BTS: September 2015

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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 #9
September, 2015
By Steve Vandervoort, Editor
Steve Vandervoort
The days are growing noticeably shorter. Soon fall will be officially here. And that means another sailing season is gradually drawing to a close. Believe it or not, we have only a little over a month before our boats will be pulled from the water and hauled away to their winter storage facility. So while there's still some time left, let's get out on the water and go sailing! Call your friends or other Sail Chicago members, schedule a boat for private use, or if you're not a Sail Chicago certified skipper, use our Share-a-Sail list-serve to let skippers know of your availability (see article below).
And let's take a little time to thank all of our marvelous volunteers who have helped to make this season possible.   Without them there would have been no season. To the Instructors in our Instruction program, the Tiller Time and MCO skippers, the Boat Managers and maintenance teams who helped keep our fleet afloat, to all those people who work tirelessly behind the scenes on the administrative functions that help Sail Chicago to run smoothly, to our IT staff who designed and built our website, and especially to our program coordinators who provided the insight and leadership to continue to move us forward, we offer our sincere gratitude.
Sail Chicago is, after all, a not-for-profit all-volunteer organization. This has both positive and negative consequences. On the down side, our volunteers sometimes have other priorities than Sail Chicago. Things don't always get done as quickly or as efficiently as we would like. Stuff can sometimes slip through the cracks. This means that we sometimes need a little patience and understanding when things don't move as quickly as we would like.
On the up side, however, as an all-volunteer organization we can better fulfill our mission to offer quality sailing instruction and affordable sailing opportunities to people in the Chicago area. Our member-volunteers are passionate about sailing and want others to enjoy the sport as much as we do. That's why we're so willing eager and to invest the time to "make it happen." This also creates a strong sense of community among our volunteers that is perhaps unique to sailing in the Chicago area.
Sail Chicago is not for everyone. For those who simply want to learn to sail or to get out on the water occasionally, other organizations in Chicago offer those opportunities.   But if you're looking for a community of dedicated sailors who are passionate about the sport and who believe in our mission, Sail Chicago is where you ought to be!
By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor
For those students who have successfully completed Sail Chicago's Skipper Prep and/or Intermediate course, you are eligible to take the US Sailing Basic Keelboat written test in order to obtain US Sailing Basic Keeboat certification.  We will again offer the written test on Saturday, September 19th at 1:00 p.m.  Location will be at the Kingsbaker Cafe, 900 W. Van Buren in the West Loop.  Please bring a check for $50 payable to Sail Chicago. This payment includes a one-year membership to US Sailing.  Please click here to confirm your attendance with your name, the last class you took and when, along with your Sail Chicago Instructor's name.
September 10 - Board Meeting
September 19 - US Sailing Keelboat Certification Test
October 8 - Board Meeting
October 17 - Lowering masts on small keelboats
November 13 - End of Season Party 
Announcements - Gary Thrane
Boat Licensing & Registration - Ottilie Young
Bookkeeper - Jay Owens
Between the Sheets - Steve VanderVoort
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Colgate 26 Racing - Bob Cohen 
Cruising - Bob Lapin
Instruction - Michael Swisher
Lawrence Hall Youth Services - Norm Linde
Lead Instructor - Matt Stuczynski
Marketing - Adam Wisneski
Member Cruise Outings - Brandon Sanders
Membership - Faith Hillis
Monroe Parking & Tender Passes - Vlad Roshchin &         Annette Faber
Purchasing - Dana Smith
Reservations - Peter Dudak
Safety - John Lemon
Schuler Scholars - Tom Simms
Seminars - Paul Demmel
Service Requirements - Christine Garvey
Share-a-Sail - David Shayne
Social - Pat Webster
Strictly Sail Chicago Show - Emma Lynch
Surveys - Gary Thrane
Tiller Time - Steven Clar & Julia Liu 
Treasurer - Steve VanderVoort
Webmaster - Alfred Chan


Accident Reporting
Chris Schuler 
Steve VanderVoort
Vice Chairman
 Maya Teleki
 Christine Garvey 

Alfred Chan

Bob Cohen

Shawn Lord 

Martin Modahl
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher  


Renew Your Sail Chicago Membership Now  

To renew your Sail Chicago membership online using a credit card,click here.  If you'd prefer to mail in your renewal and pay by check click here to print a paper form.


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.

Help our Community Outreach Programs
Please consider volunteering to skipper or crew on a weekday afternoon sail with one of our three groups that take underprivileged children sailing. Skippering five or more times will fulfill your service requirement for the following year. For more information on the Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Urban Youth, and Schuler Scholars, go to the Sail Chicago Website.

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.

Join the 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-into-Summer students can participate.

How to take a Boat Out of Service

If you believe that a boat is, for any reason, not safe to sail, you may request that it immediately be taken out of service. Do this by e-mailing Make sure that the e-mail includes your name, phone number, and e-mail address, the reason why you believe the boat should be taken out of service, and a brief description of the accident or incident that caused the problem (if applicable).

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.

Share your Photos
We're looking for photos of Sail Chicago boats, members, and activities.  To upload your photos simply attach them to an email and address it to

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.  Look under "News/Newsletter."


By Pat Webster, Social Coordinator
Mark your calendars to save the date for Sail Chicago's end-of-the-season celebration that will be held at
Pat Webster.
the Columbia Yacht Club on Friday evening, November 13th.  We look forward to an evening of dining and relaxing with friends in this nautical setting.  The evening will begin at 6:30 with a cash bar, followed by dinner at 7:00PM.  The Board of Directors will be on hand to recognize those who have excelled in the organization, either through their achievement or through their volunteerism.
Look for an article in the October Between the Sheets with a link to register and pay for this event.  An email announcement will also go out in October.  Space is limited so be sure to register early. This event is open to Sail Chicago members, students, and their guests.

Currently several parking passes are missing from the Sail Chicago lockbox at Monroe Harbor. The missing passes have not been signed out. Skippers, if you use a pass, please return it promptly after use. If you don't promptly return the passes, it's not fair to other skippers who want to use them in the future. In addition, Sail Chicago will incur substantial fines for passes not returned to the Harbormaster at the end of the sailing season. Please remember that the use of parking passes is a privilege.

Several tender passes are also missing. One entire set of passes was lost overboard. The loss of these passes is not as critical because Sail Chicago will not be fined if they are not returned, and the tender drivers generally do not ask for passes when they know that you are going to a Sail Chicago moored boat.

By David Shayne, Share-a-Sail Coordinator


There's still plenty of time to get out on the lake but summer is fleeting (pun intended).   Join and use Share-a-Sail to secure crew or a qualified skipper.   Just go to Google Groups, search for Share-a-Sail and leave your name and email address there.   Be sure to give your whole name.   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-into-Summer students can participate.   And if you do not have your email address or phone on the directory, please add either or both.   Check your directory listing or see the article below. It's tough to reach you otherwise.


By Faith Hillis, Membership Coordinator

A number of students and members have their contact information set to private in the member directory.  In some cases this has prevented teachers and tiller time instructors from contacting students with important messages.   If you would like your contact information to be available to other members, please ensure that your profile is set to public in the directory.   (The information on the members-only site is not visible to the general public.)
To check your current directory settings, log into your member account at  Click on your email address, which is displayed at the top right of the membership area, and select "manage profile" from the drop-down menu.   Just above your emergency contact information, you can select whether to share your information with other members or not.
2011 Haulout
A Sail Chicago boat is hauled out for winter
By Tom Peterson, Maintenance Coordinator
The Sail Chicago season will soon end with lowering the masts in the harbor and motoring the boats up the Chicago river. The mast lowering will take place on October 17th with a rain date of October 18th.  Motoring the boats up the river will take place early the next week.
Both events are quite interesting, and we need a limited number of additional people every year as the membership changes.   The purpose is to transfer knowledge about the boats and how to maintain them to as many people as possible.   The mast lowering will take place in either Dusable or 31st Street harbor, and involves some equipment that we have used for a number of years.   No specific knowledge is required, it's good to have additional people to prepare the boats, and normally the process takes about 4 or 5 hours starting at 9am. Motoring the boats up the river is done a few boats at a time, so we can use a few people both during the day and in the evening.   The trip takes under two hours, but transportation back downtown can add a bit to that.
If you are interested in taking part in either event and learning about another part of the Sail Chicago process, contact Tom Peterson as soon as possible, so we can include you in scheduling
By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor
Here are some reminders from Instruction, Maintenance, and the Safety Director regarding best practices for reducing wear on our sails.
1. If you are motor-sailing, do not fly the jib. It will just flog and wear the sail out unless you are motor-sailing on a beam reach, in which case you should be under sail alone anyway.
2. If you are motor-sailing, trim the main in hard to the centerline and motor a course that fills the main. It may mean taking a less direct course.   This does two things: reduces wear and tear on the mainsail and gives you a slight boost in speed. If there is no breeze, sheet the main in hard to minimize flogging.
3. Resist the temptation to motor in or out of the harbor with no sail hoisted. The motor is auxiliary power and should not be depended on.
4. When raising the sails on the mooring, hoist main first and jib second. Returning to the mooring, reverse the order.
5. When departing, make your plans, and discuss all contingencies with your crew. Then, raise your sails and go. Do not sit on the can with sails flogging.
6. Ditto for returning to the mooring. Once a mooring line is secured, drop the sails quickly. This reduces wear and tear on the sails and eliminates the risk of sailing around the can.
Sailors enjoy a picnic at Belmont Harbor.
By Pat Webster, Social Coordinator
Approximately 80 Sail Chicago sailors and their guests picnicked and sailed
at Belmont Harbor on Saturday, August 8th.  Many new skippers were there with
guests, while old friends had the opportunity to connect and catch up.
The temperatures and winds were favorable which contributed to getting everyone out on a sail who wanted to do so.
It's difficult to coordinate and run an event like this, and many Sail Chicagoans volunteered and were involved to make the afternoon a success. Michele Cody, Rose Drever are social committee members who helped in many ways along with Ken Tentler who manned the grills throughout the afternoon.   Fifteen others were responsible for bringing three of our Colgates up and back from Monroe to Belmont, and for taking many out on sails. They included: Merle Baker, Ray Beikzadeh, Peter Dudak, Norris Larson, Tom Moffitt, Kelsey Mok, Jim Monk, Tom Peterson, James Quinn, Fiona Ray, Ric Smies, Holger Sube, Anthony Syracuse, Rich Wagner,
and Adam Wisneski.
Steve VanderVoort also played a huge role by coordinating the sails throughout the afternoon.  Finally, Peter Dudak deserves our thanks for helping with set-up, clean-up and transporting all of the gear to and from the picnic.
Without everyone's efforts this event would not have been possible. If you're interested in getting involved with social events as a member of next season's social committee, please contact Pat Webster or Michele Cody.  It's a great way to meet other sailors and to help others have the opportunity to meet each other.  Since Sail Chicago does not have a physical meeting place, social events provide that opportunity.

Did you know that Sail Chicago has a blog? It's located on the Sail Chicago website, and it contains timely posts on sailing events and activities around the Chicago area, relevant articles from past issues of the Sail Chicago newsletter Between the Sheets, and a host of other sailing information. To view the latest postings,click here .  Don't forget to bookmark the page so you can find it again easily. If you'd like to post an article, contact Adam Wisneski.  
By Christine Garvey, Board Secretary   

The following items were reported to the Board at its August meeting:
  • Three new instructors have been appointed. They are: Adam Jabs, David Merrill, and Katy Carlyle.
  • Columbia Yacht Club has generously offered space for Sail Chicago to hold a CPR training class.
  • 17 students have completed the Cruising Course on Priorities, our cruising boat.
  • Nine students have completed the Bareboat Cruising Class.
  • The annual Sail Chicago Picnic had a good turnout and all enjoyed themselves.
  • The third racing session is underway.
  • The "no alcohol aboard Sail Chicago boats" policy is still in effect (see Section 4 of the Sail Chicago Rules & Regulations).
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