BTS: June 2016

Sail Chicago News for June
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.
Board Meeting
June 9
America's Cup at Navy Pier
June 10-12
Board Meeting
July 14
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. 6 / JUNE, 2016 
Steve VanderVoort
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Our 2016 summer sailing season is in full swing.  Classes are full, Tiller Times, and Member Cruise Outings are being scheduled, and plans for summer social activities are well under way.  Perhaps it's time to take a few minutes to look back on our history--where we've come from, and, more importantly, where we're heading.

Sail Chicago was, for many years, a division of American Youth Hostels.  About fifteen years ago, AYH decided it wanted to concentrate on hosteling, and it closed down most of its ancillary activities, like the sailing program.  In 2003, the AYH members who wanted to continue the sailing program formed an Illinois corporation with the name Sail Chicago, and they purchased the boats, mostly Rhodes 19s, from AYH for a nominal sum.

For the first 7-8 years of its life, Sail Chicago operated pretty much as a private, members-only sailing club.  There was no permanent staff.  Member-volunteers did all the maintenance work on the boats and ran sailing classes for the newer members during the summer sailing season.  Then, about 5 years ago, under the strong leadership of its Chairman and Board of Directors, Sail Chicago began some fairly radical changes that transformed it into a true community sailing program.  It developed a mission statement (see under "Mission" on the masthead to your left) that placed a strong emphasis on sailing and boating safety instruction.  It received a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit designation from the Internal Revenue Service.  It began a fleet renewal program that ended up making the Colgate 26 the boat of choice for our instruction program.  It expanded the instruction program and opened it up to non-member students.  It started a successful Colgate Racing program that is now a part of the long-standing Wednesday evening Chicago "Beer Can" races on Lake Michigan.  It formalized an affiliation with U.S. Sailing, a national sailing organization that promotes sailing and sailboat racing throughout the United States, and it now offers U.S. Sailing certification to qualified students.

What about the future for Sail Chicago?  Recently the Columbia Yacht Club has formed a separate not-for-profit organization for its instruction program.  Sail Chicago is exploring a closer affiliation with them.  We are finding many areas of synergy that could benefit both organizations.  See the article in this issue.

We have maintained our tradition of strong member-volunteer involvement, and, as an all-volunteer organization, we expect all of our members to explore ways in which they can promote our mission.  We always have areas of work in which our members can participate.  Right now, one of the main impediments to our future growth is a lack of qualified member-volunteer instructors.  If we had more instructors, we could offer more classes to our students, and we could do a better job at fulfilling our mission.  If you'd like more information regarding how to become an instructor, contact our Lead Instructor, Matt Stuczynski.

By Christine Garvey, Volunteer Coordinator

Our webmaster, Alfred Chan, has notified us that he expects to be moving out of the State by the end of the year.  We cannot thank him enough for all the time and energy he has put into our website.  He will be missed!  A transition plan is being developed.   If you are an web developer, please consider joining the team. This person would fix bugs, add features, and keep our site flexible to meet the demands of the organization.
Also, our instruction coordinator needs an assistant.  Remember, a large part of our revenue is obtained from classes.   The cost for these classes help keep rental costs low. It's a big job at the start of the season and an assistant is needed to help coordinate and communicate with students and instructors.
We have a new Social Coordinator:  Sergio Luntsevich.  He is very excited about taking on this role and meeting our members.  He can always use help planning parties so if you are interested contact Chris Garvey.  
We also have created a new position of Archivist, and Rebecca Holloway and Dolores Baron have taken on this role.  They will be going through old documents and talking to members to collect information on our history.
Another new position is Fundraiser Coordinator and team. Sail Chicago is 501c3, so donations are tax deductible. This position is open to be developed, but could start with a silent auction at our end of the year party. Anyone up for it?
Our boat teams have been starting to fill up nicely, but we still have open boat team positions.  We are attempting to break down the jobs so all the work does not fall on a few people.   If you have knowledge in special areas such as motors, electrical, painting, plumbing, or rigging, please notify the service time coordinator.  You will be called up as repair experts when needed.
We also need an assistant coordinator for maintenance. This job would mostly be administrative, helping the coordinator organize and communicate with boat teams.
Right now, service time jobs will be listed in Between the Sheets and with the service time coordinator.  We no longer have the jobs list on the website. The coordinator would like service time to be a win-win situation and will work with members to get a good fit.  Personal contact is usually best to get this result.
Remember, Sail Chicago is an all-volunteer organization.  If you'd like to have on-the-water privileges during the upcoming sailing season, you must have fulfilled your annual service requirement (see the Sail Chicago Rules & Regulations).  Currently several important positions in our organization remain open.  They include:
*Website help knowledge helpful. You need to have a long-term commitment to Sail Chicago.     Active participation completes service time.
*Fundraising Coordinator and team - Creates and implements fundraising activities Active participation completes service time.
*Assistant treasurer - This person needs to enjoy doing their own financials/taxes and be committed to the organization. Active participation satisfies service time.
*Community sailing skippers and first mates (Laurence Hall, Urban Sail, Schuler Scholars). Must have weekday afternoons available. 5 sails completes service time.
*MCO skippers - You may bring your own first mate. 5 sails completes service time.
*Tiller Time skippers - You may not bring your own first mate because you need to be confident and competent to give the tiller up to students. 5 sails completes service time.
*Social committee members - Helps plan parties. Active participation completes service time.
*No open positions

*Instructors - One class completes service time
*Curriculum help - We need someone with experience in word processing and graphics. Active participation completes service time.
*Assistant program coordinator - Active participation completes service time.
*Assistant Coordinator - Helps the coordinator manage boat maintenance. Active participation completes service time.
*Boat teams - Helps make and keep the boats in safe, sailing condition. Active participation completes service time.
*Repair specialties - Specialists will be called on when needed. Active participation completes service time.

For more information on these and other open positions, contact  Chris Garvey.
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.  You'll be able to post and receive emails from 
Colgate Sailing
A Colgate and her crew on a close reach
other Sail Chicago members who would like to get together and go sailing.  Both members and non-member students can participate.

Get more time on the lake.  You won't have to sit on shore or shanghai crew. Non-sailors are often undependable or prone to mal de mer.  An easy way to get eager, skilled crew is to use Share-a-Sail.  Find it on Google Groups.  Sign up with your full name, so members can recognize you and then send and receive emails as to when you are available to sail.  It's a great way to get more time at the tiller and gain sailing experience.

By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

For those who have thought about leading Tiller Time groups and getting more 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:
Saturday, June 25th from 10-12:30 a.m.
Tuesday, July 26th from 6-8:30 p.m.
Please respond 
here if you would like to attend either session.
By Minna Greene

Come Join the Fun!!   Have you ever seen brightly colored spinnaker
A Rhodes 19 flying a spinnaker
sails out on the lake and wished that you could sail with one? Now you can by signing up for spinnaker classes being offered this summer on July 10th, 17th and 24th.  If you would like to take the class but Saturdays would work better for you please contact me.

The classes consist of three lessons and cost $100. You will learn the skills involved in all three spinnaker positions: the deck work of manning the spinnaker pole, the cockpit work of rigging, raising, flying and lowering the spinnaker and the skipper responsibilities of keeping the spinnaker filled and jibing with the spinnaker.  Qualifications to take the class:  Completion of Intermediate sailing class or Rhodes or Colgate skipper.  To register for the class please visit the "Learn" page on the  Sail Chicago website.

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

Last month, we looked at a series of Navigation Rules that set the general framework for encounters between vessels.  This month we will review the specific Rules that govern the three possible situations that have the potential for collision: overtaking, crossing, and meeting head on. Rules 11 through 18 govern "Conduct of Vessels in Sight of One Another".
Let's take the easiest one first: overtaking (passing).  Rule 13 is crystal clear on this--the overtaken vessel has absolute right of way in all situations, regardless of whether the overtaking vessel is a powerboat or sailboat or ocean liner. Further, the rule emphatically states that the overtaking vessel may not become a crossing vessel and then exercise rights over the overtaken vessel.  The overtaking vessel must stay clear "until she is finally past and clear".  If you are not sure you are in an overtaking situation, assume you are and act accordingly.
There are two rules that govern crossing situations: Rule 12--Sailing Vessels, and Rule 15--Crossing Situation.  For sailboats, there are two possible situations: crossing on opposite tacks and crossing on the same tack. In the first case, the sailboat on starboard tack has the right of way over the sailboat on port tack. For sailboats on the same tack, the windward (upwind) vessel must stay clear of the leeward (downwind) vessel. For powerboats crossing each other, the vessel on the right has right of way, and the give-way vessel is encouraged to go astern of the stand-on vessel. Note that sailboats motoring, even if a sail is up, follow the rules for powerboats. This is sometimes called the "red light rule" since the give-way vessel (on the left) will see the red (port) navigation light of the stand-on vessel.
Rule 14 - Head On Situation--applies to power driven vessels. This is the only case in the Rules where neither vessel has right of way.  Both are required to alter course to avoid collision, and they are encouraged to alter course to starboard so they pass port-to-port.  Again, a sailboat under motor power must follow this rule.  Two sailboats meeting head on are governed by the Rule 12 starboard/port tack situation.
What is required of a skipper if the possibility of collision exists in any of these situations?  Rule 16 requires that the give-way vessel "take early and substantial action to keep well clear".  Make your intentions clear.  Rule 17 states that the stand-on vessel keep her course and speed. In other words, don't make the give-way vessel guess what you are doing.  If it appears that the give-way vessel is not following the Rules, the skipper of the stand-on vessel may maneuver to avoid collision.
If everyone on the water followed these few simple rules, most collisions would be avoided.  Key to a fun and safe sail:  keep a lookout, be aware of your event horizon, and always be prepared to maneuver in accordance with the Navigation Rules. You can study the Navigation Rules here.

The weekend of June 10-12 will be the first time ever that an America's Cup qualifying race will be held on fresh water, and Chicago is the chosen home for the event. If you are planning to use a Sail Chicago boat during the event be
sure to reserve it early. Also, while on the water, be particularly vigilant. The in-shore area of Lake Michigan will be very crowded with other boats during the weekend. Also, the America's Cup boats that will be racing are extremely fast and very large. You don't want any nasty on-the-water surprises during your sail.

An On-Water Guide has recently been published. It should give you most of the information you will need to enjoy the weekend. To review the Guide, click here.

Discussions with Columbia Yacht Club about ways in which our two organizations might coordinate efforts and work together are continuing.  It turns out that there are several areas of potential common interest.  Bob Lapin, our Cruising Coordinator and current Board member, recently attended one of those discussions.  Click here to review his summary of that discussion.

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."

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."

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