BTS: December 2012

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for December
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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 #12December, 2012 
Steve VanderVoort

By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor


I'm fascinated by rumor... how it starts and where it ends up.  Recently, it seems there has been a rumor circulating among some Sail Chicago members that one or more classes of our fleet will be "going away." 


At the November Board meeting, three Sail Chicago members made an impassioned plea to keep four (or at least three) Rhodes 19s at Monroe Harbor.  The Board was also presented with equally impassioned pleas in writing by a dozen or so other members.   


More recently, Board members have received at least an equal number of impassioned e-mails from other Sail Chicago members asking to keep our two Ideal 18s in the water.  


At its October meeting, the Board approved the 2013 Strategic Plan Update.  In terms of our fleet, the Update recommends that, based upon past and projected usage, two Rhodes 19s and two Ideal 18s be kept at Monroe Harbor.  While the Ideal 18s will be used for instruction during the forthcoming sailing season, there are no current plans to use the Rhodes for formal instruction programs.  The Rhodes will be used, however for Tiller Times and Member Cruise Outings, in addition to any private boat use by members.  While the Board may modify the Strategic Plan Update at some point, this is the current planned configuration.


In recent years, your Board has embarked on an ambitious fleet renewal program that will provide Sail Chicago with a variety of classes of boats for our sailors for many years to come.  Factors that are considered in selecting  a specific class of boat are appropriateness for instruction, ease of maintenance, and financial viability.  In the longer term, your Board does not want to keep boats in our fleet that are not used for instruction, are costly to maintain, or do not generate enough revenue from instruction or private boat use.


It's also important to note that Sail Chicago is not wedded to one particular class of boat.  If you have sailed on a class of boat that you think might be popular with Sail Chicago students and members, please let us know.  Classes of boat that have been suggested for future additions to our fleet include J/70sHarbor 20s, and Capri 22s.


The message to Sail Chicago members seems clear:  if you would like to keep a particular class of boat in our fleet, "use it or lose it."


I welcome your comments on this editorial.  While they may be edited for brevity, they will all eventually be printed.


Finally, I'd like to wish you and yours my best wishes for the Holidays, and a very happy sailing season in the New Year.


Strictly Sail Chicago Show
Opportunities for Service Fair a Big Success
Sign up for Service
Give a Gift and/or Contribute to Sail Chicago
Sail Chicago November Board Meeting
First Winter Seminar "Lifts Off"
Buy a Rhodes and Have Some Fun!

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312-409-9000 or


Chairman - Frank Loftus
Announcements - Ann Johnston
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Cruising Program - Ilya Letuchy
Fun Racing -Dolores Baron
Human Resources - Frank Loftus
Lead Instructor - John Lemon
Maintenance (Summer) - Alfred Chan & Iwona Awlasewicz
Marketing - Mike Parapetti
Membership - Lois Lawson
Pre-Sail Orientation - Dan Flavin
Safety - Ed Schroeder
Seminars -Paul Demmel
Social - Pat Webster
Tiller Time -Chris Garvey
Treasurer - Jay Owens
Strictly Sail Logo The annual Strictly Sail Chicago show, the City's largest sailboating extravaganza will be held again this year at Navy Pier, January 24-27.  For Sail Chicago members it's a great opportunity to see what's happening in the sailing community not only here, but around the nation.  There'll be vendors selling all kinds of boating gear, from boating gloves to 50 foot sailboats.  There's also a variety of instruction classes for people at all skill levels.  Best of all, Sail Chicago members can enjoy the show for free if they volunteer to help staff our booth.  Watch for more information in "Between the Sheets," announcements, and e-mails early in January about how you can sign up to be part of the fun.
2012 Volunteer Fair
Opportunities for Service Fair

 The first ever Sail Chicago Opportunities for Service Fair was held on November 13 at the Sulzer Regional Library.  Members and other sailors in the Chicago community flocked to the event to learn about the available opportunities for service and signed up for one or more of their choice.  Representatives from several of Sail Chicago programs were on hand to answer questions and offer advice to those interested in finding out more about service opportunities.  Pizza, salad, and soft drinks were served, as the crowd mingled informally, reviewing the many ways in which they could help Sail Chicago.


For Sail Chicago members who missed the opportunity to sign up to fulfill their annual service requirement at the Opportunities for Service Fair, don't despair!  A list of opportunities is still available.  Please review it, and if you find one that appeals to you, follow the online instructions to contact the program coordinator named in the list to learn how you might become involved.  Remember, unless you meet your annual service requirement, you will NOT be able to participate in any Sail Chicago on-the-water activities next season.
Are you looking for a Holiday gift for that "Special Sailor?"  Then why not enroll them in a "Sail Into Summer" instruction program during the forthcoming sailing season and help them to improve their sailing skills.  Just click here, and you'll find the perfect gift.
If you don't have a "Special Sailor," but are still inclined to feel generous during this Holiday Season, consider a donation to Sail Chicago.  Here's why:
This is our first year being recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as an official "Not-for-Profit" organization.  What this means for you is that any donation you make to Sail Chicago is "tax-deductible."  Now, please take a minute to read our "pitch:" 


This past year Sail Chicago offered:

  • Sailing instruction for over 200 students
  • Free Tiller Times to students
  • Free Member Cruise Outings to Sail Chicago members
  • Free Fun-Racing program
  • Free seminars on sailing skills development
  • An opportunity for skipper-certified members to reserve boats for private use at rates well-below the market
  • Two boats added to our fleet
 If you're passionate about sailing, isn't a donation to this great organization this worth your consideration?  Please help to keep our programs running by clicking here.  We'll be thanking all our donors in future editions of "Between the Sheets."


At its November meeting your Sail Chicago Board took action on several items.  They include:

  • Because of a heavy anticipated instruction schedule on the Colgates this coming season, Recess will be moved form Belmont Harbor to Monroe Harbor in order to provide four Colgates at that location.  If another boat is purchased during the spring, it will be moored on the Belmont Harbor can.
  • A $50 sailing credit will be offered to everyone who renews their membership prior to February 28, 2013. 
  • Sail Chicago will offer gift cards for instruction or private boat use.  Details are being worked out. 
  • Three additional tender passes will be purchased for each Colgate moored at Monroe Harbor.  Thus our fleet at Monroe Harbor will have the following number of passes per boat:  Colgates - 5, Rhodes - 2, Ideal - 2.  Passes may be "borrowed" from boats not in use.
  • Next season, Sail Chicago will rent two newly-installed lockboxes at the Monroe Harbor Tender Office:  one for tender passes and one for Monroe Garage parking passes.  The UPS Store facility will no longer be used to hold passes.
  • Now that we are recognized by the IRS as a not-for-profit organization, a line item on both the paper and on-line membership forms will suggest a tax deductible contribution to Sail Chicago's Capital Fund.
  • A proposal to open a Web Store for members to purchase caps, tee shirts and other sailing items with the Sail Chicago logo during the months of May and June was approved.


Instructor John Lemon explains "lift"
Over 25 sailors gathered in the Lincoln Park REI Community Room just before the Thanksgiving weekend for a lively discussion on the fundamentals of sailing. This seminar was the first of Sail Chicago's winter educational series.
Veteran instructors Dan Stein and John Lemon used a variety of models and diagrams to demonstrate the concept of lift as it applies to sailboats.  The same physical phenomenon that generates flight in airplanes allows sailboats to sail into the wind.  Whether the wing (or sail) is curved or flat, if it is angled properly to the wind, air is bent in such a way that it generates a force on the wing or sail.  Properly angling the sail to the wind is key in optimizing upwind sailing.
The inspiration for the program came from the book Understanding Flight, by David W. Anderson and Scott Eberhardt, two experts on aeronautics.  The book includes a section on a description of lift as it applies to sailboats.
Rhodes 19

   Did you ever want to own your own boat?  Now maybe there's an opportunity to do just that, and at a cost-effective price.   Sail Chicago is selling Sundancer, "the yellow boat," that's been part of its fleet for many years.  It comes complete with basic equipment, sails, and a trailer.  Best news of all - the asking price is only $3,000.  It's definitely a bit of a "fixer-upper," but for the right person, it can provide many more years of durable service on the water.  It might also make a great Holiday gift for that special someone.


For more information, please contact Frank Loftus.


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