Glad to hear that your Venture is doing well, and that you got her pieced back together again. Did the authorities ever catch the boaters that hit your boat?
How I heard about your boat was quite a round-about and accidental way. My father sent me an email at work about sail bags for jibs, and included links to pictures that showed what the bags looked like. I forget who sent the email to him, so I don't know how he got it. Anyway, the links took me to your community webshots page. Naturally, seeing pictures of a Venture, I kept looking through more pics until I came to the artists' rendition of Chiquita's capsize, with your caption about the accident and where to find the article. So, I immediately went looking for the article--but that Venture 23 site would not allow me to access the files section. I tried to join up to gain the access, but never got a reply. So I took back to the internet, and just today was able to find this forum. AjariBonten was able to find the Favored End article; and once I had your name (being the author), I was able to Google the original full article from Great Lakes Sailor. I found your story interesting, even more so because you got the boat back and got it sailing again. Capsizing in heavy winds has been my biggest fear out on the water, since I started sailing by myself 3 years ago. Up until then, I sailed with either my dad or my grandfather, who always had control of the boat. I don't let her lean too far, but I'm getting braver as I try to coax more speed out of those old sails.
I started restoring my V222 three years ago, when my parents still owned it. They let me put it in a slip and use it to my heart's content (since I was doing all of the maintenance and restoration work). I did a major refit of the boat's running rigging and the cabin back in the spring, and got a lot of use out of her over the summer. Then, in the beginning of September, my father bought a 1982 S2 8.0. At that point, he knew I wanted the old Venture, and that I had put countless hours of work into it, so he gave it to me outright.
Like Chiquita, my Venture is still a work in progress. In fact, I'm going to do some keel work before it goes back in the water this year. Since MacGregors are notorious for keel bolts failing and dropping keels to lake bottoms, I'm going to replace the pivot bolt and the cable as a precautionary measure.