Catalina Fleet 21 All Catalina Owners Association, Chicago Region

March 2016 FleetSheet

Sailing into Spring

Shake off those winter doldrums; spring is here!  While the season doesn’t begin on the calendar until March 21, weathermen say spring begins March 1 and Fleet 21 springs into action on March 18 with our first general meeting and program of the year.

Our program will be a presentation by Tod Reynolds.  He is associated with the Louis Vuitton World Series Qualifying Races, a fantastic qualifying event for the next America’s Cup taking place on Lake Michigan this summer. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is a racing circuit featuring the best sailors in the world, competing on foiling, wing-sailed 45ft catamarans. The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is the first stage of competition in the 35th America’s Cup and began in the summer of 2015 and will culminate in the America’s Cup (Finals) in 2017 in Bermuda. This is the first time in the history of the America’s Cup that these trials have been held in the Chicago area.

Races will take place off Navy Pier. and presently 6 boats are registered to compete June 10, 11, and 12, 2016. The results will allow these boats to collect points to continue the competition for final placement in the 2017 America’s Cup Race in Bermuda.  Come and hear how you can witness this exciting event on land or on your boat.  Parties, pictures, entertainment, races—if you’re a boater in the Chicago area you are going to want to see this!  Lots of info at

We’ll have dinner in the Burnham Park Yacht Club at 6:30, general meeting at 7:30, and program at 8:00pm.  Reservations are a must.  Call Ron at 708-941-7577 by March 14 to reserve your spot.

On Saturday, March 26, Crowley’s Yacht Yard at 3434 E. 95th Street is where sailors meet for the annual Yachtapalooza.  The day-long event features demos, workshops, seminars, entertainment, food, drone races and clearance tents.  Make a day of it and then get together with fellow Fleet members for an early dinner.  Dinner deetails are still in the works so look for an email later this month or check the web site for time and place.

Our annual Dinner & Brown Bag Auction is April 16 at Corinthian Yacht Club in Montrose Harbor.  This popular event begins with Fleet-supplied appetizers at 5:30pm followed by a buffet dinner prepared by the Club caterer at 7pm.  The price for the dinner is has not been determined but is usually between $15 -20.  After dinner we’ll have a brief business meeting and then the fun begins as our high-powered auctioneers try to get big bucks for your brown bags.  Never been to the Brown Bag Auction?  It works like this:  put something in a bag of some sort (or it can be a box).  The item can be nautical or not.  You can re-gift a present you can’t use; recycle a boating accessory you no longer need, or just fill it with something neat or tasty.  Staple or tape your bag shut and indicate on the outside an estimated value and a clue as to what’s inside. (Don’t tell us what it actually is!)  Then let the bidding begin.  The bidding can get fierce—even though no one knows what they are bidding on—so bring lots of cash.  This is a Fleet fundraiser and all proceeds to the Fleet.  In addition to your brown bag, please bring an appetizer or dessert to share.  If you have not renewed your Fleet 21 membership, please bring your renewal form and check.
RSVP by calling Nancy Bartlett at 815-730-9334 by April 11.

Well, 2015/16 winter hasn’t been too bad in the Chicago area.  With the days getting longer and the sun higher, the worst is over!   Spring should arrive earlier this year than 2015 as Lake Michigan didn’t freeze over.

The Programs committee has planned an interesting program at 6:30 pm on Friday, March 18, at Burnham Park Yacht Club.  This summer, Chicago will make maritime history with Lake Michigan chosen as the first fresh water venue to host America’s Cup racing in the event’s 165-year history.  The Louis Vuitton event, a qualifier for the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda, will take place June 10-12 at Navy Pier. The speaker is Tod Reynolds who is the representative of the Americas Cup World Series Chicago.   Please contact me to reserve space at this exciting meeting at 708 941-7577 by March 14.

Crowley’s 2016 Yachtapalooza is scheduled on Saturday, March 26, from 8 am to 4 pm.   The fire extinguisher demonstration is scheduled to take place at 10:30 am in the Center Court and a Flare demonstration at 12 pm at the North Dock.  For information on other events and seminars at the Yachtapalooza, log onto  The Fleet is planning a luncheon on Saturday afternoon.   Look for further information in this issue of the Fleet Sheet.

Mark your calendar for the Brown Bag Auction scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 16, at the Corinthian Yacht Club.  This is a fun evening where you can move some of your unused sailing gear onto some other deserving person.  And you never know just what you will find when you open the brown bag that you just bid on and ‘won.’

We’ve changed the time of the Margarita Party on Saturday, May 28.  It will begin at 3:30 pm at Half Moon Park on the lawn near Burnham Park Yacht Club.   We are planning a 5:30 pm BBQ on the patio of the yacht club.

There was an article in the 2015 Yachting in Chicago magazine written by Ted Kuenzli, past Commodore of Fleet 21, titled ‘The Story of Our Two-Week Cruise.’  The article featured the adventures of four sailboats that sailed to Holland MI last July to attend the 20th anniversary of Lake Michigan Catalina Association’s celebration and north to other ports for the remainder cruise.  And the February 2016 issue of Main Sheet also featured an article written by Bill Ahillen, long-time Fleet 21 member.  He and a group of seven others sailed the Eastern Shore of Lake Michigan last July on Bill’s Catalina 380, Kathy II.  Both of the articles are an interesting read.

If you haven’t already done so, please renew your 2016 membership using the Renewal Form in this issue of the Fleet Sheet by April 15 or at the Brown Bag Auction.  This will insure you will be included in the 2016 Catalina Fleet 21 Directory.

Ron Shereyk, Commodore

“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 Marshall & Lin Fernholz

It was difficult to say goodbye to Heaven’s Breath, our 1993 Catalina 36.  She was part of the family and our weekend residence for 13 years.   As recent retirees we were spending time on the boat but found ourselves sailing less.  In 2015 we started to formulate our retirement dream – to live aboard 5 months in Southport Marina Kenosha WI, then spend our winters in FL (snow is a 4-letter word after all).   We wanted more space in order to comfortably live aboard for the entire summer.   And unfortunately one of us suffers from arthritis and the other is experiencing knee problems.  So we went on a mission to find a boat with more living space and as few stairs as possible.   We found it – in a power boat!

For only 4 years in the mid-to-late 1980s, Carver made a version of their Mariner with a completely flat interior floor plan and only 4 steps up to the bridge deck.  Perfect.  We looked at a lot of old Carvers before finding a 1986 that had been lovingly cared for.  Dealers Choice is 36 feet with spacious main salon, full size fridge (ice cream anyone?), master cabin with pedestal V berth, second cabin with 2 bunk beds, decent aft deck space and a large covered flybridge – good for enjoying the view out over the breakwater sipping our morning coffee.  So many power boats have their bridge deck seats set up like church pews facing forward, but this boat has seats in a U shape – great for socializing.  We both knew immediately that Dealer’s Choice was the right boat for us.

Our Catalina sold for $20K more than we spent on the Carver.  Like Ted & Francine (last month’s Fleet Sheet) we don’t plan to make long cruises.  At 1 mile to the gallon, we have short day trips in our future.  We love Kenosha Harbor and Dealer’s Choice is our comfy floating condo on the water.  We have discovered that piloting a power boat is not (as many sailboaters, ourselves included, have said) as easy as driving a car.  It takes time and practice to safely drive a twin screw with short rudders!  We learned a lot last summer about steering the boat without touching the steering wheel; instead using the port & starboard throttles and gear shifts for both engines to dock the boat.  It’s a whole new paradigm and we’re enjoying the learning process.

Last month we bought a house in FL and are now readying our Skokie house to go on the market (big job after 27 years of collecting ‘stuff’).  Our dream is coming to fruition at a faster pace than we expected!

Will we miss the almost silent rush of water under the hull as the sails would fill and we’d quietly glide past the beautiful Chicago skyline?  You bet we will.  There were tears when we said goodbye to Heaven’s Breath.  Her new captain sailed the English Channel as a kid but became a power boater when he moved to Chicago.  He’s now going back to his roots by switching from power to sail; just as we’re making the switch from sail to power!  It’s that old ‘balance in the universe’ karma in action.

Reported by Lori Lauraitis
Meeting of February 25.  Scott Stevenson reported on harbor conditions and planned improvements:
Montrose: new launch ramps
Belmont: redecking to improve gas docks, using treated ash tree wood
DuSable: concrete repair, replace some rusted dock gates, new laundry room
Monroe: 6/10-12 – America’s Cup World Series – trying to install a special event area & planning to make the tender service run more smooth & spend less money on fares
Burnham: renovate bathrooms in the sailing school area with a future sailing center – similar to the current floating bathrooms resurface the east side parking lot & improve wifi on a couple of docks
31St Street: one lane added to rearrange in & out driving + 250 parking spaces on the west lot.
Jackson Park-Outer: difficult winter, but planning to open on time with increasing water levels, & issues w/fuel pumps. & tanks
Navy Pier: planning for a touch n’ go on the north side for America’s Cup. Flags available for sale $150.00 per boat (see

Venetian Night to be 9/10 – theme: Celebrating The Decades-40’s, 50’s, 60’s. 70’s, 80’s etc. Entry fee $100.00 will have decorating & safety class seminars.  New this year,  floating docks to work on your boat.


FOR SALE:  1992 Catalina 28.   $32,000.
Moored And Wintered In Michigan City IN.
Excellent Condition.  18 Horse Universal Diesel .
Wing Keel 3’ 10’’ Draft.  Refrigeration and Food Pantry –
Plus many interior upgrades. Bimini / Dodger – Plus Full enclosure.
Three new batteries installed this year – 2 deep cycle – 1 starting.
Auto Helm 4000 + Full Instrumentation includes GPS Chart Plotter.
Other extras include: Dutchman, Full Batten Main With Rigid Boom Vang
Roller Furling Genoa,Cockpit Cushions Plus Cockpit Table ,
Stern Perch Seats, Wham Microphone in Cockpit
Contact : Jack or Lois Bretall  708-974-4932 Home;
708-205-4169 Jack cell
708-205-0840 Lois cell

FOR SALE  1986  Catalina 22 Swing Keel with Pop Top  with Trailer ,   $5000
Mored and wintered in Michigan City Indiana. 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

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.