Lake Michigan is a popular place for sailboat races. It is easy to see why: the winds are high, the water is smooth, and the weather is (sometimes) beautiful. Boat racing on Lake Michigan has grown in popularity in recent years. If you are new to the sport of boat racing – or are thinking about competing for the first time – you are likely wondering how you can get an edge on the competition. There are many tips that savvy boaters know. The paragraphs below will help you get the “racer’s edge” on Lake Michigan.

See A Boat Service Provider for Your Long-Boarded Racing Bottom

One of the most popular and effective applications for increasing a sailboat’s speed is what is called a “long-boarded racing bottom.” This is a process where the bottom of the boat is smoothed out so that it is as aerodynamic as possible. This process will allow you to glide across the water, leaving the competition in your wake. This process involves fairing the seams and thru hulls, revealing high and low spots on the bottom of the boat, long boarding the boat with a 4-foot board ( using a crosshatch pattern), rinsing the bottom of the boat, sanding the bottom of the boat, and filling it with epoxy. This finishing process produces a smooth, sprayed-on, one-piece finish. You want to find a Chicago finishing service that has the capability of free-standing the boat to provide that smooth, one-piece finish. Here in Chicagoland, Larsen Marine (www.larsenmarine.com) fits that bill.

Purchase Performance Rigging for Your Boat

The better your boat’s rigging is, the better it will perform on race day. We recommend purchasing and installing performance rigging for your boat. Performance rigging includes rigid boom vangs; performance headsail foils; hydraulic backstay adjusters; wireless electronics (which save weight aloft); performance ball-bearing blocks (including Harken Carbo, Classic, and Black Magic); high-tech, low stretch cordage; and uncoated 1×19 stainless lifelines (custom-made for your boat using top-quality hardware). This rigging will give you the edge on the competition. We recommend finding a Chicago-area service center that can not only sell you the rigging but install it and advise you on it as well. Larsen Marine is your go-to spot for performance rigging in this area. A list of Larsen Marine’s rigging equipment and services can be found at https://www.larsenmarine.com/service/the-racers-edge/#performance-rigging.

Improving the Layout of Your Boat’s Deck

Believe it or not, the layout of your boat’s deck can affect your performance during a race. Optimum results often require reconfiguring the deck’s layout or customizing the deck. For example, strategically placed footholds can aid your boat’s crew during a race. We also recommend having custom fiberglass work done on your boat’s deck. For more information on deck layout services, we recommend the following page: https://www.larsenmarine.com/service/the-racers-edge/#deck-layout. In a boat race, any advantage you can gain over the competition will get you one step closer to victory. That is why we recommend getting the total upgrade package here in Chicago.