BTS: October 2011

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for October

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Sail Chicago is a community sailing program that has for over fifty years been offering affordable sailing, water safety, and racing instruction, and recreational sailing opportunities to people in the Chicago area.

Issue #10October, 2011 
From the Editor

By Steve VanderVoort, Between the Sheets Editor


Sailing season is rather quickly coming to an end.  The Sail Up and Haul Out for our Monroe fleet will occur in a couple of weeks (see article below).  After that, the season will be only memories.

I've got some great memories of this past sailing season.  They start with my participation in getting the boats in the water in April.  I took a great spinnaker class in the early spring, and another single-handed class later in the summer.  Both gave me additional confidence and competence in my sailing skills.  I even took a couple of orientation sessions on Priorities, our new cruising boat.  Next year, I hope to be able to skipper the boat.

My best memories, however are of the several Tiller Times and Member Cruise Outings that I skippered.  These gave me a opportunity to meet new sailors and to renew friendships with old sailing friends from years past. 


Of course, I also enjoyed just renting a boat and taking out my wife or some of my non-sailor friends (hoping, of course, that they'd become interested enough to eventually join Sail Chicago).

So, as the sailing season comes to a close, I've got some fond memories, but I'm also starting to look forward to the sailing season next year, when I've already got some new things I'd like to accomplish.

Do you have any memories of this past sailing season that you'd like to share?  If so, please let me know.  I'd love to publish them in "Between the Sheets."  If you'd like to share your memories on a more informal basis, plan to come to the Post-Season Banquet (see article below).


Annual Service Projects Available 
Joe Kucharski

By Joe Kucharski, Maintenance Director


Annual Service is a critical component of Sail Chicago.  As you complete the 2011 sailing season it's time to start thinking about your Annual Service requirement for the 2012 season. In the past couple of years we've made significant changes to members' Annual Service requirements which can be satisfied through maintenance:

  • We've moved to a project-based program for maintenance, and 
  • We no longer have an indoor storage facility in which to work during the winter months. 

This means that we will be performing many of our maintenance projects out-of-doors as soon as the boats are removed from the water in late October.  


If you are interested in putting your Annual Service requirement behind you early, we have a couple of projects that need immediate attention.  The first project is to organize our utility trailer. This needs to be completed by October 20, in time for our haul out. This project will require sorting material, repackaging supplies and equipment and labeling containers.

The second project consists of cutting up sections of a boat hull and deck into smaller sections. This project needs to be completed by October 15.  If you are interested in earning service time for either of these projects contact Joe Kucharski.



Service Time Projects Available
End of Season Banquet November 4
Head 'em and Haul 'em
Regatta Ends Open Racing
Ask the Expert - Project-based Maintenance
New Member Speaks Up
Sailing Resources Available

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Maintenance Hotline

312-409-9000 or

Who to Contact 
Chairman - Sam Veilleux
Announcements - Ann Weaver
BTS Editor - Steve VanderVoort
Bookkeeper - Mark Burns
Cruising Boats - Chris Riegel
Fleet 12 Racing - Sally Hamann
Instruction (Dryland) - Dan Flavin
Instruction/Registration - David Bowen
Lead Instructor - John Lemon
Maintenance - Joe Kucharski
Marketing - Mike Parapetti
Membership - Lois Lawson
Open Racing - Tom & Hewly Prucher
Safety - Ed Schroeder
Summer Maintenance Program - Dean Hackenberg
Social - Pat Webster
Swim Test - Rob Wakerly
Tiller Time - Chris Garvey
Treasurer - Jay Owens
Sam Veilleux

Jay Owens
Vice Chairman
Joe Kucharski

Frank Loftus 

Maureen Huston

John Lemon
Mike Parapetti

Chris Riegel

Chris Schuler
Steve VanderVoort
Rob Wakerly
Pat Webster
End of Season Banquet - Friday, November 4
By Pat Webster, Social Director

Join your fellow sailors on Friday, November 4th at 7:00 PM at the Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont for an evening of reminiscing about the season and sharing sailing stories with old and new friends.  Celebrate the end of another successful sailing season at a great spot on the water, as those who have excelled this year will be honored at the dinner.   An Italian themed dinner buffet will be served.  It will include Italian Salad and Garlic Bread, Spaghetti with Marinara or Meat Sauce, Fettuccini Chicken Alfredo, Pasta Primavera with Fresh Vegetables, Saffron Linguini Fruit de Mere, coffee, tea and dessert.  A cash bar will also be available.
CYC Belmont
Chicago Yacht Club - Belmont
The Chicago Yacht Club is located at Belmont and Lake Shore Drive.  Free parking will be available at the Belmont Harbor Club Parking Lot, which is located south and a little west of the Yacht Club.  Access can be gained by exiting Lake Shore Drive at Belmont (or directly from Belmont), then turning south along a small access road which is next to the bike path.

The cost for attending this event is $28/person.  In order to attend, you must send a check made out to Sail Chicago to Pat Webster, 195 North Harbor Drive, Apt 5205, Chicago, IL 60601-7541 by SATURDAY  OCTOBER 29TH .  Checks received after that date may not be able to secure your reservation.  Please include an email address or phone number, so that you can receive a confirmation of your reservation.   Also, since Sail Chicago is charged by the number of people in the room, only those who have paid for dinner will be allowed to attend the event.  Unfortunately it isn't possible to come just for drinks.

If you have questions or would like to help on the night of the event, please contact Pat Webster at 312-861-1673.
Head 'em and Haul 'em
Joe Kucharski
By Joe Kucharski, Winter Maintenance Director
The leaves are changing and the temperatures and beginning to cool.  That can mean only one thing:  the sailing season will soon end.  In a few weeks week we will begin the move our fleet north to Montrose Harbor, haul the boats out of the water, and move them to their winter home.

2010 Haul Out
2010 Haul Out
The sail up will occur October 15, weather permitting and the haul out will occur October 22. As we've done in the past, if you would like to participate in the sail up you will need to submit your name to Joe Kucharski not later than October 10.  In your email indicate whether you would like to skipper or crew.  Assignments will be based on first come first served basis with consideration of skill for skippers.  All participants will be notified by e-mail.  On the day of the sail we will depart Monroe Harbor at 9:00 AM and will take approximately 2 hours to reach Montrose Harbor depending on wind.

On October 22 we will begin the haul out at approximately 9:00 AM at Montrose Harbor, and will need as many people as possible there to help.  Boats will be unrigged, equipment will be removed and the hulls power-washed.  While there is a significant amount of work to be done, there is always a lot of socializing that goes on, swapping stories of the year's sailing adventures.  With enough volunteers we can complete the haul out within 3 or 4 hours. This year we will have our new utility trailer on site so that sails and equipment can be put away and inventoried quickly and efficiently.  See you at both the sail up and haul out!  If you are interested in either of these projects contact Joe Kucharski.

*          *          *
Chris Riegel, our Cruising Boat Director, reports that Priorities, the Sail Chicago cruising boat, will be moved up the Chicago River to the Canal Street Boatyard on Saturday, October 22.  Until then, it remains available to be sailed.  If you're a crusing boat skipper, you can sign up through the reservation system on the Sail Chicago website.
Regatta Ends Open Racing for the Year

 By Tom &Hewly Prucher, Open Racing Coordinators


2011 Regatta Sundancer
Sundancer Winning Crew
2011 Regatta Troll
Troll Winning Crew

The Saturday after Labor day ten sailors filled three boats at Montrose Harbor.  Four races were held and there was a tie for first place.  Sundancer (Ken Tentler, Minna Green, and Art Witkiewicz) and Troll (Sally Hamman, Barb Tenuta, and Tom Prucher) tied with two first places and two second places each. 


After the race four more members joined in the picnic at the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club.  We all ordered off the lunch menu and spun some sailing yarns under the tree.  It was a fitting conclusion to a great Open Racing season.  Congratulations to the winners and to all who participated.


Ask the Expert - Project-based Maintenance
(Got a question about one of our programs or policies?  Send your question to Ask the Expert.  We'll direct your question to the right Sail Chicago expert, and post popular interest topics here in this column.) 
Question:   What is Project-Based Maintenance? Will it satisfy my Annual Service requirement? 
Answer:  by Joe Kucharski, Maintenance Director

As the temperatures continue to drop and the leaves begin to turn, sailing will soon be but a distant memory.  The sailing experience continues, however, with members working together on maintenance projects, and preparing our fleet for the 2012 season.  Maintenance work  begins immediately after the boats come out of the water in October.  We will be looking for everyone to play an active role in getting the fleet ready.
To achieve our maintenance goals, we will continue to offer project-based maintenance opportunities.  Here's how it works:  each member signs up for a particular project.  Once that project is complete, your Annual Service Requirement is satisfied.  It's that easy!  One of the many advantages of the project-based maintenance program is the built-in flexibility, offering the possibility for members to tailor their projects to fit their personal objectives:
  • Members can work on a project individually, or choose to form a team, and work with other members,
  • Members may choose projects by tasks they are already good at, or try something new and take advantage of maintenance training opportunities,
  • All projects have completion deadlines, but members can plan their own individualized work schedules and are no longer locked into just Saturdays.  Remember, though, all maintenance has to be completed within a fixed time frame, since some projects cannot be started until others are complete. Therefore, it is each member's responsibility to complete the project they sign up for within the allotted time.

Individual Project Sheets describing the functions and tasks required are available at the haul-out at Montrose Harbor on October 15, and at the boat yard.  (Sign up early for the most choices!)  Watch future issues of "Between the Sheets" for news of online access, coming soon!   Members can also see Joe at the Year-end Banquet at Belmont Harbor on November 4. 


You have the opportunity to sign up for functions or tasks that suit your interests and skills, or you may choose to learn how to do something new.  If any member is unfamiliar with a function or task required for a project, training is available to provide the information and the skills required to complete the project.  In some cases, we work in teams of three or more, due to the nature of the activity (e.g., hull or bottom painting).  Members who would like to work together can sign up as a team, or you can volunteer to join a team and meet other members.  Individual projects mean members have the option to plan around their personal time demands.  Projects still have to be completed on time, but members don't have to fit themselves into a 'one-size-fits-all' maintenance schedule.

The goal of the maintenance program is to support Sail Chicago's motto "Come Sail With Us" by providing a safe, clean, well-equipped fleet we can all be proud to sail.  Members' participation in the maintenance program makes Sail Chicago sailing possible. See you at the boat yard!


New Member Speaks Up

 By Chris Grzych, First Year Sail Chicago Member

Chris Grzych

Chris Gryczh


(Chris Gryczh is a first year member of Sail Chicago.  In this article, he relates some of his experiences and hopes for the future.  Ed.)


My main interest in sailing began to take flight in late 2005 while on spring break in Punta Cana with my then girlfriend, now wife, Rachel.  I began to notice how much the wind picked up in the afternoon each day around 3:00 pm.  It would dramatically change into a strong choppy northern blow.  I decided that I would take out a Sunfish sailboat around 2:30 pm and just head as far out as I could get in half-an-hour, change direction, and see what it would be like to catch this powerful northerly wind.  My plan worked well, I had a blast sailing back onto shore rather quickly.  I really loved hitting the waves at high speed.  I liked it so much that I've tried it every vacation since with varying results.

Based on that experience, I knew I wanted to learn more about sailing.  I did a lot of research on Google.  After exploring several options, I came to the conclusion that Sail Chicago offered me the greatest benefit for the least cost.  I particularly liked the idea that lessons were being offered at different locations (both Monroe and Montrose Harbors) and on a variety of boats.

This being my first year in Sail Chicago, I decided to plunge right in.  I started with the basic keelboat course.  My instructor, Tom Keaveny, was incredibly knowledgeable, and he can really set you straight in a very quiet, purposeful way.  For me, he was the perfect instructor for my introduction to sailing.  My intermediate instructor, Sally Hamann, has allowed me to finally understand the true depth of what Tom was alluding to in my introductory course, and she has encouraged me to put it all into practice.

Unfortunately, I have not had much chance to be around other Sail Chicago members other than my sailing instructors and fellow students.  Sadly, Tiller Time and Open Racing have not been as big a part of my summer as I had hoped.  My wife and I just bought our first home, and that has taken up far more of my time this summer than I would have liked.  I'm looking forward to next year when I will be able to have much more opportunity to get out on the water with other Sail Chicago members.


Sailing Resources Available

 Often Sail Chicago members ask, "Where can I go to get more technical information about sailing and boating safety?"  The answers are not always obvious.  Here are three basic references covering different aspects of these topics: 


coast Guard logoThe first is a U.S. Coast Guard publication that should be mandatory reading for all sailors, titled A Boater's Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats.  It contains basic requirements and safety information for both power boats and sailboats.  You may download the online version and read it at your leisure.  If you've taken the Dryland course with Sail Chicago, you probably received a copy.  This is a newer updated version.


The second resource is more technical.  It's published by NOAA, and is titled U.S. Chart No. 1.   This publication outlines the standard symbols and abbreviations used in charts published by the United States.   It's a "must have" for anyone participating in Sail Chicago's cruising program.


The third resource is online, and is published jointly by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  It's titled Navigation Rules Online.  Again, if you're planning to participate in Sail Chicago's cruising programs, or if you're looking forward to a bareboating experience on a cruising boat in the Caribbean or elsewhere, this is a valuable resource.


If you have other sailing resources available that you would like to share, please notify the BTS Editor, and they will be published in future issues.



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