Excaliber finally plucked from the briny deep!

Two months ago at our Postal Classic race, I sank Excaliber on her maiden voyage. It put me in a month-long funk. A couple attempts were made to salvage her using various grappling hooks, but murky and cold water hampered rescue efforts.

Yesterday dawned warm and sunny, so I grabbed a flotation device and a borrowed snorkel and went down to the pond. After 40 minutes of snorkeling I was about to give up. The water was so murky I could only see the bottom directly below me, even though it’s only eight feet deep.

But then she appeared out of the gloom! I couldn’t believe my luck…if I hadn’t swam directly over her I’d never have seen the boat.

So she’s been recovered. A new deck is needed, and a lot of cleanup work, but she’ll be brought back to life.

Hagerup 1, Lily Pond 0. :zbeer:

Hooray for you Bill!:slight_smile: She does look a bit tired from laying on the bottom, but I am sure she will float again. Kitty did, so I have faith! Incidently, I gave Kitty to my niece’s husband and it went to NYC to sail in the Central Park pond and is now in Stanford,Ca since he is doing his residency there. But! I did make a sailor out of him!!!:slight_smile:

Will done Bill !!! That is quite an elite club you have just joined along with Bob the founding member :zbeer: .

Of course naming a boot Excaliber was always likely to lead to the sort of scene I am imagining as it rose from the lake in the upstretched hand of the erm… ‘rather hairy guy of the lake’.

Well done that man,


Way to go Bill! I look forward to racing against her again.

Bill, congratulations on retrieving your boat, but how did she sink?

nicely done! how is the restoration coming? [at least you got those foils back!]:wink:

I suppose you could say Excacalibur WAS a foil!



Thanks for the supportive…and amusing…comments, guys.

Niel, she sank because the hatch came off (vinyl tape that had not been previously tested.) Once the boat heeled over, it was all over! It’s amazing how fast a Footy fills up with water.

Barrett, restoration is coming along nicely. A few hours of serious cleaning salvaged the hull, foils, and rig. Fortunately, the sails are mylar, so the gunk didn’t penetrate. Eveything dried out fine, though some of the boat has a bit more greenish tint than before. Even the servos seem to be OK. I dismantled them and used a hair dryer to blow water out. After a few days of drying, they seem to be working. The receiver may be another story, it works some of the time…stay tuned for progress.

Bill H

They go down fast alright. I had a hatch failure when a swirly gust spun my boat on it’s stern. Once the hatch broke free, it completely filled the hull in about 2 seconds. Luckily I had foam in the bow and that kept it at the surface so I could snag it.

Glad to hear you’re restoration is going so well. Are you going to invest in emergency floatation? It only takes a little foam.

I have a couple of suggestions, if you guys will humor me.

  1. I was at an R/C show a few years ago when I walked by this display for “Aeroplate” from a company called Aerotrend. The display featured an electric train setup in a terrarium with the tracks laid out like a level roller-coaster, a high section on one side transitioning into a valley section below. The terrarium tank was half filled with water and the train chugged happily around the track, submerging completely underwater then coming out again and then back in. The train had been soaked in the Aeroplate solution.
    I was convinced that it worked when a sailing buddy (who had treated his onboard r/c gear with the stuff) swamped his boat in brackish water, managed to get it ashore and empty it and the r/c still worked. I recommend this stuff for all Footy sailors because, as Bill pointed out, it doesn’t take a whole lot of water to sink these little boats.

  2. When the going gets rough out there, high winds and chop, I put a “flotation bag” inside my Bantam in case something happens and she takes on water. I use ziplock snack bags (which are smaller than the more common sandwich bags). You seal most of the zip closure so just a corner in open, blow them up and quickly seal them. Snack bags weigh in just under 1 gram. Of course my old boat is broader than is allowed under the current rule so I don’t have any problem snaking the inflated bag around my r/c gear to the front of the boat. But flotation solutions are something we should start considering as designers.

  3. Most tapes do not stand up to water for long. The two tapes that I’ve found that hold up the best are used for weather sealing. One is a clear tape used for attaching plastic heat-shrink “storm windows” to sills and frames. It is made by a company called Frost King and comes in several widths. My current favorite is “3M Energy Saving” tape. It is silver and about the weight of scotch tape (lighter weight than the Frost King) and more tenacious. No tape I’ve found is re-sealable if the surface you want to bond to is wet.
    I hope all this helps.

What about the foam sealant used for filling cracks in houses and window frames, etc, in our frozen north? I used it on a 36-600 (old style) after she sank beneath the waves due to springing a plank. I filled almost the entire bow with the foam, which continues to expand as it sets. The brand I used was in a pressure cylinder, and called “Great Stuff”. It sets very hard (and might even be used to stiffen the hull of a very fragile boat.) But be careful, it is extraordinarily sticky while setting, but may be smoothed with an ice cube. I don’t know how much the foam weighs per unit volume.
Rod 08 CAN Razor (with new Dunedin Una-rig)

I use Aeroplate to waterproof my RC gear that I use in the ocean to fire remote cameras attached to surfboards and windsurf boards.

Home made camera switch and a receiver are dipped into the Aeroplate to waterproof them. It is a dialectric oil that coats everything keeping the moisture out.

I have soaked gear and they work fine…!! I wouldn’t really have beleived it before that happend. Now I use it on all my RC gear that goes near the ocean.