BTS: October 2013

Between the Sheets: News from Sail Chicago for October
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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 #10
October, 2013

By Steve VanderVoort, Managing Editor

Steve VanderVoort


Continuing our dialogue on safety in Monroe Harbor, Sail Chicago member Manny Conde has weighed in with some interesting comments:


"It is not obvious to me that the east channel is better than the west one. It is true that the west channel usually has more traffic, but it has a straight wall without rocks on the bottom. It is very difficult to fend off the rocky wall in the east channel without first getting caught on the bottom.


"I feel very safe taking the west channel if the wind is coming straight from the east because there is little danger of getting into irons. I would avoid taking the east channel if the wind is coming from the north or northeast going out, or from the south or southeast going in.


"It seems clear that the real danger in the harbor, beside gross distraction, is to lose speed and then drift onto a boat or wall. Having the engine running on neutral on a Colgate takes away most of this danger, but of course that is not an option for the smaller boats.


"I know that the official Sail Chicago recommen-dation is to almost never sail (diagonally) through the moored boats, but, in reality, during my three years with Sail Chicago, I've seen many experienced skippers sailing through the moored boats. I don't think it is necessarily a bad idea, particularly now that there is a lot of empty space in the harbor. It is probably safer to do that than to tack your way along a lane in case of east or west wind."


It's true that since the moorings in the Harbor were reconfigured last year and since there are now several unused moorings, it's somewhat safer to sail diagonally through the moored boats than it used to be. On the other hand, we are also dealing with the perceptions of our neighboring boat owners, who may believe that we are taking undue risks in sailing close to their boats and not in a channel. In addition to sailing safely, we want to be perceived as being good neighbors by our fellow boat owners. 


As a point of reference, our Instruction Program teaches students to sail down a lane to the wider east channel in most circumstances.  It also recommends NOT to sail diagonally through moored boats except in emergency situations.  The important point is that skippers should have the safety of themselves, their crew, and their boats as a first priority when leaving or returning to the harbor.


For an excellent discussion of why it's important to learn to sail on and off the can see John Lemon's article in this issue.


Disabled Racing (Ideals) 9.5.13
Bridgett Bono and Lawrence Campbell sail an Ideal to third place.
As part of Sail Chicago's outreach program to other sailing organizations, we made our Ideal 18s available to the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program for their use in practicing for the U.S. Sailing-sponsored Disabled Sailing Championship Races held in Milwaukee during the weekend of September 6 - 8. Two of the Judd Goldman participants, Bridget Bono and Lawrence Campbell (pictured here) took third place in the Ideal 18 competition. We are delighted that Sail Chicago was able to help these fine sailors compete.


If you'd like more information about the race results, click here. If you'd like to see more pictures of the exciting events during the races, click here. Finally, if you'd like to learn more about the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program and how you can participate, click here.


From the Editor...
Judd Goldman Winners
Party at the Weather Mark
End-of-Year Awards Dinner
Team USA Wins America's Cup
Time to Haul Out the Boats
Importance of Knowing How to Sail on and off the Can
Use Your Credits
September Sail Chicago Board Meeting
Answers to Your Questions
Sail Chicago Reminders
October 25 - Sail Chicago "Happy Hour"
November 15 - End of Season Party:  Awards
January 23-26 - Strictly Sail Chicago Show
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
By Debbie Natoli, Social Committee

Beer Mug Join other Sail Chicago members, friends, and family for a "Happy Hour" at the Weather Mark Tavern on Friday, October 25 from 5 to 8 pm for great drinks (including $6 Dark & Stormys), eats (the codfish dinner at $9.95 is to die for), and a rollicking good time. The Weather Mark is a traditional hangout for salty dogs from all over the Chicago area. We'll have a chance to spin a few yarns about our summer sailing experiences and, who knows, even sing a few sea chanties as the evening wears on. It will be a great opportunity to meet other sailing buddies, to renew old friendships, and to make new ones.

While the evening is "pay as you go," we'd appreciate knowing approximately how many people will show up, so if you're planning on joining us, please register here.


2012 Party
Attendees at 2012 Party

By Pat Webster, Social Director


Sail Chicago will once again celebrate the season and honor our dedicated and hardworking member volunteers with a gourmet dinner at the Columbia Yacht Club* on Friday evening, November 15th.  It is because of the collaborative efforts of all of our volunteers that Sail Chicago is a successful community sailing program.   We look forward to an evening of dining and relaxing with friends in this nautical setting.  The cash bar will be open at 6:30 followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.  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 achievement or through their volunteerism.


Register and pay now, or look for an email announcement in mid-October with a link to register.  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 which is just west of the yacht club at reduced off season rates.  (The exact fee was not available at the time of the publishing of this article.) 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.  Also, those who have attended in the past have been more than satisfied with the dinner offerings.


America's Cup racing by the Golden Gate Bridge

In what is without a doubt the most exciting match race in the world, Team USA beat Team New Zealand in the 34th running of the America's Cup, held this year in San Francisco.  The victory, a real nail-biter, took 19 separate races over 19 days to complete, ending on September 25 with a victory for Team USA. Team New Zealand jumped out to an 8 to 1 lead early in the match, but Team USA clawed their way back to win the next 8 races, putting them back in contention to retain the Cup. To watch the final race, click here.


No Name Colgate
A Colgate readied for the trip to the boatyard
It's "that" time of year, again, time to sign up, and mark our calendars to help put our fleet away for the winter. Our boat crews have already started planning for the haul-out. Here's the schedule:
  • Our Colgates will be prepared for the trip down the river to the boat yard on October 13-14, and they'll be motored down on October 14. If you are able to help with this project, please contact Dan Flavin.
  • Our Rhodes and Ideals will be sailed to Montrose Harbor on October 19, with rain dates of October 20 or 27. If you're able to lend a hand in sailing up the boats or helping catch lines at Montrose, please contact either Belinda Routh for the Rhodes or Michael Hart for the Ideals. The Haul Out date is October 20, with rain dates of October 21, 27 or 28.  If you're able to lend a hand in hauling out the boats, please contact Belinda Routh or Michael Hart.
Our Rhodes and Ideals will be sailed to Montrose Harbor, where they will be sailed into slips. The following day the masts will be unstepped, the boats hauled out, power washed, then lifted onto trailers and driven to the boatyard. Haul-out day has traditionally been a community affair where Sail Chicago members and friends get together to say "Goodbye" to the fleet for another sailing season, and to reminisce about their past summer sailing experiences. If you are a Rhodes or Ideal skipper, or interested in joining the maintenance team, and would like to learn how to sail into a slip or up to the Touch 'n' Go dock at Montrose, please contact Belinda Routh.



By John Lemon, Lead Instructor

John Lemon


New Sail Chicago skipper Brennan Carlson was sailing with friends on a Colgate 26 on the

afternoon ofSeptember 12, the day waterspouts were spotted on Lake Michigan.  Around 3 

p.m. the wind 

suddenly picked up from around 10 knots to 25-30 knots.  Brennan managed to safely sail onto the mooring, despite an engine failure.  Here's what Brennan had to say about the experience:


"I was sailing with Dolores Baron and two of my friends on a Colgate 26. My two friends had no sailing experience; they were just there for a pleasure cruise.  We'd read the forecast and knew that heavy winds were supposed to roll in around 5 p.m.   We went out around 1 p.m., and I thought, 'Oh, we'll make sure we are in well before the heavy winds pick up.'   But around 3 p.m. we are sailing near the breakwater in front of Monroe Harbor and something caught my eye: a huge dust cloud rising up from North Avenue beach.   I realized that winds heavy enough to create a dust cloud we could see from several miles must be some serious winds!   Needless to say, I turned us around and headed for the harbor as fast as we could.   Soon, the wind was so powerful that I had the main sail out as far as it would go to let it luff.  With the main luffing, we were under power of the jib only and I still felt like we were heeling too much.


"Once we got in the outer harbor, we took the main sail down, turned on the motor, furled the jib, and started heading for the inner harbor.   Suddenly, one of my friends in the back of the boat yelled, "The motor is out!"   I turned around to see the motor smoking.  I thought to my self: without any power this boat will end up on the rocks.   So, we unfurled the jib and started sailing again.  As we approached the inner harbor wall, I had to buy us some time; I decided to go the exact direction none of us wanted to go...back out into the lake.  We tacked and headed back to the outer harbor. Dolores was at the helm, and I got the main sail up (with a reef), then furled in the jib.   Next, I got back to the helm and started heading towards the can.  I remembered in one of my skipper check-out classes with my instructor, Nick Petrovits, we practiced sailing on and off the can.   It just so happened that in that class and on this day we had northerly winds.   So, I simply repeated the steps I had learned and got us all back to the can."


This is textbook case of why Sail Chicago teaches sailing off and on our mooring cans as well as close quarters maneuvering in the harbor.   Brennan chose to sail south in the outer channel and across the aisle to the mooring, consistent with the training he received in our Basic Keelboat Program.  Having an experienced heavy-weather sailor like Dolores as crew certainly was valuable.  For another angle on the advantages of mastering engineless sailing, read this article from Sail Magazine.



By David Shayne, Share-a-Sail Coordinator


Share-a-Sail, an e-mail posting service for skippers and crew to set up sailing dates, was launched earlier this year. The objective of the program is to give Sail Chicago members more opportunities to use our boats when they're not being used for other program activities, and to enjoy comradeship with other dedicated sailors.


As the current sailing season comes to a close, it looks like Share-a-Sail has been a resounding success. Fifty-nine Sail Chicago members signed up to be on the e-mail distribution list. That's almost 30% of our membership! On average there were two or three emails a week to the list seeking skippers or crew for sailing dates. Promoting other Sail Chicago programs was not allowed.  


If you're looking for new friends to sail with, don't forget to sign up next year. Your inbox will not be flooded with e-mails. While the original sender's e-mail goes to everyone on the list, replies go only to the original sender.


As this season winds down we can start dreaming of next spring.  Fair winds to al!



Money Icon The end of sailing season is approaching. Skippers who have sailing credits in their accounts should make sure that they use them before the boats are removed from the harbors later in October. Remember, credits do not carry over from year to year, so use them now to take your friends sailing.


Remember also that if you cancel a reservation within 48 hours, your refund is returned to you as a credit, not cash. If you cancel a reservation before the end of the season and would like your refund in cash, you must contact



By Fiona Ray


Sail Chicago's Board of Directors held their monthly meeting on Thursday, September 12th, 2013:

  • The Treasurer provided a financial update through August, 2013.  As the sailing season is wrapping up, the Organization's income goal for the year has been realized.  While our financial situation is solid, there has been higher than anticipated spending to repair damaged vessels. Thus, there are insufficient funds in the fleet replacement account at this time for the purchase of any additional vessels for the 2014 season.
  • Dan Flavin reported on boat maintenance and plans for the Fall haul out. Priorities is out of service through the season.  The Colgate 26 haul out is planned for Oct 12th, 13th, with the Rhode 19s, the following weekend.  Volunteers are needed to assist.
  • Bob Cohen provided the board with a wrap-up report on the Colgate 26 racing program.  Due to its success and popularity, the program will be continued in 2014.
  • Priorities will be out of service for the remainder of the season.  The Board agreed to pay for repairs out of general funds. 
  • The Board agreed to offer reduced evening boat-usage fees through the end of the season. 

The next Board meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 8th, (rather than our regular Thursday date due to Director availability). 



Handbook CoverHave questions about Sail Chicago procedures or rules? There's a great place to find all the answers: the Sail Chicago Handbook is a treasure trove of information regarding our organization.  


So, before you reach for the phone to call a Sail Chicago officer or director, please turn first to the Handbook.  Just click on the link to the current edition on your Member page at the Sail Chicago web site.  The Handbook has a great table of contents, so you can find your answer easily and quickly. 


Tiller Time 
New members and "rusty" skippers can hone their sailing skills by participating in Tiller Time.  If you took a class last year (or have attended at least one class session this season), there's no charge for Tiller Time excursions.  You can sign up for particular sailing dates by visiting the Sail Chicago web site.  Questions?  Contact 

Share-a-Sail Program 
If you need crew or you want to volunteer as crew, our Share-a-Sail program is for you.  Just go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there.  You'll be able to post and receive emails from other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and Sail-iinto-Summer students can participate.  Questions:  email David Shayne.


Ideal Orientations

If you're a Sail Chicago skipper and you're looking for a new adventure, our two Ideal 18s are just a short orientation away.  They are simple to rig and sail. And an Ideal can be sailed by one or two people because of its roller-furling and self-tending jib.   The orientation consists of an overview of the boat and a short sail to get the feel for how it handles. The orientation is also free.   Anyone who is already qualified as an Ideal skipper is invited for a refresher.  To schedule an orientation, contact Peter Dudak or call (630) 577-7946.

Get a $50 Credit for Referring a New Member
Members will receive a $50 credit to their account for every new member who joins Sail Chicago at their invitation.  (Even if your friend decides to just participate in the "Sail into Summer" program, you will still receive a $25 credit.)

Wearing a Life Jacket Is Mandatory When Using a Dinghy
When using a dinghy in either Monroe or Belmont Harbors, be sure to wear a life jacket.  It is Sail Chicago policy that all sailing participants wear life jackets while on the water.
Monroe Tender and Parking Passes
Tender and parking passes are available from two lockboxes by the Monroe Harbor Master's office.  See the head of the "Boat Statuses" page at the Sail Chicago web site for details. 

Incident Reports

If you have an incident or accident while sailing a Sail Chicago boat, please follow the instructions in the Sail Chicago Handbook, notify the Safety Director immediately, complete an Incident/Accident Report, and forward it to the Safety Director.


Emergency Action Plan
All skippers should familiarize themselves with the Sail Chicago Action Plan.  Please review it either here or in the 2013 Sail Chicago Handbook (published on the Sail Chicago web site). There is also an "Emergency Reference Guide"  that will be placed on all boats in the Sail Chicago fleet. Skippers may also want to print the "Reference Guide" and keep it with their sailing gear.

Sail Chicago Board Meeting Agenda
Members can view the agenda for the next Board meeting on the membership page of the Sail Chicago web site.

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 web site, Sail Chicago.
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