexpensive find. The answer was never really resolved and not posted here because no one knows what to do, not many of the boats still exist and not many were made. Do you ask mercedes how to tune a 67 chevy? Ask someone who has the boat and who worked with Crealock. When he was alive he worked with me on my boat on the rigging and ballast or go to Luther or someone like him. All I did on my boat is make sure the rigging is tuned. Miraculously the the keel stops wobbling. The purpose of this site I thought was to offer someone or a novice our personal experience. With a thread like this, it counts more because the thread isn't answered properly and a novice who follows wrong advice may cause what he is trying to prevent.
AMEN!

its a good practice to FINISH threads that are unfisnished or left with more questions than answers..its called paying forward...

the excalibur 26 is a rare fine bird...most unappreciated by an awesome naval architect...

the excalibur has specific design features not found on boats even 15-20 years later...and has one of the best looking sterns in modern boat history...

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Re: Keel problems Islander Excalabur 26

Thank you Christian!!!!!
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