Yachtapalooza, 1-day Chicago boat show on Far South Side, 'perfect for aspiring sailors'

Christian Piekos Image
Saturday, March 23, 2024
Yachtapalooza, 1-day Chicago boat show, 'perfect for aspiring sailors'
Hundreds of boaters and sailors are gearing up for the season at Yachtapalooza, a one-day boat show on the Chicago's Far South Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It might be a chilly spring day, but hundreds are getting ready to set sail at the 25th Yachtapalooza at Crowley's Yacht Yard on Chicago's Far South side.

Grant Crowley is the owner of Crowley's Yacht Yard.

"This is a get spring going for us," he said of the yearly one-day boat show.

Crowley is knotting together different sailing organizations from all walks of life stretching Chicago's nautical community.

From hands-on seminars and demonstrations, highlighting the vital how-tos of sailing, to budget-friendly boats on sale, organizers say Yachtapalooza is perfect for aspiring future sailors.

"We have 12 seminars going on. We even have sail makers here teaching how to trim your sails," said Crowley.

Yachtapalooza also supports nonprofit organizations like No Salt Sailing that helps veterans heal from unseen wounds through sailing.

"Once you get out there and the sails are up, you turn off the motor, there's nothing like it in the world for tranquility," said No Salt Sailing founder William Shehan. "I've done meditation, I've done martial arts, I've done all those things and it is an act of meditation."

Mt. Carmel High School is also showcasing its newly-formed sailing program. They want to recruit young sailors eager to get on board.

"Just to see them accomplish things, watch them become more confident in what they do. Appreciating the value of teamwork, learning new skills, just the whole ball of wax," said Bob Szyman, Mt. Carmel Sailing.

The weather might be brisk now...but these sailors have their compasses set on a warmer horizon.

"There's nothing more sublime than being two miles out on Lake Michigan in a sailboat, beautiful day, sun's out and we've got our gorgeous skyline in the background. You can't beat it," said Szyman.