Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chicago - Mac / Bayview Mac Lessons Learned #2

Pre-race Preparation: Since we tend to either cruise Reboot or race around the buoys I have never really gone from bow to stern checking everything on the boat. I can assure you that Nigel did and he taught me a great deal in the process. First Nigel checked every single connection of every piece of hardware. There were an amazing number of loose items. They all got tightened. Then anything that could snag anything got taped. Anything that could pop open at the wrong moment got tied down with tie wraps. Then Nigel went on to lubricate everything that moved. (I lubricated myself with a beer - it was hot that day!) In the course of checking the moving parts Nigel discovered that the traveler bearings were worn (some) and missing (most.) Once in port at Port Huron he was able to locate replacement bearings and install them. It was amazing how much easier the traveler works when the sheaves have bearings! It turned out to really matter as we were doing a lot of traveler work in very heavy weather over the next few days. I did have spare fuel filters and a spare impeller but Nigel discovered that the "fan belt" (there is no fan on a marine engine but a belt that drives the auxiliary parts) was pretty worn. We replaced the belt and also purchased a spare spare so we would have one in case the new one broke. Nigel also climbed down and checked the entire steering system. In the process he discovered the source of some play in the system and suggested how I might revamp the mountings to remove the play. Since this is a semi-major project we did not do it then but put it on the fall/spring to do list. About the only part of the boat Nigel did not check was the part in the water. For some reason swimming and diving in 68 degree water was not on his agenda. I can't say I blame him. I was much more confident in Reboot as we left Port Huron to start the race. That was a good thing since we started in a thunderstorm with high winds and 100 foot visibility. More on Nigel's work in my next post.

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