Monday, March 31, 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 Map The 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 Map
We 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 back up river. By planning ahead, we usually travel with the tidal flows which are up to 3 knots on a spring tide.
Here is his link - starts right on top of Rebel but you can zoom out!

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 members recommend defining local as the Appeals Committee in Question 58, where it stated, "Local races are those in which normally the same group of people :from a limited geographic area regularly race together." Optional insert #2 a competitor who races only on weekdays Optional insert #3 . a competitor who races in fivee or fewer races a year. 2. Include the prescription to rule 46 in the list of prescriptions in the prescription to rule 87 (which, in 2009, will become rule 88). With that addition, the prescription to rule 87 will then state that sailing instructions s~ not change the prescription to rule 46. 3. Add two new prescriptions that will have the effect of requiring an event's notice of race to state that rule 46' s prescription will not apply when US SAILING has issued a waiver of the prescription's requirement for the event. Here are drafts of those two prescriptions: . Add a new prescription to be rule J1.2(15) in Appendix J: (15) an exemption, if obtained in writing from US SAILING, to the membership requirements of the prescription to rule 46. Add a new prescription to be paragraph 3.5 in Appendix K, Notice of Race Guide: 3.5 The US SAILING membership requirement in the prescription to rule 46 has been waived/or this event with written permission/rom US SAILING. Marginal note appear in the left margin. opposite new paragraph 3.5: This paragraph is a US SAILING prescription, to be used only when US SAILING has stated in writing that the prescription to rule 46 has been waived for the event 4. Note to the Board concerning Waivers of the membership requirements in the prescription to rule 46: The RRC believes that there may be legal requirements under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and/or The Education Act of 1972 that US SAILING must comply with. (Note: The Education Act of 1972 is often referred to as 'Title IX', which is the title of one part of that act.) . In particular, to comply with one or both of these acts it may be necessary for US SAILING to issue blanket exemptions to the membership requirement for some groups, such as the Interscholastic Sailing Association, the Intercollegiate Sailing Association, and the U. S. Armed Forces. The Racing Rules Committee suggests that the Board ask the Legal Committee to look into this. . . Two specific issues that the Legal Committee might consider are: 1. Section" 220526 of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act refers to ''high school students, college students, members of the Armed Forces, or similar groups and categories." 2. Whether a waiver, as described in the last three lines of the draft prescription to rule 46 shown above, meets the requirements of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and The Education Act of 1972.

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!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

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 million renovation underway so it will be brought back up to a reasonable state in the near future. So we look forward to at least stopping by and seeing it after they are done. Perhaps an overnight on the seawall. The picture above is the marina. Great fun to play at being back in the Navy!

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.

Friday, March 28, 2008

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 as follows; 75.1 To enter the WNOS, a boat shall comply with the requirements of the organizing authority of the race. The boat owner shall be a member of Milwaukee Yacht Club, South Shore Yacht Club, Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, MAST, McBoat or US SAILING. 1.3 The following US SAILING prescriptions to the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations Governing Offshore Racing for Monohulls 5.01, will apply: a) US SAILING prescribes for Category 4 lifejackets or US Coast Guard approved Type III personal floatation devices b) US SAILING prescribes that all personnel on deck shall wear personal floatation while starting and finishing without exception, and at all other times, except when the Captain of the boat directs that it may be set aside. 1.4 This official Notice of Race will be posted, at a later date, on The Milwaukee Yacht Club web site, and will also be available upon request from Milwaukee Yacht Club 414.271.4455. 2. ALTERATIONS: 2.1 If there is a conflict between a handicap rule of a Division, this NOR, the Sailing Instructions (SI) or any Additional Sailing Instructions (ASI), the Sailing Instructions will apply. 3. ELIGIBILITY AND ENTRY 3 .1 The WNOS races and series is open to all LM-PHRF boats that meet the requirements in this NOR or the Sailing Instructions 3.2 The PHRF fleet may have multiple divisions 3.3 Boats shall register by completing the attached entry form, and sending it together with the required fee(s) to WNOS, c/o Milwaukee Yacht Club, 1700 N Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee WI 53202. The entry must be completed and received in the MYC Office by 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. In 2008, the first race is WED May 21, 2008. Acceptance of a boat’s entry shall be contingent upon the completion of the entry form, receipt of a certificate of insurance (proof of insurance with $300,000 of liability coverage) and receipt of a current PHRF certificate, and receipt of the required fee. Yachts competing in the PHRF JAM division will not be required to submit a PHRFcertificate if one is not available. For the PHRF JAM division, a PHRF rating will be assigned by the MYCRC to those who do not submit a current certificate. 3.4 Any questions or issues related to entry, registration in the series, or this NOR, shall be sent, in writing, via email to or US mail to: WNOS c/o Milwaukee Yacht Club 1700 N Lincoln Memorial Drive Milwaukee, WI 53202­­ 414.271.4455 4. SCHEDULE 4.1 One race is scheduled on each Wednesday night from May 21 2008 through August 27 2008, as specified in the 2008 Race Schedule found on the MYC website or in Appendix A of this NOR. 4.1.1 The scheduled time of the warning signal for the first WNOS race is 6pm CDT. 4.1.2 In the event that there are an insufficient number of boats to form a PHRF 2 division, all PHRF boats will be consolidated into one division. 4.1.3 The WNOS Championship Race on August 27 2008 will be sailed by the top three boats in each PHRF Section, after combining the Spring and Summer Series scores. 5. FEES­ 5.1 Required Series entry fees are as follows: PHRF Fleet (including JAM division) $125.00 per boat, check made payable to the Milwaukee Yacht Club-WNOS, if a member of MYC, SSYC, MCSC, MAST, McBOAT or USSAILING. PHRF Fleet (including JAM division) $200 per boat, if not a member of MYC, SSYC, MCSC, MAST, McBOAT or USSAILING. Non US SAILING members shall pay the above fees plus a $10.00 US SAILING differential fee for the series. 5.2 Food and beverages will be available on the MYC patio, for a small fee to all competitors, regardless of club affiliation, at the Milwaukee Yacht Club, after racing, each Wednesday. 6. MEASUREMENT­ 6.1 Measurement will not be required, but each yacht shall have available, proof of holding a valid measurement or rating certificate issued by LMPHRF.­ 7. SAILING INSTRUCTIONS­ 7.1 After acceptance of a boat’s entry, the sailing instructions will be available after May 10 2008 at the MYC club office. 8. VENUE 8.1 The racing area will be on Lake Michigan, East of the Milwaukee North Gap, as shown in the Sailing Instructions. 9. COURSES­ 9.1 The courses will be windward-leeward or triangle, as shown in diagrams attached to, and described in, the Sailing Instructions 10. PENALTY SYSTEM 10.1 The Scoring Penalty, rule 44.2, will apply. 11. SCORING­ 11.1 One race of a series is required to be completed to constitute the Spring series, one race of a series is required to be completed to constitute the Summer series. 11.2 Each boat shall be ranked by her corrected time in Section, then the Low-Point System of Appendix A of the racing rules, will apply. For the Spring series, or Summer series, when 5 or more races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores, excluding her worst score. 12. PRIZES­ Awards will be presented, at the MYC Annual Awards Banquet, to yachts finishing first, second and third in each section of the Spring series, in which greater­ than three boats are registered, and to yachts finishing first, second and third in each section of the Summer series in which greater­ than three boats are registered. 13. DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY 13.1 Competitors participate in the series entirely at their own risk. See RRS 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after a race in the series. 14 INSURANCE 14.1 Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with minimum coverage of $300,000. 15. FURTHER INFORMATION­ For further information, contact:­ The Milwaukee Yacht Club­ Alan Johnson, MYC General Manager 414.271.4455 Spencer Thomason, 2008 MYC PHRF Fleet Captain Cindy Kraus, 2008 MYC Race Committee Chair

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 instructions, RC jobs, RC equipment, setting the course, starting system, starting penalties, before the start, during the race, fi nishing, and scoring. The changes in The Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008 that
affect race management will be discussed. At the seminar you will need your own copy of The Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008 (“RRS”).

Milwaukee Yacht Club Saturday, April 5, 2008 8 am - 5:30 pm
Milwaukee Yacht Club 1700 N Lincoln Memorial Drive Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 414.271.4455

I have known John since I moved to Milwaukee and have worked RC with him on several events, the most recent last year's Louie's Last Regatta. John is a great guy and an excellent teacher. I hope to see you there!

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 local marine oriented businesses as stakeholders.

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. Thank You in advance.~Dale Eigenberger Vice Commodore CRAW"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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 benefit the South Shore Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program. Cliff Black serves as the US SAILING Area K Regional Administrative Judge. Cliff currently serves on the US SAILING Judges Committee, Match Racing Committee, U.S. Match Racing Championship Committee, and U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship Committee. He is also a member of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Appeals Committee and a supporter of the Women’s International Match Racing Association. To register contact SSYC at 414 481-2331 and be sure to bring your rulebook with you for this fun and educational workshop."

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.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

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

Saturday, March 22, 2008

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?

Friday, March 21, 2008

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!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

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 that H.R. 2550 be passed and your support is essential. Please contact your Congressman and Senators TODAY and ask that they co-sponsor or support H.R. 2550. If the permit system becomes a reality, you will be required to pay for a state permit for each of your boats. EPA will be monitoring your deck runoff, grey water, bilge water, engine cooling water, and the use of copper bottom paints. The original lawsuit that led to this court decision sought to address ballast water discharges from large ocean-going ships, which can introduce damaging aquatic invasive species into U.S. waters. Keeping our waterways clean and preventing the spread of invasive species is of utmost importance to the future of boating. But taking a complex permitting system designed for industrial dischargers and applying it to recreational boats will not yield significant environmental benefits and it will come at a very high cost. Requiring recreational boaters to purchase a permit would not prevent the spread of invasive species. BoatUS has been a leader in educating boaters about Clean Boating practices for more than a decade. Our nonprofit Foundation has funded local education projects on invasive species prevention, helped develop voluntary Clean Marina programs, and authored much of the country's Clean Boating outreach. These positive education efforts are making a difference. Please ask your elected federal representatives to support H.R. 2550. It is common-sense legislation. As you send your emails to your Members of Congress, please copy BoatUS at . We'd also like to ask you to send a copy of your correspondence to the EPA, so they can see how this will affect citizens. However, please know that if you choose to send it to EPA, it will become a part of the public record. EPA's email is , and your email needs to have a subject line with Docket ID No. OW-2007-0483. For More Information: Click HERE for Frequently Asked Questions Click HEREfor a sample email letter Click here to easily send an email to your Members of Congress. Forward this Action Alert to your friends, your fishing and boat club, your marina neighbors, and your local press! Thank you for your help. Sincerely,Margaret PodlichBoatUS Government Affairs 703-461-2864 or 703-461-2878 x8363 March 19, 2008 NEW SPRING INFORMATION FOR BOATERS AND ANGLERS! We have a new bill, S. 2766, "The Clean Boating Act of 2008", that we need your help to support. This bill will provide a permanent exemption for recreational boaters, anglers, and charter boats, from the looming EPA discharge permit requirement. Over the last 8 months or so, many people have taken the time to support S. 2067 or H.R. 2550 "The Recreational Boating Act of 2007". This new bill, S. 2766 has the best chance of gaining widespread political support from both Democrats and Republicans. It includes all the former contents of S. 2067 and H.R. 2550 as well as a provision to exempt charter boats from the permit and to required EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard to determine reasonable and practical management practices for discharges. We urge every boater, anger, and boat owner to click on the following links to learn more about this new legislation. Please take a few minutes and let your federal Senators and Congressmen know about the importance of boating in your life, and ask them to co-sponsor or support this new legislation. Remember that if we don't get legislation passed, we all need to get EPA permits to operate our boats effective 9/30/08!

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 Perhaps 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!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

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 whether the cylinder can be taken on board a plane still lies with the airline company the passenger is flying with. US SAILING recommends that boaters check with the airlines directly to find out if the CO2 cylinder can be taken on board. The amended TSA policy calls for "a compressed gas cylinder exception for both carry-on and checked baggage that allows 2 compressed gas cylinders fitted into a self-inflating life-jacket and 2 spare cartridges with the approval of the aircraft operator." This amendment by the TSA now is in line with policies that were already in place at the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Coast Guard." Thanks US Sailing ( )

Monday, March 17, 2008

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.


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:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

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."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


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...

Friday, March 7, 2008

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

Monday, March 3, 2008

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.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

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 music.

She got ooooohed and aaaaahhhed over. lavished with many compliments. and certainly had her picture taken many, many times.

The competition was fierce. I know alot of our team thought we had a "slam/dunk", but the MCSC Capital Campaign people came in with an amazing entry. they created a fantastic red dragon that literally came off the painted sail. the votes were tallied, and actually recounted a couple of times. It was so close between us and them. come to find out, only 3 votes between us.
we got a respectable 2nd place... and yes, we GOT THE T-SHIRTS. some say far better than the goofy hats they got for first place.

I also know for a fact that we had way more fun putting it all together. we had a great time. what a wonderful experience. sure made this winter alot more tolerable. there's something really satisfying about working together for a common goal. lot's of stories and lot's of laughs.
wait 'til you hear some of the suggestions for future yellow submarine voyages... review of the fleet for SSYC among them...

Thanks so much for joining us on this silly adventure. it way a joy.

Laura Livermore

Saturday, March 1, 2008

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!)