Monday, July 15, 2013

Just in....Lightning Sailboat is ready to go on an ALUMINUM painting, ever....

At 19 feet, hull design has excellent stability and plenty of room for family and/friends...

For details and photos, contact:

Bill Vokac

Monday, March 7, 2011

Escape 12 by Captiva

This Escape 12
is in "nearly-new" condition
and comes with
for easy of transport and launching. The boat is rated for 3 adults and is stable enough for only a kid or two to sail on their own, due to the side seat flotation and hull design.

In 2010, SailNow donated the use of this Escape for a weekly 4-H Sailing Group and the kids preferred this sailboat over all the others available...

The mast base (roller-furler) rotates to allow reducing sail if the wind increases, or you can let out more sail area as the wind dies -- even while sailing !

You can purchase this Escape, ready to sail, complete with New Trailer for our "Pre-Season Price" of...

$ 1250

For more information or to see this Escape 12 in person by appointment, contact:

Bill Vokac's SailNow

(217) 369-0015

Friday, October 1, 2010



I just wanted to thank you for the professional manner in which you firstly, located a buyer for my Mac Gregor 22 and secondly, completed the sale.

It was a pleasure to do business with you
Johnny Albrow

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Catalina Capri 22 Wing Keel

This Catalina Capri 22 with wing keel has been well maintained and has many extras -- including extra sails, solid trailer with extension and a "nearly new" 2HP Yamaha 4 cycle motor.

For more information or to make an offer, contact Bill Vokac (217) 369-0015 or email

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Moonlight Sail and Door County Cruise

On Saturday, July 17th, the CLSA Potluck -- thanks to everyone who brought something to grill and share -- and the Moonlight sail went well for all participants.

Until fellow CLSA Members Alex and Lucy joined me on the MacGregor 25 last evening, I had forgotten how AWESOME it was to do an evening sail with good company aboard !!

It was a rare treat to have an experienced sailor at the helm !
(usually, I bring people aboard who are new to sailing...because, as a retired schoolteacher, I ENJOY introducing new things to folks.)

Anyway, I was able to bring out the cockpit cushions and lay down -- quite content -- and watch the clouds drift past my masthead. Of course, every once in awhile, I popped my head up like a gopher to confirm where we were on the lake and viewed lake traffic.
(not much that time of evening...)

Since I'm usually racing, and/or "tweaking" whatever sailboat I'm on (I average 6 of them -- one for every wind velocity and type of event), last nite was kind of a "warmup" and preparation for our annual Door County Cruise !

This year, we'll have 4 cabin boats from CLSA coming up to sail Green Bay -- from Ephraim to Excanaba by way of Jackson Harbor on the NE corner of Washington Island.

I may become a "cruiser" yet...

Bill Vokac

Friday, May 7, 2010

NEW Gadget is a Laser Wind Indicator

To read the wind speed more accurately, check out this NEW device from a Sail Magazine article:

This technology comes from Lasers that are being used to anticipate a gust that would damage a wind turbine. If the Laser detects a gust coming that would be excessive, the blades are "feathered" to keep the blades from reaching an excessive speed.

This new device would be fun and useful to have aboard, if you have someone to use it while somebody else is steering...if you've got the "spare change" to invest.

Of course, during our SailNow sailing instruction, the first thing I teach is how to read the wind gust velocity, duration and direction by looking at the waves to windward to anticipate possibly having to "round-up" when the next gust hits your sails.

"Reading the waves" visually gives more information with sufficient accuracy to be useful.

Let me know what you think, or how useful this wind speed by laser device is if you buy one...

Bill Vokac --

Sunday, March 21, 2010

MN Disabled Camp

I annually tow my Flying Scot (, )sailboat to Northern Minnesota (only an hour from International Falls...) because it is very stable and roomy for our campers, and can be launched off the swimming beach at Camp Courage North, near Bimidji, Minnesota.

The main purpose of Handiham Camp is for the campers to get their entry level ham radio license, or to upgrade their current license to a higher level -- which gives them additonal privileges to enjoy while operating their ham radio equipment back home and in future travels. We teach for 5 days, and the campers are tested on the 6th day by representatives of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), who donate their time for the ham radio exams.

Here you see me with 3 "happy campers," about to shove off on our 2 hour afternoon break from the 6 hours per day of classes in ham radio (aka Amateur Radio).

For the past 15 years, I have volunteered as an instructor to teach ham radio licensing courses to the severely disabled -- and I have received far more than I have given. Everyone, able-bodied or not, should volunteer a little time somewhere !! I've been interested in working with the disabled ever since helping my high school ham radio friend with his homework as he deteriorated with Muscular Distrophy. Most folks with MD pass on before they leave High did my friend, K9FLJ. His Mom gave me his Morse Code key upon his passing and I still use that "straight key" when I'm not communicating world-wide by voice or some digital mode, on or off the internet.

The Handiham (short for "Handicapped Hams, ) campers typically are physically disabled in some way from Cerebral Palsey, Muscular Distrophy, or brain injuries received at work or play -- or are also blind, and/or deaf either from birth defects or due to an accidental injury later in life. Most campers (and many of the regular camp staff) suffer from multiple disorders, which can be very challenging...AND REWARDING !

Because of their disabilities, some campers and staff cannot speak or write... , so they might use a computer punch board (often attached to an arm of their power chair) to spell phrases that a syntesized speech program will pronounce -- even when operating "voice mode" over ham radio equipment at home and at camp.
On breaks, campers have the opportunity to go back to their cabins to rest(many do...) -- or they decide to enjoy the usual camp activities. Campers can choose to waterski, fish, swim, drive a power boat or a Gator 4 x 4 (yes, even the blind campers -- with proper supervision at reduced speeds...) and SAIL because I bring my Flying Scot.
Teaching the blind to sail was easier than I thought possible the first year, once I got the campers to be totally aware of the heel (tilt) angle, wind direction (pressure), and the sound of the water gurgling past. I have also become a better sailor by closing my eyes to pay more attention to my senses other than sight.
(I pass this technique on to my SailNow students during lessons back home in Illinois...students really "tune in" to the boat and what it is doing as they make adjustments!)
Our Handiham Camp Courage Motto is "We can do that..." and we all do our best to make "wishes come true" at camp.
I look forward to Handiham Camp every year, eager to renew friendships and create new relationships.
If you know someone with a disability (or someone "completely normal") who would like to explore ham radio, and possibly get licensed, either on their own or at Handiham Camp -- have them contact me...and I'll show them how to get started !
Bill Vokac - K9BV
(217) 369-0015