Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter


March 2009

March 2009


According to Tom Skilling, meteorological spring arrived on March 1 and the calendar says spring is here March 20….so it’s not too early to think sailing! Get into the boating mood by attending our March General Meeting on Saturday, March 21. Again this year our meeting is being held at Crowley’s Yacht Yard as part of their Yachtapalooza. This annual event features all kinds of nautical seminars (see the schedule in this newsletter), vendor booths, food, entertainment, prizes, and great prices on selected store items (VC 17 is always discounted!). The activities start at 9:00 a.m. We have a space reserved for our meeting at 3 p.m. After the business meeting we’ll adjourn to Pucci’s Restaurant at 10063 S. Ewing. The restaurant is five blocks south of Crowleys with free parking available.

In April we’ll meet on the 18th at the Calumet Coast Guard Station. A flyer is included in this newsletter.

Directions to Crowley’s Yacht Yard

Via Lake Shore Drive
Take Lake Shore Drive south. Lake Shore Drive turns into South Shore Drive (Route 41) just past Jackson Park Harbor. Follow Route 41 signs to 95th Street. Turn right onto 95th Street and go one block to Crowley's Yacht Yard entrance on your left.

Via I-94/Skyway
Take I-94 to the Skyway. Exit the Skyway at 92nd Street (the first exit after you pay the toll.) Turn left onto 92nd Street. Go one block to South Chicago Avenue. Turn right onto South Chicago Avenue, go 1/2 mile to 95th Street. Turn left onto 95th Street. Go over the Calumet River on the 95th Street bridge. The entrance to Crowley's Yacht Yard is just after the bridge on your right.

Via Indiana Toll Road
Exit the Indiana Toll Road at Indianapolis Boulevard. (last Indiana exit). Follow Indianapolis Boulevard northwest to Ewing Avenue (Rt. 41). Turn right onto Ewing Avenue. Go north on Ewing Avenue to 95th Street (Rt. 12/20). Turn left onto 95th Street. Go one block to yard entrance on your left.

Via I-94/Bishop Ford
From the South, take I-94 to the Stony Island exit. Bear left on the exit ramp to 95th Street. Turn right onto 95th Street. Go 2 1/2 miles on 95th Street to the 95th Street bridge over the Calumet River. The entrance to Crowley's Yacht Yard is just after the bridge on your right.

Via I-57
Take I-57 to the Halsted Street exit. Turn left onto Halsted Street. Turn right onto 95th Street. Proceed east on 95th Street to the 95th Street bridge over the Calumet River. The entrance to Crowley's Yacht Yard is just after the bridge on your right



Well March sure came in like a lion; let’s hope it goes out like a lamb! The entire winter has been, if not like a lion, at least a bear. A group of 15 Fleet 21 members got away from the winter doldrums by attending the Chicago Maritime Festival on February 28th. The festival included a number of interesting seminars on Chicago’s maritime environment, a silent auction as well as entertainment with a nautical flair. Fleet 21 provided a reduced rate at the door and the group concluded the day by going to O’Brien’s for an early dinner. Thanks to Brian Ruxton for making the arrangements for this program.

Along with the arrival of March come thoughts of upcoming launch dates. In conjunction with that thought is the pre-launch checklist that we all have to get those boats splashed. Every spring Crowley’s Yacht Yard hosts their annual “Yachtapalooza”, and with it the lowest prices of the season on all of the things we need to get our boats in the water. This year’s event will be on Saturday March 21st. We purchase our VC17 every year, and it’s the lowest price anywhere. Crowley’s will provide us with a space to hold our general meeting at 3:00 pm. After the meeting we will adjourn to Puccie’s restaurant at 10063 S. Ewing for a cocktail and dinner.

Keep the date of April 18th open on your calendars for an outing to the Coast Guard’s Calumet station. They will provide us with a tour of the facility, a seminar on required equipment for our boats and a discussion on what to do if you’re boarded by the Coast Guard. I know this will be a fun and informative program, especially as we are just getting our boats ready for that spring splash. We are planning to go out to eat after the meeting, a venue will be determined and directions will be available at the meeting. Thanks to Tom and Eddie Grove for setting up this fun program.

I know you all will join me in expressing our sympathies to Mary Beth and Chuck Cybul on the loss of Mary Beth’s father.

We have scheduled a number of programs and outings for the upcoming season; see the list in this issue. We are also working on some new things that have not been finalized yet. If you have any ideas for an outing or program please let me know. We are always looking for new things to do and places to see.

As always thanks to all our hard working officers and committee members for all their hard work. Hope to see you all at Crowley’s.

Bill Thompson.


This is your last chance to renew your Fleet 21 membership.
If you have not renewed by April 1, you will no longer receive this newsletter and your name will not appear in the membership directory. Renew today!


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 or fax to 630- 668-8950 or email to Listings will run for 2 issues unless you notify me otherwise.


Fleet 21 is a member of this boating organization. Lori
Lauraitis is our representative to the group. The February
26 meeting was attended by Tom Grove.

Officer Peter Piazza was introduced as the new officer in charge of the Marine Unit.

The CYA Ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency this year.
The group is looking at ways to save money on this annual event.

Dues have been increased. The group is considering basing dues on the size of the organization represented with larger groups paying more than smaller clubs.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 26th at the Corinthian Yacht Club, Montrose Harbor.

By Tom Grove

What boat do you think is the most efficient when sailing downwind? My first thought is naturally the Catalina. Well, if you were able to see the tall ships when they were in town, that would give you a clue. During Strictly Sail this year I was able to attend Forespar’s seminar on downwind sailing. The old square sail clipper ships were the most efficient due to their ability to put up so much sail perpendicular to the wind. Now with our boats, as we’re sailing anywhere from a broad reach to running dead down wind, our jibs have a tendency to curl, thus reducing the sail area (figure A). The main sail is fine as the boom keeps the foot of the sail extended, but in order to help the jib perform optimally a whisker pole is needed. The whisker pole attaches to the mast and the windward jib sheet to extend the jib toward the wind. The pole is adjusted to keep it at 90 degrees to the wind, and the boom should be at 90 degrees also. One drawback to using a whisker pole is that in heavier wind the pole should not be used above 150 degrees, and as the winds build over 20 knots reducing sail area should be considered. (It’s always better to reduce sail area early than to become overpowered) Something very important to remember, when sailing this far downwind a preventer should be rigged to the main to eliminate an accidental jibe. Setting both sails on ‘Wing on Wing’ creates a larger sail area to catch the wind with, and will certainly increase your speed.

If you’re unable to find your rigging answer on one of the Catalina web sites drop me an email and I’ll try to help you out. finsc30@comcast .net


Tune up your racing skills with several seminars offered this spring.

Burnham Park Yacht Club is offering
Sail Fast in 2009 with five Friday evening programs on March 20, April 10, April 17, April 24 and May 8. The program is designed to bring new sailors up to speed quickly on the key points of sailboat racing and to provide intermediate skill racers with additional knowledge for improvement.
The classes cover:
•Race Overview
•Boat & Crew Preparation
•Sail Trim
•Crew Positions and Communications
•Race Strategy
•Pre-race activities
•Start Strategies & Tactics
•Mark Roundings
•Race Tactics
•Rules overview
•Protest Situations
•Mock Protest - common errors and suggested hints

Gerry O'Neil will present the program. Gerard "Gerry" O'Neil is an accomplished ocean and buoy racer with over 25 years of experience. He has participated in the Newport to Bermuda, Chicago to Mackinac; placed top 5 in multiple J/30 North American Championships; and won of dozens of Sailing World NOOD and Chicago Verve Cup Regattas.
Dennis Bartley the skipper in many of the above races and BPYC & MORF US Sailing certified judge, will review the rules and cover the changes in the 2009 rules.

The lectures start at 7:30 pm and expect to end around 9:00 pm. Dinner will be available at the club from the menu, *please make reservations for dinner at least two days in advance*.

The cost of $60 per person for the five lecture series will cover the handouts and help support the BPYC Jr Sailing Program. If you register your crew with 3 or more, we will take $5 per person off the fee.

Please let us know if you are coming, by emailing Dick O'Connell ( or Calling Mike at the yacht club 312-427-4664. (You do not need to be a yacht club member to attend.)

Columbia Yacht Club at DuSable is offering Racing Rules and Sailing Sharp Seminar May 2

The seminar is designed around the concept that knowing the racing rules of sailing, makes racing an enjoyable and safe contest while using one's skill, seamanship, and applying the principles of sportsmanship, and fair play.
The conversation will include all elements of a race and the 2009-2012 rule or rules that apply. (There are lots of changes to the racing rules this year).Seminar handout material will be given to each participant. The event is open to all sailors, including those racing under one-design and handicap rating systems and in junior programs. Facilitators include US Sailing Judges: Allan A. Teske, Robert Sargent, Nancy Glover, Ted Jones, Andrew J. Kiener, Dennis Bartley

The cost of the seminar is Twenty Five Dollars ($25.00). A lunch is included in the cost of the seminar and will be provided by the host club. The starting time for all sessions will be 09:00 local time and end at 16:00 Bring your rule book. New rule books will be available for sale.

Contact Allan Teske at 773-239-4400 or



March 21 Catalina General Meeting at Crowley’s Yacht Yard

April 18 2:00 p.m. Safety program and tour of the Calumet Harbor Coast Guard Station


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 or fax to 630- 668-8950 or email to Listings will run for 2 issues unless you notify me otherwise.

FOR SALE: Fleet Glassware. We have wine goblets for
$5 each and champagne flutes $2.50 each. Available at
Fleet Outings or reserve yours by calling Carolyn at

THEY’RE BACK: Fleet Battle Flags will be available
At the Margarita Party!


The Outings Committee is hard at work planning
a great summer for you. Give them a hand.
If you have an outing you’d like to suggest or sponsor, now is the time to speak up. Already on the calendar is the

Burnham Margarita Party—May 23

Summer Sailstice to New Buffalo – June 19-21

Mac Bay Get – Away at Holland, MI – July 11 -13

Michigan City Overnight – Labor Day

Hammond Extravaganza – Sept. 19