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On the Road Again: Midwest Edition

Okay. So we don’t spend much time in the office. In fact, we spend a lot of time on the trail. This week we’re visiting the heart of the heart of the country, meaning Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and checking on a bunch of manufacturers, including Charles Industries (Casey, Illinois), Tiara Yachts (Holland, Michigan), Carver Yachts (Pulaski, Wisconsin), Marquis Yachts (Pulaski, Wisconsin). Cruisers Yachts (Oconto, Wisconsin), and the folks at Kohler (hmmmm, not too far from Sheboygan, Wisconsin) you know, the genset folks.

Kevin Koenig, photo by Capt. Bill PikeThat’s my colleague Senior Editor Kevin Koenig in the photo above. At the helm of the rental car we picked up in Chicago, a fine little craft cleverly called the “Spark” by the folks of Chevrolet. Kev is a rather large fellow and, as far as I know, training to do a triathlon so he’s barely able to squeeze into the ol’ Spark. I took the photo about sunset on the first day of our trip to check out new boats, the builders that build them, and all sorts of other stuff. We’re sparking along well north of Casey, home of the Charles Industries plant that specializes in marine products. The original forte of the plant was (and still is) circuit boards (see below) for battery chargers, Iso-Boost units, and Iso-Transformers. They also do shore power cords, splitters (albeit not reverse-Y splitters), and other ancillaries.

One highlight of the trip south from Chicago Midway was a stop at a Subway shop where we dined briefly (very briefly) on fast fare while letting the mill under the Spark’s hood cool down. Then it was back to high speeds, XM Radio (KK’s into The Pulse but I favor The Bridge), and hamsterish sounds from the engine compartment during infrequent bursts of acceleration. Ah, the joys of the open road.circuit board photo by Capt. Bill Pike