Don Towle 2013
Welcome to Shawnee Yacht Club

Since 1941, SYC has promoted sailing on Lake Shawnee for the recreational benefit of the local community. In addition to the opportunity to sail on beautiful Lake Shawnee, the club provides:

  • sailing lessons for those new to the sport,
  • various sizes and classes of sailboats for members to use,
  • a fenced boatyard with a boat ramp where members can keep their boats year-round,
  • several docks (provided by Parks and Rec),
  • a storage shed for equipment,
  • various scheduled club sailing activities, like racing,
  • various scheduled club social gatherings throughout the year

Questions?  -  Come Join Us

Current News
Learn to Sail
11 Apr 2024

"Introduction to Sailing" sessions are held Wednesday evenings, June through September. Come join the fun. We provide the boats.


Dues are due
01 Apr 2024

It's time to think about the upcoming sailing season. Dues for this year are due. 

Associate membership $50.
Sailing membership $100.
Boat storage in our yard $50 each summer and winter.

You can pay online HERE or send a check to: SYC, PO Box 221, Topeka, KS 66601.

Thanks if you have already sent it in.

Mark Marling

Annual Business Meeting
28 Feb 2024

The SYC Annual Business Meeting was held via Zoom on February 25th, 2024. Here are some highlights:

  • Same board members as last year except Rocky is new:
    • Jim Tompkins, Commodore
    • Rocky Bartlow, Vice-Commodore
    • Mark Marling, Treasurer
    • Irene Haws, Secretary
    • Cheryl Basiotis, Governor at large
    • Eddie Penner, Governor-Legal
    • Mike Gorman, Governor-Grounds
    • Josh Harsch, Governor-Social media
  • Membership fees stay the same except for dropping the BoatShare+ category and extra fee.
  • Socials will be on Sundays instead of Fridays or Saturdays.
  • July 4th events and social like last year.
  • Club sponsoring Sea Scouts.
  • Lesson sign-up through Parks & Rec.

SYC members click HERE for the full meeting minutes, HERE for the Treasurer's Report, and HERE for the Boatyard Expense Details.

              Topeka Weather
              71.0°F - Partly Cloudy
              Southeast at 13.8 gusting to 25.3 mph
              Coming Events
              • 5/5, Spring Work Party, 11:00am, SYC
              • 5/5, Spring Social, 5:30pm-10:00pm, SYC
              • 5/26, Spring Social Alternate?, 5:30pm-10:00pm, SYC
              • 6/2, First Sun Group Sailing, 2:30pm-5:30pm, SYC
              Mark's Racing Blog
              Things to look for when trying to improve upwind boat speed
               Part 1:   Bend the wind.  The wind should be intercepted by the sail and bent to exit along the center line of the boat.  Basically, the leach of the sail should nearly parallel the center line of the boat.  If the leach is "open", the wind will not be bent as much as it could be and you will not be getting full power from it.  If the leach is "closed", the wind may be bent to much windward with the aft section of the sail actually slowing the boat down.  The problem is that the top might be "open" and the bottom might be "closed". 

               The top is controlled by the main sheet tension and the bottom is controlled by the out haul and traveler.  A too tight main sheet might hook the upper leach to weather.  Too loose and you will not be getting all the power out of the top of your sail.  Your indicator is the ribbon flying off the top batten.  It should flow most of the time, maybe 50%.  100% flow means that your sail needs to be sheeted in more.  0% means that you have sheeted in too much.  Every little puff will change the flow.  Constantly be adjusting your main sheet.

               Too little out haul will hook the lower leach to weather.  This will create more power but also will increase weather helm.  Sometimes when the sail looks good you may need to let the traveler out slightly so the sail won't cup so much to windward.  This assumes that you have pulled the out haul to remove all the vertical wrinkles along the boom.

               Part 2:  Balance the boat.  Your rudder is a brake.  It should follow the boat.  Your indicator is the angle the tiller makes with the center line of the boat.  It should never be more than 2 inches off center.  Cocking the boards up or down will adjust the pressure on the rudder.  You should be able to steer with thumb and first finger.  The other thing that affects the helm is the angle of heel.  The MC scow must be kept nearly flat.  Some say 15-20 degrees angle of heel.  Definitely keep the rail out of the water and the lee board nearly vertical.  Lets assume you have a 45 degree heel.  Your rudder is now lifting the stern out of the water instead of turning the boat.  Big, big, drag.  Keep the boat nearly flat.

               Finally, when a puff hits, you may have to ease the sheet a little.  But don't let the boat heel.

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