I came in here about noon, and am anchored here just inside the breakwater.

Good news: the motor is running perfectly, better than it has in a year. I ran here from Sturgeon Bay with no issues, and the occasional miss is gone.

I had considered wiring as a cause for minor erratic behaviour last winter, and when in Florida sprayed out all the sensor connections, but not the ECU harness. I should have done it sooner.

Bad news: my autopilot stopped working about midnight last night. I was planning to do an all nighter and get to Lake Huron with a nice weather window.

I diverted course slightly to get out of the waves in the lee of Summer Island, and anchored there. Spent some time troubleshooting, and it’s nothing obvious. I may have dropped the controller one time too many. So I slept until morning then headed down here. Weather looks good Tuesday to follow the north shore to Drummond Island. There’s a front coming through tomorrow.

Having to steer in a pain, particularly in waves or at night. I didn’t have internet last night, but there is very good online reference material on the AP. Maybe I’ll be able to get it operational before I leave.

Yesterday I had a lovely cruise north out of Green Bay. Poked into the ports, stopped in Ephraim for a nice dinner.

Sturgeon Bay

I’m anchored here in Sturgeon Bay. Weather has been great, nice temps and light winds. Beautiful sunsets.

I started having motor problems late Monday as I was coming in here from Lake Michigan.

I went down to Green Bay on Tuesday, and picked up new seals for the low pressure lines from the local JD dealer. I went through the whole fuel system again.

Yesterday I left Green Bay and the problems continued. I spent most of the day drifting. Checked the return lines, then finally decided to consider other causes. Probably should have done that earlier.

It turns out that the motor hasn’t been stopping because of air or fuel starvation, it’s being shut off by the computer.

After some experimentation and observation I realized that the ECU seemed to be shutting down without warning or error codes. After a period of time ranging from minutes to an hour or more it would start working, but then fail again after 10-30 minutes of operation.

Today I went through the wiring and all the connectors and fuses in the harness during periods of power loss.

As a final step I removed the harness from the ECU and sprayed WD40 on the connectors. After reassembly the motor started and ran fine for ~ 2 hours to get back in to here. I’m cautiously optimistic.

In the meantime, I’ll get ashore to get some groceries and see the sights.

Up the Lake, Again


I launched Escapade on Friday in Chicago, and am now heading up the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan. I’m in Sheboygan tonight.

All is good aboard. I got a few things done while ashore. I replaced the inverter/charger with a new Victron unit and bought a couple of 300 ah lithium batteries as a house bank. That was pretty much the last item on my big $$ list.

My plan is to head up into Green Bay, then follow the west/north shore of the lake up to Mackinac, then north to Canada. Weather looks great for the next few days.

These pics were the start of the Chicago-Mac race on Saturday.