BTS: March 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 #3
March, 2015
Steve VanderVoort

By Steve VanderVoort, Editor


At last we can begin to see the end of winter.  The cold spell is broken and the snow is quickly melting.  That means our boat teams will soon be back in the boatyard readying our fleet for the upcoming sailing season;  If you need to fulfill your annual service requirement, being a member of a boat team is a great way to do so.  For more information the the article in this issue.  


We're also looking for Boat Managers for two of our Colgates.  You could be of real service by volunteering for one of these positions.  


Dates for the launch of our fleet have been set.  If you can help with that, please see the article below to contact our Maintenance Coordinator. 


Our Coastal Navigation course has proven so popular that we've had to add new sessions.  If you missed the original sign-up and would like to register, see the article below.  This course is a prerequisite for the Bareboat Cruising course that will be offered later this summer.


Sail Chicago's Annual Meeting again proved to be a popular event.  This year people could come early to enjoy dinner and drinks with others in our sailing community.  We learned about upcoming plans for the forthcoming sailing season and elected a new slate of Directors.  Read more about them in future issues of Between the Sheets. 


Under the able leadership of Adam Wisnewski, our Marketing Coordinator, the Sail Chicago marketing program is taking on a new look.  Adam is asking your help in a couple of areas.  First, he'd like you to dig around in your old sailing photo collections and forward any that are particularly good to him.  Second, he'd like to boost our position on Yelp by having more people rate Sail Chicago.  To get the details on how you can do both of these, see the articles below.  


Finally, it looks like we will be adding a seventh Colgate 26 to our fleet for the upcoming sailing season.  We have put a deposit on a boat that's currently in winter storage in New York.  Once the covering comes off the boat we will have it inspected, and if all goes well, we will have it transported to a mooring in Monroe Harbor and ready to sail by early summer. 




The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers regular classes in boating safety and other boating topics.   A good number of these classes are conducted in the Chicago area in the next few months. Sail Chicago Members may wish to review the Coast Guard Auxiliary course offerings here.


Hunter 34
March 12 - Board Meeting
April 9 - Board Meeting
April 26 - Colgate Launch
April 29 - Hunter Launch
May 2 - Rhodes & Ideal Launch
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
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
Tender & Parking Passes (Monroe) - Bill Prindible
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

Chris Schuler 
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman

Alfred Chan

Bob Cohen

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Martin Modahl
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Maya Teleki


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.

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.


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. Since the March course filled quickly, we have opened a new course on April 15 from 10:30 am  to 5:30 pm at REI Lincoln Park.  To learn the details of both the Bareboat Cruising course and the Coastal Navigation Course, click here.  To register for the April 15 Coastal Navigation Course, click here.  Questions? Contact me !

Plans for the spring launch of the Sail Chicago fleet are under way.  Our Colgate 26s will motor up the Chicago River to DuSable Harbor on April 23.  During the April 25 weekend the masts will be raised and the rigging tuned.  On May 1 they will be placed on their moorings in Monroe Harbor, ready for the first round of instruction classes and private boat use for members who are skippers.

On May 2, our Rhodes 19s and Ideal 18s will be put into the water at Montrose Harbor, where the masts will be raised and the rigging tuned.  They will be sailed from Montrose Harbor to their moorings at Monroe Harbor on either May 3 or May 9, depending on weather conditions. 

Our Cruising boat, Priorities, will motor up the river to its dock at Belmont Harbor on either April 29 or May 6, depending on the weather.  

The launch of our fleet is always a festive time, marking the start of another sailing season.  If you are able to help with with any part of this multi-pronged effort, please contact our Maintenance Coordinator, Dan Flavin.
2015 Annual Meeting


On Tuesday, March 3, over fifty Sail Chicago members and friends gathered at the Chief O:"Neill's Pub and Restaurant to enjoy a meal together and to review the prior year's activities and learn of new plans and programs for the coming sailing season.


After Chairman Chris Schuler called the meeting to order, Treasurer Steve VanderVoort reported that Sail Chicago ended a successful financial year with a strong balance sheet and a healthy net income.  Matt Stuczynski, our Led Instructor and Michael Swisher, our Instruction Coordinator detailed plans for the upcoming sailing season. Maya Teleki discussed the expanded Colgate Racing now in its third year. Pat Webster summarized the our social activities for the year, and Tom Simms gave a report on Sail Chicago's sailing programs for disadvantaged youth..


Four Directors were elected to fill vacancies created by expiring terms: Bob Cohen, Dan Flavin, Martin Modahl, and Maya Teleki.  Finally, Chris Schuler took the microphone again to field questions from audience members.  Many members lingered after the meeting was formally adjourned to socialize and make plans for the upcoming sailing season.


If you'd like to review the slideshow presented at the Annual Meeting, please click here . 



By Adam Wisneski, Marketing Coordinator

Do you have photos of your good times on the water with Sail Chicago?  We need your help! We're looking to gather photos of our boats, our students, and our members on and off the water. And we've just made sharing them with us really, really easy. 

Take a couple minutes now, and dig through your old Sail Chicago pics and send them to

To submit, just attach your pictures to the email and our automated system will organize them. Big thanks to Sail Chicago member Ron Klecka, and our webmaster, Alfred Chan, who've set the whole thing up.

And this season, remember to send any photos we can use for social media, flyers, programs and slideshows to that email address as well. 


Note: These photos will be used for social media, presentations, and other promotional materials. Be sure not to send photos that you're not okay with us using for those purposes. 
By Adam Wisneski, Marketing Coordinator
Want to help grow Sail Chicago? It's easy! 

Take the next 5 minutes and review us on Yelp!  

Yelp! is one of the most popular ways that people search for things to do. A high rating on Yelp! will make Sail Chicago more visible to people who are looking for a way to learn how to sail. 

The more reviews you have, the higher your organization's potential rating. 

Don't know what Yelp! is? Not sure how to review something? I made a video that shows you how!

When you've watched the video, click on the Yelp icon and get started!


Because we are an all-volunteer, not-for-profit community sailing program, Sail Chicago members have traditionally been required to fulfill an annual service requirement by the start of the sailing season in order to gain on-the-water privileges for that season.  Returning members must fulfill their service requirement by May 1.  Members who were new in 2014 must sign up for a specific service activity by May 1.  Members who do not meet this requirement may still gain on-the-water privileges by paying a $400 opt-out fee.


This year, for the first time, you MUST report your member service on your annual membership registration form.  If you need to sign up for a specific service activity, please click here to review a list of those available.  If you have questions, please contact Christine Garvey.


US Sailing Logo (new)
By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor and 
Michael Swisher, Instruction Coordinator

Since becoming a US Sailing certified sailing school this past year, Sail Chicago can now offer Basic Keelboat Certification to our students who successfully pass the program. We are thrilled that this internationally recognized certification acknowledges the quality of our sailing education efforts and puts us in the same league as many great sailing educational programs in the area and throughout the country.  Of course, this designation makes it encumbent upon us to maintain our standards and to further align our curriculum and teaching to the US Sailing program.  Those students seeking US Sailing certification need to pass an On the Water and the US Sailing Basic Keelboat written test.  Basic Keelboat certification includes a one-year membership to US Sailing.  Current Sail Chicago skippers will be able to gain certification by passing the OTW and written test.  Stay tuned throughout the season as more details will follow.  


Several items were discussed at the February Sail Chicago Board meeting:
  • Tom Simms explained the Schuler Scholars Program and how it works. Skippers and mates are needed.
  • Pat Webster reviewed plans for the Annual Meeting on March 3.
  • Dan Flavin presented the 2015 Strategic Plan Update.
  • Adam Wisneski reviewed plans to update the facing page of the Sail Chicago website.
  • Steve VanderVoort volunteered to integrate the information in the Sail Chicago Handbook into the website.
  • Matt Stuczynski outlined plans to offer US Sailing basic keelboat certification to Sail Chicago members who are skippers.


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