BTS: April 2016

Sail Chicago News for April
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.
Coastal Navigation Class
April 9 and 16
Board Meeting
April 14
Tiller Time Training
April 26
Colgate Mast Raising
April 23
Board Meeting
May 12
Tiller Time Training
May 19
America's Cup at Navy Pier
June 10-12
Boat Licensing & Registration
Between the Sheets
Colgate 26 Racing
Brian Johnson
Lawrence Hall Youth Services
Lead Instructor
Member Cruise Outings
Monroe Passes
Annette Faber
Dana Smith
Schuler Scholars
Service Requirements
Strictly Sail Chicago Show
Tiller Time 
Chris Faris
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Vice Chair - Maya Teleki
Secretary - Bob Lapin
Treasurer - Martin Modahl

Bob Cohen
Brian Johnson
Shawn Lord  
Sarah Pellegrino
Tom Peterson
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Adam Wisneski  

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ISSUE NO. 4 / APRIL, 2016 
Steve VanderVoort
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Our Instruction program is now open for business, and if history is any example, classes will fill very quickly. If you're interested at all in taking any classes, I'd suggest that you sign up as quickly as you can if you'd like to get your most-desired dates and times.

Recent years have seen significant changes to our Instruction program. Sail Chicago has moved from a small sailing "club" to a true metropolitan community sailing program. Instruction has become a major area of focus, not just for our members but for the entire Chicago community. We are committed to enhancing safe sailing opportunities for everyone in the Chicago area. In the past couple of years we have formed a much closer relationship with U.S. Sailing, an umbrella organization that promotes sailing and sail-racing opportunities across the nation. We teach according to U.S. Sailing standards, and we offer U.S. Sailing basic keelboat certification to anyone who is able to complete our Intermediate Sailing course and pass a U.S. Sailing written exam.

Our Cruising program is also unique among community sailing organizations. Very few such programs offer the opportunity to take a coastal navigation course or to participate in port-to-port cruising instruction. Our Cruising program has also expanded dramatically over the past couple of years. Look for some new course offerings on our website.

Currently we are looking at new ways that we can partner with the Columbia Yacht Club. We have found many areas of common interest, and we are exploring those areas where we can be of mutual benefit and assistance to each another. This is an exciting new initiative and one that could significantly benefit both of our organizations. Stay tuned for more on this exciting opportunity.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the full support of our member-volunteers. We are one of the very few community sailing programs in the nation that has no paid staff. What we do have, however, a group of people who are passionate about sailing and who want to share their enthusiasm with others. But an all-volunteer organization can also have an occasional downside. Sometimes things don't happen as quickly as we would like, and occasionally stuff can fall through the cracks. On the other hand, our volunteer spirit has allowed us to keep our costs extremely low while at the same time providing adequate funds to sustain our continuing fleet maintenance and renewal programs.

We look forward to seeing you all "on the water" this coming sailing season! 

Our summer sailing classes are now open!  Check out our many course offerings here.  
New sailors learn to sail in our program
There are a wide variety of courses open at all levels of sailing competence. Remember, once you successfully pass your Intermediate Sailing course, you become eligible to take the U.S. Sailing written exam and receive your Basic Keelboat Sailing certification. 
As always, however, if you want to become eligible to sail our boats on your own, you must complete the Skipper Prep class, which teaches those skills. Don't delay, though. Our courses tend to fill up very quickly. To maximize your choice of dates and courses, act now!
Our fleet should be in the water and ready to sail by May 1, but before then there's a lot of work to be to make sure that they're seaworthy. You can help! During the next few weekends, from now until April 17, we'll be at the Canal Street boatyard*, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  

Don your work clothes and join us to help our volunteer maintenance leaders get
Volunteers work on a Colgate
our boats shipshape.  As an added benefit, you'll learn a lot about what it takes to maintain a sailboat, and you'll meet other members with whom you can go sailing this summer.   Jobs will range from sorting gear, to cleaning, painting, and waxing.  Can't make the whole day?  Come for part, lend a hand, and learn something, too.  Questions?  Contact Tom Peterso
n or Shawn Lord.

*  The Canal Street Boatyard is near Chinatown, just north of Cermak Road on the east side of the south branch of the Chicago River.

Learn the complicated dance of raising the mast on a 26-foot Colgate sailboat! April 23, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. is the date (April 24 rain date).  Columbia Yacht Club at the north end of Monroe Harbor is the place.  This is the final step in getting our boats ready for the summer sailing season.  Treats will be provided. If you're planning to join us, please RSVP here so we can keep you updated. Questions? Contact Tom Peterson or Shawn Lord.
By Christine Garvey, Volunteer Coordinator

Remember, Sail Chicago is an all-volunteer organization.  If you'd like to have on-the-water privileges during the upcoming sailing season, you will need to have fulfilled your annual service requirement (see the Sail Chicago Rules & Regulations).  Currently several important positions in our organization remain open.  They include:
*Service Time Committee
*Website help
*Fundraising Coordinator
*Community sailing skippers (Laurence Hall, Urban Sail, Schuler Scholars)
*MCO skippers 
*Tiller Time skippers 
*Social committee members
*Committee members
*Responder to emails from website
*Registrar, scheduler
*New skipper coordinator, 
*US Sail certification coordinator
*Assistant Coordinator, boat teams, repair specialties
*Boatyard trailer team member
*Committee members
For more information on these and other open positions, contact Chris Garvey
By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

For those who have thought about being a Tiller Time skipper and, maybe even being involved in Instruction, we are offering the chance to bone-up on some basic sailing skills as well as learn some tips and tricks for being an effective Tiller Time skipper.  We plan to offer two sessions, in conjunction with our Pre-Sail Orientations (PSOs) on the following two evenings: Tuesday, April 26th from 6-9 p.m. and Thursday, May 19th from 6-9 p.m.   Please RSVP here if you would like to attend.  We look forward to some informative talk at Tiller Time Training!
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator

Sail Chicago's cruising program will hold a second coastal navigation class on April 23 and 30.  The class will be held in a downtown office building with state-of-the-art facilities.  This class is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to enroll in this season's Bareboat Cruising course which plans and conducts a weekend sail to a foreign port.  Last season's cruises went to Waukegan and Michigan City.  Click here to register.

By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator

Priorities skippers will be interested in a prepaid rental option:  five sails for
Hunter 34
just $350.   If you are interested, please contact Bob Lapin, and we will work out the details. 
A pass has been purchased that permits Priorities to raft-up on the periphery of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series race course and observe the races on June 10-12.  These are races held around the world to identify a challenger for the cup race in Bermuda in 2017.  Check out this one-and-half minute videoand I'm sure you will not want to miss it.
Sign-up opportunities will be presented in the May BTS.

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

The US Coast Guard recently approved the use of electronic charts (nautical maps) in lieu of paper charts, maps, and nautical publications. This was done in recognition of the Coast Guard's belief that "official electronic charts provide substantially more information to the mariner, and therefore may enhance navigational safety beyond that of official paper charts. Official electronic charts can provide the mariner with substantially more navigational information than a paper chart."  
A little background is required. The Coast Guard requires all commercial ships to carry a complete set of up-to-date charts, along with other publications such as the Coast Pilot and Light List.  Keeping the charts up to date is a time-consuming manual procedure. In this electronic age, charts published by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are updated electronically on a regular basis. NOAA states that their electronic charts meet the standards of nautical charts required by the Coast Guard. Further, NOAA stopped printing charts in 2014 and has switched to print-on-demand.
The prudent mariner never relies on only one source of navigational information. Thus, the Coast Guard requires ships that do switch to use of electronic charts have a backup of either traditional paper charts or a completely independent second electronic system.
As recreational boaters, we are not required by the Coast Guard to carry nautical charts. As I noted, the new rules only apply to commercial ships. As prudent mariners, many of us do have GPS receivers and/or carry paper charts, and we should use them.  Before you decide to burn all of your paper charts, consider that paper charts remain an excellent primary (or secondary) navigation system.   Being able to read and understand a nautical chart is a valuable skill, and you can learn that skill from Sail Chicago through our course on Coastal Navigation.
You can read complete US Coast Guard letter and standards here.   
Sail Chicago will have essentially the same moorings at Monroe Harbor that it had last year.  For a diagram of the moorings at the south end of the Harbor, click here.  John Lemon, our Safety Coordinator, points out that there will be more open areas to the south and east available for maneuvering, depending on other activities in the harbor.  The area to the east will be for transient moorings, and the area to the south will be for special events.  
Remember, when leaving the Harbor, never leave from the south channel.  It's narrow and shallow.  Always depart using the main fairway in the center of the Harbor to the north of where our boats are moored. Use of the outer (east) channel is recommended, to avoid powerboat traffic in the inner (west) channel.
On March 10 approximately 20 Sail Chicago stalwarts gathered at the Columbia Yacht Club to hear Steve Jackson relate his adventures aboard a 40-foot sailboat that he and three other ex-Navy sailors ha
Suzy Wong
d built and sailed from Hong Kong to Florida in the early 1960s.

While they had all been in the Navy, none had had any significant experience on a sailboat.  In those days there was no GPS, so they had to navigate by sextant.  Steve told the group that such a voyage today would be much too dangerous, especially along the African coast and up through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.  At the time of their adventure, there were still remnants of the British Empire across the southern ocean, and they were saved from potential trouble several times along the way by British officials. 

To find out more or to get the book that relates the whole adventure, click here
Fulfill your Annual Service Requirement
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.

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.

Read the Sail Chicago Blog
Keep up to date on the events and activities of Sail Chicago and the Chicago sailing community. Read the sail Chicago blog on a regular basis. You can find it on the Sail Chicago website under "News."

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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."

Sail Chicago, P.O. Box 101069, Chicago, IL 60610-8914
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