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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon everyone! (Or morning/evening/night depending on location). Just wanted to drop a Hi on here while I get used to what will likely be a place of much fun for me! I'm a 35 year old guy in south-central NY state and this is my story:

(I'll put the TLDR stuff at the bottom :p)

The background story: When I was little, our dad had a MacGregor 25' sailboat, that we used to go out on every so often. I remember lots of things with that boat, from little trips, to others. Unfortunately, he had to sell the boat after my parents divorced. I remember having JUST understood the basic mechanics in regards to why the boat would heel, and angles, when he had to let it go. And over the years, I had always missed it, and had moments where I wished I had my own.

Last year, I had started thinking it again, and after talking to my brother, we kept a lookout for good deals, or anything. My dad in the meantime, had purchased a project boat (somewhere in the 30' range I think, I'm not sure what it is off-hand). I was more or less just browsing, since I didn't really have a lot to outlay. I was also looking at project boats, thinking that taking some time to rebuild something would allow me a better experience in knowing my boat inside and out (obviously something structurally sound would be a requirement). My brother managed to find himself a 23' Oday, that he traded some Jet Skis for. Was in perfect shape, immaculate inside. I went out on a bay on Lake Ontario with him one weekend, had a blast in it (and got sunburned to no end lol. Oops!).

We had a party for my nephew recently, and there, we were discussing Christmas plans. My brother joked that I should ask for a boat for Christmas. And later that night, started texting me some listings for some he had found. I was like, dude, I have no money! But one in particular he sent, caught my eye. It needed the interior reassembled, after having been worked on to have the keel stiffened, and such, but other than that, was pretty much a complete boat. I did a little research, and found very little information on it. However, I decided that as long as it was able to float, and was mostly complete, how could I go wrong? The bits I DID find about it, I didn't see too many complaints, as I have with other boats. I called my dad, had him pull up what he could see from his end, he couldn't find fault with the choice either.

I drove up yesterday morning (and froze!!!) to just give a final once-over, already having been 99% set to take it, and after seeing the boat, a baby among larger craft in the marina yard, and finding it to be exactly as described, with the interior work to be almost a blank slate for me to tweak as I wished, I called the owner, and agreed to take it. I probably sounded over-eager. He removed the listing, is getting the paperwork set to sign over to me, likely this upcoming Sunday.

I am the (pending) proud, newest owner of a 1970 Islander Excalibur 26 Sailboat. :)

Glad to meet all of you, and I can't wait to keep exploring the start of a nearly-lifelong dream to own my own, and find freedom in the wind.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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5,242 Posts
Welcome to sailnut CharlzO.
South central NY State is a fairly large area.
Are you planning on keeping your I 26' on the Hudson or the LI Sound? Somewhere else?

Now that you will be skipper of your own boat it will be a bit different than when you were younger. You will be responsible for your crew and boat instead of someone else. In most ways it is even more fun 'cause you get to decide what you want to do.

I'll assume since it is a 26' boat that it has an outboard engine rather than inboard? I have met a fellow who worked for Islander boats (among others in CA) on another forum. Plenty of happy Islander sailboat owners around.
 

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Maine Dub
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215 Posts
Welcome to the forum. I have learned a great deal from these sailors.:) when you have time we want your plans, ideas, pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I'm actually about an hour from the Cayuga, about a half hour East of Binghamton. My uncle has a place halfway up the lake, and we used to sail it as kids. I'm looking into possible places to get a slip there, or maybe even over on Seneca, though not TOO far up. It's not as easy to trailer as my dad's old 25 was, and I have nothing to tow it with as of yet anyway, providing I get a trailer built/bought for it yet, other than borrowing my brother's truck or whatever.

Right now, she sits on stands in a marina at the top of Seneca Lake. The plan as of now, is to let her rest there for the winter, pay next years storage fee in January to keep her there through Spring. I'm hoping to be back up there this Sunday, to finish the papers and pick up the pieces that the previous owner has stored in his garage, and move them back to the boat. At that point, will take an inventory of everything I have, and more importantly, what I'll need to replace, or obtain. (Assuming that I can a) come up with a checklist so that I don't forget anything, and b) that there's not a foot of snow covering everything!)

From there, I'm hoping to go up every few weekends or so, and finish putting her together as best as I can. It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, but I'll also have all winter/early spring to do what needs to be done.

The motor is basically an outboard, but in a well, instead of on the transom. Only, the motor is one piece that is missing, so I'm at liberty to source a new/used one of my choosing. Once that's in there though, the journey can begin.

When weather permits next year, I shall have the marina place her into the water for the first time in three years (obviously I'll have gone over her to make sure she doesn't leak anywhere :p). I'll motor her through the canal over to the top of Cayuga, and from there, either sail her if I have everything, or motor her down the lake, to wherever I find a home for her. My brother and I are already looking forward to many tandem journeys together, and if my dad hasn't left for the Bahamas in his yet, maybe we can get all three together for one nice hurrah beforehand.

I'm also planning on trying to document every step as best as I can, on a website (ironically, Excalibur26.com was available, so I snapped it up - with hopes and (pipe) dreams of putting together as many links and resources for these boats into one place). It is a journey a long time in the dreaming, and now a reality that I can't wait to get started on!
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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5,242 Posts
Sounds like you are near Elmira or Oswego, NY. I went to school in Binghamton. The locals used to refer to that area of NY as the "Southern Tier".

I like your plan of taking the canal from Cayuga to Senca. I dream of one day checking out the NY State Canal system. I'm pretty sure you have to drop the mast for the canal because of low bridges. A slight hassle but worth it in my opinion.
You should be able to find an 8 or 9.9 HP long shaft (25") outboard pretty easily. A used engine should be cheaper than new.
I helped a fellow club member who has an I 26' haul out his boat a week or 2 ago. Nice looking boat and a good size for the Finger Lakes.
My boat is in the Hudson just north of the Tappan Zee bridge. A bit of a hike to the canal system north of Albany.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You know, you'd think by now I'd actually start saying Southern Tier when asked lol.

Heading through the canals, the plan is to leave the mast tied down through the trip, and wait to raise it until all the way through. I don't think it's going to be the easiest to do on the fly, so we'll just leave it down through that trip. We can always park it to raise it and then sail it down the lake the rest of the way. That'll give us time to rig up a system to actually get it up, without killing ourselves.
 

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Roxanne
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8 Posts
Hi CharlezO,
Welcome. I just left NY (Syracuse area) and moved to Florida in October. We bought a Sirius21 and haven't sailed her yet, but it won't be long.
Roxanne
 
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