BTS: December 2014

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for December
New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #12
December, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort

 

Winter came early this year. The polar vortex dipped down well below Chicago in mid-November to bring record cold temperatures to the area. That hasn't stopped our hearty maintenance crews from making sure that our fleet is safely tucked away for the winter.

 

And thanks to Pat Webster, our Social Chair, and her committee of volunteers, we had an opportunity to share some of the highlights of this past sailing season at the annual Post-Season party, held this year at the Columbia Yacht Club (see article below).

 

In early November your Sail Chicago Board sent a survey to all Sail Chicago members, asking them to comment on the many areas in which the organization is involved. We had an excellent response rate, and many members made some very positive suggestions for ways in which we can improve the effectiveness of the organization. The Board will use the results of the survey to help plan for the upcoming sailing season and to augment the strategic planning process for years to come. Many thanks to all those who participated!  If you'd like to review a summary of the survey results, see the article below.

 

Finally, we wish you a very happy and safe Holiday Season. We look forward to seeing you "on the water": in the New Year!

^Top  

QUICK-TURN RESCUES
By Matt Stuczynski

In our November issue, we discussed the Quick Stop rescue procedure for a crew overboard situation. This month we discuss the Quick Turn method. While the Quick Turn (which doesn't require a jibe) is easier for a new sailor to execute, it takes longer, and it is therefore more difficult to keep the overboard crew in sight.  To see how US Sailing teaches the Quick Turn method, watch this video.  And to get a diagram of how Sail Chicago teaches this maneuver, click here.
THE BOWLINE MADE EASY

 

Have you ever gotten yourself tied in knots trying unsuccessfully to tie a bowline? Steve Colgate, designer of our Colgate 26's and founder of the Offshore Sailing School has a virtually foolproof method to tie a bowline, with no rabbit coming out of a hole and running around a tree. To find out how, just watch this video.  

^Top 


Colgate Sailing
IN THIS ISSUE
DATES TO NOTE
December 11 - Board Meeting
January 7 - Board Meeting
January 14-18 - Strictly Sail Chicago Show
January 21-24 - US Sailing National Symposium
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Adam Wisneski
Member Cruise Outings - 
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan
USEFUL INFORMATION

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org
SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

  

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to Sail Chicago
When you shop online at Amazon Smile, Sail Chicago will receive a donation of .5% of your eligible purchases.  It's a great way to both give and receive.  To get started, click here.

Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets
at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website.

 ^Top 

MEMBER SURVEY YIELDS VERY POSITIVE RESULTS

By Gary Thrane, Associate Editor

 

Gary Thrane
Gary Thrane

Ninety-one Sail Chicago members (about a third of the membership) completed the recent survey.   Overall, results are very encouraging.   Three-fourths of respondents (77%) said that they were very satisfied with their Sail Chicago membership as a good value for the money, and 90% were either satisfied or very satisfied.   Respondents said that it is very likely (average rating: 1.2, where "1" means "very likely") that they will be members next year, and that it is very likely (1.1) that they would recommend Sail Chicago to a friend who expressed an interest in sailing.

 

Respondents gave a good rating (1.7 where "1" meant "very satisfied") to the selection of boats in Sail Chicago's fleet.   Respondents were also generally quite satisfied with each of the boat types.   If Sail Chicago were to buy another boat, one-third (36%) of respondents favor another Colgate while almost as many (30%) favor another cruising boat like Priorities.

 

Respondents expressed some reservations regarding the administration of service time.   Respondents were barely satisfied (2.5 rating where "2" is "satisfied" and "3" is "unsure") with the information regarding available jobs and options for service time; and respondents were even less satisfied (3.1) with the tracking and reporting of completed service time.

 

Your editors were gratified to learn that nearly two-thirds (60%) of respondents said that they usually read Between the Sheets all the way through.   Kyle Powers won the drawing held for those who participated in the survey.   This was Kyle's first year with Sail Chicago. 

^Top

STRICTLY SAIL SHOW NEEDS VOLUNTEERS!

By Emma Lynch


Strictly Sail 2015Chicago is about to freeze over and we are longing to be back on the water, but luckily the Midwest's premier sailing show is coming in January to help with the winter blues.  This year, Strictly Sail Chicago has joined forces with the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show for an exciting event January 14-18 at McCormick Place.

 

Hundreds of local and national exhibitors will fill the South Hall, giving sailors the chance to preview the latest in sailboats and equipment.   This is a great opportunity for Sail Chicago members to make connections in the sailing community, attend seminars, and pick up sailing gear at a discount for the upcoming season.

 

Sail Chicago has long been part of this event and we are fortunate to have been well-represented by volunteers at our exhibit over the years. Let's make this another great year!  Volunteers will get into the show for free and will have the chance to browse exhibits or tour boats before or after their shifts.   The commitment will be just a few hours of chatting about your enthusiasm for sailing with potential new members of Sail Chicago--not a bad trade!

 

Volunteer times are:

Ed Jacob, Mike Swiontek, Amber Kelly
Last year's booth at Strictly Sail

 

Wed, Jan 14: 2-6pm or 6-9pm

Thurs, Jan 15: 11am-3pm, 3-6pm or 6-9pm

Fri, Jan 16: 11am-3pm, 3-6pm or 6-9pm

Sat, Jan 17: 10am-2pm, 2-6pm, 6-9pm

Sun, Jan 18: 10am-2pm, 2-5pm

 

If you'd like to sign up, please contact Emma Lynch via email.   Be sure to include "Strictly Sail" in the subject line, and indicate your 1st and 2nd time slot preferences, cell phone number, and whether you are a new member, Sail into Summer student, or veteran sail Chicago member. Hope to see you at the show!

 

To find out more about the show, visit the Strictly Sail Chicago website.

^Top 

PARTY ROUNDS OUT A GREAT YEAR FOR SAIL CHICAGO

Enjoying dinner at the banquet

 

November 22 saw a slight in the cold snap that had been with us since the middle of November. The (slightly) warmer air came just in time for Sail Chicago's End-of-Season party, the annual gala that traditionally celebrates the end of another successful sailing season. This year was no exception.

 

Pat Webster, Social Chair, and her staff of volunteers were on hand at the Columbia Yacht Club (the big blue boat in DuSable Harbor) to welcome over 70 Sail Chicago members and guests. At the reception before dinner people had a chance to swap sailing stories from the past season and to meet new sailing buddies for next year. A delicious dinner served by the Columbia Yacht Club staff was enjoyed by all.

 

Chris Schuler

After dinner, Chairman Chris Schuler recapped Sail Chicago's past sailing season. We had a significant increase in membership and in the number of students in our instruction programs. We are in great financial shape, and our safety record this year was very good. This past year we became certified as an official sailing school by US Sailing. We look forward to the benefits that new relationship will bring. Our all-volunteer organization continues to attract committed sailors who are excited about promoting the many benefits to sailing to the greater Chicago community.

 

Students of the Year:  Clar and Liu 

The evening closed with the traditional awards ceremony. Program leaders presented awards to members who were outstanding in a number of categories during this past sailing season. This included:

 

Instructor of the Year - Nick Brait

Students of the Year - Steven Clar and Julia Liu

Maintenance Volunteer of the Year - John Muhlenberg

Overall Volunteer of the Year - Simeon Stairs

Chairman's Award - Maya Teleki

 

Members Gary Thrane and Jay Owens were also the lucky recipients of two door prizes consisting of gift certificates to the Weber Grill.

 

Although the awards ceremony was the official end to the evening, many members stayed a while longer to finish their conversations and to share their anticipation for next year's sailing season.

^Top 

FREE SAILING MAGAZINES ON iPHONE AND iPAD
By Tom Ellett

 

Although it's no substitute, the next best thing to sailing is reading about sailing, and two new iOS apps offer plenty of cruising travelogues, dream boat-profiles, and gear reviews to get us through the long, dark Chicago winter.  Two sailing magazines have made their back issues available for free on your iPhone or iPad with apps available in Apple's App Store.  

 

All the content of Cruising World from March 2009 to June 2013 is available for download, as are the bi-monthly numbers of Sailing World from July/August 2011 to November/December 2013.  Careful though, you have to download the correct app to get the content for free.  Both magazines have created a different app for current issues and the free, back issues (and to make matters more confusing, the back issues available for free in one app are also for sale in the other).  Cruising World Magazine Archive and Sailing World Magazine Archive are the apps you want.

 

Of course, the publisher hopes that as a result of its largesse you will buy the more recent back issues or subscribe and that can be done through the other Cruising World and Sailing World apps.  The magazines are also available digitally for Android and Amazon's Kindle devices, but the free content is only available to iOS customers.

^Top 

NOTES FROM NOVEMBER BOARD MEETING

The Sail Chicago Board held its monthly meeting on November 13, 2014, where the following was discussed:

  • Chairman Chris Schuler reported on his attendance at the US Sailing Annual Meeting in Milwaukee on October 13.  He told the Board that if our members pass the Skipper Prep course, they would become qualified to take the USD Sailing Skipper certification exam.
  • The purchase of another Colgate was discussed.  Chris Schuler will attempt to negotiate a deal for a boat that is currently on the market and will report back to the Board at the December meeting.
  • The Board approved a proposal to move the Colgate, Naked Dance, from Belmont Harbor to Monroe Harbor.

^Top 

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: November 2014

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for November
New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #11
November, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort

 

The sailing season is over, and our fleet has been safely tucked away in the Canal Street Marina for the winter. There are still sailing-related activities going on among the members of the Sail Chicago community, however.  Our boat teams, headed by Boat Managers have already begun their maintenance functions in order to prepare our fleet for the next summer. They will continue to work at the Marina, primarily on the weekends, until the weather prevents them from doing so.  Being part of a boat team is a great way for our newer members to learn some of the intricacies of boat maintenance and to meet other members of the Sail Chicago community.

 

Our End of Season Gala is coming up Saturday, November 22.  This year it will again be held at the Columbia Yacht Club (the big blue boat at the south end of DuSable Harbor).  Space is limited to 75 participants, so make sure to get your reservation in early.  As we head into winter, we'll also be offering some winter seminars on sailing-related topics.  Watch for upcoming announcements and future articles in Between the Sheets.

 

Remember also that the US Sailing National Sailing Symposium will be held in New Orleans, January 21 - 24. Attending the Symposium is a great way to chase away those winter blues and improve you sailing skills to boot. See the article in this issue for more information. Several of our members have already signed up.

 

Now is also a good time to consider how you plan to meet your annual service requirement.  This requirement must be met by the time that sailing season begins next May if you want to participate in any on-the-water activities.  See the article below to find out how you can sign up for a role now that will help you to complete your service time over the winter months.

^Top  

QUICK-STOP RESCUES

 

Sail Chicago members who are skippers or who have taken at least our intermediate sailing instruction program know that we teach two methods of rescue in a crew overboard situation.  The Quick-Stop method is one of them, and it's based upon the technique that's taught by US Sailing in their Basic Keelboat Certification series. Take a minute now to think about the steps you would take to use the Quick-Stop Rescue in a crew overboard situation, and then click here to compare them to the steps suggested by US Sailing.  And to see a diagram of how Sail Chicago teaches the Quick-Stop Rescue, click here.

^Top


HMS Bounty  
IN THIS ISSUE
From the Editor...
Quick-Stop Rescues
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Useful Information
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
End-of-Season Event: Nov. 22
National Sailing Symposium
Board Seeks Members to Fill Vacant Posts
New Skippers Welcomed
Priorities Goes Down the River
Rhodes Haul-out, a Success
Member Credits to Roll Over
Meet Your Service Requirement
October Board Meeting Notes
DATES TO NOTE
November 13 - Board Meeting
November 22 - End of Season Party
December 11 - Board Meeting
January 21-24 - US Sailing National Symposium
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Sean Francis
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan
USEFUL INFORMATION

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org
SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

  

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to Sail Chicago
When you shop online at Amazon Smile, Sail Chicago will receive a donation of .5% of your eligible purchases.  It's a great way to both give and receive.  To get started, click here.

Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets
at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website.

 ^Top 

END-OF-SEASON EVENT:  SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Columbia Yacht Club

By Pat Webster, Social Coordinator

 

It's time for Sail Chicago to celebrate another great season with our members and friends at the Columbia Yacht Club* on Saturday evening November 22nd.   We'll enjoy a great gourmet dinner and honor our many dedicated member volunteers.  The cash bar will be open at 6:30 followed by dinner at 7:00PM.  A delicious menu has been planned by the yacht club's chef including Salad, Roasted Amish Breast of Chicken with Field Mushrooms, Seasonal Ravioli, Fresh Vegetables, Roasted Redskin Potatoes, Assorted Gourmet Cookies and Coffee and Tea. (Gluten free options are available.)   After dinner the Board of Directors will recognize those who have excelled in the organization, either through their achievement or through their volunteerism.It is because of the collaborative efforts of all of our volunteers that Sail Chicago is a successful community sailing program that continues to grow.

 

Register and pay now by clicking here, or look for an email announcement with a registration link. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. The cost is $32.50/person for Sail Chicago members and their guests and $38/person for Sail into Summer program participants and their guests. Parking will be available in the DuSable Harbor parking lot (at reduced off season rates). Questions: contact Pat Webster.

 

*  The Columbia Yacht Club is located in the big ship at Randolph and Lake Shore Drive. This is a private members only yacht club that has opened its doors to Sail Chicago for this end of season event for the last several years.

^Top

NATIONAL SAILING SYMPOSIUM, JANUARY 21 - 24


 
US Sailing is once again sponsoring its annual National Sailing Programs Symposium, this yearin NewOrleans, January 21 - 24.  In its own words, US Sailing says:

 

The National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) is the premier event for sailing education in the United States. NSPS is the only conference of its kind that brings together program directors, instructors, volunteers, parents and industry representatives to share and learn best practices with one another about running, maintaining and improving sailing programs. Our goal is to have participants coming out of the symposium with ideas to apply to their sailing programs to make them better and help them grow.

 

Sail Chicago has traditionally sent representatives from our organization to the Symposium.  For more information and to register, click here.

^Top 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD SEEKING MEMBERS TO FILL VACANT POSITIONS

Although the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting is still a couple of months away, the Board is beginning to focus on potential candidates to fill vacant Board positions that it can recommend to the Sail Chicago membership. The membership may propose other candidates at the Annual Meeting, and it will vote on all candidates presented.

 

Please think carefully about whether you'd like to become a candidate to fill a vacant Board position. As a Board Member you should:

  • Be actively involved in at least one area of Sail Chicago activities or programs,
  • Plan to attend all regularly-scheduled monthly Board meetings,
  • Volunteer for and participate in at least one Board committee,
  • Think creatively about ways in which Sail Chicago may better serve its members and the greater Chicago community, and be prepared to turn those thoughts into action.
Board members typically serve a three-year term. If you would like to be considered, or if you know of someone you believe should be considered for a position on the Board, please contact Steve VanderVoort, Chairman of the Board Development Committee. 

^Top 

NEW SKIPPERS WELCOMED TO THE WATER
New Skippers
Some new skippers

 By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

 

Let's welcome 14 new Sail Chicago Skippers from the 2014 Season!

 

The following students passed both our updated Sail Chicago Written and On-the-Water test to become new Sail Chicago Skippers this year:  Tim Alonso, Ray Beikzadeh, Tom Ellett, Luke Forbing, Rachel Granneman, Brian Johnson,  Sergey Lobanov, Chuck Luse, David Merrill, Martin Mohdal,  Antonio Picon, Brandon Sanders, Greg Scannell, Dana Smith, Adam Stein, John VanAlstyne, and Daniel Van Slett. We congratulate them as they embark on a journey of life-long learning on the water!

 

As part of their On-the-Water Check Out procedure, New Skippers must agree to and sign the Keelboat Skipper Personal Statement which, among other things, states:

 

"I will act in good faith to represent Sail Chicago's high standards of sailing, safety, community and environmental awareness both here in Chicago's waters and beyond. This includes practicing proper safety procedures, respect for all boats and equipment, Maintenance Hotline procedures, Incident Reporting procedures, and environmental stewardship. I have read the Sail Chicago Regulations and I agree to obey them. I understand and will comply with the Wind Guidelines stipulating the necessary minimum crew experience based on wind conditions at the harbor and as forecasted.   I understand that receiving a Keelboat Skipper card does not make me a great sailor--it indicates that I am trusted to continue learning while sailing the Colgate 26.  I understand that as skipper, I am personally and fully responsible for the safety of fall on board, for the boat, and for the actions of my crew under any contingency that might arise."

^Top

PRIORITIES GOES DOWN THE RIVER

By Steve VanderVoort

Priorities goes under the Columbus Street Bridge


 
On Wednesday, October 15, five Sail Chicago stalwarts met at DuSable Harbor at 8:15 am sharp. Their mission: to make sure that

Priorities, our cruising boat, was safely tucked away at the Canal Street Marina for the winter.   The morning was overcast, with the weatherman predicting rain by the early afternoon, but that did not deter our eagerness to get under way.  Under the direction of skipper Simeon Stairs, the rest of the crew, including Simon's son, Wilder, Walter Popp, Merle Baker, Manny Conde, and me, cast off at promptly 8:30 am heading for our first destination, the lock on the Chicago River.

 

As we rounded the breakwater at the lock entrance, we found a dozen more sailboats, all with their masts up, waiting for the lock to open, which it did, about half-an-hour later.  All boats motored easily to the Columbus Street Bridge, where we again had to wait for about twenty minutes before the bridge was raised to let us through.  We knew that we had to navigate under eighteen bridges to reach the marina, and it didn't take us long to figure out that it would probably be a long and tiresome journey.

 

Actually, the time passed relatively quickly for a couple of reasons.  First, we spent a lot of time regaling one another with sailing stories from this summer and from seasons past.  Second, Simeon had kindly brought with him a large container of hot coffee and stacks of doughnuts which we passed around and enjoyed throughout the trip.  Wilder won the prize (a doughnut) for the most doughnuts eaten - five (six if you count the prize).  We finally passed under the last bridge and tied up at the marina pier in a light drizzle around 2:30 pm.  While we were all a little damp, we agreed that we wouldn't have missed this last opportunity for such comradery during this sailing season. 

^Top 

VOLUNTEERS MAKE RHODES HAUL-OUT A SUCCESS
Rhodes 19
The Rhodes 19

By Minna Greene, Rhodes Coordinator

 

Thanks to all who made the October 12th haul-out a smashing success! First, kudos go to Lois Lawson, who coordinated the event by communicating with everyone involved with both the Rhodes and theIdeals. Next, appreciation go to all those on the Rhodes maintenance team who helped haul the boats out of the water and unstepped the masts. Special thanks go to the six people of the Rhodes maintenance team who volunteered to go the extra mile and helped with both the Rhodes and the Ideal 18s. Finally, we could not have completed the job without the help of Ric Smies and Chris Ball who towed the boats to the boatyard.

^Top

MEMBER CREDITS TO ROLL OVER


 
At its October meeting, the Sail Chicago Board passed a resolution allowing members with credits in their Sail Chicago account to roll them over to the following year, with no cap on credits earned.  In previous years credits were wiped out at the end of each sailing season.

 

Members receive credits in two ways:

  1. If they cancel a boat for private use within 48 hours of the scheduled time, their deposit is returned to their account in the form of credits, not money,
  2. If they perform a role for Sail Chicago that is considered by the Board to be vital to the success and welfare of the organization and requires considerably more time than the average member might put in to fulfill their annual service requirement. To see a list of these roles and the credits awarded, click here. 

Members who do not renew their membership in Sail Chicago will lose their credits.  These credits are not reinstated should they decide to become members again at some future time.

^Top 

MAKE SURE YOUR 2015 SERVICE REQUIREMENT IS MET

 

Remember, your service time needs to be completed BEFORE the 2015 sailing season begins if you want to have on-the-water privileges. First year members are exempt from service time during their first season. Before their second season begins, however, they must have signed up for a role that will meet their service requirement. Beginning in 2015, ALL members will be asked to list their service time role on their membership renewal form. If you don't want to fulfill the service requirement but still want on-the-water privileges, you may instead pay an opt-out fee of $400.

 

For a list of open jobs that currently meet the service requirement, click here.  If you have questions about service time, please contact  Christine Garvey.

^Top 

NOTES FOR OCTOBER BOARD MEETING

By Fiona Ray, Board Secretary

 

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held its monthly meeting on October 13, 2014.   The Board discussed the following:

  • The financial condition of Sail Chicago continues to be excellent.
  • The Strategic Planning Committee will look into the possibility of purchasing another boat.  It will consider current and future needs and class of boat.
  • Haul-out of all boats in the fleet has been scheduled.
  • Instruction is working on getting more instructors certified by US Sailing and by the Coast Guard.
  • A post-season survey will be e-mailed to all members.
  • Credits will now be rolled over from year to year.
  • There is no cap on the number of credits that may be earned.
  • Members will need to report their service time roles on their 2015 membership renewal form.

^Top 

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: October 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #10
October, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort

 

Sailing season is almost over.  Our fleet will be out of the water by the last week in October.  What lingers are the memories.  For me, my best times on the water this past summer were when I skippered Tiller Times.  They gave me an opportunity meet some of our newer members and to share my enthusiasm for sailing with others who are perhaps a bit newer with the joy of being "on the water."  If you've got some favorite memories or photos of this past sailing season that you'd like to share with other members of our community, please let me know.

 

One place where our members can share their summer sailing experiences will be at our annual End-of-Season Party on Saturday, November 22 (see article below).  It's a great opportunity to re-live our summer sailing adventures and to find new sailing buddies for the 2015 sailing season.  In past years, it's been a rollicking good time.

 

Even though our sailing season is coming to a close, many of our members are still hard at work.  Our Boat Teams are preparing for the annual sail-down and haul-out to our winter storage facilities at the Canal Street Marina.  Your Board is also hard a work planning for the next sailing season. Items such as updating our five year strategic plan, reviewing fleet locations for the coming year, reviewing and revising our annual Member Service Requirement, and evaluating the purchase of another boat are just a few items on the agenda.  And the Board Development Committee is beginning to plan for the election of new officers and directors at our annual meeting in the first part of new year.

 

Finally, 2014 may well go down as the most successful sailing season in Sail Chicago history.  Our membership has grown from approximately 220 members last year to almost 275 this year.  Our Sail-into-Summer program has again been fantastically successful in getting members of our Chicago community out on the water.  Our fleet renewal program has given us a new (to us) Colgate 26. The second year of our Wednesday Night Colgate Racing Program saw more participation, and our Instruction Program exceeded very ambitious goals, both in terms of revenue and number of students.  Our overall financial situation is excellent.  Thanks to all our member volunteers for making all this possible! 

^Top  

GETTING OUT OF IRONS

 

If you've ever been at the helm and gotten yourself into irons (head to wind), then you know it's tough to get out. Click here for some tips from US Sailing on how to do so quickly and easily.

^Top


Colgate Sailing
IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Getting out of Irons
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Useful Information
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
Haul Out Help for Colgates and Priorities
Rhodes and Ideal Decommisioning: Oct. 11 & 12
Happy Hour at the Weather Mark, Oct. 24
End-of-Year Awards Dinner
Strictly Sail Moves to New Venue & Time
The Prudent Mariner...Lessons Relearned
Change in Life Jacket Rules
September Board Meeting Notes
DATES TO NOTE
October 13 - Board Meeting
October 24 - Happy Hour at the Weather Mark

November 11 - Board Meeting
November 22 - End of Season Party
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Sean Francis
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan
USEFUL INFORMATION

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org
SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

  

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to Sail Chicago
When you shop online at Amazon Smile, Sail Chicago will receive a donation of .5% of your eligible purchases.  It's a great way to both give and receive.  To get started, click here.

Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets
at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website.

 ^Top 

HAUL OUT HELP NEEDED FOR COLGATES AND PRIORITIES
Getting a Colgate ready for winter


 
The Colgates will be sailed/motored to DuSable Harbor on October 17th and 18th.

 

On Saturday, October 18th, we will be de-masting the boats and securing the masts for the motor down to the Canal Street boatyard.   Lowering the masts will take place at Du Sable Harbor at 9 a.m. at B Dock (gate combo 253). Lowering the masts requires many people.  Come out and meet new members or renew old acquaintances.

 

Contact Shawn Lord and let him know what day you are available. Coffee, water, and pastries will be available in the morning, and Christy Lord is providing chile for lunch along with pop and water.

 

Priorities will be sailing down to DuSable Harbor on Tuesday, 10/14, and will be docked at E31 (E gate combo 324).  The following morning, 10/15, at 8:45 am, Priorities will be motoring down the river to the boatyard with mast up.  Please contact Simeon Stairs if you can help.   

^Top 

RHODES AND IDEALS SAIL-UP AND DECOMMISIONING:  OCT. 11 & 12
Ideal 18 at Sunset
An Ideal under sail
By Minna Greene, Rhodes Coordinator

 

Hi, Maties! The end of the sailing season is fast approaching. On Saturday morning the Rhodes and the Ideals will leave from Monroe Harbor and Sail up to Montrose Harbor. Then on Sunday the Ideal 18 crew will meet at Montrose at 9:00 and the Rhodes 19 crew will meet at 10:30 to haul the boats out of the water. We'll need lots of help on both days. If you can join us, please call me at 773-769-6375 or email me at minnagreene@me.com, or call Matilda McFarland at 773-266-1231, or email her at jmsmcfarland@sbcglobal.net.

 

Both Matilda and I need more help so I hope you can join us!  

^Top 

HAPPY HOUR AT THE WEATHER MARK, FRIDAY, OCT. 24
The Weather Mark

By Pat Webster, Social Director

 

Meet and mingle with other Sail Chicagoans for a happy hour at the Weather Mark Tavern on Friday October 24th from 6-9 PM.  The Weather Mark* is a nautically- themed bar and restaurant in the south Loop, and is an all-around great place to connect with fellow sailors.  There will be drink specials ($3 for draft beers, Bud Light and Miller Light, $5 rum drinks), and fish and chips for $10.95.  We done this twice before, and everyone had a great time, eating, drinking, and catching up with old friends and making new ones.

 

Although this is a "pay as you go" no charge event, the Weather Mark would appreciate advance registration for a head count. Please click here to register.

 

Questions: contact Pat Webster.

 

*The Weather Mark is located at 1503 S Michigan.  Pay at the Box street parking is available.

^Top 

END-OF-YEAR AWARDS DINNER:  NOV. 22

 By Pat Webster, Social Director 

 

Sail Chicago will once again celebrate the season and honor our dedicated and hardworking member volunteers with a gourmet dinner at the Columbia Yacht Club on Saturday evening, November 22.

End of season party 2
Last year's dinner

It is because of the collaborative efforts of all of our volunteers that Sail Chicago is a successful community sailing program.   We look forward to an evening of dining and relaxing with friends in this nautical setting.  The cash bar will be open at 6:30 followed by dinner at 7:00PM. A delicious menu has been planned by the yacht club's chef including salad, roasted Amish breast of chicken with field mushrooms, seasonal ravioli, fresh vegetables, roasted redskin potatoes, assorted gourmet cookies and coffee and tea.  After dinner the Board of Directors will recognize our many dedicated volunteers and those who have excelled in the organization.

 

Look for registration information in an upcoming email and in the November issue of Between the Sheets.  Space is limited, so be sure to register early.

 

*Columbia Yacht Club is located in the big ship at Randolph and Lake Shore Drive.  It is a members' only club, so we're fortunate to be able to open it up to Sail Chicago for this event. 

^Top 

STRICTLY SAIL SHOW MOVES TO NEW TIME AND VENUE

By Emma Lynch, Strictly Sail Show Coordinator

 

Ed Jacob, Mike Swiontek, Amber Kelly
Sail Chicago's booth at a previous Strictly Sail Show

The Strictly Sail Chicago Show, Chicago's premier sailing show, has moved to a new time and a new venue.  Traditionally held at Navy Pier the last weekend in January, it will now be held in conjunction with the Chicago Boat and RV Show in the South Hall of McCormick Place, January 14 - 18.  This combined show should attract more visitors  and will give them a better opportunity to discover all sides of boating in Chicago.

 

Sail Chicago has for many years been an active participant in the Strictly Sail Chicago Show. Many of our members were first introduced to Sail Chicago at the Show.  We will be participating again this year, and we will be asking our members to help us by volunteering their time to staff our booth.  This year will we need even more help, because the Show has been extended by a day and the hours that the show is open have been lengthened.  Watch for more information about how you can volunteer in future issues of Between the Sheets.  And to get a sneak preview of what the Show has to offer, click here.

^Top 

THE PRUDENT MARINER:  LESSONS RELEARNED
By John Lemon, Safety Director

Lemon.jpg
John Lemon

Several readers have suggested that we include in this column "lessons learned" from incidents in which things didn't go as planned and sailors found themselves in some sort of a jam.   Reviewing the incidents involving Sail Chicago sailors over the 2014 sailing season, I'm inclined to categorize most of them as "lessons relearned".   That is, we have gained no new insights into procedures or sailing tactics that we haven't already incorporated into our sailing classes and best practices.    I should add that it's rare that sailors run into trouble once they leave the harbor.   It's getting to and from the harbor entrance that can be challenging if you're not prepared.

 

In the March, 2014, edition of this column I reported on a seminar I attended at the Strictly Sail show.   Sailing educator John Rousmaniere emphasized the importance of conducting a crew checklist in much the same manner as we conduct an equipment checklist prior to heading out on a sail.  The skipper and crew must "organize, plan, think, and talk" so that everyone is on the same page, understands his or her tasks, and knows how to perform them.  This includes a thorough discussion of contingencies-what if the motor dies, what if we miss our first approach to the mooring can, how we will fend off if the need arises, etc.  Not having that discussion of tasks, roles, and responsibilities prior to departure means you lose crucial seconds and minutes as well as the ability to act decisively when things go south, instead of calmly shifting to "Plan B".

 

Our educational program has always emphasized the importance of learning to maneuver under sail in close quarters, which primarily involves sailing from the mooring buoy to the harbor mouth and returning to the mooring under sail at the end of the day.  Keeping the sailboat powered up is critical.   Loss of steerage, whether due to improper sail trim or incorrect steering, should be avoided.   Acting quickly to regain steerage, whether that means backwinding the jib to get out of the no-go zone, executing a quick tack, or resorting to using the outboard motor if it's working, is key to safely negotiating the mooring field.   Here again, a clearly discussed plan, including contingencies, and assigned roles for all crew is essential.

 

Approaching the mooring on a close reach ensures that the skipper can trim and ease the main sail as needed to approach the mooring under complete control.

 

Sailing in close quarters requires "all hands on deck" and the skipper and crew's full attention.   It's the key to having a great day on the water. We're already looking forward to the 2015 sailing season to continue to build our sailing skills.
CHANGE IN COAST GUARD LIFE JACKET RULES

  

According to a September 30 press release issued by BoatUS, the US Coast Guard is scheduled to drop the current life jacket code scheme beginning October 22.  The rule will only apply to new lifejackets manufactured after that date.  Current life jacket rules based on existing code types--Type I, II, III, IV and V--will continue in effect.

 

The goal is to allow innovation in life jacket design, leading to more wearable life jackets.  Costs should go down as well, as manufacturers will not need to make unique designs for the US adhering to the old USCG types.  Boating safety organizations are in the process of seeking new designs with the goal of creating life jackets that boaters will readily wear.  As we all know, wearing your life jacket is key to safety on the water.

 

Click here for the link to the BoatUS press release.

^Top 

NOTES FOR SEPTEMBER BOARD MEETING

By Fiona Ray, Board Secretary

 

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on September 11h, 2014.   The Board discussed the following:

  • Reviewed financial condition through August 2014, noting that we are in a solid financial situation and that the membership goal has been exceeded (with approximately 280 current members). Given our surplus cash on hand, the Board began discussion of the possibility of acquiring an additional vessel for 2015 season.  The Board will discuss the merits of an additional C26 purchase at the October 2014 Board Meeting.   
  • The Board discussed issues regarding overall lack of service-time volunteers, particularly for boat maintenance and repairs.  The Board discussed the need to revamp the current service time system to better track, encourage, and enforce service time requirements.  Ideas for better control and oversight will be discussed at the October Board meeting.  
  • Four Board Director terms will expire in early 2015.  The Board Development Committee will recommend candidates for any open positions. 
  • The Board is developing a post-season member survey to gain insight into member satisfaction and guidance for future planning.  
2015 Planning will begin soon.  Program directors will be asked to submit budget and program plans (including handbook updates) over the coming weeks. 

^Top 

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: September 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #9
September, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort

 

Sailing season looks like it's starting to wind down.  The days are getting shorter, and more of our members are taking the boats in our fleet out for private use. Perhaps that's because they realize that there may not be that many good sailing days left. The large boating events in Chicago are over for another year.  Venetian Night, with its annual parade of Boats is history.  The Verve Cup Inshore Regatta was held August 23-24 (see article in this issue).  This year five of our Colgates participated in the race.  Soon we'll start thinking about putting our boats away for the season so our volunteer maintenance crews can start preparing them for next spring.

 

Our Instruction Program has just completed its most successful season in Sail Chicago history.  It has met a very ambitious goal, with more courses, instructors, and students than ever before (see article in this issue).  Next year we can look forward to having a new-and-improved course registration system that will further automate the process and make it much easier to enroll in Sail Chicago sailing courses. This, of course, ties in with a major part of our mission, which is to "...provide quality instruction in sailing and boating safety..."

 

In the past couple of months we've had a spate of minor "incidents" occur with our boats. None was serious, but they do deserve our attention. An "incident" occurs whenever a Sail Chicago boat comes into contact, however briefly, with another boat or with an obstruction such as a seawall or breakwater. Most of these incidents occurred when boats were in the harbor sailing to or from a mooring, and the helmsman somehow lost control. Your Sail Chicago Board recently sent a letter to all members suggesting guidelines for sailing safely in the harbor.   

^Top  

NAVIGATING SAIL CHICAGO'S WEB SITE

 

The Rules and Regulations in the Sail Chicago Handbook state that all on the water accidents or incidents (see the Handbook for a definition of an "Accident" or "Incident") must be reported to the Safety Director by the skipper of record within 24 hours of the occurrence.  Your my.sailchicago.org website now makes it especially easy to do so.  Just go to Reservations/Incident-Accident Report, and fill out the on-line form. It's that simple!

^Top

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spinnaker
A Rhodes flying a spinnaker
IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to Sail Chicago
ARTICLE TITLE
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Useful Information
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
Credits - Use Them or Lose Them
Happy Hour at the Weathermark
ARTICLE TITLE
In-Shore Verve Racing
A Banner Year for Instruction
A Successful Schuler Scholar Program
A Kind of Correction...
DATES TO NOTE
September 11 - Board Meeting
October 9 - Board Meeting
October 24 - Happy Hour at the Weather Mark

November 22 - End of Season Party
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Sean Francis
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan
USEFUL INFORMATION

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org
SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

 

Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card, click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.

 

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Tiller Time for Member Students
If you're a Sail Chicago member and a current small keelboat student, you may sign up for Tiller Times on any of our small keelboats (Colgates, Rhodes, or Ideals). Watch for Tiller Time openings on the Reservations page of the Sail Chicago website.  

Join the Share-a-Sail Program 
If you need crew or you want to volunteer as crew, our Share-a-Sail program is for you.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there. You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and Sail-into-Summer students can participate.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to Sail Chicago
When you shop online at Amazon Smile, Sail Chicago will receive a donation of .5% of your eligible purchases.  It's a great way to both give and receive.  To get started, click here.

Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets
at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website.

 ^Top

CREDITS:  "USE 'EM OR LOSE 'EM"

Skippers can accumulate sailing credits for a variety of reasons.  The most common one is cancelling a boat reservation within 48 hours of the reservation period (see the Sail Chicago Handbook for specific rules on member accounts and credits).  While credits function like money in member accounts during the sailing season, there's one big difference:  at the end of the season, all credit balances are WIPED OUT.

Skippers, in order to make sure that all your credits are used by the end of the sailing season, check your member account NOW!  Remember, credits are used before the money in your account, so if you've got credits, reserve a boat and get our on the water sailing before the end of the season.
COMING UP:  HAPPY HOUR AT THE WEATHER MARK

By Pat Webster, Social Coordinator 

 

Save the date for a happy hour at the Weather Mark Tavern on Friday October 24th, 6-9 PM. The Weather Mark is a nautically themed bar and restaurant, and is an all-around great place to connect with fellow sailors. There will be drink specials ($3 for Bud, Bud Light, Miller and Miller Light, $5 for rum drinks), and fish and chips for $10.95. We did this last fall, and everyone had a great time, eating, drinking, and catching up with old friends and making new ones. Look for more information in the October BTS and in an email blast. Don't miss out on the fun!

^Top 

MEMBER CRUISE OUTINGS ARE STILL VENTURING OUT
Colgate Sailing
A Colate MCO

By Mehmet Tasci,  MCO Coordinator

 

Member Cruise Outings (MCOs) are informal pleasure sails for all Sail Chicago members and their guests. It is an opportunity to get on the water without the responsibility for skippering a boat. It is free for Sail Chicago Members and 20 $ for each guest. You can reserve your seat by going to webmaster@sailchicago.org.

 

Becoming a MCO skipper is a great opportunity to meet other sailors. As a MCO skipper, you have the option to bring a first mate of your choice on board. You can fulfill your duties by becoming a MCO skipper 5 times in a season. If you have fulfilled your duties for this year, you can work towards next year duties by becoming a MCO skipper this year. To find out more, please contact MCO@sailchicago.org.

^Top 

IN-SHORE VERVE 2014 TESTS SAIL CHICAGO'S COLGATE RACERS

By Robert Cohen, Racing Coordinator 

 

Verve Races
Two Sail Chicago Colgates running before the wind

Twenty-two Racers from Sail Chicago participated in this year's Chicago Yacht Club In-Shore Verve regatta.  We fielded five of our Colgate 26's and were joined by a Colgate 26 from the Lake Forest Sailing Program for a total of six.  This was double the number of boats compared to our inaugural year last year.

 

The first day of racing was cancelled because of pea-soup fog and severe thunderstorms, but the second day of racing made up for it.  The sun shone as our Colgate's battled it out in four sequential races each composed of four legs on a windward, leeward course about 0.75 miles long.

 

The day put all of our racing skills to the test, our boat preparation (diving the boats first thing in the morning to pull all of the sea grass off the keels and rudders), boat speed and sail trim, boat handling and tactics as we negotiated heavy chop left over from the storms the day before.  Each race required two spinnaker hoists and douses testing our ability to raise and lower the chute cleanly.  It was also a test of endurance as the each race rolled immediately into the next for a total of five solid hours of racing without a break.

 

At the end of the day, the Lake Forest young folks (all light and skinny) took first place, followed by Bob Cohen, Manoel Conde, Mike Swisher, and Alex Pedenko in Meridian in second place, and Alfred Chan, Alex Bott, Chris Ball, and Viorel Stan in Windhorse in third! Skippers Adam Collins in Recess, Bob Lapin in Eclipse and Robert Tepper in Albatross all gave everyone a run for their money.

 

The Verve 2014 was a great success for Sail Chicago's Colgate 26 racing program which has doubled its participation in its second year.

 ^Top 

A BANNER YEAR FOR THE INSTRUCTION PROGRAM!

By Michael Swisher, Instruction Coordinator and        

Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

 

Students in a Sail Chicago class
We had another banner year of Sail Chicago Instruction with over 50 classes offered to boatloads of excited new students.   In addition to the three core courses we had on the Colgates, we also had Cruising courses on Priorities and a Spinnaker Class on the Rhodes.  Of course, we also offered nearly countless Tiller Time learning sessions on the water.  All the classes are now complete for the season except for a couple make-ups still eager to go out.  For some of our courses, this was one of the most difficult weather related seasons in recent years with many classes cancelled due to the unusually heavy and persistent fog and either too much or too little wind.  Hats off to our Instructors who truly went above and beyond their allotted commitment to schedule make up classes and do all they could to give our students a good, safe, learning experience. 

^Top  

SCHULER SCHOLAR PROGRAM COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL FIRST SEASON


 
This year Sail Chicago hosted Schuler Scholars students on our boats for the first time. Program Coordinator Tom Simms says that, "The program was a great success.  Thirty scholars from eight different high schools had the opportunity to sail on Lake Michigan.  With the relatively light winds, each student and each adult supervisor had a turn on the tiller. Several Sail Chicago members stepped up to volunteer as skippers and first mates."

 

The Schuler Scholar Program prepares students in the Chicago area who are bright and motivated, but underserved, to succeed at the most competitive colleges and universities in the nation. Schuler Scholars are typically first-generation college-bound, come from under-resourced families and communities, and will need financial assistance in order to attend college. Many Scholars are from a population that is under-represented on college campuses.

 

Our thanks to Tom for organizing and following through with the program. We hope to partner with Schuler Scholars for many years. Tom will be asking for help from skippers and mates again next year. Let's volunteer for this program!

A KIND OF CORRECTION...

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator  

 

Lemon.jpg
John Lemon 
  

I read with some interest the article "Nostalgia?" and the accompanying piece from the Chicago Tribune in the August Between the Sheets.  While both articles emphasize Sail Chicago's excellent instructional program, there were some factual errors and omissions that may leave an incorrect impression on our readers.  It's really an "apples and oranges" comparison.  According to the 2003 Sail Chicago Handbook, the $5 rental fee applied to Rhodes 19s only on weekday mornings and Saturday evenings.  Weekday evenings and weekend fees were in the $20 to $25 range.  Tiller Times and Member Cruises were $15 per person per sail.

 

The "$50 sailing class" mentioned refers only to Pre-Sail Orientation (previously known as Dryland).  On-the-water sailing classes cost $225 for five lessons, plus the fee for Pre-Sail, and were taught on the Rhodes 19.  Our main working fleet consisted of eight Rhodes 19s of fairly old vintage. No Colgate 26s, no Ideals, and a few older cruising and racing boats.  Sail Chicago used dinghies to row out to access our Rhodes 19s, which usually took two or three trips to ferry everyone aboard.  And the boats were moored much further from the shore.  We did not regularly use the tender to access our boats at Monroe Harbor.

 

Much has changed in the past decade.  We have acquired a fleet of six Colgate 26s and two Ideal 18s. The Colgate is the premier training sailing vessel on the water today.  And we have changed our model from "pay as you go" for Tiller Times and Member Cruises--access to both is now free and unlimited for members.  Membership dues have risen to reflect the added value as well as the increasing costs of operating a fleet of boats in Chicago.  Compared to the cost of owning your own boat, Sail Chicago offers significant value and access to sailing education that is unique in Chicago. 
Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: August 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #8
August, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

 

Steve VanderVoort

Last month we learned that Sail Chicago has been accredited by US Sailing, the premier sail boating and racing association in the United States, as one of its official sailing schools.  While we still have a few hoops to jump through before this accreditation is complete, this event does mark another significant milestone for Sail Chicago that began in 2003 when it became independent from American Youth Hostels, its former supporting organization.

 

From 2003 to 2012 Sail Chicago was recognized as a not-for-profit sailing club by the Internal Revenue Service, similar to the Chicago Yacht Club or the Columbia Yacht Club.  The only difference was that we didn't have a physical location, only a fleet of Rhodes 19s and one or two cruising boats.  

 

In 2009 we developed our first five-year plan.  This plan emphasized two areas of prime importance:  fleet renewal and broader sailing instruction opportunities for people in the Chicago area.  The outcomes included a new (to us) fleet of Colgate 26s, boats designed specifically for instruction purposes, and the Sail-Into-Summer program, whereby non-Sail Chicago members could sign up for sailing instruction.  

 

With this renewed emphasis on instruction, we decided to apply to once again to the IRS, this time as a Section 501(c)(3) public charity.  In 2013 we were granted this status, and became a "community sailing program" rather than a private club.  This has allowed us to  apply to US Sailing as an accredited sailing school.

 

 In 2014 we developed a second five-year plan.  This plan emphasizes membership and volunteerism, communications, the location and maintenance of our fleet, and of course, instruction.

 

We are also expanding our programs with other not-for profit institutions around the Chicago area.  While we have for years worked with Lawrence Hall Youth Services and Association House, this year we have begun to provide sailing opportunities for youth involved with the Schuler Scholar program.

 

Recently we have entered into preliminary discussions with some other not-for-profit sailing organizations in the Chicago area about forming a consortium that would greatly benefit all the organizations involved.  While this is an undertaking that will take several years to complete, it will be another step in the long term evolution of Sail Chicago, as we find additional ways to provide sailing opportunities for people in the Chicago area.  Yes, you can be proud of your membership in this organization!

^Top  

SHOP AMAZON SMILE AND DONATE TO SAIL CHICAGO

Are you an online shopper?  Try Amazon Smile.  For every dollar you spend, Amazon will contribute .5% of your eligible purchases to Sail Chicago, and you still have access to everything in your Amazon account.  That makes it easy and simple to both give and receive.  To get started, click here.

^Top

 

IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to Sail Chicago
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Useful Information
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
Credits - Use Them or Lose Them
The Prudent Mariner
To Tow or not to Tow
Calling MCO Ckruisers and Skippers
Rainy, but Successful Picnic
The Wreck of the Silver Spray
Nostalgic?
Navigating the Sail Chicago Website
Thinking About Chartering a Cruising Boat?
July Board Notes
DATES TO NOTE
August 14 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
September 11 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
November 22 - End of Season Party
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Sean Francis
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan
USEFUL INFORMATION

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org
SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

 

Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card, click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.

 

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Tiller Time for Member Students
If you're a Sail Chicago member and a current small keelboat student, you may sign up for Tiller Times on any of our small keelboats (Colgates, Rhodes, or Ideals). Watch for Tiller Time openings on the Reservations page of the Sail Chicago website. &nbnbsp;

Join the Share-a-Sail Program 
If you need crew or you want to volunteer as crew, our Share-a-Sail program is for you.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there. You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and Sail-into-Summer students can participate.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

Shop Amazon Smile and Donate to Sail Chicago
When you shop online at Amazon Smile, Sail Chicago will receive a donation of .5% of your eligible purchases.  It's a great way to both give and receive.  To get started, click here.

Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets
at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website.

 ^Top

CREDITS:  "USE 'EM OR LOSE 'EM"

Skippers can accumulate sailing credits for a variety of reasons.  The most common one is cancelling a boat reservation within 48 hours of the reservation period (see the Sail Chicago Handbook for specific rules on member accounts and credits).  While credits function like money in member accounts during the sailing season, there's one big difference:  at the end of the season, all credit balances are WIPED OUT.

Skippers, in order to make sure that all your credits are used by the end of the sailing season, check your member account NOW!  Remember, credits are used before the money in your account, so if you've got credits, reserve a boat and get our on the water sailing before the end of the season.
THE PRUDENT MARINER:  EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator  

 

Lemon.jpg
John Lemon 
 

The Prudent Mariner thinks everyone should be jumping at any opportunity to go sailing, as we enter the last month of meteorological summer.   Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air on the lake while you can. There is plenty of good sailing yet in August and September, as the temperatures ease and the winds begin to pick up.  Study the weather, make sure everyone on your crew understands what their role is and what to expect on your sail, and check your boat thoroughly to document anything that needs attention.

 

Due to the cold, snowy winter and plentiful rainfall this year, the lake level has rebounded significantly from its historic low levels. The water level has risen two and a half feet since January 2013. This is good news for boaters in general. However, the high water level has submerged a number of previously visible boulders on the breakwater along the outer channel of Monroe Harbor. So be sure to leave at least a good boat length or more between your boat and the visible portion of the breakwater as you head out to the lake. We have already suffered a couple of 'soft' groundings/collisions with submerged rocks along the breakwater, which requires that we remove boats from active service so we can inspect them. There is plenty of room in the channel to sail in and out and carry out necessary tacks and jibes to make a safe passage. 

 

As you may have seen in the media, one of our boats was knocked down and swamped in a small, very localized storm on July 29.  No one was injured, and the Chicago Police Department Marine Unit was on the scene very quickly to rescue the sailors and right the boat.   This storm was not associated with any cold front or storm system and was thus difficult to anticipate.  In fact, while the CPD reported 40 knot gusts, the Harrison-Dever crib off North Avenue recorded no gust above about 15 knots.  There were generally light winds that day.  Tom Skilling explained the atmospheric setup very well in his blog.    Other Sail Chicago boats on the lake at the same time weathered the storm well.  It's a reminder that despite our best preparation and training, weather events can sometimes get the best of us. You can read the online Chicago Tribune story here.

 

I came across the following quotation in an online sailing forum I'd like to share. It pretty much sums up the essence of sailing, and life in general:  "Sailing involves the courage to cherish adventure and the wisdom to fear danger. Knowing where one ends, and the other begins, makes all the difference."

TO TOW OR NOT TO TOW

By Bob Lapin with input from John Lemon and Ed Schroeder

 

The Sail Chicago 2013 Handbook makes it clear that "As a general policy, it is NOT a good idea to tow. Towing any boat should be avoided except in an emergency."  Accepting a tow from another boater, no matter how well intentioned, puts us at the mercy of his/her seamanship or lack thereof. We can also be presented with damage claims that are difficult to defend.    

 

1. A Tow or a Salvage:  Make sure you are being towed and not salvaged. According to an article in Cruising World 3/20/2014, "Typically, a situation is considered a salvage if the boat is being rescued from a fire, collision or hard grounding." The disabled boat has the responsibility to make sure that a tow is being requested and not a request for salvage. If salvage is required, 10 - 20% of the boat's value is typically awarded to the Salvager.  

 

In an especially dangerous situation, first responders like the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Police Department and the U. S. Coast Guard will tow the boat. For example, on July 29, our Rhodes 19, Blue Fish, capsized in a storm.  The three crew members were rescued, unharmed, by the Chicago Fire Department and the boat was towed to the Monroe Harbor sea wall by the Chicago Police Department, who were extremely helpful, even fishing a back pack out of the lake and returning it to the sailor.  These professionals will decide the best way to tow the boat. When a tow is being offered by a friendly mariner, make sure you are requesting a tow and rig the boat for towing appropriately.Remember, any time your boat is towed, you MUST report it to the Safety Director as an incident on a Sail Chicago Incident/Accident Report.

 

2. Keel-Stepped Masts:  For towing a boat where the mast is stepped to the keel like our Rhodes 19s and Ideal 18s, use a sturdy line tied securely around the mast with a bowline and led through a bow chock or cleat.  Keep crew off the foredeck because a breaking line can snap back with tremendous force. Before the tow begins, arrange a means of communication with the tow boat by radio or hand signals.

 

3. Deck-Stepped Masts:  For boats with masts stepped to the deck, like our Colgate 26s and Hunter 34, do not tow by the mast as the force of the pull could dislodge the mast.  Instead form a bridle beginning at a cabin top mounted winch, cleating it to a bow cleat, looping it outside the bow pulpit, continuing by cleating the bridle to the other bow cleat and finally attaching the line to the winch on the opposite side. Attach the tow line to this bridle with a bowline.  Again keep crew off the foredeck in case the line breaks and establish a means of communication before the tow begins.

 

4. Towing fees: Sail Chicago will pick up any charges for an emergency tow; fees incurred for a non-emergency tow are the responsibility of the skipper. A Boat US towing policy exists for our Hunter 34. Contact information for Boat US is in the navigation table in the cabin of the Hunter. Finally, remember that any tow is classified as an, "Incident". Complete the Incident Report and send it to Sail Chicago's Safety Officer, John Lemon.

 ^Top 

CALLING MCO CRUISERS AND SKIPPERS

By Mehmet Tasci, Member Cruise Outing Coordinator  

 

Colgage Sailing
An MCO Cruise


Member Cruise Outings (MCOs) are informal pleasure sails for all Sail Chicago members and their guests. It is an opportunity for you to get on the water without the responsibility for skippering a boat. It is free for Sail Chicago Members and $20 for each guest. To reserve a seat, check Reservations/Seat Availability on your my.sailchicago.org website. 

 

Becoming a MCO skipper is a great opportunity to meet other sailors. As a MCO skipper, you have the option to bring a first mate of your choice on board. You can fulfill your annual service requirement by becoming a MCO skipper 5 times in a season. If you have fulfilled your service requirement for this year, you can work towards meeting the requirement next year by becoming a MCO skipper this year. To find out more, please contact me

AUGUST 3RD PICNIC RAINY, BUT A SUCCESS!
Damp but enthusiastic picnickers

By Pat Webster 

 

In spite of a prediction of isolated showers, seventy-six Sail Chicago members, students and guests came out to Belmont Harbor for an afternoon of picnicking and sailing on Sunday August 3rd.  Unfortunately, the showers seemed to be isolated right over Belmont for most of the afternoon and that limited sailing opportunities.  But food was plentiful and spirits remained high; picnic-goers lingered, hoping the weather would break.  Eric Le Pac and Ken Tentler continued to grill, and some of our die-hards, Maureen Huston and Jim Monk, continued to take people out on Naked Dance and Priorities.  For those who did sail, often coming back drenched, there were no complaints, but smiles all around. Many thanks to all of those who volunteered to skipper and crew, make food, transport grills, coolers, tables, etc., and set up and clean up. Sail Chicago is a volunteer-based organization and without those willing to volunteer their time, energy, and talents, events like this would not be possible.

THE WRECK OF THE SILVER SPRAY
By John Lemon, Safety Director 

 

If you've ever wondered about the story behind the big rusty chunk of metal along the shoreline near 48th Street, here it is:  it's the remains of the wreck of a passenger steamer, the Silver Spray, that ran aground in 1914.  The Silver Spray met its demise on Morgan Shoal, where many other boats have found the bottom by accident.  Here is a link to the full account. 

 

It reminds us that Chicago has a rich maritime history. It also reminds us as Sail Chicago members to stay well to the east of the Morgan Shoal when we're sailing south of McCormick Place.  The shoal is marked with a red buoy R"2". You can see the location of the wreck, shoal, and buoy on Page 10, lower left hand corner, of the NOAA Booklet Chart of the Chicago Shoreline, available free online. http://ocsdata.ncd.noaa.gov/BookletChart/14927_BookletChart.pdf. Skippers are responsible for being aware of the location of underwater hazards and must plan their sails accordingly.  Here is a link to the full account. 

NOSTALGIC?

Rhodes 19
The Rhodes was the Sail Chicago workhorse in 2003.
Are you nostalgic for the "good old days" in Sail Chicago, when a skipper could take out a boat for private use for $5 per period and sailing classes were $50.  Unfortunately, we can't teleport you back there, but we can give you a feel for what it was like.  Tom Ellett, a Sail Chicago member, has forwarded us an article from the May 16, 2003 Chicago Tribune that prominently features Sail Chicago as a great organization in which to learn to sail on Lake Michigan.  While costs today may be a little different than in 2003, we've still got the same high-quality instruction programs, and the same enthusiastic membership. Some things never change, thank goodness.
NAVIGATING THE SAIL CHICAGO WEBSITE

Are you interested in changing your password, updating your personal informatiobn, adding funds to your Sail Chicago account, or viewing your account activity?  Just click on your e-mail address located on the upper-right-hand side of your my.sailchicago.org landing page.  It's that simple!
THINKING ABOUT CHARTERING A CRUISING BOAT?

Are you thinking about chartering a cruising boat this winter to take you to exotic places in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, or the South Pacific?  If so, US Sailing has a list of "Dos and Don'ts" that you may find helpful in the planning process.  To find out what they are, click here.  

^Top

JULY BOARD NOTES

By Fiona Ray, Secretary 

 

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on July 10th, 2014. The Board discussed the following:

  • Reviewed financial status through June 2014, noting that we are in a solid financial situation and that the membership goal has been exceeded (with approximately 260 current members) The board approved a motion to repay a $15,000 loan; and an additional $10,000 had been placed in an interest bearing savings account.   
  • The Board welcomed Shawn Lord as a Director. Shawn recently accepted his nomination to the open Board of Directors (2-year) position.
  • The Board is looking for a volunteer with web design and administrative experience to serve as a web master assistant to Alfred Chan. If interested, please contact any board member or refer to the job listings on the Sail Chicago member website.

A sub-committee of the Instruction Program has been formed to develop a recommendation on how Sail Chicago can offer US Sailing Basic Keelboat certification to students.  

 ^Top 

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: July 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #7
July, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Gary Thrane

 

Gary Thrane
Gary Thrane

Jay Owens called our attention to an interesting article by a life-saving expert, Mario Vittone, that highlights facts that every sailor should be aware of.  Here, edited for brevity, is that article:

 

"Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic portrayals prepare us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

 

"The Instinctive Drowning Response-so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D.-is what people do to avoid suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people's mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

 

"Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water's surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.  Drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

 

"So, if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK, don't be too sure.   Sometimes the best indication that someone is drowning is that they don't look like they're drowning.   They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck.   One way to be sure? Ask them, "Are you all right?"   If they can answer, they probably are.   If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.   And parents - children playing in the water make a lot of noise.   When they become quiet, find out why...right away."

^Top  

SAIL CHICAGO ACCREDITED BY US SAILING

 

US Sailing LogoUS Sailing, the premier sail boating association in the United States, has just accredited Sail Chicago as one of its official sailing schools.  US Sailing's mission is to "Provide leadership, integrity and advancement for the sport of sailing."  Sail Chicago Board Chairman Chris Schuler says, "This is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our instructors and is the beginning of a new era for Sail Chicago."  Watch future issues of Between the Sheets for more news about how this accreditation will impact Sail Chicago.

 

Our thanks to Chris for shepherding us through the long and sometimes arduous accreditation process!

^Top 

GET ORIENTED ON THE IDEAL 18s

 

Ideal 18 at Sunset
An Ideal 18 under sail

Our Ideals are fast, light, and fun to sail. If you're a skipper but are not yet authorized to sail an Ideal, a one-session orientation should get you qualified. Our Ideals are the only boats that we're allowed to sail single-handed (after a two-session on-the-water course), a fun challenge for skippers.  To sign up for an orientation on an Ideal, contact Peter Dudak to arrange a mutually convenient time.

^Top 

IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Sail Chicago Accredited by US Sailing
Get Oriented on the Ideals
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Sail Chicago Reminders
Tiller Time Skippers Needed
Shuler Scholar Program Needs You
The Prudent Mariner
Board Clarifies Safety Issue
Friends and Family Picnic
New and Improved Rhodes 19s
"Breakwater Chicago"
June Board Meeting Summary
Are You in a Fog?
DATES TO NOTE
July 10 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
August 3 - Friends and Family Picnic
August 14 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Sean Francis
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

   Member Icon  

Instruction Icon  

Map Icon    

Membership Form Icon       

 

 

facebook button 

twitter button

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org

 

 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

 

Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card, click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.

 

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Tiller Time for Member Students
If you're a Sail Chicago member and a current small keelboat student, you may sign up for Tiller Times on any of our small keelboats (Colgates, Rhodes, or Ideals). Watch for Tiller Time openings on the Reservations page of the Sail Chicago website.  

Join the Share-a-Sail Program 
If you need crew or you want to volunteer as crew, our Share-a-Sail program is for you.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there. You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and Sail-into-Summer students can participate.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets
at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website.

 ^Top

TILLER TIME SKIPPERS NEEDED

By Anke Heinrich

 

Tiller Time is a great way for students to practice the sailing skills they learn in their formal instruction programs. We need more qualified Tiller Time Skippers to help with this. Remember, if you skipper five or more Tiller Times, you'll complete your annual service requirement and receive a $50 sailing credit. But by far your greatest reward will be to pass on your sailing skills to eager Sail Chicago students. To sign up, please contact Anke Heinrich.

 ^Top

SKIPPERS AND MATES--SHULER SCHOLAR PROGRAM NEEDS YOU!

By Tom Simms, Shuler Scholar Coordinator

Schuler Scholars with Skipper Tim Simms

 

As part of its outreach to other not-for-profit charitable organizations in the Chicago area, Sail Chicago has recently partnered with the Schuler Scholar Program to provide opportunities for high school students in that program to gain on-the-water experience and develop their sailing skills.  We are looking for skippers and first mates who could volunteer to take three students and a Schuler supervisor on a Wednesday afternoon Colgate sail from approximately 1 - 4 pm.  The program will run through August 13.  Volunteers can commit to one or more dates.  If you're interested or have questions, please contact Tom Simms.

^Top 

THE PRUDENT MARINER AND HEAVY WEATHER SAILING

BY John Lemon, Safety Director

 

Storm over Chicago
June 30 Storm over Chicago

We have had more than our share of unusual weather this summer. Between the fog, rain, cold, high winds, and thunderstorms, it has made it a challenge to find a summer-like weather window for good sailing. The good thing is that with the advent of smart phones, we can access excellent weather information in real time. And all of the weather forecasting organizations use social media to broadcast forecasts and up-to-the-minute warnings during severe weather events. Combining these resources can help you plan a safe sail. It might be a little wet, or not as sunny and warm as you would prefer, but this is Chicago!

 

The US National Weather Service Chicago Office maintains a great Facebook feed. It is an excellent source for information about impending weather. Tom Skilling also uses social media extensively. He regularly posts in-depth analyses of short and long term forecasts. There are a host of good smart phone radar apps. I like Radar Now, available for both Android and iPhone. It provides a radar loop that is within a few minutes of current time. It can be helpful for monitoring storm trajectories and timing of weather events in our sailing area.

 

Neither apps nor social media can help if you are fogged in while sailing, however. It's always good to keep track of your location and the bearing to a location near the harbor so you can retrace your course using the compass. It helps to post someone on the bow to listen for approaching vessels and assign the rest of your crew to look to either side. If the fog is really dense, sound the fog horn once a minute. None of our boats are equipped with radar, so sailing in the fog is something that should be undertaken with great care.

 

Finally, click here for a link to a great explanation of the two storms that blasted through our area on Monday, June 30.  The Harrison-Dever crib gauge recorded a 53.1 knot (61.1 mph) gust at 7:30 PM.

 ^Top

BOARD CLARIFIES SAFETY ISSUE

 

The seaworthiness of our Sail Chicago fleet has always been among our top priorities. Occasionally accidents or incidents will occur that may possibly impair the seaworthiness of one of our vessels. Rather than take a chance that there may be a significant problem with a boat after an accident or incident below the waterline, the Board has decided to have the boat immediately removed from service until an adequate inspection of any damage can be made.

 

Section 16.4 of the current Sail Chicago Handbook has been amended in part to read:

 

"Collision" - defined as when a Sail Chicago boat strikes or impacts with another boat or object, regardless of whether damage occurs. The underwater "contact" of a boat, particularly the keel, shall be included in the definition of "collision" and shall require the examination of said underwater areas to determine their seaworthiness. In the event of underwater contact with the hull, keel and/or rudder, the skipper must immediately terminate the sail and return to the mooring if it is safe to do so. In no case shall he/she continue to sail the boat."

 

The part in italics has been added to the definition of "Collision." Any time there is any underwater contact with an object, the sail MUST be terminated and the boat taken out of service.

^Top 

FRIENDS AND FAMILY GATHER FOR A PICNIC
Chowing down at the Friends & Family Picnic
Friends and Family picnic

 

Sunday, June 20, was the date of Sail Chicago's first-of-the-season Friends and Family Picnic. Organized by social Coordinator Pat Webster, the event has become a highlight of our sailing season. This year, almost 100 Sail Chicago members and friends registered for the picnic, held at Belmont Harbor, close to where our cruising boat, Priorities, is docked. "This is by far the largest number of people registered for the event that we've ever had," remarked Webster.

 

The day dawned rainy. By 1 pm when the picnic started, the rain had stopped, but a dense fog coated the near-shore area. One of our Colgates that had been scheduled to sail up from Monroe Harbor had to abort the effort because of the fog, but by 1:30 pm when two of the boats in our fleet were ready to take picnickers out sailing, visibility had cleared, and the boats left the dock filled with happy people.

 

As usual, all the fixin's for the picnic were delicious. The brats and burgers were cooked just right, and the home-made salads were delicious. Of course, what would a picnic be without watermelon and cookies for dessert? Many thanks to Pat Webster and her great crew for all the work they did in putting together this wonderful event. And don't forget to join us on Sunday, August 3, for another Friends and Family picnic. Watch for details in future announcements.

^Top 

NEW AND IMPROVED RHODES 19s

By Minna Greene

 

Rhodes 19
Rhodes 19 under sail

Both of our Rhodes 19's now have new, bright blue covers for the main sail so the main sail can remain on the boom, which shortens the process of rigging and de-rigging. Also, Two Fish now has a 3.5 horsepower motor so that we no longer have to worry about becoming becalmed or caught in a storm and unable to return to the harbor.!

 

Come and try out our upgraded Rhodes 19s. I think you'll enjoy them!

"BREAKWATER CHICAGO" MAY BE COMING SOON

 

Breakwater Chicago

A near-shore floating entertainment complex called "Breakwater Chicago" may be coming soon to Lake Michigan. It's being described as a destination for boaters featuring restaurants, spas, shops, lounges, event spaces, and even swimming pools. Sail Chicago member, Beau D'Arcy, is a principal in the start-up that is moving the project forward. For more information about the project and to see an artist's conception, go to the Chicago Tribune article here or visit the Breakwater website.

^Top

JUNE BOARD MEETING SUMMARY

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on June 12th, 2014.   The Board discussed the following:
  • Sail Chicago's formal application to US Sailing was submitted (we received news after the Board meeting that US Sail has accepted our application!). 
  • Reviewed the May financial statements, noting that we are in a solid financial situation and that the membership goal has been exceeded.  Instruction is having a solid season, already on par with year ago figures.   
  • Sail Chicago is in need of a Cruising Director for Priorities; Chris Schuler is temporarily managing.  Any interested and qualified candidates should contact Chris.  We are also seeking to offer more regular member cruise outings (MCOs) on Priorities; ideally Wednesday and Saturday evenings, as well as a weekday.  Skippers are encouraged to volunteer to lead these outings.  
  • The Board agreed with the Safety Director's recommendation regarding grounding procedures.  Any vessel that makes contact with an underwater obstruction must be immediately taken out of service until it has passed inspection to establish the extent of damage and to ensure seaworthiness.   
  • The Board agreed that our Rhodes 19s and Ideal 18s could be made available as a 'small keel boat' option for students seeking tiller times
  • There is one 2 year open Board of Directors position open.  The board approved the Bosrd Development Committee's recommendation of four candidates.   Candidates will be contacted in order of preference, until a candidate accepts. 

^Top

 

HAVE YOU BEEN IN A FOG LATELY?

Have you had to cancel a sail in June because of a fog on Lake Michigan, or worse yet, been caught on the lake as a fog rolled in?  Are you wondering why we've had so much fog?  Well, the U.S. Weather Service has an answer.  To find out more, click here.

^Top

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: June 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #6
June, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

 

Steve VanderVoort

Sailing season is in full swing! Most classes in our Instruction program are filled, our Wednesday night Colgate Racing program is about at capacity, Tiller Times and Member Cruise Outings are being scheduled, our first Friends and Family Picnic and Sail is scheduled for June 22 (see article below), and our sailing opportunities programs with various youth organizations like Lawrence hall Youth Services, Association House, and Schuler Scholars are under way. Of course, when our boats are not being used for these and other Sail Chicago programs, our members who are skippers have reserved boats for private use.

 

If you look at an average boat in any of the Chicago harbors, it will spend 90 - 95% of its time in a slip or bobbing at a mooring.  That's obviously not true of our Sail Chicago boats. Our boats get four to five times the use of the average boat in the harbor.  While this high usage is good in many ways, it does create additional wear-and-tear on our boats, and that means occasional maintenance problems.

 

We are committed to keeping our boats in the safest possible condition.  If we receive a report of a major problem with a boat, we will put it out of service until the problem is fixed.  While this may on occasion be inconvenient, we believe that the safety of our students, skippers, and crew is of paramount importance.  Our member-volunteer maintenance staff has done a fantastic job of keeping our boats in good working order, and they are to be congratulated on the countless hours they put in, not only in servicing our boats during the winter months, but for the emergency repairs that become necessary during the regular sailing season.

 

We also depend upon our skippers, instructors, and crew to do minor repairs and to leave the boats in better condition than they found them.  Of course we need them to report any problems that they encounter on a boat to the Boat Manager for that particular boat.  If you find a serious problem where you believe that the boat is unsafe to sail, please call our Sail Chicago Hotline at 312-409-9000 and report your name and the specific nature of the problem.  The boat will be taken out of service.  

^Top  

LAKEFRONT EVENTS CAN AFFECT SAILORS' ACCESS TO THE LAKE

 

Have you ever wanted to go sailing (especially on a weekend), but found that your access to the lakefront was blocked because of an event, concert, race, etc. that was taking place?  Chicago Harbors has just made your life a little easier.  Lakefront events are now posted on the Chicago Harbors website.  Be sure to check it out before your sail or class. 

^Top 

COLGATE SKIPPERS, TILLER TIME NEEDS YOU

 

If you're an experienced Sail Chicago skipper who's

qualified to sail a Colgate 26, please consider signing up as a Tiller Time skipper. It's a great way to meet new

Colgate Sailing
A Colgate under sail

 people and to pass along your sailing skills to students who really want to learn to sail. In addition, if you skipper five or more Tiller Times, your annual service requirement will be met. Tiller Time skippers have the added benefit of receiving a $50 credit to their sailing accounts once they've completed five Tiller Times. The Tiller Time Program Coordinator may determine skipper qualifications. If interested, please sign up at the Sail Chicago Jobs website.

^Top

Brig for Tall Ships
Lake Michigan sailing

IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Lakefront Events Affect Access
Colgate Skippers, Tiller Time Needs You
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
Family and Friends Picnics
Students Are Eligible for Tiller Time
Sail Chicago to the Rescue!
Pre-Sail Orientations
Season's First Social Event
A Great Start to the Racing Season
Colgate Skippers, Expand to the Rhodes 19
Rhodes 19 Spinnaker Classes
Sail Chicago Board Adopts 5-Year Plan
What's Knot to Like?
Know Your Board Members: Mike Swisher
Using Hand-Held Flares
DATES TO NOTE
June 12 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
June 22 - Friends and Family Picnic
July 10 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
August 3 - Friends and Family Picnic
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Sean Francis
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

   Member Icon  

Instruction Icon  

Map Icon    

Membership Form Icon       

 

 

facebook button 

twitter button

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org

 

 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

 

Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card, click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.

 

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Join the Share-a-Sail Program 
If you need crew or you want to volunteer as crew, our Share-a-Sail program is for you.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there. You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and Sail-into-Summer students can participate.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

Missing Previous Issues of Between the Sheets?
You can always find the current issue and an archive of previous issues of Between the Sheets
at the first (and open to the public) page of the Sail Chicago website.

 ^Top

FRIENDS AND FAMILY PICNICS, JUNE 22 & AUGUST 3
Pat Webster

By Pat Webster - Social Coordinator

 

Join us for an afternoon of picnicking and sailing on Sunday, June 22nd at the north end of Belmont Harbor from 1-5 PM. We'll barbecue by the lake and go out on brief sails throughout the afternoon on our Colgates and on our 34' Hunter. This is a great opportunity to introduce friends and family to sailing and to Sail Chicago. All sailors and their friends and family are welcome.

 

The cost for the event is $5 for Sail Chicago members and their guests; $7 for students/non-members and their guests; $3 for all children under 12. Burgers, veggie burgers, brats, salads, desserts, water and soft drinks will be served. Be sure to bring something to sit on, as there are no picnic tables.  To register, click here.

 

Registering and pre-paying by June 18th are necessary in order to ensure that we have food for all. If you have questions, or if you'd like to help, please contact Pat Webster.

 

Also, if your calendar is already booked on the 22nd, save the afternoon of Sunday August 3rd, when we'll do it all again.

STUDENT MEMBERS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR TILLER TIME PRACTICE

 

Here at Sail Chicago, we firmly believe that the best way you can learn to become a good sailor is to do a lot of sailing. Therefore, as an adjunct to our formal Instruction programs, we offer free "Tiller Times" to Sail Chicago members who are also students in one of our Instruction programs. Tiller Times offer you an opportunity to get out on the water with a qualified Sail Chicago skipper and practice on an informal basis what you learned in your formal class instruction. It's a great way to improve your overall sailing skills, and it's free. To sign up for a Tiller time, from your landing page on the my.sailchicago.org website, click on Reservation/Seat Availability, and sign up for a Tiller Time that's not yet full.

 

To see if you're eligible for Tiller Time, review Tiller Time Policies by clicking here.  If after reviewing the policy, you believe you are eligible but are unable to sign up, please contact Anke Heinrich, our Tiller Time Coordinator, for help.

MEMBER CRUISE OUTINGS STILL AVAILABLE
Hunter 34
An MCO cruise

By Mehment Taschi - MCO Coordinator

 

Member Cruise Outings (MCOs) are informal pleasure sails for all Sail Chicago members and their guests.  It is an opportunity for you to get on the water without the responsibility for skippering a boat. It is free for Sail Chicago Members and $20 for each guest. You can reserve your seat on the reservations page of the my.sailchicgo.org website.

 

Becoming a MCO skipper is a great opportunity to meet other sailors. As a MCO skipper, you have the option to bring a first mate of your choice on board. You can fulfill your annual service requirement by becoming a MCO skipper 5 times in a season. If you have already done so for this year, you can work towards next year duties by becoming a MCO skipper this year.  To find out more, please contact me.

^Top 

SAIL CHICAGO SKIPPER AND CREW TO THE RESCUE!

 

During a recent Tiller Time, Sail Chicago Skipper Norris Larson and his crew were responsible for the U.S. Coast Guard rescue of two jet skiers whose craft had overturned, just east of the Adler Planetarium.  As Skipper Larson stated in his Sail Chicago Incident Report:

 

"A little before 15:00 one of our crew noticed something in the water about 300 yards off the port forequarter.  We all looked and while we could not make out what it was, we decided to investigate.  As we approached, we saw it was a two person water scooter with two people in the water hanging on to the scooter.  Up close we could see that both persons, a man and a woman, were in wet suits and wearing PFDs. We passed by and asked if they needed help.  They said they did.  I then took control of Eclipse and directed a crew member to start the engine and other crew to drop the sails so we could circle close by the scooter without constantly trimming.  Throughout the incident the crew responded ably to my direction.

 

"Since the couple was in wet suits, we decided there was no need to get them out of the cold water immediately.  After a very brief discussion about what to do, I directed one of the crew to call the Coast Guard.  He did so and described the situation.  He told the CG that there were two people in the water off the scooter, described our boat, gave our coordinates, and that we would stand by until a rescue unit arrived."

 

Once the rescue had been completed, the Coast Guard called back to thank everyone for their quick response to a potentially fatal situation.  Norris and his crew are to be commended for their timely actions and level-headed response to two boaters in distress.  Norris in particular set a great example in demonstrating calm leadership and correct decision-making.
THE PRUDENT MARINER:  SAFETY ELECTRONICS FOR THE SAILOR

By Greg Scannell - Assistant Safety Coordinator

 

The previous article illustrates the need to be ready to contact rescue authorities in the event of an emergency on the Lake.  Modern advances in technology have made off-shore and coastal sailing much safer than they used to be.   Some well known devices include the Electronic Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), and Search and Rescue Transponders (SART). All of these devices are designed to notify emergency responders and locate vessels or individuals in distress. The differences include range, precision, who they alert, and battery life. Among these advanced devices, most of us have a very useful tool in our smart or satellite phones, and DSC-equipped SSB or VHF radio. These tools can be used to update assistance with needed information such as number of parties, weather conditions, and injuries to prepare for.  In addition, for an emergency but non life-threatening situation, such as flooding but not sinking, a satellite phone can be used to attract attention without calling a Mayday. 

 

A well-informed crew is a safe crew.   Whatever gear you choose to equip your vessel with, ensure that all on board know where it is and how to use it.   A key aspect to emergency technology is to know when it should and should not be used.  Sail Safely Chicago.

^Top 

PRE-SAIL ORIENTATION TAKES CENTER STAGE
A Pre-Sail Orientation

 

Sail Chicago's annual Pre-Sail Orientations (PSOs) are well underway. Formerly known as "Dryland" (because it was offered in a classroom setting on dry land, not on the water), PSOs offer a theoretical introduction to sailing.  The two-hour class covers such topics as the points of sail, important parts of the boat, and how the sails work.  In addition, some very practical tips are offered on what to bring along when on the water (hat, sun glasses, sun screen, clothing in layers, sailing gloves, snack, water, etc.).  The class also offers advice to new members and Sail-Into-Summer students regarding how they can navigate their way around Sail Chicago, and our new website. Several classes have already taken place, and two more are scheduled in June and July.  All students new to Sail Chicago are required to take a PSO before they take an on-the-water class.

 

Our thanks to Sail Chicago member Mary Ann Wilkins for organizing this vital component of our Instruction program! 

^Top 

FIRST SOCIAL EVENT OF THE SEASON AT THE WEATHER MARK

By Pat Webster - Social Coordinator

 

Fifty sailing enthusiasts came out for drinks and appetizers at our first social event of the season, a mix and mingle, at the nautical-themed restaurant and bar, The Weather Mark, on Saturday May 17th. Members, new students, and guests enjoyed some appetizers and a drink, provided by Sail Chicago, but most important the conversation flowed. It was a great opportunity for all to mingle and make connections. Many stayed for dinner and several continued the conversation well into the evening.

 

There will be more opportunities to get to know fellow sailors at the Friends and Family Picnics, June 22nd and August 3rd. Also, look for another social event at the Weather Mark in the fall. 

 ^Top

A GREAT START TO THE RACING SEASON!
Colgates practicing

 By Maya Teleki

 

We've had a great start to the racing season, with a couple of cold, pre-season practice nights and one brisk race night where we decided to stay in the outer harbor and focus on some intensive mark rounding practice. This past week's race was cancelled by the Columbia Yacht Club due to weather conditions, but we are hoping to get out with the big boats on Wednesday.

 

In addition to the Beer Can Racing series, some of our race coaches have been participating in workshops on Saturdays to learn more about racing techniques and tactics. We've spent two Saturdays roll tacking, flying spinnakers and rounding marks, and are looking forward to good wind this week for our final class.

^Top 

COLGATE SKIPPERS:  EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS TO THE RHODES 19

 

Rhodes 19(4)
Rhodes 19

If you're a Colgate 26 skipper and would like to try a different boat, you can participate in a Rhodes orientation.  After one or more on-the-water sessions you'll be qualified to sail our Rhodes 19s.  The Rhodes is fun to sail and play the waves, quicker to maneuver than a Colgate, and it has a slightly different "feel" at the tiller.  Becoming qualified to sail a Rhodes can give you more flexibility in scheduling private sails during busy times when many of our boats are in use.

 

To schedule an on-the-water Rhodes 19 orientation session, visit the Sail Chicago website and select Seat Availability from the Reservation menu. There should be some sessions listed under Orientation. To request that a session be scheduled for a different date/time, please contact Tim Rice.

^Top 

AN OPENING IN THE RHODES 19 SPINNAKER CLASSES
Greene
Minna Greene

By Minna Greene

 

There is still one opening for the four Sunday afternoon spinnaker classes on the 

Spinnaker
A Rhodes flying a spinnaker

Rhodes 19 on Sunday June 29th, July 13th, July 20th and July 27th. Learn how to rig, raise, fly, and douse the spinnaker. You will be taught the deck work of manning the spinnaker pole, the
cockpit work of raising and lowering the spinnaker, and the skipper's

responsibilities of keeping the spinnaker filled and how to jibe with the spinnaker.

 

Qualifications to take class: Completion of Intermediate Colgate class or Rhodes or Colgate skipper.  Anyone interested in signing up should contact Minna Greene.

^Top 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD ADOPTS FIVE-YEAR PLAN

 

At a recent meeting, the Sail Chicago Board adopted its second Five Year Plan. The first Plan, created in 2009, resulted in significant changes in Sail Chicago's organization, including adopting an ambitious fleet renewal program, an emphasis on Instruction as a key goal of the organization, and the re-positioning of our fleet in two Chicago harbors.

 

The new plan sets goals in six specific areas:

  1. Communications
  2. Membership Volunteerism
  3. Maintenance
  4. Determination of Fleet Description and Location
  5. Revenue
  6. Instruction

To get a clear view of where we're headed in each of these areas and to review the complete plan, click here. Our thanks to Christine Garvey and her committee who spent countless hours putting this plan together.

^Top 

WHAT'S KNOT TO LIKE?

 

Still puzzled about how to tie a bowline? A sheepshank? A stopper knot? A figure 8? Well, puzzle no more. John Lemon, Sail Chicago's Safety Director tells us that Columbia has just come out with a new app for the iPhone that provides simple yet detailed instructions on how to tie over 70 knots in 6 categories, together with examples of the uses of each knot. To access the app, click here.

^Top 

KNOW YOUR BOARD MEMBERS:  MICHAEL SWISHER

 

Sail Chicago has three new members on its Board.  In previous months we highlighted Bob Lapin, and Matt Stuczynski. This month, it's Michael Swisher.

 

Tell us a little about your sailing experience, both in and out of Sail Chicago.  

I began sailing Hobi-cats in 1978 and would go out infrequently with friends on their boats in the 80's.

Michael Swisher
Michael Swisher.

I really caught the sailing bug in the early 90's, and was introduced to Sail Chicago by Bruce Woll. Since then I've checked out on all the boats in our fleet. I've taken sailing classes in the Virgin Islands on cruising catamarans in an effort to get my family on a sailing vacation - hasn't worked yet. I started teaching three years ago, and that's really increased my interest to sail and learn more.

 

Why did you decide to join the Board?

I thought I had a lot more to offer the Sail Chicago than just sailing boats and teaching. The experience getting my US Sailing Instructor's Certification really opened my eyes to what is needed in a top notch teaching organization, as well as making me a better teacher. I also have substantial knowledge in many areas that would benefit the organization, and being on the Board would put me in a better position to contribute more. 

 

What's your vision for the future of Sail Chicago?

I would like to see continued growth of the education program and our teaching fleet, but be mindful that we only have so many instructors. Down the road, I'd like to be able to offer Basic US Sailing certifications, maybe growing to Cruising Certifications. I'd like to have more on-the-water member outings, which might necessitate purchasing another cruising boat. I'd also like to improve community outreach programs. The ramp-up of activities would need support of the membership, and a sizeable group of members committed to such activities, with the understanding that many just want to sail with their families and friends.

 

What do you do when you're not sailing?

Professionally, I work in market research specializing in analytics in the consumer packaged goods industry. I formerly worked for Kraft Foods for 11 years, and before that for a number of very large suppliers including AC Nielsen. I started a consulting practice two years ago doing the same type of work. I sing frequently in stage productions, choirs, and private programs, most recently at the Lincoln Center in New York. I play sports, particularly golf. I also do a lot of "fix-it" projects for the church and friends, from basic building to technical/electronic setups.

^Top 

USING HAND-HELD FLARES
Ed Schroeder
Edward Schroeder

By Edward Schroeder

 

All of our boats are equipped with handheld flares. In an emergency, pyrotechnic signals remain one of the best ways to attract attention. Recently, however, a burning flare caused more problems than it solved.

 

According to a recent article in Practical Sailor magazine, during a training course at the Annapolis School of Seamanship, a USCG-approved Orion handheld flare melted thru its handle and began dripping hot slag on the trainee who was, luckily, wearing leather gloves. The hot slag had burned all the way to the plastic end cap and then melted its way 

Flare
Using a hand-held flare

thru the cap itself.

 

Users need to recognize that they are literally holding fire in their hand and should be prepared to copewith a malfunctioning flare, including holding the burning flare at an angle, holding the flare over the water and wearing heavy leather gloves.

 

It would be good practice, while on a pleasant sail, to read the directions on one of the flares that might save your life.

^Top  

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: May 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #5
May, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort

 

As a part Sail Chicago's first Five Year Plan, we embarked on an ambitious program of fleet renewal.  Our aging Rhodes fleet was becoming more difficult to maintain, and we needed boats that would more efficiently serve our expanding instructional offerings.  As a first foray in this effort, we purchased two Ideal 18s that had been used as instruction boats by an organization on the East Coast.  These boats were fun to sail and easy to maintain, but we found that they were comfortable for only three sailors, not very efficient for running an increasingly large instruction program.

 

As our next venture in fleet renewal, and after considerable research, we purchased a Colgate 26.  This boat could accommodate twice as many people as the Ideal 18s, and it was designed specifically as an instruction boat.  It came with a 4 hp outboard motor, which made it much easier and safer to handle in no-wind or too-much-wind situations. It's also been relatively easy to maintain.  The Colgate has proven so popular with our members and students that we have added five more to our fleet over the past few years.  It is the boat on which we hold most of our small keelboat instruction classes.

 

Our current fleet consists of 6 Colgate 26s, 2 Rhodes 19s, 2 Ideal 18s, and a large cruising boat (a Hunter 34). In an effort to better manage our fleet, we carefully monitor and evaluate usage of each boat class.  We also recognize that at peak times there are different and sometimes competing needs for the boats.  Instruction, Racing, Tiller Times, Member Cruise Outings, occasional social events, and individual Skippers wanting boats for private use all have legitimate claims on our fleet. Balancing these needs, especially during the early part of the sailing season in June and July, can be a really tricky affair.  On the other hand, if everyone could always have use of a boat whenever they wanted it, we would have to add more boats to the fleet, making it inefficient and significantly increasing our costs.  As an alternative, we recommend that all of our Skippers become qualified to sail all the boats in our fleet, thereby giving them more choices of boats to sail. 

 

Last year we surveyed our Skippers regarding their preferences for boat use and harbor locations. This proved very helpful in making decisions regarding this year's fleet and its placement.  We plan to do another survey at the end of this year's sailing season.  We encourage Skippers to keep track of their own boat use during the summer and to report on their satisfaction with our current fleet and its location on that survey.  This will help us greatly in planning for the following year's sailing season.

^Top  

PRIVATE BOAT USE
Sail Chicago Skippers who would would like to reserve boats in our fleet for private use may now do so.  Just log onto My.Sail.Chicago  and click on "Reserve a Boat."  If you need technical support for the website, contact Webmaster Alfred Chan.
 
RHODES AND IDEAL ORIENTATIONS
Rhodes 19
Sailing a Rhodes

If you're qualified as a small keelboat Skipper on our fleet of Colgates, you may want to consider becoming qualified to also skipper our Rhodes and Ideals.  All you need to do in order to get checked out is to take one orientation session on each boat, and they're free!  Becoming qualified on all of our small keelboats gives you greater flexibility in signing out a boat for private use, especially during peak times.  It also improves your sailing skills by exposing you to several different classes of boat. 

Several orientations on our Rhodes and Ideals will be offered throughout the summer.  Just go to  My.Sail.Chicago to look for times that are convenient for you.  More orientations are being added all the time, so if you can't find a time that's good for you, keep checking back.
IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Private Boat Use
Rhodes and Ideal Orientations
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
2014 First Social Event
Thanks to Maintenance Volunteers
Help Needed!
The Prudent Mariner
Sail Chicago Partners with Schuler Scholar Program
New Spinnaker Classes for the Rhodes
Know Your Board Members: Matt Stuczynski
Sail Chicago Board Notes
DATES TO NOTE
May 8 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
May 17 - "Kick off the Season" Event
June 12 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
June 22 - Friends and Family Picnic
August 3 - Friends and Family Picnic
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Cruising Program - Nick Petrovits
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

   Member Icon  

Instruction Icon  

Map Icon    

Membership Form Icon       

 

 

facebook button 

twitter button

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org

 

 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

 

Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card, click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.

 

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement - Volunteer Opportunities Available

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  To check out the many volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago,  click here.

Join the Share-a-Sail Program 
If you need crew or you want to volunteer as crew, our Share-a-Sail program is for you.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there. You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and Sail-into-Summer students can participate.

Join or Renew Your US Sailing Membership at a Discount Through MVP
Sail Chicago members can join or renew their US Sailing membership at a $10 discount through the US Sailing Member Value Partner program.

 ^Top

2014 FIRST SOCIAL EVENT
There are sails aplenty at the Weather Mark Tavern.

 By Pat Webster

 

Join us at the Weather Mark Tavern* for our first social event of the season on Saturday, May 17th at 7:00 PM.   The Weather Mark is a nautically-themed bar and restaurant and is just an all-around great place to connect with old friends and make new ones. Sail Chicago will provide one drink and limited appetizers for members and students currently registered for a class.  Guests are welcome to join us at $7/person, pay at the door.  The Weather Mark also serves a nice dinner, with some discounted food and drink specials, so plan to stay to continue talking sailing, after you've enjoyed an appetizer or two.  If you plan to come, please register by May 15th so that we can be sure to provide enough food.

 

Sail Chicago is also hosting two "Friends and Family Picnics" this summer.  The first will be held on Sunday June 22 and Sunday August 3. Come spend an afternoon with members, students and their

Pat Webster

families and friends at Belmont Harbor barbecuing and getting in a sail.  It's a great opportunity to introduce non-sailing family and friends to our sport. Look for details in the June issue of Between the Sheets and in email announcements.

 

Also, if you're interested in helping out at any of these events, please contact Pat Webster.  Your help is welcome, and it's a great way to meet people and get involved.

 

*The Weather Mark is located at 1503 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago. Street (Pay at the Box) parking is available. There are also pay lots nearby. 

 

 ^Top

THANKS TO MAINTENANCE VOLUNTEERS!

A Boat Team at work

 

Now that our boats are in the water and rarin' to go, perhaps it's time we stepped back for a minute to thank those many Sail Chicago member-volunteers who spent countless hours at the Canal Street Marina getting the boats ship-shape. Making sure that our fleet of twelve boats is ready to sail by May 1 was no small task, particularly in light of the tough winter we had this year and the fact that our boats are stored outside. Our volunteers persevered, however, with such tasks as bottom-painting, hull-buffing, seal-coating, fiberglassing, sorting through supplies and rigging to ensure that our boats are well-equipped, and the countless other necessary tasks to insure the safety and seaworthiness of our fleet.

 

For the past couple of years we have implemented a new framework for our fleet maintenance. In past

Chris Garvey cleans the trailer
A wide variety of tasks have to be completed.

times volunteers specialized in a particular tasks like painting and varnishing, fiberglassing, motor maintenance, sails, rigging, etc., which they performed across all our boats. While this task specialization created some efficiencies, these volunteers became difficult to replace when they moved or retired from Sail Chicago.

 

More recently, we have moved to the concept of Boat Teams, headed by an individual Boat Manager. These teams are responsible for the care and maintenance of a particular boat throughout the entire year. This system has several advantages:

  • It invests team members with a sense of ownership in their particular boat,
  • It builds technical knowledge across a number of people and teams,
  • It creates a real sense of community among boat team members.

 This new program seems to be working well. If you are looking for a way to fulfill your annual service requirement, consider joining a boat team. To find how you can volunteer, click here.

^Top 

HELP NEEDED!
Two volunteer positions in our Instruction Program have recently become available:  
  • Assistant Instruction Coordinator
  • Registrar
If you're looking to fulfill your annual service requirement, or can just help out for a while, please contact Instruction Coordinator Michael Swisher.  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. 

THE PRUDENT MARINER:  NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK MAY 17-23

By John Lemon, Safety Director

 

Lemon.jpg
John Lemon

The Sail Chicago Safety Committee would like to welcome everyone back for another (much needed) season of sailing.   A new addition to the safety team is second year member Greg Scannell, who will be assisting in our continuing safety efforts.  Please speak up with any safety related concerns, advice, or knowledge by contacting John or Greg.   Safe sailing begins with all of us.

 

Every year, the National Safe Boating Council, in conjunction with the US Coast Guard and other boating safety agencies, conducts National Safe Boating Week.  This year it's May 17 - 23.  This important educational campaign puts safety in the limelight at the beginning of the boating season, with particular focus on encouraging all boaters to wear lifejackets while on the water.  This year's theme is, "WEAR IT!"

 

In 2012, the Coast Guard reported over 4,000 open water boating accidents resulting in 651 fatalities; of the accident victims who drowned, eighty-five percent were reported as NOT wearing a life jacket.   Sail Chicago requires that you wear a lifejacket during all official on-the-water activities, including classes and racing.   We encourage skippers on private sails to do the same, and Sail Chicago strongly insists that their passengers and crew wear lifejackets as well.  Make it a habit to don your lifejacket as soon as you step on the boat, whether you are going sailing or performing maintenance work on the mooring.

 

You can read more about the campaign here.  We should all take the safe boating pledge:

 

TAKE THE PLEDGE:  MAKE THIS SUMMER SAFE

I pledge to boat safely each and every time I go out on the water, keeping myself, my family, my friends and fellow boaters from harm's way.  I will always boat responsibly by:

    • Wearing my life jacket and ensuring that everyone on board wears their life jacket (when in a small boat, or operating in rough water or threatening weather conditions),
    • Remaining sober and alert - remembering that the use of alcohol contributes to accidents on the water,
    • Staying in control of my craft and respecting the right of others enjoying the waterways,
    • Knowing and obeying navigation rules, operating at a safe speed, and maintaining a proper lookout. 

The polar vortex seems to have departed, but we find ourselves with an unusually cool late spring. Our first session of Basic Keelboat classes begins May 10.   Water temperatures offshore where we sail are hovering around 50 degrees; in addition, the air temperature will be much cooler than on shore.   Survival times drop off significantly in cold water, yet most victims of cold water immersion die of drowning! So bundle up and bring plenty of layers.   Your life jacket provides additional insulation as well.

 

Let's have a safe summer on our beautiful lake!

 ^Top

SAIL CHICAGO PARTNERS WITH SCHULER SCHOLAR PROGRAM

As part of its outreach to other not-for-profit charitable organizations in the Chicago area, Sail Chicago has recently partnered with the Schuler Scholar Program to provide opportunities for high school students in that program to gain on-the-water experience and develop their sailing skills. Sail Chicago member Tom Simms will be heading the program in its first year.  Preliminary plans are to use one of our Colgates on a weekday afternoon to give these students some real hands-on sailing experiences. Tom will need help with this new program, so watch future issues of Between the Sheets to find out more about how you can participate.

 

The Schuler Scholar Program prepares students in the Chicago area who are bright and motivated, but underserved, to succeed at the most competitive colleges and universities in the nation. Schuler Scholars are typically first-generation college-bound, come from under-resourced families and communities, and will need financial assistance in order to attend college. Many Scholars are from a population that is under-represented on college campuses.

 

In addition to the Schuler Scholar Program, Sail Chicago has for many years partnered with Lawrence Hall Youth Services and Association House of Chicago in order to provide similar kinds of programs for underserved youth.

 ^Top

NEW!  SPINNAKER CLASSES FOR THE RHODES 19
Greene
Minna Greene

By Minna Greene

 

Have you ever seen brightly colored spinnaker sails out on the lake and wished that you knew how to fly one?  Now you can by signing up for spinnaker classes being offered this summer, one on Saturdays and the other on Fridays. They consist of three lessons and cost $100.

 

You will learn the skills involved in all three spinnaker positions: the deck work of manning the spinnaker pole, the cockpit work of rigging, raising, flying, and lowering the spinnaker, and the skipper responsibilities of keeping the spinnaker filled and knowing how to jibe with the spinnaker.  If you are interested in joining one of the classes click here Come out and join the fun!

 

Qualifications to take the class: Completion of Intermediate class or Small Keelboat Skippercard.

 ^Top

KNOW YOUR BOARD MEMBERS:  MATT STUCZYNSKI

 

Sail Chicago has three new members on its Board. Last month we highlighted Bob Lapin. This month, it's Matt Stuczynski.

 

Tell us a little about your sailing experience, both in and out of Sail Chicago.  

I learned to sail as an adult through Sail Chicago. Having the summer off from school, I sail a lot in the

Matt Stuczynski

summer; as a skipper during private rentals, as part of a boat maintenance crew, doing Tiller Times, member cruise outings, and instructing.   This past Fall I received the U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor certification.  I'm qualified on our cruising boat. I have raced in the Midwest Open Racing Fleet and in the Gay Games in Chicago and Cologne. I also sailed in the Colgate racing program during the summer of 2013.    

 

Why did you decide to join the Board?

As the new Lead Instructor for Sail Chicago, I wanted to be on the Board in order to become more familiar with the group's leadership as well as its procedures and protocols.   Being involved in the group's decision-making process enables me to better execute the duties of Lead Instructor by being better informed regarding policies, procedures, and rules of the organization.

 

What's your vision for the future of Sail Chicago?

What appeals to me most is the group's clear educational mission to promote sailing and make sailing accessible and affordable for all those willing to give it a try and put in the effort.  I want to help uphold and strengthen this legacy and mission as well as expand it by increasing our efforts to reach out to a broader base of the Chicagoland community.

 

I am excited about the role of Lead Instructor.   As a veteran high school teacher, I aim to apply some of what I've learned in the classroom to our mission of community sailing instruction.  It's humbling to be asked to fill the shoes of previous Lead Instructor, John Lemon, but I will do my best to build upon the foundation he leaves behind.

 

I would like to standardize our curriculum more in line with that of US Sailing and keeping alive John's motto of Safety, Fun, Learning.  I especially look forward to learning from our many seasoned and passionate instructors and hope to support them and our mission in any way I can.

 

What do you do when you're not sailing?

I am a high school Spanish and German teacher at New Trier High School in Winnetka. I now also work there as a full-time librarian.  I hold a B.A. in German, a Master's Degree in Education, and a Master's Degree in Library Science.  I am the Sailing Club sponsor at the school.

^Top 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD NOTES

 

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on April 10th, 2014.  The Board discussed the following:

  • Joining a task force being spearheaded by Chicago Match Racing to increase cooperation and collaboration with other Chicago based sailing organizations.  Bob Cohen and John Lemon will represent Sail Chicago; if others are interested, please contact Chris Schuler, Chairman.
  • Reviewed financial through the first quarter noting increases in membership and good early indicators for the instruction and racing programs
  • The fleet is being readied for launch in late April with availability for use by early May. The organization has a continued need for maintenance volunteers, we encourage members to sign up soon to help. 
  • Atticus (Rhodes19) will be decommissioned due to hull leakage that cannot be repaired
  • There is one two-year open Board of Directors position open. The board development committee will make a recommendation of a member to fill this position. If interested, please contact Steve VanderVoort.  

^Top 

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: April 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #4
April, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

 

Steve VanderVoort

Sail Chicago is an not-for-profit all-volunteer community sailing organization. Specifically, what does this mean?

 

Not-for-Profit: Sail Chicago is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a Section 501(c)(3) organization.  As such, the money that we take in from our members and students is used entirely for their benefit, to maintain our fleet and to enhance their experience of sailing.  It also means that any contributions made to Sail Chicago, either in the form of money or materials, is tax-deductible by the contributor.

 

All-Volunteer: Sail Chicago depends almost entirely upon our member-volunteers to do the heavy-lifting to help us maintain our fleet, staff our instruction programs, and provide the numerous administrative services that help the organization to run smoothly.  All of our member-volunteers are expected to put in some "service time" in order to participate in on-the-water activities.  This not only helps us to keep costs down, it also is a significant aid in building a real sense of community among everyone involved.  See a list of volunteer activates in which you can participate.  This brings us to the third point.

 

Community Sailing Program: The emphasis here is on "community." Almost everything that we do in Sail Chicago helps to build a real sense of community among the people involved in the program.  We are not just about taking boats out for a sail, but we work together to build a real enthusiasm for sailing not only among our members, but throughout the entire Chicago community. We also try to "give back" to the community through our work with other charitable organizations like Urban Youth and Lawrence Hall Youth Services

 

If you're reading this newsletter for the first time, you'll probably notice that our volunteer members start to get really active at this time of year.  We all want to make this the best sailing season ever, and we're committed  to helping everyone in the Chicago area experience the fun and enjoyment of sailing.  

 

We hope you will join us in many of our activities.  Check out our instruction program offerings on our Sail Chicago website.  Just click on "Learn" to see how you can become involved.  If you're interested in taking a class, please register soon.  Classes are filling up quickly. Last year classes sold out.

^Top  

SAIL CHICAGO MEMBERS GET $10 DISCOUNT ON US SAILING MEMBERSHIP

 

US Sailing Logo (new) As the national governing body for the sport of sailing, US Sailing works to achieve its mission through a wide range of programs and services geared towards promoting participation in sailing. Although much of what US Sailing does is behind the scenes, US Sailing provides invaluable support to Sail Chicago volunteers through resources and education.

 

Your membership in US Sailing has several individual benefits as well. You'll receive a free copy of Racing Rules of Sailing, gain access to Gowrie Insurance programs, and may be eligible to enroll in group health insurance. In addition, you'll have access to discounts and coupons for a variety of products and services (e.g., Sperry Topsider, Hilton, West Marine, and Brooks Brothers, just to name a few!) 

 

Your membership in US Sailing helps support Sail Chicago and sailing programs and volunteers across the country.  Please join or renew your membership in US Sailing through the Sail Chicago/US Sailing Member Value Partnership,   

^Top 

SAIL, HO!
HMS Bounty
 
IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Get $10 Discount on US Sailing Membrship
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Sail Chicago Board
"Kick off the Season" Event May 17
Sail Chicago's New Website
Instruction Update
The Prudent Mariiner
Join Share-a-Sail
Weather Seminar
The Prudent Sailor
New Colgate Ready to Sail
Sail Chicago Board Notes
Know Your Board Members: Bob Lapin
In Memorium - Hobie Alter
Sail Chicago Reminders
DATES TO NOTE
April 10 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
April 26 - Move Rhodes and Ideals to Montrose Harbor
May 3 - Move Colgates, Rhodes, and Ideals to Monroe Harbor.  Move cruising boat to Belmont Harbor.
May 8 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
May 17 - "Kick off the Season" Event
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Cruising Program - Nick Petrovits
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindle
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

   Member Icon  

Instruction Icon  

Map Icon    

Membership Form Icon       

 

 

facebook button 

twitter button

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

312-409-9000

safety@sailchicago.org

 

 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
 "KICK OFF THE SEASON" EVENT - MAY 17
By Pat Webster, Social Director
Pat Webster

 

Join us at the Weather Mark Tavern* for our FIRST social event of the season on Saturday, May 17th at 7:00 PM.  The Weather Mark is a nautical themed bar and restaurant and just an all-around great atmosphere to connect with old friends and make new ones. Sail Chicago will provide one drink and limited appetizers for members and students currently registered for a class. Guests are welcome to join us at $7/person, pay at the door.

 

Weather Mark Tavern

The Weather Mark also serves a nice dinner, with some discounted food and drink specials, so plan to stay to

 continue talking sailing, after you've enjoyed an appetizer or two.

 

If you plan to come, please register by May 15th so that we can be sure to provide enough food.  Also, if you're interested in helping out at the event, please contact Pat Webster. Your help is welcome, and it's a great way to meet people and get involved.

 

*The Weather Mark is located at 1503 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago. Street (Pay at the Box) parking is available. There are also pay lots nearby.

^Top

THE NEW SAIL CHICAGO WEB SITE

Changes continue to be made on our new Sail Chicago website. In addition to improved functionality, the site is much easier to navigate.  Current members can now access their individual member pages directly from the public website by clicking on my.sailchicago.org located on the lower left side of the Sail Chicago screen.  

 

From there, you can log in. Under "Membership," you can find the current member directory, a calendar of activities, files, and a list of available volunteer jobs and activities.  Soon you'll be able to add funds directly to your member account, and qualified skippers will be able to sign up for private boat use.  Keep checking back to the website to see the many new features.

INSTRUCTION UPDATE
Michael Swisher
Michael Swisher

By Michael Swisher, Instruction Coordinator

 

We opened registration for the instruction program March 4 and have had a very strong response.  In just one month, we have sold out 19 courses, and almost half of all the seats we are offering.  Most popular are Intermediate and Skipper courses, and we're working to add more of both.  Session I begins May 10th, and then we're full speed ahead.

 

If you're a Colgate Skipper, we are offering free Rhodes and Ideal orientation check-outs so that you can sail our other exciting types of boats.  The Rhodes 19 has been a Sail Chicago staple for years, and is still the preferred boat by many members.  The Ideal 18 is perfect for two or three and is great in light air.  One orientation sail should get you checked out on the boat of your choice. If one try isn't enough, then try again, no cost.  There will be more in the next Between the Sheets about how to sign up.

 

If you've wondered about flying a spinnaker, we're offering two spinnaker courses on the Rhodes, one in mid-June and the other in mid-July.  They include three on-the-water classes for $100. There are only three students per course, so hurry to get your spot.  Prerequisite: completed an Intermediate course or more.

 

We're also offering Single-Handing courses on the Ideals.  Learn to sail on your own in two classes for just $100, limited to three students per course.  You must be an Ideal Skipper for this one.

Finally we have Cruising courses on our Hunter 34 in Belmont Harbor. Dream of far-off destinations? Take the first step to making that dream a reality.

 

Courses are filling up quickly, and we expect another sold-out season.  Tell your friends not to wait, the time for sailing plans is now.  To register for a class, click on "Learn" at the Sail Chicago web site.

^Top 

THE PRUDENT MARINER: RULES OF THE ROAD
Lemon.jpg
John Lemon

By John Lemon, Safety Director

 

As we prepare for another season on the sometimes busy nearshore waters of Lake Michigan, it's a good time to review what boaters call the "rules of the road".  We usually reduce them to a handful of rules that govern crossing and overtaking situations we frequently encounter.  However, those rules are a small part of a comprehensive set of US Coast Guard regulations that were first formalized in the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, and are commonly called 72 COLREGS.  You will also see them referred to as "Navigation Rules, International - Inland".  The inland rules apply to the Great Lakes and major rivers in the US.

 

The Rules are available online here.  All skippers are responsible for knowing, in general, the Rules as they apply to your situation.  Each section contains alternate paragraphs of the international and inland rules, so be sure you are checking the applicable inland rule.  We encourage all sailors to review the Rules . It's a good pre-season exercise.

 

It's impossible to summarize the Rules in this short article.  There are a few key rules that create the framework for all vessel interactions.  Rule 1 states that the Rules apply to every vessel, always, everywhere the rules are in effect.  Rule 2 holds every skipper responsible for following the rules--no exceptions.  Rule 5 requires every vessel to maintain a look-out at all times. Rule 6 requires you to proceed at a safe speed such that you can avoid collision and stop in an appropriate distance.  Rule 7 says that if you think there is a risk of collision, then there is a risk, and you have to act accordingly. Rule 8 requires you to act in ample time to avoid collision in a way that is apparent to other vessels and is safe.

 

The Rules do not quantify these concepts--what is a safe speed, when to act to avoid collision, etc.  It is up to the individual mariner to determine a safe speed, given the vessel, visibility, traffic, and crew, for example.  And Rule 2 means there are no excuses, period.  Understanding and applying the Rules are an essential part of developing good seamanship.

 ^Top

JOIN SHARE-A-SAIL
David Shayne
By David Shayne, Share-a-Sail Coordinator
 
 

Think Spring!  You want to sail and SailChicago has boats, but you lack crew or a skipper. It's not too early to join our Share-a-Sail program and you'll be set.  Once the boats are launched, you'll be able to broadcast your availability and other members can respond, eager to share the fun and the cost.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail.  Leave your full name (so we can check that you are eligible) and email address. You will be accepted and can then post and receive emails from other Share-a-Sail members who would like to sail with you.  Current members of SailChicago and Sail-into-Summer students can participate.  Questions?  Email David Shayne.

WEATHER SEMINAR INCREASES SAILORS' WEATHER WISDOM

 

Wednesday evening, March 19 saw approximately 35 Sail Chicago members and friends gathered in the REI Lincoln Park community room to hear sailing instructor John Lemon discuss how we, as sailors, can better prepare ourselves for changing weather conditions on Lake Michigan.  A self-proclaimed "weather geek," John did an outstanding job at sharing his knowledge with us and helping us understand how to "read the weather."

John Lemon instructs at Weather Seminar

Beginning with an introduction to meteorological concepts and terminology, he briefly discussed global weather patterns, showing us how to read weather maps.  Of most interest to those present was the discussion of general Chicago weather patterns, and more specifically, how we can do a better job at predicting the local weather for a sail.  He stressed the importance of checking weather advisories prior to sailing, and monitoring the weather during sailing, watching especially for any sudden changes in wind speed or direction, cloud formation, lightning or thunder.  A weather radio or VHF is also an excellent monitoring device. If caught out on the lake in deteriorating weather conditions, John advised that it may be safer to ride out the storm or head to a harbor away from the storm rather than attempt to return to your mooring.


As a final tool for helping us to monitor weather information, John passed out a list of sites on the Internet that he has found to be very helpful.  To view the list, click here.

 

An excellent book on weather information you can carry in your sail bag is Captain's Quick Guide: On-Board Weather Forecasting, available through Amazon or West Marine.  Two other valuable books, available for a free download, are Mariner's Weather Handbook and Surviving the Storm, by Steve & Linda Dashew

A UNIQUE AID TO NAVIGATION

By John Lemon, Safety Director

Lemon.jpg
John Lemon

 

On a recent cruise in the South Pacific, my sailing friend Baxter Smith posted a great dispatch.  As we noted during the discussion at the recent Coastal Navigation seminar, islanders have been navigating the South Seas for centuries using the stars and local knowledge which they used to construct the nautical chart you see in the accompanying photo.

Pacific Island Chart
Pacific island chart
Baxter writes, "This one is from Melanesia's Marshall Islands and is in the Jean-Marie Tjibaou cultural center on New Caledonia.  For hundreds of years before European arrival, Melanesians and Polynesians used charts like this to navigate the Pacific's vastness.  The shells indicate islands and the direction of the sticks indicate the predominant direction of ocean swells.  Ancient Pacific islanders relied on the direction of the ocean swells, the sun, stars, and pelagic birds and fish as navigation tools."

 
Baxter recommends reading The Last Navigator by Stephen Thomas, which documents the efforts of tribal elders such as Mau Piailug to pass along these navigation skills to young islanders.  Piailug navigated a Polynesian vessel from Hawaii to Tahiti without compass or charts, as documented by a PBS film of the voyage.

^Top

WIND HORSE, RARIN' TO GO
Wind Horse

 

On Saturday, March 15, Sail Chicago member Peter Dudak drove to Madison, Wisconsin, to transport our latest Colgate 26 acquisition to Chicago.  Luckily, it was a clear day, and most of the winter snow had melted, making the long haul back to Chicago much easier than it would have been a week earlier.  "The boat is in great condition," Peter said, "and it should be in the water with the rest of our fleet early in May by the time our on-the-water instruction programs begin."  He also points out an interesting note: On the sides of the boat near the stern are some Tibetan characters that spell in Tibetan "Lung Ta" which means "wind horse," a representation of the human soul in the shamanistic tradition of East and Central Asia.

 

We're grateful that Peter volunteered to take a day out of his busy schedule to transport Wind Horse to Chicago, where she will be corralled with she rest of our fleet in the Canal Street Boatyard until the spring launch.

^Top 

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD NOTES

 

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on March 13th, 2014.   The Board discussed the following:

  • Welcomed new Board members Bob Lapin, Michael Swisher, and Matt Stuczyniski,
  • Held Officer elections, with the following directors nominated and re-elected to their current positions:       
    • Chair: Chris Schuler
    • Vice Chair:  Rob Wakerly
    • Treasurer:  Steve VanderVoort
    • Secretary: Fiona Ray
  • Discussed the on-going US Sail certification process for Sail Chicago.  US Sail is compiling data and will organize a site visit soon.  As an official US Sail member organization, Sail Chicago will enjoy increased exposure, discounts on insurance rates, and other benefits.   
  • Reviewed the long-term strategic planning vision prepared by the strategic planning committee. The organization's vision is to focus on the existing Sail Chicago mission and encourage membership involvement and participation.  Further planning is on-going to include the vision for the instructional program.    

Discussed 2014 Instruction registration to date, noting that 49 students have already signed up and paid for May and June courses.  

^Top 

KNOW YOUR BOARD MEMBERS:  BOB LAPIN

 

Sail Chicago has three new Board members, Bob Lapin, Matt Stuczynski, and Michael Swisher. Over

Bob Lapin

the next few months, we'd like to tell you a bit about each of them. Let's begin with Bob Lapin:

 

Tell us a little about your sailing experience, both in and out of Sail Chicago.

 

Sail Chicago (AYH) taught my wife and me to sail, and we bought and sailed a Catalina 22 from 1976-1980.  I left Chicago in 1980 and returned in 1996.  I joined Sail Chicago in the late 90's where I began to sail and race the Shields.  I started instructing in the early 2000's and became a U.S. Sailing Keelboat Instructor in June of 2005.  I've been an instructor ever since, and I love it.  I'm qualified on our cruising boat.  I also coached in the Colgate racing program during the summer of 2013.

 

Why did you decide to join the Board?

 

Sail Chicago is a wonderful organization that has been a significant part of my Chicago life.  I like the new directions that it's taking, and now that I am retired from full-time employment I would like to help the program that has been so important to me.

 

What's your vision for the future of Sail Chicago?

 

I am very impressed with Sail Chicago's revised direction, and I would like to see more of the same.  Let our members' interests drive future directions.  If they like the Colgate, get more Colgates.  If they like cruising, get a modern cruiser.  If programs are of limited interest to our members, try first to market them and if still unsuccessful (financially) jettison the program.  Instruction is the core of what we do and needs to remain so.

 

What do you do when you're not sailing?

 

My professional life began as a bench microbiologist; then, transitioned into quality control and quality management consulting where I focused on teamwork, process improvement and strategic planning.  In 2013, I retired after 9 years as a Chicago Public School science teacher.  I am currently teaching a Biology course at Wright College and a "Methods in Science Education" course at Valparaiso University. My hobbies include tennis in the winter and sailing in the summer.  I love to introduce Sail Chicago students to the joy of sailing.

^Top 

IN MEMORIUM: HOBART "HOBIE" ALTER
Hobie Cat under sail

If you've ever sailed a Hobie Cat, you've probably experienced the thrill of a lifetime.  "Hobie" Alter, the inventor of this cross between a sailboat and a flying machine, passed away on March 29.  Those of us who've sailed this marvelous contraption are forever grateful to him.  Sail Chicago member John Lemon has passed along an article from Sail magazine detailing the life of this exceptional sailor.  To read it, click here.
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS

 

Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card, click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.

 

Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement

All Sail Chicago members must fulfill an annual service requirement before they can participate in on-the-water activities.  to check out the many ways you can fulfill your requirement, click here.

 

 ^Top

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: March 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #3
March, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort

 

Steve VanderVoort

Sail Chicago is beginning to emerge from what many of us felt to be a long winter of hibernation. Still, some of our members have been hard at work readying some preliminary items.

 

One of our biggest winter tasks is the complete re-design and overhaul of our Sail Chicago website. It's got a new sleek look, and should be much easier to navigate than our old one. Webmaster Alfred Chan is still putting the final touches on it, and Michael Swisher, our Instruction Coordinator is working hard to get our course registration pages up and running. Watch for an announcement in mid-March to find out how you can register for a course. Our membership registration page has been functional for a couple of weeks now. And while you're  exploring the website, don't forget to check out the calendar. It will help to keep you up to date on everything that's happening with Sail Chicago.  If you're alreday a 2014 member or would like to become a member, you can log-in here.

 

Sail Chicago depends entirely on the good will and hard work of its volunteers. Recently several members have stepped forward to fill key vacant positions. Michael Swisher is our new Instruction Coordinator, and Matt Stuczynski has assumed the role of Lead Instructor. John Lemon, a Sail Chicago stalwart, is filling the role of Safety Director. Last year at the annual meeting, John received the "Sail Chicago Lifetime Achievement" for the dedication and inspiration he has provided over his many years of service to the organization. And this year at the annual meeting, members elected three new members and one returning member to the Sail Chicago Board (see article below).

 

While a great deal of maintenance was done on the boats in our fleet this past fall, there will still be much to do in the next few weeks once the snow and ice melt. Helping our various Boat managers keep our fleet in tip-top shape is a great way to fulfill your service requirement, to learn more details regarding the boats in our fleet, and to fulfill your annual service requirement. To see what positions are open on our various boat teams, click here.

 

I look forward to seeing you on the water soon!

^Top  

2014 SAILING LEADERSHIP FORUM

US Sailing Logo

 

The U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum Held February 6 - 8 in San Diego was a resounding success, according to two Sail Chicago members who attending the event. Sail Chicago Board Chairman Chris Schuler and Board member Matt Stuczynski were among the crowd of attendees who gathered to learn more about how various sailing organizations around the country organize and manage their programs, marketing and communications, and administration. There was also some "hands on" experience for those who wanted to get out on the water. Matt said he was happy to see that Community Sailing groups like ours were well represented, and that the larger sailing community is increasingly supportive and interested in what we do since they recognize our vital role in bringing new sailors into the sport.  

 

To get a better sense of what the presentations offered, click here.  To view many of the actual presentations, click here.

^Top 

SAIL CHICAGO'S NEW WEBSITE

Sail Chicago has a new website.  It's cleaner, easier to navigate, and takes advantage of some of the latest technological developments. While it's still a work in progress, it already has many of the features that Sail Chicago members know and love.  New features include an events calendar that can help you to keep track of what's happening in Sail Chicago.  Check back often to see what other new features have been added.

 

Our thanks go to member Alfred Chan for spearheading this new improvement.

IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
2014 Sailing Leadership Forum
Sail Chicago's New Website
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Membership Registration
The Prudent Sailor
Weather Seminar
Racing Seminar
Colgate Racing
Annual Meeting Highlights Successes
DATES TO NOTE
March 13 - Board Meeting
April 26 - Move Rhodes and Ideals to Montrose Harobr
May 3 - Move Colgates, Rhodes, and ideals to Monroe Harbor, Move curising boat to Belmont Harbor.
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Cruising Program - Nick Petrovits
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindle
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

   Member Icon 

Instruction Icon 

Map Icon 

Membership Form Icon     

 

 

facebook button 

twitter button

Maintenance Hotline

312-409-9000 or

smp@sailchicago.org

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster
REGISTER FOR MEMBERSHIP ON LINE OR ON A PAPER FORM

 

Sail Chicago has a new, fast, and easy way to register online as a 2014 member. Just click here to begin the process. If you'd prefer to use a paper form, click here.

^Top 

THE PRUDENT SAILOR:  HOW BOATS AND SAILORS GET IN TROUBLE

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

 

Lemon.jpg
John Lemon

I attended a great seminar at the recent Strictly Sail show. The topic was "How Boats and Sailors Get into Trouble" presented by John Rousmaniere. John is one of the top experts on safety at sea and has written extensively on the subject. He is the author of the Annapolis Book of Seamanship, now in its fourth edition. I'd like to recap the key points of his talk as we prepare ourselves for another summer of safe sailing.

 

For any sail, short or long, the key is preparation and planning. The skipper and crew must "organize, plan, think, and talk" so that everyone is on the same page. Rousmaniere urged sailors to banish complacency. He reminded everyone to be prepared for "the voyage you get, not the one you want." Checklists of crew duties are as essential as checklists of equipment and systems on the boat. Interestingly, Rousmaniere noted that sailors tend to exaggerate the unlikely risks like dismasting and underestimate the realistic risks like cuts and falls.

 

Reviewing his vast experience in reviewing sailing incidents, Rousmaniere listed factors that, by themselves and in combination, can constitute a "formula for disaster":

 

ROUTE: a rushed, ill-considered departure without a fully thought out plan; an inherently dangerous route; a route with no refuge along the way to rest and regroup.

RESOURCES: an unprepared boat due to design, construction, or neglected inspection or maintenance; an unprepared crew, whether that is skill, experience, or coordination.

RESPONSE: crew panic-an inappropriate response to a situation; poor leadership due to lack of organization, communication, and experience; obsession with electronic navigation and lack of knowledge and use of paper charts.

 

I suspect that all experienced sailors have had a problem on a sail that was exacerbated by one or more of the above factors. We can't always avoid trouble on our sails. But planning, communication, and preparation can allow us "to take an emergency leisurely".

 

Suggestions for future articles on safety should be sent here.

^Top

WEATHER SEMINAR SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 19

By Paul Demmel, Seminar Coordinator

 

Weather for sailors was a popular seminar last season, and we are pleased to announce that we will

once again be presenting this topic on Tuesday, March 19, 7:00 pm in the REI Lincoln Park Community Room.   John Lemon, a self-professed weather geek, is past lead instructor of Sail Chicago with a wealth of sailing experience.   He will be building on material developed by Erik Schneider, a U.S. Sailing certified Regional Race Officer, Club Judge and Powerboat Instructor with over 10 years of experience running regattas.


Topics to include:
  • Introduction to meteorology
  • Global and local weather patterns
  • How to read weather maps
  • General Chicago wind patterns
  • Predicting weather for your sail
We hope to see you there! A social hour will follow. To register, click here.
INTRODUCTION TO RACING SEMINAR IS A SUCCESS

By Emma Lynch

 

Introduction to Racing, the second session in the Sail Chicago winter seminar series, was held at the

Nick Petrovits shares racing experiences.

Lincoln Park REI on February 11. Around 35 sailors, a mix of veteran racers and novices looking to refine their skills, attended the seminar to learn more about what is in store for Sail Chicago racing in 2014.

 

To kick off the seminar, Instruction Coordinator, Michael Swisher, provided background on the origins of the racing program, and Racing Coordinator, Bob Cohen, introduced different types of racing, including team, match, and fleet racing. Bob highlighted the Beer Can racing series that is hosted by Columbia Yacht Club on Wednesday evenings and provides a fun, casual environment in which Sail Chicago members can meet other Chicago-area racers. These connections can potentially lead to great crewing opportunities, including the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world - the Chicago Yacht Club race to Mackinac.  The racing series not only helps sailors learn nuanced racing techniques, but also encourages seasoned racers to expand beyond their specialized crew position to discover how each role enhances overall sailing performance. This approach upholds the dual purpose of the racing program - "teaching sailors how to race and racers how to sail."

 

Colgate 26 Racing
Colgates rounding the mark.

Nick Petrovits and Adam Collins, two members of Sail Chicago racing, also shared some of the knowledge and experience that has drawn them back each season. Nick gave an overview of select racing signals and rules, and demonstrated how different tactics, such as "blanketing" and "pinching," must be carefully executed in order to gain an advantage. Adam discussed his involvement in Colgate 26 racing and praised how it builds team camaraderie and facilitates a dynamic progression of skills, week over week, as each crew member steps into a new role. Adam also described his experience in the  Verve Cup Inshore Regatta One Design races last year, and mentioned that Sail Chicago is planning on taking out a couple more boats this August, for an exciting (and hopefully windier) second showing at the race. Following the seminar and Q&A session, attendees shared stories and honored another fine racing tradition with a social hour at a nearby bar.

 

If you would like to participate in Colgate 26 racing this year, registration is now open!   For those interested in learning more, here are a few recommended reads:  Performance Sailing and Racing by Steve Colgate;  North U Racing Trim by Bill Gladstone; and Performance Racing Tactics by Bill Gladstone.  

 ^Top

REGISTER FOR COLGATE RACING!

By Robert Cohen, Colgate Racing Coordinator

 

Sail Chicago's popular Wednesday night Colgate 26 racing program will be back for 2014. The program is educational, competitive, and fun, giving new and experienced sailors and racers alike the opportunity to sharpen their skills. As we like to say, we teach sailors to race, and racers to sail.

 

Three five-week racing series are being offered between June and September (see key dates below). With a crew of three to four, plus a coach, racers will learn each position on the boat (helmsman, foredeck, jib and spinnaker trimmer, main trimmer, and pit). Additionally, you'll learn about racing tactics - such as starts, rounding a mark, and finishes - and you'll learn to read the competition and adjust accordingly.

 

What many racers found particularly rewarding last year were new skills that can be applied to recreational sailing. Haven't flown a spinnaker in a while? This is a chance to get a great refresher. Racing also encourages exceptional boat handling skills.

 

Sail Chicago's Colgate 26 fleet starts with another group of sailors, but we are scored as a one-design fleet (only against other Colgate 26s). We meet at the tender dock at 5:15 p.m. and are on the water by 5:45 to scope out the start, the evening's wind, and practice a few maneuvers. We sail by the committee boat at 6:30 and finish by 8:30.

 

Afterwards, all participants are invited to join us and fellow racers from other clubs for drinks and discussion at the Columbia Yacht Club, just a stone's throw from the tender dock.

 

Based on the excitement the program generated last year, seats are already filling up fast, so sign up today!  

  • Pre-Sail Orientation: Monday, April 28
  • Practice Sessions: May 14 and 21
  • Series 1 (almost sold out already): May 28, June 4, 11, 18, and 25.  Click here to register.
  • Series 2: July 2, 9, 16, 30, and August 6.  Click here to register.
  • Series 3: August 13, 20, 27, September 3, and 10.  Click here to register.

 ^Top

ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS PAST SUCCESSES AND FUTURE PLANS

 

On February 27, more than sixty Sail Chicago members and students gathered at the St. Vincent DePaul Center in Chicago to review the prior year's activities and to learn of new plans and programs for the coming sailing season.

 

After Chairman Chris Schuler called the meeting to order, Treasurer Steve VanderVoort reported that

The annual meeting

Sail Chicago ended a successful financial year with a strong balance sheet and a healthy net income.  Michael Swisher, our Instruction Coordinator detailed plans for the upcoming sailing season. He also paid tribute to John Lemon, who for several years ran our instruction program and made some truly significant improvements. Bob Cohen discussed the Colgate Racing now in its second year. He reported that the first session is already completely sold out. Finally, Pat Webster summarized the activities in the many other programs that Sail Chicago will be offering this summer.

  

Four Directors were elected to fill vacancies created by expiring terms: Bob Lapin, Chris Schuler, Matt Stuczynski, and Michael Swisher. Finally, Board member Rob Wakerly fielded questions from the membership to the Board, after which many of the attendees continued an informal meeting across the street at the Halsted Harp.

 

If you'd like to review the slideshow presented at the Annual Meeting, please click here

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: February 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #2
February, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Gary Thrane, Associate Editor

  

Gary Thrane
Gary Thrane.

Chicago's winter has got us firmly in its grip. It's hard to imagine that we could ever again sail on Lake Michigan, given its gray, icy waters. Yet spring will come.

 

In the meantime, we can plan for the coming sailing season. One thing to do is review essential sailors' knots. A few minutes practice will ensure that you can tie these knots on a heaving deck with your eyes closed. For a good, animated website review of essential sailors' knots, click here.  A number of sailing seminars are also available for the snow-bound Chicago sailor:  see John Lemon's article below.

 

Now is a good time, too, to inspect life jackets to make sure that they're charged to inflate if immersed in water.

 

Those who are planning to skipper this coming season need to be sure that they've completed their required volunteer time.  (See article below for more detail.)  If you still have this obligation to fulfill, you can check what jobs you can take here.

^Top  

FOUR CANDIDATES TO RUN FOR OPEN SAIL CHICAGO BOARD POSITIONS


The Sail Chicago Board has endorsed four candidates to fill expiring three-year terms on the Board.  They are:

To review the Candidate Fact Sheet for each candidate, please click on the names listed above.  Remember, you will not be able to vote for candidates unless you are a current member (dues for 2014 paid).  You may pay your current dues at the meeting with a check only (see article below). 

^Top 

SAIL CHICAGO'S NEW WEBSITE

Sail Chicago has a new website.  It's cleaner, easier to navigate, and takes advantage of some of the latest technological developments. While it's still a work in progress, it already has many of the features that Sail Chicago members know and love.  New features include an events calendar that can help you to keep track of what's happening in Sail Chicago.  Check back often to see what other new features have been added.

 

Our thanks go to member Alfred Chan for spearheading this new improvement.

REMEMBER...AND ANTICIPATE!

Colgate 26 Racing
Sailing season will return!

IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Candidates for Board Positions
Sail Chicago's New Website
Remember and Anticipate!
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Sail Chicago Annual Member Meeting
Sail Chicago at Strictly Sail
Chicago Maritime Festival
Required Service Time
Sailing Seminars for Winter Learning
The End of Paper Charts?
Coastal Navigation Seminar
January Board Meeting
DATES TO NOTE
February 13 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
February 22 - Chicago Maritime Festival*
February 27 - Annual Member Meeting*
April 26 - Move Rhodes and Ideals to Montrose Harobr
May 3 - Move Colgates, Rhodes, and ideals to Monroe Harbor, Move curising boat to Belmont Harbor.
*See article in this issue
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Cruising Program - Nick Petrovits
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindle
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

   Member Icon 

Instruction Icon 

Map Icon 

Membership Form Icon     

 

 

facebook button 

twitter button

Maintenance Hotline

312-409-9000 or

smp@sailchicago.org

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Maureen Huston
Frank Loftus
Pat Webster
SAIL CHICAGO ANNUAL MEETING--FEBRUARY 27

 

Sail Chicago members and guests are invited to attend our Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, February 27th.  It will be held in the 2nd floor meeting room of the St. Vincent DePaul Center, 2145 North Halsted (Halsted and Webster).  Doors will open at 6:15 pm and the meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm. Underground parking at the Center is available at no charge and is accessible from Webster Street. Cars must be out of the parking lot by 9:00 pm.  The meeting will end by not later than 8:45 pm.  After the formal meeting we will adjourn to the Halsted Harp, a local establishment across the street, for refreshments and continued conversation.

 

The meeting will feature the annual "State of Sail Chicago" report by our Board Chairman and program heads, election of Directors for new three-year terms, and a question-and-answer period with the Board. This year presentations will be streamlined so that there will ample time for discussion.

 

Paper membership forms will be at the meeting registration desk.  We CANNOT accept credit card payments at the meeting, so remember to bring your checkbook. In order to vote for Board candidates, members MUST have paid their dues for 2014.

 

We hope you will be able to attend and help us roll out our 2014 sailing season!  

^Top

SAIL CHICAGO STRUTS ITS STUFF AT THE STRICTLY SAIL SHOW

Ed Jacob, Mike Swiontek, Amber Kelly
Sail Chicago exhibits at Strictly Sail.

 

Sail Chicago once again made its presence felt in a big way at the 2014 Strictly Sail Chicago show, January 23 - January 26, at Navy Pier. The event is the largest of its kind in the Midwest and includes virtually everything a sailor or boat owner needs to know about boats, gear, accessories, where and how to sail, certifications, and much, much more.  Hundreds of exhibitors jammed Navy Pier's Festival Hall to display their wares and discuss the finer points of sailing.

 

Sail Chicago was one of those exhibitors. Over 40 Sail Chicago students and members generously donated their time to staff our booth during the event. Our motto, "Come Sail with Us," could be heard echoing throughout Festival Hall at Navy Pier during the show as our volunteers, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the Sail Chicago logo directed show-goers to our booth.  These efforts were not unrewarded. More than sixty Show visitors signed up to learn more about Sail into Summer, our New Member Package, as well as our Colgate Racing Program.

 

Volunteers at the Sail Chicago booth

An additional benefit of attending the event for Sail Chicago members was the opportunity to renew acquaintances and friendships with other sailors in the Chicago area.  Several people who stopped by our booth told us that they had first been introduced to sailing by taking lessons through Sail Chicago.  Most were current boat owners, and a few had assumed important roles in other sailing organizations in the Chicago area.  It was rewarding for our current members to learn what a significant impact Sail Chicago has had on the Chicago sailing community throughout the years.

 

Thanks to all those who helped to make our presence at Strictly Sail Chicago felt in a very positive way.  We look forward to doing the same thing again next year.

CHICAGO MARITIME FESTIVAL

 

The 12th annual Chicago Maritime Festival will be held this year on February 22, at the Chicago History Museum.  During the day, there will be a full lineup of seminars, demonstrations, exhibits, and workshops. Explore a range of topics, including underwater archeology, safety at sea, marine art, history, model boat building for kids, and other aspects of the Great Lakes' rich maritime traditions. 

 

At an evening concert, enjoy international maritime music by Bob Zentz, Hardtackers Shanty Crew, Ed Trickett, Barbary Ghosts, and Tom & Chris Kastle.  For more information, click here.   

^Top

REQUIRED SERVICE TIME
By Chris Garvey

Now is the time to make sure you have your service time requirements satisfied for the 2014 sailing season. If you have not been able to satisfy your service time requirements or if last season was your first season to sail, you need to sign up for a job by May 1 in order to have sailing privileges in the summer.  If you cannot do service time for any reason, you can "opt out" by paying $400.  If you have already signed up for a job, you do not need to sign up again.

 

Once the new web site is fully operational, you can sign up for service time by going to your personal login page and click "sailchicagojobs."

 

There are a wide variety of things that you can do to fulfill your obligation. There are jobs open in all divisions: maintenance, instruction, operations, financial, programs, and marketing.  To see the offerings, click here.

 

If you are not sure whether your service time has been satisfied, check with your program coordinator. If you have other questions, you can contact Chris Garvey.

 ^Top

SAILING SEMINARS AROUND CHICAGO HELP TO INCREASE SKILLS

 By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

 

Lemon.jpg
John Lemon

For those of you looking to further your sailing education over the winter months, several organizations are offering a variety of classes and seminars.  Some are free, and some charge a fee.  This list is by no means exhaustive.  If you know of a class, send the information to the editor so it can be included in upcoming issues.

^Top

THE END OF PAPER CHARTS?  NOT FOR THE PRUDENT MARINER!

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

 

Many of you may have read articles in the sailing press reporting that the federal government will no longer be printing nautical charts as of April 2014.  This is due in part to the widespread adoption of electronic navigation devices (global positioning system and chart plotters).  Demand for paper nautical charts has declined significantly over the past few years.  Does this mean that sailors no longer need to carry paper charts and know how to understand and use them? The answer is a resounding "No!"

 

In preparing for the recent seminar on Coastal Navigation, I was reviewing the January 4, 2014, Notice to Mariners, a weekly publication by the Coast Guard and National Ocean Service.  I came across the following commentary in the section entitled "The Prudent Mariner":

 

"The aids to navigation depicted on charts comprise a system consisting of fixed and floating aids with varying degrees of reliability.  Therefore, prudent mariners will not rely solely on any single aid to navigation, particularly a floating aid.  An aid to navigation also refers to any device or structure external to a craft, designed to assist in determination of position.  This includes celestial, terrestrial, and electronic means, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) and Differential GPS (DGPS).  Here, too, the prudent mariner will not rely solely on any single aid to navigation."

 

Thus, we are cautioned to use our paper charts and multiple external clues to locate our vessel on the water.  GPS is considered an aid to navigation.  As US Sailing notes in its very good text on the subject, "Electronics make a good navigator better, but they may well delude a novice into a false sense of security which leads to a downfall."   The January issue of Blue Water Sailing also included a very good commentary.  

 

I like the concept of "The Prudent Mariner" so much that it will become the title of a monthly column on safety-related topics.  As the new Safety Coordinator, I'll use it as a way to share ideas and suggestions of how we all can be safer on the water.  Please send your suggestions and requests to me.

 ^Top

COASTAL NAVIGATION SEMINAR CHARTS A COURSE

 

2014 Coastal Navigation Seminar Attendees
Coastal navigation partiicipants

On January 28, almost thirty stalwart sailors braved the bitter cold to attend the first of three in Sail Chicago's winter seminar series at REI Lincoln Park Community Room.  Safety Director John Lemon did a great job of clarifying one of the trickiest topics in sailing--Coastal Navigation. He presented a broad overview of the subject, giving just enough detail to whet attendees' appetites for more information.

 

John began by telling the group that the seminar would help to answer two of life's deepst philosophical questions as they relate to sailing: 1) Where am I now? and 2) Where am I going?  He then detailed some of the resources available to sailors for learning more about coastal navigation.  These include such sources as the US Sailing book titled Coastal Navigation, as well as NOAA's U. S. Chart 1, along with various nautical charts published by the U. S. Coastal survey.  He then went on to show some of the necessary tools for coastal navigation.  These included the parallel rule, dividers, and the hand-bearing compass.

 

Throughout the seminar, John stressed the importance of sailors knowing where they are on the water at all times.  This is particularly critical in emergencies when a skipper must notify the Coast Guard of an accident or capsize.  John demonstrated how to plot a course and how to find your boat's location through sightings of shore landmarks.  He also pointed out that even in the day-sails that most Sail Chicago members and students take, there can be hidden dangers such as Morgan and Hyde Park Shoals south of McCormick Place.

 

After a question-and-answer period, the group adjourned to a local tavern where they continued their discussion of coastal navigation in a more informal atmosphere.

^Top

THE JANUARY BOARD MEETING 

By Fiona Ray

 

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting January 9, 2014. The Board discussed and acted on the following:

  • Marketing materials for the Strictly Sail Show (Navy Pier, Jan 23-26th) were reviewed.
  • The initial draft of the organization's long-term (five-year) strategic plan was also reviewed. (Further refinement is underway and will be presented at the February board meeting.)
  • Nominees for open positions for the Board of Directors were presented by the Board Development Committee. Elections will be held at the Annual Member Meeting on February 27th
  • Boat usage fees for the 2014 season were approved.
  • Web site and communication optimization led by Alfred Chan is continuing; payment receipt functionality will be restored by March.
  • The purchase of an additional Colgate 26 is under contract; the vessel will be in service for 2014 season. 

The next Board meeting will be held on Thursday, February 13.

 ^Top

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button

BTS: January 2014

New BTS Banner DRAFT

TopSail Chicago Logo 

 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Issue #1
January, 2014
FROM THE EDITOR...

By Steve VanderVoort, Managing Editor

Steve VanderVoort

 

Although we are now in the heart of winter, sailors' thoughts still turn toward the time, not so far off, when Lake Michigan will once again be free of ice and we can hoist a sail. In the meantime, there are a lot of activities that can keep us interested and enthused.

 

  • The Strictly Sail Chicago Show takes place at the end of January (see article below). Volunteer to staff our booth at the show.
  • For the more adventurous, the annual U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum takes place February 6-8 in San Diego, CA. We know that a couple of Sail Chicago members will be attending. Perhaps you can join them.
  • The date of the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting has just been announced (see article below). This is always a great opportunity to get together with other Sail Chicago members to start discussing plans for the upcoming sailing season.

Don't forget to meet your annual service requirement. If it's not met by the beginning of the 2014 sailing season, you won't be able to participate in any on-the-water activities. For a list of ways you do this,  click here. 

^Top  

ANNUAL MEETING SET FOR FEBRUARY 27:  SAVE THE DATE!

 

The Sail Chicago Annual Meeting for members and guests has been scheduled for Thursday, February 27, in the Conference Room at the St. Vincent DePaul Center in Chicago.  At the meeting, program heads will report on the success of their programs in 2013 and their plans for the 2014 sailing season.  Members will also elect four new Board members to fill terms that are expiring.  An informal social gathering will be held after the meeting.

 

More information will follow in the February issue of Between the Sheets, but in the meantime please be sure to mark your calendar now.

^Top 

DECEMBER BOARD MEETING

Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on December 12, 2013. The Board discussed and acted on the following issues:

  • Chris Garvey is working on organizing our storage trailer. 
  • Alfred Chan is working on revising and consolidating the Sail Chicago website and computer-based functions. 
  • Major repair work on Priorities, our cruising boat, is substantially complete. 
  • The Board Development Committee is seeking candidates to fill four Board positions. Elections will be held at the Annual Member Meeting on February 27. 
  • Sail Chicago is looking to purchase another Colgate 26 for its fleet.

The next Board meeting is Thursday, January 9.

^Top 

WINTER IS HERE!

Sail Chicago member Jay Owens sent us this picture of the Saint Joseph, MI lighthouse with the comment, "This is why we don't sail in January."  How true!   

IN THIS ISSUE
From the editor...
Annual Meeting Date Set
December Board Meeting
Winter is Here
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
PROMOTION TITLE
Strictly Sail Show
Sail Chicago's New Website
Sailing in Florida
DATES TO NOTE
January 9 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
January 23-26 - Strictly Sail Chicago Show
February 6-8 - U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum (San Diego)
February 13 - Sail Chicago Board Meeting
February 27 - Annual Member Meeting
  
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Cruising Program - Nick Petrovits
Fun Racing -Dolores Baron
Instruction  - Michael Hart
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - Michael Swisher
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindle
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

   Member Icon 

Instruction Icon 

Map Icon 

Membership Form Icon     

 

 

facebook button 

twitter button

Maintenance Hotline

312-409-9000 or

smp@sailchicago.org

SAIL CHICAGO BOARD
Chairman
Chris Schuler 
Treasurer
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Secretary
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Maureen Huston
Frank Loftus
Pat Webster
VOLUNTEER FOR THE STRICTLY SAIL CHICAGO SHOW JANUARY 23 - 26

 

It's that time of year again when Chicago sailors begin to long for a brisk breeze on a close reach, but looking across the cold expanse of snow and ice that line the lakefront, they can only dreStrictly Sail Logoam of warm sunny days at the tiller. 

 

Luckily there's a bit of relief in sight. The Strictly Sail Chicago Show is coming to Navy Pier January 23-26. Over 300 exhibitors join thousands of Chicago sailors to get a preview of the newest boats and equipment, to renew old friendships, to attend instruction classes (many for free), and to anticipate that time when we can be back on the water.

 

The good news is that Sail Chicago is part of this extravaganza. Many of our newer members first learned about Sail Chicago by stopping at our booth and talking with members who had been around for a while. In fact, the Sail Chicago's participation in the Strictly Sail Chicago Show has become one of the best recruiting tools we have for attracting new members and students. It's a great way to promote our top-rated sailing instruction programs.

 

2012 Strictly Sail
Crowds enjoy the Strictly Sail exhibits.

For the past several years Sail Chicago has been well-represented by volunteers at the show. They take turns, generally in three or four-hour shifts, to staff the booth and share their sailboating experiences with the folks who stop by. It also gives the volunteers an opportunity to meet other Sail Chicago members with whom they might well be sailing the following summer. Better still, they get into the show for free (tickets normally cost at least $20), and have an opportunity to visit other exhibitors' booths or attend seminars and instruction classes once their shifts are over. If you'd like more information about the show, please visit the Strictly Sail Chicago website.

 

Volunteer times are:

  • Thursday and Friday, January 23 & 24: 11am-2pm, 2-5pm, 5-8pm
  • Saturday, January 25: 10am-1pm, 1-4pm, 4-7pm
  • Sunday, January 26: 10am-1pm, 1-5pm
If you'd like to sign up or would like more information about the Sail Chicago booth, please contact Debbie Natoli by email or by phone at 312-391-9942. If you're sending an email, put "Strictly Sail" in the subject line, include your 1st and 2nd time preferences, your cell phone number, and whether you're a new member, Sail Into Summer student, or an "old timer." Remember, preferred time slots go quickly, so SIGN UP NOW! See you at the Show!
SAIL CHICAGO'S NEW WEBSITE

Sail Chicago has a new website.  Board member and IT guru Alfred Chan has been hard at work this fall and winter designing a system that will consolidate Sail Chicago's many functionalities under one umbrella.  While it's still a "work in progress," you can already start exploring some of it's basic components.  Log onto www.sailchicago.org.  You'll fine a homepage that's clean, crisp, and easy to understand and navigate.  Basic functions like the Calendar, the "Between the Sheets Archive," and the contact information are available now.  Log back in occasionally to see what else is new.  There'll be much, much more to come.  Watch future issues of "Between the Sheets" for more information.
SAILING IN FLORIDA, A GREAT WINTER TRIP

By Kathy and Mike Lawless

 

We departed Naperville Friday morning, December 6, 2013, and were on our way to Florida. We arrived at Yachting Vacations, in Burnt Store Marina at 4:20 pm. We were set up to overnight on Saer II, a brand new Beneteau Oceanis 34. It was a "double first"--Saer II's first charter and our very first time chartering!

 

Kathy Lawless enjoys a book on deck.

We checked out on Saturday morning. Our checkout behind us, we headed out on Charlotte Harbor until the sun was low. A challenge for Mike was to now back Saer II into the slip, as this is the convention at Burnt Store Marina. It was a successful first landing, thanks to a tip from another sailor on the dock.  Every day after that, we took turns at the helm. 

 

Kathy now prefers the helm and even became comfortable with the B&G Navigation and Autopilot Systems. Looks like Mike's going to be on the sheets and winches from now on.

 

Another day's highlight was an escort home by three dolphins. The largest one in the middle looked right at us and made some squeaking noises. It was as if they she was saying "time for you to head in."

 

Thanks again to our Sail Chicago Instructors, crewmates, and new-found sailing friends from this past summer--you helped make this dream trip possible for us. We're already planning our next sailing adventure.

 ^Top

Chicago Skyline
 
facebook button twitter button