Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sheared Shift Lever Screw (or, how a $0.49 Part can ruin a day)

The picture is of old and new parts. The old part is what I tried to fix after the screw holding the transmission lever sheared. The new part is what I got from Edson.

Two weekends ago Donnybrook was sailing on Lake Michigan outside of Belmont Harbor, Chicago. It was a beautiful day on the water. At the conclusion of the sail we started the engine and turned into the wind to drop sails, only the transmission didn't seem engaged. We tried shifting into gear again and had propulsion.

At dock the transmission clutch was wobbly. It took a couple of tries to put it into reverse. Thankfully Donnybrook was safely at dock while troubleshooting. After some more fiddling the clutch lever started to spin free.

Why did this happen? The $0.49 screw sheared off! I did some internet investigation and found this happens if the screw holding the shift lever backs off, the pressure of shifting is transferred to the screw and it'll eventually break. Edson support confirmed this--lever screws must be tight.


I thought I could fix this. Safely at dock I used vice grips to attach to the shaft to shift gears. It was difficult, certainly not practical In close quarters.

I removed the shifter component (easy once the compass was off) and tried to back the broken screw off with tools on Donnybrook. This was impossible.

I took the shifter component to my parents' where they have a much better workshop than I do. (It's funny how at 43 years old I still depend on my parents. Will my boys still depend on me in my 80's?). I spent 2+ hours and two trips to the hardware store to drill the broken screw out only to fail. The screw is much harder stainless steel than the shaft.

In the end I gave Edson $50+ for a lever assembly and new screws. It took 15 minutes to install.

IMPORTANT: PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS as the details keep the major components working.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 NOOD Distance Race Results

Grace Anne ran into a wind hold which, combined with big nasty flies, forced us to withdrawl from the race.  The good news for the race is most of the boats did finish.  The results, below, are from the Office NOOD Site:


Hosted by Chicago Yacht Club, Chicago, IL
June 09, 2012

[View in Media Format]

Long Distance Race(Sat Only) (22 boats) (top)

Series Standing - 1 races scored

Information is provisional and subject to modification

Regatta results last updated: Saturday, June 09, 2012 4:13:21 PM CDT

Click on race number to view detailed race information.

Sail Boat Skipper Yacht Club Corrected 1 Total Pos

7779 Ocean Jim Banovitz [Racing] CYC 03:13:08 1 1 1

39530 Hiwassee John Bell [Racing] Chicago Yacht Club 03:25:02 2 2 2

25578 Paradigm Shift Dave Dickerson [Racing] Chicago YC 03:25:13 3 3 3

40625 Regardless Daniel Griggs [Racing] Chicago 03:26:28 4 4 4

52918 Safir III Robert Radway [Racing] Chicago Yacht Club 03:26:31 5 5 5

43535 On Edge Steve Dorfman [Racing] Chicago Yacht Club 03:30:09 6 6 6

USA 50785 Och! Brendon Docherty [Racing] Chicago Yacht Club 03:32:48 7 7 7

52337 Runaway Tom Gorey [Racing] CCYC 03:32:57 8 8 8

50134 Sirocco VI William & Viviana Fanizzo [Racing] Chicago Yacht Club 03:35:33 9 9 9

USA18 Hope Micheal Leland [Cruising] Michigan City YC 03:35:37 10 10 10

251 Endeavor Julian "Skip" Schink [Racing] Chicago Yacht Club 03:36:05 11 11 11

25123 JUMP Hank Graziano [Racing] CYC 03:40:37 12 12 12

52982 No Reverse Bob Horenkamp [Cruising] Columbia 03:54:01 13 13 13

0076 Mise en Place Paul Thompson [Cruising] JPYC 04:05:57 14 14 14

52891 Lugnuts Tom Dickson [Racing] Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club 04:08:13 15 15 15

40551 Sheet Music Gerald Hughes [Jib & Main] Chicago Yacht Club 04:40:51 16 16 16

30328 Rover Ken Colbert [Racing] CYC 04:42:11 17 17 17

52974 Endeavour Matthew Gallagher [Jib & Main] Chicago Yacht Clun 04:56:30 18 18 18

USA-69 Barracuda David Hughes [Racing] Chicago Yacht Club NO TIME 23/DNF 23T 19

52249 Sail Monkey Bill McGuinn [Racing] Chicago IL NO TIME 23/DNS 23T 19

4764 Grace Anne Todd Woelfl [Jib & Main] Chicago Yacht Club NO TIME 23/DNF 23T 19

52797 Princess M Carl Chaleff [Cruising] Chicago Yacht Club NO TIME 23/DNF 23T 19


- Scoring System is ISAF Low Point 2009-2012

- Finishes in [brackets] denote throwouts

- Click on race number to view detailed race information.

Information is provisional and subject to modification

Saturday, June 9, 2012

When a good sailing trip goes bad

Flies. That's all it takes. Lake Michigan is filthy with them this time of year. We lost air. The flies arrived. And our arch-enemy, Matt is ahead of us.

2012 NOOD Distance Race

Donnybrook wasn't able to sail in the NOOD distance race, but I was able to sail with my friend and Mac crew member Todd on his boat, Grace Anne, a Catalina 30.

The weather is perfect, high 70s on the water and southeast winds in the low teens. We're sailing along very nicely and having a great time.

Here, Ryan, Brendan, and Todd are keeping things under control while I'm serving as rail meet.

A Racer on a Cruiser

I rode my brother's old road bike, a Cannondale R1000, to the harbor this morning. It rides like a Corvette (I want a yellow Corvette) compare to my commuting bike, a Trek 7100.

Here it is secured to Donnybrook. Maybe the bike can teach Donnybrook about speed and Donnybrook teach the bike about comfort.