Catalina Fleet 21 All Catalina Owners Association, Chicago Region

October 2019 FleetSheet

The sailing season may be winding down, but Fleet 21 is still going strong. We have two more great events to come. Plan now to attend!

On October 16th we’ll gather at Burnham Park Yacht Club for dinner and a movie. We’ll be screening the movie Manry at Sea: In the Wake of a Dream an award winning documentary film about Robert Manry and his single-handed voyage across the Atlantic in Tinkerbelle a 13’6” handmade boat. The film includes original film footage that Manry made on the 78 day voyage.

The Yacht Club will open around 5pm with a buffet dinner served around 6pm. Reservations for dinner a must. Call the Yacht Club at 312-427-4664 or call Dave DeAre at 630-842-8544 to make yours. Lori Lauraitis will work at getting parking access to the Burnham Park Yacht Club lot. Text Lori at 708-557-4491 or Carolyn at 630-842-8545 that night for the gate code.

Our biggest and most glamorous event of the year is on November 16 when we gather at the Palos Country Club for our Annual Banquet. Your invitation is included in this issue of the newsletter. Drinks, dinner, dancing, and fabulous raffle baskets are all part of the evening. Awards for the year will be presented and the new slate of officers will be installed. It’s your chance to dress up (or not), invite your friends and family and crew for a celebration of all things sailing (you’re welcome to bring guests) and just plain have fun (Fleet events are always fun!).  Attendees are encouraged to put together a raffle “basket” (it can be one item, several, in a basket, bag, or not, nautical or not). We’ll sell tickets and raffle off the items throughout the night. Please let Madalyn Duerr know if you are bringing a raffle item: 708-429-0005 or

The new slate of officers was elected at the September Chili Bowl and they are not “new” at all as all of our officers from this year have re-upped:

Commodore Branson Stone
Vice Commodore Harold Hansen
Treasurer Pete Pohl
Secretary Laura Pohl


 The Fleet sends get well wishes to Arnie Hollander, hospitalized with a serious illness.




It is that time of year, winter storage. Some of you are already out of the water, and the rest of you are making your plans. We got off to a slow season start due to the cool wet weather, which made our normally short season even shorter. As always, we look forward to next season.

We still have a few events before the end of the year. Next up is a General Meeting at Burnham Park YC on October 16th. Join us for dinner and a movie. We will watching the Manry at Sea: The Wake of a Dream. A documentary about Robert Manry and his single handed trip across the Atlantic in a 13’ 6” homemade boat.

We also have the yearend Banquet at Palos County Club, on November 16th. An evening of cocktails, dinner, a raffles, and dancing. We have gained several new members in the last few weeks who are planning to attend. Be sure to come, bring along family and friends, and welcome the new members to Fleet 21. Your formal invitation is enclosed in this Fleet Sheet.

Officers for the 2020 year were elected at the Chili Bowl Outing, Commodore Branson Stone, Vice Commodore Harold Hansen, Treasurer Pete Pohl, and Secretary Laura Pohl.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who helped with the Fleet events, outings, and administration. I appreciate your efforts and am very grateful. Our Fleet is now 46 years old. Remember this is your club, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. The Board is trying to plan and run events you will find interesting and will attend. If you have any ideas or suggestions for next year, please speak up. We want and need your input. Let’s keep Fleet 21 a viable organization.
Branson Stone


Welcome aboard to the following new members:
Skipper: Chip Parsons
First Mate: Ms Paula Merkel
Boat Info: Catalina 36TR Sail #: 370
Name: Concession
Harbor: Michigan City



Submitted by Leo Beer S/V High Life
I have been involved in many discussions involving the proper care and cleaning methods of the rope that we use on our beloved sailboats. I have recently called and discussed this topic with technical advisors of two of the most popular suppliers of rope. New England Ropes and Samson Rope companies. I will try to set the record as straight as I can without using 10 pages of this newsletter.

First, it is a ROPE until it is installed on a working device, then it becomes a LINE. We will call these ropes for this articles purpose. Secondly, I will be discussing the cleaning and care of polyester double braid rope since that seems to be the most common amongst us. Most of this applies to all rope.

Thirdly, I’m only going to discuss what they recommended to be done, not what they recommend against doing. Rules set.

Always try to keep your ropes coiled properly and hung in a clean, dry, covered environment. This will reduce the amount of dirt, moisture and UV degradation that shortens the life of one of the most important components of your vessel. Rope is a consumable item and it isn’t cheap. We replaced every inch of line on our C36 last spring and even though I purchased it all on sale it was still approximately $1000. It sure works, looks, and feels great and we want to keep it that way as long as possible.

The recommended cleaning solution is “Woolite Clean & Care” at regular strength or any modern laundry detergent used at only ½ strength or less.New rope should only be cleaned with straight fresh water for the first couple of years because the rope has a factory applied thread coating and lubricant to offer protection from the elements. This will eventually wear off due to normal use. Fabric softener may be used at reduced doses to improve the hand feel, but only if its needed. If using a household washing machine, front load machines are recommended over top load machines.

Make sure that all straight ends (are melted) and splices have been carefully whipped using a good grade whipping twine. Daisy chain the entire length of the rope (or the core & cover can come apart) and place inside of a tough netted zipper bag or pillow case with a plastic zip tie to cinch the opening closed. Place a sock with a zip tie over any shackles that can’t be removed to save your machine.

Presoaking the rope for an hour in the detergent and real hot water is recommended for extremely soiled ropes. I have used a 5 gallon bucket and a medium sized NEW toilet plunger to clean moderately soiled ropes to a pretty decent degree of success. 2 separate washings and 2 rinses did the trick. No need to daisy chain or put in a bag when hand washing. Only hand wash new double braid rope and dock lines for the first few years so the core doesn’t herniate through the cover. After washing, loosely hang dry the rope then coil properly when completely dry. Never force dry.

When winterizing or storing your boat for an extended period of time, remove all rope from the mast and rigging to reduce degradation from the elements. Reeve an inexpensive chase rope (Home Depot) onto the running rigging and pull through the clutches, sheaves, mast, ect,. Then tie off securely. In the spring just do the reverse operation to re-rig. If you are completely covering the boat, you can leave the good rope reeved onto the chase rope, coiled and hung on the boom under the cover. If not, remove it from the topsides and hang it below in the cabin or take it home. Mice love a mess of rope left in a locker.

And from Pete Pohl…
One big benefit of Fleet 21 membership
When we went to Michigan City for Lobster Fest on Labor Day Weekend (a wonderful time), I took the opportunity to clean our 320, CopyCat, while at a dock— we’re on a mooring can in Monroe Harbor. I was cleaning the ignition when I bumped the plastic ring around it and it suddenly came loose. No big deal.

On Monday morning as we were preparing to leave, I turned the key and the engine started right up. Then I noticed we were on “All” for batteries, but I just wanted one battery engaged. So, I shut it down, made the switch to battery 1 and turned the ignition key. But this time, nothing. No high-pitched tweet, nothing.

I tried a number of things, and as I broke out in a sweat, I sent Laura to get Steve Wash, a former 320 owner. He brought tools and a voltmeter and got to work. Pretty soon, Branson Stone and Brett Boas came over. I believe they all have engineering backgrounds and were determined to solve the problem. It was like having a pit crew aboard. I just stayed out of the way. They finished checking voltages and everything was fine. Then they opened up the Nav pod and there it was: two wires had come loose from the ignition and needed to be reattached. And that was that.

Branson commented that those wires had been working themselves loose for 10 years, but I’d probably helped it along with my cleaning the previous day. So, this could have happened anywhere out on the lake. But thankfully, it happened in Michigan City on the 800 dock, where three very capable and generous captains came to our rescue.


This is the last Fleet Sheet until early 2020. Check our web site tor news.



Meeting Sept. 26 reported by Lori Lauraitis

Scott Stevenson is looking forward to 2020! Water Level is 6” below the highest level in over 100 years. It is predicted to be lower & more manageable in 2020. An attenuator for “A” Dock in Jackson Park to protect the docks & Coast Guard Station is in the design process & Westrec will present a proposal to the Park District. The 3 southern yacht clubs will be affected by Lake Shore Drive being widened in the next three years. This winter building material will be stored at 59th Street Harbor & removed in spring, 2020.

Parking rules have been violated by many drivers & Westrec will be installing video cameras next month.

Water spigots will be shutoff beginning 10/15. 5 years ago, they had an early cold snap in October & it cost $70,000 at 31ST HARBOR for a new plumbing system.

BURNHAM PARK – proposed dock replacement budget finances have been diverted to Jackson Park.
BELMONT HARBOR – parking problems wherein people are driving over curbed walls & curbs. Security seems to be non-existent in most of the harbors – 8:00pm is the start time for Security to begin their rounds. A homeless person was reported in one of the harbors & seemed to be scaring kids. Suggested to call Westrec, Park District or the CPD to report incidents. Illegal chartering reported by licensed charter operators.

DU SABLE HARBOR – egress down to harbor – fence to be taken down in the future & parking area to be repaved in 2020. There is talk of raising Lake Shore Drive.

CYA EVENT – 11/30/2019 on the Spirit of Chicago- cutoff for reservations is 10/31/2019 at $115.00 per person including beer & wine. Celebrating the 60th year!

CYA MAGAZINE – Betty Lerner, thanked everyone for ads & articles (Brian Ruxton will represent the Catalina Fleet). No photo has been selected for the magazine cover.