BTS: November 2015

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 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, 2015
By Steve Vandervoort, Editor
Steve Vandervoort
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 the late 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 the requirement 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 the boat during the fall and spring to prepare it for the next sailing season, and you'll help with minor repairs during the 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 the Job Posting Sheet.
We've got a great idea for all you early-bird Holiday shoppers:  why not give the gift of sailing?  Imagine the surprise and delight of your friend or significant other when they open their Holiday present and find a gift certificate for a membership in Sail Chicago.  Or, if they're new to sailing, you can give them a gift certificate for an instruction course of their choosing.  To find out more about this fantastic gift idea, please e-mail our Treasurer. 

November 13 - End-of-Season Party 
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Boat Licensing & Registration - Ottilie Young
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
Between the Sheets - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Cruising - Bob Lapin
Instruction - Michael Swisher
Lawrence Hall Youth Services - Norm Linde
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Adam Wisneski
Member Cruise Outings - Brandon Sanders
Membership - Faith Hillis
Monroe Parking & Tender Passes - Vlad Roshchin &         Annette Faber
Purchasing - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety - John Lemon
Schuler Scholars - Tom Simms
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Service Requirements - Christine Garvey
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Strictly Sail Chicago Show - Steve VanderVoort
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tiller Time - Steven Clar & Julia Liu 
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan


Accident Reporting
Chris Schuler 
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Maya Teleki
 Christine Garvey 

Alfred Chan

Bob Cohen

Shawn Lord  

Martin Modahl 

Tom Peterson
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Adam Wisneski   
By Pat Webster, Social Coordinator
Pat Webster
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 Friday evening, November 13.
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.
Register by clicking here.  Deadline for registration is Monday November 9th.
* Columbia Yacht Club is located in the big ship at Randolph and Lake Shore Drive.  Normally, it is a members' only club, so we're fortunate to be able to have it open up to Sail Chicago for this event. 


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.

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.

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

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."



Be prepared for rough weather
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.
To find out more about each of these maneuvers, click here.

Although the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting is still a couple of months away, the Board is beginning to focus on potential candidates that it can recommend to the Sail Chicago membership to fill vacant Board positions.  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 would be a good candidate for a position on the Board, please contact Steve VanderVoort, Chairman of the Board Development Committee. 

US Sailing is once again sponsoring its annual Sailing Leadership Forum this year in San Diego, US Sailing Logo February 4 - 6, 2016.  In its own words, US Sailing says:

Sailing Leadership Forum 2016 offers a unique experience for all types of sailors to connect on important and relevant issues on all aspects of our sport. Leaders from sail training and education, yacht club and sailing organization management, race officials, and industry professionals will meet and learn from one another in the surroundings of this spectacular Southern California venue.

The Forum will offer keynote speaker presentations and focused group sessions on a wide range of topics such as Growing the Sport, Developing Programs, Marketing & Communications, Administration & Management, Regattas & Racing, and Rules & Officials.

The Sailing Leadership Forum will feature lively and fun social events, hands-on activities, exhibitor displays and demonstrations, pre- and post-forum clinics and seminars for instructor certification, race management seminars, Safety-at-Sea Seminars, and much more.

Sail Chicago has traditionally sent representatives from our organization to the Forum.  For more information and to register, click here.
By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Sailing Instructor

Sail Chicago is proud to have awarded US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification to our first group of sailors this season after being certified itself this past year as a US Sailing Basic Keelboat certification school. The US Sailing Keelboat Certification System consists of seven levels of certification, offering training for complete beginners through Offshore Passagemaking for blue-water sailors.  Each successive course builds on the previous level and includes hands-on training as well as "book learning."
Sail Chicago students who gained Basic Keelboat Certification this year passed the on-the-water portion of the test with one of our US Sailing Basic Keelboat certified Instructors as well as an 80-question written test. One of our students even passed the written test with 100%!  The written certification test was offered throughout the season and will be offered again in January.  The cost for the written test is $50 and includes a one-year membership in US Sailing.  Congratulations to our new US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification holders: Diego Cerzosimo, Tom Ellett, Mark Fechner, Bob Lapin, Sergio Luntsevich, David Merrill, Corrigan Nadon-Nichols, Peter Nam, Ilya Pisarenko, Aureliusz Rempala, and Jason Wirth.
By Christine Garvey, Secretary

The Board met on October 8, 2015, and the following items were covered:
  • Budget for next year will be reviewed at the November board meeting and voted on at the December meeting.
  • $200 will be given to the Monroe Harbor Tender Fund for the tender drivers.
  • Four new instructors passed the US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor course.  One more course may be added this year if we can get enough instructor interest.
  • Maintenance discussed the de-commissioning plan for our fleet.  
  • Awards were discussed for the end-of-the season dinner party.
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