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.

Skeeter Iceboat Club Swap Meet: Sunday, November 5, 2017, Williams Bay, WI. More information.
First 4LIYC Meeting: November 15, 2017 6:30 PM at Angelo’s, 5801 Monona Dr., Monona, WI

Burly Brellenthin: Fast Again

Burly removes the cover from his B Skeeter in preparation for the 2013 Northwest Regatta on Green Lake. Photo: Gretchen Dorian

No stranger to going fast, Skeeter Iceboat Club B Skeeter skippper Burly Brellenthin, makes the news as he takes to the skies in a B-29.
Tip of the helmet: Jane Pegel

WWII and Korean vet gets flight in B-29

Though many military men served in World War II from the cockpit of a B-29 plane, few veterans get the chance to fly in one in 2017.

Birdell “Burly” Brellenthin is the exception to this.

Brellenthin served as a navigator in World War II and the Korean War, spending over 300 hours in a B-29 during this time. Continue reading.

Burley’s Boecraft Skeeter ON THE ROCKS next to the DEUCE at the 2004 Northwest on Lake Monona in Madison, WI. Photo: David Travis

Skeeter Iceboat Club Swap Meet: November 5th

You know you want one!

Jane Pegel has dropped the flag on the 2017-2018 ice sailing season with the announcement that the Skeeter Ice Boat Club’s 32nd Annual Swap Meet is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, 2017 in Williams Bay, WI.

What: Skeeter Iceboat Club 32nd Annual Swap Meet
Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Time: 9AM – noon, followed by a raffle
Where: Lucke’s Cantina
220 N. Elkhorn Rd. (WI Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI. Map
For more info, email sailing19@charter.net
Download pdf Swap Meet 2017

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.

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).

Meade Gougeon

Photo courtesy Henry Bossett. From left Wim van Acker, Pete Johns, Meade & Jan Gougeon.

Via the National Sailing Hall of Fame:
“Meade Alger Gougeon
September 25, 1938  – August 27, 2017
Fair Winds & Godspeed”

BAY CITY NEWS, BAY CITY, MI — Meade Gougeon, a sailing legend and industry innovator who pioneered the use of epoxies for boatbuilding, all while creating a culture of giving back at his Bay City business, died Sunday, Aug. 27. He was 78.
Read more.

A Note from Ron Sherry: Meade Gougeon


Meade Gougeon at the 2011 DN Worlds. Photo by Gretchen Dorian.

Via Ron Sherry:

Meade Gougeon is about to sail his longest race, where he will join his brother and other great friends in paradise on miles and miles of black ice. Unfortunately melanoma has returned to Meade’s body with a vengeance. Time is short and Meade would like to give everyone the opportunity to send him a note at [deleted] . Meade knows exactly what is going on and is very happy with the life he has led and all the friends he has made. However, the oxygen he is on makes it hard for him to talk, so he would appreciate an E-mail or letter with good wishes and stories of all the good times we have had together.

ECLIPSE on Monona

ECLIPSE on Lake Monona. Photo: David Travis

Now here’s an eclipse you can look at without damage to your eyes! It’s not hard to tie just about anything into ice sailing. Here’s the Class A Stern Steerer, ECLIPSE, sailed by Eric and Chip Sawyer at the 2004 Northwest on Lake Monona in Madison.


Celebrating 50 Years of Harken

Photo borrowed from Holly Nelson’s Facebook


Class A Skeeter Sighting in Pewaukee
Peter Harken’s Skeeter, the Bill Mattison built HONEYBUCKET XIV, was set up at the plant over the weekend to celebrate Harken’s 50 years in business. Olaf and Peter are long time iceboaters and do much to support the sport.

An Amazing Day for the Mary B in August


MARY B on exhibit at Madison Wooden Boat Show at Christy’s on Lake Waubesa

August 5, 2017 was an amazing day for the Mary B Foundation at the Madison Area Wooden Boat Show on Lake Waubesa yesterday. A crew of the usual suspects, some in flip flops quickly set of the Mary B in the parking lot with not a glove or mitten in sight.

The B looked great on display, the glint of her varnish and reflection from her chrome inspired a wooden boat owner and kindred spirit of keeping living history alive to step forward and pledge to match any monies raised to support the Mary B Foundation during the boat show. This fantastic opportunity inspired someone else to match funds raised during the boat show leveraging this pledge even more.
Well this got the fundraising firm of Frautschi, Holtzman, Whitehorse, and Simon in full remote fundvraising mode. The alert went out on the internet, Facebook, and through the crowd at the show and people responded. After Don Sanford’s historical talk about the ‘B, the helmet was passed through the crowd and people were very generous. The  Lake Waubesa Sailing Club started the ball rolling with a $50 donation and by the end of the day the helmet was full of money and pledges.

Wish You Were Here: Glenn’s Summer Vacation

Where it all began in America, “Ice boating on the Hudson River.”

Today’s installment combines themes from the off-season of 2017, postcards and what ice sailors do on summer vacations. Michigan/Toledo ice sailor Glenn Betzloldt is touring and sailing the northeast with his replica miniature schooner. (Ask to see a photo next time you see him.) Glenn sent photos of a historic Hudson River Stern Steerer built in 1908, STORM KING, on exhibit at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vermont.

As far as postcards go, above is the only Hudson River ice yachting postcard in my collection. There surely have to be more of them because the Hudson River is where ice yachting began in America.

Here’s what an internet search revealed about STORM KING. The incomparable historic ice yachting blog  “White Wings and Black Ice”, has posted several pages from a book, Hudson River Ice Yacht Club Member Book 1908, with a fleet roster that included STORM KING, listed as owned by Silas Lane of the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club in New York. Silas Lane’s family, under the name Lane Motor Vehicle Company, manufactured early steam powered cars.

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Regatta Dates 2018

Wisconsin Iceboat Hotline

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


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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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