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Boating FAQ

Does the boat go out in bad weather?
The “Richard A. Smith” goes out rain or shine.  You will receive a call to reschedule your trip if there are high winds, white caps cresting at the break wall or thunderstorms.  Please dress accordingly.  Better to overdress than underdress. Please be sure to wear a good pair of slip resistant shoes.

Can an individual go alone?
You may, but we would prefer a friend, family member or care provider join you on your excursion.  If you need personal assistance, who is better equipped than someone who knows you personally?

Is food allowed on board?     Only for medical purposes.
Bottled water is acceptable to stay hydrated. Please do not bring soft drinks, sweets, desserts or salty snacks (chips, popcorn, candy, pretzels etc.) onboard.  For your convenience, the Small Boat Harbor has areas for picnics.  For those who enjoy a nice restaurant, Dug’s Dive (716-821-9600) is located at the marina.  (Hours of Operation: Monday -Thursday 11am-12am and Friday-Sunday 11am-2am.)

Is smoking allowed?    No.

Is alcohol allowed?    No.

Can I bring my pet?
No, but “service animals” are welcome.  Please make sure your animal is tethered and obedient to your commands. The animal must not be unruly, disruptive or a direct threat to the health and safety of others onboard. Partners  are responsible for being aware of the animal’s need to relieve itself and act accordingly before boarding, as well  as responsible for cleaning up after the service animal and appropriately disposing of its waste.  Please have your service animal wear a marker that identifies it as a working animal to other passengers and staff members.

Service animals are wonderful creatures trained to assist their partners. Therefore, passengers please do not distract them from their job.  No food, hugs  or teasing. Thank you!

What clothing and footwear is suggested?
Please dress accordingly.  Better to overdress than underdress.  Be sure to wear  a good pair of slip resistant shoes.  Also, sun screen, cap or hat and sunglasses too!

Is fishing available?
Yes.  Please inform the office when you are scheduling your trip. A twenty-four (24) hour notification is required if you change your mind.

Do I need my own fishing equipment?
No. Excalibur provides the fishing and adaptive fishing equipment for your pleasure.

Do I have to wear a life jacket?
Yes.  “The best lifejacket is the one you will wear.”
It is Excalibur policy that all our passengers on board the “Richard A. Smith” wear their life jackets. Should a passenger refuse, they will be returned to port. There is no excuse not to wear a life jacket on the water.

Do I need my own life jacket?No.  Excalibur provides PDF’s for adults and children

How do I make reservations?
To make reservations, call the Excalibur Office.  Please indicate whether the trip is boating or fishing, the number of persons attending with staff and if there will be wheelchairs.  

Before you make a reservation, please be considerate and  do not schedule unless you planto commit.  Our captains and volunteers go out of their way, rain or shine, to make this program happen.  Many of our volunteer’s travel  30 minutes or more to get dockside, prep the boat and prepare for your arrival. Please don’t  leave them standing at the dock because someone forgot or changed their mind.

How do I make reservations?
Please call our office any time from 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday.

Why is it important to reserve the correct number of people?
To program efficiently, we need to know the “exact” number of guests who will be attending.  Please do not book 18 people and then show up with a group of less than 10, or reserve a spot for 12 and show up with 25. Other agencies are effected by the numbers you give us.

What is the procedure should the need be to cancel?
We need a 24-hour notification for cancellations.  Please call our office so that we can inform our staff of these changes.  Do not cancel the day of your scheduled trip unless it is an emergency.  (The last thing our office wants to hear is how you got tickets for a ball game or the fair.)

Can infants or small children go?
We have PFD’s for children that accommodate the weight from 30 to 50 pounds.

Where is the boat located?
The “Richard A. Smith is located at the Safe Harbor Marina at the Buffalo Harbor State Park and is moored at the Wheelchair Access Dock.   Address: 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd. Buffalo, New York, 14203

Where does the boat go?
At the discretion of the Captain, the Excalibur goes out on the Buffalo Harbor, Buffalo River, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Black Rock Canal and the Inner Harbor.

What time should I be there?
Please be dockside ten minutes (10) minutes before your scheduled trip.

Is there a bathroom onboard?
Yes, there is a head for emergency purposes.  You may want to use the public facilities in the main building for your ease and convenience before boarding.

Is this program US Coast Guard regulated?                                                                                                                                          Yes, this is an absolute for us.

What type of licenses do Captains have?
Our captains are highly qualified with USCG master licenses ranging from 25 ton to unlimited tonnage.

Can I volunteer?
Yes, you may! Please see our volunteer page to fill out an online form or call our office for any question(s) that you might have.

Can young adults satisfy their community service hours for school requirements?
Yes. Community Service hours are a wonderful way for students/young adults  to get involved with our Western New York residents.

What day is Excalibur Day?
Looking for another way to celebrate ”la vie est belle”?  May 20, is Excalibur Day in the City of Buffalo, as proclaimed by the late Mayor James “Jimmy” Griffin.  Why not take advantage of this and schedule a trip for someone you know, or sign up as a new volunteer?