BTS: July, 2018

Sail Chicago Newsletter for July
Sail Chicago Logo
ISSUE #7/JULY, 2018
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Summer is here at last, and after an extended period of unpredictable weather the long-term forecast seems to be warm and sunny. We hope you've already had a chance to get out on the water, even with the past unpredictable weather patterns. Now that things seem to be improving, there's really no excuse not to be enjoying sailing on Lake Michigan in our fleet of Colgates, Rhodes, Ideals, and our cruising boats Calypso and Priorities. If you're a Sail Chicago certified skipper, you can schedule a boat for private use when it's not being used for other program functions. If you're not a skipper yet, schedule a Tiller Time if you've taken an instruction class in the past year, or sign up for a Member Cruise Outing. Both are free for members. And if you feel more energetic, you can always sign up for our Colgate Racing program, where you can quickly hone your sailing skills.

Boating safety is always a concern here at Sail Chicago. Our Rules and Regulations state that no alcohol is allowed on any boat in our fleet, and that everyone on board a boat in our fleet must wear a life jacket. Also, there is no swimming off any of our boats. For a more comprehensive list of do's and don'ts while on the water, click here.

SAVE THE DATE! August 11 at Columbia Yacht Club. Watch for more information to follow.
By Bob Knapp

Our next Happy Hour will be Thursday, July 19 at Interurban Boathouse located at 1438 W. Cortland on the Chicago River beginning at 6 p.m.!  There is ample free lot parking and is a short walk from the Clybourn Metra station. Please join us and your fellow sailors as again we will have appetizers and a free drink for the first 10 arriving sailors!
By Rachel Granneman, Social Coordinator
Happy Hour!
We had a good turnout at our first happy hour of the season! Sail Chicago members and students came together to share delicious apps (quesadillas, veggies, and wings) and of course, libations. Sailors had a chance to get to know each other and show off their trivia knowledge!
By Alan Summers
The US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification exam will be given during the pre-sail orientations at Columbia Yacht Club on the following date:  7/31/18 at 7:00 p.m.
This is an optional written exam.  It is a US Sailing exam and has no bearing on your skipper or Sail Chicago status. You may be a Sail Chicago skipper without taking this exam.  This US Sailing exam gives you a one-year membership in US Sailing and means you have the met basic keelboat standards as defined by U.S. Sailing. The exam is $50, so please bring a check made out to Sail Chicago at the time of the exam. It often takes 4-8 weeks after the exam to receive your confirmation materials from US Sailing. To register for the exam, please contact Alan Summers.
By Rachel Granneman, Fundraising Coordinator

We are starting to solicit donations for our second annual silent auction fundraiser, which will take place at our end-of-season dinner! We are looking for gift cards, event tickets, etc. If you have a connection with a company who may be willing to donate goods or services, please contact Rachel Granneman. We are not looking for donations of used items.
By Jeremy Shaw

Do you wish you understood how to use the GPS system on Calypso?   Then come to this hands-on chart plotter learning session conducted by Jeremy Shaw.  You will learn how to create waypoints and routes, record the track you've sailed, estimate the time to port, mark crew-overboard positions, view AIS and DSC position reports, create routes and waypoints on your computer and more.  After a 45 minute walk through, we will leave the harbor and go for a sail (weather permitting) with each person taking turns plotting a route, and then following it at the helm.
We will also cover basic DSC (Digital Selective Calling) usage on the VHF radios. DSC is used for more than just the distress button.

I've updated the charts and electronics and am looking forward to introducing you to this vital skill for cruisers.  The session will be held for all Calypso skippers (no guests please) at Burnham harbor.  Contact Jeremy Shaw if you wish to attend. The date for this class will be determined based on the availability of interested parties.
By Bob Lapin, Cruising Coordinator

If you're a cruising boat skipper or crew, or you'd like more information about our cruising program, please click here to view the latest Cruising Notes.  It contains some valuable information about orientations on Calypso, rusty skipper sails on Priorities, and hard lessons learned on a recent cruising expedition.
By Joe Cannon, Maintenance Coordinator

Trouble starting an outboard engine?
If multiple pulls on the starter cord do not generate even a hint of ignition, try disengaging the kill switch tab, then re-inserting it. Sometimes the switch settles in the off position, so the engine will not start no matter how many adjustments are made with the throttle and choke.
Other troubles with the engines?
With the new mooring configuration and wind guidelines, we have an increased reliance on the outboard engines. Therefore, it is important to identify any engine that does not have a high level of dependability and, if necessary, replace it. Please report any problems to (even minor problems that you are able to overcome - except the kill switch issue).
A new member of the fleet.
You may have noticed the rigid inflatable boat (RIB) rafted to Equinox on X10. This RIB is used to facilitate maintenance on the Colgates, Rhodes and Ideals in Monroe Harbor. For those wishing to sail Equinox, separating the RIB is a simple matter of releasing some spring clips. To see how, click here.
By Frank McNamara, Volunteer Coordinator

We are still looking to fill a few volunteer roles.  If you still need to satisfy your service time, or have a scheduling conflict with your current role, we have a need for the following:
  • Excess inventory sales: Sorting and selling our excess inventory in re-usable condition, via Ebay, Craigslist, etc. Aside from picking up inventory, this can be a remote position.
  • Email monitoring: We are currently lacking in this area and need additional help. Remote.
  • Instruction Registrar: Liaises with students who have scheduling conflicts, arranges class transfers, student cancellations, assists with PSO organization and online instruction manual codes, and answers general instruction questions. Remote; all work is handled on the computer or over the phone.
  • Scheduler: Liaises with instructors who have scheduling conflicts, enters class/boat reservation modifications or additions, and helps with the initial construction and input of the instruction schedule. Remote; all work is handled on the computer or over the phone.
These positions meet service requirements.  Even if you've met your requirement for the current year, one of these positions may be more appealing than the area where you're currently volunteering.  They will qualify you for service time next year. If you'd like more information, please contact me.
By Tom Simms, Schuler Scholars Coordinator

Schuler Scholars Volunteers
Providing sailing opportunities to the Chicago community is the mission of Sail Chicago. To further this goal, we are celebrating the fifth season of Sail Chicago's association with the Schuler Foundation.  In its twentieth year, this foundation tutors, councils and educates under-privileged Chicago-area students through high school and college. They have an incredible success rate of 94%.  Sail Chicago provides these deserving students with a fun sailing experience.
On June 6, the Schuler Foundation hosted a luncheon at the Columbia Yacht Club for the the Sail Chicago volunteers.   Eleven of the our sixteen volunteers enjoyed lunch and listened to a presentation by Margaret Falter, Volunteer Manager of the Schuler Foundation. We learned more about the foundation and the population it serves. Additionally, we discussed safety practices and procedures for our Wednesday afternoon sail.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Schuler sailing program, please contact me.  Sail Chicago also provides sailing opportunities to under-privileged children through Lawrence Hall Social Services and the Association House of Chicago. Learn more about all three programs on the Sail Chicago website.
By Monte Lewis

coast Guard logo
It's not uncommon for the Coast Guard to request to come aboard to conduct a routine safety inspection. On the evening of July 10th, as our MCO was just getting underway, we were leaving Burnham Harbor when the Coast Guard vessel hailed us and asked us to dock nearby. The team still had fenders out, but was stowing docking lines. They quickly pulled the lines back out and we docked Calypso neatly. 

The Coast Guard team greeted us and explained they have a goal of boarding every boat in the Chicago Marinas. First thing they want, of course, is the boat's license and registration. I frantically searched the boat for paperwork and found it in a large envelope marked "license and registration" in the navigation table. Next, they ask about your safety equipment: fire extinguishers, horn, flares, etc. Finally, they complete the paperwork and provide us with a copy. If we are boarded again, show your paperwork and they'll move on to the next boat - it's in the envelope in the nav table.
By Mary Egan, Strictly Sail Coordinator

Got any photos of our boats or on the water activities? I'd love to see them. We're putting together a marketing piece for next year's Strictly Sail Show at McCormick Place, and we need some great photos to show the world what Sail Chicago does.  Please email me your photos or tell me how I may retrieve them. Many thanks!

Bob Lapin recently sent us this article from Practical Sailor Magazine dealing with how to manage sailing in gusty winds. It's also a good read on the benefits Lake Michigan has for Chicago sailors. Thanks, Bob.
By David Shayne, Share-a-Sail Coordinator

If you want crew or want to crew, our Share-a-Sail Program is just what you need. On your computer, go to Google Groups and search for Share-a-Sail. Register your name, first and last, and your email address. Then you'll be able send and receive emails to and from other participants who are eager to sail with you. Replies go only to the sender so you will not be plagued with responses to other senders. There is no "reply to all." To post an email in email in Share-a-Sail specify the date and time you plan to sail and your name. It's that easy! Questions? Contact me.
By Francis Baumgart

Last season, I returned to Sail Chicago (where I originally learned to sail) after 13 years of teaching Sea Scouts on large boats.
I am writing this article is because the Sea Scout program is looking for skippers who would like to volunteer as adult advisors on our keelboat - the "Edward B. Stein" (it's a red colored C&C 34, moored at N-2 in Monroe harbor). We sail it every Monday evening and most weekends.

In addition, many of you have children and grandchildren who you might love to expose to sailing. For the kids, it is an awesome experience to be part of a crew that actually sails the boat. For 9 years my skipper raced in the MAC and I would drive up to Mackinac Island with 6 Sea Scouts. We would then spend the next 5 days sailing, port to port, back to Chicago. Each day, after sailing, we would duck into a harbor on the east side of Lake Michigan for a good meal and to sleep.

We welcome anyone who is qualified to become a skipper on a large keel boat and any girls or boys between the ages of 11 and 20. There are often more girls than boys, but all are welcome aboard (with their parents or guardians) to sail with us and determine if they are interested in the experience.

If interested please contact me by email or phone me at 312-671-2049.

The Chicago Maritime Museum opened in a new venue adjacent to the Bridgeport Art Center in 2016. It's a treasure trove of Chicago and Great Lakes maritime history. Some afternoon when you've had to cancel a boat reservation because of foul weather, you may want to spend some time exploring this fascinating museum.  Here's a brief video showing you what to expect.
By Steve VanderVoort

Rounding Cape Horn in "The Mighty Sparrow"
A friend of mine, Jerome Rand, has just completed a solo circumnavigation of the Globe in "The Mighty Sparrow," his Westsail 32. On Sunday, July 1, he sailed into Gloucester, MA Harbor after 271 consecutive days at sea. I've been following him on his daily posts in Facebook, "Sailing into Oblivion." He faced innumerable challenges, not the least of which were taking what seemed like weeks in bad weather and high seas to get around Cape Horn at the tip of South America, and running out of food near the Falkland Islands. If any members of Sail Chicago have a trip like this in mind, I'd be happy to put you in touch with him. Here he is on a practice run in 2017.
By Bob Lapin, Board Secretary

The Board has purchased a motorized RIB (rigid inflated boat) to assist maintenance. The RIB is moored on the Equinox mooring ball. Procedures to get on and off the mooring ball will be communicated to all Ideal skippers. Columbia Yacht Club will continue to refuel our boats and the RIB will be used to top off tanks when missed by Columbia Yacht Club and complete other maintenance activities.
Matt Stuczynski requested that wording be added to our website informing all students that four classes are not guaranteed. Instructors will make every effort to get out on the water or reschedule classes, but during a spell of bad weather, it may not be possible to get out on the water or conduct all four classes.
The next meeting was held at 7 PM on July 12 and was conducted by tele-conference.

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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