BTS: July, 2019

Sail Chicago Newsletter for July, 2019
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ISSUE #7/JULY, 2019
By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Colgate 26
ur sailing season is in full swing.  Classes are full, and our other programs are underway.  We've got some social events coming up, and our fleet is just waiting there for skippers to sign up for private sails.
This year presents several sailing challenges that haven't necessarily existed in the past.  Our Safety Coordinator, John Lemon, highlights the dangers of sudden storms and submerged water hazards in an article in this issue.  Please read it carefully.
Rachel Granneman, Social Coordinator
Join us for another happy hour at Interurban Boathouse on Thursday, July 25, at 5:00 p.m.  Sail Chicago will provide the appetizers, and you will provide the conversation!  The Happy Hour will be hosted by Cynthia Early--look for the Sailing Chicago table tent. 

Email me ahead of time at if you want to pick up some Sail Chicago swag (tees, hats, canvas bags, & koozies) at the happy hour, and we'll be happy to bring some along!

By Cynthia Early

The first 2019 Sail Chicago Happy Hour was held on Thursday, June 27, at Interurban Boathouse.  We had a great turnout, and attendees ranged from first-time sailors to those with 50+ years of experience on the water.  Everyone made new friends and swapped stories while sharing appetizers and enjoying adult beverages.
By Chris Faris, Tiller Time Coordinator

New students can profit from Tiller Time 
After a bit of a slow start in June due to weather and boat availability, Tiller Times are in full swing.  Your Tiller Time Coordinator is working diligently to get as many scheduled as possible.  Last year we had 40 scheduled through July 31.  So far this year we have 38 scheduled, with more on the way.  Thank you to all our Tiller Time skippers who have signed up so far.  We are always looking for more Tiller Time skippers.  If you have questions or would like to become a Tiller Time skipper and have at least two years sailing experience with our Colgate fleet, please contact me.
As a reminder, Tiller Times are for the benefit of our member-students to practice elements of what they have learned in class with our experienced skippers.  It is the Tiller Time skipper's responsibility to assess the weather conditions (no more than 15 knots of wind), number and skill of the crew, and to decide whether to proceed with a session.  At times we may have short-range cancellations based on crew or weather conditions, so please accept our thanks for your understanding if a session is rescheduled.
Continue to look for more Tiller Times on the schedule.  See you on the water!
By Alan Summers, Exam Coordinator

The US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification exam will be given August 24 at 9:00 a.m.  The location for the exam is Peet's Coffee. 686 W Ogden Ave, Naperville.

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 costs $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 me here.
By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator 

Keep a weather eye peeled for storms like this.
The thunderstorm season is upon us.  Sailors should review weather forecasts before planned sails and check weather radar before casting off. An excellent radar app that I use is 'Radar Scope'. It does a great job of displaying incoming storm cells.  In unsettled weather, it is also a good idea to turn on your VHF radio and switch to the weather reports on channel 1. If a significant storm is headed for our sailing area, an alarm will sound. Keep in mind that summer storms often pass quickly. Sometimes, the best strategy is to wait for the storm to pass while hove to or anchored rather than attempting to return to your mooring in stormy, windy conditions.
Lake Michigan is close to its highest level for the summer. As I noted last month, several lakefront structures are partially submerged. These include the derelict Dime Pier just south of Navy Pier and the Monroe Harbor north and south break walls. These newly submerged structures pose a hazard to unwary mariners. A recent newspaper article highlights some of the problems that high water levels are causing.
For the safety of all our sailors and guests, alcohol and illegal drugs are not permitted on Sail Chicago boats at any time. Members should report any violations of this policy.
All members are required to be fully aware of the Sail Chicago Sailing Rules and Regulations. They summarize our best practices and help ensure everyone's safety on the water. The Regulations are available at We depend on every member to sail safely and to follow all the regulations.  Incidents that cause damage or loss of use of our boats affect all members and place a greater burden on our maintenance teams.


Peter Dudak 
On Monday, July 1, Peter Dudak was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.  Peter was an outstanding sailor and a longtime member and friend of Sail Chicago. Over the years his service to our organization was exemplary.  He was always there to help, and no project was ever too big or too small for him.  For many years, he trailered our fleet to and from the boatyard and Montrose Harbor at the beginning and end of the season.  He always volunteered to staff our booth at the Chicago Boat Show.  When we had picnics at Belmont Harbor, he would volunteer to help set up and take down the event.  He was heavily involved with our Ideals and taught single-handed sailing on them. He was a vital part of our maintenance team. Peter was a man with a ready smile and a kind word for everyone. He was always willing to lend a helping hand wherever needed.  His presence among us will be sorely missed.
If you knew Peter and would like to share your memories of him with his family, please send them to Sail Chicago, Box 101069, Chicago IL 60610, and they will be forwarded.
By Andy Devoto

If you're a skipper looking for crew (or are just wiling to share an otherwise empty seat) or if you're not yet a skipper and are looking for more time on the water, you can reach out to other sailors via Share-a-Sail. New this year, join the Sail Chicago Slack Group and chat your requests in the #share-a-sail channel. Slack is a group messaging app that facilitates discussions by interests (channels) and one-to-one chats. Sail Chicago is already using the Slack app for maintenance and other groups, and we're excited to include a Share-a-Sail channel as well.
  • Click here to join the slack group: 
  • Click the confirmation email and complete your sign up.
  • Download the slack app on your phone and sign in.
  • OR use Slack online here:
  • Click into "#share-a-sail" in the list of channels and click "Join Channel."
Then you're free to list requests or reply to others.
As we've used in the past, you can also join the Share-a-Sail google group and communicate over email.
  • Go to the Sail Chicago Share-a-Sail Google Group page:!forum/shareasail
  • Click "Subscribe to this group"
  • As a group-member, email with the details of your request (your name, date and time of sail, boat size).
  • All members of the google group will receive every email sent to the group email address. Replies will only go to the original sender.
By Mark Pashan, Volunteer Coordinator

We need volunteers, especially in two areas:
  • The first is boat maintenance, especially on the Colgates.
  • We also need help in instruction.  We need skippers who can grade skipper exams, and we need someone to contact students as their classes approach to be sure they are ready for class.
As a reminder, first-year members are not expected to perform service time. Second-year members and beyond must sign up for a job to fulfill their service time duties for 2019.
As always, up-to-date information can be found at the Sail Chicago Organization chart. If you have any questions, email me.
By Maureen Huston, Cruising Coordinator

The Cruising Program is testing interim qualification levels for cruising students. Students who successfully complete Basic Cruising 1 (open water course) qualify as crew. Completion of Basic Cruising 2 (Docking / Close-quarter maneuvering) qualifies a member as a First Mate. Skipper status recognizes a member's ability to safely perform all required skills, communicate clearly, and demonstrate confident command of a cruising vessel in a variety of conditions (per U.S. Sailing standards.)
Since Basic Cruising courses are divided between Priorities and Calypso, successful students can become qualified as a skipper on both boats without an additional orientation or check-out.


If you're looking for some virtual excitement, you may want to watch the film Maiden, the story of the first all-women team in an around-the-world sailing race. It's a heart-stopping experience for anyone who's ever sailed an ocean, and for most of us who haven't. For a preview, here's the trailer. 

Some Sail Chicago members are not only sailors, but poets as well.  Here's a recent submission from member Dan Stein.  Thanks for sharing the "magic," Dan.
The Magic of Sail 
Sailing is Magic!
you're in for a treat,
Running free
or on a beat,
The wind and the waves
the smiles and belays,
You will always learn something
without a doubt,
You will never be sorry
that you went out,
Your troubles will vanish
as you slip through the waves,
That! is the "Magic,"
Sailing portrays.
© 2019 D. Stein

By Maureen Huston, Board Secretary

The following items were discussed at the Board meetings for June and July:

Unusually bad weather created a lot of challenges for our fleet this year, which in turn affected instruction, class scheduling, program sails, and access to private member sails. Thanks to a lot of hard work by our dedicated maintenance volunteers, most of the fleet is in service and looking better than ever. Many thanks to the many volunteers who stepped up to find ways to keep our programs up and running.
Discussions for ways to collaborate with Columbia Yacht Club and Jackson Park Yacht Club are ongoing. Columbia has been very generous in allowing Sail Chicago access to classroom and meeting space. In return, Sail Chicago provides Columbia Sailing School occasional (scheduled) access to some of our Colgates. Sail Chicago and Jackson Park YC are considering options for joint social events in the near future, possibly including something on the water.

The Board is reviewing our current service-time system, and considering ways to improve communication, simplify service time tracking, define and quantify specific needs, and make the best use of our volunteer resources. Member service-time requirements remain the same for now.
Technology volunteers are evaluating the programs and systems we currently use to find ways to improve and streamline communication with members and between programs. We have already transitioned most of our event registration to EventBrite.  Several programs are using Slack instead of email.  Tech is considering options for member-wide email communications.

The next Board meeting will be held at Columbia Yacht Club on Tuesday, August 13, at 7:00 p.m. All members are welcome to attend.

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."

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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