BTS: December 2014

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 #12
December, 2014

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort


Winter came early this year. The polar vortex dipped down well below Chicago in mid-November to bring record cold temperatures to the area. That hasn't stopped our hearty maintenance crews from making sure that our fleet is safely tucked away for the winter.


And thanks to Pat Webster, our Social Chair, and her committee of volunteers, we had an opportunity to share some of the highlights of this past sailing season at the annual Post-Season party, held this year at the Columbia Yacht Club (see article below).


In early November your Sail Chicago Board sent a survey to all Sail Chicago members, asking them to comment on the many areas in which the organization is involved. We had an excellent response rate, and many members made some very positive suggestions for ways in which we can improve the effectiveness of the organization. The Board will use the results of the survey to help plan for the upcoming sailing season and to augment the strategic planning process for years to come. Many thanks to all those who participated!  If you'd like to review a summary of the survey results, see the article below.


Finally, we wish you a very happy and safe Holiday Season. We look forward to seeing you "on the water": in the New Year!


By Matt Stuczynski

In our November issue, we discussed the Quick Stop rescue procedure for a crew overboard situation. This month we discuss the Quick Turn method. While the Quick Turn (which doesn't require a jibe) is easier for a new sailor to execute, it takes longer, and it is therefore more difficult to keep the overboard crew in sight.  To see how US Sailing teaches the Quick Turn method, watch this video.  And to get a diagram of how Sail Chicago teaches this maneuver, click here.


Have you ever gotten yourself tied in knots trying unsuccessfully to tie a bowline? Steve Colgate, designer of our Colgate 26's and founder of the Offshore Sailing School has a virtually foolproof method to tie a bowline, with no rabbit coming out of a hole and running around a tree. To find out how, just watch this video.  


Colgate Sailing
December 11 - Board Meeting
January 7 - Board Meeting
January 14-18 - Strictly Sail Chicago Show
January 21-24 - US Sailing National Symposium
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Adam Wisneski
Member Cruise Outings - 
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

Chris Schuler 
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster


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.

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.

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.



By Gary Thrane, Associate Editor


Gary Thrane
Gary Thrane

Ninety-one Sail Chicago members (about a third of the membership) completed the recent survey.   Overall, results are very encouraging.   Three-fourths of respondents (77%) said that they were very satisfied with their Sail Chicago membership as a good value for the money, and 90% were either satisfied or very satisfied.   Respondents said that it is very likely (average rating: 1.2, where "1" means "very likely") that they will be members next year, and that it is very likely (1.1) that they would recommend Sail Chicago to a friend who expressed an interest in sailing.


Respondents gave a good rating (1.7 where "1" meant "very satisfied") to the selection of boats in Sail Chicago's fleet.   Respondents were also generally quite satisfied with each of the boat types.   If Sail Chicago were to buy another boat, one-third (36%) of respondents favor another Colgate while almost as many (30%) favor another cruising boat like Priorities.


Respondents expressed some reservations regarding the administration of service time.   Respondents were barely satisfied (2.5 rating where "2" is "satisfied" and "3" is "unsure") with the information regarding available jobs and options for service time; and respondents were even less satisfied (3.1) with the tracking and reporting of completed service time.


Your editors were gratified to learn that nearly two-thirds (60%) of respondents said that they usually read Between the Sheets all the way through.   Kyle Powers won the drawing held for those who participated in the survey.   This was Kyle's first year with Sail Chicago. 



By Emma Lynch

Strictly Sail 2015Chicago is about to freeze over and we are longing to be back on the water, but luckily the Midwest's premier sailing show is coming in January to help with the winter blues.  This year, Strictly Sail Chicago has joined forces with the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show for an exciting event January 14-18 at McCormick Place.


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


Sail Chicago has long been part of this event and we are fortunate to have been well-represented by volunteers at our exhibit over the years. 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 boats before or after their shifts.   The commitment will be just a few hours of chatting about your enthusiasm for sailing with potential new members of Sail Chicago--not a bad trade!


Volunteer times are:

Ed Jacob, Mike Swiontek, Amber Kelly
Last year's booth at Strictly Sail


Wed, Jan 14: 2-6pm or 6-9pm

Thurs, Jan 15: 11am-3pm, 3-6pm or 6-9pm

Fri, Jan 16: 11am-3pm, 3-6pm or 6-9pm

Sat, Jan 17: 10am-2pm, 2-6pm, 6-9pm

Sun, Jan 18: 10am-2pm, 2-5pm


If you'd like to sign up, please contact Emma Lynch 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 new member, Sail into Summer student, 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.



Enjoying dinner at the banquet


November 22 saw a slight in the cold snap that had been with us since the middle of November. The (slightly) warmer air came just in time for Sail Chicago's End-of-Season party, the annual gala that traditionally celebrates the end of another successful sailing season. This year was no exception.


Pat Webster, Social Chair, and her staff of volunteers were on hand at the Columbia Yacht Club (the big blue boat in DuSable Harbor) to welcome over 70 Sail Chicago members and guests. At the reception before dinner people had a chance to swap sailing stories from the past season and to meet new sailing buddies for next year. A delicious dinner served by the Columbia Yacht Club staff was enjoyed by all.


Chris Schuler

After dinner, Chairman Chris Schuler recapped Sail Chicago's past sailing season. We had a significant increase in membership and in the number of students in our instruction programs. We are in great financial shape, and our safety record this year was very good. This past year we became certified as an official sailing school by US Sailing. We look forward to the benefits that new relationship will bring. Our all-volunteer organization continues to attract committed sailors who are excited about promoting the many benefits to sailing to the greater Chicago community.


Students of the Year:  Clar and Liu 

The evening closed with the traditional awards ceremony. Program leaders presented awards to members who were outstanding in a number of categories during this past sailing season. This included:


Instructor of the Year - Nick Brait

Students of the Year - Steven Clar and Julia Liu

Maintenance Volunteer of the Year - John Muhlenberg

Overall Volunteer of the Year - Simeon Stairs

Chairman's Award - Maya Teleki


Members Gary Thrane and Jay Owens were also the lucky recipients of two door prizes consisting of gift certificates to the Weber Grill.


Although the awards ceremony was the official end to the evening, many members stayed a while longer to finish their conversations and to share their anticipation for next year's sailing season.


By Tom Ellett


Although it's no substitute, the next best thing to sailing is reading about sailing, and two new iOS apps offer plenty of cruising travelogues, dream boat-profiles, and gear reviews to get us through the long, dark Chicago winter.  Two sailing magazines have made their back issues available for free on your iPhone or iPad with apps available in Apple's App Store.  


All the content of Cruising World from March 2009 to June 2013 is available for download, as are the bi-monthly numbers of Sailing World from July/August 2011 to November/December 2013.  Careful though, you have to download the correct app to get the content for free.  Both magazines have created a different app for current issues and the free, back issues (and to make matters more confusing, the back issues available for free in one app are also for sale in the other).  Cruising World Magazine Archive and Sailing World Magazine Archive are the apps you want.


Of course, the publisher hopes that as a result of its largesse you will buy the more recent back issues or subscribe and that can be done through the other Cruising World and Sailing World apps.  The magazines are also available digitally for Android and Amazon's Kindle devices, but the free content is only available to iOS customers.



The Sail Chicago Board held its monthly meeting on November 13, 2014, where the following was discussed:

  • Chairman Chris Schuler reported on his attendance at the US Sailing Annual Meeting in Milwaukee on October 13.  He told the Board that if our members pass the Skipper Prep course, they would become qualified to take the USD Sailing Skipper certification exam.
  • The purchase of another Colgate was discussed.  Chris Schuler will attempt to negotiate a deal for a boat that is currently on the market and will report back to the Board at the December meeting.
  • The Board approved a proposal to move the Colgate, Naked Dance, from Belmont Harbor to Monroe Harbor.


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