Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter

January 2004

Now that’s a resolution we all can enjoy keeping!  Start by gearing up for the season and making those sailing connections at Fleet 21’s first event of the year:  the annual potluck.. Head to the Corinthian Yacht Club at Montrose Harbor on Saturday, January 17.  Cocktails and appetizers begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7:30 p.m.  This year we’re making a few changes that will make it easier on the cooks.  The main entrees (Roast beef, baked chicken, pasta, vegetables, mashed potaoes & gravy, and fresh fruit)  will be catered by Jessie.  You’re asked to bring an appetizer, salad, or dessert to share..  This year the event is being coordinated by Linda and Chuck Reed.  Please call them to RSVP by January 14th.  The cost is $10 per person and includes wine, beer, soda, coffee,  paper goods, and silverware.

The highlight of the evening is our Brown Bag Auction.  You must have some nifty gadget you can’t use, a nautical item that you’d love to pass on, a gift that you’d like to regift.  Put the item in a paper bag, staple it shut, mark the bag with a clue to its contents and value, and bring it along.  Our fast-talking auctioneers get some great prices—all proceeds go to the Fleet.  Bring cash too—you’ll want to bid!  And don’t forget a log for the fire and your membership renewal form.

In February our regular monthly meetings begin.  They are the third Friday of the month through April and the third Tuesday of the month from May through September.  Our usual meeting place is the Burnham Park Yacht Club.  Mark your calendar now for February 20. 

Keep up to date on Fleet happenings in between Fleet Sheets by logging in to


Welcome to the 2004 Sailing Season. The first snowfall has come and our boats are wrapped in a blanket of white, yet sailing plans are very much underway. We have new board members and officers who have been busy through December putting plans into action for a terrific 2004. We'll kick off the season with our annual Pot Luck on January 17th. Strictly Sail weekend soon follows and February will round out with an interesting program presented by Don Terras the director of the Evanston Park District Lighthouse and of course March is our shopping night at Boat US. And this is just the beginning. There will be a flurry of activity to come. If you'd like to join a committee or volunteer your time,  please contact me or a board member and get "onboard". We'd love to have you.

The November Awards Banquet was a huge success. It's always a pleasure to see everyone sparkling in their evening wear after a year of tee shirts and shorts. We clean up well. The food was delicious, the music fun and the laughter plenty. We presented Gary Koenig from the Ulich Children's Home with a check to round out the donation for the year. I received a letter of thanks from Gary stating that with our donation the children were able to have turkey and ham for their holiday feast. He sends his thanks to each and every one of you. A big thanks goes out to Jack and Lois Bretall for all their work in putting this event together for us to enjoy. Congratulations to Kim and Kathy Wold for winning Boat of the Year, Walt Hartmann for winning Racer of the year and Lori Lauriatis for all her knowledge, dedication, hard work and friendship that earned her the Commodore's Award.

I trust everyone had a delightful holiday season. Brian, the girls and I spent the holidays with family and friends feeling truly blessed as we rang in the New Year. It's hard to believe that it's 2004 when I keep asking myself where did 2003 go? I look forward to working with you as your Commodore this Sailing Season. With Barry Garr and Jennifer Schwarz by my side I feel like the Championship Bulls going into their "repeat season". Linda Reed makes a terrific starting player as Vice Commodore rounding out the starting line up. Add the committee members and with a team like this you're not going to want to miss out on any of the action. See you this year.

                                   Deborah Ruxton


 By Jack & Lois Bretall

On November 15, 2003, 89 members and friends of Fleet 21 gathered for the 30th Annual Awards Banquet at the William Tell.  Everyone was dressed in their finest plumage—unlike the shorts & tee shirts of the sailing season.  The only glitch in the gala was that after much anticipation and excitement, Lois could not make the banquet due to illness.  Boo Hoo!

Lois and I would like to thank all the people who pitched in to help set up the room.  A big thank you to all who solicited or donated  the many fine door prizes.  An affair like this is not a one man job.  Thank you to one and all.

As always, the staff at the William Tell did an outstanding job on the food and service.  Gary Koenig express his appreciation from the Uhlich Children’s Home for our support from the Mariner’s Fund.

The installation of the new flag officers was déjà vu all over again.  Linda Reed is our new Vice Commodore, but Deborah Ruxton, Commodore;
Jennifer Schwarz, Secretary and Barry Garr, Treasurer will all serve a second term.

As for the raffle, the Charles Vickery print was won by John & Gretchen Forsyth.  Rick & Debbie Bowald were the lucky winners of the
Bed & Breakfast getaway at the Sandpiper located in Union Pier, Michigan.

Many fleet members stayed overnight and met for the breakfast buffet the next morning.  Hope to see you all next year for banquet #31.


It’s time to renew your Fleet 21 membership.  Membership forms are included in this newsletter. Please complete all information and bring it to the Potluck Dinner or mail it to the Membership committee. It is crucial that you fill out the form completely. The annual Fleet directory is printed based on the information on these forms.

Welcome aboard to the following new member:
Skipper: Cy Race
First Mate:  Terry
Boat Name:  Sea Major
Size: 320     Sail #948
Harbor:  North Point   Mooring: M77


Long time member Dominick Marano passed away on Thanksgiving.  A memorial service was held on December 2.  Dominick was a great racer and had much success on his boat Zarasota.

STRICTLY SAIL  Winter Rendezvous: Jan. 29- Feb. 1, 2004
Strictly Sail returns to Navy Pier for the 9th year beginning January 29.  Clamber over new boats, check out the latest gear, and attend enlightening and entertaining seminars…and then join the Fleet for some fun!  If you haven’t made your reservations at the Hampton Inn for Strictly Sail, contact me ASAP.  I might still be able to get you a room.  We have over 40 rooms booked and a great crowd for the Winter Rendezvous in the Hospitality Suite of the Hampton.  Plan to head back to the hotel following the end of the show (8:00 p.m.) on Saturday to meet up with fellow Fleet 21 and LMCA members.  Bring your favorite beverage and a snack to share.  Then we’ll enjoy pizza and party into the night!

Madalyn Duerr 312-923-8378 office, 708-429-005 home,

Fleet 21 will again be responsible for staffing the Catalina Owner’s booth at the Strictly Sail Show.  If you would like to volunteer for a time slot, give Dave DeAre a call at 630-469-6117.


From Chicago to the Keys
 Scott Welty & Sue Budde

To the Readers:
 In June of 2005 we plan to sail Enee Marie, our 1978 C30, from Chicago to the Florida Keys and hopefully beyond. This series of articles will describe some of the improvements and modifications we’ve made in preparation for this trip. Many of these projects you’d do anyway for lake Michigan cruising  but once we leave we’ll not have the luxury of our workshop and ease of transportation that we have now so the projects do take on a certain air of urgency. Some projects, like this month’s, are just little comfort things that can make a difference when you live-aboard as we do May-October in Burnham Harbor. We hope you enjoy these articles and please know that we are certainly  not the last word on how to do these projects. Many of you may read what we did and think, “They did what”?  We feel that part of sailing is being self reliant so we do as much research as we can before launching into a project. Still, you know you are doing whatever it is for the first and probably only time as opposed to a marine technician who may have done the same job a thousand times. So any crookedness, or squeaky wheels in the final version can be weighed against the good feeling of, “I did it myself”. Of course this doesn’t work if the project that didn’t quite work right is the emergency bilge pump! So far though we’re still floating. Enjoy!

This Month: A Step for Gracie the Cat

We sail with Gracie our 15 year old farm cat. At her age she finds it hard to jump into the v-berth at night where the warm humans are. Actually we too were finding the height of the berth just a little higher than is convenient. So, I made a cardboard template for a step that would rest on the fiberglass base of the locker and reach over to the vertical wood panel forward of the door to the head. On that vertical panel I screwed a ¾” x 1-1/2 inch cleat the width of the proposed step. After cutting the cardboard and test fitting a few times I had the shape I needed. The step itself is made from ¾ inch mahogany left over from another project. I then tacked on a layer of rubber drawer liner for good traction.  The step is screwed to the cleat and to the fiberglass base of the locker.
Gracie likes the step although she has to jump fairly vertical to make it which causes her to double and triple pump before actually leaping. A funny site from inside the berth where you only see her furry head appearing and disappearing. We like it too! Makes getting into and out of the berth easier. It also serves to make a more secure storage area between the step and the little locker under the v-berth for shoes or beer or flippers or beer or sandals or beer..

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.

FOR SALE:  14’ Sears sailboat.  Needs work, but it’s all there!  Fun for the kids (of any age).
$100.  Call Wally Hartmann at 708-246-3447.