GBCA Icicle Series 2: We learn more limitations of the boat

After the line adjustments and repairs, I was fired up for race 2. Our handicap boat rating went from 218 to 221, so our start time was moved a minute earlier. We got to the course on time and managed to get the main unfurled correctly on the first attempt — everything was going great.

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That’s us in the background of this photo Sunspot Baby took just before the start.

We started exactly on time on a starboard tack. It was beautiful, and a huge improvement over our late start last week.

Then the wind died.

The forecast projected 8 knots until 1 p.m., then down to 7 knots through the afternoon. In reality, it was closer to 4 knots with occasional gusts up to 7.

At 4-5 knots, the boat did creep forward but couldn’t point better than a broad reach. Below 4, we didn’t move and all steering was gone. We spent two hours bobbing around on the first leg of the course with no perceivable forward motion towards the mark.

We spent some time diagnosing why the jib sheets keep binding up. I think we’re going to have to invest in new jib cars. We also noticed the sheets tend to bunch up and bind in the turning blocks near the winches. Our options there are to either upsize the blocks, which will require quite a bit of teak work or the downsize the lines. I haven’t decided the best option on any of it yet since whichever route we go, it’s going to be expensive.

We finally threw in the towel and turned the boat around. Icicle Series 2 was a DNF for us. However, it looks like only one boat in the non-spin club handicap division finished.

I did get the new strainer basket installed in the climate control system, so we have heat and air-conditioning again. Mary and I also spent a couple hours removing old wires and autopilot equipment this morning, but due to the cold and rain we only got the interior sections of the boat finished.

We still have major water leaks that need to be remedied. We removed the old staysail track and epoxied the holes, which stopped the leaks coming down the front of the mast. I think the track was leaking into the core and that water was then flowing out at the mast opening. I’m not sure where all the water is coming from at the front of the mast. It’s a virtual water fall when the rain gets heavy. We used spartite to seal the mast in the collar, but the base of the collar itself could be leaking.

Fingers crossed that Icicle 3 will finally be our race.

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