We first met Mark when he purchased his Catalina 22 from us in 1999. We are very grateful for his business for 31 years and 6 Catalina’s!

We asked Mark if he wanted to share his ‘Sailing as a Lifestyle’ story, and once he did we quickly realized that it was best to leave the story in his own words as it truly is a testament to the power of sailing and family.

“I live in Lincolnshire, Illinois and I sail out of Waukegan, Illinois. I have been sailing since 1977, starting in Belmont Harbor in Chicago and have also sailed a little in Wilmette Harbor. The majority of my time has been in Waukegan.

One of the first things I bought when I graduated college and got a job was a sailboat — a Dolphin — kinda like a stretched Sunfish. That Dolphin then turned into a 17 foot Venture that I bought from a good friend’s dad. One of the first questions I asked a lady who would later become my wife was, “Do you know how to sail or do you want to learn?”

The Sail Place story started in 1999 when we bought a Catalina 22 from Tim Fulbright. It was his first sale on the Illinois side of Lake Michigan. I still have the paperwork! My identical twin daughters got their first taste of sailing on that 22. But when we got tired of hitting our heads on the cabin top changing diapers, that 22 turned into a Catalina 30.

As the girls got bigger, so did the boat! The Catalina 30 eventually turned into a Catalina 34.

In 2012, we hit the big time and bought a brand new Catalina 385! She was the first 385 on the Great Lakes. Her hull number was 007!! Of course we named her “Shaken Knot Stirred”.

In September 2018, my wife passed away from cancer and I sold the 385. Shortly after the holidays, I asked my daughters, who were high school sophomores at the time, if we were giving up sailing. All three of us said NO and a trip to Sail Place in Kenosha and a meeting with Tim again turned into a new Catalina Capri 22. That Capri 22 during the summer of 2019, our first without mom, was our therapy and salvation. In March of 2020, just days before the Covid lockdowns started, we got our Capri 22 in the water. Due to the lockdowns, we were one of only a dozen or so boats in Waukegan harbor for a few months. We “social distanced” the best way possible – sailing!

Later during the summer of 2020, I started thinking about a bigger boat that could do more than the Capri 22, yet still be able to be sailed by myself as my girls would soon be starting that college journey and I was hoping to do more on a sailboat, such as overnighting.

After learning about the death of a younger friend and former co-worker, I developed a new attitude. “WTF – in moderation!” Another trip to Sail Place in Kenosha and that Capri 22 turned into a new Catalina 275. It was Tim’s last sale before retiring. Bill Strzelewicz delivered her this March. In fact this morning(5/25/2021), I took her out by myself and with just the self tacking jib, she did just fine in 25 knots of wind! I recently told Dave Fulbright via email that I consider her a “Swiss army knife of sailboats.” She has a big cockpit and goes fast like a daysailor, yet has a keel and a cabin with small galley and head like a bigger cruiser. And a diesel beats an outboard anytime!

Both the Capri 22 and Catalina 275 are named in memory of my wife. The Capri was named “Heaven’s Wave” and the 275 is named “Heaven’s Wave II”.

Lately my girls have been wondering if that 275 might someday turn into a Catalina 315! But Bill did let us look at the new 425 in Kenosha!


And now you know why it only made sense to keep Mark’s story in his own words — Our therapy and salvation”.