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.