BTS: June 2015

New BTS Banner DRAFT

Top Sail Chicago Logo  

 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 #6
June, 2015
Steve VanderVoort

By Steve VanderVoort, Editor


The 2015 summer sailing season is in full swing at Sail Chicago. We are both excited and a bit overwhelmed by the numbers of people who have signed up to take our sailing instruction courses this summer. Our newly-designed website has most major functions up and running.  We continue to add features that will make it easier in the long run to register for classes and social events, to find information regarding boat availability as well as rules and regulations.  When the web site is complete, it promises to make our organization run more smoothly and be more functional for our members and students. We are well on our way to that goal.


We have also added a seventh Colgate 26 to our fleet: River Folk.  It's one of our newer boats.  We have consolidated our Colgate fleet at Monroe Harbor. That way, if a boat is put out of service for a class or other program activity, another boat can be easily substituted. We also have two Rhodes 19s at Monroe Harbor. Colgate skippers can sail these boats after a brief orientation (see article below).  Being qualified to sail a variety of small keelboats enhances skills and also allows for some flexibility on days when many boats are being used at once.


Several of our Sail Chicago stalwarts are resigning from positions that they've held for several years (see article below).  Please remember, we are an all-volunteer organization.  Won't you consider stepping up to take your turn at helping us to serve our members and the greater Chicago community!  You'll fulfill your annual service requirement, in some cases receive sailing credits, and get the satisfaction of knowing that you're playing a vital role in this community sailing program.



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 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.


Get more time on the lake.  You won't have to sit on shore or shanghai crew. Non-sailors are often undependable or prone to mal de mer.  An easy way to get eager, skilled crew is to use Share-a-Sail.  Find it on Google Groups.  Sign up with your full name so members can recognize you and then send and receive emails as to when you are available to cruise.  Sail-into-Summer students welcome too.  It's a great way to get more tiller time and gain more sailing experience.



Brian Higgins, UIC Professor, Herman Melville scholar, and longtime Sail Chicago member recently passed away at age 71.  Although he had not been active in Sail Chicago for several years, many of our more senior members may remember him as one of the Sail Chicago instructors who taught them their first set of basic sailing skills.  We appreciate his many years of service to Sail Chicago.


June 11 - Board Meeting
June 20 - Summer Sailstice
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
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


Maintenance Coordinator:  Dan Flavin, our current Maintenance Coordinator, is moving to Florida at the end of the summer. He has done a marvelous job of defining the maintenance lead position as administrative in nature and has developed a structure for delegation of duties which makes the entire system more effective than before he took the lead. Many thanks to Dan. We need someone to try to fill his shoes. This position earns $200 in sailing credits.


Social Coordinator:  Pat Webster is retiring from her position in the Naperville Public School system this month, and her future has yet to be decided. After years of planning and organizing a multitude of picnics and other social events, she is also retiring as the Sail Chicago Social Coordinator. Many thanks, Pat.  You throw a great party!  Who is interested in taking over this position? It earns $100 in sailing credits. 

Member Cruise Outing (MCO) Coordinator:  We are still looking for an MCO Coordinator.  This person schedules MCOs and earns $100 in sailing credits. 
Boat Manager:  We are still in need of a boat manager for Wind Horse.  This position earns $100 in sailing credits.

There are many more positions available.  Please click here to view them.




If you believe that a boat in our Sail Chicago fleet 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,
  • A brief description of the accident or incident that caused the problem (if applicable).

For a more complete description of how to report an accident or incident, please review the Sail Chicago Rules and Regulations, found at & Regulations




Rhodes 19
A Rhodes 19 on a close reach

If you're a Colgate 26 skipper and would like to try a different boat, you can participate in a Rhodes 19 orientation.  After one or more on-the-water sessions, you'll be qualified to sail our Rhodes 19s.  The Rhodes is fun to sail and quicker to maneuver than a Colgate, and it has a slightly different "feel" at the helm.  Fees for their use are less than a Colgate's, and as few as two people can sail them.  Becoming qualified to sail a Rhodes can give you more flexibility in scheduling private sails during busy times when many of our other boats are in use.


To schedule an on-the-water Rhodes 19 orientation session, visit the Sail Chicago website and select Seat Availability from the Reservation menu. There should be some sessions listed under Orientation. To request that a session be scheduled for a different date/time, please contact Tim Rice. 


By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

Matt Stuczynski
We all enjoy sailing for its peace and quiet, and your sails should be as silent as you can make them, not just for a peaceful sail, but also to reduce wear and tear on the sails.  You can ensure a quiet sail by proper sail trim for your point of sail.  The same goes for sitting at the can; do not raise your sails until you are ready to cast off and you have already gone through your departure plans (including plans B and C) with your crew.  Luffing the sails at the can is loud, uncomfortable, and hard on the material. 

One additional point about sail care:  Boat Maintenance has asked us NOT to raise the main with a winch.  It's not necessary for complete hoisting, and using a winch tends to stretch and distort the sail cloth.


Another reminder is to not practice or sail too much around the busy harbor mouth. Also, don't forget that tender drivers and boat owners can get nervous (especially those sitting on their boats) as we sail through the harbor.  Finally, remember that the west channel tends to have fluky, light winds and a lot of big boat traffic; stay away from the west channel as much as you can and when prudent.  


As we get into high summer, here's wishing you lots of peaceful and quiet sailing!



By Bob Lapin


Hunter 34
A Hunter 34 sailing free

On May 6, Priorities, Sail Chicago's Hunter 34, headed down river on its way to Belmont Harbor.  Norm Linde was at the helm with Norris Norton, Flávio Salinas, Bill Christopher, Ray Beikzadeh and Bob Lapin as crew.  It is a slow process as 6-8 boats circle patiently, dodging river taxis and sighteeing boats, while waiting for each bridge to open.  All went well until the Lake Street brdige.  We watched for two hours as two men with a hammer and screw driver banged away on this mammoth structure to get it to open.  Finally, on our way we entered the locks to leave the river and enter Lake Michigan.  


As we left the locks, we were met with a solid wall of fog that obscured the breakwater. We could see Navy Pier a hundred yards to port.  A quick check of the new charts with dividers and parallel rules gave us a course to steer to the north opening of the Oak Street Breakwater.  Upon reaching the opening, a course was plotted to the mouth of Belmont Harbor. Thirty-four minutes later Belmont Harbor entrance appeared out of the fog about a hundred yards to port--not bad for dead reckoning. 


Priorities is fully supplied with up-to-date charts and plotting tools, all set for the next adventurer.  



 (Your Sail Chicago Board has three new members and one returning member elected at the Annual Meeting in March. In the May issue of Between the Sheets we profiled Martin Modahl.  This month profiles Maya Teleki.)


Tell us a little about yourself.

I work as an office manager and my current skill set includes: event planning, administration, budgeting, communication, document production/formatting, project management, process improvement.

I am interested in learning more about website design and development.


What about your sailing experience?

I grew up windsurfing on Georgian Bay in Canada, with a few Albacore sailing courses thrown in. I didn't sail after high school until 2012 when I went out for an afternoon on an Ideal 18 with my husband and was hooked!


What's been your involvement in Sail Chicago?

During my first year as a full-fledged member (2013) I took classes, did Tiller Times and participated in one racing session. This past year, I was the assistant boat manager on one of the Colgates, coached during all three racing sessions and raced in the Inshore Verve. I also worked with Bob Cohen to keep the racing program running smoothly.


What motivated you to join the Sail Chicago Board?

I have a number of ideas about ways in which Sail Chicago could continue to grow and change in a healthy way, while still remaining true to its mission. I am eager to contribute those ideas to the Board, along with the skills and energy to implement them. I also enjoy working in team settings and look forward to collaborating with other Board and non-Board members to keep improving Sail Chicago.


What's your vision for the future direction of Sail Chicago?

I think a big part of what draws people to Sail Chicago (and the reason people stay with it) is the sense of community fostered by the organization. I would like to see a continued focus on developing that community through more regular opportunities to interact with other members on and off the water, such as Friday Night Social Sails, monthly Racing Regattas, and youth-oriented programs to get the younger generation sailing (both with and without their parents). 



Several items of business were discussed at the May meeting.  Among them were:

  • The Board did a thorough review of the new Sail Chicago website.  Some work still needs to be done.  The webmaster is seeking help from members with some technical knowledge of computer programming. 
  • Three Instructors have taken the US Sailing basic keelboat certification course. They have taken the written exam, but the day of the on-the water-exam was too windy to go out.  Alternate plans for the evaluation are being made.
  • The Sail Chicago Maintenance Coordinator is leaving at the end of the summer.  A replacement is being sought.


Chicago Skyline
facebook button twitter button