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.

UPCOMING:
Next 4LIYC meeting: November 2018

Pegel Slide Collection: 1970 Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant

4LIYC’s Dave Rosten and Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club’s Art Jark on Lake Mendota in Class A Skeeters c. 1970. NANCY E III was formerly one of Bill Mattison’s HONEYBUCKET Skeeters. 

These slides date from around the time of the 1970 Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant. The 4LIYC had won ice yachting’s most prestigious title for 6 straight years but the 1970 challenge was a different story. Read Greg Whitehorse’s account of the 1970 IYCP below the fold.
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Pegel Slide Collection Series Webpage

Click here to read more

Excerpt from the BLADE RUNNER NEWSLETTER

HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES: THUNDER JET

The Greatest Name Ever Hung on an Ice Boat

Winter 2001, Volume 6, No. 2

By Greg Whitehorse

“One of Bill Perrigo’s last great ice yachting triumphs came in the Challenge Pennant races sailed on Lake Mendota in March of 1970.

The 4LIYC had won the Pennant in 1964, and successfully defended it for the next five years. Indeed, few thought that the Pennant races of 1970 would produce anything other than a 7th straight 4LIYC victory.

But the Pewaukee Ice Yacht Club had different ideas.

In their bid to wrestle the Pennant away from the 4LIYC, Pewaukee decided to send Art Jark’s lightening fast, ex-Bill Mattison Honeybucket, now named the Nancy E III, to Madison as one of it’s challenging yachts.

And Art Jark promptly tapped Bill Perrigo to steer it.

The Pennant title came down to the last race of the series that year. 4LIYC’s Dave Rosten, expertly piloting his Skeeter, Pirate, appeared to be headed for victory. But as the long, ten lap, twenty mile race wound down the wind began to pick up. The light snow that had fallen on and off throughout the day began to be blown around at the ice surface.

Soon the swirling snow built to almost surreal white-out conditions. All you could see of the boats racing around the course were the top four or five feet of the mast and sail. Finding the marks in these unbelievably dangerous conditions was next to impossible. On the last lap of the race Rosten could not find the top mark.

Somehow, Perrigo did.

A few minutes later the race scorers and other on-lookers were shocked to see Jark’s V-69, with Bill Perrigo at the helm, streaking toward the finish line.

The Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America went to Pewaukee.

Yeah… under the toughest of conditions Bill Perrigo proved how tough he was.

And damn good too”

By Greg Whitehorse

T Bay’s Not Done

DNer Mike Madge remains in ice sailing mode up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. On Tuesday, Mike sailed for 3 hours on “mostly black, textured ice.” There’s 39 inches of ice there!

 

Iceboaters Skills at Land Sailing – 1984 and 2018

4LIYC Renegader Jim Nordhaus, Bill Petsch of New Zealand, and Hobie Alter competing at the 2018 Blokart North Americans at Ivanpah. Photo: Gary Terrell

4LIYC Skeeter sailor Gary Whitehorse sails his converted iceboat on the Ivanpah dry lake near Las Vegas in 1984.

Ice sailors have been making the spring pilgrimage to the “cathedral of land sailing”, the playa at Ivanpah, for several decades. Pewaukee Skeeter skipper Bill Dale has been at it the longest, sailing in NALSA events for 40 years. 4LIYC members Jim Nordhaus, Geoff Sobering, Scott Geotz, Kyle Metzloff, and Wayne Schmeidlin have been competing in Blokart regattas there for the past several years.
At this year’s Blokart North Americans, Jim Nordhaus’ iceboating skills helped to take him to second place overall in Performance (think Gold fleet) and first in his fiercely competitive division. A Blokart speed record of  77.7 mph was set by Scott Young and Dave Lussier on the last day of competition. Read more about that on Scuttlebutt.
Gary Whitehorse recently shared photos and memories on Facebook of the time he sailed his iceboat ENTERPRISE at Ivanpah.

Gary Whitehorse posted the following on Facebook: “1984, we thought we would try our skills at land sailing. Ivanpah Dry Lake was not far from where we lived in Lake Havasu, AZ. I finished 4th in Class 2 (the fastest class at the time) at the World Land Sailing Competition. There are many good stories on how this all came together.
The race course was announced on the starting line. A yellow paper taped on the hull were filled with maps of the various courses. Being a novice at this sport, I had not memorized them. I never lead a race, although got up to 2nd a few times. The boat was very fast, but the big, sticky tires scrubbed off to much speed when changing direction.”

Gary’s brother, Greg added to the story: “I remember you called me from Arizona and asked if Bob Kau and I could convert the Enterprise into a land sailor. Paul Krueger had all the stuff, it would be easy you said. Well, Bob and I worked late into the night for a few nights to get it ready. (Some of the late nights may have been more to do with a well stocked fridge at Bob’s shop now that I think of it). Ron Rosten was going to tow it out there for you. A few weeks prior to sending it out West, I had tipped it over on Lake Kegonsa. Although damage was minor, I neglected to fix the steering pedals and all that you had to push on were the pipe ends. You weren’t thrilled about that.”

Pegel Slide Collection: FROZEN ASSET

Bob Pegel Class A Skeeter FROZEN ASSET

Bob and Jane took meticulous care of their iceboats. Bob’s Skeeter, FROZEN ASSETS, had different color schemes which is unusual in my opinion because up here at Four Lakes, the most of the Skeeters in that era were red and white, period. Jane writes about Bob’s boats:

Bob had many different boats. Each boat had a different paint scheme. I don’t recall the sequence or how many boats there were. He had conventional under the boom cockpits and also rumble seaters. Originally Bob’s number was I-117. The number 9 had been assigned to Cora Millenbach and she gave 9 to Bob and he then had I-9 on his Skeeters and then also on his Renegades. After he got tired of the color blue, he had green boats. Bob raced in A Division and also in C Division (which was a varnished boat with a white deck). He won C division ISA and also Class E in the Northwest. The brown skeeter with sail I-117 was actually the boat with white sides and dark blue deck. The hull broke in half and was rebuilt. It was rebuilt and back on the ice and rigged to sail before it could be repainted. I have a photo of that boat under sail hanging in my hallway. In that photo It it obvious the hull is getting ready to break.

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420 On 4/20


4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson rounds the leeward mark in his Renegade EASY RIDER on Lake Mendota. See Don and the rest of the 4LIYC at the annual spring awards banquet Saturday night, April 21 at Springer’s on Lake Kegonsa.

The Summer Slide Series: Bob & Jane Pegel Collection

Jane Wiswell Pegel of the Skeeter Ice Boat Club with trophies.

Several months ago, an envelope arrived in the mail with 177 slides. I finally got around to converting them and am pleased to announce that iceboat.org’s off-season series will feature the Pegel family iceboating slides. I’ll try to post a few each week with commentary and context from Jane and Susie as their schedule permits.
I don’t have any information from them yet on these photos, but will update if it comes. Before she was a DN sailor, Jane sailed a Skeeter, CALAMITY JANE.  In the above photo, Jane holds a plaque that appears to read “Women’s Skeeter Champion.” ISA regatta records indicate that Jane won the Women’s Championship in 1955, 1956, and 1957.
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TRUDLE II: Story Behind a Photo

Lake Winnebago Stern-Steerer sailor, Dave Lallier, posted this eye catching photo on the 4LIYC Facebook page this morning.
A little research indicates that TRUDLE II was owned by Ernst von Lengerke of New Jersey who served as Commodore of the Musconetcong Ice Yacht Club. He received credit in Frederic Gardiner’s book, “Wings on Ice”, as an invaluable source of information about the sport. The boat is also mentioned in a 1940 New Jersey Register article about a successful iceboat regatta held at Red Banks. If you want to dig deeper, one of the Google search results led me back to this website in the form of an article written in 1947 by Ray Ruge that references TRUDLE III.
UPDATE April 18, 2018: Nels Lybeck posts the following on Facebook: “The Trudle III is currently in the care and hands of myself and Doug MacFarland (ex DN US 2500) here in Red Bank and has been restored with a new sail to fit her Duralum (before aluminum) Marconi rig. We received it from Ernst Von Lengerke’s daughter before she died a few years ago.”

Winter V2.0

Bill Bucholz shared this video on the Chickawaukee, Maine Iceboat Club website. The ice sailing season appears to be holding on in  Lac St. Francois, in Lambton, Quebec where they sailed on Sunday, April 15. The weekend snow storm makes the world feel upside down – as if it’s December and we are waiting for first sailing reports. Here in Madison this morning, there’s 4″ of snow on the ground, it’s 24 F, and it’s snowing. Mike Madge reports 4′ of ice in Thunder Bay, Ontario. There could be some more ice sailing to come.

Regatta Dates 2018

Wisconsin Iceboat Hotline
608-204-9876

  • Northwest Canceled
  • ISA & Renegade Championship
    Postponed
  • Nite Nationals Sailed
  • DN Worlds & Europeans
    February 25-March 3, 2018
  • DN & Ice Opti Junior Worlds
    February 5-8, 2018
  • WSSA Sailed
  • DN Western Regional
    Sailed
  • DN North Americans
    Sailed
  • Baikal Ice Sailing Week, Siberia
    March 31-April 7, 2018

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Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates

2017-2018

  • 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.


YOU ARE SKIPPER NUMBER

TO ROUND THE MARK SINCE NOVEMBER 1999.



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.

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