Welcome to iceboat.org

The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club is one of the most active iceboat clubs in North America.
We’ve been building and racing iceboats for over 100 years in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Ice Is Never 100% Safe.

Our ice reports are strictly for iceboat racers.
Recreational iceboaters, kite boarders, cross country skiers,
and ice fishermen should not rely on our ice reports.
We have safety equipment. Do you?

Buy or Sell Your Iceboat

One of the best pages in North America to buy or sell iceboats and their parts. There’s also a complete list of vendors who will supply iceboats, sails, and their components.

Common Questions:

How can I get started?
How fast can they go?
How much do they cost?
Is it safe?

Regatta Watch

Information about the ISA, NIYA, WSSA, Nite, and DN regattas.

Iceboat Classes

Learn about Skeeters, DNs, Stern Steerers, Renegades, Nites, and Ice Optimists.

The Rules.

The purpose of iceboat racing rules is to prevent collisions.

Ice Yacht Clubs

The best way to learn about iceboating and make life long friendships is to join a local club.

Why We Sail.

“If all our ice were glass, slightly wet, and all our air reasonably steady with lifters just where needed, sailing would be perfect. Sometimes we do find this, and it is worth waiting years to have. Meanwhile we must accept the more ordinary ice conditions, ordinary weather and wind, and gracefully accept snow, sometimes for weeks. Our ideal comes from time to time, the Great Maker gives only so much of the very best.”
Charles H. Johnson.

Iceboating for Kids

Ice Optimists were created specifically as a youth trainer, designed to be easily built using commonly available materials, and to keep costs to a minimum.

December 14: Second 4LIYC Meeting on THURSDAY Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items

Frozen Potato

Photo: Michael Kroll

High marks for creative use of a Renegade sail!
Via Michael Kroll’s Facebook page:

First sail of the season. White Potato Lake WI. Wind was blowing upper teens with much stronger gusts. First time sailing my new boat “Sunshine”. We ended up with 4 sailors and 4 boats. Terry Reynolds sailing his Nite, Mike Derusha sailing his yellow DN type boat, Andy Gratton sailing his steel boat and me sailing Sunshine. Fun time had by all!

Harry Whitehorse 1927-2017

Always an innovator, Harry built this front-seater Class A Skeeter in the early 1970s.

ENTERPRISE by Harry Whitehorse

MONONA-Harry R. Whitehorse, age 90, of Monona, WI passed away peacefully surrounded by family at Capital Lakes on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. He was born on October 11, 1927, in a wigwam near Black River Falls, Wisconsin to Ralph Rubin and Annie Greencrow Whitehorse. He belonged to the Ho- Chunk Bear Clan.

Harry was a World War II Naval Veteran and served in the Pacific Theater. He married Marlene (Dreger) in 1951 in Madison. Together they had 8 children and were married 35 years until Marlene’s passing in 1986. Harry married Debra Rosten in 1993 and had a daughter, June.

Iceboat Ike at Chuck’s

Harry led a remarkable life with both family and accomplishments. He owned and operated Chief Auto Body & Repair for nearly 45 years. He drove and owned several race cars after the war years, competing with the Badger Midget Auto Racing Assoc. He was an avid outdoorsman and sportsman with many successful deer and pheasant hunts. He was a Wisconsin State Trap Shooting Champion. He was also a member of the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, enshrined on the clubs Honor Roll. Harry was an avid bowler at Monona Village Lanes. He sponsored Chief Auto Body football and softball teams and played on them as well, always insisting he was the quarterback or pitcher. He could dance a mean polka and even blast out a few songs on the trumpet and flute. He loved classical music along with classic country.

Harry created iceboating’s best known cartoon, Iceboat Ike.

Harry was best known for his extraordinary artwork and creativity. Skilled in metal sculpture, snow sculpture, wood carving, Halloween costumes (like the legendary gorilla), jewelry, and oil painting, his work always included strong themes of nature, his Ho-Chunk heritage, or family. He has many public sculptures in the Madison area and all over the world. He won best of show in Madison’s first two Art Fair on the Square competitions. Harry used all the talents he was given and was driven to create most every day of his life.

Harry is survived by his wife Debra, his children, Gary (Barb) Whitehorse, Greg (Julie) Whitehorse, Pam Whitehorse, A.J. (Annette) Whitehorse, Dawn (Brenton) Oashgar, and June Whitehorse. Harry is also survived by his brothers Walter and Paul, sisters Alberta (Sam) Starnes, and Helen Whitehorse, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Marlene, his siblings David and Mildred, his children Ronald, Brett (Vic), and Lisa.
The family extends heartfelt appreciation to the third floor Health Center staff at Capitol Lakes and Agrace Hospice.

Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, with funeral to follow at 11:00 a.m. at Monona United Methodist Church at 606 Nichols Rd., Monona, WI. Rev. Brad Van Fossen officiating, Foster Funeral and Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.


WSSA Newsletter

The season is revving up in the Stern-Steerer class. Via Wisconsin Stern Steerer Secretary Andy Gratton, the 2018 WSSA Season Newsletter.Read it here.

Western Challenge Called ON

Go Time

Via Minnesota iceboating.net where you will find all the official information you need to attend this fun DN regatta:

The Great Western Challenge is called on for Dec 1-3, 2017. Primary Site is North Long Lake. 5 miles north of Brainerd, MN. The boys did a great job scouting in light air.

Do You Know the Rules?

Rule 8a Windward Mark Right of Way No Foul

You’ve re-familiarized yourself by now with the concepts of sailing safe. Now is the time to check your knowledge of the racing rules in a test created by Godie Gottke G-4 over on the DN Europe website.

The test is now available in English, German, Russian, Hungarian, French, Finnish, Polish, and Czech.Study for the test with the Iceboating Right of Way Rules graphic and the animated course guide created by Dave Elsmo.

It won’t be long until we meet on the ice again!

Jeff Davis

Jeff, Carter, and Jay Davis.

The iceboating community lost one of our most avid stern-steerer sailors, Jeff Davis,  on November 18. Our deepest condolences to the Davis family. They always make the effort to attend regattas. Jeff will be missed. His funeral will be held on Saturday, November 25 in Emmetsburg, Iowa.  Read his obituary here.
Andy Gratton writes:

I am sorry to report that one of our younger stern-steerer members, Jeff Davis, 42, lost the battle with cancer on November 18. He and his brother Jay restored and sailed the C boat “Flirt” for the last couple decades. Prior to that they both raced DNs. Jeff loved being on the ice and made many trips from Iowa with his brother and his dad, John, to sail regattas with us. He was looking forward to being well enough to attend the 2018 Northwest and to bring his son for the first time. He will be missed.

Finn DNs!

DNs race for the start at the All Saints Regatta in Rauna, Finland.

Just back from the beautiful country Finland only 70 km from the Arctic Circle where I attended the first regatta of the European season, the Johnny Kohler Cup and All Saints regatta. Will write more later after some catching up. In the meantime, here are some photos. More on the DN Finland website.


Safety Review

Take time to make sure you have a great ice sailing season by reviewing the Sailing Safe page of this website. You’ll find articles on “High and Dry Iceboating”, “Sailing Smart and Safe”, cold water survival videos, a link to “Think Ice Safely and Rules of the Road”, gear recommendations, and much more. Racers should review the right-of-way rules.

Regatta Dates 2018

Wisconsin Iceboat Hotline

  • DN Western Challenge
    December 1-3, 2017
  • DN Western Regional
    January 6-7, 2018
  • ISA & Renegade Championship
    Jan 12-14, 2018
  • Northwest Jan 19-21, 2018
  • DN North Americans
    Jan 21-27, 2018
  • DN Worlds & Europeans
    February 25-March 3, 2018
  • Nite Nationals
  • DN & Ice Opti Junior Worlds
    February 5-8, 2018
  • Baikal Ice Sailing Week, Siberia
    March 31-April 7, 2018


Enter your email address to subscribe to iceboat.org and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 41 other subscribers

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 15
  • December 14 THURSDAY Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 27
  • January 10 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 24 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 7
  • February 21 Business Meeting
  • March 7
  • March 21

Location: Angelo’s 5801 Monona Drive Monona, WI Time: 6:30 PM alternate Weds. We meet downstairs and all are welcome.



Lake Access Permits

A year-round permit required for designated launch sites in the City of Madison and Dane County Parks. Locations include:

  • Lake Mendota Warner Park Mendota County Park
  • Lake Monona Tonyawatha Tr. Olin Park
  • Lake Waubesa Goodland Park

Purchase Lake Access Permit Online.


%d bloggers like this: