Catalina Fleet 21 All Catalina Owners Association, Chicago Region

March/April 2019 FleetSheet

If you can believe a groundhog, spring is less than six weeks away! It’s time to get ready for another season of Fleet 21. Planning for outings, programs, and fun is underway. We hope you are planning to attend more events than ever this year. Our first get-together will take place at Crowley’s Yacht Yard’s annual Yacht-A-Palooza on March 23. This event features ship store discounts including on VC-17, Nautical Donations sales, guest speakers, workshops and numerous vendors. Afterwards we’ll gather for dinner and a meeting. Watch the web site or emails for details on the dinner. Check for more information about Yacht-A-Palooza. Give them a few weeks. There’s nothing on their website as of today.

In April we combine fun, food and bargains at our annual Brown Bag Auction. Little details (like date and place !!) for this event are still being finalized. We promise to have all the info you need in the April Fleet Sheet. In the meantime, start thinking what you can put in that brown bag. Be sure you’re part of all the fun. Renew your Fleet membership using the renewal form in this issue. Renew by April 1 to be included in the 2019 Catalina Fleet 21 Directory. The new board for 2019 was introduced at the November banquet. A big thank you to Madalyn Duerr for planning this spectacular event. Be sure to read Madalyn’s report in this issue.

Outgoing officers Commodore James Caldwell and Vice Commodore John Jackiw welcome the new board:
Commodore Branson Stone
Vice Commodore Harold Hansen
Secretary Laura Pohl
Treasurer Pete Pohl

Fleet 21 Officers







We are approaching a new sailing season. Our boats are still in storage, awaiting the weather to turn so that we can get to the boat yard and begin prepping them for launch. It still may be cold, but if you are like me, you are already thinking about getting your VC-17, waxing the hull and cleaning the deck in anticipation of those nice warm sails on Lake Michigan with family and friends.

Fleet 21 is now in its 46th year. Quite an accomplishment for a club like ours to survive for all of these years, and still have a solid core membership dedicated to its continuance and prosperity. Fleet 21, like any social club, depends on volunteers for its success. What you get out of this club depends solely on what you put into it and your participation. The outings and programs we run are designed to be entertaining and informative. However, every outing and program we offer exists solely due to the time and effort of someone who thought it up, planned it, and then ran it. Every outing and program offered began as an idea from one of our members.

We will begin our 46th year with a get together March 23rd at Crowley’s Yacht-A-Palooza, with a dinner meeting to follow. In April, we will have our Brown Bag Auction and Dinner. Additional outings and programs will be offered through the year. I encourage everyone to attend. Remember, this is your club, and we need your help for it to continue. If running an entire outing or program seems too challenging, simply offer to help those who are running the event.

I look forward to seeing you at the outings, programs, and meetings, and especially out on the water.
Branson Stone, Commodore


Rope Washing Advice from the Pros
Reprinted from Practical Sailor magazine & submitted by Harold Hansen
Maybe you spent the past season anchored near a highway, airport, or power plant, or maybe you just dragged your mildewed lines out of a locker. The deposits and growth are mostly just an eyesore, but these stains can stiffen the line, make it harder to handle, and cause it to wear more quickly. The good news is that lines are relatively easy to clean. The bad news is that there is a lot of bad advice on how to do it properly. In search of definitive guidance on rope cleaning (See Practical Sailor, July 2011), Practical Sailor contributor Drew Frye turned to manufacturers and professionals for advice. Although the tips varied in some details, all agreed on the following points.

• Wash only with a very mild detergent. For relatively new ropes, this means something like Woolite or a half-dose of a modern laundry detergent. After several years, ordinary laundry detergents at ordinary doses are acceptable. Avoid any cleaners that have a pH value below 7 or above 9, exaggerated soaking periods, or exaggerated doses. Most common laundry detergents are buffered in this pH range when used as directed.
• Wash on the gentlest cycle. The rope should be tightly coiled or tied in a daisy-chain, and then placed inside a pillowcase. Front-loading washing machines are recommended; an up-and-down motion is preferable to the rotary motion of most common household machines. For a video of daisy chaining, search “chain sinnet” (also called a monkey braid) on
• Avoid contact with acids, bases, and solvents. Both polyester and nylon (polyamide) are vulnerable to certain chemicals, so manufacturers broadly warn against using them. However, both nylon and polyester are unaffected by most solvents. Avoid all acid cleaners, including vinegar, and diluted acids.
• Fabric softener at recommended doses is approved. However, high doses of fabric softener can weaken ropes, primarily because they prevent complete drying.
• Power washing is not recommended.
• Bleach is not recommended by any manufacturer in any quantity.
• Hot water is not a problem
• Don’t dry with heat. The rope should be flaked loosely on the floor or ground and left to dry. Nylon and polyester ropes are not typically heat-set, and there is great risk that the sheath and core will shrink differently, causing distortion and structural damage to the rope.

For more detail on how clean your ropes, as well as a look as a graphic demonstration of what can happen when you do it wrong, see the July 2011 article.


What is AIS ? Part 1 of 2
Submitted by Leo Beer
AIS, Automatic Identification System, works via a combination of GPS, VHF radio and either an AIS transponder or receiver depending on the level of information that you are needing or wanting to attain. AIS transponders broadcast a ship’s information, such as speed and heading (using information from GPS), the ship’s name, port of origin, size, draft and more over VHF frequencies. There are also some landmarks equipped with AIS such as marinas, light houses, breakwalls and marker buoys. This info is updated constantly and can be viewed by any other ship equipped with an AIS unit. A less expensive option for recreational boaters would be an AIS receiver. An AIS receiver will not broadcast information about your boat but will allow you to access data being broadcast by all other AIS
equipped boats.

There are two classes of AIS. Class A units (expensive) are required by law on most vessels over 65 feet (commercial). Class A has 12 watts of power, a transmission range of 20-30 miles, updates every 2-10 seconds and have a dedicated display. Class B units (less expensive) have 2 watts of power, a transmission range of 5-6 miles (depending on antennae height), update every 30 seconds and do not have a dedicated display. The information can be accessed by a simple (cheap) black box unit that integrates with your multi-function displays (chartplotter or radar) or a VHF radio (mid-range price) that is equipped with an AIS transponder and GPS.

Information referenced from Boat U.S. & U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Your 2019 membership renewal form is included in this newsletter. Please complete all information and return it along with your check to membership chairman Pat Shereyk, 13418 Choctow Trail, Homer Glen, IL 60149 by April 1. If you no longer live in the Chicago area, contact Pat about your dues before you complete your renewal form: or 708-645-1957.

Please consider including a donation to the Mariner’s Fund when you renew your membership. This fund was established in 2000 as a means for the Fleet to give back to the sailing community. You don’t have to have a special occasion to contribute, but donations can be made in honor of a special birthday, anniversary or as a memorial contribution. Each year the Fleet board decides on a recipient for the funds.

Vice Commodore Harold Hansen and April have made a contribution to the Fleet 21 Mariner’s Fund in memory of a longtime sailor and good friend of theirs, Rick Leonowitz. He died unexpectedly December 8 while on a cruise in the Caribbean with his wife, LeAnn. While they were not Fleet 21 members, mostly due to Rick’s work schedule, the couple sailed a Catalina 309 out of Waukegan Harbor. Harold and April have chosen to honor Rick with their donation.


Welcome Aboard to the following new members who joined after the recent boat show:
Skipper : George Anderson
First Mate: Sally Anderson
Zion, IL
Boat Name: September Song
Size: 320
Sail #:549
Harbor: Southport Marina

Most of you know that Fleet 21 lost a cherished member in October 2018 when Jan Byrd passed away after a valiant struggle with cancer. Jan was always active in the Fleet serving on many committees, as secretary, and as Commodore in 2001. She loved sailing with her husband Phil on Wind Dancer out of Michigan City. She will be greatly missed.



Planning for 2019 outings has begun! Do you have an idea for an outing? Would you like to sponsor an outing at your harbor? Sponsoring an outing doesn’t mean that you pay for it. You just plan the activities and make arrangements for food (is there a nearby restaurant, place for a cookout, or should it be a potluck?) and docking. Contact outing chairman Dave DeAre with your ideas.


45th Anniversary Banquet
By Madalyn Duerr

November 17, 2018 marked the 45th anniversary celebration of Fleet 21 at Palos Country Club. We had a gorgeous cake, beautiful souvenir champagne glasses and a fabulous historical perspective of the fleet from past commodore Fred Collins. Attendees enjoyed lots of food, drink, dancing and an evening of wonderful camaraderie. 2019 officers were introduced, the coveted Racer of the Year Award was presented to the very excited, surprised and well-deserved Jeff Danhauer and this year’s Commodore’s Award was presented to Carolyn and Dave DeAre. Many beautiful door prizes contributed to the festivities and the special anniversary drawing of a week at the Catalina Yachts villa in Puerta Vallarta was fittingly won by Fred and Shirley Collins who have the distinction of being the only members of our fleet who have been active members for all 45 years! ! !





















FOR SALE: Reduced! 1981 Catalina 25 swing keel. She sails beautifully! Roller furled jib. Clean and ready to go. It is at 31st street Harbor. Powered by a Tohatsu 9.8 Four stroke outboard with all in-cockpit controls and power trim. Navigate with a Garmin NMEA 2000 navigation system. Relax in comfort with all new cushions and upholstery below deck. Sails included are one main and three jibs. $8000.00 OBO For more information contact John Jackiw at 708- 828- 4318.

WANTED: Raymarine ST60 Tridata in working condition. Please contact Teri Weber at 847-209-4075 or

Fleet members may list items they want to buy, sell, or trade in this column. Listings are free and run for 3 issues of the newsletter. Send submissions to the Fleet Sheet editor at