BTS: February, 2019

Sail Chicago Newsletter for February, 2019
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By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

I hope you all survived the descent of the polar vortex earlier this week. Perhaps you used the "indoor time" to start planning for summer sailing.  One important thing you can do when stuck inside is to check over your sailing gear.  Do those old, worn sailing gloves need replacing?  If you have an inflatable life jacket, is your cartridge in the "green zone."  Do you have a hat and sun glasses to keep you safe from the ravages of the sun? 

Remember, our boats are in the water May 1.  Do you have a waterproof jacket with a fleece lining that can keep you warm and dry on cold spring days?  Don't forget those waterproof pants.  They can come in handy when the weather is cool or wet.  Cotton clothing takes a long time to dry and can keep you chilled if wet.  Nylon clothing dries quickly.  Shoes are also important.  Many types of athletic shoes can slip on wet decks.  Are your soles non-slip and properly grooved for sailing?
Plan to attend the Sail Chicago Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 7.  Program heads will outline their plans for the upcoming sailing season, and you'll have a chance to vote for members of the Sail Chicago Board.  You'll need to be a 2019 member in order to vote.  Membership registration is now open online (see article below).

Mark your calendars now! Sail Chicago members and guests are invited to attend our Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, March 7, at Chief O'Neill's Restaurant & Pub, located at 3471 N. Elston, Chicago.  For directions, click here. The meeting will start promptly at 7:00 p.m. 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 9:00 p.m.
We hope you will be able to attend and help us roll out our 2019 sailing season!

Now's the time to renew your Sail Chicago membership! Click here to log into your account. In the "Account Summary" panel on the right, where it says "Non-Member", click "Upgrade/Renew" and follow the instructions.  
By Matt Stuczynski, Chairman, Board Development Committee

The election of Board members will take place on Thursday, March 7th, 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.
By Melchior Dikkers, Sail Chicago Instructor

A storm brews up over Chicago
Weather is important to sailors. I was fortunate to first learn about weather from two merchant marine captains at the Naval Club in London. Over the years, I learned more by reading books, attending seminars, and preparing my own practical weather course.  The person that I learned most from about Great Lakes weather and the tools at our disposal here is Mark Thornton.  He is a sailor and graduate of Penn State's renowned weather program.
Mark is offering a one-day (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) seminar at Columbia Yacht Club on March 9th.  While I recommend this course to all sailors, I believe it should be mandatory for cruising students (Basic and Bareboat) along with navigation. Mark's presentation is clear, thorough, well-structured, and fast-paced. It is an ideal way to learn about weather and get a base from which to learn more on your own.
Lastly, at $50 (the early bird special until February 15th), it is great value and includes lunch.  I still remember my first weather course over 20 years ago, and I think you will remember Mark's.
A detailed syllabus can be found here. The link to sign up is  here.

SAVE THE DATE for our all-day Basic Navigation seminar on May 11, 2019 at Columbia Yacht Club.  Watch future issues of Between the Sheets for further details and registration information.
By Frank McNamara, Volunteer Coordinator

We are preparing for the 2019 sailing season and there is plenty of work ahead. As a reminder, second-year members and beyond must sign up for a job to fulfill their member service time commitment for the season. If you would like to return to the same role you had last year, please notify the volunteer coordination team so we can update your service time status and the Sail Chicago org chart. Current openings include:
  • Assistant Registrar: Assist students with course registration and related questions (remote).
  • Membership Coordination: Assist with fielding emails/questions from current and potential new members (remote).
  • Social Chair: Heads up our social planning committee which is in charge of organizing and executing events throughout the season
  • Volunteer Coordination: Assist with documenting, coordinating and tracking member service time (remote).
Winter maintenance opportunities are also available. Please log into your Member Landing Page on the Sail Chicago website to see what's available. 
Please email me for further detail on these roles, to volunteer, or with any questions about previously completed service time.
Sail Chicago volunteers at our booth
Sail Chicago once again made its mark on the 2019 Chicago Boat, RV, and Sail Show, January 8 - 13, at McCormick Place.  Our booth, #101, was the first that visitors to the sail section of the show saw as they entered.  Its display of all sorts of sailing paraphernalia immediately caught their eye, and many came over to see what it was all about. 

Our volunteers who manned the booth had great fun telling visitors the advantages of community sailing programs like Sail Chicago and swapping sailing stories with "old salts."  Our thanks to the many Sail Chicago members who volunteered to set up and staff the booth during the five-day event.  Our presence at the Show will encourage many folks to visit our website, sign up for classes, and become members.

This video shows a sailboat in real trouble.  After you've viewed the video, email us to let us know what you would have done differently to avoid the situation or to get yourself out of trouble.  We'll publish your answer in next month's issue of
Between the Sheets.  Thanks to Sail Chicago member Jay Owens for supplying the video.

By the Board Secretary

The Board of Directors met by phone conference on January 10, 2019.
  • 2019 membership is open, and membership renewals have started coming in.  Members are encouraged to renew ASAP to facilitate planning and communication.
  • The Board is considering a variety of programs and solutions for managing Volunteer Coordination and Service Time tracking.  Maintenance has implemented Slack to facilitate coordination and communication among volunteers.
  • Adam Hinz and Dan Maloney have confirmed they will head up our Racing Program in 2019.
  • Two new advanced keelboat courses were approved for 2019: Sail Trim and Spinnaker.  Thanks to Melchior Dikkers for developing the curricula and taking the lead on implementation.
  • Kudos to all Boat Show volunteers for an outstanding job this year!
  • Transfer requests have been submitted to Westrec to relocate a few of our Colgates in Monroe Harbor.
  • The Board is in ongoing communication with both Columbia Yacht Club and Jackson Park Yacht Club to discuss opportunities to collaborate socially, and possibly share resources for instruction and/or mutual members' benefit.  We are planning some joint social activities in 2019, so watch future issues of Between the Sheets for future events.
  • We are seeking a Volunteer Coordinator and a Social Coordinator for 2019.
The next Board meeting will be held at Columbia Yacht Club on Tues, Feb. 12, at 7:00 p.m.

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.

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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."

Click on the links below to find more information about Sail Chicago.
Sail Chicago, P.O. Box 101069, Chicago, IL 60610-8914
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