BTS: July 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 #7
July, 2015
Steve VanderVoort

By Steve VanderVoort, Editor


Summer is here at last and after an extended period of unpredictable weather, the long term forecast seems to be warm and sunny.  We hope you've already had a chance to get out on the water, even with the unpredictable weather patterns.  Now that things seem to be improving, there's really no excuse not to be enjoying sailing on Lake Michigan in our fleet of Colgates, Rhodes, Ideals, and our cruising boat, Priorities.  If you're a Sail Chicago certified skipper, you can schedule a boat for private use when it's not being used for other program functions.  If you're not a skipper yet, schedule a Tiller Time if you've taken an instruction class in the past year, or sign up for a Member Cruise Outing. Both are free for members.  And if you feel more energetic, you can always sign up for our Colgate Racing program, where you can quickly hone your sailing skills.


Don't forget our social events.  The biggest one of the summer is coming up in a month.  It's our annual Sail Chicago picnic.  Here you can not only stuff yourself with gourmet delights, meet new sailing buddies, and swap sailing stories, but you can go sailing on one of our Colgates or on our cruising boat as well.  Look for more detailed information in the article below.


Boating safety is always a concern here at Sail Chicago. Our Rules and Regulations state that no alcohol is allowed on any boat in our fleet, and that everyone on a boat must wear a life jacket at all times (see article below).  Also, there is no swimming off any of our boats. For a more comprehensive list of do's and don'ts while on the water, click here.


Finally, remember that we are an all-volunteer organization.  This means that we've all got to pitch in and do our part to keep Sail Chicago strong and thriving. Several important positions in the organization need to be filled quickly (see article below).  Without people who are willing to step up, some of our programs will come to a halt.  All of these positions allow members of fulfill their annual service requirements, and some of them offer sailing credits.



By David Shayne


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 register your full name and email address there.  You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago participants who are eager to sail with you.  Both members and Sail-into-Summer students can participate.


Get more time on the lake and develop your sailing skills. You won't have to sit on shore or shanghai crew.   Again, Sail-into-Summer students are welcome---it's a great way to gain more sailing experience.



Sheila Reilly, a longtime member of Sail Chicago and a sailing instructor for over twenty years, recently passed away.  She retired from Sail Chicago in 2007.  Many of our "old timers" in Sail Chicago will remember her fondly.


July 9 - 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
Lawrence Hall Youth Services - Norm Linde
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Adam Wisneski
Member Cruise Outings - 
Membership - Faith Hillis
Monroe Parking & Tender Passes - Vlad Roshchin &         Annette Faber
Purchasing - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety - John Lemon
Schuler Scholars - Tom Simms
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Service Requirements - Christine Garvey
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Strictly Sail Chicago Show - Emma Lynch
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tiller Time - Steven Clar & Julia Liu 
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

Chris Schuler 
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Maya Teleki
 Christine Garvey 

Alfred Chan

Bob Cohen

Dan Flavin

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Martin Modahl
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher  


Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card,click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.


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.

Help our Community Outreach Programs
Please consider volunteering to skipper or crew on a weekday afternoon sail with one of our three groups that take underprivileged children sailing. Skippering five or more times will fulfill your service requirement for the following year. For more information on the Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Urban Youth, and Schuler Scholars, go to the Sail Chicago Website.

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.

Join the 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-into-Summer students can participate.

How to take a Boat Out of Service

If you believe that a boat is, for any reason, not safe to sail, you may request that it immediately be taken out of service. Do this by e-mailing Make sure that the e-mail includes your name, phone number, and e-mail address, the reason why you believe the boat should be taken out of service, and a brief description of the accident or incident that caused the problem (if applicable).

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.

Share your Photos
We're looking for photos of Sail Chicago boats, members, and activities.  To upload your photos simply attach them to an email and address it to

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.  Look under "News/Newsletter."



By Christine Garvey, Volunteer Coordinator


Several important volunteer positions are currently open to Sail Chicago members. Anyone who volunteers for one of them will have their service requirement met for the following year. In some cases, these positions also qualify for a bonus to the volunteer's member account with Sail Chicago. These open positions include:

  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Strictly Sail Show Coordinator
  • Colgate Boat Managers and team members
  • Member Cruise Outing Skippers 
To find out more about these and other open positions, click here or contact Christine Garvey


By Pat Webster, Social Chairman

2010 Picnic Kucharski
Brats, burgers, and other good things will be served.

Join us for an afternoon of picnicking and sailing on Saturday, August 8th, at the north end of Belmont Harbor from 1-5 PM.  We'll barbecue by the lake and go out on brief sails throughout the afternoon on three of our Colgates.*  This is a great opportunity to introduce friends and family to sailing and to Sail Chicago.  All sailors and their friends and family are welcome.


The cost for the event is $5 for Sail Chicago members and their guests; $7 for students/non-members and their guests; $3 for all children under 12.**   Burgers, veggie burgers, brats, salads, cookies, water and soft drinks will be served.  Be sure to bring something to sit on, as there are no picnic tables.  


Colgate 26
Sails on Colgates are featured.
If you're interested in helping with sailing a Colgate up to Belmont Harbor or back to Monroe Harbor, or if you're interested in taking people out on the boats during the afternoon, please contact Pat Webster.

In order to ensure that we have food for all, please register by not later than August 2. To register,click here.


  * Sailing is weather-dependent.

  ** Money is non-refundable should the event be cancelled due to inclement weather.



By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

Joh Lemon


Recently an experienced racer and sailor fell overboard during a race on the Columbia River.  For those of you who have wondered what the experience is like, here is a first-hand account.


The story underscores the importance of:


1)     Regularly practicing crew overboard maneuvers, on as many different boats as you can, and




This account may also convince you to resist the temptation to try to practice a "live crew" overboard maneuver.  The risks are simply too great for all but the most experienced sailors under tightly controlled conditions.  Instead, practice with a fender with a length of line attached.  Using a lifejacket is not recommended, as other boaters may see the lifejacket in the water and put in a call to the Coast Guard and/or Marine Police.


If you have questions about proper execution of crew overboard maneuvers, contact one of Sail Chicago's volunteer sailing instructors.  Details of the standard maneuvers, the Quick Stop and the Quick Turn, are shown in the US Sailing Basic Keelboat manual distributed to all students. 




Colgate Sailing
A Colgate and Chicago skyline.

These tips on good sailing practices come from some of our more experienced Sail Chicago skippers. Please note them carefully and practice them as you sail.


Raising the Main  Don't use a winch to raise the mainsail or to tighten the main halyard. Using a winch will stretch the sail's luff and will drastically shorten the usable life of the sail.  Instead, have a crew member stand at the mast and sweat the halyard while another crew in the cockpit pulls on it.


Tacking in the Outer Channel  When tacking in the Monroe Harbor outer channel, leave at least a full boat length of water between your boat and the breakwater. Lake Michigan has risen a couple of feet over the past year or so, and the rising water has submerged some of the rocks along the breakwaterl that had previously been exposed.  If you're not careful, you may catch your keel on one of the submerged rocks.


Being a Good Neighbor  Sail Chicago shares Monroe Harbor with many other boats. Remember that other boat owners could panic when they see you sailing close to their moored boats and may report you to the Harbormaster, even though you might be sailing safely.  To avoid this, sail through the inner or outer channels when attempting to reach the main fairway, and plot a course that stays as far away as possible from other boats.



By Christine Garvey, Board Secretary 

  • Our income thus far has not met budgeted projections.  A major reason for that is that classes are opening later than last year. 
  • Dan Flavin, our Maintenance Coordinator, will be moving from Chicago shortly.  We are seeking a replacement for him.
  • The Colgate Racing program has a new Facebook page.
  • Members and friends may now donate to Sail Chicago via our website.
  • We are seeking a Fundraising Coordinator.  The person filling this position will meet their service requirement for next year.


Chicago Skyline
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