Sailing with St. Bart's

You Can't Beat the Experience

The 2002 Sailing Season

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Photos and Log

Bright Star

Shari and Denise cleaning the mast, pre-nest discovery.

The 2002 sailing season started late for Bright Star after the late-spring discovery of a problem with her mast. Over the winter mice had found their way insde the mast and made a nest there, chewing through all three halyards and most of the wires inside the shaft.

With several new members and lots of great plans for the season, Bright Star finally started the season with a Thursday night race. Several great evenings and weekend daysails followed, leading up to a two day regatta at the end of June.

Bright Star performed typically in the 14.5 mile race on Saturday (the wind died and, after a swim, the crew motored in to the destination, Northport Yacht Club).

Wil, Mia, Anna, Robert (rear), John, and Susan enjoy sunset at the Northport Yacht Club.

Two of the six crew had missed the boat in the morning, so the remaining four were surprised when their missing comrads turned up in Northport -- having taken the train.

The united crew enjoyed barbeque and the awards ceremony, then adjourned back to Bright Star, rafted up with Impromptu on a mooring.

John steers and Wil strategizes the second race.

Sunday's race started like Saturday's ended, but the committee had wisely cut it in half to 7 miles. We motored for 90 minutes to the starting line and had time for a quick swim before the race.

The wind was almost dead calm as we maneuvered clumbsily across the line, but it picked up soon and laid Bright Star on her ear. We completed the race within two hours, placing sixth out of nine.

During this weekened, the crew noticed that she was taking on water particularly fast from an unknown source.

The marina hauled her immediately and discovered that the heads of two of the four bolts holding the propeller strut had sheared.

The photo to the right shows a bright brass screw -- bright because the head recently sheared off and the uncorroded metal is visible.

Damaged bolt on the prop strut.

Repaired bolt on the prop strut.

The yard quickly replaced the bolts and diagnosed the possible cause -- excessive engine vibration due certainly to a bad engine mount and possibly to poor alignment of the prop shaft.

On the Friday evening prior to the fatal weekend Bright Star had found a new rock in the shallow back channel. While this gentle colision wasn't serious (except to the ego of the crew), we were able to confirm the extent of the damage when Bright Star was hauled for the shaft strut repair. As expected, the rock had knocked off a hunk of patching compound that had been applied the last time such a colision occurred.

Damage to front edge of keel.

Bright Star was back in the water in time for a full schedule of Independence sails July 4 through 7. She is scheduled for a new motor mount and shaft alignment this week.