BTS: February, 2018

Sail Chicago Newsletter for February
Sail Chicago Logo
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor
Colgate 26
A Colgate 26 on a summery sail 
In the dead of winter, it's hard to imagine that we'll be back on the water again in just a few months.  Still, there are plenty of activities to keep us interested in sailing.  For those who volunteered to help man the Sail Chicago booth at the Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show, we had a taste of what life on the water will be like next summer (see article in this issue).  Sail Chicago also has some activities coming up in the next couple of months.  Winter seminars on nautical subjects have been organized, and our annual meeting is coming up March 1 (see articles in this issue).
For those of you who would just like to hunker down in a cozy corner with a good book and wait for winter to pass, I have a suggestion.  I just finished reading Dirty Waters: Confessions of Chicago's Last Harbor Boss by R.J. Nelson.  He tells the story of how he was brought in under Mayor Harold Washington's administration to literally "clean up" the Chicago harbors after decades of corruption and pollution.  Much of what he did in the '80s and '90s is still visible today, including the type of mooring buoys we use, the tenders that ferry us to our boats, and the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program.  If you'd like to relish a slice of Chicago Harbor history, it's a great read.
By Christine Garvey, Volunteer Coordinator
We are gearing up for the 2018 sailing season.  I am including the chart (see below) of available jobs that fulfill member service time requirements.  This list will be updated as program coordinators continue to determine their needs, so stay tuned!
As a reminder... You must fulfill a service time requirement if you would like on-the-water privileges.  First-year members do not need service time, but we are happy to have you participate.  Second-year members need to sign up for a job by May 1 before their service time requirement can be satisfied for the season.  They need to complete the job they signed up for during their second season in order to have their service time satisfied for their third season.  It's a "pay it forward" system.
Service time is job based, not hours based.  Every job has different time commitments, but if it's a job you like to do and one we need done, it's a win-win. The opt out fee of $400 is available for members who do not want to do service time.
Please contact me if you have any questions about the service time you've done or want to do.
By Christine Garvey, Volunteer Coordinator

This chart contains the jobs that still need to be filled.  Taking one of these jobs will fulfill service time requirements.  Please contact  for more information.
*Website help: knowledge helpful. You need to have a long-term commitment to Sail Chicago. Active participation completes service time.
*Help needed with service time to write out job descriptions.
*No open positions
*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.
*No open positions
*Instructors:  One class completes service time and $100 in sailing credits is earned.
*Assistant program coordinator:  Active participation completes service time.
*Coordinators- We are looking for 3 people to share the role of coordinator. 3 people doing this job decreases the time commitment. Division of responsibilities will be determined by those members who fill the positions. Active participation completes service time. Each person receives $200 in sailing credits.
*Boat teams:  Helps make and keep the boats in safe, sailing condition. Active participation completes service time.
Boatyard coordinators - We are looking for 2 people to coordinate the boatyard activities.   Active participation completes service time. Each person earns $100 in sailing credits.

A past-year annual meeting 
Mark your calendars now!  Sail Chicago members and guests are invited to attend our Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, March 1, at Chief O'Neil's Restaurant & Pub, located at 3471 N. Elston, Chicago.  For directions, click  The meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm, but do come early to join friends for a drink or dinner.
The meeting will feature the annual "State of Sail Chicago" reports by our Board chairman and program heads, the election of directors for new three-year terms, and a question-and-answer period with the Board. There will be ample time for discussion and socializing. The anticipated end time of the meeting is 9 pm.
We hope you will be able to attend and help us roll out our 2018 sailing season!
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator

Two no-fee seminars are offered this winter to prepare you for the 2018 sailing season.  If you're interested, register soon--the seminars are quickly filling.  They will be held at Columbia Yacht Club from 7:00 P.M to 8:30 P.M. on the following dates:
  • Weather for Sailors February 5.   This seminar presents essential weather information for a safe and fun day of sailing on Lake Michigan.  The recently approved wind guidelines will be presented and discussed.  Key web sites and apps will be shared.   To register, 
  • Passage-Making - February 12.  Sail Chicago's cruising program has offered Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising for the past three seasons.  We now have enough experienced cruisers that we will add Coastal Passage Making this season.  Coastal Passage Making involves overnight transits requiring crew shifts, and sleeping and eating aboard a moving sail boat.  Come learn what is necessary for a successful passage.  Several Sail Chicago skippers will discuss last summer's successful overnight sails.  To register,   
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator

Calypso under pwer
Have you ever wanted to sail port-to-port around Lake Michigan and learn the finer points of bareboat cruising so you can charter a boat in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean?  Well, now Sail Chicago can provide you with the opportunity. Weekend Bareboat Cruising courses will again be offered in 2018 aboard Calypso, our Pacific Seacrest Ericson 34.  To qualify for the course, you must be a cruising skipper or plan to become one early in the 2018 sailing season.  You must also complete an on-shore Coastal Navigation course that will be offered on the Mondays of February 26 and March 5 from 6 PM to 9:30PM. at the Columbia Yacht Club.  

To learn the details of both the Sail Chicago Cruising courses and the Coastal Navigation Course, click here.  

To register for the February 26/March 5 Coastal Navigation Course, click here

By Matt Stuczynski, Lead Instructor
US Sailing Logo (new)
If our Sail Chicago Winter Seminars are not enough to fulfil your craving for off-season learning, US Sailing is offering two safety-at-sea seminars in our area this year.  One is sponsored by Columbia Yacht Club on March 10th, and another, sponsored by the Chicago Yacht Club, is a two-day seminar on April 7th and 8th (with a hands-on second day).  Cost for the one-day seminar is $125 ($100 for US Sailing members).  Registration can be found here.
These seminars are intense, emergency-preparedness trainings, mainly dealing with offshore COB and storm situations.  They are regularly sponsored by the local yacht clubs as a service to their members in preparation for the Race to Mackinaw each summer.
By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

A recent incident in Redondo Beach, California, highlights the importance of sailing in conditions that are within your skill level, experience, and the experience of your crew and passengers.  Two sailors who headed out in strong winds and high waves almost came to grief on the harbor breakwater.  The incident also highlights the importance of staying well clear of the lee shore (the shore the wind blows toward).  Herman Melville devotes an entire, but short, chapter of Moby Dick to the subject, "The Lee Shore" (chapter 23).
For more details and incredible video showing the incident and the resulting rescue, click 
The perils of avoidable equipment failure were illustrated in a fatal accident on the Clipper Around-the-World Race.  In this case, a crewman was swept overboard when his tether fitting failed.  For details, click here.

The election of Board members will take place on March 1 at the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting. The Board is currently seeking potential candidates whom it can recommend to the Sail Chicago membership to fill vacant Board positions.  The membership may propose additional candidates at the Annual Meeting, and it will vote on all candidates presented.
Please think carefully about whether you'd like to become a potential candidate to fill a vacant Board position.  As a Board Member you should:
  • Be actively involved in at least one area of Sail Chicago activities or programs,
  • Plan to attend all regularly-scheduled monthly Board meetings,
  • Volunteer for and participate in at least one Board committee,
  • Think creatively about ways in which Sail Chicago may better serve its members and the greater Chicago community, and be prepared to turn those thoughts into action.
Board members typically serve a three-year term.  If you would like to be considered, or if you know of someone you believe would be a good candidate for a position on the Board, please contact Matt Stuczynski, Chairman of the Board Development Committee.

Volunteers man Sail Chicago's booth.
Sail Chicago once again made its presence felt in a big way at the 2018 Strictly Sail Chicago Show, January 10 - 14, at McCormick Place. The Sail Chicago booth was an integral part of the US Sailing Pavilion, and it attracted newcomers and "old salts" alike. Almost fifty Sail Chicago members generously donated their time to help staff the booth during the five day event. Their efforts were not unrewarded. Almost one-hundred Show visitors signed up to learn more about Sail Chicago's instruction and racing programs. Many thanks to all those who helped to make our presence at Strictly Sail Chicago felt in a very positive way. We're grateful for your efforts!

A bowline
We know that a knot in a line (not a rope) can have many uses on a boat.  Most ofus also know that a knot is a measurement of nautical speed, but how did that term arise?  Another term we sailors are familiar with is a ship's "log."  But why is it a "log?"  Well, that's also tied to the "knot" (pun intended).  To find out more, click here.  Thanks to Jay Owens for bit of nautical trivia. 

SC Store merchandise
We've recently had inquiries about how our members can purchase gear with the Sail Chicago Logo attached.  In fact, Sail Chicago has a "store" where you can purchase all kinds of merchandise with our logo.  This gear is great for gifts or for personal use.  The Store can be accessed through the Sail Chicago website or you can click here to view what's available.
By Bob Lapin, Board Secretary
The Sail Chicago Board met by phone on Thursday, January 11.
Martin Modale, Treasurer, presented the 2018 budget.  A few details need to be worked out before it is finalized, but Sail Chicago is in an excellent financial position.
Joe Cannon, our new Maintenance Coordinator, reported that all the mooring balls at Monroe will be on the north side of the harbor in 2018.  Joe will request Sail Chicago moorings be assigned to the outer-most, southern row.
Plans for the annual Meeting were presented by Maya Teleki, board Vice Chair.  The meeting will be held at the same site as last year, Chief O'Neill's Pub, on March 1.
Chris Schuler, Matt Stuczynski and Bob Lapin will represent Sail Chicago at the US Sailing Annual Leadership Forum being held in St Petersburg, Florida, from Jan 31 until Feb 3.  
The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on February 8 at a location yet to be determined. 

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.
Sail Chicago Gear
Purchase gear with the Sail Chicago logo on it.  Caps, shirts, pants and other gear are available. To shop now, click here.

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."

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