The Excalibur program was conceived and incorporated in 1982 by James & Catherine Catalano and Angie L. Licata. Set up as a charitable organization, Excalibur was the first non-profit in New York State (and one of a few in North America) to provide waterfront accessibility for the differently abled and the disadvantaged. In recognition for its programming, Excalibur received the Eleanor Roosevelt Community Service Award in 1988 from Governor Mario Cuomo. Since 1985, many hard working Western New Yorkers have contributed considerable time, effort, and services to this program. As a result, the now retired ADMIRAL P. R. LUCCI, the first of a specially modified wheelchair accessible boat, and the decommissioned FRANCIS J. PORDUM, were able to provide the developmentally challenged and the disadvantaged the opportunities to enjoy open access on the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Today, we are most fortunate to have the RICHARD A. SMITH to carry on Excalibur’s mission. We believe, that with accessibility, we are presented with opportunities, and with opportunity, the grace and dignity to participate.
About the “The Richard A. Smith”
Originally built for the rugged lobster trade in the Florida Keys, Island Hopper boats have made a name for themselves for their ability to stand up to the most extreme punishment that unpredictable seas and commercial fisherman can dish out. Extremely well constructed, hand laid, these custom boats are built virtually trouble free, durable, and economical under all sorts of conditions. All Island Hoppers feature a 26’draft. 12’4” beam, 27-layered 1 ½” thick solid 30’ fiberglass-planning hull with four bulkheads. The “Richard A. Smith” was custom built as a commercial, USCG certified, wheelchair accessible, passenger vessel in the 30’T-boat category. Special design features include a widened and reinforced companion way, reinforced transom, raised deck, front and rear wheelchair lifts, L-trac hold down system, a cabin model with full cockpit camper top, custom foldaway cockpit seating, custom built boarding ramp and steps, as well as a full array of electronic instrumentation and safety items. This vessel powered by a QSB5.9 355 Tier II Cummins Diesel engine with Twin Disc transmission is geared for many years of service. This unique vessel is a tribute to the former New York State Legislator Richard “Dick” Smith who worked so tirelessly to protect and promote New York State’s wonderful and diverse waterways and ecosystems.