BTS: November 2013

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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 #11
November, 2013

By Gary Thrane, Associate Editor


Gary Thrane
Gary Thrane

As we end another sailing season, it's good to reflect on what we got out of the sailing experience.


For me, a big reason to sail is aesthetic. By that I mean that sailing is beautiful. There's nothing quite so lovely as a sailboat under a press of sail, heeling over in a lively breeze. And there's the beauty of the lake and sky with its ever-changing interplay of wind and cloud. And then, of course, for those of us who sail with Sail Chicago, there's the Chicago skyline. Whether draped with storm clouds or glistening in the sun, the Chicago skyline it always stunning.


And then there's the wonderful socializing as the boat surges along. We gain an all-too-rare quiet time to talk, far from the electronic interruptions of modern life, with old friends as well as enjoying opportunities to get to know new sailing companions.


A feeling of mastery and oneness with nature is surely part of the satisfaction for all sailors. We sailors harness the forces of nature to our bidding. What pity we must feel for the motor boaters who know only how to push the "Start" button.


For those who teach with Sail Chicago, there's the special satisfaction that comes with imparting skills and a love of natural beauty to new sailors. Teachers learn how much they know when they teach others, and that experience enhances and deepens one's own sense of mastery.


For all these reasons, let us rejoice in our love of sailing. And let us all look forward to next season.


John Lemon

John Lemon, Sail Chicago's Lead Instructor, recently sent a summary of the Basic Keelboat Instruction Program to the Sail Chicago Board. Highlighting this year's program were the 77 Sail-Into-Summer students and 97 Sail Chicago members who were able to take advantage of our Basic, Intermediate, or Skipper Training courses. The program produced 39 new skippers this year. In addition, 45 sailors participated in our brand new Wednesday night Colgate Racing Program. Our thanks go out to John for his leadership in putting together an extremely successful Instruction program. To read the full report, click here.


Chicago Sail and Power Squadron is offering a basic two-hour weather and forecasting course for Chicago-area boaters.  The class will take place at Lincoln Park REI at 10:30 a.m., on November 16.  Since Eric Schneider, who usually leads Sail Chicago's weather class, will be unable to do so this year, the offer of a weather class by the Chicago Sail and Power Squadron is especially timely.   If you are interested in attending this class, click here.

The ability to predict the weather conditions in the next few hours is a key aspect of boating safety, and Sail Chicago members should consider availing themselves of this easy opportunity to learn more.  For more information, click here.
Refections on the Past Season
Successful Instructional Program
Weather for Sailors
Thanks to All Who Helped
End-of-Year Awards Dinner
Getting Organized!
A Great Party at the Weather Mark
All Is Lost
November 15 - End of Season Party:  Awards
January 23-26 - Strictly Sail Chicago Show
November 16 - Weather Seminar
February 6-8 - U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum (San Diego)

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
Instruction Scheduling - Lorna Luebbers
Lead Instructor - John Lemon
Marketing - Mike Parapetti
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Lois Lawson
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
The November issue of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation newsletter features an article by Sail Chicago member, John Lemon.  The article, which appears on page 12 of the newsletter, emphasizes the importance of knowing how to sail on and off a mooring.  To access the newsletter, click here.



By Belinda Routh


Thanks to the valiant sailors who sailed the Rhodes 19s and Ideal 18s up from Monroe Harbor to Montrose Harbor on Saturday, October 19.   Even though the weather forecast was ominous, it turned out to be a glorious day with the wind behind us all the way.


Thanks also to the volunteers, Mike Lawless, Richard Anderson, and Greg Scannel who offered to

transport sailors back to Monroe.   Greg and Simone Sidel left their car at Montrose and biked to Monroe before boarding the Rhodes 19s for the sail-up.


A big thanks expecially to all of you sailors who showed up on Sunday, October 20th, to haul out, power wash, and trailer our Rhodes 19s and Ideal 18s to the boat yard.   Each and every person added their congeniality to this end-of-season harbor work party. And the warm coffee and carbs that Pat Webster brought kept everyone going until the job was over.


Richard Anderson works on a Rhodes keel.

Peter Dudak and David Kelpsas went over-and-above the call of duty. Ric Smies worked with Peter on Saturday to assure that the trailers would be ready for the boats. The trailering job was made easier by the new volunteers who offered their cars with the proper trailer hitches.


Rich Covello and Marilyn Shipley offered their invaluable expertise. Ed Schroeder

Rhodes sail-up 2013
A Rhodes, heading north during the sail-up 

 came over from the big-boat program to help.  Long time members, Ed Stastica, John Gollogly, Bill Coutre and Tony Routh showed up to offer their support.


We of the Rhodes 19 and Ideal 18 Maintenance Teams and sailors, thank everyone who participated. We hope everyone who wants to will sail on our boats next season. If you want to be on our Maintenance Teams, please email Belinda W. Routh for the Rhodes 19s or Michael Hart for the Ideal 18s.   


2012 Party
Attendees at 2012 Party

By Pat Webster, Social Director


Spaces are still available (although limited) for the Sail Chicago awards dinner on Friday, November 15th. We'll enjoy a gourmet dinner at the Columbia Yacht Club*.  If you haven't yet been on "the big boat" this event gives non-yacht club members a chance to check out this iconic yacht club on the lake.   We look forward to an evening of dining and relaxing with friends in this nautical setting. The cash bar will open at 6:30 followed by dinner at 7:00PM.  A delicious menu has been planned by the yacht club's chef including salad, roasted amish breast of chicken with field mushrooms, seasonal ravioli, fresh vegetables, roasted redskin potatoes, assorted gourmet cookies and coffee and tea.  After dinner, the Board of Directors will recognize those who have excelled in the organization, either through their achievements or through their volunteerism.


Register and pay now by clicking here.   The cost is $32.50/person for Sail Chicago members and their guests and $38/person for Sail into Summer program participants and their guests.  Parking is available in the DuSable Harbor parking lot which is just west of the yacht club for $6.


Questions: contact Pat Webster.


*  Columbia Yacht Club is located in the big ship at Randolph and Lake Shore Drive.   It is a members-only club, so we're fortunate to be able to open it up to Sail Chicago for this evening's event.  Those who have attended in the past have been more than satisfied with the dinner offerings.



By Christine Garvey

In an effort to improve communication within our organization, we have developed a much-needed structure. Sail Chicago will now be divided up into 6 divisions. They are: Operations, Finance, Marketing, Instruction, Programs, and Maintenance. One or two board members will be assigned to each division so that program leads, volunteers and members in general will have easy board access to report successes, ask questions, and/or relay concerns. Also, this organizational structure allows the board members to have increased knowledge about programs and activities going on within Sail Chicago.


Over the next month, board members will make contact with program leads within each division. Those board members are: Alfred Chan (Operations); Steve VanderVoort (Finance); Mike Parapetti (Marketing); Christine Garvey (Instruction); Pat Webster and Maureen Huston (Programs) and Dan Flavin (Maintenance). If you do not receive an email, and think you should have, or have any other questions, please contact one of the above board members.


By Debbie Natoli, Social Committee

Beer Mug

The October 25th Happy Hour at the Weather Mark Tavern on South Michigan Avenue was a big success.  About 40 Sail Chicago Members and their friends and family enjoyed the nautical-themed pub while catching up and meeting new friends.  It was a great night to network with other sailors passionate about Sail Chicago and sailing.  The Rhodes skippers rallied together to talk about their love for the boat. Funny tales of "check-outs gone wrong" were shared and enjoyed. Instructors reminisced with former students . Pat Webster, the "Captain" of the Social committee, has steered us all back to the harbor with lasting memories.  One thing was certain, we are all in the same boat when it comes to love for the club!  Look for another event at the Weather Mark in the spring to get us entusiastic about the 2014 sailing season.


By John Lemon    

By now, many of you have seen the new film about a sailor (Robert Redford) whose sailboat sinks after hitting a shipping container in the Indian Ocean.  He survives eight days on a small life raft.  There is a riveting, real-life story of a sailor who was crossing the Atlantic in the 80s. His sailboat broke apart and sank for unknown reasons.  He survived for 76 days in a small raft very similar to the one in All Is Lost, until drifting ashore on the island Marie Galante, near Guadeloupe, in the eastern Caribbean.  The book is hard to put down and is a good winter read (think adrift in the tropics).  Put it on your holiday gift list: Adrift:  Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan.  The author also served as a technical advisor to the film Life of Pi, much of which involved surviving at sea in a lifeboat for an extended period.


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