Catalina Fleet 21 All Catalina Owners Association, Chicago Region

July 2013

Fleetsheet Archive

July 2013

40 years age this summer, a letter went out to recent customers of Chalet Marine who had purchased Catalina 22′s, asking if they would like to attend a meeting to discuss organizing a Catalina 22 Owners Club or Fleet. Shortly thereafter over a dozen people gathered in the meeting room in the basement of the Chalet Office Building. The idea of a Fleet chartered under the Catalina 22 National Association and with its own rules and bylaws was accepted. An outline of the focus of the group was developed with an emphasis on social, sailing, racing, and safety and educational activities.*

That was the start of our club. In the past 40 years, boats have gotten bigger, (some) sailors have gotten older, harbors have changed, and Chalet Marine is long gone. However, Catalina Yachts is still going strong and so is Fleet 21! The focus of the group also remains much the same: sailing, socializing, racing (just a bit), educating, and all with safety in mind.

On August 3rd we invite all members (past and present) to gather at the home of one of our charter members to celebrate the people, boats, and events of the last 40 years. Fred and Shirley Collins are hosting our beach bash on the shores of Lake Michigan in Ogden Dunes (Portage), Indiana. The July 1 deadline for reservations has been extended so we can include you. Email Fred today and tell him you are coming ( and then mail the form included in this newsletter along with your payment.

Don’t miss this party! Our Fleet has thrived for 40 years because we all love our Catalinas and the friends we’ve made! Be a part of it. If you haven’t been to any Catalina outings, start with this one. If we haven’t seen you in awhile, renew your involvement with the Fleet. It’s up to you to get us to 50!

*History by Fred Collins. Read more inside this newsletter.


On a sad note, the Fleet has learned of the passing of one of our early members and Past Commodores. Janet Wittbold passed away after a long illness on May 17, followed by her husband Bill on May 18.

Janet was Commodore in 1983 and again in 1985. She educated many Fleet members in her Skipper School. Classes were held during the off season at her home in Des Plaines, followed by her expert on-the-water instruction in the spring. She led many cruises to Door County in her 22 Sunshine and helped many of us make those first Lake Michigan crossings. Janet is pictured here at our 30th Anniversary Party along with other Past Commodores.


Janet and Bill are survived
by their son Jim Wittbold
89 Windsor Dr.
Des Plaines, IL 60018



We have almost reached the half way point in our rather short sailing season here in the midwest. July brings the Lake Michigan Catalina Association’s all Catalina Rendezvous in Holland, Michigan; the Chicago to Mackinac race; the Racine Hook Race; the Poor Man’s Yacht Club Rum Bottle Regatta, our July Michigan City outing and generally all round good sailing and cruising. Catalina Fleet 21 members will be participating in most of these events.

Early July is also the time to send in your reservations for the 40th Anniversary Beach Bash in Portage, Indiana. Hopefully all of you have made your reservations.

Jon Paige of Crowley’s Yacht yard attended the June general meeting and gave an excellent presentation and hands-on program on rig tuning both on the water and in the club. Thank you to the Shereyks and Lauraitis’s for the donation of their boat for the evening.

On June 22nd the fleet docked at 21st street for our summer sailstice, and as usual, good food, weather and conversation. Thank you to the DeAres for their sponsoring of this event.

See you on the beach at Portage.

Pat Reynolds,

By Fred Collins
Continued from page 1

Most boats were trailered, only a few had slips in marinas, mostly in Chicago. Recruiting new members became an important activity. Our first cruises were weekend trips to Racine and Kenosha, and Door County, Wisconsin. Mostly, daysailing was the big activity.

Door County became the Fleet’s favorite cruising ground. Week long vacationing up and down the Green Bay coast with stopovers from Fish Creek and Ephraim to Sister Bay, Ellison Harbor, and Gills Rock were high priority destinations. Other favorites were Horseshoe Harbor in Eagle Bay and crossing of Green Bay, where we briefly lost sight of land, with a luncheon stopover along the shore of Chambers Island, to reach Marinette, Wisconsin/Menominee, Michigan at the mouth of the Menominee River. On the Menominee side we would tie up at the “Mystery Ship” compound. The “Mystery Ship” was determined to be the Alvin C. Clark, a Great Lakes lumber carrier that sank in a storm in the 1800′s and which had been raised and put on display. To see this old two masted sailing vessel was quite a treat. (Sadly, all was lost in a fire some years later).

Many members of the Fleet learned sailing and cruising in the school of hard knock-downs on these trips. Many of these trips would see 20 or more boats. Some of the crews were very easy going and laid back about everything regardless of the conditions; other crews were panicky and easily terrified in the same conditions. It was always a delight to see the second group become as the first over time as their experience and understanding of the sport grew. One of the most emphasized points during these early cruises was a “Buddy Boat” concept where boats with less experienced crews were paired with boats with more experienced crews. Safety came to be more prominent as people became more aware of their limitations.

Read more of our history at under the Membership tab.


WANTED: Looking for recent year Catalina 320 or Catalina 320 MK II. Contact Norm at 312-914-2703

FOR SALE: Spinnaker Pole. 2½” diameter, 10” long. Piston fitting both ends. Upper & lower bridle. Asking $300.

Cruising Spinnaker. Excellent condition.
Will fit 25’, 26’, 27’, 28’ boat. With turtle bag & douser. Asking $300.
Call Jack: 708-974-4932
Cell: 708-205-4169

FOR SALE: 1974 Catalina 22 Sunshine. Make an offer. Great project boat. Call Jim Wittbold 847-922-3443.

By Lori Lauraitis

Meeting of June 27
Upcoming Events:

*August 4 – Chicago will host a “Swim Across Lake Michigan” fund raiser from Chicago harbor Playpen to Michiana Shores, MI This fundraiser supports is for cancer research at Rush University Cancer Center.
Volunteer boats to accompany the swimmers are needed.

*Venetian Night – 7/27/2013 – looking for support to join the 31st Street Harbor in displaying their boats on a Saturday. To enter call: Betty Lerner at 847-997-8522 for a “Rockin’ The Harbor” event that is supported by the Chicago Yachting Association along with Westrec Marina Management. Food vendors will be available, beer garden, Reggae Band, judging of the boats and trophies will be awarded.

*Yachting Celebration will be held – 12/6 at Chicago Yacht Club, and Thom Dammrich, President of NMMA

7/26 – Judd Goldman at the Shedd Aquarium Event


The Poor Man’s Yacht Club would like to extend an invitation for Fleet 21 members to join us for our Summer Rum Bottle Regatta on July 20, 2013. The skippers’ meeting will be at 10:00am on the North Wall of Monroe Harbor. All boats racing are required to fly their club flag during the race. This is a great opportunity to show the Fleet 21 spirit.

The Rum Bottle Regatta is a fun race oriented toward non-racers. The race is structured with a running start with one boat crossing the start line at a time. Each boat’s time is recorded when it crosses the start line as well as the finish line. All boats are handicapped and the winner decided by the best elapsed, corrected time. The course is usually a beam reach, two leg race, making the event pleasant for all crew.

The trophy, as the race name suggests, is a bottle of rum, and the winner is strongly encouraged to share the trophy at the awards presentation. This is an excellent opportunity to tune up for the Leukemia Cup. The PMYC has waived the entry fee on this race for Catalina Fleet 21 members in good standing.

Questions can be directed to Tom Grove at with interested parties replying prior to July 15, 2013.

The Leukemia Cup is another fun race with great participation by Fleet 21. This year the regatta is August 24. Mark your calendar! Plan to attend. More information at