Contact 4LIYC

Welcome to, the web site of the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club. We are one of the most active ice boat clubs in North America and have been building and racing ice boats for over 100 years.

4LIYC on Facebook



Dec 5-7, 2014

Dec 13-14, 2014
DN Forum

Jan 3-4, 2015
DN Forum

Jan 9-11, 2015

January 17-18, 2015

(DNs, Renegades, Skeeters, Stern Steerers)
Jan 16-18, 2015


Jan 24-31, 2015
Primary Site: East, Mountain, & Canada
DN Forum


February 16-21, 2015
DN Europe


Stern Steerers

March 1-6, 2015
DN Europe


Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia


DN Western Challenge
December 6-8, 2013
Completed. Won by US 44 Ron Sherry in Gold, US 5486 Dave Elsmo Silver.

2013 DN Central Regionals
Dec 28-29, 2013
Completed. Won by US 4 Griffin Sherry in Gold, US 4974 Stan Jones in Silver.

DN North American Championship
January 19-25, 2014
Gold won by Ron Sherry US44. Silver won by Hal Bowman US1277.

DN Gold Cup & European Championship
Sailed March 1-8, 2014
in Happsalu, Estonia
Gold fleet won by
Karol Jablonski P36

(Stern Steerers, DNs, Renegades, & Skeeters)
Sailed March 14-16
Photos and results

Sailed March 15-16

DN Central Regionals
Sailed March 15-16
Won by Julie Richards DN 4868

Stern Steerers
Sailed March 22-23 for Green Lake


Lake Access Permits

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

Locations include:

Warner Park Mendota County Park

Tonyawatha Tr. Park
Olin Park

Goodland Park

Lake Access Permit Brochure in pdf

Purchase Lake Access Permit Online

Web Cams

Canyon Ferry, Montana

Clear Lake, Iowa

Geneva Lake,
Williams Bay, WI

Geneva Lake, Gordy's Boat Sales, Fontana, WI
Look for webcam link upper right corner

Geneva Lake, Eleven Gables Inn, Lake Geneva, WI

Geneva Lake, downtown looking into the bay.

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI
(UW Soils)

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI
from somewhere on UW Campus

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI UW AOSS North Facing Camera

Lake Mendota at the UW Union

Lake Mendota,
Madison, WI 3 UW AOSS Rooftop Cameras

Mallets Bay,
Lake Champlain, VT

Maumee Bay, Toledo, OH

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Westport, NY
Lake Champlain

Great Lakes MODIS
Not a webcam but daily views of the Midwest from space

Click for Madison, Wisconsin Forecast


Link to map

100% SAFE.

Our ice reports are geared towards 4LIYC members who race ice boats with the club. All others including recreational ice boaters, kite boarders, cross country skiers, and ice fishermen should not rely on these ice reports. We have safety equipment.
Do you?



November 5

November 19

December 3
Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items

December 17

SKIP December 31

January 7
Honor Roll Nominations

January 21
Deadline for
By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission

February 4

February 18
Business Meeting

March 11

March 25

Glass Nickel Pizza
2916 Atwood Ave
Madison, WI
Time: 6:30 PM alternate Weds.

We meet downstairs and all are welcome.

4LIYC By Laws & Racing Rules

By-Laws & Racing Rules

In pdf

Right of Way Rules Graphic

(Download Adobe Acrobat free.)

4LIYC Club Race Results & Points












National Ice Boat Authority

Constitution and Rules


October 30, 2014

Skeeter Ice Boat Club Swap Meet Slated for Nov 2!

Skeeter Ice Boat Club 29th Annual Swap Meet
Sunday, November 2, 2014
9:00 to noon - followed by a raffle
Lucke's Cantina
220 N. Elkhorn Rd. (WI Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI.
For more info, email
Download flyer
This is the day to swap, buy, and sell new and used iceboats and equipment. There is no charge for participating.

Boat builders & hardware manufacturers will display new products. Breakfast and/or lunch will be available at Lucke's.
Display area: Items for sale can be set up on the black top parking area at Lucke's. Please do not park your cars in the display area.
Parking: Please do not park or set up your displays adjacent to neighboring businesses. A short distance to the north there is a municipal parking lot located at the intersection of Elkhorn Rd. and Stark St. (on the north side of Stark St., opposite Burrough's Floor Coverings).

October 27, 2014

Wide World of Weather

Via Scuttlebutt Sailing News, MeteoEarth is an interactive weather forecasting where you can see current weather and forecasts around the globe.

Know Your Rights

Test your knowledge of the sailing rules with the interactive test from DN Europe. The test contains a pool of 16 questions with drawings. Three of the questions are randomly displayed and there are 2 answer options. Your results are immediatly displayed after the test on a scoreboard. All questions and the terms used in the test are in accordance with the ones used in the original NIA Rules. Take the test here. Want to study the rules first? Read the nine racing rules of the National Iceboat Authority on page ten of the NIA Constitution here. See the NEIYA racing rules graphic here.

October 23, 2014

Fancy Machines

"Gale puts thrills in Northwestern ice regatta
A 30 mile gale added thrills to the Northwestern Ice Yachting Association regatta on Lake Mendota at Madison, Wisc. January 30, 1938. Here two machines are "hiking", which is like "heeling" in a sailboat as H.V. Fitzcharles of Chicago, left, sailing High Voltage, and Harry Melges of Williams Bay, Wisc. at the helm of Fancy Flight put up a heated fight to head each other."
I came across this photo on ebay from a company that specializes in original press photos and snapped it up. NIYA records show Harry Nye as the winner of the 1938 Northwest Skeeter class. Skeeters first competed in the NIYA in 1936. Skeeters didn't have springboards at that time which must have made for quite an exciting ride in a 30 mph gale.

October 18, 2014

Flexural Wave

A video with the "coolest sound ever" has been making the rounds where you can hear what happens when rocks are skipped across fresh ice. Skip ahead to 3:30 (trust me) in the video to hear the sound.The science behind this here.
Tip of the Helmet: Geoff Sobering

October 17, 2014

This Graphic Gives the Best Prediction So I'll Use It

NOAA issued their US winter outlook on Thursday and the precipitation forecast gives some hope for a good ice sailing season. Hope they are right but believe it at your own risk!
October 10, 2014

Life On Ice

Cabin Life magazine has an article (written by me) about recreational ice sailing in the current issue. You can pick it up at a retailer or download a digital version on Amazon.

October 8, 2014

Hot Off the Press

The Fall issue of IDNIYRA magazine, Runner Tracks, is available online. See it here.

October 6, 2014

Skeeter Business

Attention Attention Attention
International Skeeter Association members-
Take a look on the ISA page for a list of proposals that were requested at the 2014 ISA annual meeting. The list is for discussion and these will need to be an agenda item submitted by an ISA member for the 2015 meeting. December 1st is the deadline for proposal submissions.

Panther Picnic

Chris Smith (whose grandfather started Chris-Craft in Michigan) built this Skeeter in the 1950s in the Chris-Craft factory. It was originally the Black Panther but has been repainted a few times. New owners Don Anderson and Jeff Russell set her up for the first time at the club picnic where she received lots of ooohs and ahhs. They are looking forward to giving people their first Skeeter rides this winter. Many thanks to Peter Lundt who brought the ham (for the 18th year!) carrying on a tradition started by the late Jim Payton many years ago.

September 26, 2014

The Hunt for Ice Begins
in Fond du Lac

Via Lake Winnebago stern-steerer & Renegader Dave Lallier: "Just wanted to share a photo of our annual soft water sail with our club. Took everyone out on the evening of September 8th which was a full moon and a very strong southerly breeze. Of course with both Andy and Kevin Gratton aboard we just had to put up the large kite and headed north. Great sail, very late return.
Think Ice, Dave Lallier"

September 23, 2014

An Appetizer for Iceboating Season

This video by photographer Gretchen Dorain will get you in the mood for the upcoming season.

Big Nite News!

Nite iceboat website targets first-time racer.
When it comes to racing the Nite iceboat, there’s an interesting problem. It’s too comfortable. It could be the two-person capacity or the semi-upright seating. Whatever the reason, there are hundreds of accomplished summer sailors seemingly content to spend their winters cruising around at high speeds on winter’s frozen ice instead of lining up to race around the buoys.

But a noticeable change is happening as more and more owners are beginning to race. And this has taught the class an important lesson – stop preaching to the choir.

“We’re just applying some basic marketing principles,” said Don Sanford, commodore of the International Nite Class Association. “We were so focused on our current members that we forgot how important it is to create a clear path of entry for new members. So we’ve redesigned our website ( with the new guy in mind.”

For starters, the site breaks down the notion that racing a Nite requires a highly specialized boat. Actually, the class by-laws follow a strict one-design philosophy. All those cruising boats are already race ready.

A second focus is to communicate some of iceboat racing’s oddities such as its unique set of rules, on-the-ice registration and the idea that the location of the regatta is never really known until just a few days prior to the first race. Basic stuff to a current racer, but not so for the newcomer. “Our new members frequently mentioned their decision to start racing was influenced by a friend or local sailor,” Sanford said. “This one-on-one relationship turns out to be a key conduit of information. So we’ve created a mentor program in which anyone can contact us through the website and we’ll connect them with a current member to help get them started. It’s the buddy system gone digital.”

The Nite National Championship trophy is engraved with some of sailing’s well-known names; Melges, Gluek, Burdick, Allen and Sweitzer among others. The hope is to expand this list in generations to come. The 2015 Nite Nationals are slated for January 17th and 18th, and of course, the location won’t be known until just a few days prior.

September 22, 2014


Stole these photos from Mike Acebo off the J-14 Facebook page. What an impressive display of every type of iceboat imaginable. "Orient Ice Yacht Club and Lake Ronkonkoma Iceboat & Yacht Club (dual memberships representing CT Ice Yacht Club, NEIYC and 4LIYC) display at the 2014 Greenport Maritime Festival [on Long Island, New York]. Great chance to find all the parts."

September 17, 2014

Hogs on Ice

Via Renegader Tim McCormick. Built in the 1940s from Popular Mechanic plans, it's an iceboat powered by a 1918 V-twin air cooled Harley Davidson engine. "Looks like a tank with runners!"

September 9, 2014

4LIYC Meeting Schedule

First meeting of the 2014-2015 season is on Wednesday, November 5 downstairs at Glass Nickel Pizza on Atwood Avenue in Madison. Remember, our start time is now 6:30.
Meeting dates are in the right column of this front page.

September 4, 2014

There's An App For That

As seen on Kickstarter, the Digitsole is an interactive insole that heats your feet and tracks your distance and calories using your smartphone. A product like this would definitely be on the wish list of many ice boat sailors.
Tip of the Helmet: Geoff Sobering

August 28, 2014

This is Ray Ruge

Out in Maine, an vintage Skeeter with some Buddy Melges provenance has been restored this summer. In his post, Chickawaukee ice boater Bill Buchholz wrote, "the boat was designed by Ray Ruge, about whom we’d like to know more."
It's difficult for me to write about him because there's so much to say. He was an Eastern iceboat sailor, builder, and designer who wrote exceptional articles for sailing magazines about the sport. His papers and research are archived in museums. He was a contemporary and friend of one of the 4LIYC's most celebrated members, Carl Bernard (who won a ton of regatta titles in the 1930s-50s.) During WW2, he even lived in Madison and sailed with the club for a season. Carl Bernard's scrapbooks are filled with letters and photos from Ray, including the above magazine advertisement.
Bill is sharing some of Ray's ice boating articles on the Chickawaukee site and will post more. Read the first from December 1939 here. If Ray Ruge were around today, he would have the best ice boating website on the internet.

August 23, 2014

NIYA Commodore at 3 Years Old

Mikey likes it
Ace of Spades stern Steerer skipper and Northwest Ice Yachting Association Commodore, Mike Peters, "came across my very favorite picture of me, about 3 years old on my Dad's class A stern steer MAYBID, now TAKU."Flash forward to 2006. "Here's another photo taken about 2006 with TAKU and her skipper, Erich Schloemer. It took about 50 years to get back on my Dad's boat to sail and win."

July 29, 2014

Always Famous

Peter rolls up his Skeeter sail at the 2005 ISA on Geneva Lake.
Photo by David Travis

Congratulations to Olaf and Peter Harken on their induction into the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) today. From Peter's NSOF biograpy: "While he was struggling with the math involved with engineering at University of Wisconsin at Madison, Peter Harken had a part part-time job at Gilson Medical Electronics. The rule at Gilson was designers had to build their own prototypes, so as a draftsman, Harken had gotten friendly with the machine shop. One night, some plastic ball bearings he had found to solve a problem in a refrigerated environment rolled off the bench onto the floor. “I was amazed at how high they bounced,” he recalls. “The less mass, the further things accelerate – that’s what pulleys do on a boat, stop and start all the time.” The standard blocks at the time were brass, sometimes with brass ball bearings that were heavy and sluggish. Harken had upgraded to stainless bearings for the blocks he had been making for his E-Scow and ice boat. They were were soon replaced by blocks with lighter, more lively plastic bearings, and that day yachting hardware took a giant leap forward. Harken had learned engineering wasn’t all math: 'Sometimes it’s just bloody common sense.'" Continue reading.
Read Nite skipper Olaf's biography here.
Olaf Harken stops by to visit with Bill Mattison at the 2011 Northwest Regatta on Lake Mendota.

January 13, 2014

ICEBOATs Volume 1

ICEBOATs volume l by g r e t c h e n d o r i a n |

Gretchen Dorian's book, ICEBOATs volume 1 has hit the press. "A Photographic Introduction to the various iceboats that Gretchen Dorian has photographed throughout the Great Lakes, Montana and on Lake Baikal, Siberia." Click here for more information.

October 18, 2013

A Great Opportunity

DNs on Lake Kegonsa at the 2013 DN Western Lakes Regional Regatta
"Potential DN'rs, (Please pass along to others that may be interested) Winter is around the corner, and that means ice boating season is upon us. For those that are interested in doing some sailing, but don't have the time, money or some other barrier to putting a program together, we have a great opportunity for you this season. Active DN'rs, spearheaded by Daniel Hearn, are putting together a few DN programs and Ice Optimist with some equipment that was donated to him (for this purpose), along with some of his own and others extra equipment. If you are interested in being actively involved in assisting putting together one of these development programs, it would be available for your use at various local and travel events this winter. We are going to begin assembling these programs later this month. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in this program. You won't regret it!"
Thanks, Mike 4LIYC DN Fleet Captain
email: mike.s.barnett AT