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Waukegan Mac Racers win 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place

Three Waukegan boats took part in this year’s race to Mackinac Island and finished safely. All three of our boats won top honors in their sections. Everyone should congratulate the following boats, their skippers and crew:

Boat Skipper(s) Finish Time
Husaria Kris Kaminski 1d 21h 28m 29s
Sirocco 3 Robert Klairmont 2d 3h 52m 18s
Spitfire Jonathan Burba, Mike Cunningham and Jim Hellquist 2d 11h 29m 22s

Husaria win 1st Place in Section 2

Congratulations to Kris and his crew for pulling in a 1st Place finish in their section.

The crew of the sailing vessel Husaria accept the first place award for section 2 in the Mac Race
Kris Kaminski and his crew accept the flag for 1st Place in Second 2

Sirocco wins 2nd Place in Section 3

Congratulations to Sirocco who won 2nd place in Section 3.

Sirocco crew accepts 2nd Place trophy
Sirocco crew accepts 2nd Place trophy

Spitfire wins 3rd place in Section 6

Congratulations to Spitfire who won 3rd place in Section 6.

3rd place flag for spitfire in Mac Race
Spitfire wins 3rd place in their division of the Mac Race.

We wish all the racers safe travels as they bring their boats home. This year the race was marred by bad weather and the loss of one crewman from the boat Imedi. We pray for his family and friends.


Blessing of the Fleet Sunday, June 2

The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club will conduct its annual Blessing of the Fleet this Sunday, June 2, 2019 starting at 2:00pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase and the Doc Woods band will provide live music.

All boaters are invited to participate by bringing their boats to the club dock or simply join us for the ceremony. You do not have to be a member of the club or dock your boat in Waukegan to participate. Bring your family. Bring your friends.

The Mayor Cunningham of Waukegan is scheduled to speak as well as the commodore of the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club, Jim Hellquist.


  • 2:00 food and beverages available for purchase
  • 3:00 ceremony  begins: Mayor Cunningham is  scheduled to speak
  • 3:30 Boat parade and Blessing of the fleet and harbor

Bring your family! Bring your friends! All boaters are invited to come out and enjoy this traditional event.

All members are invited to come out and support the club June 2 whether your boat will be blessed or not.

87th Chicago-Waukegan Race Great Success!

On June 16th the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club hosted the 87th annual Chicago-Waukegan sailboat race. Nearly 130 boats registered for the race and over 100 took part in the race.
Sailboats preparing to start a race
Chicago-Waukegan race start off Montrose Harbor
This year the weather was unpredictable as usual. The wind started briskly coming from the south from 5-7 knots. Most boats immediately launched their spinnakers and the various sections started to battle it out for the lead.
sailboats preparing to start a race
Chicago-Waukegan race start off Montrose Harbor
A little over an hour after the last boat crossed the starting line the wind abruptly swung around to the northeast at over 10 knots. The shift caught many boats unprepared as their crews jumped into action to dose their chutes.
Now the race had shifted to a close hauled beat to windward. But, as they say, “if you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait five minutes.” Less than another hour passed and the wind began to shift around to the east and not long afterward back to the south once more.
Chutes came out again and this to stay. At first, the wind was steady and strong, but ebbed over the next few hours. Fortunately, for most of the fleet they were able to stand to Waukegan and the finish line. By 2:00pm, the majority of racers had crossed the line and retired to the north harbor where they rafted off the club dock, or to berths they had rented in the south harbor. Waukegan racers simply went off to their own berths.
sailboats finishing race with spinnakers
Boats finishing the 87th Chicago-Waukegan race
The weather in Waukegan was sunny and warm and perfect for a cookout. Grills were fired up and many racers grabbed a burger, brat or hot dog and a cold brew or rum and coke. The club and dockside was alive with members, racers and guests.
dockside at the club
The dock was filled with members, racers and guests

Dinner was an Italian buffet and was served starting at 5:30pm. Food went fast and actually ran out by 8:00pm. Live music started by 7:30pm and rocked the club for a few hours before the awards were made. The party continued well into the night.

people drinking at the club
All parts of the club were humming with conversations, laughter and sea stories.
Sunday morning came early and many sailors and guests took advantage of Bo Harper’s Bloody Mary bar! Many took advantage of the hot breakfast provided by the club. By 8:00am, the Committee boat cast off to set up the starting line. The first section started at 9:05 and each following section went off in 5 minute increments. In less than an hour all 9 sections were gone.
sailboats racing away
In a blink of the eye the racers were gone, headed back to Chicago
The Board of Directors would like to thank the following volunteers who made this event a major success:
Claudia Aisenberg, Larry Beliant, Jeff Bernachi, Colin Classen, Richard Fee, Yvonne Fee, Mary Ellen Giffels, Jose Guzman, Bo Harper, Lynne Hellquist, Erik Hellquist, John Johnson, Barbara Klupiec, Chris Klupiec, Mark LeVan, Jim Maivald, Paul McEntee, Aaron Milks, Kim Nerheim, John Rouse, Viktoriya Rouse, Tom Sivia, Nikki Sullivan, and Al (Jeep) Trefts. Let us know  if we missed your name.
volunteers selling tickets for food and drink
Volunteers made this year’s event a tremendous success

Sailboat Racing Rules and Strategy

Sunday April 22, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday April 29, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

April 22 & 29  (11:00am-3:00pm)

Take your sailing up to the next level. This two-class series will teach you the racing rules and strategy you’ll need to know to join any racing series held in the waters of the United States or sanctioned under the auspices of World Sailing. The rules of sailing, like the ones for golf, are self-regulated and self-enforced. It’s vital that all participants know and follow the rules at all times.

Session 1: The Rules of Sailboat Racing

April 22, 2018

Session 2: Sailboat Racing Strategy

April 29, 2018


Event date is past

Racing Crew Class

Saturday March 10, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
sailboats crossing the starting line of sailboat race
Learn how to crew a racing sailboat

March 10 (11:00am-3:00pm)

Don’t want to race your boat? Don’t have a boat? Come learn how to crew a racing boat. The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club is looking for crew members for our Wednesday night club racing season. Meet new friends, get some excitement in your life. This class will teach you what you need to know join a racing crew this year. Don’t sit at home. Get off the couch. Come join the fun at the club!


Event date is past

Frostbiting at the Club

Sunday February 11, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday February 18, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday February 25, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday March 4, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday March 11, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday March 18, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

The club will be open every Sunday from 11am to 3pm for frostbite sailors when the harbor is free of ice. If you are interested in sailing at the club this winter come up to the club at 11am.

Let us know you are interested and we will contact you by email or phone if Frostbiting has to be cancelled for some reason.

Please RSVP below to send us your contact info and date of interest.

Event date is past

Celestial Navigation Class

Sunday March 11, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday March 18, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday March 25, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Sunday April 8, 2018 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

illustrations of the earth, a sextant and a compass rose

The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club is offering a celestial navigation classMost boaters and travelers have been spoiled in recent years by handheld GPS devices, smartphones and Google maps. But, what happens when you are beyond the reach of the cell towers? What happens when the power goes out or the batteries go dead? What’s your backup method for navigation? When you are a thousand miles offshore it’s too late to look for alternative options.

The Celestial Navigation course provided by the Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club is designed to teach you everything you need to know to navigate around the world using observations of the sun, stars and planets, along with a dead-reckoning track. The class is taught in 4 sessions:

Sesson 1: Dead Reckoning (prerequisite for all other sessions)

Date: March 11 (11am-3pm)

In this session you will learn:

  • How to obtain, read and use nautical charts
  • How to identify latitude and longitude
  • Measurement scales and other notations
  • Navigation terms and terminology.
  • How to plan a navigational track
  • How to create and maintain a navigation logbook
  • How to obtain fixes from visual observations
  • How to compute ETAs
  • How to identify set and drift and how to compensate for it
  • How to identify magnetic variation and apply compensation
  • How to create and maintain a dead reckoning track

Session 2: Navigating by the Sun

Date: March 18 (11am-3pm)

In this session you will learn:

  • How the sun can used for obtaining navigational fixes
  • How to use a sextant (hands on)
  • How to calibrate a sextant (hands on)
  • How to obtain visual observations of the sun (hands on)
  • How to use the Nautical Almanac and site reduction tables
  • How to calculate Line of Position
  • How to advance sight lines to create a fix

Session 3: Obtaining Latitude and Longitude

Date: March 25 (11am-3pm)

In this session you will learn:

  • How to test and calibrate chronometers and digital watches to ensure accurate observations and computation
  • How to compute Local Hour Angle (LHA) for obtaining assumed LAN
  • How to use a chronometer or digital watch to identify your longitude
  • How to shoot Local Apparent Noon (LAN) with sextant (hands on)

Session 4: Navigating by the stars and planets

Date: April 8 (TBD)

In this session you will learn:

  • How to use stars and planets for navigation
  • How to compute sunrise, sunset and dusk
  • How to compute Sidereal Hour Angle (SHA)
  • How to identify stars and planet for observation
  • How to obtain visual observations of planets and stars with sextant (hands on)
  • How to compute a Line of Position (LOP) from stars and planets
  • How to create a fix from multiple stars and planets

Register for Celestial Navigation

Welcome to the Waukegan Yacht Club

Harbor view of Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club
Harbor view of Waukegan Yacht Club

The Waukegan Yacht Club provides a full-service yacht club to boaters and watercraft enthusiasts on the north shore. During the sailing season we have weekly club races and a special schedule of fall races. When the harbor is open the club offers dinner service for members and guests on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Off-season the club is also open and available for special events and parties. Members can access the clubhouse 24/7 to use the showers and bathrooms and for safe harbor.

cocktail bar at Waukegan Joseph Conrad Yacht Club
Have a cocktail at the bar or order a tasty treat from the kitchen.

Not interested in racing? We boat along one of the best cruising grounds in North America. Whether you want to go for a weekend or for a month, there are places to go. Cruising with a group gives you the added camaraderie of boating with friends and the added security of numbers. Power boaters will get there faster and sailors will get there cheaper but, on the dock, the drinks and food and love of our lake are the same.

people riding in a powerboat
The club has an active power squadron

Cruising with the Waukegan Yacht Club is a no–host event. We try, when possible, to have slips close together. On the day of the cruise, we meet for a brief “captains’ meeting” to work out final details.  First boat to the destination helps the later arrivals. Generally, we have a get-together on the dock where each boat brings an hors d’oeuvres and their favorite beverage. There is then the opportunity to go out for dinner as a group or eat aboard. On the return departure, guess who helps with the dock lines!

clouds reflected on the water in Waukegan Harbor
Another beautiful day in Waukegan Harbor

Don’t own a boat? No problem, the club owns an impressive fleet of dinghies and small sail craft that are free to use by all members. In 2017, the club received the donation of a 27-foot sloop. In 2018, this boat will be available to members for both racing, cruising or just daysailing.

Three smiling people sailing on lake michigan
Sailing on the lake is a fun group activity.

Don’t know how to sail? The Waukegan Yacht Club offers and hosts classes for adults, youth and children in sailing, crewing, basic seamanship, sailboat racing and even navigation. Classes are free or discounted for members.

sailing dinghies in the harbor
The club’s fleet of sailing dinghies and small sail craft are all available to members

You can see that there are many reasons to join the Waukegan Yacht Club. So, what are you waiting for?