Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter

March 2002


Does March put you in the mood for bottom paint and cleaning supplies?  Bring your shopping list and your checkbook on Friday, March 15th for our very own shopping night at West Marine, 627 W. North Avenue in Chicago.  Instead of our usual monthly meeting, we’ll spend the evening searching the aisles for bargains. 

West Marine will be offering its discount program known as $10/$20/$30.  When you buy $100 of merchandise, you save $10.  When you buy $200, you receive $20 off and buy $300 and save $30.  Fleet members  can consolidate orders to meet the limits.  You have to hit each threshold.  $99 will not get you the $10 discount; the same for $199—it will not get you the $20 discount.  You have to exceed the $100/$200/$300 thresholds to get the “10/20/30 $avings. 

The discount program covers all merchandise including electronics.  Plan to start shopping by 7:00 p.m.  We will have a short business meeting at West Marine at 7:30 p.m., complete our shopping,  and then head to Father & Son’s Pizza in the same mall.  They’ll expect us about 8:30 p.m.  You will be able to order directly off the menu. West Marine will stay open until we are finished with our shopping—they would normally be closed on Friday in the winter season, so this is a special shopping night just for us.  West Marine is on North Avenue just west of Larrabee on the south side of the street in a strip mall.

We return to our usual meeting location, the Burnham Park Yacht Club, in April. with a presentation by UK Sailmakers.



Today is March 1, how lucky can we be this year with our weather!  I bet many of you have visited your boats to charge those batteries already, checked the cockpits for residue, and gave the boat a general once-over.  Weather has afforded us the time to check out our local harbors and, glad to report, no icy build-up around our cradles and jackstands has been found.  It’s not too early to plan your launch date.  On March 15th plan to launch your sailing season by heading over to West Marine for a look see on what cleaners, polish, wax, and commissioning items are hot on the shelves! Our Fleet Shopping Night is a great time to pick the right polishing wax to make our hulls careen through the waters of Lake Michigan this season.  (Cayenne pepper mixed with the paint will eliminate slimy buildup--or so we heard at our last General Meeting!) After Fleet Night Shopping we’ll try the Italian cuisine of Father & Son Pizza. 

Have you sent in your Fleet 21 renewal? A form is included with this newsletter.  Deadline for renewals is April 1 to give Pete Duerr time to get the new membership directory printed.  (Can’t wait to see what color our directory will be this year!)  A big welcome to our newest members who found us either on the Internet or at the Strictly Sail Show.  Thanks for looking us up.

We introduced two new fund-raisers at our February General Meeting.  Two or three nautical books (donated by Fleet members) will be raffled off at each meeting.  And Steve Domantay is raffling off his boat bottom washing services.  We’ll have rolls of tickets waiting for you at our next general meeting. And bring along any books you’d like to donate!

Remember, it is not the “destination, but the journey: and now is the time to block-out your calendar for July 12, 13 & 14 to attend the annual Catalina Rendezvous in Holland, Michigan, sponsored by LMCA.  More details in this newsletter and latter this spring.

What a great year we will have! Catalina Fleet 21—What will you do in Twenty 02! “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”  Andre Gide 

Lori Lauraitis


April 1 is the deadline for renewing your Fleet 21 memberships. If you have not renewed by that date you will not be in the Fleet Directory and this is your last newsletter.


The Fleet sends condolences to Beverly Suhar on the death of her mother and to new member Liesbeth Schneider whose mother passed away recently in Vienna, Austria.

Death is not extinguishing the light;
It is putting out the lamp
Because the dawn has come.
                           Rabindranath Tagore


Call for candidates

Do you know of a worthy recipient of our 2002 Mariner’s Service Fund Award?  Every year our Fleet awards a monetary scholarship to an organization that promotes boating safety educational programs, youth sailing programs, or community based sailing programs.  All beneficiaries should, in some way, by linked to the promotion of boating.  Individual yacht club sailing programs are not eligible.  If you have a recommendation, please contact fleet member
Jan Byrd, , or at 708-633-7167.  The scholarship is awarded at the end of the year.

Donations to the Mariner’s Fund can be made at any time throughout the year in honor of a special birthday, anniversary, or as a memorial contribution.  Donations are tax deductible within IRS rules.


Wonder what the current lake levels are?  Check the Fleet website at for a link to the latest  measurements.  (Currently Lake Michigan is 6 inches above last year, but 16 inches below average).  Check out all the other great links on our homepage.  


It’s planning time for the Outings Committee. The committee (Fred Collins and Nick Thies) is hard at work trying to finalize our summer schedule.  Do you have an idea for an outing?  Would you be willing to sponsor an outing?  Sponsoring an outing is an easy way to become involved in the Fleet. A sponsor plans an event, making certain dock space is available. They make arrangements for the group to eat together at a nearby restaurant or plan a cookout, potluck, lobster boil, whatever.  Special activities or themes can be included if desired. 

Publicity is planned with the newsletter editor or Outings Committee. The sponsor does not pay for an event—the fleet or the participants do. We’re always looking for new ideas.  Please let the Outings Committee know if you have an event in mind or will help with an outing.

You can mark you calendars for one big event this summer—Fleet 21’s 2002 Lake Michigan Cruise begins July 4 – 5 with a cruise to Northpoint for the weekend.  Serious cruisers will then head north, then cross the lake arriving in Macatawa (Holland, Michigan) on Friday, July 12 in time for LMCA’s three day Catalina Rendezvous, C250/C25 National Races, and “Christmas in July” theme celebrations.  Following the Rendezvous, we will visit various ports-of-call as we make our way down the Michigan shoreline before crossing the lake once again from either New Buffalo or Michigan City.

Members not wishing to take the full two-week cruise may enjoy just the Northpoint weekend, or the Michigan City weekend.  More details to come!

Another fun event could be a Fleet Venetian Night entry.  Venetian Night in Chicago is July 27.  We have many willing hands and lots of ideas for decorating, but we need a boat!  Is yours available?  If so, call Commodore Lori Lauraitis and let the fun begin!!


March 15   Fleet Night at West Marine
April   19   April General Meeting at Burnham Park Yacht Club
May    21   May General Meeting

***First Outing   Memorial Day  Burnham Harbor***   Details to come!



Now is a good time to check in the bilge area of the boat while it is still in dry dock.  Inspect your grounding system, A/C-D/C, and mast to keel area.  Make sure everything is tight and corrosion free.  Also check the keel bolts for signs of cracking or other defects and be sure they’re firmed up.

Check the chain plates, they too can work loose whether they are hidden or exposed.  Chain plates are the shiny stainless steel hardware running down the side, either inside or outside, of the hull and attach to the standing rig on deck.  At this time also inspect your standing rigging looking for loose wires in the stainless cables.  If anything irregular is found, you may need to replace the wire cables.  An inspection of the masthead is also in order, especially if you store your boat with the mast stepped.  This check should include all sheaves, lines, electronics, and mast lights.

Although there are no guarantees, a little extra care and inspection at launch time can result in a less stressful sailing season.

 Captain Ron


Fleet members may list items they want to sell, trade, or buy in this column without any charge.
Send listings to Fleet Sheet Editor, 306 Linden Street, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Fax 630-668-8950 email:
Phone: 630-469-6117
Listings must be received by the 1st of the month and run for 3 months.

FOR SALE:   Catalina Fleet 21 Battle Flags.
3” x 4’6”.  $45.00  For sale at Fleet Outings
and Meetings or call Steve Domantay 630-742-1080.


Dripless Packing!
                     By Dave DeAre

Gore GFO Marine Service Packing is a new virtually dripless shaft packing. Made by the makers of Goretex, this new packing runs cool, won’t damage shafts and rarely needs adjustments. The GFO replaces the original equipment braided flax packing and comes with complete installation instructions. How to buy it? I ordered mine directly from Gore. You need to know the correct diameter (3/16” for my 30) Call 1-800-455-2791 ask for Denise Wagner. Mine cost $15.60 including postage.

If you’ve bought a new product for your boat, or heard of a new product of interest to all, send it to newsletter editor Carolyn DeAre and we’ll feature it here.