Friday, January 31, 2014

2nd Annual Skyway Yacht Works J/Day Regatta - NOR

Hosted By Columbia Yacht Club
Notice of Race
June 28, 2014
Organizing Authority: Skyway Yacht Works
9864 South Avenue N #300
Chicago, IL
1.        RULES
The regatta will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016, the safety regulations and rules of the individual one design classes and pursuit race.
2.1.   The regatta is open to all J/Boats. Expected classes include J22, J/70, J/24, J88, J92, J100, J/105, J/109, J/111,J120, J122, J125, J130, J133.  In addition a J/PHRF(buoy) and J/Cruise  classes will be formed subject to sufficient participation.
2.2.   All classes without the sufficient number of boats are invited to participate in the J/Cruise (Distance) class
2.3.   Classes require a minimum of 3 boats. Division splits and class selections may be adjusted at the discretion of the Race Committee.
2.4.   The Registration deadline is 1700 hours on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014. Entries after the Late Registration deadline may be accepted at the discretion of the Race Committee and will require an additional $100 tax-deductible donation to Columbia Junior Sailing Program.
3.        ENTRY FEES
The Entry Fee is $60. The Entry Fee is payable by credit card at fees will be refunded if a registrant notifies the Race Committee of the withdrawal prior to the Entry Deadline.
4.        SCHEDULE:
Friday, June 27, 2014
Entry deadline 1700 hours
Saturday, June 28, 2013
Warning 1230 hours
Dock Party 1600 hours
Awards Presentation 1730 hours
Sailing Instructions will be available at COLYC, Skyway Yacht Yard and online at  on or about June 23, 2014.





6.1.   The courses to be sailed will be windward-leeward with 2 to 6 legs.  Windward offset marks and leeward gates may be used. There will be a pursuit race, with handicaps calculated at the start.

6.2.   If a J/Cruise class is formed, they will sail a specially designated random leg course that will designed to be Fun for J/Boat Owners, their Families, and Friends.

6.3.   The racing area will be due East of Monroe Street Harbor entrance.  The exact location will be in the Sailing Instructions. 


7.       SCORING

Four races are scheduled of which 1 shall be completed to constitute a series. Each boat’s total score will be the sum of the scores for all races, and no score will be excluded.    This modifies RRS A2. 

8.       SOCIAL

Saturday, June 28:  J/Party – Awards Presentation, Free Goose Island 312, BYOB

9.       DOCKING

There will be complimentary dockage available at Columbia YC on Saturday June 28.  This dockage will be in a side tie configuration with other boats rafted alongside at least 2-3 deep.


8.       PRIZES

Awards will be presented to the top third of each class. Additional prizes may be awarded to participants by sponsors.



Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See RRS 4, Decision to Race. The race organizers (OA, Race Committee, Protest Committee, sponsors, or any other organization or official) will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.  By participating in this race, each competitor agrees to release the race organizers from any and all liability associated with such competitor’s participation in this event to the fullest extent permitted by law.



A big thank you to our title sponsors Skyway Yacht Works, LLC and Stearns Boating . Visit their websites either on your desktop or mobile device.

Skyway Yacht Works 

Stearns Boating           


       Also thank you to our supporting sponsors

       Gosse Island Brewery                                               

Dry Creek Vineyard:   

Taste any of Dry Creek’s  California wines  or Goose Island’s craft beers whenever you are at Columbia Yacht Club .




Each participating boat shall be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum cover of $300,000 per event or the equivalent.



For additional information please contact Steve at


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Strictly Sail Chicago - January 23-26 - Getting you on the water!

At Skyway we want boaters to get the most out of Chicago's short season.  That means ensuring that your repairs are done on time so you can leave the dock when you are ready. After all, pleasure boating should be easy and we want you to use your boat.  Help us get you going and think about what you need done--tell us when you arrive in  the fall.  Keep a list over the summer.  It's easy.

But getting boats into top shape is only half the battle. We also love to spend time on the water with our customers, and after the success we had with last year's inaugural J/Day regatta, we're sponsoring a few new events with the idea of getting people boating.

May 10 - Dash to the Dock
Even if you only use your boat a few times a season, you're definitely going to take at least one trip -- from your yard to the harbor. If you are at Skyway, this could be one of the highlights of your summer! Join us for the first annual Dash to the Dock, a fun race from the Calumet Harbor Break wall, to a finish line off the Shedd Aquarium and then come to the Columbia Yacht Club dock. Non members are welcome for this event! We will have helpers on hand at the yard to get you rigged, activities in the yard to keep the kids busy, and experts at Columbia to help resolve any minor issues that may arise on your first shake down of the season.


June 28th - 2nd Annual Skyway Yacht Works J/Day Regatta
A fun regatta for J/Boats of all sizes, unconventional courses make it a great event for a family day on the boat. Beginning with a pursuit race to pit the full range of J/boat designs against one another, fleets are then split for a slightly more conventional course race with a Frisbee tag component. Round out the day with a race to  the Columbia Yacht Club for awards, cocktails and food afterwards.

August 16-17 - Waukegan Rendezvous
While racers have no shortage of excuses to get off the dock, cruisers are often left to fend for themselves and that's just no fun. Sailing is better with friends! This year, Skyway is starting our Waukegan Rendezvous. Begin the cruise to Waukegan Harbor under the canopy of Chicago's Air and Water Show, and be met with food, friends and games for the kids . We'll all cruise back together on Sunday and, and with any luck arrive at the point in the show where we left. This is a great opportunity for families to get away together on the boat, racers who want a break, new boat owners who appreciate the safety
of a convoy for their first cruise, or anyone looking to escape
the city for a night.

September 13th - 3 Crib Fiasco
Most of you may be familiar with San Francisco Bay's "3 Bridge Fiasco", a free-for all pursuit race where all sorts of boats race each other on a course that is only defined as 3 marks that can be rounded in any order in any direction. We're not going to lie, we think it's a great idea and we're stealing it. Skyway Yacht Works will be hosting the first annual 3 Crib Fiasco on September 13th. This race is open to anyone. Want to race your J/24? Great! Want to come out with your TP52? Awesome! Want to go around the cribs in a Vanguard 15? More power to ya! Windsurfer? OK!
We'll provide a start line, a safety boat and a party. The mayhem is up to you!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Strictly Sail Chicago 2014 - January 23-26 - New website launch!

It's boat show season again and we can't wait to see all your smiling faces at this year's Strictly Sail Chicago hosted at Navy Pier!

This year, our focus is on helping you, the boater, get the absolute most out of your season. To start with, we're launching an all-new website. By Thursday morning, we'll be flipping the switch to serve you all the info you never knew you needed in one convenient place.

Our new website not only is more pleasing and easier to navigate, we're loading it with handy resources including an all-new mobile interface optimized with the information you may need in a hurry when you're on the water.

How many times have you been delivering the boat to or from the yard only to be surprised by a barge in the river? How many of you remember what to call the railroad bridge when requesting a bridge lift? (It's "NS5 over the Calumet", btw). On our new mobile site, you'll have quick access to the information you need when you're on the water at your fingertips. Not only do we have quick instructions for bridge hailing, we've embedded live ship tracking so you can see every barge, bulk carrier, tug boat, and even yachts equipped with AIS in real time.

For the sailboat racers, how often have you managed to get the whole crew down to the boat, get off the dock on time with sandwiches ready, only to realize that you forgot the sailing instructions for the day in the car and you're not sure which starting area to head to? We're keeping a collection of all the sailing instructions and racing area maps on the mobile page and we've even optimized them to load quickly and reliably for when you're out in the lake with only a scant bar of 2G service.

Visit us in Booth 126, near the Beneteau Display, to check it out and offer suggestions for other features we may be able to add in the future.


Friday, January 10, 2014


The secret to fairing is to have something to fair. If you are painting the bottom of the boat with what you think is an appropriate amount of barrier coat, when you start sanding you may find that your barrier coat is gone before the bottom is fair.
Doing a simple visual check may lead you to some big lows that may require filler.  When mixing up your fairing compound with resin, try to use the same resin the boat manufacturer used.

But before we put on our barrier coat, we sand the ready to paint bottom with a 6" DA using 80 grit 'Hook It' disks (we use Hook It, since we will be using a lot of disks and the stick it pads deteriorate with all this disk changing).  With this step you will have knocked down the 'big bumps' and this will pay big dividends as you attack the bottom of the boat with a long board over your head.
We recommend adding some body to your barrier coat so that you are in effect filling in the minor low spots as you paint.  That way, when you hit the boat with a long board, the high spots will knock down quicker and easier and meet your new, higher lows.

The next step is the simplest but most important step to do - inking the bottom.  You absolutely have to apply marking fluid to the boat so that as you sand, you know that every inch of the boat has been sanded and your lows (and highs) have been exposed. We like to use indigo ink, diluted with denatured alcohol, wiped on with a micro fiber rag. Using microfiber lets your hands feel the imperfections in the paint, which you can note by applying heavier ink.
After you have inked the bottom, it is time to bring out the big guns of fairing - the 30" long board.  Be sure to use a light one since you will be working overhead.  Your choice of anti-fouling coating will dictate the grit of abrasive you will use.  BaltoPlate or VC Offshore you will want to use 150 -180 grit. If you use SR-21 or VC-17, you will want to use 320 grit.  

Once you have selected your paint and hence your grit and the bottom is inked, it is time to attack the beast.  Since the task of long boarding is fairly mechanical, and there is really no hard starting line, we recommend starting in the middle of the boat, since this is where the most volume of sanding will take place.  We recommend starting in the middle, if, for no other reason than for sanity.  As you head toward the ends of the boat, the acreage actually declines and you actually feel like your productivity is accelerating, which will mean a lot to your aching shoulders.
The key to long boarding is to keep the curves fair by straightening them out.  By straighten out, I simply mean that you must sand in a big "X" pattern.  For example, while you are looking up at the boat, start a stroke beginning at upper left and ending at lower right, followed by a stroke that starts at upper right and finishes at lower left.  You must do this all over the boat, overlapping as you go until all the ink is gone.  The longer the strokes the fairer the bottom will be.  This is key, because the last thing you want to do is go back over the bottom after you are done.

You will want to find a piece of hose with the approximate radius of the curve at the keel hull joint.  You will have sanded up to the keel with the long board, but will have had to stop at the intersection with the hull.  Long strokes will be tough here.  This is also a good place to use Stick-It sand paper.  Stick it to the hose and sand in the radius of the keel hull seam in the "X" stroke as well as you can all along the seam - forward to aft.

The other exception to long strokes is up at the water line, where, if you are not painting the topsides, you will want to stay off the paint.  You will have to start and stop your sanding strokes more or less right at the line.  Good masking tape is key here.  You may have to re-mask the boat after sanding just to be sure you do not end up painting up to a jagged or thick edge.  This little cosmetic oversight would definitely diminish all the time and effort spent on the rest of the bottom.

After the boat is all long boarded, it must be prepared for paint.  That means wipe down.  We like MEK.  It is a deep cleaner and flashes off relatively soon.  Not as fast as Acetone but not as long as Xylene.  We are not removing stubborn grease and dirt, just getting the dust off and ready for paint.