BTS: November, 2018

Sail Chicago Newsletter for November
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By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Winter is just around the corner.  Our fleet is stacked neatly in the boatyard on Canal Street. We've even had our post-season Party.  We can forget about sailing and Sail Chicago for the next few months.  Or can we?

Remember, as a community sailing program, we are an all-volunteer organization. The main reason that we can offer such uniquely affordable instruction and sailing opportunities to our members and others in the Chicago area is that our dedicated members put in countless hours of service staffing our instruction programs, performing administrative roles, and now most importantly, maintaining our fleet so that future members and students will be able to enjoy sailing on beautiful Lake Michigan.  It's during the late fall and early spring months that a great deal of this maintenance work is performed.  Patching, repairing, and cleaning our boats and rigging, sorting and repairing our sails, and insuring that each boat is provided with the necessary safety equipment are just a few of the important maintenance tasks that will be carried out.

As members of Sail Chicago, we all pitch in to help with some of these and other tasks.  That's why we have an annual service requirement built into our
Maintenance on a Colgate
membership program.  While new members don't have a service requirement in their first year, they need to have signed up for an activity that will fulfill the requirement by the beginning of the next sailing season if they wish to participate in any on-the-water activities.  Returning members in their third year and beyond must have fulfilled their service requirement by the start of the new sailing season.  Two articles in this issue of Between the Sheets give you details about ways in which you can meet your annual service requirement and have a good time doing it.

The Sail Chicago Board has created a short survey questionnaire regarding issues for the
Colgate 26
Help us be ready for next season 
Sail Chicago fleet.  The Board counts on member input to create programs and policies that really fit the way members make use of Sail Chicago.   
In the next day or two, current members will receive an emailed invitation to participate in this short survey.  Please click on the link in the email.   That will take you right to the survey.   It will take no more than a few minutes to click through.  And there's plenty of room for you to add comments and suggestions if you'd like.  Thanks for your help!
By Frank McNamara

Even though the sailing season has ended, we still need volunteers to assist during the off-season.  Get a head start on your credit for next season and keep involved with Sail Chicago during the winter months by contributing to one of the following areas:
  • Assistant Registrar:  Help students with registration and related questions,
  • Email Support:  Additional assistance is needed to help field and answer emails from current and potential members,
  • Insurance/Licensing:  Help with keeping our insurance and individual boat licenses current.
If you need more information or would like to volunteer, please contact me.
By Joe Cannon, Maintenance Coordinator

Tom Peterson and I are identifying projects that can be carried out through the off-season.  These projects will fulfill member service obligations for 2019.  Some can be accomplished by individual members, and some will require small teams (typically two to four members).
A wide variety of projects will be offered, including hardware installation on the boats, sail cleaning, and protocol writing.  Some work will take place in the boat yard, some in a more controlled environment, and some can be done from the comfort of home.
Detailed information on specific projects will be posted as "Announcements" on the Landing Page of the Sail Chicago website as their scope and requirements are finalized.  So, check there on a regular basis in the coming weeks if you are looking for new ways to satisfy your membership service obligation.

On the evening of October 5, well over seventy Sail Chicago members and friends boarded the Columbia Yacht Club's "Big Blue Boat," anchored in DuSable Harbor,
Sail Chicago Banquet 2017
Some scenes from the recent banquet
to attend Sail Chicago's annual Post-Season Awards Dinner and Celebration.  Everyone agreed that Columbia's floating home provided a great nautical venue for such a festive occasion. The party gave both members and guests an opportunity to reminisce about the recent sailing season and to make preliminary plans for the next one.  In the meantime, there were a variety of drinks and some fabulous food to enjoy, old and new friends to meet, and fun to be had.  A silent auction of nautically-themed items was a welcome addition to the festivities. Proceeds from the auction will go toward the maintenance of our fleet.
This was also a time to salute some of our volunteer members who "went beyond the call of duty" in their service to Sail Chicago.  Various program areas recognized outstanding participants in each of the following areas:
Maintenance Guru - Maureen Huston
Best Sail Chicago Students - Chuck Carrington, Valerie Franks, Selma Loesche
Instructor of the Year - Ray Beikzadeh
Volunteer of the Year - Pete Heflin
Chairman's Award for Service - Joe Cannon
Each honoree received an engraved beer stein and a round of hearty congratulations from those assembled.
Many, many thanks to Sarah Wirth and Rachel Granneman who created for us a truly memorable evening.  It was much appreciated by all who attended.
By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor

As recently as mid-October, I saw some of our skippers trying to steer the Colgates one way or another with the tiller pushed all the way back, suddenly looking perplexed as nothing was happening and then trying to push even more. Of course, these skippers momentarily forgot that this action acts more as a brake on the boat rather than turning the boat.  I have done it recently myself as it seems to be instinctive to push the tiller further the more the more you want to turn, but we know that this just puts the rudder at a right angle to the forward way of the boat, slowing or stopping it.
Sail trim is also key to turning the boat, especially in heavy winds.  For example, you can only fall off quickly if you ease the main; this is especially important in crew-overboard maneuvers when a quick dip downwind is necessary and just does not happen until the main is eased.   
Finally, do not forget that weight and heel will help you turn the boat; especially in lighter winds where slight changes in boat trim (by moving crew around) can pay deep dividends when racing.  Although these are simple ideas, they can be easily forgotten in tense situations and when in close quarters.  I use the winter to reflect on and visualize these ideas so that they become instinctive next season.  
By Art Witkiewicz

The weather cooperated to give us a beautiful, warm, sunny day after a weekend of rain and cold.  We had a strong, mostly SW, wind from 10-20+ kts that whisked Two Fish up to Montrose from Monroe on a broad reach in only about an
2011 Haulout (1)
An Ideal after being lifted out of the harbor
hour-and-a-half.  So, we decided to prolong our enjoyment by dousing our jib and sailing around the Montrose area and giving our tracking App a workout!  We met Tim Rice en route on Blue Fish who also took advantage of the summer-like conditions to sail around with his crew, Debbie Natoli and Eugene Novikov.  Later, Manoel Conde with Ken Sinko sailed Solstice into the harbor just before sunset.

If you missed the opportunity to take one of our Colgates down the Chicago River to its winter quarters, you can still share in the fun in virtual reality.  Just click here to join the crew.  Our thanks to Sail Chicago member Mike Frost for documenting the journey.

Who to Contact
Need information on an area in Sail Chicago, but don't know who to contact?  Find that person in the Sail Chicago Organization Chart.
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.
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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."

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