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Jan/Feb 2018 Newsletter - Liberty Lifelines

Published on 2/13/2018


Sailing is a metaphor for life. I remember sailing at the fall topper on Cool Breeze.There was a strong gust and she was leaning over and slicing through the water. There was nothing to worry about except where we were headed next. I hope all of us have opportunities to live parts of our lives in this manner - filled with exhilaration and powered by nature.

For 29 years Liberty Sailing Club has been providing great recreational opportunities in Philadelphia area. The Club has made a positive impact on so many Members in so many ways.

This note is a thank you to all the wonderful people who have participated at LSC  over the years - from all the sailors, skippers, volunteers, maintenance team, who have worked behind the scene and up on stage to provide such great experiences for everyone. And also thank you to the friends of Liberty Sailing Club who have helped us over the years, some in very small ways and others in very large ways.

Times have changed and so have we. The wind changes. Tides change. Our Club is also on the verge of some great changes and improvements and I look forward to announcing them soon. We are looking to modernize our communications, boats, and club house in the next year. But we can’t do it without you! This year will be a crucial year to the club, and we need help from all members.

The board is asking that each member Volunteering a minimum of 8 hours per year (each event is usually 4 hours). We will be using the website to track this as there are multiple ways you can help keep your club running. Remember, this is your club, these are your boats, and we need you to keep everything running smoothly.

Our first opportunity is coming up in March 3rd, March 10thMarch 17th, or  March 24th to help prepare our boats for the return. Please sign up to help!

Our Committees this year are as follows:

Maintenance:  Dmitri Bernhardt (Chair), Laura Martin, Sam Martin, Bob Rhodes, Dave English, Sean Devens 

Membership:  Caitlin Youngster (Chair), Antoinette Bres

Communications:  Rich Sita (Chair), David Walker, Zach Tate, Christopher Chu

Events:  Linda Denne (Chair), Deb Dullen

Racing:  Ed Carmody (Chair), Drew McDaniel, Mimo Mottini

Strategic:  Chris ChuSkip Markowitz, Maureen Mastroieni, Ed Denton,

We need volunteers to help plan and lead activities. If you can help with various aspects of running the club, running frostbite, running open houses, or other club activities, please reach out to each committee chair or to me

Membership dues are payable now through April 1st. The membership fees have not changed, you can view them here, but we have created coupon codes if you are a senior or family member. Please Email me if you have questions.  Please make prompt payment by signing in to and clicking on membership/member signup.  Renewing members will be prompted to enter their user name and password, and can then accept their renewal and pay by credit card or check.  

If you are paying by check, please indicate this on the renewal form and forward payment to Frank Stauss, 25 White Pine Road, Sewell, NJ, 08080 or leave it in the cash box at the club. On the check write whether you are Crew/Skipper/Spring Sailor/Family.

Don't delay; your dues are needed to maintain our boats and fund our upcoming activities in 2018.

Finally our Boats are returning March 31st. We need skippers, crew, drivers, and people to help with breakfast and lunch. Please Register Here or sign up to volunteer

- Commodore Christopher Chu



The Liberty Sailing Membership Committee is back this year and better than ever! We will continue to recruit new sailors to the club through our fun and well-attended open houses. The first one will be held on Sunday, April 8th from 1-4pm, and we hope you can all make it out to represent Liberty Sailing Club. We are in need of current members who can help to run the open houses, and have put together a comprehensive guidebook that will help you navigate through the process. Please reach out to Caitlin Youngster if you are interested in becoming more involved with these important events. 

Something new we are able to market to potential members is the option to sign up for a Spring Intro Sailing Membership. This membership allows new members to try out the club for a discounted fee during the first racing series prior to committing for the full year. 


After focusing on recruitment, we want to shift our attention to new member on-boarding and retention of current members this year. The first way of achieving this will be through putting together a welcome package for new members with important information about the club and sailing at Liberty. We will also make an effort to pair new members with an existing member who can act as their "buddy" and help them navigate through their first year sailing with Liberty. 

In addition to this initiative, we will be working with the Maintenance and Racing committees to offer a variety of continuing education opportunities for our current members. The intent is to reinforce a culture of safe sailing while helping sailors improve their skills through a series of workshops throughout the year. We want every member to be competent (and have fun!) on the water, and to have the opportunity to progress from brand new sailing to cruiser, cruiser to cruising skipper, and cruising 
skipper to responsible/desirable racing skippers. 


See you all on the water soon! 


Your Membership chair,

Caitlin Youngster


Membership Appreciation Night


This annual event, sponsored by your board was again, its usual success.   We've been holding this event at Dave and Busters for many years and every year we’re glad we did!


Our members are treated to free food and drink and relax with games of pool and shuffle board.  It just seems the perfect place to relax after the craziness of the summer racing season.

Thanks go to Skip Markowitz who arranges this evening every year for us.

Keep those sliders coming! 


Holiday Party


We had wonderful party on the Ben Franklin Yacht this year (Photos can be found here).  About 80 of our members arrived dressed in style, to kick off the 2017 holiday season with LSC!!

Our club had the entire 3 decks to ourselves. Awesome. (OK, it was a little drafty on the observation deck… but the view was great) 

Christine, our liaison, Capt. Tom and the crew took exceptionally good care of us.  Drinks were reasonable and the buffet was abundant, loaded with beef, stuffed pork, an excellent array of veggies, pasta and a baked potato bar. One always takes a chance on a new venue, and I feel the food was better than many good restaurants in town. All out of the galley of the BF!

Did you get some cake?  Please know that this beauty was donated by Sandy and John Geist who lugged it in from DiBartolo  Bakery in Collingwood. Thanks for that generosity!

And I should tell you that I needed some volunteers for this event and every person I wrote to said yes.

Many thanks to to following people: Chris Chu, Julie Cooper, Antoinette Bres, Deb Dullen, Caitlin Youngster, Marina Liam, Chris Daley, Kate Ferris, Laura Martin, Meg Phillips, Sandy and John Geist, Cindy Otto, Tammy Leigh DeMent and Leslie Entwistle.

These good people came early to set up, check in, pour drinks and sell raffles tickets while wearing little elf hats to boot! They came bearing extra raffle prizes and extra desserts. Marina, I won’t miss those fabulous cheesecakes next year!!

Yours truly was pleased to provide our party with champagne cocktails for all and the BF staff gladly provided the glasses and ice…that's accommodating!

The efforts of the volunteers really helps to keep the price of these big events reasonable…Thanks again to you and what a great party we had.

Folks, I will need your feedback as I would like to hold the party there again next year.  Plus, the second time around provides the opportunity to work out the little kinks.

Beer Brewing and Pot Luck

Our annual winter events continued with a fine new addition of a Beer Tasting and brewing class. 

we had roughly 30 participants in our first tasting session. We learned the many complexities of various assortments of lagers, pale ales, porters, and much more. Lunch was graciously donated thanks to the help our the team. 

special thanks to Peter, Erik, Chad, Eliza, and Chris Sita for taking the time to plan, organized, and launch a successful class.

The next brewing class will be Saturday, February 24th from 12pm - 5 pm.

The next course will be $20 for Members, and $25 for non-members.

The Pot Luck was a hit, who knew so many sailors could cook so well in our club? Thanks to everyone who came out on a rainy Saturday, and Sam, Drew, and Rick who patched up the floor before the party started.


Your social chair,

Linda Denne





This year, we are excited to have a dedicated communications committee with the broad goal of helping the club operate more smoothly and helping the members and leaders to have a better sense of what is going on, where they can find out, and how they can pitch in.  To this end, we plan to install a PC with a wall-mounted large-screen TV in the clubhouse. 

The PC will be used to access the club’s website; when idle, the TV will have a looping display of race results and standings, upcoming club events, etc.  A PC has already been donated; it would help a lot if a member can donate a TV, rather than spend funds.

Soon, you’ll be able to install our mobile app from the Apple or Google store; it will provide easier access to the club’s website.  We’ve also integrated the club’s facebook page into the website’s home page; we want the club’s website to be viewed as the primary source of up-to-date information.

One new feature to look forward to is the “channels” provided through the mobile app. We’ll be defining channels based on interest groups, race teams, boat status, etc.  There is a handy “Chat” messaging system that reaches out to only the channel members.  Please feel free to share any ideas you have for an interest group.  To participate, be sure to fill out your member profile with at least your email address and cell phone number; a photo is helpful.

We’re also looking forward to using the “boat status” channel to do a better job of reporting issues to the maintenance committee.  With a channel for each boat, it should be very easy for members to report any issue.  You can even take a picture with your phone. 


As a member owned and operated organization, we need every member to find some time to support the club by volunteering some time during the year.  Although the biggest need is in maintaining the boats, there are other volunteer opportunities, which will be on the website by the return of the fleet – please do your part by signing up to give a little bit back to our fun sailing club.

Your Communications chair,

Rich Sita



This winter we have been working of refurbishing the booms and the tillers and working on rigging. All of the tillers have been sanded, treated with a penetrating epoxy, and polyurethaned. They are now ready for the new season.

The booms are having bushings installed to prevent further wear and the outhauls are being repaired and sheaves replaced. 

We still need to splice our new halyards. Be on the lookout for the work-party/training on doing eyesplices.


The work parties in March are needed to get the boats prepared for the new season. Given the unpredictable weather we started early expecting that we would need to postpone at least one day. 

Below is our current projected schedule, please register so we know our attendance.  We need 16 to 20 volunteers for each work party!!


March 3rd Saturday 10 am start at Winter's Marina - Rain Day Sunday March 4th

  • Scrub the topsides to remove all mold
  • Clean the boats with Oxalic Acid
  • Scrub the mud and grime off of the bottoms
  • Inventory all of the boats 

March 10th Saturday 10 am start at Winter's Marina - Rain Day Sunday March 11th

  • Complete the cleaning
  • Apply bottom paint
  • For the boats that have been soda blasted apply barrier coat
  • Bring booms up to the yard and put booms on the boats
  • Wax and Buff the bottoms

March 17th Saturday 10 am start at Winter's Marina - Rain Day Sunday March 18th

  • Install all new halyards
  • Complete all toolboxes and First Aid kits
  • Wax and Buff the bottoms
  • Pick-up the engines install on the boats

March 24th Saturday 10 am start at Winter's Marina- Rain Day Sunday the 25th

  • Day to complete any unfinished tasks or in case a weekend is completely rained out

March 31st Saturday 11AM Start  -  Return of the fleet - We will need to have:


  • All sails on the boats
  • Skippers and Crews for all boats
  • Needed 4 to 6 volunteers each boat 
  • One pickup truck 
  • Don't forget your foul weather gear


There has been discussion over the past few years about the future of our boats and our club. After many hours of discussion about options both members and board members have come to the conclusion that the J-27s work very well for us. They are fast, fun to race, work well on the Delaware River, and allow for a variety of skill levels when racing or cruising. But our boats are old and need TLC. 

We have started on a program to do the repairs and refurbishment needed to keep these boats sailing well into the future. We have tried to do this repair during either the spring or fall months. That has been difficult. So this year we will start a program of keeping a boat out of service for the season in order to complete repairs. This means that we will have a fleet of 6 boats for racing and cruising but it will also give us the time to complete both the more major repairs and the ongoing maintenance.

Your Maintenance Team,

Laura Martin – Maintenance Committee

Dmitri Bernhardt - Maintenance Chair


In 2018 we will have a 3 member committee to help organize all things racing, racing team selection night, safety knowledge, Racing Skippers Test, to Posting Race Results on the website. 

To accomodate for our aging fleet, the board has decided to take one boat out of service to begin extensive repairs to extend the longevity of our fleet. Although this will mean that we will only have 6 boats per race night, we have created an additional racing opportunity on Sunday afternoons. Course setup for sunday without race committee can be found here in our Document Library, where you will find all important LSC documents, guides, and training.

Each boat will be responsible for ensuring that the crew helps maintain their boat, and each club member has a 8 hour minimum  (2 work parties) to help keep the boats in shape. Skippers should encourage their crew to help keep the club viable. Additionally, each skipper is accountable that a their boat's race committee obligation is met, or they will be penalized on their following race.

With the help of the communications team, you will now be able to use the new App to chat with your teammates so you can coordinate where members are and setup times to sail without having to text. Stay tuned for release of the LSC app.

Finally, Racing Crew Assignment Party is on April 12th, then followed by mandatory Wed Nite Racing - Kick Off - 4/18/2018Thurs Nite Racing - Kick Off - 4/19/2018  we will practice racing starts, Man-Overboards, rounding marks, docking, and other important sailing skills before the season kicks off official the following week. Attendance is mandatory for each boat.

Your Racing Committee,

Ed Carmody