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  #1  
Old 02-22-2014
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Port Huron, or even Chicago to Mackinaw race. Newbie looking for advice.

I am hoping to do Port Huron mac race in 2015, or whenever I am ready. I will be going to a skippers meeting, or whatever else I can do, to prepare later this year but untill then I was just looking for advice, pointers, etc... My main question is how much it costs to do the race. Like a ballpark total for slips, race entry fee, lifeboat rental, food, etc... Last time I did the race as crew and we all(as far as I know) pitched in $200 and the skipper told me he spent alot more than that. Well thats $1400 just from us alone. Just wondering if I can afford to even think about doing the race. I'm a low budget sailor at the moment. Construction in MI sucks at the moment.
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Old 02-23-2014
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Re: Port Huron, or even Chicago to Mackinaw race. Newbie looking for advice.

AX- It is all about logistics and equipment. I did the PH Mac in 2010 with my 29 footer. This year they changed the safety rules of the PH Mac and it became a lot cheaper because you do not need a liferaft and can substitute for it with a GPS enabled EPIRB. I caught a break in 2010 because one of my crew had a certified life raft and the Solas flares. Back in 2010 they gave a 10% discount to first time entrants. I had a qualifying storm jib and almost everything else so my equipment costs were negligible. I got away with costs under $1,000. That being said, the Tartan is a great boat for this race. There are usually 1 or 2 who do it every year. Start putting a crew together and build towards making the race. I've done 13 PH Macs and I have enjoyed them all.

The itinerary is: transport boat from Western Lake Erie to BYC in Detroit on Wednesday before race. Dockage free at BYC for race entrants. Leave at 6:00am and transport boat to PH on Thursday- free dockage for race entrants.

After the race: transport boat from Mackinac to Presque Isle- Day 1. Presque Isle to PH- Day 2. PH to Western Lake Erie- Day 3.

Here are the major things you will need that you probably don't have yet:

GPS enabled EPIRB
ISAF qualifying storm jib,
Double reef for main or a storm trysail and external mast track
radar reflector,
Man over board pole
man over board light
lifesling or horseshoe
emergency rudder or method to steer without rudder
Jacklines
ORC rated tethers for all your crew
Type 1 lifejackets for all crew or offshore(33lb buoyancy) inflatable lifejackets
Securing devices for hatch boards and cockpit lockers
emergency running lights and stern light
Proper offshore medical kit
Medical manual approved by ISAF
SOLAS parachute flares and SOLAS smoke devices
Waterproof spotlight
waterproof flashlights for all the crew

Figure you have the minimum crew of 5. For a boat your size you should have enough food for 4 days along with a enough water. That is about 15 water bottles/day x 5 = 3 cases of water in addition to water in your tanks for cooking etc. You can restock food for 2-3 day trip back when you are on the island.

Hard cost- Race entry $14/ft includes dockage at PH from Wed week of the race and at Mac Island through Wednesday.

Transportation of crew to PH.
Transportation or crew back from Mackinac
Meals etc for transport to Mackinac. Gas cost for motor transport is about $2/hour for your boat. You will most likely have to motor up the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. If there is no wind for the trip back figure motoring about 30 hours for the trip back to PH.

After spending money to meet the safety regs for equipment figure a budget of
$420- race cost,
Race food and water $240
Transport food and water- $80
Fuel- $150
Food and drink in PH and Mackinac- $150
Dockage at Presque Isle on way back- $45

So a little under $1100 out of pocket. The real killer is obtaining all the equipment to meet the safety requirements.

The Chicago Mac- forget about it. Liferaft rental $$. Transport to Chicago$$ in fuel and time on boat. ORR certificate and measurement- Another $400. Race fee- $500. Getting your crew to Chicago$$ Feeding crew in Chicago $$ .You could easily add another $1500 to your PH Mac cost plus you would be the slowest rated boat in the race. A lot of years you would have trouble finishing in time for the ChiMac party on Tuesday. You would have to average 4.5 knots to course to make the party and you might be in jeopardy of making the race time limit. Most years you can figure you spend at 8-10 hours of the race going 0.0 knots usually on Sunday some time.
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Old 02-23-2014
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Re: Port Huron, or even Chicago to Mackinaw race. Newbie looking for advice.

Thanks for a great rely. Exactly what I was looking for. I am on St. Clair so transport of crew is no big deal. Sounds like I will have to start obtaining the safety gear. That is quite a list. Is there somewhere that has like a package deal for the race or a paticulary good place to shop where I can get all the equipmen. A spare rudder? What the hell, that thing is huge and costs a few grand itself. Guess I'll have to make a trip over to ebay soon. What can I use as an emergency steering device? thanks again for the detailed reply. I assume the race comity will have a list of all the stuff I need but untill then I will be going off your list.
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Old 02-23-2014
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Re: Port Huron, or even Chicago to Mackinaw race. Newbie looking for advice.

Being on Lake St. Clair helps a lot. Cuts a little of the cost down and 1 day out of the transport. I guess about 8-10 hours to motor up to Port Huron and about 6 hours to motor back.

Go to the BYC web site and download the safety equipment list http://www.bycmack.com/pdf/2014_SRR_Monohull.pdf . You don't necessarily need a spare rudder but you do need to demonstrate a way to steer the boat if your rudder is disabled. I had a drogue arrangement controlled by using my spinnaker sheets run through snatch blocks on the transom. Some people use a hatch board lashed to a spinnaker pole. You also might find a catamaran rudder on eay for about $75 that you could lash to a spinnaker pole.

A lot of the other equipment is available on ebay or other sites like sailboat owners. If you work at it you can acquire most of the stuff pretty cheap. The Solas Flares and the EPIRB are the big ticket items and you most likely will have to buy those new.
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