BTS: January 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 #1
January, 2015

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort


While most of us may still be recovering from the Holidays, a few lucky Sail Chicago members could have decided get out of this winter weather and charter a boat in a place like the Caribbean, Mediterranean, or the South Pacific.  


For most of us, however that's still a dream, but perhaps a little closer to reality than many of us might imagine.  Bob Lapin, our cruising Boat Coordinator, has just hatched a plan that could help make your dream come true. This year he will be offering a cruising course on Priorities, our Hunter 34.  Be careful, though, the course comes with a couple of qualifications you'll need to meet.  While you don't have to be a cruising boat skipper right now, you should plan to become one early in the 2015 sailing season.  You must also have completed an on-shore navigation course that's being offered in March. For more detailed information, please see the article in this issue.


Don't forget that the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show is taking place January 14-18. This year it's in a new venue --McCormick Place, where it will be bigger and better than ever.  Sail Chicago will have a booth at the Show, and we're asking your support in helping us staff the booth throughout the Show.  You'll be able to get in for free if you do.  The Show is a great place to learn more about sailing, to stock up sailing gear, and to meet old friends.  To learn how you can volunteer to staff the booth, please see the article in this issue.


Finally, our ties with US Sailing grow ever stronger.  This year for the first time, US Sailing has agreed to produce for free the marketing flyers that we use at the Strictly Sail Chicago Show.  They will also, for the first time, have a booth at the Show.  We are also working with the organization to determine if we are able to offer US Sailing certification for sailing courses taken through Sail Chicago.  Stay tuned for further developments. 


Bob Lapin
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator


Have you ever wanted to sail from port-to-port around Lake Michigan or learn the finer points of bareboat cruising so you can charter a boat in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean?  Well, now Sail Chicago can provide you with the opportunity.  A new Bareboat Cruising course will be offered in 2015 aboard Priorities, our Hunter 34. In order to qualify for the course, you must be a Cruising Skipper or plan to become one early in the 2015 sailing season. You must also complete an on-shore Coastal Navigation course that will be offered in March, 2015.  To learn the details of both the Bareboat Cruising course and the Coastal Navigation Course, click here.  To register for the Coastal Navigation Course, click here.  Questions? Contact me!



From the Editor...
New Bareboat Cruising Program
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Useful Information
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
Strictly Sail Needs Your Help!
Met your Annual Service Requirement?
A Sailing Resort for the 99%
January 8 - Board Meeting
January 14-18 - Strictly Sail Chicago Show
January 21-24 - US Sailing National Symposium
February 12 - Board Meeting
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
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Adam Wisneski
Member Cruise Outings - 
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety - John Lemon
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Service Requirements - Christine Garvey
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 Emma Lynch, Strictly Sail Show Coordinator 


IStrictly Sail 2015f you are looking for a sailing fix in the city this winter, join Sail Chicago January 14th-18th at the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show at McCormick Place.  This is a fun opportunity for new and veteran sailors and racers to browse vendor exhibits, attend instructional seminars, make sailing connections, and, of course, stock up on sail gear at a discount!


Sail Chicago needs your help to represent our organization to the Midwest sailing community. Volunteers will get into the show for free, and will have the chance to browse the show before or after

their shift. Spend a few hours talking about your love of sailing, and leave with new connections and gear to get you excited for the upcoming season.

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


Below are the time slots we still need volunteers for:

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: 2-6pm, 6-9pm

Sun, Jan 18: 2-5pm


Please consider volunteering a few hours of your time during the Show. For questions, or 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 and phone number where you can be easily reached.  Hope to see you at the show!


To find out more about the show and exhibitors, visit the Strictly Sail Chicago website.



By Christine Garvey, Volunteer Coordinator
Christine Garvey

The New Year is here, and it's time to start thinking seriously about how you're going to meet your annual service requirement.  A few positions have cropped up that, in addition to meeting your service requirement, are vital to the success of this coming sailing season.

  • Our Instruction program has openings for a scheduler and registrar. The scheduler coordinates classes with instructors and boat reservations. The registrar coordinates students, their progress, and student surveys.  Knowledge of internet use, computers, MS Excel, and Sail Chicago are all helpful.  If you have any questions about these positions, you can contact our Instruction Coordinator, Michael Swisher
  • Our Member Cruise Outing (MCO) Coordinator position also needs to be filled. This person schedules the MCO cruises throughout the season.  They will earn $100 in credits to their Member Account.

To sign up for these or other open positions, click here.  If you have already signed up for a position and have been accepted, there is no need to sign up each year.  If you have any questions regarding how you can fulfill your annual service requirement, please contact me.



By Tom Ellett


(Here at Between the Sheets, we're always looking for tips on unique places to sail.  Sail Chicago member Tom Ellett recently passed along the following information on a recent winter sailing vacation he had.  While Sail Chicago does not endorse any recommendations made, we appreciate his sharing his  experience.  If you've got a favorite sailing spot you'd like to share, please let us know.  Ed.) 


Like many Sail Chicago members, I joined the organization with the hope of one day having sufficient credentials and experience to be able to escape Chicago's winter on a chartered sailboat in some tropical locale. As a newly-minted skipper, I'm not there yet.  However, a brief article in Sail magazine provided an intermediate solution to my problem.


Key Lime Sailing Club
Over the holidays, my family and I traveled to the Key Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo, Florida, for a sailing vacation.  It may be overstating things to call KLSC a "resort," as that word evokes images of luxury accommodations and commensurate prices.  KLSC offers a handful of modest cottages on Florida Bay, each with its own well-used Catalina 22 sailboat, along with access to snorkeling gear, standup paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, bicycles, and a Sunfish for rates as low as $140 per night (a little higher at holidays and peak season).  Throw in some hammocks, gas grills, and a thatched-roof tiki hut and you have a resort, right? There isn't a bar or restaurant on the property, but a number of them are within walking distance.
The sailing on Buttonwood Sound offers approximately 30 square miles of water, nearly all of which is within the boundaries of Everglades National Park, with islands and mangrove swamps to explore.  Dolphins, manatees, and pelicans will be your companions as you glide over the shallow, aquamarine water.  At least once during your stay, you'll be invited for a sunset cruise on the owner's 35-foot catamaran.
A thorough orientation to the boat is given the morning after your arrival and each morning a weather briefing is provided (sustained winds of 20 knots will keep the boats on the dock and you must return by sunset).  Qualifications are on the honor system with no resume or certifications required as for a typical charter.  If you feel like you're not quite up to the task, KLSC also offers
lessons, but the Catalinas are easy boats to sail if you're comfortable with Sail Chicago's Colgate 26s.

Key Lime Sailing Club's competitors are few, and given the value it offers for money, fewer still.  If you're looking to extend your sailing season beyond Chicago's short summer, but not quite ready for (or can't afford) a charter in the Caribbean, KLSC is a great option. You can discover more on the KLSC website  


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