the ASI Burgee - Tuesday March 2, 2010

the Second Reef – News and Information for and about ASI’s Level 2 Sailors - - Jack Townsend

Learn and Sail With Boats Provided Through The American Sailing Institute

Not the catchiest of slogans is it? Do a little surfing and you will find hundreds of sailing schools on the Web that have eye catching slogans, great graphics, featuring beautiful yachts, some even promise to have you sailing across the Atlantic after one weekend of training. Well maybe not across, but close to it.

Sometimes we really don’t know when we have the best, for instance I remember when Marilyn made me a homemade meatloaf dinner, I thought, “boy, that doesn’t look like my Mom’s”, but now Marilyn tells me I like hers the best. So, sometimes we don’t know we’re getting the best until someone lets you know. And I am letting you know that with the ASI L2 Keelboat Sailing School, you are getting one of the best.

The majority of sailing schools, probably 98% of them, are for-profit schools. The instructors are paid to teach a set curriculum, move you through class quickly, scan your Visa, hand you a diploma, pat you on the back and then say good-bye.

At ASI we never say good-bye, and like the slogan says, “Sail With Boats Provided Through The American Sailing Institute”. And let me assure you that your boats are very nice and very well maintained. Looks like we have a pretty good slogan after all.

ASI offers an unprecedented 21 hours of classroom training in seamanship, and navigation, both traditional and GPS. Most sailing schools typically give you less than 6 hours of classroom training. A weekend of on-water sail instruction is approximately 16 hours; at ASI you receive 32 hours of on-water instruction.     

ASI instructors are your fellow club members who volunteer their time and knowledge to help you achieve your sailing dreams. They are not paid, they don’t do it for awards, they teach for the enjoyment of helping others experience the thrill of keelboat cruising. Well maybe I should correct that, we do get an ASI monogrammed wine glass. “Sounds good but what kind of experience do these volunteer instructors have”, you ask. Excellent question.

Your L2 shore school instructors have a total of 104 years of sailing experience? They have sailed and captained boats from 14 to 50 feet. They have sailed the Lakes of; St. Clair, Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, Georgian Bay, Traverse Bay, the Thousand Islands, and the North Channel. They have sailed the waters of; Chesapeake Bay, Florida, San Juan Islands, British Virgin Islands, and the Leeward and Windward Islands of the Caribbean Sea. But just like you, they started out on the waters of Kent Lake. Here is a short summary of your instructor’s qualifications and achievements, achievements we hope will help us continue to improve ASI’s Keelboat Sailing School and make it one of the very best.   

Bill Lane – Head of Keelboat Instruction                  

-over 35 years sailing experience - over 30 years as a Sail Instructor
-highest ASI rating achieved, L4  –  U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License
-US Sailing Certifications of; Basic, Cruising, and Bareboat Cruising
-US Sailing Small Boat Instructor  –  USPS*; Basic Boating Course

Trudy Morse – Lead Instructor - Keelboat Navigation

-over 20 years sailing experience  –  over 12 years as a Sail Instructor
-highest ASI rating achieved, L4  –  USPS*; Basic Boating – Seamanship – Piloting
-USPS*; Instructor – Sailing Memberships; ASA – US Sailing – National Women’ Org.

Haim Schlick – Assistant Instructor – Keelboats

-over 25 years sailing experience  –  over 15 years as a Sail Instructor

-highest ASI rating achieved; L2  –  AYH Surfboard Certificate
-USPS*; Full Certificate Instruction, 5 yrs  –  USPS*; Education Officer, 2 yrs.
-initiated the first Primer for Navigation, ASI Keelboat Manual

Norm Schmidt – Assistant Instructor - Keelboats

-over 10 years sailing experience – over 7 years Sail Instruction/Mentoring
-highest ASI rating achieved; L4  -  USPS*; Basic Boating, Piloting

Jack Townsend – Assistant Instructor - Keelboats

-over 10 years sailing experience  -  over 5 years Sail Instruction/Mentoring
-highest ASI rating achieved; L4  - US Sailing Certifications; Basic, Cruising, Bareboat Cruising
-ASA** Certifications; Basic, Coastal Cruising, Navigation, Advanced Coastal Cruising
-USPS*; Basic Boating, Seamanship, Piloting, Advanced Piloting, Engine Maintenance   

 * USPS – Untied States Power Squadron or United States Sail & power Squadron

** ASA – American Sailing Association

We hope you enjoy your L2 class, you can be very proud of the sailing education you are receiving - its one of the best. We are also very happy for the opportunity to share our knowledge and skills with you so that together we can be the best of the Great Lakes Sailors.

Sea you in class!

ASI Seminar for new and returning Level 1 Instructors  JoAnne McClure

Instructor training is free to all ASI Sail Pass holders who volunteer as Level 1 Instructors.


New and experienced instructors are encouraged to attend in order to keep their instruction in line with the curriculum. Prerequisite: Level 1 rating for one year.


Questions about being an instructor should be directed to JoAnne McClure,  

248-345-2403 or 248-348-3603.



 -Shore School @ Oakland Center * On Water Class @ Kent Lake
-Wed. 04/21/10 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm Sat. 05/15/10 9 am – noon
-Wed. 04/28/10 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm or as arranged at shore class.

*room number will be posted at the door.

Congratulations to US Coast Guard Captain Jessica Hogg 


Jessica has  completed her class, and has achieved a U.S. Coast Guard Captain's License, with a rating of 100 Ton, with Sailing and Towing Endorsement.

Way to go, Jessica!

ASI to offer North Channel Cruising Workshops in 2010


What's a cruising workshop?

A week of cruising Lake Huron's North Channel in one of ASI's 30 foot keelboats, Manitou or Voyager III.


Who can sign up as crew? 

 Almost any adult member of ASI. No, it's not necessary to be 'rated', even for level 1.


What will I be expected to do as one of the crew? 

 As much - or as little - as you wish. The cruising workshops offer an opportunity to members to inexpensively experience the North Channel. You'll get a taste of what it's like to live aboard a cruising sailboat, and to learn some of the skills necessary for sailing and 'gunkholing' there. You'll have a chance to help out navigating and trimming the sails. Yes, you'll be on the helm, too.   


Who's in charge?

 One of ASI's Level 4 sailors will skipper the boat, with another keelboat sailor as first mate.


Where will the workshop start and end?

 Your crew will drive from here to Little Current (on Manitoulin Island). There you will board the boat, and live aboard for a week Then you and your crew will return to Little Current and drive home. 


What are the dates?

Week(s) in July and August, TBD


What is included in the workshop cost?  

 The workshop cost is your share of the cost of chartering for one week. The crew generally shares all other costs; transportation to and from Little Current, provisions, dockage, fuel, pumpouts, etc. 


What's the North Channel like?

Because it is very remote, it is relatively uncrowded. The water is clear and you'll be able to swim (but it is chilly!). Hundreds of small islands provide numerous quiet, secluded anchorages. Once you've been to the North Channel, you'll want to come back!


If you are interested in participating in a North Channel workshop please email or call the ASI Sail Secretary. 


To participate you must have a current ASI membership.  The cost for the workshop has been $300 and a crew of 3 workshop participants is expected.  Traditionally the Captain of the workshop will review the list to select a crew.  Space is limited so participation is not a sure thing.

Sail sewing - - Kathy Chrzanowski

No more sailing in your birthday suit! Thank you to all of the sail-sewing sailors: 


Jerry Brewer

Kathy Chrzanowski**

Dave Clark**

Gary Crosbie**

Pat Crosbie

Don DeRyckere**

Carolyn Gorski

Joseph Jaeger**

 Ken Kramer

Patrick MacArthur**

Kate McRae

Stephen Poulos

Donald Sharpe

Diane Tower

Steve  Wyborski

**Worked both weekends


We finished! Thank you so much for all your help.  We kept going Saturday until every sail was done!!!  It will be exciting to start the new season with better quality sails for the use of everyone in the club.  

Only 59 days to boat put-in! Think spring! 

Time to start getting ready for some big spring sailing classes! You can help by printing out some of the flyers, schedules and pamphlets now available on the ASI website, . Thanks, Heidi Dzendzel (for the designs} and Craig Smith for posting on the website.    

Interlake Racing - - Michael Golden

NEWLY RATED L1 grads get into the racing program at no charge for 2010.

The racing program is open to all rated members. First time racers, previously rated, are $15 for the first year. The season opens with a workshop on right-of-way rules, safety, and go-fast techniques. Guided practice on the water with drills and exercises gives you a chance to brush up and learn new boat handling techniques.
We rotate crews with an experienced person on board to assist you. The Saturday or Sunday races are scheduled in the morning or late afternoon. Each crewmember gets to skipper when they are ready. You may learn how to rig and put up the chute at a dockside spinnaker workshop. You will have the opportunity to join a team and sail with the same crew sometimes.
We gather at the dock or a cafe after on the water events to exchange ideas & make excuses! Fees: The racing program is open to returning rated sailors at a fee of $25 for the season + two additional volunteer hours on Interlake maintenance. No charge to new L1 rated 2009 graduates for their first year in racing. Sign up on the sail pass form and come to the Thursday, April 22 seminar. We don’t take new novice racers after that April seminar date. 

ON THE WATER EVENTS: Check the web site or the Burgee for the race schedule soon.

The Racing Program                     Stephen Poulos, Joe Jaeger, and Michael Golden

Anatomy of a North Channel Cruise - Part 1    Don Caley

For me, Tuesday of last week was the real beginning of the sailing season. Yes, there was lots of snow on the ground, there was more forecast, and it was still February. So what happened last Tuesday? That was the date for the ASI LOTTERY MEETING - the event where all interested level-4-rated ASI sailors meet to do the initial planning and scheduling for the upcoming summer cruising in Lake Michigan’s North Channel.    

First, a little background – I’ve been sailing for the last thirty years in the North Channel, mostly with ASI. It’s been a big part of my life. There are others in ASI who have sailed the North Channel a lot more than I have; Bill Lane comes to mind, and a few others. But I doubt that anyone has enjoyed it more than I have (or 'discovered' more rocks!).

The planning, logistics and scheduling involved with ASI putting two 30’ keelboats in the North Channel are daunting tasks. Lots of things have to be decided – how many new L4 students will be going up on the ‘transfer trip’, where should the boats be placed, what maintenance remains to be done before they’re considered ‘ship-shape’ and ready for the 300 mile trip north on Lake Huron.

So last Tuesday evening I drove over to the meeting with Bob Moon, who will be crewing for me this summer. We arrived at the meeting a little early, and chatted with the thirty or so sailors that were there for the same purpose; some of these friends I hadn’t seen since last summer. I filled out all the necessary paperwork and settled back to watch the proceedings. 

Norm Schmidt kicked off the meeting with a review of the lottery procedure and outlined the responsibilities of those skippering and crewing the ASI boats – Manitou and Voyager III - during a charter. Norm had done lots of preparatory work in putting together a ‘wish-list’ of the potential charterers; the boat we’d prefer, the time slot, etc. This preliminary schedule showed that there were a few open weeks which hopefully would be filled by Cruising Workshops – more on that later. With the homework that Norm had done, it was an easy matter to tweak things slightly, and most everybody ended up with the time slots and the keelboat they wanted. We paid our fees (thanks, Trudy Morse for streamlining the process) and headed home, with thoughts now in our minds about our upcoming adventure in the greatest cruising ground in the world (ok, I’m a little prejudiced!).



ASI needs a little help from YOU!

Next month is critical for the upcoming Level 1 sailing classes. Since we do not advertise, but depend on word-of-mouth, it's not easy for wannabe sailors to learn about our organization, instruction and classes. the classes start in early May, and it is important that we 'get the word out' to the media, and fill our classes. 

How can you help? It's simple and fun! It involves contacting your local newspaper or other media outlet, and telling them about ASI. Encourage them to give us some coverage. This is the perfect 'we win - they win' situation because, in the spring, newspapers are LOOKING FOR stories about local outdoor activities in southeast Michigan. 


We've only got a month, though, to put together a plan and strategy for contacting the media. If you'd like to get involved, drop an email to . We'll provide the contacts - you do the legwork and get the work-hours you need!     

One more thing... 

The Burgee is back on a weekly schedule. It will be going out every Tuesday, now that spring is almost here... well, at least it's coming! Get your stuff to me by Sunday, and I can put it in the next Tuesday's edition. Or send your Burgee input, NOW, to

ASI • PO Box 210250 • Auburn Hills, Michigan 48321-0250
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