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.

November 15: First 4LIYC Meeting, 6:30 PM at Angelo’s, 5801 Monona Dr., Monona, WI
December 14: Second 4LIYC Meeting on THURSDAY Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items

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.

The Power of Wind

Google Translate sometimes misses the mark: “All You Need to Know About Sailing Cars Gliding On Ice”  though it does seem fitting considering the guy in the Skeeter, Paul Krueger’s other speed passion is open-wheel racing.

Ran across this in-depth article via Facebook about iceboating from “The Power of Wind” a Russian sailing website. The MARY B even gets a mention! Google’s translation could be better but if you are interested in the history of the sport around the world and in Russia, it’s worth taking a few minutes to read.

In the minds of most people who first heard the word “iceboat”, there is absolutely no association. Yes, and the description that it is a boat, put on skates, also does not particularly clarify the already confusing picture. Paradoxical in this situation is that the iceboat is not a newfangled entertainment and not the pampering of amateur designers, but a real sport with all the attendant attributes: international competitions, division into classes, clearly stipulated regulations and, most importantly, its long history.

Continue reading. (Links to Google’s English translation.)

First Minnesota Nice Ice!

Just as I was editing the previous entry about Montana’s first ice, received this photo from Minnesota ice sailor, Mike Bloom, who has his DN rigged for the first ride of the season on Lake Christina in Minnesota, the site of many Western Challenge fun regattas.

Christina provided smiling faces on Opening Day!

Fast Montana Second!

Our western friends check in with their first sail of the 17-18 season. Patrick Dillon sends this beautiful Montana landscape with Dave Gluek at the helm of a DN.

Making Nite Dust

Photo: Tim Stanton. Lars Barber and Doug Kolner taking away what is not needed for the new Nite plank.

Planers and sanders are making dust as iceboat parts are being produced in shops around the Four Lakes region. After a trip to McCormick Lumber yesterday for some Sitka Spruce, the guys at the Belle Isle Boatworks – Stanton Campus began working on a new Nite plank for Lars Barber.


DN sailor Mike Madge opened the North American ice sailing season in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada today. He reports on his Facebook page:

First sail of the year. Went from using FO1 in the morning to a Speed Sail then just skating.Fun day but really windy,almost had my first out of boat experience as the gusts were huge. Nice hard black ice with less the a cm of snow cover.Too windy to film sailing using an IPad.

The Ice Maker is working overtime tonight in the Midwest with temperatures of 8F tonight in western Minnesota!

The First Ingredients

Photo via Mike Miller posted on Minnesota Iceboaters Facebook Page. Lake Christina at 4:30 Monday Nov 6, 2017.

The Iceman Cometh! From Montana to Minnesota to Finland, ice is coming online and the sailing season will commence shortly! Who will be first?*

*Disclaimer: Observe all precautions when checking ice. Sail Safe and Smart!

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


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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.


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