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.

4LIYC Awards Banquet: Save the Date for April 21, 2018 @ Springer’s. Banquet Reservation Form

Regatta Watch: ISA Postponed

Rounding the Pole                                                                                                                       Photo: Craig Wilson

The International Skeeter Association Regatta has been postponed. The Race Committee continues to remain optimistic that the regatta will be sailed. Next update is Sunday, March 24, 2018 by 7 PM CST.


Regatta Watch: Northwest Canceled for 2018

“The chief difficulty in iceboating is the utter dependence upon the fickleness of the weather dispenser” Wisconsin State Journal 1918

Via NIYA Chair Tim McCormick:

The NIYA Regatta is cancelled for the 2018 season. Gladstone, MI continues to have a hard crust of snow. Shawano Lake has workable landings but the ice is too rough. Houghton Lake and Higgins Lake have holes. All other sites do not have sufficient landings. With the following weekend being the Easter Holiday, the NIYA Race Committee agreed we should cancel for the season.

The above quote in italics comes from this newspaper article published 100 years ago in 1918, a year when the Northwest was also canceled. In fact, it wasn’t sailed again until 1922. See you on the ice at next year’s Northwest!

Same As It Ever Was

“The Way of the Pole”

After 3 unsuccessful attempts to cross the Arctic Ocean, 3 French sailors are preparing to try again. They’ve spent 4 years building a hybrid catamaran that appears to be able to move across the pack ice. They’ve been testing the boat in Sweden over the last few days. Follow their Facebook page or website here

Regatta Watch: ISA Called On for March 23-25

Boehmke B Skeeters on Green Lake in 2013.                                                                                Photo: Gretchen Dorian

The International Skeeter Association Championship has been tentatively called ON for March 23-25, 2018. Potential sites include Little Bay de Noc in Gladstone, Michigan and Houghton Lake in Michigan. Final confirmation will be made by noon Wednesday, March 21.


Regatta Watch: NIYA Tentatively Called ON for March 23-25

Photo: Gretchen Dorian                                                       We Sure Do!

Via NIYA Chair Tim McCormick:

The Northwest Regatta is tentatively called ON for March 23-25. The primary site is Gladstone, MI with Houghton Lake, MI as a secondary site. With all the warm weather this past weekend, we’re getting close! Final determination will be Wednesday, March 21st at Noon CDT.

Sail Brooklyn

While we wait for one last shot at a regatta, enjoy these 1912 photos with a stern-steerer on some sort of chassis.
Tip of the Helmet: Ann Gratton


Regatta Watch: Renegade Championship Postponed

Via Don Anderson:

The Renegade Championship has been postponed. Next update is Sunday, March 18. There’s a possibility that the 2018 Renegade Championship may be sailed even if the ISA  cancels for this season. Keep your runners sharp and your trailer in the ready position!

Regatta Watch: Broken Record Edition

Heeere’s Your Wednesday Regatta Update!

Both the ISA and Northwest Regattas have been postponed. Next update for the ISA regatta will be Sunday, March 18.

Via NIYA Chair Tim McCormick:

The NIYA Regatta is postponed until March 23-25. Gladstone, MI is the most promising site but they still have 2” of hard crust snow and the wind forecast for this weekend is light. Ice thickness is more than 18” and trucks are driving on and off the ice without a problem. We need a moderate melt for that site to become good enough for a regatta and the forecast for the next week indicates that should happen. Next update is Sunday, March 18 at 8pm CST.

“Ice boating in Door County could use a return to the glory years”

Photo: George Gerhardt 2018 Nite Nationals on Green Lake

Green Bay Press Gazette
Jon Gast, For USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Published 9:44 a.m. CT March 13, 2018

The Lama Wamah Ice Squadron’s bus has stood as the face of ice boating in Door County for many years.

When the wind was up and ice was smooth, you’d see the bus along the shore of the bay or one of the county’s inland lakes, having dispensed its load of intrepid ice yachtsmen led by Bjorn Johanson. Continue reading.

Regatta Dates 2018

Wisconsin Iceboat Hotline

  • Northwest Postponed
  • ISA & Renegade Championship
  • Nite Nationals Called On Feb 3-4
  • DN Worlds & Europeans
    February 25-March 3, 2018
  • DN & Ice Opti Junior Worlds
    February 5-8, 2018
  • WSSA Sailed
  • DN Western Regional
  • DN North Americans
  • 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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