BTS: December 2013

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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 #12
December, 2013

By Steve VanderVoort, Managing Editor


Steve VanderVoort

Winter is just around the corner. The leaves have disappeared from the trees, our boats are in storage and we've already had our first snow (although it didn't last long). We've also noticed that the sometimes frantic activity that often characterizes Sail Chicago members is slowing down just a bit.  This gives us the opportunity not only to reflect on the good times we had during the past sailing season, but also to look long term at the future of Sail Chicago.  The Board's Strategic Planning Committee is readying its report for Board discussion and approval; and the Board Development Committee is starting to sift through potential candidates for the Board positions that are opening up early this spring.


It's also time for all of our members to start planning for the upcoming sailing season. Remember, we are an all-volunteer organization. Sail Chicago depends upon the volunteer efforts of all its members to keep our organization alive and flourishing. Without your good will and efforts, our organization would disappear very quickly. Currently, we are looking to fill positions in several areas (see article below).  As you plan how you are going to meet your own service requirement during the coming year, you may want to review positions that are available in the Sail Chicago job bank.


And speaking of great volunteers, our thanks to Pat Webster, our Social Director, for planning another fabulous end-of-season event (see article in this issue). Not only was it another opportunity for our members to get together, but it was also a time to celebrate the extra-ordinary efforts of some of our most outstanding volunteers. The people who accepted the awards that were offered have gone far beyond meeting their minimum service requirements to Sail Chicago. They have been true examples to all of us of what service to this organization really means. We're grateful to these volunteers who have gone far above and beyond the call of duty.


Finally, we wish you and yours the best of all Holiday Seasons.  We look forward to a New Year on the water, filled with many new and exciting sailing adventures that will become the basis for the stories we tell around the fire in the hearth next winter.




The Sail Chicago Board Development Committee is seeking potential candidates for Board positions that are becoming vacant. The membership will vote on the candidates presented at the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting, to be held in February or March of next year.


Board members are responsible for setting overall direction and policy for for Sail Chicago.  They attend monthly Board meeting and also act as liaisons to the various Sail Chicago program coordinators.  Most Board members are active in at least one other leadership function in Sail Chicago.


Any Sail Chicago member interested in becoming a candidate for a Board position should contact Steve VanderVoort.


From the editor...
Board Development Committee Seeks Candidates
Post-Season Dinner
Contribute to Sail Chicago
Sign Up for Service Time
The Four-Mile Crib
Life Jackets for Sale
Strictly Sail Show
January 23-26 - Strictly Sail Chicago Show
February 6-8 - U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum (San Diego)
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 Scheduling - Lorna Luebbers
Lead Instructor - John Lemon
Marketing - Mike Parapetti
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Lois Lawson
Seminars -Paul Demmel
Safety Director - Andy Miller
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Tender & Parking Passes - Arleen Prairie
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort

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Maintenance Hotline

312-409-9000 or

Chris Schuler 
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Maureen Huston

Frank Loftus
Mike Parapetti
Pat Webster
Almost seventy Sail Chicago members and friends boarded the Columbia Yacht Club's  "Big Blue Boat" anchored in 
End of season party 1
Pat Webster greets Jay Owens and Minna Greene.
DuSable Harbor to attend Sail Chicago's annual Post-Season Event.  Everyone agreed that it provided a great nautical venue for such a festive occasion.  The party gave both members and guests an opportunity to reminisce about the recently passed sailing season and to make preliminary plans for  the next one.  

In the meantime, there were a variety of drinks and some fabulous food to enjoy, old and new friends to meet, and fun to be had.


The Post-Season Event is also a time for recognition and honors.  Various program areas recognized outstanding participants in each of the following areas:

  • Maintenance Guru - Tom Peterson
    End of season party 3
    Tom Peterson accepts maintenance award from Chris Schuler. 
  • Best Sail Chicago Student - Amber Kelly
  • Instructor of the Year - Bob Cohen
  • Volunteers of the Year - Lorna Lubbers, Michael Hart
  • Chairman's Award for Service - Lois Lawson

Each honoree received an engraved beer stein and a round of hearty congratulations from those assembled.

End of season party 2
Mike Swiontek with Norm Linde and wife

Many, many thanks to Pat Webster, Sail Chicago's Social Director, and all her helpers who were able to create for us a truly memorable evening.  It was much appreciated by all who attended.




During this Holiday Season, please consider a special gift to Sail Chicago. Here's why:



This past year Sail Chicago offered:

  • Sailing and racing instruction for over 200 students
  • Free Tiller Times to students
  • Free Member Cruise Outings to Sail Chicago members
  • Free seminars on sailing skills development
  • A variety of classes of sailboats on which to gain experience
  • An opportunity for skipper-certified members to reserve boats for private use at rates well-below the market

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."  Remember, the Internal Revenue Service recognizes Sail Chicago as an official "Not-for-Profit" organization.  What this means for you is that any donation you make to Sail Chicago is "tax-deductible."  To donate, click here.



By Christine Garvey


It's time for Sail Chicago members to sign up for the service time they need to put in for next year. Each year, all Sail Chicago members are required to do service time. Service time involves taking on a job that helps the organization run. These jobs can be on the water, doing maintenance, or participating in operations. If you cannot perform service time, you must pay an "opt-out" fee of $400. First-year members do not need to do service time their first season, but they must sign up for service time by May 1st for the following season.


In preparation for the 2014 season, completed service time is now being recorded by Christine Garvey. All program leaders need to contact Christine to inform her who has completed service time for next season. If you have not done so yet, please notify her as soon as possible. In January, she will contact all members who have not yet signed up for service time in to see what positions they would like to fill or if they want to pay the $400 opt-out fee. Positions must be filled before May 1, 2014.


Some open positions are as follows:

  • Assistant treasurer
  • Assistant to the insurance person
  • Assistant to the social director
  • Assistant for mooring registrations
  • Assistant for service time
  • Maintenance coordinator (and assistant)
  • Maintenance members for (all boats)
  • Maintain trailer organization in boatyard (and assistant)
  • Purchasing agent (and assistant)
  • Curriculum coordinator (and assistant)
  • Website (front end)
  • Hotline coordinator (and assistant)
  • Instructors, tiller time and Member Cruise Outing skippers
  • Fundraising coordinator (and assistant) 

Sign up for service time by going to your Sail Chicago homepage and click on the link, 

"sailchicagojobs"   The site is being updated regularly, so if you do not see a job listed that you would like to do, please contact Christine Garvey.


4-Mile Crib
The Four-Mile Crib with Resident Cormorants

By Gary Thrane


Those who sail with Sail Chicago have often sailed by the "Four-Mile Crib," the 19th-century structure that sits several miles off Monroe Street Harbor.   Built in 1891, the Four-Mile Crib worked for many years as one of the principal water-intake sites for the city of Chicago. Nowadays, the Crib serves mainly as a rookery for the numerous cormorants that frequent Lake Michigan waters.


In the 1830s, when Chicago was first becoming a village, drinking water was drawn from the Chicago River.   But that source of water soon became unacceptably polluted with sewage from dwellings and businesses along the river.   Chicagoans next turned to Lake Michigan as a source of fresh water.   Since the Chicago River originally flowed into Lake Michigan, it was not long before the waters close to shore were also badly polluted.


By 1860, diseases from impure water--cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery--were felling many Chicagoans.   City leaders reasoned that if the water near to shore was too polluted to be potable, water further out should still be drinkable.   So, in 1863, work began on a "Two-Mile Crib," a water in-take structure two miles offshore.   A tunnel, 60 feet below the lake surface, conducted water from the Two-Mile Crib to a pumping station at the still-standing Water Tower on Michigan Avenue. It says something for the vitality of early Chicago that this major engineering project was undertaken at the height of the Civil War.


The Two-Mile Crib was a success, and by 1898, eight offshore cribs, including the Four-Mile Crib, were capable of delivering more than a billion gallons of water per day. Today, six cribs are still visible to those who gaze out across the Lake.   And in this era of terrorist concerns, sailors must stay away from the active water-intake cribs. But the now-idle Four-Mile Crib can still be sailed around, and the cormorants admired.


Stollquist Life Vest

By Karen Nimrouzi


Sail Chicago is selling never-used Stolquist life jackets. These are US Coast Guard Approved Type 3 life vests. Multiple sizes are available: Adult Men XL or M/L; Womens M/L or XS/S. These normally sell for $64.95. Sail Chicago will sell for $35 each or $100, for three jackets.


The life jacket has the following features:

* Super-soft buoyancy foam inside both front and back for body hugging comfort,

* Gender-specific, both men's and women's models,

* Full adjustability at sides and shoulders set placement on the torso,

* Waist belt has front SR buckle for easy entry,

* Efficient forward pull adjusters at sides for extra security against ride-up,

* Lengthened front torso for fuller coverage and good fit.


Click here for more information.  Anyone interested may also contact Karen Nimrouzi.



By Fiona Ray


Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on Nov 7, 2013.  The Board acted on and discussed the following issues:

  • The Board approved nominations for the awards banquet on Nov. 15th.
  • The Board discussed the progress of the Long Term Strategic Planning committee. The committee will present its recommendations to the Board at the December Board meeting.
  • The Board discussed service time and several open positions. Any member who has not fulfilled their service time or is interested in volunteering their skills for the Organization should contact Christine Garvey.
  • The Board formed a Board Development Committee to discuss and nominate candidates for open Board positions. Any member interested in becoming a Board of Directors candidate should contact Steve VanderVoort. 

The Board agreed to field a survey to all skippers to gain insight to boat location preferences for private use. The results will be discussed at the next board meeting.


 The annual Strictly Sail Chicago Show, the city's largest sailboating extravaganza will be 
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held again this year at Navy Pier, January 23-26.  For Sail Chicago members it's a great opportunity to see what's
happening in the sailing community not only here, but also around the nation.  There'll be vendors selling all kinds of boating gear, from sailing 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.


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