Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter


May 2009


Margarita Party
Saturday, May 23
4:30 p.m.
Burnham Harbor

Bike the Drive
Sunday, May 24
Meet at H Dock
6:30 a.m.

General Meeting
Tuesday, June 16
Burnham Park Yacht Club

Sunflower Raft Up
Location TBD
June 13

Summer Sailstice
 to New Buffalo
June 19-21

2009 Outings List




Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional start to Fleet 21’s summer activities. The first event is an easy one: the Margarita Party at Burnham Harbor on May 23. We’ve been serving up $1 margaritas in all kinds of weather since about 1992! And the price remains the same this year! All you need to do is show up with dollars in hand and a good time in mind. Complete details are in the flyer inside this newsletter. It seems since our group began 35 years ago, we’ve most always started the year at Burnham Harbor. At one time there was a great cove where we all could raft up for free. Those days are gone, but Burnham is still the launching site for our summers. And you can still bring your boat…you’ll just need to arrange it with the harbor master. Bring your bike too and join in Bike the Drive on Sunday.

If you’re a Fleet member who has never attended an outing, start with this one. You can drive to Burnham Harbor (we are trying to arrange for free parking passes, but we can’t guarantee it—pay parking is always available). This event generally goes on no matter what the weather. If it’s pouring buckets call the sponsors before you leave home.

The complete Outings Schedule is included in this newsletter. We’ve got overnights, cruises, shrimp boils and more on deck. If you can’t sail to an event, drive. Many members do. Many of the events will ask for reservations…please cooperate! It’s hard to plan events when we have no idea how many are coming.

Our summer programs and General Meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of the month and generally at the Burnham Park Yacht Club. Our General Meeting in May is at the Margarita Party. There’s no General Meeting in July. And mark your calendars now for the biggest and dressiest event of the year: The Annual Awards Banquet is November 21 at the Burnham Park Yacht Club.


Well, we finally made it! Our boat was splashed on May 1st and we had an absolutely wonderful sail from Hammond to Burnham Harbor on Sunday May 3rd. The wind was out of the West at 10 – 15 knots which made for a perfect broad reach most of the way. Speed was between 6 and 7 with a max at 7.7; can’t get much better than that! I know many of you are still getting ready and wish you the best of luck getting all of those spring chores done in preparation for launch day.

Many thanks to the men and women of the Coast Guard and Tom and Eddie Grove for planning and executing our last program at the Coast Guard station at Calumet Park. This was one of those outings that was informative as well as fun. They started out taking us on a tour through the facility, allowed us to board the boats, took us through the communications area and finally brought us back to the mess hall for a discussion about required safety equipment and a question and answer period. I think everyone that attended enjoyed the program. We had a total of 30 members at the Coast Guard station and everyone joined us at Up For Grabs following the tour for dinner and a cocktail.

We are planning on reprinting the name badges this year to make it easier to meet and greet each other at the outings and programs. We are planning on using the names as they appear in the directory. If that is not the name that you would like on the name badge please give me a call or send me an email and we will modify it to whatever you like. I know that sometimes William would rather be called Bill at the social gatherings. So please let me know by 5/15 if you would like a change.

Speaking of social gatherings, the next program on the schedule is the Margarita Party on Saturday May 23rd at 4:30 pm. The location will be the same as past years, just south of the Burnham Park Yacht Club on the lawn. We are working with the Burnham harbor master to arrange parking near the party and will direct you on the day of the party. If any Burnham Boaters have extra parking passes it would be great if you could make them available for your visiting members for other harbors. After the party the Burnham Park Yacht Club has extended an invitation to all our members to enjoy a dinner on their patio for the price of $15 per person. After dinner we will hold a short general meeting. BPYC has asked that we please give them a better idea of how many people to prepare for so please R.S.VP to the number on the flyer if you plan to stay.

Also keep in mind that on Sunday May 24th is Chicago’s annual Bike the Drive. The city of Chicago closes Lake Shore Drive to automobiles and allows only bikes. This is a great opportunity to work off the margaritas from the party on Saturday.

If you haven’t visited our web site in a while please check it out. Our webmaster Bob Kuba has added some new pages and updated the weather page. The new weather page has a number of helpful resources and now has a number of webcams from around the lake. Go to and browse around. Many thanks to Bob for all the work he puts in to keep our web site the best one around.

That’s all for now. I look forward to seeing all my old friends and hopefully some new ones at the Margarita Party. Until then fair winds to you all.
Bill Thompson,

The 2009 membership directories will be distributed at the Margarita Party on May 23. Those not picked up will be mailed. If you make changes to your address, phone number, email, etc. during the year, please send them to the membership chair and the Fleet Sheet editor. We’ll publish the changes here.

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: Set of three cockpit cushions for a Catalina 30 Mark I. These are the old style vinyl cushions with foam inside, one may need a new zipper, aside from that they are in pretty good shape. They came with my boat and we have since replaced them with closed cell cushions. They are free to anyone interested, but I will not ship them based on their size. Please call Bill Thompson at 630-257-8052 or email me at to make arrangements.

Fleet 21 is a member of this boating organization. Lori
Lauraitis is our representative to the group. Lori filed this report from the March meeting.

*Phone number for contacting Coast Guard to report an incident or request help is 708-251-0185
*Scott Stevenson & Jerry Metzger reported for WesTrec (company that manages the Chicago harbors). They reported that the Chicago harbors are 99% occupies with renewals down 2 – 3% from last year. Water levels are up on Lake Michigan so dredging should not be necessary. New gas docks are planned for Burnham Harbor. Belmont is moving gas kiosk; store will open in June. DuSable washrooms are 85% completed. Store will open 5/15. Monroe replaced some cans and chains. Montrose bathrooms should be open. They hope these floating bathrooms work out well and can be used in other harbors. Extra parking passes are $220 for 2nd one and $300 for 3rd.
* Fred Poppe, CYA Vice President, was elected to the National Boating Federation. He attended a meeting on the effects of ethanol mixed into regular gasoline.
*Venetian Night is Saturday, July 25. Go to for more info.

More and more of our Fleet 21 members are discovering the fun and challenge of racing.
For many their first race wasthe Leukemia Cup scheduled for August 21-22. Last year 9 Fleet boats and 12 Catalinas in all raced in this event. It’s a low key, casual race. Get together a crew of fellow Fleet members and plan to participate. For more information or to register go to

Other races you are invited to participate in include:

Double Handed Race from Northpoint Marina to Port Washinton. June 18. For more information contact Joe Vilimek at or go to the Lake Michigan Single Handed Society website at

There & Back Short-Handed Race, Saturday, August 1. Belmont Yacht Club. Register at

If nothing else, look like a racer with your very own Cataling Fleet 21 battleflag.


Battle Flags are back!

 If you’ve noticed the big Catalina “Battle Flags” flying at our Fleet outings and wondered how to get one, now’s your chance!

The custom 36” X 54” flags feature the Chicago skyline and the All Catalina logo. Reserve yours today!

Cost is $45. Flags will be available for pick up at the Margarita Party on Memorial Day weekend or other arrangements can be made.

Reserve by calling or emailing Ray Kalinsky at
708-974-2470 or