SAFETY FIRST: NAV LIGHTS AND COAST GUARD

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

As we head into the early fall and earlier sunsets, it's important to remember that navigation lights, sometimes called running lights, are an important component of safe boating after dark. The red and green bow lights, the white stern light, and the white masthead light for boats under motor power allow other vessels to see your boat, understand who you are and what you are doing (sail or power) and take proper action to avoid collision. 

USCG regulations requires that running lights be exhibited between sunset and sunrise or during periods of limited visibility i.e. fog. Sailboats less than 7 meters (23 feet) are not required to exhibit lights but must have

 a flashlight at hand to illuminate the sail to avoid collision. It's important for skippers to check both the Fleet Status page in the reservation system and to verify that ALL running lights are operational if sailing after sunset. The Colgates are longer than the 7 meter exemption, thus they must have operating running lights and may not substitute a flashlight illuminating the sail.Skippers should switch to another boat for evening sails if the lights on the boat you have reserved are not working properly.

On another note, I was sailing my own boat recently and was boarded by the Coast Guard for a routine safety check. The Coast Guard carries out these inspections to ensure that all boats have the required safety equipment. There is no implication of wrong-doing if you are boarded. The Coast Guard may board your boat without cause. If you are polite and cooperate, you will have no problems. That is, unless you are operating a vessel in an unsafe manner.  The Coast Guard asked to see my registration and ID, life jackets for everyone on board, a throwable flotation device, visual distress signal (flares), sound making device, and fire extinguisher (boats with engines). The also inquired about my marine sanitation device (head). Only Priorities is fitted with a head. They were very pleasant, found everything in order, and proceeded to inspect other vessels in the area. Sail Chicago skippers should note that the items on the boat checklists in bold are Coast Guard legally required safety equipment. If any of those items are missing or inoperable, you should switch boats or cancel your sail.

Help bring our boats down the Chicago River.

By Kristen Miller, Maintenance Communications Assistant

Attention all sailors!  We are quickly approaching that time of the year when the weather cools down and sailing season is coming to an end.  Each year we take a trip up the river to get our boats out of the water and to the Canal Street Boat yard for routine maintenance work.  

This year we will be taking two trips.  The first one will be late September, early October to move two of our Colgates.  The second will be mid to late October to move the last four.  Each boat needs at LEAST three members, max of six, to help motor the boats through the locks and up the river.  The trip takes about two hours and is a really cool and unique experience.  We are even offering incentive this year - $30 in sailing credits to the first three volunteers per boat.  Each boat needs at least one skipper certified member but all members are encouraged to volunteer as crew and experience the river trip!  If interested for either of the two trips, email me immediately to reserve a spot!  If you've got questions, let me know.  Exact dates and times will be based on member availability.

BTS: March 2016

Sail Chicago News for March
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.
IN THIS ISSUE
DATES TO NOTE
Board Meeting
March 8
Seminar:  Suzy Wong
March 9
Instructors' Meeting
April 2
Coastal Navigation Class
April 9 and 16
Board Meeting
April 14
America's Cup at Navy Pier
June 10-12
USEFUL INFORMATION
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements 
Boat Licensing & Registration
Bookkeeper
Between the Sheets
Chairman
Colgate 26 Racing
Cruising
Instruction
Insurance
Brian Johnson
Lawrence Hall Youth Services
Lead Instructor
Marketing
Member Cruise Outings
Membership
Monroe Passes
Annette Faber
Purchasing 
Dana Smith
Reservations
Safety
Schuler Scholars
Seminars
Service Requirements
Share-a-Sail
Social
Strictly Sail Chicago Show
Surveys
Tiller Time 
Chris Faris
Treasurer
Webmaster
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Officers
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Vice Chair - Maya Teleki
Secretary - 
Treasurer - Martin Modahl

Directors
Bob Cohen
Brian Johnson
Shawn Lord  
Martin Modahl
Sarah Pellegrino
Tom Peterson
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Adam Wisneski  

Facebook           Twitter   
ISSUE NO. 3 / MARCH 2016 
FROM THE EDITOR...
Steve VanderVoort
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

At the recently-held Sail Chicago annual meeting, I gave my final Treasurer's report and I must confess that  I had some very mixed feelings.  I've been on the Board for the past six years, three of those as Treasurer.  I've been a vital part of some exciting changes in our organization during that time, and recent indications are that more significant changes will be coming in the not to distant future.  

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to help shape the future of Sail Chicago and, in some respects, I'd like to continue to be part of that effort.  On the other hand, I know that, particularly in volunteer organizations, leadership can become stale if it's in place too long.  That's why I decided not to run for a third term on the Board.  New people bring new vitality and creativity to any organization, and this is certainly true of Sail Chicago. Replacing me as Treasurer will be Martin Modahl.  He's been on the Board for a year and has been "in training" during that time.  I know that he'll do an excellent job as Treasurer, and I'll still be around to back him up if he needs it.

Our newly elected Board members will also make great additions to the team. Brian Johnson is our new Insurance Coordinator.  He brings with him a lot of experience in the industry, and a real dedication to sailing.  Bob Lapin has served terms on the Board twice before.  He currently runs our Cruising program, and he has done a fine job at revitalizing it over the past couple of years.  Shawn Lord has just re-upped for a three year term.  He's been a real gift to our Maintenance program and has been actively helping our webmaster in making our website transparent and simple to navigate.  Sarah Pellegrino is a relatively new face in Sail Chicago.  She brings with her a real energy, enthusiasm, sense or organization, and a commitment to do whatever it takes to make our organization even better than it is.  These dedicated folks will do a great job in helping to continually move Sail Chicago to the forefront of sailing in the Chicago area.

And speaking of volunteering, remember that we are an all-volunteer organization and a community of people dedicated to promoting safe sailing.  All of us need to chip in and do our part.  Another article in this issue lets you know of specific areas where you can help out and fulfill your service requirement as well. 
COASTAL NAVIGATION CLASS IN APRIL
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator
Bob Lapin

Have you ever wanted to sail from port-to-port around Lake Michigan or learn the finer points of bareboat cruising so you can charter a boat in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean?  Well, now Sail Chicago can provide you with the opportunity. Weekend and five day Bareboat Cruising courses will be offered in 2016 aboard Priorities, our Hunter 34. In order to qualify for the course, you must be a Cruising Skipper or plan to become one early in the 2016 sailing season. You must also complete an on-shore Coastal Navigation course that will be offered on the Saturdays of April 9 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at an office location in the south loop.  To learn the details of our cruising courses and the Coastal Navigation Course, click here.  To register for the April 9 and 16 Coastal Navigation Course, click here.  Questions? Contact me!
HAVE YOU MET YOUR ANNUAL SERVICE REQUIREMENT?
Remember, Sail Chicago is an all-volunteer organization.  If you'd like to have on-the-water privileges during the upcoming sailing season, you will need to have fulfilled your annual service requirement (see the Sail Chicago Rules & Regulations).  Currently several important positions in our organization remain open.  These include:
OPERATIONS
*Service time committee
*Website help
*Archivist
FINANCIAL
*Fundraising coordinator
PROGRAMS
*Community sailing skippers (Laurence Hall, Urban Sail, Schuler Scholars)
*MCO skippers 
*Tiller Time skippers 
*Social committee members
MARKETING
*Committee members
*Responder to emails from website
INSTRUCTION
*Registrar, scheduler
*Instructors
*New skipper coordinator, US Sail certification coordinator
MAINTENANCE
*Assistant Coordinator, boat teams, repair specialties

If you'd like more information on one of these or other open positions please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Chris Garvey.  
RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW!
Now's the time to renew your Sail Chicago membership! Click here to log into your account. In the "Account Summary" panel on the right, where it says "Non-Member", click "Upgrade/Renew" and follow the instructions.  Click here for help.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEMINAR AT STRICTLY SAIL SHOW
By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator
 
I attended a very informative and useful seminar at the Strictly Sail show in January: National Weather Service Marine Products and How to Navigate the NWS Website, presented by Amy Seeley. Amy is an enthusiastic sailor and has been a National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist for 25 years. A fairly new NWS product is the Great Lakes Weather page. This page includes detailed weather forecasts going out five days for each of the Great Lakes, with graphical forecast maps for hazards, wind speed and gusts, wave height and period, and temperature. This data is continuously updated so it can provide a near to real time forecast that can be extremely valuable to mariners. If you select Lake Michigan wind speed, for example, the display will step through the wind speed forecast in three hourincrements for the upcoming five days. This will give mariners an idea of the trend in wind direction and velocity as weather systems pass through our area. Since it is updated continuously, it can be more accurate than the nearshore marine forecast, which is updated every six hours each day.

Amy also reported on the addition of a new nearshore buoy off Wilmette, IL, which will help improve the accuracy of the nearshore marine forecasts. One of the problems facing meteorologists who prepare the nearshore marine forecasts is the lack of adequate data upon which to base their projections. Joining nearshore buoys in Michigan City (Buoy 45170) and South Haven (Buoy 45168), the new buoy, Buoy 45174, is a welcome addition. All are currently out of service for the winter. You can find them at the National Data Buoy Center.

The Great Lakes Weather page contains links to vast amounts of historical and current information of interest to all mariners.

Amy also introduced a new experimental product, the Enhanced Data Display. This sophisticated tool allows users to plan custom routes on land and water by car, foot, bicycle, or boat and to obtain detailed forecast information for each stage of the trip. If you visit this page, check out the route planner at the lower left side of the web page. Click the drop down menu labelled "Public/Marine Forecast" to access the weather route planner. Once you enter a route, you can enter boat speed, draw a custom route, and generate a graphic showing estimated time of arrival along with the forecasted weather along the way. I am looking forward to using this great tool for preparing for offshore voyages on Lake Michigan this summer. I encourage you to visit the site, explore it, and provide comments to the NWS.

Another good source of weather information is the "Hourly Weather Forecast Graph". The graph provides detailed forecast data on temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation, sky cover, and relative humidity.
AMERICA'S CUP COMES TO CHICAGO
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator
 
For the first time in its 164-year history, an America's Cup qualifying round will be held in fresh water - Chicago.  Seven qualifying races are being held around the world to determine which team will challenge the defender, Oracle in Bermuda in 2017.  The races will be held off navy Pier during the weekend of June 10-12.  The boats are 45 feet long cats with wing like main-sails, they "fly" at speeds up to 35 knots.  A Grandstand will provide the best viewing at the end of the pier.  Check out the website for tickets and details.  Sail Chicago has purchased a boat pass for Priorities that permits us to raft-up on the periphery of the race course to watch the races.  More details to follow.

VOLUNTEER AT AMERICA'S CUP
America's Cup is looking for qualified volunteers, who love customer service and supporting fans' needs, to work a minimum of two shifts between Friday, June 10th and Sunday, June 12th. There may be additional opportunities available before and after these dates as well. All volunteers must be 18 or over.
Opportunities will include:
  • Guest Services
  • Fan Zone Ambassador
  • Media Center & TV
  • VIP Hospitality
  • Transportation Assistants
  • Volunteer Registration & Hospitality
If interested in volunteering, please apply here . Keep in mind, there may be specific roles that require a short phone interview. If needed, a representative from Chicago Sports Commission will reach out over the next several weeks to learn more about your skills and experience. All applicants will be notified of their status by mid-March. Accepted applicants will be able to select specific shifts at that point.

ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS UPCOMING SEASON
By Michele Cody, Social Coordinator
Members and friends share plans  at the Annual Meeting

 
On Wednesday, March 2, over sixty Sail Chicago members and friends gathered at the Chief O:"Neill's Pub and Restaurant to enjoy a meal together and to review the prior year's activities and 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 Sail Chicago ended a successful financial year with a strong balance sheet and a healthy net income.  Matt Stuczynski, our Lead Instructor detailed plans for the Instruction Program during the upcoming sailing season. Maya Teleki discussed the expanded Colgate Racing Program now in its third year. Tom Simms gave a report on Sail Chicago's sailing programs for disadvantaged youth.
  
Four Directors were elected to fill vacancies created by expiring terms: Brian Johnson, Bob Lapin, Shawn Lord, and Sarah Pellegrino.  Finally, the Board members present fielded questions from the audience members.  Many lingered after the meeting was formally adjourned to socialize and make plans for the upcoming sailing season. 
THIS IS SAILING!
Do you have a friend whom you've tried to interest in sailing but who just doesn't seem to get the joy and exhilaration you feel when you're out there with the wind in your face and your hand on the tiller.  Well here's something that might help.  U.S. Sailing has produced a video that captures some of what we all experience when we're out there on a sailboat.  Share it with your friend, and perhaps they'll become excited enough to go sailing with you.
WHY KNOT?
An interesting app for iPhone and Android recently came to our attention.  If you've ever struggled with trying to tie a bowline or were wondering what a sheepshank is, it might help.
FEBRUARY SAIL CHICAGO BOARD NOTES
By Christine Garvey, Board Secretary
  • Chris Schuler, Matt Stuczinski and Michael Swisher reported on the information gained from attending US Sailing Leadership Forum.  Their attendance helped to increase communication and form relationships with other sailing organizations.
  • Instruction discussed putting a US Sailing "dryland" course online.  In order to cover these costs, basic, intermediate and skipper prep classes will increase by $15.
  • Mast raising on the Colgates are scheduled for April 23/24.  Harbor opens May 1st.
  • Class registration should open early March.
  • Annual dues can be paid now.
  • Racing seminar should be scheduled in March.
  • Archived BTS go back to 2011.
  • Service time still needs to be put on the website.
SAIL CHICAGO REMINDERS
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 volunteer opportunities in Sail Chicago, click here.

Help our Community Outreach Programs
Please consider volunteering to skipper or crew on a weekday afternoon sail with one of our three groups that take underprivileged children sailing. Skippering five or more times will fulfill your service requirement for the following year. For more information on the Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Urban Youth, and Schuler Scholars, go to the Sail Chicago Website.

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.

Read the Sail Chicago Blog
Keep up to date on the events and activities of Sail Chicago and the Chicago sailing community. Read the sail Chicago blog on a regular basis. You can find it on the Sail Chicago website under "News."

Share your Photos
We're looking for photos of Sail Chicago boats, members, and activities. To upload your photos simply attach them to an email and address it to photos@sailchicago.org.

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. Look under "News/Newsletter."
Sail Chicago, P.O. Box 101069, Chicago, IL 60610-8914
Sent by btseditor@sailchicago.org in collaboration with
Constant Contact

BTS: February 2016

View as a webpage
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.
IN THIS ISSUE
DATES TO NOTE
Board Meeting 
February 11
Annual Meeting
March 2
Board Meeting
March 8
Seminar:  Suzy Wong
March 9
Instructors' Meeting
April 2
Coastal Navigation Class
April 9 and 16
Board Meeting
April 14
America's Cup at Navy Pier
June 10-12
USEFUL INFORMATION
WHO TO CONTACT
Announcements 
Boat Licensing & Registration
Bookkeeper
Between the Sheets
Chairman
Colgate 26 Racing
Cruising
Instruction
Lawrence Hall Youth Services
Lead Instructor
Marketing
Member Cruise Outings
Membership
Monroe Passes
Annette Faber
Purchasing 
Dana Smith
Reservations
Safety
Schuler Scholars
Seminars
Service Requirements
Share-a-Sail
Social
Strictly Sail Chicago Show
Surveys
Tiller Time 

Treasurer
Webmaster
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Officers
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Vice Chair - Maya Teleki
Secretary - Chris Garvey
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort

Directors
Alfred Chan
Bob Cohen
Shawn Lord  
Martin Modahl
Tom Peterson
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Adam Wisneski  

Facebook           Twitter   
ISSUE NO. 2 / FEBRUARY 2016 
FROM THE EDITOR...
Steve VanderVoort
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

This issue of Between the Sheets has a new look that we hope will make it simpler and easier to read on your mobile device. Currently over 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and the older format of this newsletter was not really mobile-friendly. If you have comments or feedback on the new format, please click here.

Although we are still in the heart of winter, it's time to start planning for summer sailing. One important thing you can do now is to check over your sailing gear. Do those old, worn sailing gloves need replacing?  If you have an inflatable life jacket, is your cartridge in the "green zone."  Do you have a hat and sun glasses to keep you safe from the ravages of the sun?  Remember, our boats are in the water May 1.  Do you have a waterproof jacket with a fleece lining that can keep you warm and dry on cold spring days?  Don't forget those waterproof pants. They can come in handy when the weather is cool or wet.  Remember, cotton clothing takes a long time to dry and can keep you chilly.  Nylon clothing dries quickly. Shoes are also important.  Many types of athletic shoes can slip on wet decks. Are your soles non-slip and properly grooved for sailing?

Plan to attend the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 3. Program heads will outline their plans for the upcoming sailing season, and you'll have a chance to vote for members of the Sail Chicago Board.  Remember, you'll need to be a 2016 member in order to vote.  Membership registration is now open online (see article below).  If you come early, plan to have dinner with other Sail Chicago members at Chief O'Neill's Pub (see article in this issue).  And don't forget all the other Sail Chicago activities taking place in march and April.  See "Dates to Note" in the left column.
RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW!
Now's the time to renew your Sail Chicago membership!

Click here to log into your account. In the "Account Summary" panel on the right, where it says "Non-Member", click "Upgrade/Renew" and follow the instructions.  Click here for help.
MARCH 2:  SAIL CHICAGO ANNUAL MEETING
By Michele Cody, Social Coordinator
 
Sail Chicago members and guests are invited to attend our Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, March 2nd, at Chief O'Neill's Restaurant & Pub, located at 3471 N. Elston, Chicago.  Free street parking is available nearby. The meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm, but do come early to join friends for a drink or dinner.

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 and socializing. The anticipated end time of the meeting is 9 pm.  We hope you will be able to attend and help us roll out our 2016 sailing season! 

If you have not renewed your Sail Chicago membership online (see article above), 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 be current in 2016.
HELP PREPARE OUR FLEET FOR LAUNCH
By Tom Peterson, Maintenance Coordinator

No Name Colgate
Help get this Colgate ready to sail.
Believe it or not it's almost time to start getting our fleet ready for the Spring trip up the river.  We've had a very mild winter this year (unless you moved here from Florida), so I'm hoping that we can get out there soon to work on the boats. The spring and fall boat work is not strictly the duty of only the maintenance group, and it's extremely helpful to have other members involved.  While it is possible to satisfy your service requirement by helping with spring maintenance, we also need people who just want to stop by for a few hours and get together with other members who are getting ready for the start of the sailing season. We can always find things to do for anyone interested in working in a particular area.
 
For the benefit of our new members, there is not a fixed group of people who manage the process.   Each year the maintenance coordinator tries to find a few people who are familiar with a general job group and those people in turn find others who will pitch in each weekend.  Members who are experienced in a particular area will instruct others, who then may manage the process the following year.

We encourage all members (both new and old) and all skill levels to come out for at least one day of helping to prepare our boats for launch this spring.  It's a fun experience and gives you the uplifting feeling that we are going to start sailing soon.  As an all-volunteer organization, we depend on your support.   If you are interested in learning more about maintenance of our boats, from the Ideals to the Hunter, email me,
 and I will contact you with updates as we firm up our spring schedule.
SAIL CHICAGO MAKES SPLASH AT STRICTLY SAIL SHOW

David Merrill, Stuart Jessup, and Maria Frank ready for visitors at the Sail Chicago booth, 2016 Strictly Sail Chicago Show
Sail Chicago Volunteers
Sail Chicago once again made its presence felt in a big way at the 2016 Strictly Sail Chicago show, January 14 - January 18, at McCormick Place. 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 more. Hundreds of exhibitors jammed McCormick Place's South Hall to display their wares and discuss the finer points of sailing.
 
Sail Chicago was one of those exhibitors. Almost fifty Sail Chicago members generously donated their time to help staff our booth during the five days of 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. Over seventy-five Show visitors signed up to learn more about Sail Chicago's instruction and racing programs, and our New Member Package.
 
This year also marks the beginning of a new era for Sail Chicago's participation at the Show. U.S. Sailing, the sailing organization with which Sail Chicago has a close affiliation, for the first time sponsored a pavilion at the Show where all its affiliates were located. Our booth faced the U.S. Sailing Pavilion, and we were able to interact with many of the same visitors to the Show. U.S. Sailing has promised to be back again next year, and we will be right there with them.
 
Thanks to all those who helped to make our presence at Strictly Sail Chicago felt in a very positive way. We're grateful for your efforts.

FULFILL YOUR SERVICE TIME REQUIREMENT!
By Christine Garvey, Service Time Coordinator

We are hoping to simplify the way members use our web site to sign up for service time this year.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about service time, please contact Christine Garvey .
 
Here are some jobs that are currently open:
 
Operations: Someone to answer all email inquiries to our website.  This job can be done anywhere you have Internet access. 
 
Instruction: 1. Someone to track students, making sure they are progressing properly. 2. Someone to help with curriculum production. 3. Someone to help with registration. 4. Instructors and members interested in becoming instructors.
 
Maintenance: 1. Helpers on all maintenance teams. 2. An assistant maintenance leader. 3. Boat managers.
 
Programs: 1. Someone to help plan parties. 2. Skippers for member cruises, Tiller Time, and community sails.
INSTRUCTOR MEETING ON SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2016
By Matt Stuczynski and Michael Swisher

Many hearty thanks to our uber-dedicated Sail Chicago volunteer Instructors who are the backbone and soul of our organization.  Many of our Instructors not only teach more than one class, but when we add the multiple make-up sessions they teach, they might find themselves going out eight times for a four session class.   Their dedication and passion for passing on the joy of sailing is an inspiration.   We look forward to seeing all Instructors at the Spring meeting on Saturday, April 2nd at 10 a.m. (location TBD) and look forward to a great new season!
COASTAL NAVIGATION CLASS IN APRIL
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator

This year's class will be held in the South Loop on the consecutive Saturday mornings of April 9 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  This class is a prerequisite for the Bareboat Cruising course where we sail our Hunter 34 to a foreign port. Watch your inbox for sign-up opportunities soon.
MARCH 9 SEMINAR: THE VOYAGE OF THE SUZY WONG
By Paul Demmel, Seminar Coordinator

Steve Jackson
Mark your calendars for the evening of March 9, 6:30 pm at the Columbia Yacht Club and plan to attend a talk by Steve Jackson as he shares his experiences on his ocean-spanning journey aboard the Suzy Wong. It will be an evening you won't soon forget!   

The "Voyage of the Suzy Wong" is a true-life adventure story about four novice sailors and their dog.  They journey in a wooden boat from Hong Kong back home to America, navigating by the stars on their 26,000-mile, epic-making voyage.  These young seamen relied on the kindness of strangers, their own resourcefulness, and just plain luck.   They managed to avoid pirates, but they didn't escape bouts of seasickness, kidney stones, dysentery, monsoons, equipment failures, swarms of locusts, and even encounters with snakes.

Watch for more information in an email announcement that will be coming out in mid-February. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, you may want to explore Steve's website.  Questions?  Please contact Paul Demmel
WOMAN'S INTERNATIONAL KEELBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

A revitalized US Sailing Championship, the International Women's Keelboat Championship (IWKC), is aimed at maximizing opportunities for women sailors to participate in high-caliber regattas against top international sailors.
 
The American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. will host the new IWKC J/70s regatta from August 14th to 20th, 2016. The championship will rotate each year to venues within, and outside, the U.S. with the goal of attracting more international teams. Please click here for more information; or email Jake Fish at U.S. Sailing.
BOARD ENDORSES FOUR CANDIDATES FOR 2016 BOARD
Each year four positions on the Sail Chicago Board open up for new candidates or for current Board members whose three-year terms are expiring. This year, your Board has endorsed four candidates to fill those positions. They are:

 
The names of these candidates, together with the names of any other Sail Chicago members who would like to run for the Board, will be placed on the ballot and voted upon by the entire Sail Chicago membership at the Annual Meeting (see article in this issue of Between the Sheets).

If you'd like to find out more about the candidates who are endorsed by the Board, click on each of the names above. If you'd like to have your name placed on the ballot, contact Steve VanderVoort.
ASSISTANT MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR NEEDED
By Tom Peterson, Maintenance Coordinator

I'm looking for someone to help me coordinate our fleet maintenance activities.   A reasonably well-organized and enthusiastic person who likes to talk with people (mostly on the phone) would fit the bill nicely. The assistant coordinator's major mission would be to get our members interested and involved in launching our fleet in the spring and getting it to the boatyard in the fall.   Most work will take place in spring and fall, but there may be other coordination activities when unexpected events occur.  Be assured that the person in this position will
not inevitably take over as Maintenance Coordinator (unless they really want the job).

While the position is primarily administrative, a good deal of knowledge regarding boat maintenance will most likely be picked up.  This position satisfies your annual service requirement and may qualify for sailing credits.  If interested, please contact Tom Peterson for more information.
PRIORITIES GETS A MAJOR OVERHAUL
Sail Chicago's cruising boat, Priorities, is getting a major overhaul this winter.  The boat's Diesel engine has been removed and is being completely rebuilt by a Diesel engine maintenance company.  It will be reinstalled in early spring.

Norm Linde and Ed Schroeder hard at work on Priorities' rudder
In addition, several of our Sail Chicago volunteers have been busy this winter repairing Priorities' rudder.  It's not an easy job, but they have tackled it with gusto a have promised that it will be completely repaired and installed by the start of the sailing season.  Our thanks to these intrepid sailors who have dedicated so many hours to insuring that our cruising boat will run smoothly and safely this summer.

JANUARY SAIL CHICAGO BOARD NOTES
By Christine Garvey

The Sail Chicago Board met on January 12, 2016.  The following topics were covered:
  • Instruction:
    • Registration for classes should open beginning of March.
    • Annual instructors meeting April 2.
  • Maintenance:
    • Looking at chase motor boats to help with maintenance and racing.
  • Marketing:
    • Working on incentives for instructors.
    • Working on ways to prepare instructors.
  • Financial:
    • Board approved getting Priorities repaired.
Sail Chicago, P.O. Box 101069, Chicago, IL 60610-8914
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From the Editor

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A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to attend Sail Chicago's annual Post-Season Awards Dinner and Celebration at theColumbia Yacht (see article below).  While it was great to get back together with all my summer sailing buddies, for me the heart of the evening was watching as our Chairman, Chris Schuler gave out the awards for outstanding service to some of our member-volunteers who'd gone well beyond the minimum necessary to fulfill their annual service requirement.  My heart swelled with gratitude for the countless hours of service they have given to help make Sail Chicago such a success.

One awardee really stood out for me, perhaps because we've worked closely together on several projects over the years and I've had a chance to view her dedication to Sail Chicago "up close and personal."  By her own admission, Pat Webster started off her time in Sail Chicago as a rather timid sailor.  She wasn't quite sure that she'd enjoy being out on the big lake in a small boat, but once there, she found it exhilarating.  With a career in the Naperville public school system and free summers, she had lots of opportunity to sail, and she took advantage of it, becoming an accomplished skipper on all classes of our small keelboat fleet.

Pat also became involved with other aspects of Sail Chicago, starting with our winter maintenance program. But she really found her niche as Social Program Coordinator.  As she says, "I love to throw a good party!" and believe me, she really knows how.  She's held this position for as long as I can remember, having great summer picnics for members and friends in the sun and rain, planning parties that range from simple get-togethers at local pubs, to the recent Post-Season extravaganza, to organizing events like our Annual Meeting.  And while I know she's occasionally been frustrated trying to find volunteers to help her, she's always come through in the end.

Pat's also served in a leadership capacity on the Sail Chicago Board for several years, where I've worked with her on several Board committees and had the greatest opportunity to watch her in action.  She was always thoughtful and thorough, doing her "homework," and coming to meetings well-prepared.  She also never hesitated to be outspoken for what she believed in. While we didn't always agree on issues that came up, I found her to be a good listener, and she never let differing opinions get in the way of personal relationships.

This year has been a big year for Pat.  She took early retirement from the Naperville public school system, and she will be retiring from her position as Social Program Coordinator with Sail Chicago.  This winter she'll be spending a couple of months in Florida, "...to see if I like the climate."  I'm sure she will.

Thanks, Pat, for going "above and beyond" in your service to Sail Chicago.  You are the epitome of the volunteer spirit that makes Sail Chicago thrive as a community of dedicated sailors here in our great metropolis of Chicago!

Strictly Sail Volunteers Needed

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

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

Sail Chicago has long been part of this event and we are fortunate to have been well-represented by Volunteers at 2015 Show.

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 the boats on display before or after their shifts.   Your commitment will be just a few hours of chatting about your enthusiasm for sailing with potential new members of Sail Chicago--a pretty good deal!

Volunteer times are:

  • Thurs, Jan 14: 11am-3pm, 3-6pm or 6-9pm  
  • Fri, Jan 15: 11am-3pm, 3-6pm or 6-9pm
  • Sat, Jan 16: 10am-2pm, 2-6pm, 6-9pm
  • Sun, Jan 17: 10am-1pm, 1-4pm, 4-7pm
  • Mon (ML King Day): 10am-1pm. 1-5 pm

If you'd like to sign up, please contact Sarah Pellegrino 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 student, new member, 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.

Get over to the gear shop

Still have some shopping to do for the holidays? Head over the Sail Chicago's brand new store. We've got T-shirts, mugs, hats and more. Not only will you look good and help spread the word about Sail Chicago, but you'll be supporting our sailing organization with each purchase. 

Orders sent with standard shipping to addresses within the US and Canada must be placed by December 13th at 11:59:59pm EST.

Orders sent with express shipping to add addresses within the US must be placed by December 21st at 11:59:59pm EST.

How to prepare for a squall

The sailing season may be over, but it's always wise to review safety pointers.  When those dark clouds start rolling in over the horizon, it's time to start heading for shore. But what happens if the storm is moving fast and you don't have time to make it?  Here are three suggestions from Boat U.S.:

  1. Tuck and hide
  2. Hold station
  3. Heave to

For the full read, click below. 

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2015/october/when-a-squall-comes-calling.asp?utm_source=BMAG&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=bmag_art1_1015

 

From the editor

By Steve Vandervoort, Editor

Winter is just around the corner. Our fleet is stacked neatly in the boatyard on Canal Street.  We can forget about sailing and Sail Chicago for the next few months.  Or can we?

Remember, as a community sailing program, we are an all-volunteer organization.

 The main reason that we can offer such uniquely affordable sailing opportunities to our members and others in the Chicago area is that our dedicated members put in countless hours of service staffing our instruction programs, performing administrative roles, and now most importantly, maintaining our fleet so that future members and students will be able to enjoy sailing on our beautiful Lake Michigan.  It's during thelate fall and early spring months that a great deal of this maintenance work is performed.  Patching, repairing, and cleaning our boats and rigging, sorting and repairing our sails, and insuring that each boat is provided with the necessary safety equipment are just a few of the important maintenance tasks that will be carried out.

As members of Sail Chicago, we all pitch in to help with some of these and other tasks.  

That's why we have an annual service time requirement built into our membership program.  While new members don't have a service requirement in their first year, they need to have signed up for an activity that will fulfill therequirement by the beginning of the next sailing season if they wish to participate in any on-the-water activities.  

Returning members in their third year and beyond must have fulfilled their service requirement by the start of the new sailing season.

For our newer members, a great way to fulfill your service requirement is by becoming a member of a Boat Team. Here you will be part of a team of 5 -7 members who are responsible for keeping one of our boats in tip-top shape for the sailing season.  You'll work on theboat during the fall and spring to prepare it for the next sailing season, and you'll help with minor repairs duringthe season itself. You're also eligible to participate in weekly "maintenance cruises" with other boat team members throughout the summer.  

It's a great way to learn about all of the things that go into boat maintenance, and also an opportunity to meet other enthusiastic sailors in Sail Chicago.  To find out more, please contact Tom Peterson, our Maintenance Coordinator, or to see a complete listing of other ways you can fulfill your annual service requirement go to theJob Posting Sheet.

Hey Members, Need those volunteer hours? Here's how you can get them.

The Sail Chicago season will soon end with lowering the masts in the harbor and motoring the boats up the Chicago river. The mast lowering will take place on October 17th with a rain date of October 18th. Normally the process takes about 4 or 5 hours starting at 9am.

YOU can learn how to dismast a sailboat and motor it up the river. It's useful knowledge. The purpose is to transfer knowledge about the boats and how to maintain them to as many people as possible. The mast lowering will take place in either Dusable or 31st Street harbor.

Motoring the boats up the river will take place early the next week. The trip takes under two hours, but transportation back downtown can add a bit to that.

No specific knowledge is required. 

If you are interested in taking part in either event and learning about another part of the Sail Chicago process, contact Tom Peterson at maintenance@sailchicago.org right away!