Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter

April 2003

“Damn the torpedoes!  Full speed ahead!”  Do you know who said that?  Some World War II Admiral?  Nope.  It’s from Civil War days when torpedoes actually meant mines.  In August, 1864, Rear Admiral David Farragut sailed into the harbor of Mobile, Alabama, intent on blockading this important Confederate harbor.  Warned that the entrance to the harbor was heavily mined, Farragut bellowed out the famous quote.  Learn more about the fascinating role ships and navies played in the United States Civil War at the Fleet General Meeting on Friday, April 18, at the Burnham Park Yacht Club.  Our speaker is Roger Bohn, a past president of both the Salt Creek Civil War Round Table and the Chicago Round Table.  Roger’s talk and slide presentation will highlight the war waged at sea and the diverse ships used by both sides.  Wooden ships were turned into “ironclads” or “tinclads” when iron or tin plating was nailed on.  That might make some sense, but the south had “cottonclads!” Almost anything that would float was armed for war: ferryboats, river sidewheelers, private yachts, tugs, and barnacled old schooners. You’ve probably heard of the Monitor and the Merrimac, but what about the Alabama and the Kearsarge?  You’ll hear all about their famous battle and much more in this interesting program.

The meeting is Friday, April 18, at the Burnham Park Yacht Club located at 1500 S. Linn White Drive.  Follow the signs to Meigs Field (are they still there??—if not, look for the big X’s!).  All are welcome to arrive early and enjoy dinner at the club beginning at 6:30 p.m. A pasta bar for $14.00 is planned.  It will include salad, cooked to order pasta, bread, coffee or soft drink.  The regular menu will not be available. If you plan to have dinner, please call the Yacht Club at 312-427-4664 for reservations.  Tell them you are part of the Catalina group.  It is crucial that you make reservations if you plan to have dinner.  The program and business meeting begin promptly at 8:00 p.m.  Parking in the gated lot next to the Yacht Club should be available.



We’ve reached that time of year when most sailors have only one thing on their minds, the weather. The weather dance starts now and pretty much ends in October. We waltz through the paper daily and if we don’t like what we see we flip on the TV. We hope they’re right or pray they’re wrong. With all the work ahead of us we need at least a few good days PLEASE!  Sailors can pretty much tell you what the weather outlook is for days ahead. We analyze it, discuss it, predict it, agonize over it and yet in the end succumb to the fact that, “ It is what it is.” Chicago weather can pretty much leave us guessing. The weather in Iraq is of interest for us as well these days. Whether you are for the war or against it, you can rest assured knowing that the Mayor of Chicago is out there in the cover of the darkness keeping us all safe. This month Roger Bohn is talking to us about the Navy during a different war. The Civil War, like the war today, was controversial. No matter your stance on the war, then or now, I encourage you to come and hear Roger talk about the lives of the true sailors of the sea, The Navy.

Sailing itself is a sport with a wide range of definition. We all have our own idea of what sailing is about. To some sailing is the opportunity to play mechanic, happy if their boat never leaves the dock. Others pay to get the work done so their time is spent enjoying the weather sailing. For some sailing is only about the thrill of a race. Sailing is also a time for the gathering of friends, food and far off places. To my kids sailing means having a home on the dock. They enjoy the city sites, entertain their friends with sleepovers and play endless games of cards into the night.

For as many reasons as we sail there’s just as many reasons that we participate in the Catalina Club. For 30 years people have been joining the club for their own personal quests. This month marks that time of year that the directory will soon be coming out, filled with the names of many new members as well as old members. Many have joined to participate on the board, making plans, heading up committees, and getting things done. Others join to come to the monthly programs for fellowship with other sailors and friends.  Some like to join just so they’ll receive the Newsletter to keep up on what’s happening in the club. For the many different reasons we choose to join, the one common reason we have is we are all Catalina owners. We enjoy our boats with each other and our friends. Our differences and ideas are what make this club so special. No matter your opinion on sailing or your ideas of participating we all come together in support of each other. And on May 10th when I sail Northern Crown home, I’ll be flying the American flag in support of all our soldiers in Iraq. May God bless them
                                     Deborah Ruxton

We still have battle-flags and sweatshirts.  Lots of sweatshirts.  So many that I won’t be bringing them to the meetings.  Talk to me if you want one.  We took our first two case orders for the anniversary wine just this month.  Supplies are limited so don’t wait.   To place your order call Brian at (630) 279-4533 or (630)858-6500. Cheers!!!


Fleet General Meeting, Burnham Park Yacht Club, Friday,  April 18

Fleet General Meeting, Burnham Park Yacht Club, Tuesday, May 20

Catalina LMCA Rendezvous.  Lake Macatawa July 11 – 13, 2003.

Fleet 21 30th Anniversary Cruise on the Windy, August 9

Fleet 1 Awards Banquet.  November 15, 2003.William Tell Holiday Inn.

Did you notice the Anniversary Cruise listed above?  We hope so!  And we hope you already have your calendar marked so you won’t miss it.
This year the Fleet marks its 30th anniversary.  We plan to celebrate with a cruise from Navy Pier on the Windy, the schooner I’m sure most of you have seen out on the water.  We’ll take a private evening cruise (9 – 11 p.m.) that includes fireworks.  Details and reservations will soon be available, but plan now to participate in this fun evening.


  1980 Catalina 25 .  Ready to sail!  Ice box, stove, vhf, reconditioned outboard, main, genoa, spinnaker, tiller, dinghy, & trailer.
Moored at Montrose Harbor for 2003 season.  $6500.  Call Neal @ 630-717-1371

FOR SALE: 1988 Catalina 36 tall rig.  All standard equipment & manuals.  Wing keel.  Wind, speed, depth.  VHF radio-loran.  New 150% genoa & main.  All new lines.  Autohelm 4000 autopilot.  Alpine am/fm cassette with 6 CD changer.  Full dodger w/awning & side curtains. 3 burner stove & oven.  Microwave.  Refrig/freezer.  Battery charger.  Screens for all ports & hatches.  Westerbeke diesel in excellent condition.  Teak cockpit sole.  Custom winter cover. The boat is very bright, cheerful & roomy below.  Looks & sails great.  Has been well cared for.  Asking $68,500 OBO.  Jim Raymond @ 847-498-4792 (h), 847-724-2700 (w), 847-560-6009 (cell) or John Dreyzehner .

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 will  run for 3 months.


Get your favorite boat recipes to Lydia Giuliano for inclusion in our 30th Anniversary Fleet 21 cookbook.  What appetizer do you bring to outings?  What do you fix for that special boat breakfast?  We know you’ve got recipes…please share them!  Lydia’s address is 516 Beloit, Forest Park, IL 60130.  Or email her at


Our outings schedule is still under construction.
If you have agreed to sponsor an outing, but have not set a date, please contact the Outings Committee today.  We must publish our schedule in the May Fleet Sheet!  


By Jack Bretall & Lori Lauratis
Enforcement of “Y” valve, macerator pump inspections was again an important topic of discussion at the March 27th meeting.  If you have questions, call Jerry Metzger at 312-747-0737.  Boat yards should also know what is expected of them on this matter.  Other items of interest included:
· Lake levels are currently 8” lower than last year, but hopefully will go up by June/July
· 59th Street & Jackson Park outer harbor to be dredged April 20
· Burnham harbor users should be alert to entrance changes in connection with Soldier Field project.  From 3/27 – 5/15?
   Boaters will use Waldron Drive  (south side of Soldier Field)
· Montrose Harbor harbormaster building construction is about 1 year off
· Belmont Harbor will see construction of 100 slips on south side beginning in fall of 2003
· Chicago Harbor breakwall lighting project should be completed in May.
   The blue lights are considered “decorative” and are not intended as an aide to navigation.


Please save clear gallon water jugs for our Venetian Night entry. 
Work gets underway soon.  Call Hazel Luther if you want to help.
Venetian Night is August 2.

BY Pat McDermott
Backstay modifications
We like  to swim off the back of Sail-La-Vie.  The backstay makes it difficult.  The adjuster is in the way, the split is too low, I ate way too well over the winter.  The adjuster isn’t too bad to handle, just loosen it up and bungee it off to one side.  I’ve seen other 30’s that have it moved to the side.  Ted Kuenzli’s solution is in the next paragraph.  We’ve decided to take ours to the rigger here in town and have the split moved 6 feet higher up and a Johnson adjuster installed.  The Johnson is designed to have the block and tackle mounted to the side with the purchase going down both sides.

Ted Kuenzli writes:  I have made an inexpensive modification to my Catalina 30 which makes it easier and more pleasant to sit behind the wheel.  I found the backstay adjuster bothered me as it was attached in the middle of the stern.  What I did was move the adjuster to the same connector as one of the backstays.  This was done by purchasing a 3 to 4 inch tang and a longer clevis pin.  You will need to enlarge one or both holes in the tang to fit the clevis pins.  Loosen the one side of the split backstay, remove the clevis pin, insert the new pin with the backstay and the tang and tighten the backstay.  Complete the project by attaching the adjuster to the tang and you have open space between the split backstay.
I see no reason why this won’t work on other size Catalinas as well.


No specific products were submitted this month, but Pat McDermott reports that he sold some of the extra gear that came with his 1979 Catalina 30 project (he’s doing lots of rebuilding!) and immediately used it (and more) to buy new roller furling from Pete Duerr, all new Navman instruments, and lots of stuff from Garhauer!

If you bought a new product for your boat, or know of a new product of interest to all, send it to the newsletter editor Carolyn DeAre and we’ll feature it in this column.


The 2003 directory will be distributed at the May General Meeting.

Last month there was some confusion regarding crew membership in Fleet 21.  Our bylaws regarding membership are included here.  Please refer to them when you recruit new members or encourage crew members to join.  Applicants that do not meet the bylaw criteria cannot be accepted as members, but they are always welcome at our programs and activities as your guest.   Crew members who did not meet these bylaws have withdrawn their membership. Our entire bylaws will be included in the new membership directories.

The membership shall consist of the following classes:

1. A regular member shall be an owner of a sailboat manufactured by Catalina Yachts.

2. The membership of a regular member shall include the member’s immediate family and includes the participation of said family members in all fleet activities appropriate thereto.

1. An associate member shall be any former member/owner of a Catalina still interested in the Catalina and the fleet activities.

2. The membership of an associate member shall include the member’s immediate family and includes the participation of said family members in all fleet activities appropriate thereto.

1. A non-resident member shall be an owner of a sailboat manufactured by Catalina Yachts.

2. The membership of a non-resident member shall include the member and his immediate family who reside over 100 miles from Chicago, Illinois and cannot regularly participate in fleet activities and who does not desire to be a regular member.

1. A crew member is a person being sponsored by and serving on a regular or associate member’s boat.  A crew member shall receive the newsletter, but is not entitled to vote or hold elective office.

2. A crew membership shall not be available to any person owning or having an interest in any boat, other than the sponsoring member’s boat, within 100 miles of Chicago.


Check our web site for the latest Fleet
info, additional for sale items, and lots of interesting links.  Lost your Fleet Sheet?
They are on the web site too.

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