BTS: September 2016

Sail Chicago News for September
Sail Chicago is a not-for-profit community sailing program. 
Its mission is to offer quality instruction in sailing and boating safety, and to provide affordable sailing opportunities to its members and others in the Chicago area.
Board Meeting
September 8

U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification
September 17

Board Meeting
October 13

Boat Licensing & Registration
Between the Sheets
Colgate 26 Racing
Brian Johnson
Lawrence Hall Youth Services
Lead Instructor
Member Cruise Outings
Monroe Passes
Annette Faber
Dana Smith
Schuler Scholars
Service Requirements
Strictly Sail Chicago Show
Tiller Time 
Chris Faris
Chairman - Chris Schuler
Vice Chair - Maya Teleki
Secretary - Bob Lapin
Treasurer - Martin Modahl

Bob Cohen
Brian Johnson
Shawn Lord  
Sarah Pellegrino
Tom Peterson
Matt Stuczynski
Michael Swisher
Adam Wisneski  

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By Steve VanderVoort, BTS Editor

Sail Chicago is a "community sailing program."  Just what does that mean, and how are we different from other sailing programs?  First, it might help to explain what we are not.  We are NOT a sailing "club."  This may sound a little strange to some of our older members who refer occasionally to the organization as a "club."  In fact, there are distinct and important differences.  First, our mission (see the column to the left for our Mission Statement) is not to serve our members exclusively, but to provide sailing opportunities and instruction for the broader Chicago community.  Second, we have been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization or "public charity."   This means that contributions, financial or otherwise, made to Sail Chicago are deductible from your federal income tax. Third, we have been recognized by the U.S. Sailing Association as a true "community sailing program."  The Association's Community Sailing Committee has the following mission:

The mission of the US Sailing Community Sailing Committee is to promote and support community sailing in the United States. We recognize diversity as essential to achieving our mission; for us, diversity refers to the differences of culture, ethnicity, race, gender, age, beliefs, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, family status, physical ability, appearance and ideas. We are committed to achieving greater diversity throughout the sport and fostering an environment that is more inclusive.

To help us achieve our mission, we seek to identify organizations that provide the highest quality of education and support access to sailing for all. These are organizations that align with the standards set forth by US Sailing and offer safety, fun, and learning through their programming.

Finally, and perhaps most important, is the attitude of our members. We are bound together not only by our love of sailing, but by a desire to pass that love on to others in our wider community through the work that we do in providing quality instruction to our members and students and in offering affordable sailing opportunities for others in the wider Chicago community.  We are proud of the service we offer, and most of us work hard at volunteer tasks that promote our mission.  It's what makes our own "community" so special!

The next U.S. Sailing written certification test will be given on Saturday, September 17 at 9:00 am, Starbucks, 7112 W North Avenue, Oak Park.  Please bring with you a check for $50 payable to Sail Chicago.  All Sail Chicago members who have successfully completed our Intermediate Sailing course are eligible to take the test. For questions or to register please contact 

By Kristen Miller, Maintenance Communications Assistant

Down the river!
Attention all sailors!  We are quickly approaching that time of the year when the weather cools down and sailing season is coming to an end.  Each year we take a trip up the river to get our boats out of the water and to the Canal Street Boat yard for routine maintenance work.  

This year we will be taking two trips.  The first one will be late September, early October to move two of our Colgates.  The second will be mid to late October to move the last four.  Each boat needs at LEAST three members, max of six, to help motor the boats through the locks and up the river.  The trip takes about two hours and is a really cool and unique experience.  We are even offering incentive this year - $30 in sailing credits to the first three volunteers per boat.  Each boat needs at least one skipper certified member but all members are encouraged to volunteer as crew and experience the river trip!  If interested for either of the two trips, email me immediately to reserve a spot!  If you've got questions, let me know.  Exact dates and times will be based on member availability.

By John Lemon, Safety Coordinator

As we head into the early fall and earlier sunsets, it's important to remember that navigation lights, sometimes called running lights, are an important component of safe boating after dark. The red and green bow lights, the white stern light, and the white masthead light for boats under motor power allow other vessels to see your boat, understand who you are and what you are doing (sail or power) and take proper action to avoid collision. 

USCG regulations requires that running lights be exhibited between sunset and sunrise or during periods of limited visibility i.e. fog. Sailboats less than 7 meters (23 feet) are not required to exhibit lights but must have
 a flashlight at hand to illuminate the sail to avoid collision. It's important for skippers to check both the Fleet Status page in the reservation system and to verify that ALL running lights are operational if sailing after sunset. The Colgates are longer than the 7 meter exemption, thus they must have operating running lights and may not substitute a flashlight illuminating the sail. Skippers should switch to another boat for evening sails if the lights on the boat you have reserved are not working properly.
A-OK with the U.S. Coast Guard

On another note, I was sailing my own boat recently and was boarded by the Coast Guard for a routine safety check. The Coast Guard carries out these inspections to ensure that all boats have the required safety equipment. There is no implication of wrong-doing if you are boarded. The Coast Guard may board your boat without cause. If you are polite and cooperate, you will have no problems. That is, unless you are operating a vessel in an unsafe manner.  The Coast Guard asked to see my registration and ID, life jackets for everyone on board, a throwable flotation device, visual distress signal (flares), sound making device, and fire extinguisher (boats with engines). The also inquired about my marine sanitation device (head). Only Priorities is fitted with a head. They were very pleasant, found everything in order, and proceeded to inspect other vessels in the area. Sail Chicago skippers should note that the items on the boat checklists in bold are Coast Guard legally required safety equipment. If any of those items are missing or inoperable, you should switch boats or cancel your sail.


The Friends & Family Picnic on the aft deck of the Columbia Yacht Club.
Sunday, August 7, will be a day to remember for the lucky Sail Chicago members who attended the organization's annual Friends & Family Picnic and Sail.  Over 60 members and friends registered for the event, which was held for the first time this year on the aft deck of the Columbia Yacht Club's "big blue boat" anchored in DuSable Harbor.  Unlike former picnics that had been held in the past on the grass at Montrose or Belmont Harbors, this was a truly elegant setting.  Round tables with linen tablecloths had been set up under a large canopy which kept the hot sun away, but allowed the lake breeze to cool the picnickers.  And the buffet was both beautiful and delicious--hamburgers, sausages, grilled chicken, cole slaw, potato salad, mixed fruit, and all the fixin's delighted the participants.

Of course, there was also time for members to get their friends and family out for a sail.  Three of our Colgates were waiting at the Columbia Yacht Club's private dock to board passengers and get them out on Lake Michigan. Seasoned sailors had a chance to meet old friends, and new members had the opportunity to get acquainted with future sailing buddies.  Everyone agreed it was a great time.  Many thanks to our Social Coordinator, Sergio Luntsevich, for organizing the event and following through for us.  This picnic is just one of the many ways in which Sail Chicago and Columbia Yacht Club are cooperating with one another to enhance each other's programs. Look for more cooperation in the future.

By Christine Garvey, Volunteer Coordinator

We need people to help de-commission the boats.  I have created a "boatyard team" to help the individual boat maintenance teams commission and  de-commission the boats.  This job includes taking down and putting up the masts, the river trip to the boatyard, and work at the yard.  You will need to work 5 days to complete service time.  The river trip has not been considered service time in the past because it's such a fun thing to do.
Below is the list of positions that still need volunteers.
*Website knowledge helpful.  You need to have a long-term commitment to Sail Chicago.  Active participation completes service time.
*Fundraising Coordinator and team--Creates and implements fundraising activities   Active participation completes service time.
*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
*Assistant program coordinator--Active participation completes service time.
*Assistant Coordinator--Helps the coordinator manage boat maintenance.  Active participation completes service time.
*Boat teams--Helps make and keep the boats in safe, sailing condition.  Active participation completes service time.
*Repair specialties--Specialists will be called on when needed.  Active participation completes service time.
*Gas teams--Going out at least 5 Fridays during the season will complete service time.
*Boatyard teams--This team is responsible for getting the boats ready for the beginning and end of the season.  5 days of work satisfies service time.
For more information on these and other open positions, contact  Chris Garvey.

By Betsy Newton, Urban Youth Sail Coordinator

For over 30 years, Sail Chicago has sponsored Urban Youth Sail in partnership with Association House, a community center in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago.  We give young clients of Association House an opportunity to sail on Lake Michigan.  It enables the participants to experience Lake Michigan and the city of Chicago in a different way.  This year, skippers Mark Fechner and Tim Rice participated in the program.  

Next year, we hope to schedule the program on a bi-weekly basis (on weekdays to be determined).  We welcome both new skippers who can sign up as first mates and get to know the program as well as experienced skippers who want to enjoy weekday sailing with eager young participants.  Email Betsy Timm Newton with any questions.

By Tom Simms, Schuler Scholars Sail Coordinator

Schuler Scholars enjoy a sail
We just completed our third season. It was another very successful endeavor.  Sail Chicago provided two boats with a skipper and a 1st mate for nine different high schools from the northern suburbs as well as Chicago proper.  In all, 70 students were given the opportunity sail.  Thirteen Sail Chicago volunteers manned the boats.  

We are already looking forward to the 2017 season where we can again offer two crewed Colgates on Wednesday afternoonss from mid-June thru mid-August.  Also, I would like to offer the schools an extra boat or two if the interest level at a particular school is very high. 


An American schooler was one of the tall ships visiting Chicago.
Chicago's Navy Pier once again hosted a Festival of Tall Ships, July 27-31, and many Sail Chicago members were on hand to see them on parade or to tour the ships during the weekend. It was an exciting time to see the sailing ships of yesteryear docked at Navy Pier. There was everything from a Spanish galleon to a Viking longship that had sailed all the way from Norway.  Member, Jay Owens, sent us this picture of a visiting American schooner.  We look forward to their return in future years.

Sail Chicago is developing a new backdrop banner for our booth at the annual Strictly Sail Chicago Show this coming January, and we are looking for the
perfect photo for the background.  Ideally, the photo will contain a background shot of the Chicago skyline with several Sail Chicago boats in the foreground.  If you have a photo like that, or one of a different sort that you think might be suitable and it's in .jpg format, please send it along to  Who knows, you might see it reproduced on an 8'X10' banner at the Strictly Sail Show.
By Bob Lapin, Board Secretary

The board met on September 1 at 7:00 p.m.    Members are always welcome. Discussion items included: 
  • The Board made a decision to purchase Calypso, a 1993 Pacific Seacraft Ericson 34.  Negotiations will begin today. We will keep Priorities through next season to determine the feasibility of keeping two cruisers. 
  • Extensive discussions were held to consider optimizing our maintenance procedures. Tom Peterson will begin taking several boats to Canal Street earlier this year to begin prep for next season in the fall rather than the spring. 
  • Eclipse, one of our Colgate 26s, was struck by lightening whiile moored at Monroe Harbor and the damage is extensive. It looks like a total loss. A search for a replacement will begin.  An electrical engineer will assess our boats to determine if lightening protection is available. 

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.

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

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."

Sail Chicago, P.O. Box 101069, Chicago, IL 60610-8914
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