Interested in learning to sail your butterfly or advance your skills for racing? The Crystal Lake Sailing School and the Open & Ladies Fleets have joined forces to offer this NEW opportunity to gain the skills needed to join us in our weekly Tuesday & Thursday afternoon races.

Please CLICK HERE to let us know you are interested. 

Commodore’s Letter 2019

March 2019

Dear CLYC Members,

As the year winds down the Club is buttoned up, the boats are stored and a beautiful, silent snow has covered all the projects for next year. Still it’s a time to enjoy the memories of a great 2018 season, and dream of next.

Last summer saw increasing participation in the Ladies Butterfly fleet and a super year for the Junior Butterfly fleet, with lots of activities and trophies (with funding from Ed Schindler). The E-scow fleet had a busy year and a fast round-the-lake regatta followed by a party with a pirate theme (what else-the Black Pearl) which was especially enjoyed by the Junior fleet. The C-scow fleet survived and next year will try sailing in the morning to take advantage of less wind for their “over powered” boats. We’re looking for 3rd crews. The MC and WP fleets had lots of participation and increasing fleet social events. The RC fleet is back.

Socially last year, in addition to the fleet specific events, we had the best Opening Dinner, a well enjoyed Trophy Presentation and Dinner, the NextGen party, the Round the lake Party, a 70s plus Birthday party, 3 well attended grill nights by the WP fleet and 3 private events.

The Social activities for the 2019 year, include a catered Opening Dinner (6/29), Trophy Dinner (7/26), Round the lake Party (7/27), WP sponsored Open Grill (6/18) and Commodore’s New Member Open Grill (7/11) NextGen party fundraiser (7/6) and CLSS Celebration fundraiser (7/12). Anyone can host Open Grill nights this summer. Please contact Carolyn Peterson for a date.

Dock Put-In is scheduled for Saturday, May 25th, Memorial Day weekend. The house committee has booked 4 private events and we will be hosting the National Butterfly regatta and the E-Invitational regatta July 16th thru July 21st. Volunteer for the kids and E-scows Dock take-out will be on Sunday September 8th, after a Saturday private event, with the groomsmen and Panther athletes’ support.

The Club membership has increased to 310, of which 18 are Junior Members (8 new in 2018) who are making plans for increasing participation. Our growth in Junior Membership has been encouraged by lowering their dues, creating a restricted fund for Junior Members, restructuring the non-legacy initiation fees and recognizing them as a - 4 - group that has in mind ways to enhance their usually limited time at the Lake and now a restricted fund to make it happen. We hope to build this membership category for the future of the Club.

Junior Membership is already assuming volunteer and leadership roles with Tony Pugh and Karon Hagen Velek on our Board and Karon and her sisters Laura Hagen Hughes and Kristen Hagen Kwasnick chairing the Butterfly Nationals this summer. Junior Members are running the merchandise for the Club, Tony is heading up I/T and planning a fundraising NextGen party to possibly buy an MC for short stay member use. Shelby Breland is helping with the Telltale.

More great news for 2019; Jack Cunningham and Mack Powell will be returning to manage the races and safety on the water, Sarah Cunningham will return to manage the lunches and Dal Townsend will return as general manager. Many of last year’s staff are also returning. We have the best Racing support staff in Michigan and a great manager and great kitchen manager and staff, but the Club’s success depends heavily on the volunteering of our Members, especially for the Butterfly Nationals and the E-scow Invitationals. I won’t repeat the list of names I gave at the annual meeting, but there are some Members who deserve special mention. The first is my brother, Jim McMillan who did a wonderful job with the Junior Fleet, organizing, teaching and entertaining while, by example, passing on those life lessons so important for our youth. I’d like to thank Chris Walrad for his years of Treasurer and CLYC Board service. Sean Greene also deserves thanks for his years as I/T chair, assembling a super team, and as CLYC Board member. Dan Houser did a fabulous job as Club Secretary and Membership Chair.

Talking about I/T, we owe thanks to Dan Greene and Ted Greene for countless hours spent on the Telltale and the website, both of which are wonderful. You should go to the website and check out the Calendar, Events, People, History, Boat Registration, Fleet pages, Activities, Membership and Committee reports. Michelle Horton, with help from Donna Phillips, again sold more ads to completely pay for the Telltale printing and postage. Bill Walter and Stu Soule finished supervising the pickleball fencing and organization.

The new Code of Conduct Committee has had very good meetings, (thank you Dan Houser) and they have a draft for Club discussion this summer

We hope everyone will attend the “town hall” July 5th, 5:00, at the Club and the Annual Meeting, July 28, at 6:00 PM.

Finally, a special thanks to all the volunteers that helped with the dinners and grill nights we enjoyed so much, the committees charting our future, cleaning and care of the Club, safety boats, crane crew, Grill Guys and all the sailors sharing their experience and care.

Cost cutting efforts include reducing the Manager from 6 to 5 days per week and limiting the water staff hours. The kitchen has worked hard to decrease expenses while maintaining quality and service. We owe thanks to Sarah Cunningham, Gail Olsen and Kelly Winter. Boat pick-up for storage was again done by staff and officers. Building projects were done by members as was the tree cutting, dock repair and driveway repair This year we will have another employee minimum wage increase, inflation at 2% and increasing competition for the best employees.

Almost 90% of our reserves are committed to a replace and repair.

The Board is confident that short-term and long-range goals will be accomplished with a very small increase in 2019 dues of about 4%, carrying on the plan of raising dues a small amount every two years.

Our sailing club is entering its 88th year, 4+ generations of sailors, family and friends. Each year we gather “to encourage good fellowship and sportsmanship among (our) members; and to assist in the development and enforcement of pilot rules and such other rules as may increase the safety and welfare of (our) members at Crystal Lake, Michigan.”

I hope this year to use our technologies, wonderful facilities and staff to simply make the CLYC summer fun for all and a life enhancing experience for our Juniors, of any age.

Let me close with the last lines of the Brown’s “Ode to Crystal Lake”.

The Yacht Club is closed -- but we love to remember
The wonderful times -- and the fun that was had
By all of the sailors -- plus Mother and Dad!

Sail family, frequently, friendly, fair, far, fun and fast. Then we all win.

Bill McMillan, CLYC Commodore

Commodore's Letter 2018

Dear CLYC Members,

My first memories of sailing were at five years old on my father’s E Scow. The feeling of the wind blowing, water splashing, boat humming at full speed. The awesomeness of color in the big spinnaker flying. Pulling on the backstays as the boat turned. The excitement of the race - guns firing, sailors shouting, and watching my father turn into a kid. The donuts after the race, the high dive and games of rag tag. Making friends with kids from different areas in the country like Sean Greene, Rick Morris and Jay Lambiotte. Having an extra set of summer parents like Donna and Ron Phillips and sharing hotel rooms at regattas with Liz and Rick Morris, Jerry Lambiotte, Mike and Rob Terry. Meeting so many different club members who would crew with us on the family scow. It was the perfect summer environment for our family. A special, magical place for sure.


2017 was another one of those magical summers. Certainly, the highlight of the summer was the WMYA Regatta held at the start of August. Again, our club members pitched in to make this a wonderful experience for our neighbor lakes and our club. Even a 180 degree wind shift and 40 knots wind could not spoil the fun. Big thanks to Mike and Randi Terry for Chairing the Regatta. Through their careful planning, the WMYA Regatta was extremely profitable for the CLYC to the tune of $10,600.


THANK YOU!!!! Our Club is one that has long relied on the volunteering of our members. While there are so many who helped in 2017, there are some who have served the CLYC in key areas for many years. Big thanks to those members who completed their terms or in some cases have decided to let others shoulder the load in 2018. Kathy Zalar has done a fantastic job as our Social Chair for so many years. This season Kathy again worked endless hours to make sure we could enjoy our social activities. Whitney Rowland did another fantastic job with our Junior Fleet. I’d like to thank Mark Graf and Whitney Rowland for their service on the CLYC Board. Chris Walrad completed his final year as our Treasurer, handing over a very healthy balance sheet with a checking account holding over eighty thousand dollars. (A reminder that less than ten years ago, we ended the year with a little over three thousand dollars.) Thanks to Pete Weir and Charlie Yole for serving as Junior Fleet coaches and giving back to our youth.


Other members in new roles in 2017 included Michelle Horton, with help from Donna Phillips, who sold enough ads to cover the cost of the Telltale. Susan Walter and her Junior Membership Committee came up with excellent recommendations for changes at the CLYC to attract and retain younger members. Stu Soule and Bill Walter oversaw the completion of pickleball courts and created opportunities for our members interested in one of the fastest growing sports in the USA. Dan Houser did an amazing job as the membership chair. Our club had twenty-one new members in 2017! Ted and Dan Greene put in countless hours on our website and our membership database. Thanks to Bill McMillan for taking on the job of scoring. Thanks to everyone who helped with the WMYA Regatta, Put In, Take Out, social events and in many other ways big and small.


Our employees, Sarah Cunningham and her crew, did a masterful job in the kitchen. A big thanks to Dal Townsend for his management skills and Kadin Powell and his water staff for a safe and successful race season. We are so fortunate to have wonderful people help us enjoy our CLYC experience.


2018: In looking forward to 2018, we certainly have many exciting changes. The Crystal Lake Yacht Club has been a wonderful, family-oriented, sailing club since 1931. Sailing and the development of sailors has long been the focus and purpose of the Club. To enhance that mission in 2018, the Board has undertaken a couple of initiatives.


SAILING DIRECTOR: For a trial period of two years, the Board has created a new position - Sailing Director. The Sailing Director’s purpose is to enhance the sailing experience for all of our members. Job responsibilities include: training our Sailing Masters and staff on race management and water safety, helping transition interested Crystal Lake Sailing School (CLSS)students to participate with our Junior Fleet, working with the Junior Fleet Advisor to develop curriculum for youth sailing, working with our Junior Transition committee in helping older Junior Fleeters transition to new fleets and participate in the welcome fleet, and building out a curriculum for adult sailors at all levels who either want to learn to sail or become more competitive sailors. Our Sailing Director will handle all fleet scoring and help the Fleet Captain maintain our safety boats. This position is designed to be part time and fit well within our operating budget.


CLSS PROPOSAL: I believe that the majority of our members would agree that we are very fortunate to share the space at our club with the Crystal Lake Sailing School. The CLSS has played such an important role in the development of so many young sailors around Crystal Lake and with our members’ kids and grandkids. I also believe that most members would agree that the CLSS instructors are wonderful, knowledgeable teachers who really understand how to, not only teach a beginning sailor, but make learning the craft of sailing fun. The Board has proposed that the CLSS be hired to instruct and work with the CLYC Junior Fleet. Since our best youth instructors are hired by the CLSS, I believe it makes perfect sense to plug them into the development of our youngest CLYC sailors. In the proposal, the CLSS instructor(s) will work with the CLYC Sailing Director and Junior Fleet Advisor to develop a curriculum that will include a prerace tutorial, race observation and debriefing after the race. The proposal has been sent to the CLSS for their thoughts and feedback in hopes that we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement. One note to those who may be concerned that we must stay separate entities in order for the CLSS to maintain their 501(c)3 status, rest assured, the proposal is that we will pay for their services. CLYC and CLSS will remain separate in this proposed, what I believe to be, win-win relationship.


JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP: Found in the Telltale under Primary Criteria for Encouraging Membership is the paragraph stating: As a family centered club, all of our members look forward to the day when their children will actively participate in the activities of our Club. Many of them will eventually assume leadership roles. Susan Walter and her Junior Membership Committee made some excellent suggestions to help our almost disappearing Junior Membership. The suggestions that were passed by the Board were to reduce the annual dues for Junior Supporting Members to one hundred dollars per year. To ease the application process, children of members applying for Junior Membership do not need a sponsor. At the time of this draft, Junior Membership has climbed from one to seven in just four months. I would expect that this trend will continue. This is a class of membership that has been missed at our Club in recent years. I look forward to future recommendations from our Junior Membership Committee. John Modlin will Chair the Bylaws Committee in 2018. They will focus only on Bylaws that pertain to Membership, more specifically Junior Membership. All suggestions will be discussed at our summer Town Meeting.


SOCIAL COMMITTEE: Our Club has a new Social Committee in 2018 and they have decided to change the race course a bit. Recognizing that our members (and volunteers) are also involved in many other organizations and activities around the Lake and that everyone wants to relax and enjoy the Northern Michigan summer, the Committee has decided to concentrate on three main social events for the summer Opening Dinner (6/30), the Next Generation Party (7/7) and the Trophy Dinner.

•   All members can take a break from bringing a dish to pass for our Opening Dinner as it will be a catered dinner. We have received a donation to keep the costs down for our young kids.

•   The Next Generation party is open for ALL generations. We certainly have been a generational club over our long history. Come join us as we celebrate and welcome our next generation of members. We will have a great band, so put on your dancing shoes and get ready to move!!!

•   The Trophy Dinner will again include the Junior Fleet as the main event.

We also have some other exciting social opportunities:

•   Birthday Party! (8/11) A group of members who have recently turned or will be soon turning seventy years old, are throwing a party for ALL members.

•   Open Grills are NOT going away. The Wood Pussy Fleet will be sponsoring three dates (6/19, 7/19, 8/16) during the summer. Open Grills are open to ALL members. If you are looking to sponsor an additional Open Grill, please contact the Social Committee.

•   Ladies’ Social (6/28)


TELLTALE MEMBER ROSTER UPDATES ONLINE: Please be on the lookout for an email from the CLYC which should be issued Friday, January 5, 2018 advising that you must update your Telltale Member Roster entry online this year. Prior methods for updating will no longer be available. The deadline for update responses will be Monday, January 15, 2018.


STAY INFORMED: If you are looking to plan your 2018 summer and/or want updates from our CLYC Committees, Board, etc. please log on to CLYC.net. The tentative 2018 Calendar is posted on the site and it will continue to be updated. We have made sure that our Board Minutes and Officer/Committee reports are immediately posted to the site after each Board Meeting.CLYC.net will continue to be updated during the offseason to keep our membership informed and involved.


I hope you, like me, look forward to another magical summer at Crystal Lake, the comradery and friendships made and fostered at the CLYC and the uniqueness of a membership that links arms to volunteer to make everyone’s experience special. Although we may not all agree on the best ways to manage all of the fun and the craziness of the events stuffed into these few weeks of heaven, let’s all be great stewards. Let’s play nice, limit the drama, sail fast, and enjoy our friends and family time at Crystal Lake. We certainly are blessed to all share this place together.


Schindler Signature.JPG

Eddie Schindler CLYC Commodore 

Commodore's Summer 2016 Recap

The 2016 season has come to an end, and I would like to share some wonderful summer memories with you.

First-Time Race Winners -- Wa-Hoo!!!

Most importantly, I want to congratulate our three first-time winners in the Junior Fleet this year!  Because of their achievements, we hosted an ice cream party for the Juniors in August.

Brendan Schaeffer, Kendall Morris, & Phoebe Olszowka.

Brendan Schaeffer, Kendall Morris, & Phoebe Olszowka.

2016 MC-Scow Nationals

The CLYC hosted the MC Nationals in August.  With a record 100 boats on the starting line and 96+ awesome, enthusiastic, hard-working volunteers, working together we can proudly say the 2016 MC Nationals was a huge success!  A special thanks to Kelly Winter, our Regatta Chair, for making this an “over the top” (and maybe even award-winning) regatta.

The CLYC had a portable boat washing station onsite to clean out possible invasive species carried by boats from other lakes.  This was a joint effort with the Crystal Lake Watershed Association.

The highlight of the event was definitely seeing the drone coverage and photos shown on the “Big Screen” at the Garden Theatre.

Newly Elected Board Members

At our Annual meeting this year, the following candidates were elected to serve on the CLYC Board:  Ed Schindler is our new Commodore, Bill McMillan Vice Commodore, Kit Greene as Club Fleet Captain, and Karon Hagan Velek and Kathy Zalar as Directors. Kathy and Karon join Whitney Rowland to mark the first time that the Board has had three female members!  Congratulations to our new Board members.

Record Sales - The Galley

The Galley was successful beyond expectations with sales exceeding last year by 21%!  A big thanks to our members for your patronage which enabled us to offer an expanded menu of delicious lunches.

By-Law Revisions PASSED!

I am very excited that all of the Proposed By-Law Revisions were unanimously approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting on August 6!  A special thanks to John Modlin for his work, and all committees involved in the process.

CLYC Merchandise -- Available Online

As of this year, CLYC clothing is available on our website: www.CLYC.net.  The supplier, Land’s End, shares a percentage of the proceeds with CLYC.  Now might be a good time to start thinking about gifts for friends and family as the holiday season approaches.

C-Scow Restoration

The iconic wooden C- Scow that has decorated the Yacht Club grounds has been refinished thanks to effort spearheaded by Pete Weir and many of the Wood-Pussy fleet members.  The boat was resanded and varnished, and is now in pristine condition.  In addition, the bottom has been painted a beautiful dark blue.  It really looks good!

The new rub rail will prevent drinks from sliding off the deck and help in lifting the boat during transportation to and from the clubhouse for winter storage.

“Pink Lady” Tennis Court - Repaired and Resurfaced

The “Pink Lady” tennis court surface has been resurfaced, all of the holes and cracks have been filled, and it looks good as new!  With an increased interest in Pickleball, the multipurpose surface now has three new Pickleball courts for all to enjoy.


2017 Westerns and 2018 Butterfly Nationals

Next summer, CLYC will be hosting the 2017 Western Michigan Yachting Association Regatta. We are expecting very high attendance!  Volunteers are critical to the success of this event, so please contact our Regatta Chair, Mike Terry, if you are willing to lend a hand.  Looking ahead, we host the Butterfly Nationals in 2018; Karon Velek will be co-chairing the event with Kelly Winter.

2017 Management

I am also pleased to announce that most of our management staff, Dal Townsend (Club Manager) and Sarah Cunningham (Kitchen Manager), will be back next year.  Sadly, Pearce Pomerleau (Race Manager, Sail Master) will not be returning back next year.  The new CLYC Race Manager/Sail Master will be announced shortly.

Lastly, I have enjoyed serving as your Commodore for the past two years.  Thank you for the opportunity; hopefully I have made a positive difference for our Club. The time went by quickly, and now it is time to support our next Commodore, Ed Schindler, and our new Board.

Respectfully submitted,

Hank Dow, Commodore 2015-16

If members have any text and/or pictures they would like to post here, please send material to webmaster (at) clyc.net.  If possible, please send pictures as JPG files attached to the email.