BTS: October 2012

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for October
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 Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program that has for over
fifty years been offering affordable sailing and water safety instruction,
and recreational sailing opportunities to people in the Chicago area.
Issue #10October, 2012 
Steve VanderVoort

By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor


Sailing season is almost over.  Our fleet will be out of the water by October 20.  What lingers are the memories.  For me, my best times on the water this past summer were the times I skippered Tiller Times.  They gave me an opportunity meet some of our newer members and to share my enthusiasm for sailing with others who are perhaps a bit newer with the joy of being "on-the water."  If you've got some favorite memories or photos of this past sailing season that you'd like to share with other members of our community, please let me know.


One place where our members can share their summer sailing experiences will be at our annual End-of-Season Party on November 3 (see article below).  It's a great opportunity to re-live our summer sailing experiences and to start finding new sailing buddies for the 2013 sailing season.  In past years, it's been a rollicking good time.


Even though our sailing season is coming to a close, many of our members are still hard at work.  Help will be needed for our Sail Chicago fleet sail-up and haul-out (see article below).  Also, members of our Strategic Planning Committee are hard at work helping to define Sail Chicago's mission and goals for the next few years.  Their recommendations may well define our course in the future.  And the Board Development Committee is beginning to plan for the election of new officers and directors at our annual meeting in the new year (see article below).


Finally, 2012 may well go down as the most successful sailing season in Sail Chicago history.  Our new Sail-into-Summer program has been fantastically successful in getting members of our Chicago community out on the water.  Our fleet renewal program has given us a couple of newer boats that require less maintenance.  Our overall financial situation is excellent.  Our maintenance program is being reconfigured in order to make it easier to keep our fleet in outstanding shape.  Thanks to all our member volunteers for making all this possible!


Frank Loftus
Chris Schuler
Chris Schuler
At its September meeting, the Sail Chicago Board elected Frank Loftus as Chairman and Chris Schuler as Vice-President.  Frank will complete Joe Kucharski's term.  Joe resigned from the Chairmanship in  August  and  is moving to Indianapolis.  Chris takes over his position from Frank, who moved up to Chairman.
Sail Chicago Board Changes
Sail-up and Haul-out Dates Announced
Celebrate Our Sailing Season!
Candidates Sought for Board Positions
Sailing Instruction Has a Banner Year
Priorities Finishes the Season a Winner
Keep an Eye on the Weather

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Chairman - Frank Loftus
Announcements - Ann Johnston
Bookkeeper - Mark Fechner
BTS Editor  - Steve VanderVoort
Cruising Program - Ilya Letuchy
Fun Racing -Dolores Baron
Human Resources - Frank Loftus
Lead Instructor - John Lemon
Maintenance (Summer) - Alfred Chan & Iwona Awlasewicz
Marketing - Mike Parapetti
Member Cruise Outings - Emily Case
Pre-Sail Orientation - Dan Flavin
Safety - Ed Schroeder
Social - Pat Webster
Tiller Time -Chris Garvey
Treasurer - Jay Owens


October 13 is the date that's been set for the sail-up for the Rhodes and Ideals in our Sail Chicago fleet.  That's the date when we move the boats from Monroe Harbor to Montrose Harbor, and it will be the last date that you will be able to sail these boats  If you'd like to participate in this Sail Chicago tradition and get in on the last sail of the season, please contact Alfred Chan to reserve your place by not later than Monday, October 8.


 The haul-out of these boats will take place on October 20, the following week.  This has traditionally been a time for the entire Sail Chicago community to pitch in and offer a fond farewell to our fleet until the next sailing season.  We'll need a lot of help that day to get the boats out of the water, onto trailers, and transported to our winter storage facility.  Watch for an announcement later in October regarding the details of this event.


The other boats in our fleet, the Colgates and the Hunter, will motor down the river in mid-to-late October to the Canal Street boatyard.  The Colgates will drop their masts on Sunday, October 14, and individual Boat Managers will coordinate move to the boatyard.


By Pat Webster, Social Director
Renewing Friendships
2011 Post-Season Party


All Sail Chicago members and their guests are invited to our end of the season celebration which will be held at the Columbia Yacht Club* on Saturday evening, November 3rd.  We look forward to an evening of dining and relaxing conversation with friends in this nautical setting.  The evening will begin at 6:30 pm with a cash bar, followed by dinner at 7:00 pm.  A delicious menu has been planned by the club's chef including Salad, Dinner Rolls, Amish Breast of Chicken with Sage jus, Fresh Vegetables, Roasted Redskin Potatoes, Seasonal Ravioli, Assorted Gourmet Cookies and Coffee. 

After dinner the Board of Directors will recognize members who have excelled in our Sail Chicago community, either through their achievement or through their volunteerism.  Board members and program chairs will also be on hand to talk about accomplishments of the season and to roll out plans for the next year.

An e-mail announcement has been sent to all members regarding registration for the party.  If you didn't receive it or if you misplaced the e-mail, please contact Pat Webster.  We'd hate to have you miss the party!  Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.  The cost is $35/person.  Free parking will be available in Columbia's parking lot. 


*Columbia Yacht Club is located in the big blue and while 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. 



Although the Annual Meeting is still a few months away, the Board Development Committee is beginning to focus on potential candidates to fill vacant Board positions.  The Board will present a list of candidates it recommends to the membership at the Annual Meeting.  Other candidates may be proposed at the meeting, and members present will then have an opportunity to vote on all candidates presented.
Please think carefully about whether you'd like to be considered for a recommendation by the Board to fill a vacant Board position.  As a Board Member you should:
  • Currently 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 Chris Schuler, Chairman of the Board Development Committee.

 By John Lemon, Lead Instructor

John Lemon


 Sail Chicago's sailing instruction program enjoyed our most successful season yet.  We've hinted at this in articles in previous issues of Between the Sheets, and we thought it would be useful to present a more complete overview now that we're at the end of our instruction season.  I'm not exactly sure where to begin because we accomplished so much in so many areas.  So here goes.
Overall, our student enrollment was up a whopping 65% over 2011!  This is due in part to our new Sail into Summer program, which introduced 90 new sailors to the fundamentals of sailing.  All of these new sailors had their Basic Sailing instruction experience on our new Colgate 26s.  However, the Sail into Summer program did not undermine our ability to attract new members.  In fact, we registered almost 80 new members, who enrolled in all levels of our sailing classes, a slight increase over 2011.  Some of those new members came from the ranks of our Sail into Summer students.  Individual students totaled almost 190, not including several dozen students who took advantage of our Colgate qualification classes.  Most striking is that of those students, over 125 enrolled in Basic Sailing, more than for all of our classes for 2011.  We have taken a big step in introducing more people to the joys and challenges of sailing!
Here's the breakdown:  53 classes of Basic, Intermediate, and Skipper students.  Totals, give or take a couple:  Basic Sailing - 125, Intermediate - 30, Skipper - 30. 

Instruction (1)
Instructing on a Colgate

 Remarkably, at the same time we were training a huge number of new sailors, our dedicated instructors coached a record number of new skippers.  To date we have added over 35 new Basic Keelboat skippers, double last year's number.  And we have pretty much completed orienting all of our existing skippers on the Colgate 26.  Part of this success was due to the fleet improvements and consolidation we implemented over the past year, which enabled us to better utilize and focus the efforts of our volunteer instructors.
The Cruising Program organized a number of classes, refreshers, and checkout sails.  To date there are almost 30 new skippers for our 34' Hunter, Priorities.
The 2011 season marked a significant change for Sail Chicago in that for the first time in over 50 years, we adopted a new boat, the Colgate 26, as our standard learn-to-sail vessel.  The Colgate 26 has received high marks from students and instructors alike.  The Colgates are our most popular boat for private usage as well.  We made significant strides growing our Colgate fleet in 2012.
This success is made possible due to the hard work of our dedicated volunteer instructors, program coordinators, maintenance teams, and behind-the-scenes schedulers.  Many thanks to all of them, too numerous to list here.


We are now in the process of organizing lectures for the winter months.  Plans are afoot for programs on:  Theory of Sails and Lift, Weather for Sailors, and Boating Safety.  If you have suggestions for classes or courses you'd like to see offered, send us your ideas


By Ilya Letuchy, Curising Program Director
Ilya Letuchy
Ilya Letuchy
 As the 2012 sailing season comes to an end, the cruising program is winding down with it. We had another excellent year with four introduction to cruising classes, numerous MCOs and Tiller Times, a Port-to-Port cruise and much more. This year 25 members got their skipper status on Priorities and many more enjoyed the sailing that it had to offer. As sad it is to see the weather change, we look forward to another great year ahead!

The boat is coming out of the water on October 13th. There is still plenty of time to squeeze in a private rental or two. 
By Ed Schroeder, Safety Director
Ed Schroeder
Ed Schroeder

  Weather is one of the most influential factors in our sailing experience, and it pays us to know the terminology used by forecasters, so that we can accurately judge the safety of conditions as we prepare to leave the harbor. 
For instance:
  • "Weather watch" means bad weather is possible; "weather warning" means bad weather is immiment.
  • Wind predictions are for average velocity, not gusts,
  • Wave predictions are for "significant height" (the average height of highest one-third of waves), not peaks.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published Safe Boating Weather Tips online.  You would do well to review them before your next sail.

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