Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter

March 2000


  According to a recent Tom Skilling column in the Chicago Tribune, Lake Michigan's waters have dropped dramatically from near record highs just a few years ago to their current level of 577.07 feet That reading is just 12 inches from the lowest March level ever (576.05 feet) observed in 1964. Lake Michigan has declined 14 inches in just the past year. By July, forecasts place Lake Michigan's waters 19 inches below the long-term average and 9 inches lower than July a year ago. What does that mean to a sailboater on the lake? Will you be able to launch your boat? Raise your mast? Get in your slip without touching bottom? Are there plans to dredge the harbors? These and other concerns about the lake and its inland waterways will (hopefully) be the topic of the March General Meeting on Friday, March 17. We are awaiting confirmation of who the speaker will be, but the plan is to get answers to these important questions.

 The meeting will be held at the Burnham Park Yacht Club located at 1500 S. Linn White Drive. Follow the signs to Meigs Field. Come early and enjoy dinner at the club beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you plan to have dinner, please call Dave DeAre at 630-469-6117 by March 16. The business meeting will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m.

 Snow prevented most of the Fleet from attending the February shopping spree at Boater's World, 1661 N. Elston Avenue in Chicago. This event has been rescheduled for Friday, March 31. Our own private shopping begins at 6:00 p.m. Every item in the store is reduced for our Fleet! What's on your list to buy before heading to the boatyard? They'll have it - on sale - at Boater's World on March 31.


Having returned from 80 degree weather last week and crewing on a Catalina 38 in the Pacific waters, my heart is ready to launch our boat next week. My head tells me that we still have about 2 months before a logical launch will take place. This means we still have time to buy that bottom paint and other replacement parts for our boats. We had a small turnout at the February Boaters World program due to the snowstorm, but the program committee has scheduled a makeup date for March 31. Come on down and shop. We guarantee good prices and lots of friendly advice from other fleet members.

 This month is a good time to drag out the sails and check if they need repairing or cleaning. Also check and recharge boat batteries, charge hand held instruments and verify that safety gear is ready and current for another year.

 Our outings committee is hard at work planning summer activities. You may get a call to host a weekend event. Surprise the committee and call them first and volunteer! We need to think positive and be creative this year due to the projected low lake levels. If you have ideas for an Outing, now is the time to schedule it. We have an award for Rookie of the Year" for new members who get involved their first year. Outings and meetings are high on the list to attain this honor. Look in this newsletter for more information about all the awards that are given out at the annual banquet.

 To date, we have collected $570 in donations for the Catalina Fleet 21 Mariner's Service Fund. Added to the Fleet's allocation of $1,000 we have a total of $1,570. The committee is currently looking at organizations that would benefit from our first awarding of funds.

 If you have news of a Fleet member that you would like to share with the rest of our membership, please let me know. I'll do my best to keep everyone informed.

 Ted Kuenzli Commodore


 All membership renewals must be in by April

1. If you have not renewed your Fleet membership by April 1 you will not receive the April newsletter nor be listed in the 2000 directory. Lost your form or never had one? Contact Lori Lauraitis at 708-448-1382 or Karen Walsh at 630-323-6543.



All new members take note: you can be a winner this year! Every year in November the Fleet holds its annual awards banquet. One of the trophies goes to the Rookie of the Year. This award goes to a new member who in the opinion of the board has been active in the betterment of the organization regardless of past sailing experience. Criteria for winning Rookie of the Year is involvement in general or board meetings, outings, or racing. Involvement is defined as attendance, serving on a committee or the board, or running or helping to run an event or outing.

 Now is the time to get involved. Come to the March General Meeting on the 17th, meet members of the Fleet, and participate.

 Other awards presented annually include Boat of the Year, Commodore's Award, and Racer of the Year. More on how o qualify for those awards in future newsletters.

 The date for this year's banquet has been confirmed. It is Saturday, November 18 at the Belmont station of the Chicago Yacht Club.


  It is with great sadness that I report the death of Fleet Member Phillip Schwarz. Phil and his wife Jennifer most recently sailed Still Crazy a Catalina 25 and prior to that were on Joie du Lac, a Catalina 22, both moored in Burnham Harbor. Phil was a gifted singer as well as a sailor and his group Chicago Natural Gas entertained us at a General Meeting in 1994. We extend love and our heartfelt sympathies to Jennifer and their children.



By John Lauraitis

It's boat yard season! Here is a list of things to check on your electrical and water systems during spring commissioning.


 Charge the battery and check to see if it is holding its charge.

 Reinstall the battery tying it down securely.

 Reinstall instruments (if applicable). Check all electrical functions as soon as possible.

This includes lights, instruments and radios.

 If the mast was un-stepped, check its lights before re-stepping

While the boat is out of the water, check the knotmeter impeller. If it is not spinning
freely, now is the time to replace or repair.

Check all accessible wiring visually for corrosion and cracked sheathing.

Spray on-deck light bulb sockets (running lights) with a moisture dispersent to prevent rust.

 Make sure there are extra fuses on board.

Once the boat is launched, check the calibration of all the instruments and adjust as necessary.

 Water System

        Before refilling a winterized system, check and clean the water tank. Remove any dirt or sediment.

 Refill only after non-freezing temperatures are certain. If a potable antifreeze was used at winter lay-up, flush it from the system.

Run water through the pumps and faucets, checking hoses, connections and the pumps themselves. If hoses are cracked or leaking, they should be replaced. If pumps are not functioning properly, they can often be repaired with kits available from the manufacturer.



FOR SALE 1995 Catalina 36 Tall rig, wing keel, 3Ohp diesel, wind speed, depth, autohelm 4000, 5"compass, Schaeffer roller furling, Garhauer adjustable fairleads, VH, A~M cassette, premium interior fabric, 150 genoa, flill batten main with Dutchman, jiffy reefing, 3 blade prop, bimini, dodger and filler, pedestal dinette table, teak cockpit table, microwave, tv / vcr, cradle. Bob Hurdle, 630-964~3454, or

 FOR SALE: 1985 Catalina 30. Universal 21 hp diesel. Wind, speed' depth, 5"compass. Harken roller furling, jiffy reefing. Four self-tailing winches. H/C pressurized water. Autohelm 3000. Loran, VHF, AM-FM cassette stereo. Extra sails plus many other extras. $31,600. Contact Walter Hartmann 708-246-3447 or

  WANTED: Catalina 34 tall-rig. Spinnaker equipment preferred. Walter Hartmann at 708-24&3447 or

 LIST items you want to sell or acquire. Send ads to Newsletter Editor, 306 Linden, Glen EIlyn, IL 60137 or  Listings are free to Fleet members. $5.00 for 3 months for non-members.