BTS: November 2014

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for November
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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, 2014

By Steve VanderVoort

Steve VanderVoort


The sailing season is over, and our fleet has been safely tucked away in the Canal Street Marina for the winter. There are still sailing-related activities going on among the members of the Sail Chicago community, however.  Our boat teams, headed by Boat Managers have already begun their maintenance functions in order to prepare our fleet for the next summer. They will continue to work at the Marina, primarily on the weekends, until the weather prevents them from doing so.  Being part of a boat team is a great way for our newer members to learn some of the intricacies of boat maintenance and to meet other members of the Sail Chicago community.


Our End of Season Gala is coming up Saturday, November 22.  This year it will again be held at the Columbia Yacht Club (the big blue boat at the south end of DuSable Harbor).  Space is limited to 75 participants, so make sure to get your reservation in early.  As we head into winter, we'll also be offering some winter seminars on sailing-related topics.  Watch for upcoming announcements and future articles in Between the Sheets.


Remember also that the US Sailing National Sailing Symposium will be held in New Orleans, January 21 - 24. Attending the Symposium is a great way to chase away those winter blues and improve you sailing skills to boot. See the article in this issue for more information. Several of our members have already signed up.


Now is also a good time to consider how you plan to meet your annual service requirement.  This requirement must be met by the time that sailing season begins next May if you want to participate in any on-the-water activities.  See the article below to find out how you can sign up for a role now that will help you to complete your service time over the winter months.




Sail Chicago members who are skippers or who have taken at least our intermediate sailing instruction program know that we teach two methods of rescue in a crew overboard situation.  The Quick-Stop method is one of them, and it's based upon the technique that's taught by US Sailing in their Basic Keelboat Certification series. Take a minute now to think about the steps you would take to use the Quick-Stop Rescue in a crew overboard situation, and then click here to compare them to the steps suggested by US Sailing.  And to see a diagram of how Sail Chicago teaches the Quick-Stop Rescue, click here.


HMS Bounty  
From the Editor...
Quick-Stop Rescues
Dates to Note
Who to Contact
Useful Information
Sail Chicago Board
Sail Chicago Reminders
End-of-Season Event: Nov. 22
National Sailing Symposium
Board Seeks Members to Fill Vacant Posts
New Skippers Welcomed
Priorities Goes Down the River
Rhodes Haul-out, a Success
Member Credits to Roll Over
Meet Your Service Requirement
October Board Meeting Notes
November 13 - Board Meeting
November 22 - End of Season Party
December 11 - Board Meeting
January 21-24 - US Sailing National Symposium
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Instruction  - Michael Swisher
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Sean Francis
Member Cruise Outings - Mehmet Tasci
Membership - Faith Hillis
Purchasing Agent - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety Director - John Lemon
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tender & Parking Passes - Bill Prindible
Tiller Time - Anke Heinrich
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan

Maintenance Hotline and 

Accident Reporting

Chris Schuler 
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Rob Wakerly
Fiona Ray 

Alfred Chan

Dan Flavin

Chris Garvey

Bob Lapin

Shawn Lord
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Pat Webster


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.

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.


Columbia Yacht Club

By Pat Webster, Social Coordinator


It's time for Sail Chicago to celebrate another great season with our members and friends at the Columbia Yacht Club* on Saturday evening November 22nd.   We'll enjoy a great gourmet dinner and honor our many dedicated member volunteers.  The cash bar will be 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. (Gluten free options are available.)   After dinner the Board of Directors will recognize those who have excelled in the organization, either through their achievement or through their volunteerism.It is because of the collaborative efforts of all of our volunteers that Sail Chicago is a successful community sailing program that continues to grow.


Register and pay now by clicking here, or look for an email announcement with a registration link. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. 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 will be available in the DuSable Harbor parking lot (at reduced off season rates). Questions: contact Pat Webster.


*  The Columbia Yacht Club is located in the big ship at Randolph and Lake Shore Drive. This is a private members only yacht club that has opened its doors to Sail Chicago for this end of season event for the last several years.



US Sailing is once again sponsoring its annual National Sailing Programs Symposium, this yearin NewOrleans, January 21 - 24.  In its own words, US Sailing says:


The National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) is the premier event for sailing education in the United States. NSPS is the only conference of its kind that brings together program directors, instructors, volunteers, parents and industry representatives to share and learn best practices with one another about running, maintaining and improving sailing programs. Our goal is to have participants coming out of the symposium with ideas to apply to their sailing programs to make them better and help them grow.


Sail Chicago has traditionally sent representatives from our organization to the Symposium.  For more information and to register, click here.



Although the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting is still a couple of months away, the Board is beginning to focus on potential candidates to fill vacant Board positions that it can recommend to the Sail Chicago membership. The membership may propose other candidates at the Annual Meeting, and it will vote on all candidates presented.


Please think carefully about whether you'd like to become a candidate to fill a vacant Board position. As a Board Member you should:

  • Be actively involved in at least one area of Sail Chicago activities or programs,
  • Plan to attend all regularly-scheduled monthly Board meetings,
  • Volunteer for and participate in at least one Board committee,
  • Think creatively about ways in which Sail Chicago may better serve its members and the greater Chicago community, and be prepared to turn those thoughts into action.
Board members typically serve a three-year term. If you would like to be considered, or if you know of someone you believe should be considered for a position on the Board, please contact Steve VanderVoort, Chairman of the Board Development Committee. 


New Skippers
Some new skippers

 By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor


Let's welcome 14 new Sail Chicago Skippers from the 2014 Season!


The following students passed both our updated Sail Chicago Written and On-the-Water test to become new Sail Chicago Skippers this year:  Tim Alonso, Ray Beikzadeh, Tom Ellett, Luke Forbing, Rachel Granneman, Brian Johnson,  Sergey Lobanov, Chuck Luse, David Merrill, Martin Mohdal,  Antonio Picon, Brandon Sanders, Greg Scannell, Dana Smith, Adam Stein, John VanAlstyne, and Daniel Van Slett. We congratulate them as they embark on a journey of life-long learning on the water!


As part of their On-the-Water Check Out procedure, New Skippers must agree to and sign the Keelboat Skipper Personal Statement which, among other things, states:


"I will act in good faith to represent Sail Chicago's high standards of sailing, safety, community and environmental awareness both here in Chicago's waters and beyond. This includes practicing proper safety procedures, respect for all boats and equipment, Maintenance Hotline procedures, Incident Reporting procedures, and environmental stewardship. I have read the Sail Chicago Regulations and I agree to obey them. I understand and will comply with the Wind Guidelines stipulating the necessary minimum crew experience based on wind conditions at the harbor and as forecasted.   I understand that receiving a Keelboat Skipper card does not make me a great sailor--it indicates that I am trusted to continue learning while sailing the Colgate 26.  I understand that as skipper, I am personally and fully responsible for the safety of fall on board, for the boat, and for the actions of my crew under any contingency that might arise."



By Steve VanderVoort

Priorities goes under the Columbus Street Bridge

On Wednesday, October 15, five Sail Chicago stalwarts met at DuSable Harbor at 8:15 am sharp. Their mission: to make sure that

Priorities, our cruising boat, was safely tucked away at the Canal Street Marina for the winter.   The morning was overcast, with the weatherman predicting rain by the early afternoon, but that did not deter our eagerness to get under way.  Under the direction of skipper Simeon Stairs, the rest of the crew, including Simon's son, Wilder, Walter Popp, Merle Baker, Manny Conde, and me, cast off at promptly 8:30 am heading for our first destination, the lock on the Chicago River.


As we rounded the breakwater at the lock entrance, we found a dozen more sailboats, all with their masts up, waiting for the lock to open, which it did, about half-an-hour later.  All boats motored easily to the Columbus Street Bridge, where we again had to wait for about twenty minutes before the bridge was raised to let us through.  We knew that we had to navigate under eighteen bridges to reach the marina, and it didn't take us long to figure out that it would probably be a long and tiresome journey.


Actually, the time passed relatively quickly for a couple of reasons.  First, we spent a lot of time regaling one another with sailing stories from this summer and from seasons past.  Second, Simeon had kindly brought with him a large container of hot coffee and stacks of doughnuts which we passed around and enjoyed throughout the trip.  Wilder won the prize (a doughnut) for the most doughnuts eaten - five (six if you count the prize).  We finally passed under the last bridge and tied up at the marina pier in a light drizzle around 2:30 pm.  While we were all a little damp, we agreed that we wouldn't have missed this last opportunity for such comradery during this sailing season. 


Rhodes 19
The Rhodes 19

By Minna Greene, Rhodes Coordinator


Thanks to all who made the October 12th haul-out a smashing success! First, kudos go to Lois Lawson, who coordinated the event by communicating with everyone involved with both the Rhodes and theIdeals. Next, appreciation go to all those on the Rhodes maintenance team who helped haul the boats out of the water and unstepped the masts. Special thanks go to the six people of the Rhodes maintenance team who volunteered to go the extra mile and helped with both the Rhodes and the Ideal 18s. Finally, we could not have completed the job without the help of Ric Smies and Chris Ball who towed the boats to the boatyard.



At its October meeting, the Sail Chicago Board passed a resolution allowing members with credits in their Sail Chicago account to roll them over to the following year, with no cap on credits earned.  In previous years credits were wiped out at the end of each sailing season.


Members receive credits in two ways:

  1. If they cancel a boat for private use within 48 hours of the scheduled time, their deposit is returned to their account in the form of credits, not money,
  2. If they perform a role for Sail Chicago that is considered by the Board to be vital to the success and welfare of the organization and requires considerably more time than the average member might put in to fulfill their annual service requirement. To see a list of these roles and the credits awarded, click here. 

Members who do not renew their membership in Sail Chicago will lose their credits.  These credits are not reinstated should they decide to become members again at some future time.




Remember, your service time needs to be completed BEFORE the 2015 sailing season begins if you want to have on-the-water privileges. First year members are exempt from service time during their first season. Before their second season begins, however, they must have signed up for a role that will meet their service requirement. Beginning in 2015, ALL members will be asked to list their service time role on their membership renewal form. If you don't want to fulfill the service requirement but still want on-the-water privileges, you may instead pay an opt-out fee of $400.


For a list of open jobs that currently meet the service requirement, click here.  If you have questions about service time, please contact  Christine Garvey.



By Fiona Ray, Board Secretary


Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held its monthly meeting on October 13, 2014.   The Board discussed the following:

  • The financial condition of Sail Chicago continues to be excellent.
  • The Strategic Planning Committee will look into the possibility of purchasing another boat.  It will consider current and future needs and class of boat.
  • Haul-out of all boats in the fleet has been scheduled.
  • Instruction is working on getting more instructors certified by US Sailing and by the Coast Guard.
  • A post-season survey will be e-mailed to all members.
  • Credits will now be rolled over from year to year.
  • There is no cap on the number of credits that may be earned.
  • Members will need to report their service time roles on their 2015 membership renewal form.


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