Category Archives: Cruising

Off-Shore Race/Cruise wonderful day on the water!

“Don’t ever believe the weather reports,” is one of Jim Maivald’s favorite aphorism, especially when it come to sailing. “You can’t know what the weather is until you get to the harbor.”

If you believed the weather report for Saturday, May 8th, you would have thought there would be no wind and a long boring race to Winthrop harbor. But, you would have been wrong. The wind was blowing lightly from the northeast at 10am and kept building until start time. At 1100. the wind was at 4-6 knots from ENE. 

Sails call crew on Winthrop Race
Sails call crew on Winthrop Race trims sails.

The WYC Committee Boat was already on station by 1030 waiting for the fleet of racers. Unfortunately, it was a poor turnout for our first WYC Off-Shore race. Only three WYC racers appeared on the line. The first warning went off promptly at 1055. At 1100, the cannon sounded and the racers were off!

As we raced north the sun broke out of the overcast and the rest of the race was in bright sunshine that belied the chilly temperature. We passed east of the new Zion intake marker at over 5 knots.

Passing Zion marker during Winthrop race
Passing Zion marker during Winthrop race

Winds filled in nicely and we had nearly a record run to Winthrop. The first boat crossed the finish line at 12:32:52 for an average speed of over 4.9 knots.

Winthrop race finish line
Winthrop race finish line

The racers opened the patio at The Tropics restaurant in the Northpoint marina and had a great lunch before heading back. The sail back was just as fun but not as sunny.

Sunny skies replaced by overcast
The sunny skies were replaced by overcast.

Don’t miss our next Off-Shore Race, May 22 from Waukegan to Zion and back!

Click here to see the entire WYC Racing schedule

WYC Cruise Committee starts planning for 2021

2021 is starting off on a good foot. The Club has not been this active for many years! Plans are underfoot to really have an amazing year. 

Last night, the Cruise Committee of Waukegan Yacht Club had its first planning meeting. The members of the committee discussed various possible cruise destinations on Lake Michigan for this year. Among those named were Chicago, Milwaukee, New Buffalo, Muskegon and our perennial favorites Kenosha and Racine.

The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club
The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club 

The Cruises are open to all members, and even non-members. Our goal is to promote cruising and comradery in the boating community. Cruising can be done on sail or motor boats. We try to obtain berths at the destination harbor close to together and plan group meals and activities while in the harbor.  

Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club
Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club

If you would like to participate in the planning or the cruises, please send your name and contact information to Jim Maivald at sail@waukeganyachtclub.com. Our goal is to finalize our port-to-port cruise schedule by April 1 and have at least one cruise each month. Impromptu cruises are also a possibility, where we pick a beach or nearby location, such as Winthrop harbor and cruise to it for a swim party or cookout.

Come cruise to distant ports with the club
Come cruise to distant ports with the club

Don’t miss the fun this year. Join the WYC Cruisers!

Last Race Race to Kenosha Huge Success!

The Waukegan Yacht Club hosted the annual Last Race Race the culmination of our racing season. This race has been held every year for many years since the club was founded. The race is sponsored in conjunction with the Kenosha Yacht Club who hosts the racers at their dock wall for drinks and dinner. 

Fifteen boats participated this year, half coming from Wisconsin. Most arrived at the club around 0900. The club was opened and a bartender served the racers as they arrived. Many of the boats had to leave earlier from Kenosha to make it to Waukegan in time for the start.

last race racers docked along the wall
Boats dock along the wall north of the Waukegan Yacht Club preparing for the race

The boats tied up along side the dock wall picking their spots carefully so they could get a good start at the proper time. The Last Race Race uses a Le Mans style race start. All skippers have to come inside the club and wait for their starting time, determined by a reverse PHRF calculation. The fastest boats are given starting times staggered to take into account their typical speed over distance.  

Unplugged ready for the race

Unplugged, a Waukegan boat, is readied for the start

The racers came in all sizes and the smallest was actually an 18-foot Buccaneer, which actually finished well up in the pack. 

Small racer

Racers came in all size, big and small, like this 18 ft Buccaneer.

The weather was cloudy with blustery winds coming from the southwest. Waves were one to two feet. Many boats launched their spinnakers after leaving Waukegan harbor or deployed spinnaker or whisker poles to sail wing on wing north.

The wind hit 15-20 knots at points in the race and running downwind the boats hit hull speed or better if flying their spinnakers. Many reported surfing on the fast moving waves. All the boats were moving quickly and promised to arrive in Kenosha in record time.

Hitting high speeds during the race

Final Results

The following results are final. We have received confirmation of finish times by several participants. One racer noticed that our original handicapped starting times were incorrect due to an incorrect distance used from Waukegan to Kenosha. After correcting the error we applied the resulting difference to all finish times to achieve the following standings. We apologize for the previous error. Congratulations to all the participants in this fun race! If you notice your corrected time is wrong please contact Sail@waukeganyachtclub.com and we will update the results as soon as possible. (Updated 9/28)

Distance to kenosha

Place Boat PHRF Corrected Start Actual Start Difference Finish Corrected finish
1 DERAILER 165 10:41:02 AM 10:39:36 AM 0:01:26 12:38 PM 12:39 PM
2 JOAN CLAIRE 153 10:43:48 AM 10:42:00 AM 0:01:48 12:50 PM 12:52 PM
3 UNPLUGGED 168 10:40:21 AM 10:39:00 AM 0:01:21 12:54 PM 12:55 PM
4 MADCAP -30 11:25:53 AM 11:22:00 AM 0:03:53 12:53 PM 12:56 PM
5 PATRIOT 150 10:44:29 AM 10:42:36 AM 0:01:53 12:58 PM 1:00 PM
6 KOOKABURRA 132 10:48:37 AM 10:46:12 AM 0:02:25 1:02 PM 1:04 PM
7 RHEA 213 10:30:00 AM 10:30:00 AM 0:00:00 1:07 PM 1:07 PM
8 SIROCCO -3 11:19:40 AM 11:13:12 AM 0:06:28 1:01 PM 1:08 PM
9 SERENITY 153 10:43:48 AM 10:42:00 AM 0:01:48 1:10 PM 1:12 PM
10 TAKEDOWN-2 90 10:58:17 AM 10:54:36 AM 0:03:41 1:09 PM 1:12 PM
11 LUCILLE MARIE 186 10:36:12 AM 10:35:24 AM 0:00:48 1:14 PM 1:14 PM
12 CARAMAR 207 10:31:22 AM 10:31:12 AM 0:00:10 1:16 PM 1:16 PM
13 SMOKIN’ J 87 10:58:58 AM 10:55:12 AM 0:03:46 1:15 PM 1:19 PM
14 FREEDOM 201 10:32:45 AM 10:32:24 AM 0:00:21 1:24 PM 1:24 PM
15 CLARA MARIE 204 10:32:04 AM 10:31:48 AM 0:00:16 1:29 PM 1:29 PM

Cruise to St Joseph Wonderful

The Waukegan Yacht Club Cruisers completed a successful cruise to St Joseph, Michigan this Sunday. The weather was perfect and the lake provided no surprises. 

Three boats had planned to cruise on Friday, but one had to drop out for personal reasons. The Cruisers departed from the fuel pier around 1100. The wind was fresh from the northwest and the boats were able to achieve hull speed for the first 20 miles. Unfortunately, the wind dropped to 3-4 knots and the cruisers resorted to their engines for the remainder of the journey. 

Caramar pulls out toward the fuel pier to rendezvous with the other cruisers.

The boats covered the remaining 40 miles in good time and arrived just after midnight Eastern time at the entrance of St Joseph. The boats docked at the St Joseph River Yacht Club shortly afterward and watched in amazement as a huge lake freighter backed out into the channel. From the conversation heard on channel 72, the freighter had actually waited until the cruisers had passed safely out of the channel.

Dawn found the cruisers in good spirits and ready to explore the town. Some discovered a breakfast venue nearby and then crossed the drawbridge into downtown St Joe. The main street was alive with people shopping and dining at the local restaurants. A farmer’s market was still in full swing in a park overlooking the lake. 

Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club
Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club after a late arrival.

A couple of WYC members flew over to St Joe and met the cruisers for dinner at the Yacht Club. Everyone had a wonderful meal and enjoyed the great company.

The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club
The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club

Sunday morning came early and the cruisers were up and ready to go. The sun was bright and the sky partly cloudy. The wind was fresh again this time from the southwest. As soon as the boats passed the last lighthouse sails were up and they were off toward Waukegan at hull speed.

St Joe Lighthouse
The view of the St Joe Lighthouses as the cruisers motor out of the harbor.

The wind held most of the day until the boats came within 10 miles of home. Engines were revived and the last short distance passed quickly.

Cruising back to Waukegan
Cruisers enjoying the sail back to Waukegan.

The first cruiser entered harbor around 6:00 pm. After the boats were tied up and closed down, the cruisers met for a celebratory dinner at Casa de Samuels on Belvidere in downtown Waukegan. A fitting end to a wonderful adventure.

You do not need to be a member of the Waukegan Yacht Club to cruise with us. All motor and sail boats are welcome. Come join the fun!

If you want more info, send an email to sail@waukeganjosephconrad.org.

Cruise to Kenosha great fun!

The first cruise for Waukegan Yacht Club went off with a bang Saturday! We were supposed to cruise to Montrose Harbor in Chicago, but the wind and weather dictated a change. The Cruisers decided to switch it up and sail to Kenosha, Wisconsin instead.

The cruise north went off smoothly. Departure started after 9 am and sails were raised by 9:30. The wind was a steady 12-14 knots from the south and the pace was a good 6 knots most of the way. 

Kenosha Harbor lighthouse
Kenosha Harbor lighthouse marks the entrance

A storm blew up just after the first boat arrived and fog settled down for most of the afternoon, but we had a blast. One boat docked at the Kenosha yacht club while the other reserved a pier in the marina. 

We found a great Irish pub near the harbor and waited out the rain with food and drink. Afterwards the cruisers met up at a wine bar. As the evening closed in we decided to gather aboard one of the boats and had an impromptu party. 

The cruisers all met up on board Caramar.

The next club cruise is set for Aug 9-11 to Michigan! Don’t miss it.