Lisa Blair sailed her 15.25-meter Hick 50 into the record books this year as the fastest, non-stop, solo sailor to circumnavigate Antarctica. The wild, demanding nature of the Southern Ocean required Lisa Blair to ensure her vessel was in the best possible condition before undertaking her voyage. Equally important was provisioning the proper materials and spare parts to cover every kind of repair job on her epic voyage.
Above: With her damaged bulkheads replaced, the Evelyn 32-2 sailboat RUSH is back in action. Several weeks later, the new bulkheads proved they could handle the stress of a heavy knockdown and a major storm during the infamous 2002 Chicago to Mackinac race.
If you race a sailboat long and hard enough, it eventually will reveal its weaknesses, sometimes violently. My friends and I race an Evelyn 32-2 called Rush. Less than a month before the 2002 Mackinaw races, we were competing in the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association, Gravelly Shoals race. Throughout the race, the wind had been building and we were a little overpowered with a full main and 150% headsail. We had completed about 45 miles of the 50-mile race when the starboard chainplate decided it had enough and pulled out of the bulkhead. Continue reading →