Catalina Fleet 21 All Catalina Owners Association, Chicago Region

June 2016 FleetSheet


While the days are getting longer, the sailing season is already getting shorter! Don’t let the summer go by without attending one, some or all of Fleet 21’s outings. You’ll meet new sailors, reconnect with friends, visit a new harbor or two, and eat great! The first outing of the summer is the Summer Sailstice at 31st Street Harbor on June 24, 25, and 26.  And what a deal! Free slips for our members on Friday and Saturday night.  Come for one night or two.  It’s also HarborFest  at 31st Street that weekend which means lots of entertainment, activities and a boat show. Chicago Harbor boat owners can get two free tickets to the event from their harbormaster. And not only is there a beach at 31st Street, there is a pool!  New this year is a Salerno’s Pizza restaurant. See the flyer in this newsletter for more details.  It is absolutely essential that you RSVP for this outing to receive a free slip.

After the  Summer Sailstice, our next planned event is the Cruise from Chicago to Michigan City.  After a night in Michigan City, the cruise continues on to the Catalina Rendezvous (also known as the Mac Bay Get-Away) at Lake Macatawa in Holland, Michigan. (You could also just cruise to Michigan City). Dave DeAre is coordinating the Cruise from Chicago to Michigan City. Contact Dave if you plan to participate. Slip reservations are not needed in Michigan City. Ask for a slip (preferably on the 800 Dock) once you are close to the harbor. Fred Collins will lead the harbor hop up the coast of Michigan. Where we’ll stop and when will of course be decided by Mother Nature!

It is necessary to preregister for the Mac Bay Get-Away. The registration should be available online in the next few days. Go to The registration deadline is July 3 After the Rendezvous, you can continue cruising north or harbor hop back to your home port.  We plan to be in New Buffalo Municipal Marina on July 16. You can also join us there. Take time in mid – July to see the tall ships. They sail in to Navy Pier on July 27.

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“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain

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Let the fun begin! The Margarita Party was a great success. Although there was a problem with parking due to a concert at Soldier’s Field and very windy conditions, 59 members attended along with several guests. The BBQ at Burnham Yacht Club was attended by 31 members and it wasn’t a BBQ. Since we had only two responses to the invitation for dinner, we decided to have a special Catalina Margarita menu instead.

The Louis Vuitton Cup trials are June 10, 11 & 12 at the Inner Harbor just off of Navy Pier. Check for more information.

Our next Club event is the Summer Sailstice at 31st Street harbor. Since Father’s Day is June 18, it will be held the following weekend, June 25 and 26, the same weekend as the 31st Street Harbor Fest. More information is included in this issue.

The July events include a cruise to Macatawa Bay for the annual Catalina Rendezvous, MacBay Getaway. Dave DeAre is sponsoring the Chicago to Michigan City leg of the cruise and Fred Collins is joining Dave as sponsor of the trip from Michigan City to Macatawa Bay. Holland, Michigan, is the closest town to Macatawa Bay, about eight miles inland. The Lake Michigan Catalina Association is sponsoring this annual event scheduled on Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10. This is a fun event and well worth attending. More information should be available regarding the MacBay event on the LMCA website,

There is a Kenosha Overnight, sponsored by Shaun Kim and Marshall Fernholz on July 23/24. And, on Wednesday, July 27th, the Tall Ships are returning to Chicago. Dave DeAre is sponsoring a flotilla to view the parade as they arrive in Chicago. This is a worthwhile event as the site of them arriving under full sail is something to see! More information will be available.

We welcomed two new members at the Margarita Party.  Their information is included in the New Member section of this issue. Hope to see all of you at one of our upcoming Outings. Have a safe and wonderful summer!

Ron Shereyk,








The Henry Ford of Boat builders, Frank Butler, was working in his California machine shop in 1961 when he began to admire the fiberglass boats being built down the street. Soon, he’d paid up and ordered one. But on delivery day, there was a problem. The boat he’d ordered had never been built. Though not a fighting man, Frank was riled. He got personally involved in the building process, and soon he had his boat. “Right then and there I was building my first boat,” he said. “I was hooked.” Before long, he owned the business. It eventually became Coronado Yachts, later sold to Whittaker Marine.

In 1970 he founded Catalina Yachts, which went on to build an expanding line of quality boats at a fair price. Led by Butler, the company became known for its excellent customer service, which resulted in almost unsurpassed customer loyalty. “It’s not unusual for someone to come up to me and say, ‘I’ve had four of your boats,’” Butler said. “Actually, quite a few people say they’ve had seven or eight.” When he launched the Catalina 22, he said “I thought if I could sell 300, I’d be happy.” He sold 16,000.Today – including Catalinas, Coronados, Capris, and Morgans – he’s built more than 75,000 boats.

Now in his 90s, he still takes an active company role, though he added longtime associates Sharon Day and Gerry Douglas as partners in 1998. Butler remains managing editor of the owners association newsletter, Mainsheet, and likes to talk to his customers personally, often answering the company phone.

Like legions of satisfied Catalina owners, the Catalina company tree continues to thrive, thanks in no small part to Butler’s warm, personal touch.

Reported by Lori Lauraitis

Meeting held May 26
New sailors looking for water safety and boating instruction should contact the Chicago Sail and Power Squadron.

Welcome aboard to the following new member:

Skipper:  Michael Enright
First Mate:  Kevin Serr
Address:  Chicago, IL
Boat Info:
Name:  Blue Sky  Size:  27  Harbor: Burnham  Mooring:  EK11

Skipper:  Mary McCarthy/Cathy Tarkey
Address:  Orland Park, IL
Boat Info:
Name:  TBD   Size:  320   Harbor:  Burnham  Mooring: O-13









Sadly we report the passing on May 10 of long-time Fleet member Del Kleitz. Del
kept his Catalina 27 Lone Wolf  at Great Lakes. Our condolences to his wife, Linda.


“Old sailors never die, they just get a little dingy.” They also get to decide how they are going to “sail through retirement.” Keep the same boat and same routine as always? Buy a bigger boat and live on it? Give up sailing? Head off on a year- long cruise? This new column will relate how some of our members have resolved some of these questions. If you have made a change in your approach to boating, please share your story in our Fleet Sheet. Just email your submission to  Pictures welcome too! This month’s submission is contributed by Bob and Cheryl Kuba








Changing Tacks: The transition from a sailing yacht to a land yacht

The epiphany for both of us, came not as a sudden and striking realization, but rather as a gradual understanding that our lives and jobs were not where we hoped they would be. Requiring a significant amount of thought, and a leap of faith that would test the bravest of us, we set out to effect a change.

Cheryl’s job as a Gerontologist had evolved from a heartfelt desire to help the families of the elderly, into the daily routine of managing an office of employees and fulfilling the corporate quota of revenue and expectations. Ten years into the future, the faces may be different, but the routine would remain.

My job of flying military troops on their worldwide mission required 18 consecutive days each month out of the country often in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Corporate economics would soon dictate 90 consecutive days on the road with a minimal reprieve between missions. Even for a single man, that outlook had more the undertones of a sentence, than an adventure.

Untying the bonds that held us would require some difficult decisions, the hardest being giving up our boat, Quiet Island. A decision that we kept putting off, trying to delay the heartache for as long as possible. Finally that bittersweet day arrived, and through a fortuitist sequence of events, Bill Ziegel and Captain Fred Swastek, became the new owners. A good story to be sure, you’ll have to ask Fred about it sometime, as he is now a Fleet 21 member.

The decision to purchase an RV came through the effort of applying for a job flying an advertising blimp for the company that owned the Metlife and Family Channel blimps. I figured we could live in an RV as we traveled around the country following the blimp around the national advertising circuit.

So began the task of educating ourselves about RV’s. I knew from our boating experience, that living aboard would require a minimum of a 40 foot boat to be comfortable. So that became our benchmark, a 40 foot RV. Some things don’t translate exactly as you might imagine, and that was one. 38 feet would have been plenty, but the benchmark was set and the search was on.

For the next year, we climbed aboard literally hundreds of RV’s, even traveling to Florida to attend a driving school for motorhomes in Tampa. We even rented a motorhome to try the experience before we pulled the trigger on one of our own. Longtime sailors and RVers, Lori and John Lauraitis, joined us in their RV on our rental pilgrimage in Wisconsin.

The blimp adventure never panned out, but we decided to pursue the RV concept anyway. Just by happenstance, I found the perfect RV candidate in Denver while I was at the simulator training facility for my annual 767 check ride. It belonged to a family who had been living in it for 3 years with their 4 kids. They had been traveling around the country performing random acts of kindness for strangers, and were now settling down in Colorado. Good karma. They had even appeared on “Good Morning America”, having driven the RV into Times Square in New York for filming. A braver man than I. You can see their adventure at along with pictures of the coach. (It looked very different back then with a complete body advertising wrap.)

We purchased it in the Fall of 2013, but an early snow in Denver forced a winter in a Colorado storage lot. In the spring, Cheryl’s brother John drove us out west in his newly acquired rv, and we drove back from the mountains together.

There would be many mountains to climb in the months to come, not the least of which being 27 years of accumulated “stuff” which needed to be moved, sold, or given away. We all have it, and my advice is to start now, as it is a daunting task. We rented our condo to an 80 year old artist who has now fallen in love with her new urban digs. She wished us a long and happy trip. With a special emphasis on the long part.

Our initial plan was to head east to Maine, and as the colors changed with the approaching autumn, gradually head south and spend the first winter in Florida near my parents in Sebring. But a sudden decline in their health prompted a route directly to Sebring, and not a moment to lose. We were blessed to be able to spend some heartfelt months with them in the final chapter of their lives. They passed within 6 weeks of each other in the early summer of 2015.

We have managed a couple of trips and have seen an awful lot of Florida during our 18 months here. We had a journey to Nashville and toured the Grand Old Opry, and a few months later we ventured north to Gettysburg, visiting the Biltmore Estate in NC and the Greenbrier in VA. On our return we stopped to visit our first boat partner, Phil, in Monroe, Georgia. We have also seen and enjoyed visiting with family and the many Fleet 21 members and friends who have also wintered in the southern climate.

With the estate affairs of my parents nearly concluded, we look forward to venturing out of Florida later in the spring. Living aboard an rv is much like the sailing experience, shore power, water hookup, and pumping out are all very similar. We try to stay in one place for awhile, at least a week, sometimes for a few months. We tow our car which is helpful when it comes to exploring and gathering essentials. West Marine has been replaced by Camping World, but as is always the case, more inexpensive solutions can be found at Home Depot.

It’s true our accommodations are only 480 square feet, but we have a full size refrigerator, and our back yard is very big. And it’s a different back yard every time our dog, Abby, steps outside. I wonder what she thinks about that?

The lessons learned so far? Never approach an alligator while in an inflatable kayak during nesting season, and try to avoid wearing white underwear while driving a motorhome on the mountainous backroads of West Virginia. Of course the most important, enjoy the day, we only get so many of them. And perhaps, “Do it while you still can” should be our new mantra. Fair winds to all, or should I say, Happy Trails?










FOR SALE:  1986  Catalina 22 Swing Keel with Pop Top  with Trailer ,   $5000. Good condition, 2010 electric start 8 hp Mercury outboard, roller furling headsail, asymmetrical  spinnaker, 2 sets of sails, now on trailer whose bearings and packing were  replaced in 2008, lazy jacks available (not installed), Contact Ed Kleese ,  219-814-4456 or mobile 219-510-7772

FOR SALE: Catalina 27 $3,800
Roller Furling, Atomin 4 inboard engine, Sails (5 years old), other extras Contact Linda Kleitz 630-595-6737

Run your business card here. $20 for the calendar year. Email your card to  Fleet Members may list items to sell, to trade, or to buy in this column for free. Send your listing to Listings run for two issues unless I hear otherwise.