Showing posts from March, 2008

It is Rocket Science

As more and more of you are talking to Trevor on a frequent basis in his role as Assistant Manager at the 76th Street West Marine I thought you might be interested in his alter-ego: Snipers, Hand of A'dal. Yes it's true, my children play video games. (Of course, so do I!) In his role as "leader" of the Guild "Rocket Science" on the "Uther" server Trevor battles for the Alliance against the Horde several nights per week. You can visit his character sheet here (his main, of course, you had to find his alts by yourself.) Are you good enought to be a Rocket Scientist? The guild is here: (You might note that Cyberwarrior is not a member - that is because I have been deemed not good enough!

The Other Famous British Rock

View Larger MapThe other famous British Rock ---

What's with the Brits and Rocks?

View Larger Map Have you ever noticed how much the Brits' like to build things on rocks? I followed Nigel's instructions and worked my way down the river from Rebel's mooring. What do I find? Of course - a rock with a bunch of funny looking buildings. Want to bet this belongs to the British Navy? I am sure Nigel will let us know!

Where is Rebel?

View Larger MapWe are looking forward to the Chicago - Mac and the Bayview - Mac with Nigel and Sue. Of course that raises a whole bunch more fun - like where do they keep their boat (Rebel), where do they sail it, and so forth. So - from Nigel: Roger, Yes, this is the place and I've also sent you a Google Earth link that should be right on top of Rebels mooring. It usually takes us about 1.5 hours motoring or sailing down to the Plymouth breakwater which then opens onto the English Channel.......not quite the ocean ?? Lake Michigan is both larger and deeper !! However, a good south-westerly gale has a few thousand miles to wind itself up, before it funnels up the channel. If you follow the river south, you can also have a good look at the naval dockyards and the nuclear submarine base.!! Thus, we don't do day sailing, usually at least a long weekend. We spend the travelling time on the river, setting up the sails etc and then packing everything away again when travelling ba…

US Sailing Mandatory Membership Proposal

Text of the Draft requiring mandatory membership in US Sailing to race.Draft Prescriptions from the Racing Rules Committee to implement Board policy with respect to required membership in US SAILING, plus a comment: 1. Add a new prescription to rule 46 as shown below: 46 Person in Charge; Membership Requirement A boat shall have on board a person in charge designated by the member or organization that entered the boat. See rule 75. US SAILING prescribes that the person in charge and each helmsperson shall be members of us SAILING or their own national authority. However, any person may steer the boat for reasons of safety or briefly while the 'helmsperson performs a necessary task. This prescription does not apply to [insert one of the optional inserts shown below in red], and it does not apply at an event for which the organizing authority has obtained a written waiver of the prescription's requirement from US SAILING. Optional insert # 1 local races Note: Some of the RRC mem…

Reboot - Maybe the Rain Will Help

Here is a quick picture of Reboot. You can see the Southwind Marine symbol on the building in the back and the snow/ice still on the ground. Hopefully the rain today will get rid of the snow and we can get to pre-launch work later on this week.

While down at Southwind I ran into Bill Emory. Bill was part of the group that brought Merlin back from the West Coast. He tells me that they will be putting it an a building at Southwind to start working on getting it ready for the Mac. He promised me a look and a tour so hopefully that will happen soon.

43.177539 -87.891697

Wild Goose - getting ready to launch

My friend and the Race Committee Chair of MAST Glyn Livermore has an interesting strategy for winterizing the engine of Wild Goose - he puts it in the basement of his home. Here Glyn, Joe and I get the engine back down to the Goose for spring launch. Now if the 12 inch thick ice in McKinley Marina would just melt!

North Chicago Naval Station

View Larger Map OK - that is what the signs on Interstate 94 say. But everyone in the Navy knows it as "Great Lakes." On the way back from Crowley's Ed and I stopped by. I needed a replacement sticker for my windshield (the last one went when the windshield was hit by a rock and spider webbed.) While we were there we filled up on gas (actually, it was the third fill up of the day.) We bought $10 in Chicago at $3.74 per gal, then again $10 in Chicago at $3.68 per gal. At Great Lakes it was only $3.32 per gallon. We are paying $3.27 in Milwaukee so it was not that bad. Brad told us that Chicago now has a 10.5% sales tax, the highest in the nation, and that is why gas is so expensive. Anyway, after putting out the "low fuel" light for the third time we went to find the MWR (morale, welfare and recreation) run marina. I had been there once before about 7 years ago and had taken away that it was in pretty rough shape. Well, it still is. But wait, there is a $13 mi…

Crowley's Yacht-a-palooza Report

Ed King and I drove down from Milwaukee for Yacht-a-palooza at Crowley's. We picked up former crew member Brad Boman who has moved to Chicago from Kansas City. He is still not back in Milwaukee where he would be useful but at least he is closer. My take is the Yacht-a-palooza suffers from the success of Strickly Sail. THe Strickly Sail show is such a big deal that Crowley's can't really compete. They had two great bands and some good pork sandwiches. That was fun. There was a very cold wind off the lake so that wasn't fun. Perhaps if we had known more people from the Chicago race crowd it would have been a better time.

Going - going - going - GONE!

As I drove up Lincoln Memorial Drive this afternoon what to my wondering eyes did I see but a big hole where the United States Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Milwaukee once stood - burned - rotted - fell down - flooded - you get the picture. You actually do, its over there on the left. Anyway it's gone so now the work of fixing the seawall and bridge can begin. We will then be getting a nice new play area where once an eyesore stood. Good job Milwaukee County - it only took 7+ years to get the building down.

Southwind Marine Spring Hours

We stopped down at Southwind Marine today to check on Reboot and the spring business hours so we could start our pre-launch work up. FYI: Sunday 9 am to 3 pm Mon - Tues 8 am to 5 pm Wed - 8 am to 8 pm Thur - Sat 8 am to 5 pm We tentatively launch April 21st! Lots to do, lots to do!

Wednesday Night Offshore NOR

Long post - here it is: Notice and Conditions Of Race ­(NOR) Published 3/21/2008 Wednesday Night Offshore Series (For PHRF Fleet) Wednesdays – May 21, 2008 through August 27, 2008 Hosted byThe Milwaukee Yacht Club, Milwaukee WI 0.0 ORGANIZING AUTHORITY & KEY DATES The Milwaukee Yacht Club Race Committee (MYCRC) shall represent the Milwaukee Yacht Club (MYC) as the Organizing Authority for the MYC Wednesday Night Offshore Series. KEY DATES Entry Deadline for the full PHRF WNOS: Friday May 16 2008 Late entries will be accepted, but the MYC Office shall receive a completed entry 1 day prior to the boat’s first race. A boat will be scored only after a completed entry is received and accepted. 1. RULES­ 1.1 The WNOS will be governed by the rules as defined by The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) for 2005-2008, the rules of Lake Michigan (LM) PHRF, except as any of these are changed by the Notice of Race or the Sailing Instructions. 1.2 Racing Rules will be changed …

US Sailing Race Officer Training and Certification

From our friends at the Milwaukee Yacht Club ---


Presented by John Strassman, US SAILING Regional Race Officer

The seminar is open to all, but space is limited, so registration and payment of the seminar fee ($55 for US SAILING members, $75 for nonmembers) is recommended. The seminar fee includes continental breakfast, morning/afternoon breaks, lunch and all workshop materials.
View the US SAILING website for registration and further information. Education, Race Offi cer Training, or contact the MYC Secretary, Rachael at 414.271.4455.
This seminar is sponsored by the US SAILING Race Management Committee and the Milwaukee Yacht Club. It is designed for people who have some race committee experience, but newcomers are also welcome. It will be held at the Milwaukee Yacht Club, will begin at 8:00 am
and end at 5:30 pm.

The topics covered include: RC objectives, RC responsibilities, sailing…

MAST meets the Milwaukee Yacht Club

Oscar Wientjes (Commodore of MAST) and I met with Cindy Kraus (2008 MYC RC Chair) and Ed Purcell (of f-Stop fame) to discuss ways that the two clubs could collaborate. We had a far ranging discussion about a number of topics but I think it is fair to summarize as follows: 1. We feel that there is an advantage to more collaboration between not only MAST and MYC but also the other sailing clubs in the area (e.g. SSYC, MCSS, McBoat.) We are going to try and put together a further meeting to explore collaboration possiblities. 2. We also discussed the need for more outreach to get younger people (given my age that is a very broad group lol) interested in racing. In particular we discussed outreach to the local college community and Hoofers (UW) in Madison. We broadly defined this group as not only those interested in racing but those that don't yet know they are interested in racing! We also had the sense that this effort could be separate from item #1 above and might include…

Milwaukee Bay Women's Sailing Organization

Ladies - looking for some sailing fun? Let me suggest the Milwaukee Bay Women's Sailing Organization. I was introduced to this great sailboat racing club when I first moved to Milwaukee. No, they would not let guys race. But they were willing to let us do race committee duties.

These ladies go at it with enthusiam. Their web site is at Give it a look and let them know we sent you (our blog needs all the publicity it can get!)

MAST Spring Brunch

A reminder that the MAST spring bruch is April 27th at 11 AM. See this link for details: If you are interested in sailboat racing in Milwaukee on Friday nights please check out the MAST web site at We are always looking for new boats. Don't have a boat? No problem. We are always looking for crew for our many competitors too. Come out to the web site and get involved.

Friends of Lakeshore Park Opening Day Party

The Friends of Lakeshore State Park are having a "Summer Launch Party" Thursday, April 3rd from 5 pm to 7:30 pm at the Milwaukee Public Market. They are teaming up with the Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail. Lakeshore State Park is the new park between Pier Milwaukee and the festival grounds. More information is available on their web site at

Shell Lake Catamaran Regatta

From CRAW (the Catamaran Racing Association of Wisconsin) "Hi My name is Dale Eigenberger. I am Vice Commodore of the Catamaran Racing Association of WI (CRAW). Every year we run a regatta in Shell Lake, WI. It's a state vs. state challenge. This year we are trying to promote the event to the neighboring states in order to increase the size of the regatta. Normally there are about 35 boats from the surrounding states. We would like to see that double this year. I am asking for your help to accomplish this. If it would not be too much trouble, could you post the attachment on you web site or bulletin board or both? Feel free to check us out. You in advance.~Dale Eigenberger Vice Commodore CRAW"

South Shore Yacht Club Racing Rules - Part 2

FYI: (South Shore Yacht Club Posting) "Racing Rules Workshop – April 19th To refine your rules knowledge, sail smarter, and hopefully stay out of the protest room this season, be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday April 19 to attend the Racing Rules of Sailing – Part 2 workshop. Sponsored by Milwaukee’s T10 Fleet, this advanced racing rules workshop will focus on the rules as they apply around the racecourse, from pre-start to finish. Presented by US SAILING Senior Judge and Umpire, Cliff Black, the Racing Rules of Sailing Workshop – Part 2 – When Boats Meet, is designed to clarify your understanding of the rules as they apply to situations between converging boats. It’s a perfect way to improve your sailing skills without hitting the water. The workshop will be given at South Shore Yacht Club from 9:00 to 3:00. Open to all interested skippers and crew, space is limited and pre-registration is suggested. The $25.00 fee includes a casual lunch and all proceeds will benefi…

Merlin in Milwaukee

As you can see Merlin made it to Milwaukee. She is currently at Southwind Marine in the slings. No one was around when I stopped down so I was not able to get any scoop. Since Reboot is stored 300 yards away (but still surronded by ice) I am sure that I will be able to get a fill in.

Obviously it will need work to prepare it for the Chicago - Mackinac but they do have several months to get it done.

McKinley Marina

Can you see it? Way out by the entrance? Blue water!

I was quite surprised the other day when driving over the Hone Bridge that there was not ice anywhere. Or so I thought. Then I drove into McKinley and found that there was still 12 inches (according to the ice fisherman) by the slips.

It looks like it is finally starting to melt. Yea! Now if we can only get a clear path to "F" dock.

West Marine - 76th Street Store - Spring Hours

Trevor tells me that starting tomorrow the "Spring Hours" are: Mon -Fri: 10 AM - 7 PM Sat: 9 AM - 6 PM Sun: 10AM - 4 PM

Yacht-a-palooza at Crowley's

From Crowley's "Come join the crew of Crowley's Yacht Yard for our annual event -Yacht-a-palooza. This year we are having a lu'au - pig roast and all -in addition to our usual schedule of seminars, vendors and sale in theShip's Store.This year's seminars will focus on money-saving do-it-yourselfworkshops, racing and cruising sail trim, boating safety, importantinformation for evey sailor to have and Lake Michigan stories.Vendors include North, UK and Quantum Sails, ACR, Mustang Survival,Ocean Kayaks, Columbia Yacht Club Sailing School and, of course, LakeMichigan Sail Racing Federation.Admission is free so grab your grass skirt and coconut bra and come spend the day with us. We're starting summer now!" Their web site is at:

Race Around Mackinac Island

The Mackinac Island Yacht Club will be sponsoring a race around Mackinac Island the Wednesday after the Chicago - Mackinac race. It will start at noon. This should be interesting. The normal process requires all the Chicago - Mackinac boats to have left the Mackinac Island marina by noon on Wednesday. So maybe they can attract some of the Chi-Mac boats. Could be really fun if a large percentage of the 460 boats in the Chicago - Mackinac decide to enter. Or a real zoo. You decide.

Link to the race info is:

Mandatory US Sailing Membership?

In "guest commentary" in Scuttlebutt Jim Capron, President, US Sailing describes why he believes it appropriate to make membership in US Sailing mandatory for sailboat racers. The plan is to include this requirement in the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of Sailing. Needless to say there is a lot of resistance to this plan. Most of the resistance is focused around the belief that US Sailing does not provide value to the sailboat racer commensurate with the membership cost.

You can read his pitch here: What do you think?

Spring Has Sprung

The grass has riz.

No, wait, 7 to 10 inches of snow. If we get 10 inches we will have had the second most snowfall winter on record. We need almost 26 inches to move into first place. But spring is still young and we get record snowfalls here until mid April. So keep your hopes up!

Government Affairs - EPA - Your Help Needed

A request from Boat US. I suggest you should take the time to comply: July 23, 2007 (keep reading, this is background, update at bottom of page) Dear BoatUS Member, For 34 years the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exempted discharges from recreational boats from the Clean Water Act permit system. Regretfully, a recent court ruling cancelled this permit exemption. EPA is required by the court decision to develop and implement by September 30, 2008 a national permit system for ALL vessels in the United States for a variety of normal operational discharges.We have been working behind the scenes with other boating organizations to get the exemption reinstated for recreational boats. Fortunately, the Recreational Boating Act of 2007 (H.R. 2550) has been introduced by Representatives Gene Taylor (D-Miss) and Candice Miller (R-Mich) which would protect recreational boats from being swept into this unnecessary and expensive permitting system. It is critically important t…

Dinner with NiteMare's Tom Neill

The Chicago Yacht Club is proud to be hosting "An evening with Tom Neill" on April 18th, 2008 "Enjoy a great evening for a tribute to Tom Neill, an incomparable yachtsman and competitor. World famous sailor Gary Jobson will emcee this rollicking evening of reminiscence. If you have a story that fits the program, call Jim Armstrong at (847) 498-7721. Tom has graciously encouraged that this event be supported by friends and foes ( if any) to help him support the Chicago Yacht Club Foundation.Net proceeds from this event will benefit the Club Foundation so part of the $125 per person ticket price is tax deductible."Tom has been a fixture and wonder friend to all in Chicago sailboat racing for many years. A great article on Tom and Nitemare can be found at we will see you there!

The Racing Rules of Sailing Blog

We have added a new link to "The Racing Rules of Sailing" Blog. It is authored by Jos M Spijkerman, Sneek, Friesland, Netherlands. I don't know if "Sneek" has anything to do with the two boat length rule but we will find out! The link is and we have also added it as a permanent link on the right edge of the blog.

Milwaukee Bay Women's Sailing Organization

Ladies - mark your calendars. On April 8th at 7 PM the Milwaukee Bay Women's Sailing Organization ( will be holding their Spring meeting in the upstairs dining room of the South Shore Yacht Club ( New members are wecome and encouraged to attend. South Shore Yacht Club is at 2300 East Nock Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53207 You can also contact Fran Aring at for more information. See you on the water!

McKinley Marina Opening

After seeing 2 boats in the Outer Harbor and wondering why I was still on dry land I stopped by and had a chat with Clarke Johnson today. As always he was pleasant and informative.

USCG Boat House - apparently they are missing a permit to tear it down. So as soon as the permit is issued the project will get back on track.

McKinley early opening: It has been a tradition for McKinley to permit slip holders to bring their boats to the marina before its official opening day of May 1st. The quid pro quo has always been that the marina does not provide any services. I asked Clarke if he had set an "early arrival" date in mind. He laughed and told me "It's up to God. There is still 12 inches of ice in the marina!" So he knows we want to get in as soon as we can but also but also realizes that only ice boats could dock at the moment!

Taking your life jacket with you

As you may be aware the TSA prohibited carrying the little inflation cylinders that inflate life jackets on airplanes. They have now figured out that inflation cylinders are not a hazard. "Changes To US Law on Co2 Cylinders - US Sailing Applauds Transportation Security Administration For Amending Policy To Allow CO2 Cylinders For Personal Flotation Devices For boaters traveling by air to enjoy boating away from home, bringing along a CO2 cylinder for a self-inflatable personal flotation device (PFD) through airport security was frequently not an option due to a policy set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). But after a recent request from a member of US SAILING's Safety-At-Sea Committee, the TSA amended its policy, allowing boaters to travel through security checkpoints at airports nationwide with a CO2 cylinder. US SAILING cautions boaters that while this change in TSA policy allows boaters to carry a cylinder through airport security, the decision on whet…

Why I love sailing

Why I love sailing, from Sailing Anarchy (

"I know it's a local interest story, and we are just a little bunch of 4ksb pilots in a remote backwater corner of Dumbfuckistan, but the the guy in the yellow hat trying not to hit that mark just spent over 14 months fighting through chemo, radiation, bone marrow, stem cell, blah, blah, blah so he could go sailing again. He wanted his boat and his crew to keep sailing, so the other guys in the fleet took turns guest skippering in his absence. Saturday, he crewed up with a couple of sailing friends and some grandkids for his first run since November of '06 and they got the gun in the first race. I was on RC duty and had the honor of firing it. They didn't save their time, but nobody cared. It's the first time in a lifetime of sailing that I've teared up watching a friend cross the line. Great guy. Great times. GO THE DRAGON!"


Thanks to Boyd we now have a Reboot site at Compete-At. Compete-at is an online sports management service for event organizers, club managers, national sports authorities and so forth. They provide sites for sailing, golf, curling, archery, and fishing. Their main web site is at The Reboot site is at Come visit it - it's really cool. Even cooler are all the other registered boats.

US Sailing

How could US Sailing better support the sport of sailing in the United States? That question was asked recently on the Sailing Anarchy web site forum board. Wow. A truly hot topic. You may want to read, even more important, you may want to contribute. The link is:

Ice Bergs In Lake Michigan

Could this be global warming? Pictures: "The relatively warmer temperatures and sunshine of the last several days have caused areas of ice that had been affixed to the western shore of Lake Michigan off the Racine and Kenosha areas to break away from the shore. The blustery west winds on Tuesday have carried these floating ice "bergs" several miles away from shore."

Water Taxi Update

Nice writeup in JS Online today about Aaron's water taxi project.

Skipper Buds - Another Fire

There was another fire at Skipper Bud's in Winthrop Harbor today (thursday 13th.) Here is the report from CBS News: From WBBM: We will let you know more when we know more.


Heads east on March 17th. Or so they say. So we should see her in the Chicago Mac after all!

West Marine FW-21 Fresh Water Bottom Paint

West Marine FW-21 fresh water bottom paint has gotten some good ratings on various sailing web sites as a cheap alternative to Interlux VC-17m. Good news, right? Well, guess what, now is the time to act! Please note the following: 1) It is on sale starting tomorrow at $24.99 per quart down from $42.99 per quart. VC-17m is $54.99. Starting tomorrow West Marine will discount the 2nd Quart of VC-17M by $20. (I was told they will do this for the even numbers, 4th, 6th, 8th, etc.) 2) West Marine FW-21 has been discontinued so if you want it go get it, once gone there will be no more. Bummer...

Ghost Ships Festival 2008

A little late, but it's today and tomorrow at the Wyndham Milwaukee Airport. Sponsored by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Research Foundation, Inc. Web Site is

The report of my death

"The report of my death was an exaggeration." Mark Twain

As the picture shows - The Coast Guard lifeboat station is still there folks! Perhaps the snowfall has prevented the planned demolition. Demolition was slated to begin February 25 according to the Journal Sentinel. It has been an eyesore for years, I suppose a few more days will not matter.

Racing Rules - Introductory Rules

The International Sail Racing Federation has published a new Introductory Racing Rules of Sailing. The idea is to get the most important rules on a single (two sided) sheet. The document is marked "Experimental Version 1.01" You can download it here:[5178].pdf

Yellow Submarine - The Contest

From Laura Livermore - head designer - the following report:

From mere bits of paper, pieces of wood, some chicken wire and alot of enthusiasm...
we gave birth to a gigantic yellow submarine.

We launched her on society last night in style. Complete with a bottle of rum and a saucy mermaid :)
The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center's "Sailor's Ball" took place last night at the Italian Community Center. Over 300 people attended, hundreds of auction items, and of course, the contest for the best decorated pram.

We picked our pram location very carefully.....right next to the bar of course! Our submarine looked fantastic! it was our first time seeing her fully assembled (too big for our living room!). I think she ended up over 14 feet long, and about 10 feet high at the top of the tallest periscope. though you couldn't here it over the band, we hid a boom box playing a loop of "yellow submarine" inside the the port hole. i guess you could "feel" the mu…

Chicago - Mac Bayview Mac MSR Posted

Kudos to the Chicago and Bayview folks who jointly pubished the "Monohull Safety Regulations" for both the Chicago - Mackinac and the Bayview - Mackinac race. They did managed to maintain the distinction - the Bayview still requires a life raft, the Chicago either a life raft or a GPIRB but other than that the regulations are the same. You can pick up your copy either a the Bayview or Chicago Yacht Club web sites. They are: We are registered and pumped for both races

West Marine Bottom Prep and Painting Seminar

Today and for the next two Saturdays (March 8 and 15) the West Marine store on 76th Street in Milwaukee will be having free seminars on bottom prep and painting. They start at 11AM.
(Full disclosure - my son Trevor is an Assistant Manager at the 76th street store. Tell him you saw his name on my blog!)