Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter

June 2004


Have you ever sailed past those strange structures three miles out in Lake Michigan and wondered what they are and how they got there? Our General Meeting on Thursday, June 17, features Tony Kiefer of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago and a fascinating look at the history and underwater archaeology of the Chicago water intake cribs.  The growth of Chicago, the health of its citizens, and the fate of a construction crew were intimately tied to these structures.  See the remains of an abandoned crib as it exists today deep below the surface of Lake Michigan and learn its terrible secret!

Tony Kiefer is an engineer and past president of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago.  He has been an avid diver for the past seven years, spending an equal time diving and surveying shipwrecks in Lake Michigan and the Caribbean.  With the UASC, Tony has worked on survey projects of over a dozen shipwreck sites, using his engineering and photography skills in preparing detailed surveys and documentation of wreck sites.  As a lead investigator, Tony has researched the Zion Mystery Shipwreck and the Chicago Water Intake Cribs and given invited presentations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.  Tony helped engineer the recent sinking of the car ferry in the Straits of Mackinac and is working on completing the underwater diver’s guides to the newest “wreck” in Lake Michigan.

The Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago (UASC) is a non-profit, volunteer group whose purpose is to promote the responsible use of Illinois underwater cultural resources.  Group members include divers, researchers, historians, photographers, engineers and amateur archaeologists.  Members document shipwreck sites by measuring, surveying, photographing and video taping sites mostly in southern Lake Michigan.  Membership is open to everyone.

Again this month we will meet at the Columbia Yacht Club which is located between Monroe and DuSable Harbors.  The evening at Columbia works as follows:  arrive early and find a parking space in the Field Harbor Parking garage (a map is enclosed) or park in the underground Monroe lot. You can get your Field Harbor parking ticket validated at Columbia and parking is then $3.00.   Enter the ship and enjoy a dinner in either the bar or the dining room.  Make your way to the upstairs meeting room by 8 p.m. when we will start the meeting.  Complete a survey regarding your Columbia experience.



Was it a tease or was it a sign of what's yet to come? This first weekend in June turned out to be every sailor's dream; sunshine, light breeze and weather so clear and warm we put away the jackets and raingear and broke out the tee shirts and shorts. How great it was to see so many Catalina members out on the lake sailing and enjoying the day.

Many thanks to Team Effort and Railin for starting our season off with such a wonderful event. The Margarita party was a huge success. Next we look forward to the Photo Cruise so everyone keep your fingers crossed for another warm and sunny weekend. Call Bob Kuba to make your reservations 773.327.9331

At our May meeting we voted on the Mandatory Boating Safety Education Law. If this law goes into effect it would require us to take an eight-hour boating safety class in order to take a test that would issue a certificate if you pass.  The Catalina Fleet voted no to making this a "Mandatory" law. I received an e-mail stating that the Chicago Yachting Association has voted yes to endorsing this mandatory law. As I receive more information and updates as to where this is heading I will keep you informed. 

Our May meeting was also our first meeting held at Columbia Yacht Club. I believe everyone had a wonderful time. I passed out a survey to about 30 people and received 12 back. Out of those 12, eight people said they would like to move our meetings to Columbia Yacht Club. The Survey asked them to rate parking, quality of food, service, prices, bar, meeting facilities and sound level during the meeting. On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent and 1 poor all of those eight surveys gave the club 4 and 5's. We will meet again this June at Columbia and I encourage everyone to come. We need as many people there to help with this decision. I know we have many club members that would like to see us switch to Columbia but eight surveys is not enough to decide that issue. Please come and fill out a survey and turn it in that same night. I will be adding to the survey one item that was overlooked. That is ease of access to the club. There is no handicap access to the club and I'm concerned for our members that cannot climb up or down stairs. They would have no way to get to the dining room, bathroom or meeting room. Once the surveys are in the Board Members will take a look at them in August and decide the direction the Club will be heading for the year 2005. We will be finishing this year off on Tuesdays at Burnham starting with our July program. 

                                          Looking forward to seeing you in June
                                                                               Deborah Ruxton,     


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: 1986 Catalina 34 Audrey Too. Fin keel, new diesel with only 46 hours.  A/C, refrigeration , new upholstery by Catalina, dodger, bimini, custom cabin doors, stereo, steel cradle. Full instruments including speed, depth, wind, and GPS.  Roller furling, Dutchman on main.  In water, Burnham Harbor slip. A beautiful boat in excellent condition.  $58,000. Call Audrey and David Weissman 847-675-3305.

FOR SALE:  Lazy Jacks system.  Sail Cradle MK2 by Sail Care. Model 303 for a Catalina 30.New.  Includes complete instructions.
Bought at Strictly Sail.  Never installed.
$50.00.  Call Dave DeAre at 630-469-6117 or
email to


Please note a change in the outings schedule.
The North Point Adventure listed as June 26 has been changed to August 14.

Don’t forget Mac Bay Get-Away XI at Holland Michigan, July 23 – 25.  We always have a big group of Fleet 21 members there!  Complete details are at
Click on summer outings.



The Margarita Party is always a great kick-off to the sailing season.  This year’s attendance  (approx 75) was outstanding, considering the weather, which was cool and cloudy.  The dinner afterwards on the patio of the yacht club was well attended with 49 guests.


Welcome aboard to the following new members.
Please add their info to your directory.

Skipper:  John  & Bill Simonaitis
Palatine, IL 60067
Boat: Grace
Catalina 36
Burnham I-14

Corrections:  Please make the following changes to your directory:

*The spelling of Fran and Hank Rodgers last name is incorrect.  Rodgers is the correct spelling.


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. We hope you enjoy these articles and please know that we are certainly  not the last word on how to do these projects.


While preparing for our future cruising on Lake Michigan and beyond,  we realized that we’d want a second reef point in our main. (Our Motto: if you think you need a third reef point, what are you doing out there?)  We used the expertise of Sailcare for this. They are a company in Pennsylvania and they recondition old sails. We sent them our main for reconditioning and for the installation of another set of reef points. For $150 they do what they do to make old sails like new (check out their website below), reinforced all the corners, reinforced all the connections to the sail slides AND installed reinforced line of reef grommets. We like Sailcare!

The additional line of reef points required the installation of a second reef line.  We now have two lines that run from the aft end of the boom up through their respective leach cringles, down and through a block on the other side of the boom, and then forward to a cleat at the forward end of the boom. On the mast then, near the gooseneck we’ve installed a rams horn. When we reef, Scott goes up by the mast and releases the halyard while pulling in some of the reefing line and hollering poorly heard and largely ignored commands to Sue. In theory now you get a hold of the tack cringle and pull it over the rams horn. This can actually be a tough bend to put into a crisp sail. To make this part easier, Sue installed floppy rings.* This is a short (<6”) piece of webbing material thread through the tack cringle with a sturdy ring then sewn on each end. There is a floppy ring through each of the two tack cringles. Scott can grab both rings from the front of the mast to aid in pulling the sail down. Then, the staraboard ring is pulled over the rams horn, the halyard is re-tensioned and then the rest of the clew reefing line is pulled in. For tidiness, there are three reinforced metal grommets across the middle of the sail to lash it to the boom. Ideally these should have NO real tension in them with all the tension at the luff and leach.

We are pretty cautious (terrified) sailors and reef early and often. The floppy rings and second reef point give us more confidence in more kinds of weather.

Sailcare info:
410 9th Street, Ford City, PA 16226 * Phone 800-433-7245 * Fax (724) 763-2229 * email:

Oh, and thanks to Larry Dalsin, s/v Florentine, for alerting us to Sailcare!

*Nigel Calder – Cruising Handbook, International Marine, 2001, pp 69