BTS: May, 2019

Sail Chicago Newsletter for May, 2019
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ISSUE #5/MAY, 2019
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Chicago's beautiful skyline...from the Lake
Spring is here! Our fleet will be on our moorings in the next week or so, and instruction will begin very soon thereafter.  As has been true in the past, our Basic, Intermediate, and Skipper Prep classes are completely full. 

Especially at this time of year, our heartfelt thanks go out to two groups of member-volunteers who make this possible:  Maintenance and Instruction.  Our maintenance teams have been working hard since our boats were put up for the winter to make sure that the fleet would be in tip-top shape to begin our new sailing season.  Since most of the work on the boats is done by volunteers, money that would otherwise be spent to have the work done by others is freed up to allow us to purchase more boats for our fleet.  This year we have added an additional Colgate, thus providing our members more access to sail when they would like.
Our volunteer instructors also deserve a big hand.  Many of them have the Basic Keelboat Instructor Certification from U.S. Sailing, and our goal is to have all our instructors certified.  Of course, we are always looking for new instructors.  Please consider becoming an instructor in the future.  If you're not sure you'd like to become one, you can always try it out by becoming a Tiller Time skipper.
If you're planning to be out on the water in May or even June, remember to dress appropriately.  While the weather may seem warm on land, temperatures can be 10-20 degrees colder once you're on the water.  Sudden cloudbursts can also chill you to the bone if you don't bring along some foul-weather gear.  And remember our wind guidelines: with an inexperienced crew, don't sail in winds above 15 knots.  Even with experienced crew, if the wind rises to 20 knots or more, head back to the mooring immediately.
We look forward to a safe and fun summer on the water!
By Maureen Huston, Cruising Coordinator

The Sail Chicago Coastal Navigation Course is being offered on May 11 at Columbia Yacht Club.  This course is a prerequisite for anyone wanting to take the Bareboat Cruising Course and is open only to Sail Chicago members. For more information or to register, click here and scroll down to "Coastal Navigation." Note: the registration link is not available through the website.
By Rachel Granneman, Social Coordinator
Sail Chicago members and students are invited to our Season Kickoff Party Sunday, May 19, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the lower deck at the Columbia Yacht Club!  We'll have snacks and drinks, and you can check our cruiser Calypso, which will be tied up at the dock.  There will also be some brand-new Sail Chicago merchandise available, including tees, hats, bags, and more!  Besides meeting other members and networking, the fun will also include cornhole and a knot-tying contest!  Sail Chicago members and students are welcome to attend and bring one guest.  There is no charge.
We are looking for coolers for the drinks!  Please email me if you can bring a cooler. Driving?  Parking instructions here.
By Maureen Huston, Cruising Coordinator

Hunter 34
Cruising is fun
Basic Cruising, Docking, and Bareboat Cruising courses are available for Registration. If you are not able to view courses or access online Registration, please email me, subject line: Cruising Courses 2019. Please
 include your name, email and phone number. Return email will include a list of courses with descriptions, prerequisites, and course dates, as well as steps to register for cruising courses. 

Sail Chicago membership and  Sail Chicago Basic Keelboat Skipper status are REQUIRED for ALL Sail Chicago on-the-water cruising courses

On-the-water courses include:
* Basic Cruising   
Docking (Prerequisite Basic Cruising) 
* Bareboat Cruising (Prerequisites: Coastal Navigation, Basic Cruising, Docking)

Four classes per course, Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6 - 9:30 pm for 2 weeks. (Note exceptions for Memorial Day 5/27, and Labor Day 9/2.) Each course is scheduled on both Priorities(Belmont Harbor) and Calypso (Burnham Harbor.) Specific dates and location and additional details provided with email. 

Cost: $240 per course

Questions or Registration Info:  email me
By Dan Maloney and Adam Hinz, Racing Coordinators

Sail Chicago racers, on a close reach
The Wednesday "beer can" racing tradition begins in just a few short weeks. R
acing is a fun, low-cost way to develop your sailing skills, including mastering theart of flying a spinnaker.   It's also a great way to make new friends.  Racing experience is not required but some sailing experience is desired.  We can even help you get matched up with others to form a team.  Depending on weather conditions, you can typically expect to get in two or three races each evening. Racing members meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Columbia Yacht Club tender dock.  For a mere $75 you can sail as little or as much as you like for the entire season.   Please sign up in the racing section of the Sail Chicago website.
Beyond beer can racing:  the Columbia Yacht Club Colors Regatta is happening June 1-2.  The Sail Chicago has agreed to support racers by offering a discounted rate ($250 per team) to rent a Colgate for the weekend for racers interested in participating in this regatta or the Verve later in August.  Please contact us ASAP if you're interested in this exciting event as teams are currently forming.
Questions about Sail Chicago Racing? Please email us at or
By Alan Summers, BKI Exam Coordinator

The US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification exam will be given on the following dates:  June 22 at 9:00 a.m., July 13 at 9:00 a.m., and August 31 at 9:00 am.  The locations for the exam will be determined soon.
This is an optional written exam. While you may become a Sail Chicago skipper without taking this exam, preparing for the exam does provide you with another learning opportunity.  This U.S. Sailing exam also gives you a one-year membership in U.S. Sailing and means you have the met basic keelboat standards as defined by U.S. Sailing.  The certificate can be helpful as a form of accreditation if you are chartering a sailboat elsewhere.
To take the exam, you must have successfully completed Sail Chicago's Intermediate Sailing instruction program.  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.

Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club (CCYC) is sponsoring a hands-on seminar on inflatable life jacket maintenance and use. The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 15, at the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club which is located at Montrose Harbor.  For information on how to register, click here.  Seating is limited to 50, so if you're interested, you should act quickly. Boaters are encouraged to bring their inflatable life jackets to the event.  Every sailor who uses an inflatable life jacket should attend. 
By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator 

As we head out onto the lake for another sailing season, it would be prudent for all sailors to review the US Coast Guard's navigation rules (sometimes referred to as the "rules of the road").  These rules define a series of actions required of mariners to avoid collisions at sea (anywhere on the water).  The most important concept contained in the navigation rules is that it is the responsibility of all mariners to take every possible action to avoid collision.  Articles in the May and June, 2016, issues of Between the Sheets provided a summary of some of the rules.  To find the 2016 May and June articles, go to our newsletter archive here. 
If you are interested in a more thorough study of the rules, you can purchase a copy of the complete rules--Navigation Rules & Regulations Handbook.  The book contains side-by-side presentations for both inland and international (ocean) rules.  There are three main sections: 1. Steering and Sailing Rules; 2. Lights and Shapes; and 3. Sound and Light Signals.  It is well worth reading.  You won't know what you don't know until you study this book.  To order the book, click here.

Sail Chicago is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit (charitable) organization.  This means that your annual membership fees may well be a tax-deductible contribution.   
Your contribution (which could include your annual membership fee) to Sail Chicago can be enhanced if the company that employs you has a matching gift program for employees' charitable contributions.   We recently received a contribution from a corporation that matched a gift from one of its employees who is a member of Sail Chicago.   A quick check with your company's human resources department or charitable giving officer could result in a doubling of your Sail Chicago membership fee.  We would be very grateful!
By Frank McNamara, Volunteer Coordinator

Mark Pashan will be taking over as Service Time Coordinator during the month of May. Inquires to will now be answered by Mark. If you have any questions regarding last year's service time, I will still be following-up via
As a reminder, members must fulfill their service time requirement to be eligible for on-the-water privileges.  First-year members are exempt from this requirement but are welcome to help if they wish.  Second-year members must sign up for a job to have their service time requirement met for the season. Members must complete the job they signed up for during their second season to have their service time satisfied for their third season, etc. ("pay it forward" system).  An opt-out fee of $400 is available for members who would prefer not to sign up for service time.  Please reference the Sail Chicago org chart for current available opportunities. 
Currently, we are especially in need of volunteers to assist on our Social Committee.  The Sail Chicago Social Committee plans our season kickoff and end-of-season events, as well as several social gatherings throughout the season.  It's a fun role and a great way to meet other members. 
Boat maintenance teams also still have spots which need to be filled.  Teams typically go out once a week during the sailing season to maintain an assigned boat.  Please see the Sail Chicago org chart for up to date openings.
Please email for further detail on these roles, to sign up for a role, or with any other questions regarding service time.

By Marilyn Shipley

Life jackets hanging in a Colgate cabin
Our cabin organization team has been working to improve our sailing experience.  We purchased all new PFDs this year because the old ones got so smelly and moldy.  We're hoping that by hanging t
Solar panel hanging on mast in Colgate cabin
he jackets they will stay drier and fresher. We also placed an"S hook" on the cabin mast so that we can hang the solarpanel there while the boat is underway (see pictures).  We're hoping that this will prevent damage from just placing the solar panel in the cooler or randomly in the cabin.  We have other ideas including securing the hatch covers so they don't slide around while the boat is underway, but we haven't developed these fully yet.  It is a work in progress.

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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