Thursday, December 22, 2011

10th Annual Karma Yacht Sales Winter Open House

It's "That" Time Again! 
10th ANNUAL Karma Yacht Sales
Winter Open House

Saturday January 14, 2012

10:00am to 2:00pm

Karma Yacht Sales Main Office

Break the Post Holiday/Winter Blahs and come down to learn, live it up and convive with your fellow Lake Michigan Sailors

Seminars, Refreshments and Boat Show Passes to Strictly Sail 2012*

Agenda for the Day:

Open House opens at 1000am

10:30AM to 11:30AM    “Cruising Sail Trim- Getting the most enjoyment out of your leisure sailing" presented by Perry Lewis, North Sails Midwest

11:30AM to 1230PM     "Bucket List Update: Race to Mackinac from a Cruising Sailors Point of View"    presented by Emmy & Matt Gallagher

12:30PM to 130pm        "Preventative Diesel Engine Tips for the DIY Sailor"
presented by  Mr. Roy Cohen, Mack Boring- Yanmar

Stay Tuned for more details on Topics and a Full Itinerary via our FACEBOOK Page. "Like Us" on Facebook to stay up to date.

Have you RSVP'd Yet?  If not,  Click on this LINK to RSVP

*Limited Quantities Available.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Strictly Sail 2012: Kick Off the 2012 Sailing Season in Grand Fashion.

Visit the Progressive® Insurance Strictly Sail Chicago Website!

Join Karma Yacht Sales as your Lake Michigan Beneteau Dealer at the 2012 Progressive Insurance Strictly Sail Chicago Sailboat Show- Chicago's Navy Pier January 26-29.

If you have ever wanted to learn to sail, you own a boat, would like to own a boat or sail on someone else's boat- Strictly Sail represents a great opportunity to learn about sailing, continue your sailing education, buy your next boat or buy gear!

As your full service Lake Michigan Beneteau Dealer, Karma Yacht Sales will be the host dealer for Benteau at the show where we will be displaying the latest models from Beneteau.

Visit us at Display #220 where we will have the First 30,  Beneteau Oceanis 37 and the Chicago debut of the NEW 41 and 45!

To learn more about Strictly Sail Chicago or for tickets visit : the Strictly Sail Website

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Save the Date 10th Annual Karma Yacht Sales Open House

"Saving Sailing" Author Nicholas Hayes Speaks at the 9th Annual KYS Open House


Saturday January 14, 2012

10:00am to 2:00pm

10th Annual Karma Yacht Sales Open House

Break the Post Holiday/Winter Blahs and come down to learn, live it up and convive with your fellow Lake Michigan Sailors

Seminars, Refreshments & Boat Show Passes to Strictly Sail 2012*

Stay Tuned for more details on Speakers.

Click on this LINK to RSVP

*Limited Quantities Available.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Karma Yacht Sales’ Co-Owner Appointed to chair 104th & 105th Race to Mackinac by Chicago Yacht Club

Lou Sandoval (Co-Owner/Co-Founder)

For Immediate Release:
Contact Media Manager
(773) 254-0200

Chicago, IL, November 15, 2011:   The Chicago Yacht Club recently announced that Lou Sandoval was appointed to chair the 104th and 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.   Mr. Sandoval, a seven year member of the Race to Mackinac committee was formally introduced as incoming chairman at the recent Race to Mackinac Awards Ceremony on November 5th. 

Mr. Sandoval has completed twelve races to Mackinac in which his boat ‘Karma’ has successfully campaigned and  won it’s section six out of the past eight years.  He has been an active member of the Lake Michigan Sailing Community.   In May, 2011 he was recognized as US Sailing’s Sailor of the week for the work he has done serving on the board of the Judd Goldmann Adaptive Sailing Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America-Chicago Area Council where he serves as Council Commissioner.  An active volunteer, Mr. Sandoval believes in serving as an ambassador of the sport of sailing to share the sport with diverse communities who perhaps have not had the chance to grow up in the sport.  Mr. Sandoval will also be stepping into a larger leadership role at Chicago Yacht Club as a member of their Board of Directors commencing with the 2012 year.

Karma Yacht Sales is proud to support Mr. Lou Sandoval’s appointment and his committed leadership in the sport of sailing.

About Karma Yacht Sales:   Karma Yacht Sales is entering its 10th year of representing Beneteau sailing yachts on Lake Michigan.  A recipient of Benteau’s Platinum dealer status, KYS is a full service dealership providing new boat sales, service and brokerage on Lake Michigan and  throughout the Great Lakes.   A recipient of Beneteau’s 2011 Dealer of the Year Award, KYS focuses on providing excellent customer service and has been recognized for their commitment to their clients by being perennial recipients of the Beneteau President’s Award for Sales & Service over the past decade.   Living up to their motto: ‘Waves of good fortune follow admirable actions’ KYS is a supporter of youth and educational initiatives in their surrounding community.

About Chicago Yacht Club: The Chicago Yacht Club is one of the oldest and most respected yacht clubs in the world. Today, the club boasts a membership of nearly 1500 boating enthusiasts and is one of the preeminent organizers of regattas, races and predicted-log events in the United States. The club offers an array of spectacular off-the-water amenities, including fine dining and full-service catering at both its Monroe and Belmont stations. “A tradition of yachting excellence” is a fitting description of a club that has dedicated itself to promoting the sport and perpetuating the values of camaraderie and community since 1875.

About the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac: At 333 miles (289.4 nautical miles), the Race to Mackinac is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. ‘The Mac’ starts at the Chicago Lighthouse, just off Navy Pier and continues to Mackinac Island.  2011 marked the 103rd Running of the Race to Mackinac, in which 355 boats competed in the fourth consecutive sellout of the Race.  The 103rd marked the third largest fleet in the history of the race with almost 3500 sailors participating. The Race has also amassed a strong following using technology and social networking; it can be followed virtually using Facebook, Twitter and its Race tracking interface. The 103rd race and yacht club site was visited by over 300,000 website visitors. Our Facebook page has been visited by well over 2 million visitors to date.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

31st Street Harbor: Your Home away from Home?

"31st Street" - Chicago Harbors Commercial Spot from Chicago Harbors on Vimeo.

There has never been a time greater than the present to become part of the Chicago boating community.   With the upcoming opening of the new 31st Street Harbor, just one exit away from Soldier Field, you have a unique opportunity to dock your boat within a quick sail or boat ride from Chicago's captivating lakefront. 

The enclosed video highlights some of the amenities of the new harbor and why it should be on your list for 2012.  What a great place to dock your new Beneteau!

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dock N Go Steals the Show Part Deux-2011 Annapolis Sailboat Show

As of today, the popular 'Dock N Go' system (available on select Beneteau Sense and Oceanis models) has stolen the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD (running Oct 6-10) for the second year in a row.   The joystick control system which allows the helm person the ability to pivot the boat on its axis in a full circle was premiered at the same show in 2010 and was hailed as revolutionary.  The ability for newcomers to the sport or boaters with limited crew to dock the boat with the mere touch of a joystick has taken the boating community by storm.   The enclosed video provides a birds eye view of the dock n go process in very tight quarters on a 2012 Beneteau Oceanis 45.  As of today the popular Dock n go system has produced the sale of six new Oceanis 45's at the annual Annapolis show.

Made available on the Beneteau SENSE model sailboats initially, the feature has been extended to select models in the Oceanis line as well.  If 'Imitation is the best form of flattery', The first of it's kind, Dock N Go has triggered a wave of copy cat systems (in development) by other sailboat brands.  

Beneteau USA is the American division of the World's Largest Manufacturer of boats worldwide producing sailboats and power boats in a varying array of sizes to suit a range of budgets. Production boats ranging in size from 31 to 50 feet are built in the Marion SC facility, while sail and power boats up to 58 foot in length are also imported from it's parent company in France. 

Karma Yacht Sales is your Lake Michigan Sailboat dealer specializing in Beneteau (OCEANIS, SENSE and FIRST Series boats).  KYS is a member of Beneteau's elite Platinum dealer network reserved for the top 5% of the dealers in North America who have met stringent training and customer service standards.  In 2011, Karma YS was recently awarded the President's Award for Superior Sales and the Beneteau "DEALER OF THE YEAR" in Customer Service.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chicago's Lakefront- Our worst kept secret, with availability for Spring 2012

"Lakeshore Lifestyle" Extended - Chicago Harbors Commercial Spot from Chicago Harbors on Vimeo.

One of the worst kept secrets of Chicago is our beautiful lakefront.   Whether you run, bike, swim or boat- it provides a natural, active and healthy lifestyle for all that make the trek to her rich blue shoreline. 

One the best views of our great city is from the water.  With a skyline second to none, the tranquil and enjoyable surrounding is your ultimate 'stay-cation'.   There is no better way to enjoy it than from your boat- docked in one of Chicago's many harbors.  The enclosed commercial spot for the Chicago Harbor System dubbed 'Lakeshore Lifestyle'- it highlights the largest municipally run harbor system in the nation.   Tune in to catch the fever and learn more.  Contact Karma Yacht Sales for your passport to Chicago's natural wonder- aboard a Beneteau.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Karma Yacht Sales Awarded 2011 President's Award & Dealer of the Year

Service Dealers of the Year and President's Award Winners: Lou Sandoval, Wayne Burdick (President Beneteau USA),
Jack Buoscio, Mike Lechelop (VP Sales, Beneteau USA)

October 5, 2011

Annapolis, MD-   Beneteau USA concluded a meeting today of their North American Dealer Network.   A group consisting of over 40 dealerships spanning the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America convened at the Annapolis Marriott hotel prior to the start of the 42nd Annual United States Sailboat Show.

The meeting was a unique opportunity for Beneteau to convene it's dealer network to discuss the three new models that will be premiering at the show: Beneteau 41, Beneteau 45 and Sense 43. It was also an opportunity for Mr. Bruno Cathelinais (CEO of Groupe Beneteau) to recognize the accomplishments of the North American Dealer Network. 

The prestigious Beneteau 'President's Award' , which goes to the top 10 dealers in the network based on their Sales Accomplishment was awarded, as well as the Beneteau 'Dealer of the Year Award' for Sales and Service, which is awarded to the #1 dealer in each of those respective categories for the 2010-2011 year.

Local Lake Michigan Dealer , Karma Yacht Sales (KYS) was the proud recipient of 'Service Dealer of the Year Award', having received a perfect NMMA Customer Service Initiative (CSI) score of 100%.  KYS was also awarded the Beneteau 'President's Award' for their achievements in Sales.  Having been perennial recipients of the President's Award for Sales and Service over the past decade, KYS is no stranger to the recognition and results that come from focusing on their clients.  The 'Dealer of the Year Award' did come as a surprise to the founders of the company, Jack Buoscio and Lou Sandoval, as it is the first time a winner has received a perfect score.  

"This award is a testament to our hardworking service employees" said Jack Buoscio, "They show up every day ready to live our mission.  While some days are more challenging than others, we make sure the end result of each commissioning is a happy client on a boat that will perform well".  

Beneteau is the top brand on Lake Michigan, in spite of the recent economic challenges that have affected the marine industry.  Preserving a collective five year market share of 34% of all new boat sales has not been easy for the Chicago-based dealer.  "The industry as a whole has been through a lot" said Lou Sandoval,  "Beneteau has taken a strong leadership position through their consistent innovation (fresh designs, un-paralleled features), quality and commitment to value.  I'm not saying it has been easy- but we've focused on staying close to the supporters that have helped us grow the Beneteau brand on Lake Michigan-our customers."

Karma Yacht Sales has just entered their 10th Year since purchasing Darfin Yachts, the stalwart predecessor who had been the Lake Michigan dealer since 1976.  KYS specializes in Beneteau sailboats on Lake Michigan.  Throughout the past ten years, they have taken the Beneteau name to another level, where it is now firmly entrenched  amongst mainy sailing households.  As founders of the wildly-popular racer/cruiser First 36.7 and First 40.7 fleets, KYS (and Darfin prior) has accounted for the sale of over 45 new and used First 36.7 and 40.7 boats into what are the largest (and most active) fleets for the two models in North America.  "We've set the bar by which all other fledgling fleets seek to surpass" says Lou Sandoval. 

The Beneteau cruising line, named Oceanis has also been very successful, such that a visit to any Lake Michigan harbor will guarantee seeing a strong percentage of boats with the unmistakeable Beneteau Seahorse logo.   When asked what the secret to their success has been, Mr. Buoscio replied, "It's about serving our customers as best we can, and exceeding their expectations.  We're proud of the large number of repeat customers that are now on their second or third boat with us, and it's largely because of the great service we provide.  The name we chose back in 2001-KARMA- conveyed our philosophy about business: The belief that if you treat others as you would hope to be treated, success will follow".

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Join Us at the 10th Annual Lake Michigan Boat Show 9/9-11/11

Join Karma Yacht Sales at the 10th Annual Lake Michigan Sailboat Show

Several of Lake Michigan's premier sailboat dealers have come together to showcase major brands. See the Beneteau 40 and NEW First 30

September 9 - 11, 2011

Location: Show map

Waukegan Harbor @ Larsen Marine
625 Seahorse Dr
Waukegan, IL

Contact: Karma Yacht Sales
Phone: 773-254-0200

Show hours:

•Friday, September 9th: 10 A.M to 6 P.M.
•Saturday, September 10th: 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.
•Sunday, September 11th: 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Crains Chicago: Chicago Harbors- Build it and they will come?

Photo Credit: Crains Chicago

Crain's Chicago Business: Sailing slump leaves Chicago scrambling to fill empty boat slips

For the first time in recent memory, the long waiting list for a coveted boat slip in a Chicago harbor has all but evaporated—good news for boaters who usually wait years for a prime slip, but bad news for the Chicago Park District, which is counting on a flotilla of pleasure craft to help fill its 10th marina, a $110-million harbor under construction at 31st Street.

The recession, combined with new slots at other marinas, helped drain the wait list. The sluggish economy is exacting an especially heavy toll on Chicago boating, with the city now scuttling plans to open an 11th harbor after the new, 1,005-slip 31st Street Marina opens next season. The additional capacity coming online when demand has sharply fallen raises questions about whether the cash-strapped city overextended itself in planning new slips.

“I've seen vacancies in almost every harbor. It seems they've gone ahead with this expansion at a time when people aren't putting their boats in because of the economy,” says Tim Harrington, the immediate past commodore of the Belmont Yacht Club, who visits all the harbors in his job making deliveries for boat dealers.

It costs roughly $5,000 a year to moor a boat in Chicago harbors. Add to that the cost of fuel and winter storage and the annual tab can reach $10,000. Those costs have pushed boaters to Waukegan and other areas, where fees are lower and accessibility to good slips is easier.
Encino, Calif.-based Westrec Marina Management Inc., which teamed up with the Chicago Park District to manage the city's nine harbors, is still banking on the idea that if you build it, they will come to 31st Street, even as boat sales are down 50% from three years ago, according to the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Assn.

Construction of the slips is financed by a revenue bond covered by the slip fees shelled out by boaters. But more important, boating fees help fund the Chicago Park District, representing 5% of its $400-million budget.

“We don't expect that people will buy boats and come instantaneously, but we have confidence it will happen,” says Westrec Vice-president Scott Stevenson, adding that the park district projects the slips will be full in four years. “If you look at the response to the boating market in Chicago, as we have built slips over the past 13 years, the market has absorbed them instantaneously.” In an effort to attract boats sooner, Westrec for the first time, has started a marketing company for the marina.

The park district expects the 31st Street marina to be at 42% capacity next year with net revenue of $2.7 million. Westrec anticipates revenue from the marina to increase to $6.5 million in 2014 and $8.3 million in 2020. The city expects the harbor to be 95% filled by 2017.
In 2013, the debt service kicks in at $4.6 million and will increase to $6.7 million in 2014 and $11 million in 2040, according to the park district, which continues to operate without a director. Tim Mitchell resigned earlier this year as superintendent after questions were raised about how he ran the office. Longtime chief operating officer Mike Kelly is acting superintendent until Mayor Rahm Emanuel appoints a new one.

Westrec, which gets a percentage of mooring fees from any construction in the harbor system, recently added 300 slips to four harbors at a cost of $6 million. The additional slips shrank waiting lists already declining since the 2007 recession.

The company, whose contract with the park district is up next year, says it doesn't have access to numbers on the pre-recession waiting lists.


In August 2008, 550 were on the waiting list and 800 on the list to transfer to another harbor. In 2010, 481 were on the waiting list and 442 on the transfer list. And this month, there are 384 waiting and 290 on the transfer list—and there are about 150 slips, moorings or star docks that are still empty.

That boat slips are becoming more available is no surprise to Dirk Lohan, who heads Chicago architecture firm Lohan Anderson. Mr. Lohan sold his 55-foot boat a year ago after 40 years in Chicago's harbor system.

“I'm getting older, and the boat is a lot of work. Every time I wanted to go somewhere, I needed a whole crew. All the organizing got to me,” he says.

It's a familiar tale, says Chicago-based Karma Yacht Sales owner Lou Sandoval, who is seeing an uptick in sailboat sales over last year.

“People are going out of boating faster than they're coming in. Couple that with a bad economy and high unemployment, and it's going to be a few years before you see boaters or sailors having confidence to get into the market,” he says.

Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Assn., echoes Westrec's confidence that the market will return.

“It's cyclical,” he says. “I think the economy will improve, and in five years we'll be looking back and wishing for the days of no waiting lists.”

© 2011 by Crain Communications Inc.

Read the original Article on Crains

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

103rd Race to Mackinac- One we won't soon forget.

"Karma" 103rd Race to Mackinac Team: Front Row: Martin Sandoval, Seth Morrell, Lou Sandoval, Christina Cordero-Chadwick, Jack Buoscio  Back Row: Phil Toth, Jason Veatch, Steve Mathias

Mackinac Island, MI July 20, 2011- Karma Sailing Group won the Beneteau First 36.7 One-Design section in the Annual Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Their boat 'Karma' finished on Monday July 18th at 11:35:38 with an elapsed time of 46:55:38 ( a new team best time). Their finish time had them rank third in the Mackinac Cup division on elapsed time. Handicapping would have their corrected time equal 40:58:02 a respectable sixth overall in the cup division.

The respectable finish in the 103rd Race to Mackinac is the sixth section title for Team Karma in the past eight years. This year's race is significant for the Chicago based team in a year that saw one of the fiercest storms hit the fleet in possibly the entire history of the race. The storm loaded with thunder, lightning and wind speeds in excess of 60 knots hit a majority of the fleet in the Manitou Passage area in Northern Lake Michigan just North of Charlevoix, Michigan. The storm forced the capsizing of one of the boats resulting in the deaths of two sailors onboard. An event that overshadowed the celebrations for many of the winners in the 103rd.

Team Karma kept a level head and prepared for the storm, keeping in perspective their position on the fleet.  The hard work payed off as they maintained their lead on Weatheredge 3 and Tried and True going under the 'Big Mac' Bridge. 

The 103rd Race to Mackinac Awards will be held on November 5th when Team Karma will be able to hoist the sixth trophy with their name on it- up this year, the Lindy Thomas Round Island Trophy.

Previous Karma Finishes:

102nd Race to Mackinac - 2010 Finished 1st in Section; Sixth Overall Mackinac Trophy division  (Jack Ritchie Memorial Trophy)
101st Race to Mackinac - 2009 Finished 3rd in Section
100th Race to Mackinac - 2008 Finished 1st in Section, Third Overall Mackinac Trophy Division (Chicago-Harbor Springs Trophy)
99th Race to Mackinac -2007 Withdrew
98th Race to Mackinac -2006 Finished 1st in Section (David W. Howell Memorial Trophy)
97th Race to Mackinac -2005 Finished 1st in Section (Past Commodore's Trophy)
96th Race to Mackinac -2004 Finished 1st in Section (Harold L. Ashton Trophy)

For results visit

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)
(Past Commodore's Trophy)

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Safe Boating Season is a Happy Boating Season

May 20, 2011

Today marks the start of National Safe Boating Week (May 20-27).  As any seasoned boater knows, boating safety shouldn't just be relegated to one week.  More importantly, boating safely is an everyday practice. Speaking from the sailing side of things, nothing brings greater concern than seeing some of the risky behavior on the water at times.   It might be as simple as not checking the weather prior to heading out or even riskier behavior like not wearing life jackets or disregard for other boaters.

Smart boating means setting up successful practices that you put into action each time you go out on the water.   With these practices in place, you minimize the likelihood of a fatal mistake happening to yourself or one of your crew.

We thought we would share the enclosed article from YACHTING Magazine that originally ran in 1/2010.  It provides 13 basic seamanship skills that you should look to establish prior to leaving the dock.

Enjoy and Boat safely in 2011.

Knowledge Rules-13 seamanship skills you should know before leaving the dock.

By George Sass, Jr. / Published: January 27, 2010

Yachting Magazine

I once worked for a captain who told me that if I ever thought I knew everything, I'd better hang up my foul-weather gear and take up pottery. He was right. That's one of the many nuances of boating I love. I maintain there are so many scenarios, combined with a multitude of variables, that it would be mathematically impossible to experience every challenge. And that's why we should give a wide berth to the self-proclaimed know-it-all.

Knowledge on the water is often gained through mistakes. Over a period of time, confidence will increase and hopefully we will search out new challenges to take us to the next level. A summer cruise to Vancouver may lead to an extended cruise up the Inside Passage. A fall delivery through the inland waters of the East Coast could whet your appetite for a Bahamas adventure the following winter.

Each of these moments away from the dock can bring new experiences. However, there are some skills and tricks that I've learned after some bumps and bruises that may decrease your challenge factor. Here are 13 of them.

Know Every Inch Of Your Boat

It seems like a basic prerequisite that you should be familiar with the innards of your boat before leaving the dock. But ask yourself: Do you know the location of every through-hull fitting? If you begin to smell burning electrical wires, can you access your battery-disconnect switches easily? When was the last time you inspected the steering gear?

When I worked as part of the maintenance crew of a charter company, we had a plan-view schematic on each boat that pointed out all the through-hull fittings, fire extinguisher locations, and emergency gear. This sheet was posted above the chart table for easy reference for captain and crew.

Beside these basics, when you're cruising take the time to figure out various sweet spots for your boat. You can never know too much.

Keep Those Dead Reckoning Skills Polished

It's my opinion that if we don't understand the basic navigational principles, we can't fully exploit the capability of our electronics. And yes, if you have a solid understanding of navigation you'll be able to get home in case the electronics fail. Thus dead reckoning is a key skill that any prudent yachtsman must understand. It's the plotting of an approximate course on a chart relying on speed, time, and distance traveled. A key to dead reckoning is knowing your previous position, and then plotting the course using course steered, speed, and elapsed time.

I highly recommend you plot your position on a paper chart, especially when your electronics are working. How often you do this will depend upon your distance from land and hazards. Once you have your starting point on the chart, you can draw your intended course. Then it's a matter of plotting the distance (D) along the course using speed (S) and the elapsed time (T). Three formulas we all should know are D=ST, S=D/T, and T=D/S. You may want to get kids or grandkids involved in learning this as well. It will keep them busy and help to develop future mariners who know the basics. Next steps: Make sure you have a set of dividers, parallel rules, the correct paper charts, and some sharp pencils.

Easy Steps To Determine Distance-Off

Knowing your distance off land or a navigational aid is helpful. Even for peace of mind. During a passage along the coast of Eleuthera, we passed East End Point. Digging out our hand-bearing compass, I took a bearing on the light when it was 45 degrees off our port bow, maintained course, and then took another bearing when the light was 90 degrees off our port beam. The distance run between the two bearings is equal to the distance offshore. The two legs of the triangle that meet to form the 90-degree angle are equal. So if we traveled 4.2 miles from where the light was at 45 degrees to where it was at 90 degrees, then that point of land is 4.2 miles away. (On my old sailboat, I marked the 45- and 90-degree marks on my lifeline with tape.) Next steps: Include a hand-bearing compass in your navigational tools. They aren't just for racing.

Operating In Heavy Seas

I wouldn't dare try to explain running in heavy seas within this short article. But the point is you can't rely on textbook explanations to pilot your boat in heavy weather. Learn your boat's capabilities and its specific handling characteristics while the conditions are still manageable. The trick is finding your boat's sweet spot in a specific set of conditions, and this will take a little experimentation. And be aware, boats can break. Flying off the top of a wave at 35 knots may make for a nice picture in an ad, but if you're not kind to your lady, don't be surprised to find various forms of protest. You do have to drive your boat.

Be Able To Read The Clouds

Even with a sophisticated navigational suite, you need to be aware of what is going on around your yacht. Clouds are among the most visible indicators of weather and can often help predict thunderstorms, an approaching front, rain, or a squall.

Start by learning to identify cloud forms and how they may affect weather. This may feel like your kid's eighth-grade science project, but it's a necessary first step. Although there are infinite shapes a cloud can take, the common classification system includes 10 types: cumulonimbus, cumulus, stratus, stratocumulus, nimbostratus, altostratus, altocumulus, cirrostratus, cirrocumulus, and cirrus. It's important to learn the characteristics of each cloud type. Books such as Chapman Piloting offer a good overview and helpful pictures. Next, watch how clouds form in your area, determine whether they are increasing or decreasing in amount, and understand what shape they are taking. As a general rule, lowering or thickening cloud formations indicate wet weather is on the way. Then, begin to combine this information with other items such as barometric pressure and wind velocity.

First Aid And CPR

There's nothing worse than seeing a loved one wounded or sick-except maybe being unable to do anything about it. First of all, I shake my head at people who have $100,000 worth of flatscreen televisions on board, but are only equipped with a basic first aid kit that can barely mend a scraped knee. Buy the best kit you can afford, then ensure you and your mate take a first aid course. Even if you're within sight of land, knowing how to dress a wound to stop bleeding, or brace somebody until help arrives, will make a crucial difference. I also strongly believe in equipping a boat with an AED to address cardiac arrest. For about $1,400, you can equip your boat to save somebody's life. And it only costs about as much as one TV! Make sure you also sign up with your local Power Squadron or firehouse and take a CPR course. Next steps: Check out the first aid kits at and log onto  to order your Charles Industries Heart-Sine AED.

Action Steps Before The Weather Turns Foul

The basic goal of any yachtsman is to avoid foul weather, but as we all know, it's bound to find us sooner or later. if you cannot make it into a safe port, you'll need to take some action. We'll assume that you already took the time to go through the boat with your crew for a proper safety briefing before you left. also, if you have a properly maintained boat, you'll fare better. (That's the subject of many books!) if you find yourself with an approaching squall, or sustained gale-force conditions, you can take steps ahead of time that will improve the safety and comfort of your crew.

Understand Weather Chart Basics

I once sent weather forecasters into a tizzy when I published an article on forecasting weather. I wasn't suggesting that we can all become armchair weather forecasters. I do suggest, however, that it is up to individual captains to understand their weather. Thanks to new electronics, getting an accurate forecast has never been easier. Yet, you still need to understand what you're looking at on the screen. Charts for surface-weather analysis, surface-weather prognosis, and extended surface prognosis will help you make sense of atmospheric weather conditions just above the water. Wave-height analysis and wave prognosis will keep you abreast of what's happening on the water. Radar charts and satellite-weather pictures are good for providing up-to-the-minute information about local disturbances.

VHF Radio Tips

Okay, maybe I sound like I'm preaching here, and chances are most of you know how to properly use a VHF, so forgive me. However, on any given summer weekend in my home waters, I hear a kid screaming into the mic or the U.S. Coast Guard coming on multiple times asking somebody to move their chatter to a working channel. Here are a few tips that will help us all.

Make sure you switch to a working channel once you make contact with the party you're trying to hail, so you can make way for others and your conversation won't be stepped on.

Try to keep conversations on the relatively short side. I once heard an excruciating call from a captain trying to give somebody directions. If you're coastal cruising, try the cell phone for long conversations.

Avoid using channel 16 for radio checks. Do not call the Coast Guard for radio checks. It's not their job.

Use channel 9 for hailing, not 16. This measure was established to limit the congestion on channel 16 and keep it free for emergency situations.

In case of emergency, speak clearly, deliberately, and with the mic away from your mouth.

MOB Drill

Last summer, I participated in the annapolis to newport race. One of the race requirements was executing a man-overboard-drill with a person in the water. Two months before the race, we did our duty. Our captain ensured everyone knew their role. During the drill we discovered a few issues that needed to be corrected. I suggest a MoB drill be performed at the beginning of each season. Do you have a high freeboard powerboat? If so, how will you get back on board? Do you trust your crew to be able to mark the spot on the GPS, deploy a flotation advice, and get you back on board safely? Take your time to answer. A MOB drill will help. Trust me.

Keep The Water Out

There is nothing that sucks your breath from your lungs quicker than lifting the sole to find rivers of water where you usually see a barren bilge. Before you leave the dock, ensure your bilge pumps are properly sized. Unfortunately, quite a few builders install inadequately sized pumps. Install an electric bilge pump that can keep up with the inflow of water if the largest inlet fails to be safe. For many yachts, this would be the raw-water intake. I'm also a fan of yachts with raw-water sea chests and common drains that tie incoming and outgoing water into a common source, reducing the number of penetrations in the hull. Also, be sure to have properly sized built-in manual pumps on board that can continue to operate if you lose power. Install engine intakes with a bilge suction bypass, which are easy to operate. The principle is simple: If a large amount of water is coming in, a valve is turned (some systems require a plug to be removed), and the running engines suck water from the bilge, not the sea.

Setting The Anchor

Know how to drop and secure the hook for typical cruising endeavors. Ensure your boat is properly equipped with the correct anchor. Also make sure you're set properly before you turn off the engines. I was once off Sicily and we jumped in to cool off, then noticed the boat was drifting. We had to swim like hell to get out of the captain's way so he could start the engines. Next steps: Click here for a complete anchoring guide.

Current and Tide Basics

On some boats, an adverse current will not prohibit the ability to get underway. However, it may be nice to place a few knots of current behind you.

Make tide and current awareness part of your predeparture checklist. Ensure you know the time, strength, and direction of tidal currents. Most new electronic software has a very easy to use tide function. I also keep a tide table at my house to reference before I leave for the boat. Next steps: For those who have dived into the world of smartphone apps, try the Tides or Marine Tides apps.

If you have tips or secrets you've learned while on the water, I would love to hear them. please e-mail me at , and include your name and boat type. We'll be sure to incorporate them in a follow-up article. Happy cruising.


For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Karma Yacht Sales Co-Founder selected US Sailing's "Sailor of the Week"

Lou Sandoval

Lou Sandoval (Chicago, Ill.) feels fortunate that the sport of sailing has played such an important role in his life today. “I am a bit of an anomaly when it comes to sailing,” he said. “I grew up in a part of the city where sailing wasn’t what you did.” Lou was introduced to sailing as a Boy Scout many years ago, and now he is a five-time winner of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac and the current Vice-Chairman of the race for 2011.

“If you had told me back then that I would be sailing in the oldest annual freshwater distance sailboat race, much less heading the organization of the race, I might have laughed,” he added.

Lou has won the Race to Mackinac five out of the last seven years. He has served on the organizing committee for the past six years. His list of accomplishments, community sailing involvement and civic duty is extensive. He is co-Owner/co-Founder of Karma Yacht Sales, a Lake Michigan Beneteau dealer. His firm has been instrumental in the development of the first 36.7 one-design fleet. Lake Michigan is home to the largest F36.7 fleet in North America. He served as chair of the Beneteau 36.7 North American Championship in 2008. Lou was selected as a delegate to represent the Chicago Yacht Club on the Lake Michigan PHRF council from 2002-2009.

Aside from being a leader in the marine industry, Lou is involved on the civic front at many levels. He serves on the board of directors for the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation (JGASF) and the Chicago Area Council Boy Scouts of America. JGASF is a national foundation that seeks to expand the sport of sailing to sailors with disabilities. He chairs the local chapter of the national Hispanic outreach initiative for Scouting. Lou credits scouting with his exposure to the sport. He has successfully built a company that has obtained national recognition and can serve as an inspiration to youth in the Hispanic community. Lou spends time presenting to Hispanic high school students in Chicago about the importance of setting goals on education and the application of navigating sailboats as a metaphor for life, involvement in the community, business and leading teams.

Lou is focused on leveraging technology to share the Race to Mackinac experience with fans. “Through the use of tracking technology and social media, viewers around the world are able to watch the progress of competing boats,” he said. Lou was quick to give credit to over 150 very competent volunteers on the committee that he described as experts in their own right.

The JGASF along with Chicago Yacht Club is host to the North American Challenge Cup, the national competition for disabled adult sailors. “Having participated as an able bodied sailor in years past with this event, it is impressive how many of the competitors are able to break what many would consider barriers to participating in the sport,” he explained.

“I look forward to the opportunity of being part of this renaissance period by sharing the message of sailing so that the sailors of tomorrow continue to grow up in the sport,” said Lou.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Local Illinois Congressman introduces bill that may cost marine and real estate industry jobs

Local Illinois Congressman introduces bill that may cost marine and real estate industry jobs

5th Congressional Representative Mike Quigley (Sun-Times photo)

May 3, 2011

Fifth Congressional Representative Mike Quigley introduced a bill in Congress earlier today that seeks to end mortage interest income deductions for boats that qualify per the IRS requirements.   The move comes as the marine industry has started to see modest improvement in boat sales.  The uptick in activity has been led by the Great Lakes region, an area that has been particularly hard hit by the loss of jobs accross many sectors.  Illinois has led in job losses, however, it has been one of the first states to show promise in increased boat sales this Spring.

The Mortgage Interest Income deduction has been used by boat owners to buy boats that qualify by having a seperate galley, head and sleeping quarters.  Regardless of the size of the boat, it has been a factor that some boat owners have used to justify purchasing their boats.  The resultant tax income has helped cities, counties and states through the traditional tax channels.  In cities like Chicago and Cook County it has been the one of the few reliefs that boat owners have used to offset the highest retail tax rate in the nation.   As home to the largest municipally run harbor system in North America, Chicago has a relatively high number of boaters.

Quigley, representing the Fifth Congressional district (which has origins on the Northside lakefront area and proceeds along the I-90 corridor out to Bensenville, Norwood Park, Elmwood Park and the Northwest side communities of Chicago) was a formerly a Cook County commissioner whose juxtaposition to the hyper taxation antics of former County President Todd Stroger won him popularity among some centrist voters. 

"It is surprising that Congressman Quigley who campaigned as a 'fiscal conservative' would propose a bill that stands to impact hundreds of thousands of jobs in the marine industry accross the United States.  Much less look to limit the real estate industry which has already been dealt a devastating blow in declining property values, sales and jobs.  Removal of the mortgage interest deduction has the potential to quell any comeback of these two industries and can cost thousands of Americans jobs sending two industries spiraling' said Lou Sandoval , co-Owner and Co-Founder of Karma Yacht Sales a sailboat dealer serving Lake Michigan and based on the southside of Chicago. "The bill is very shortsighted: The effect could negatively impact the city of Chicago Harbor system which is currently looking to fill a new marina at 31st street that will house over 800 boats and opens in 2012." said Sandoval.  "The revenue from the Harbor system looks to offset many land based programs in the Chicago Park District ".

This bill comes as States like Florida and Texas have made moves to promote the purchase of marine pleasure craft by capping the tax rates on boat purchases, a move that can be seen to stimulate sales and drive taxation revenue by the resultant increase in sales tax volume. Of additional irony is that Rep. Quigley decided to propose this bill during the week of the American Boating Congress (ABC) being held on Capitol Hill May 4-5.  

Boaters and property owners in Chicago and especially in Congressman Quigley's district should be encouraged to contact his office and voice their displeasure for his proposal.   This is especially important as many congressman including Rep. Quigley ramp up their efforts for re-election in the 2012 cycle.   There is NO time better than the present to speak out against this issue

Copyright: Editor  Karma Yacht Sales- Docktalk Blog

Information for Contacting Congressman Quigley's Office can be found on this link:  
Quigley 5th Congressional

To view the original  Press Release

Quigley, Walz, Peters Introduce Bill to End Subsidies for Luxury Yachts

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 13:29

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), along with Reps. Tim Walz (MN-1) and Gary Peters (MI-9), introduced legislation to eliminate taxpayer subsidies for yachts. The Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act will amend a tax provision that allows boat owners to write off their mortgage interest payments if they classify their boats as second homes.

“There’s absolutely no reason why taxpayers should subsidize luxury yachts,” said Quigley. “As we work to address our budget challenges, closing this frivolous tax loophole is a no-brainer.”

“We’re going to have to make some hard decisions to tackle our national debt, but this isn’t one of them,” said Walz. “Closing this tax loophole restores the Mortgage Interest Deduction to its original purpose; helping middle class families realize the American Dream through homeownership.”

Currently, taxpayers are allowed to deduct mortgage interest for up to two homes from their tax returns. Yachts equipped with bedding, toilet facilities, and a kitchen qualify even if they aren’t used as a primary residence. The Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act would limit the tax deduction to only those who use their boats as a primary residence.

“We need to get the deficit under control, and that means simplifying the tax code and eliminating special interest tax giveaways like the Yacht Loophole,” added Peters. “Homeownership is part of the American Dream and we should encourage it, but yacht owners don’t need any special handouts, especially in the middle of a budget crisis.”

In 2004, there were approximately 500,000 pleasure boats in the United States large enough to qualify for the tax break, but only around 100,000 people live full time on boats according to the 2000 Census.

The proposal is included in Quigley’s Reinventing Government: The Federal Budget Part II. The report is due out next week and will include detailed cost-saving recommendations to follow up on Part I, which focused on transparency in the budget process.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Visit KYS @ YACHTAPALOOZA 2011- March 26, Crowley's Yacht Yard

It's that time of year again.  Yachtapalooza time!  The much anticipated break from the ravages of Chicago's winter that Punxsutawney Phil predicted a few weeks back.  Stop By at the Karma Yacht Sales office (at Crowley's Yacht Yard) to preview our In-stock new boats and select brokerage offerings.

We will have a display titled " User Friendly Sailing Innovations for 2011".  We will be on hand to display the different ways that the World Leader in Sailboat Manufacturing-BENETEAU is addressing the expansion of the sport.  

Yachtapalooza runs from 9:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday March 26 at Crowley's Yacht Yard Lakeside (north end of yard) 3434 E. 95th St.Chicago, IL 60617

For the full schedule and additional information visit Yachtapalooza.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beneteau Makes SENSE at the Miami Boat Show

The SENSE 43 made her North American debut at the Miami Boat Show this weekend.  The show runs 2/17-21.   If you will be down in Miami for the President's day holiday, let us know and we can get you on board the SENSE 50 during one of the Dock-N-Go demonstrations.  They are everyday that the show runs at 11am, 2pm and 5pm.  

BENETEAU.... It just makes SENSE. 

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beneteau "Sweetheart of a Deal"... Give the Gift of Time aboard a Beneteau

A Sailboat is alot of things, but most importantly it represents a place to spend time with those you care about the most.  Family, friends and special loved ones that you can share one-of-a-kind sunsets with or traditions that are passed along from generation to generation. 

Beneteau presents their 'Sweetheart of Deal' program.  As time winds down before the start of our season in April- there is no time better than the present to order your new Beneteau and set your plans for the season of 2011.  Haven't you waited long enough?

For more information.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 Lake Michigan Beneteau Owner's Rendezvous

PLEASE NOTE: We have postponed the Owner's Rendezvous for 2011. We are planning a Customer event later this year. If you would like to be involved in that event- please send us an email below.

Karma Yacht Sales invites all Lake Michigan Beneteau Owners (and those that aspire to be), Crew, Family and friends to SAVE THE DATE.  June 3-5th, 2011 will be that dates for the 2011 RENDEZVOUS.  

The 2011 Rendezvous chairs Matt and Emily Gallagher are busy finalizing details on this years event.  If you are interested in joining the organizing committee please reach out to . 

More details will be forthcoming in the upcoming week.

The Rendezvous is a great weekend away with your fellow Beneteau owners, sharing good times with family , friends and making new friends. 

We are very fortunate at Karma Yacht Sales to have a very diverse and interesting group of customers and afficionados from around the Lake Michigan area.  Regardless of whether you Cruise, Race or just enjoy your Beneteau... this is the weekend for you.

We do guarantee that the event will be FUN, Family Friendly, Informative (did we say FUN?) and Memorable.  So Mark your calendar for the weekend of June 3-5th.

See you there!

PLEASE NOTE: We have postponed the Owner's Rendezvous for 2011.  We are planning a Customer event later this year.  If you would like to be involved in that event- please send us an email below.

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Boat Show Time!

This will be the debut of the Juan K designed FIRST 30.  Additionally, The Beneteau 37, 40 and 50 will be at the show

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)