BTS: July 2013

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for July
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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 #7
July, 2013

By Steve VanderVoort, Managing Editor

Steve VanderVoort

June has been a great month for Sail Chicago. The bad weather we had this spring finally cleared up, and members, students, friends and family have been giving our boats a great deal of use. This demand has created some considerable pressure on our fleet. The good news is that...


After an exhaustive search that led us to both the East and West Coasts and points in between, we were finally able to locate and purchase a fifth Colgate 26. The boat comes to us from Nassau, New York, and is named (at least for right now) Naked Dance. Sam Veilleux has graciously volunteered to be Boat Manager. The story of how the boat got its name is too long to tell here, but if you're ever out sailing with Sam, be sure to ask him to tell it to you. Sam is looking for a good crew to help him manage the boat, so if you're interested (it will fulfill your Annual Service Time requirement), please let him know. We hope to have it in the water on a Belmont Harbor mooring, ready to sail, by no later than July 4. Check the Member Reservations page of the Sail Chicago website to find out when it will be available for use.


Our Instruction Program continues to cruise along at a good clip. We actually sold out our entire program by mid-May. Next year, we hope to find more volunteer instructors among our members, so we can better keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for our many quality instruction programs. More and more of our instructors are becoming certified under the U.S. Sailing basic keelboat instructor program. This not only adds to our instruction program's prestige, it also creates a commonality of approach to our entire instruction program.


Our many other programs are also getting a lot of attention. Our new Colgate Racing Program, in which our entire Colgate fleet at Monroe Harbor participates in the informal Wednesday night races sponsored by the Columbia Yacht Club, is completely sold out for the summer. Our own informal Saturday morning Fun Racing program on our Rhodes 19s out of Monroe Harbor still has spots available, however. Check the Reservations page of the Sail Chicago website under "Reserve Program Seats" to reserve your space.


Now that the weather is better, Tiller Times and Member Cruise Outings are also becoming more popular. Be sure to reserve your seats early so that you won't miss out on this opportunity gain some sailing experience and meet new friends.


Finally, our social activities are really taking off. We had a very successful New Sailor Welcome Party on Saturday evening, June 29. The company was great, and the home-cooked brats and burgers were delicious. And don't forget to come to our Friends and Family picnics at Belmont Harbor this summer. For more information, watch for announcements and read this and future issues of Between the Sheets. Our thanks to Pat Webster, our volunteer Social Director, for organizing these events.


Of course, none of this is possible without our volunteers. They are the life-blood and backbone of this organization. I'm constantly amazed when I see many of our Sail Chicago members volunteering for three, four, or five projects at a time. To me, this indicates a passion for bringing the fun of sailing to our entire Chicago community, a passion that is shared by so many of our members. Let's congratulate one another on our work together to continue Sail Chicago's mission: to bring quality sailing instruction and affordable sailing opportunities to everyone in the Chicago area.
Rhodes 19
A Rhodes 19 on a close reach

By Minna Greene


Although many of our newer members learned to sail on Sail Chicago's Colgates, there is still a lot of fun to be had on the Rhodes 19s moored in Monroe Street Harbor.   A very seaworthy small keelboat, the Rhodes 19 is responsive and fast. If you've never sailed a Rhodes, you owe it to yourself to try out this easy-to-handle classic.


From the Editor
Sail the Rhodes 19
A Successful Instructional Season
An Ideal Education
Colgate Races, a Winner!
Maintenance Team Needed
Managers and Salespeople Needed
Member Cruise Outings
Answering Your Questions
Parking and Tender Passes
Family and Friends Picnic
June Sail Chicago Board Meeting
Sail Chicago Reminders
July 13 - Chicago/Mackinac Race begins
July 21 - Friends & Family Picnic*
August 7-11 - Chicago Match Cup Race
August 7-11 - Tall Ships, Navy Pier
August 11 - Friends & Family Picnic*
August 24-25 - Verve Cup Regatta

*  See article below.

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
Human Resources - Frank Loftus
Instruction Scheduling - Lorna Luebbers
Lead Instructor - John Lemon
Maintenance - Frank Loftus
Marketing - Mike Parapetti
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Lois Lawson
Pre-Sail Orientation -Peter Hays & Mary Ann Wilkens
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
John Lemon

By John Lemon


Our instruction team has been very busy since May 4, the beginning of our summer sailing class season (despite the unseasonable cold!). Since then, we've held 29 Basic, Intermediate, and Skipper classes (four meetings per class) attended by 114 students. That's as many students as participated in our entire 2011 season!


We've just concluded a well-attended series of classes teaching single-handed sailing skills on our Ideal 18s. We've held five Pre-Sail Orientation sessions over the last three months, attended by well over 160 eager sailors. And each week, several Tiller Time sails head out, providing new sailors with the opportunity to practice their skills. This season we've already qualified well over a dozen new skippers.


The credit for the success of this busy and demanding schedule goes to our scheduling team, our volunteer instructors, Tiller Time skippers and their coordinator as well as to the maintenance teams that keep our boats shipshape. Thanks to all for your dedication and hard work!


Our classes are filled for the entire summer. We have a substantial waiting list but don't expect to expand availability of classes further this season. Next season, we can look forward to continuing growth of our instructional program: it is clear there is burgeoning demand for sailing education and access to sailboats.


Ideal 18 at Sunset
An Ideal 18 on a beam reach

By Peter Dudak


If you're a Sail Chicago skipper and looking for a new adventure, our two Ideal 18s are just a short orientation away. They are simple to rig and sail. And an Ideal can be sailed by one or two people because of its roller-furling and self-tending jib. The orientation consists of an overview of the boat and a short sail to get the feel for how it handles. The orientation is also free. Anyone who is already qualified as an Ideal skipper is invited for a refresher. To schedule a (re)orientation, contact Peter Dudak or call (630) 577-7946.



By Robert Cohen


Sail Chicago's new Colgate racing program has been a smashing success. Nearly 50 racers have signed up for the program and have gone through our on-the-water training. Sixteen students and four coaches participated in our June series of the Columbia-Yacht-Club-sponsored beer can races!


Colgates Racing 2013
Colgates racing this June

The first night of races we had 25-knot winds and seas of three to six feet. It was a challenging night for our racing crews!  The second two races saw our Colgate fleet dueling it out in light airs at "nail-biting speeds" of two to four knots, truly a case where every inch of sail trim, weight adjustment, and bit of luck made a difference.  Sailors new to racing got a chance to fly a spinnaker and see what its like to fight for position at the starting line amidst a fleet of over 50 sailboats.


The program continues for the July and August sessions and will finish with interested skippers and crews participating in the Verve in-shore Regatta on August 24th and 25th.  Please contact Bob Cohen if you are interested in the Verve regatta.
By Christine Garvey 


Rigging a Colgate
A Colgate team

Sail Chicago has just bought a Colgate that will be on a mooring at Belmont Harbor. The boat is coming from New York, and we hope to have her in the water by July 4.


We need a maintenance team for her, and we still need folks for the maintenance teams for some of our other boats, including the Rhodes and Ideals.  If you are interested in joining one of these teams (and satisfying your required Service Time), please go the Sail Chicago web site and login. On your member page, click on the link to "Sail Chicago Jobs."  You can sign up for a maintenance team after you click on "Sail Chicago Jobs," and you will find information about available jobs there.   When you sign up, please include any special skills or knowledge concerning boat maintenance (for example, knowledge of rigging, electrical systems, motors, trailering, or general repairs).


If you have any questions, you can contact



By Christine Garvey


SaNo Name Colgateil Chicago needs to fill several positions in our maintenance program:


The Assistant Maintenance Coordinator works with the maintenance coordinator to help boat managers solve problems.  Coordinators keep track of supplies and authorize purchases as needed.


Boatyard Trailer Managers organize and inventory the boat trailer. Two to four managers are needed.


Excess Inventory Salespersons sell our excess and no-longer-needed equipment. Two salespersons are needed.


To volunteer, please go to your member sign-in page and click on the link to "Sail Chicago Jobs." If you have any questions, please contact


Hunter 34

By Mehmet Ali Tasci


There are still weekday and weekend Member Cruise Outing (MCO) spots available. To reserve your spot, log in at the Sail Chicago web site, and click "Reserve Program Seats." There you will see what openings exist for your preferred sailing times. Member Cruise Outings are a great way to meet fellow sailors and improve your sailing skills. It is free for members and $20 per non-member guest you bring along.


There are also opportunities to become an MCO skipper. You can fulfill your Service Time duties by becoming an MCO skipper 5 times in a season. If you've fulfilled your duties for this year, you can work towards next year's duties by becoming an MCO skipper this year. Contact for more information.


Handbook Cover

Have questions about Sail Chicago procedures or rules?  There's a great place to find all the answers: the Sail Chicago Handbook is a treasure trove of information regarding our organization.  It contains answers to virtually any question you might have regarding how Sail Chicago works, who to contact, rules and regulations, policies and procedures.


So, before you reach for the phone to call a Sail Chicago officer or director, please turn first to the Handbook.  Just click on the link to the current edition on your Member page at the Sail Chicago web site.  The Handbook has a great table of contents, so you can find your answer easily and quickly.



By Arleen Prairie


Keeping tender and parking passes in lockboxes by the Monroe Harbor Master's office has proved a great convenience. But it is important to treat the passes with care. Some important rules are these:

  • Return passes promptly at the end of your sail. Fellow sailors in the next sailing period may well need them.
  • Always sign the passes out and back in.   The logbook of pass use will be used by Sail Chicago to decide how many passes to order for next year.   Good records mean that we won't spend money needlessly or fail to get the passes we need.
  • Notify the Monroe Passes Program immediately if you forget to return a pass or notice that some are missing. 


By Patricia Webster


Sail Chicago will hold another "Friends and Family" picnic on Sunday, July 21st, at Belmont Harbor from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m..  For those of you who have not yet come to one of these events, it's a great opportunity to introduce your friends and family to sailing and to our organization.  We'll barbecue by the lake, and we'll offer brief sails throughout the afternoon on our Colgates and on our 34' Hunter. 

2012 Friends & Family 
All sailors and their friends and family are welcome.  Watch for the email announcement in order to register for this event.  Registering and pre-paying are necessary in order to ensure that we have food for all.  Cost is $6/Sail Chicago members and their guests; $8/non-members and their guests; $3/all children under 12. Burgers, veggie burgers, brats, salads, desserts, water and soft drinks will be served.  If you have questions, or if you'd like to help, please contact Pat Webster.


Also, if your calendar is already booked on July 21st, save the afternoon of Sunday, August 11th, when we'll do it all again.


By Fiona Ray


Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on June 13th, 2013:

  • The Board approved the Emergency Action Plan prepared by the Safety Team Directors (pending verification of TowBoatUS rates). Plan summaries will be placed in a prominent location on all boats.
  • The Board discussed the continuing need for more maintenance managers and volunteers. (Anyone who can help out with maintenance is urged to volunteer.)
  • The Board discussed logistical details of the newly purchased Colgate 26 that will be launched by early July. Sam Veilleux will be Boat Manager.
  • The Strategic Planning Steering Committee reviewed its findings which include: 
    • The significant progress made on the original 2009 long-term plan,
    • Challenges the organization currently faces: leadership turnover, boat availability and allocation (instruction vs. private usage), volunteer availability, and flat/declining membership,
    • The key issues the soon-to-be-constituted Strategic Planning Committee will consider: objectives for organizational growth, organizational structure and leadership, fleet composition, and fund raising.

The Board will soon select members for the Strategic Planning Committee.  It will begin work in September. Anyone who is interested in being involved, please contact a Board member.


Members can always view the agenda for the next Board meeting on the membership page of the Sail Chicago web site.


Tiller Time 
New members and "rusty" skippers can hone their sailing skills by participating in Tiller Time.  If you took a class last year (or have attended at least one class session this season), there's no charge for Tiller Time excursions.  You can sign up for particular sailing dates by visiting the Sail Chicago web site.  Questions?  Contact 

Share-a-Sail Program 
If you need crew or you want to volunteer as crew, our Share-a-Sail program is for you.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there.  You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and Sail-iinto-Summer students can participate.  Questions:  email David Shayne.

Fun Racing
We race Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. out of Monroe Harbor.   Crew signs up on the web site for a modest $10 fee. To register for one of these Fun Races, go the Sail Chicago web site, click on "Reserve Program Seats," choose "Open Racing," click on "Find Seats," pick a date, pick a boat, and reserve a seat.

Get a $50 Credit for Referring a New Member
Members will receive a $50 credit to their account for every new member who joins Sail Chicago at their invitation.  (Even if your friend decides to just participate in the "Sail into Summer" program, you will still receive a $25 credit.)

Fulfill Your Service Requirement   
A list of opportunities to fulfill your annual service requirements 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 this season.

Monroe Tender and Parking Passes
Tender and parking passes are available from two lockboxes by the Monroe Harbor Master's office.  See the head of the "Boat Statuses" page at the Sail Chicago web site for details. 

Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  
Renew your Sail Chicago Membership online using a credit card.  You can now do so from the Membership page of the Sail Chicago website.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal together with a check, click here to print a paper form.

Emergency Action Plan
All skippers should familiarize themselves with the Sail Chicago Action Plan.  Please review it either here or in the 2013 Sail Chicago Handbook (published on the Sail Chicago web site). There is also an "Emergency Reference Guide"  that will be placed on all boats in the Sail Chicago fleet. Skippers may also want to print the "Reference Guide" and keep it with their sailing gear.

Sail Chicago Board Meeting Agenda
Members can view the agenda for the next Board meeting on the membership page of the Sail Chicago web site.

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 web site, Sail Chicago.
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