I had to take a breather from this boat after it let me down in the Chicago Mackinac Race, I'm sure you understand. When kicked off the horse, you gotta get back on and ride again. The good news is, all of the work done up to this point didn't have any failures in the 4-1/2 hours we raced in strong winds and waves in the Chicago Mackinac Race. So I keep tweaking this boat to make it as clean and efficient to use as possible.
We do enter the 2018 Chicago Verve Cup Distance Race, which goes around two cribs off Chicago's lakefront. The bigger (and faster) boats start first and the smaller boats (us) start second. Visually we see to the South the wind is good, and to the East it is weak. We tack at the start and head South. We leave our section behind and catch and pass most of the bigger faster boats before the first mark. At the conclusion of the race, we end up first in section, and first overall.
172. The boat was bought just loaded with spiders, and having left the boat alone for a few weeks, their population exploded. They come out after dusk, and I find this is the best time to get 'em. I have a can of spider spray and I go around the deck with a flashlight and spray the webs and spiders. Then the last thing I do before I leave the boat is to set off a bug bomb belowdecks.
173. The United States Coast Guard makes a safety announcement that some boats that have converted their lighting to LED are getting radio interference. Almost every light on this boat was converted to LED over the past year. I follow the test procedures they outline. I turn the VHF radio to channel 13 and turn the squelch down just to the point that there is no sound from the radio. Then I flip on all LED lights both exterior and interior. They say if the VHF radio remains silent, that is good. If the VHF radio makes static noise over the speaker, you've got a problem. To my pleasure, the radio remains silent and our boat passes the test.
174. With the water accumulated in the Chicago Mackinac Race, the silverware tray needs cleaning, and the tools are encased in rust. I clean and oil where necessary putting these back in shape.
175. We traded out fenders before the race to save weight. The replacement fenders are dirty, I clean them, lacquer thin the surface making them spotless.
176. There is a small garbage can under the stairs next to the galley. For the race I loaned my home large garbage can. I locate a new large garbage can and swap it out on the boat.
177. The strop on the bow was marginally long, I make a new one that is longer and install it.
178. The wind angle instrument reportedly stopped working in the race. I have a sneaking suspicion what the cause is. There is a junction box at the bottom of the mast in the head. The wires are super small. I remove the wires, trim them and solder the ends to give them more body, then re-insert them into the screw connectors and tighten them down. I also find a floating ground wire (bad!) and turn it into a grounded wire (good). It's nice that it is a breezy day, I go check the reading at the steering wheel and one gust reads 28 knots. I'm confident this will work well from now on.
The next owner is really going to enjoy this boat.
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