Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter


April 2007

April 2007


Our April General Meeting is Friday, April 20 at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Montrose Harbor.
Chuck Balboa of Mack Boring is presenting a seminar on basic diesel maintenance. The information is geared to owners of any brand diesel engine. If you’ve ever wondered how often you should change your impeller, or want to know what to do to keep your engine running smoothly this program is for you.

Chuck Balboa has been with Mack Boring for the past 3 years and previous to that worked in the marine propulsion business since 1994. Mack Boring is the regional Yanmar diesel engine distributor for the Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and has 4 branches plus an extensive dealer network to satisfy service needs of Catalina owners.

Our meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. with a short business meeting. Come a bit earlier and bring an appetizer to share. The bar will be open. Corinthian does not have food service. The club is located at 601 W. Montrose Drive, Chicago, IL 60613. Parking is free.



She didn’t own a sailboat, but Barbara Fitzgerald was certainly as much a member of Catalina Fleet 21 as anyone. She and her husband Tom attended many Fleet events, came along on cruises, volunteered their Power boat Serendipity for several of the photo cruises and never missed an Awards Banquet. For many years they were on H Dock in Burnham Harbor near Team Effort.

Sadly, Barbara passed away on March 26. Barbara was a survivor of pancreatic cancer for the past 9-years enduring many years of discomfort, with never a complaint. She died too young at the age of 65.

Condolences can be sent to Tom Fitzgerald 13558 S. Dublin Drive, Homer Glen, IL 60491

AHHH SPRING… I went to Yachtapolooza and learned about all the new forecasting features available on the National Weather Service internet sight. I explored those sights. I watched the news and read the weather section in the paper. Hmm… not going to be a good week to work on the boat. Rain predicted every day. I think I’ll actually work this week and feed my family. NOT A DROP ALL WEEK. Sunday Deborah and I went to paint the bottom. Forecast a possibility of rain. As this message is written I have 60% of a bottom painted.

Seriously people, no complaints from this department. It really does seem like sailing season has begun. After the aforementioned abbreviated paint job Deborah and I retired to the local bar next to the yacht yard. Lo and behold we bumped into three fellow Catalina Fleet 21 members, Larry and Pat Meekma and Gary Glenn. We spent the better part of the early afternoon doing what we do all summer, sitting around sipping the beverages of our choice and eating appetizer food. Once again this proves a point I have made in a previous Commodore’s Message and what is my mantra for joining our Fleet. You can go just about anywhere on Lake Michigan and you will bump into someone you know. Ultimately I think that is the biggest benefit of being a member of our Fleet.

Speaking of the benefits of membership, how ‘bout Yachtapolooza? We had over 50 attendees at the general meeting and 32 members went out for dinner afterwards. I hope that those who went learned a lot at the seminars. If you didn’t get a chance to go please pay attention to the Newsletter and Website. In June we are having Amy Seeley from the weather office at Romeoville speak to us about weather and all the new and very marine specific products and services available through the National Weather Service. Much more than just an automated voice on Channel 1. We have had Jayne Parker booked for some time now as our August speaker. She will be giving her teak and brightwork seminar for our benefit. Lest I get too far ahead of myself I should also mention and encourage everyone to attend the April general meeting. We are having Chuck Balboa of Mack Boring Diesel instruct us in the art of diesel maintenance.

On a more solemn note, our condolences go out to Tom Fitzgerald, his children and grandchildren for their loss. Barb Fitzgerald was a warm wonderful woman. She will be missed. Lori Lauraitis and Bob Kuba did a great job putting together a tribute to Barb. Please check it out.

I hope the winter has been good to all your boats. I hope all your maintenance projects are minimal and each project goes as planned without the need for multiple runs to the boat store. By the time you read my next message our boats should be in the water. It will be the start of a great season filled with tremendous outings and programs. Remember, if anyone has any questions, comments or anything else you want to bring up please call me. My phone numbers are in the Directory and I absolutely will return your calls.


Brian Ruxton,

The directory is going to print. Are you in it? If you have not renewed you won’t be. This will be your final newsletter.

BY Deborah Ruxton

WOW! The year has really started off with a bang. Programs have been a huge success and it only continues to get better. If you've been hibernating this winter now is the time to come out of the dark and participate in all the fun. Here's a little hi-lite of what you've been missing.

January's Pot Luck was a great way to enjoy a winter evening with plenty of good food and conversation with sail mates. Thanks to Ron Shereyk, the brown bag was not only a success but entertaining as well with a lot of laughs. February we became adventurous and tried something new this year. Thirty-one Catalina members converged on the Chicago Maritime Festival and were treated to music, lectures, displays and entertainment galore. We had a room for our own meeting and after a day filled with Maritime History we met at O'Brien Restaurant for dinner. Don and Lydia Giuliano and Fred and Shirley Collins were not ready for their evening to end so they went back to the festival for the evening concert. They recommend next year that this is a show not to be missed. What a great performance!

March madness brought us to yachtapalooza. Crowley's is always ready to accommodate us with a room and plenty of seminars. lots of bottom paint was bought but the purchase you'll hear about all year is the Commodore's shoes. These aren't just your average shoes mind you. These are your high tech state of the art, can't live without them, North Face sailing shoes. Yes! Look for them to be at all the outings this year.

Just when you thought "WOW" can it get any better? April's fun starts on the 20th with Mack Boring's Diesel Seminar. With spring launch dates just around the corner you want you engine in top notch condition. This is a must see program. Come with all those questions that you don't know the answers to but were always afraid to ask. Fear no more. Help is on the way.

May brings us a wonderful presentation on the sailing adventures of Joshua Slocum. I saw this presentation last year at the Maritime Festival and enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with you. June is a fascinating look at all the high tech information you can obtain on the Internet through NOOA. If you race or cruise don't go out without knowing what the weather and winds will be bringing you that day. Let NOOA guide you through the ease of the Internet to get all the current last minute information you need.

In August let’s get a head start for next year on learning how to take care of our teak. There's an art to keeping that teak beautiful and Jane Parker, our expert teak lady, is going to take us through the steps one by one to unravel the mystery of beautiful teak. September and into the fall the weather can start to turn rough out on the lake. We will be prepared after the Coast Guard presents "Heavy Weather Sailing" Come this September and learn how to handle your boat when the weather suddenly turns bad on you. When the seas and the winds kick it up do you know what to do? No need to panic. Another must see program.

October is being lined up for a big surprise for you. I'll let you wonder about this one for a while but here's a hint. What was the one program last year that brought in the biggest attendance record? If you missed that program be forewarned, you don't want to miss it this year. So like I said, "WOW". What a year this is going to be. Give yourself a treat and come out and join us this year. We look forward to seeing you!

Fleet members may list items they want to sell, trade
or buy in this column without any charge. Send listings to Fleet Sheet Editor, 306 Linden Street, GlenEllyn, IL 60137 or fax to 630-668-8950 or email Phone: 630-469-6117. Ads will run for two issues unless requested otherwise.

It’s not too early to plan on attending Fleet 21’s Annual Awards Banquet. While many details are yet to be worked out,
We have a date: November 17
We have a place: Burnham Harbor Yacht Club
We have a band: Music Plus is returning
Can we count on you??

Do you own a 30? Consider entering it in the Catalina 30 Nationals August 3 – 5. Contact Ed Jakubas for more information or to help with this Fleet 21 sponsored event.

Fleet 21 members can also join in Michigan City Yacht Club Racing. Scheduled so far:
June 8 Cruise to St. Joseph, MI
June 9 St. Joseph River Yacht Club Invitational
June 10 Race back to Michigan City
July 4th Commodore’s Cup (Lady skippers)
Contact Ed Green if you need more info.

Other summer events:
Race to Mackinac July 14

Pete Duerr Memorial
A popular event at the LMCA Rendezvous is the Sunday (July 15) Pickle Race. This year the event has been renamed The Pete Duerr Memorial. Let’s all plan to be there as a tribute to a great sailor. More information on the Rendezvous is on the LMCA website at

While you’re marking the banquet on that calendar, take time to start filling in your summer weekends too! Lois Bretall and Robin Green are hard at work lining up the summer outings. While there are still more to come, and the “official” outing schedule will be published next month, here’s what’s on tap so far:

Memorial Day Weekend
Burnham Harbor
Margarita Party & Bike the Drive

June 16 Burnham Harbor
Chili Cook-Off

June 22-24 Cruise to New Buffalo

July 7 Jackson Park Blues Fest

July 14-15 LMCA Rendezvous
Lake Macatowa
Holland, Michigan

August 3 – 5 Catalina 30 Nationals
Montrose Harbor

August 11 Cruise to Northpoint
for Venetian Night

August 24-25 Leukemia Cup
Montrose Harbor

Sept. 1 – 3
Labor Day Weekend Cruise to Michigan City

Is your harbor on this schedule? If not, there’s one way to get it there—volunteer to sponsor an outing. There’s no expense to you, you just need to plan it. Call Lois 708-974-4932 or Robin 219-306-2160 and find out what’s involved.


Learn how to maintain your diesel engine!

Friday, April 20
Corinthian Yacht Club
Details inside.


Looking for more adventure?

Marilyn & John Lucy would like to sponsor a
North Channel cruise
at end of June to sometime in August.

Contact John by email at John Lucy
or by phone at 941-505-2603. 
At the end of May the phone changes to 708-250-1491