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.

Get Started Iceboating

4LIYC Fall Social Event: Sunday, October 23, 2022, Four Lakes Yacht Club, Monona, WI. More information.
Sunday, November 6, 2022. Delavan Yacht Club, Delavan, WI. Stay tuned for more information.
First 4LIYC Meeting of the ’22-23 Season: Wednesday, November 9, 2022. In person or Zoom. More information.
BURGEE: Order your 4LIYC Burgee

Iceboat Swapmeets across North America

Ice sailing has a handful of commercial builders, unlike soft water boats. A few commercial builders serve the DN class, and the Nite Class has one. Swap meets are crucial to the sport. Swap meets are like big box iceboat stores where you can see a variety of iceboats and parts for sale in person. Swap meets are essential to commercial builders and the iceboating community. Support your local upcoming swap meet!

Saturday, October 29, 2022
Noon – 5 PM ET
470 Bay St. North, Hamilton, ON, Canada
The Canadian Ice Force is hosting a backyard swap meet and social at Les Druiven’s (KC3475) house. RSVP to Lester: dldruiven@gmail.com. Park at the Leander Rowing club on the shore and walk back up the hill on the footpath (1 minute). Canadian Commodore Colin Duncan and other Kingston sailors are attending.

NEW ENGLAND: Sponsored by the New England Ice Yachting Association
Date: Saturday, October 29, 2022
Time: 10 AM ET
Location: Thompson Speedway Golf Course, 205 E Thompson Rd, Thompson, CT 06277
More information.

MICHIGAN: Sponsored by Gull Lake, West Michigan, and Grand Traverse Ice Yacht Clubs
Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Time: 10 AM – 1 PM ET
Location: The Dock ( at Bayview) from
12504 E D Ave
Richland, MI 49083
Swap, sell, buy, trade. Catch up with friends and make many more who enjoy our unique sport of Ice Yachting.

MINNESOTA: Hosted by Tim Carlson at Sailcrafters
Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 9 AM – Noon CT
Location: 7450 Oxford Street
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

WISCONSIN: Sponsored by the Skeeter Iceboat Club
Date: Sunday, November 6, 2022
Time: 10 AM CT
Location: Delavan Lake Yacht Club
1501 Cedar Point Drive, Delavan, WI
Swap starts at 10 AM followed by food and beverages inside yacht club. Packers at Detroit starting at noon. Admission free, ample parking and grassy area.

4LIYC Fall Social: Sunday, October 23, 2022

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club racing on January 15, 2022, Lake Monona. Photo: Joe Berger

Please join us for our Fall Social at the Four Lakes Yacht Club on Sunday, October 23, 2022. All ingredients will be there, including the Packer game on the big screen, club burgees for sale, the traditional ham, beverages, and lots of iceboating talk.

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Fall Social Event
Date: Sunday, October 23, 2022
Time: 11:30 AM – 4 PM (Packers kick off at noon.)
Location: The Four Lakes Yacht Club
6312 Inland Way, Monona, WI
Free public parking ramp at The Current, across the street from the yacht club

What To Know:
Please bring a dish to pass.
Ham and beverages will be provided
Please RSVP to Deb debwhitehorse@iceboat.org

Via Harken Blockheads: “It’s 96 Degrees in the Shade…Time to Think Iceboating!”

Some people just can’t wait…

Get Started Iceboating!
Our friends at Harken have done it again, utilizing their international reach to promote the sport of ice yachting. Marketing intern Samuel Bartel, a recent University of Wisconsin graduate and DN sailor, created a YouTube video series on how to get involved in this “outrageously fun sport.” Thanks Samuel and Hannah Lee Noll for the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club and iceboat.org shout-out!
Read more and see all four videos on the Harken Blockheads website.
Or view them on YouTube
Preparing for Iceboating

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

22-23 4LIYC Meetings – Zoom & In-Person

The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club is excited to announce that we will continue our hybrid meeting format this season. If you’d like to meet in person, please join us at Commodore Daniel Hearn’s office in Madison, where the conference room table is the perfect spot to meet with ice sailors from around the country on Zoom. A few days before each meeting, we’ll post the details about how to join us on Zoom.

We are also working on organizing a fall social event for October. Stay tuned for details.

Location: In person at S & B Strategic Marketing @ 1352 East Wilson Street, Madison, WI – or on Zoom, you choose.
Times: Alternate Wednesdays at 6:30 PM CT
November 9
November  23
December 7
December 21
January 4
January 18
February 1
February 15
March 1
March 15

DN Newsletter September Runner Tracks

If you are interested in some of the latest iceboating news, check out this month’s edition of the DN newsletter Runner Tracks. The IDNIYRA Technical Committee has been working on improving the Official Specifications, and they’ve submitted proposals and drawing for the fuselage and runner plank. There’s also an epic adventure about defending a DN World championship title in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) by Mike O’Brien. Read it here.

Southern WI Iceboat Swap Meet November 6, 2022

12-pack to go

Time to start digging out iceboats and spare parts you want to sell. If you are new to the sport or looking for your first ride, iceboat swap meets are the best place to find what you need and meet the ice sailing community. The Skeeter Iceboat Club has scheduled the Southern Wisconsin Iceboat Swap Meet for Sunday, November 6, 2022. This year’s event is at the Delavan Yacht Club in Delavan, WI. Stay tuned for more details!

Speaking of swap meets, The ice yacht clubs of Michigan will be holding their swap meet on Saturday, November 5, 2022.
Save the Date:
Saturday November 5th…our tradition of the first Saturday in November for the 2022 Annual Iceboat Swap Meet.
This year we are on our home Lake, Gull Lake, near the South Bay off M-89 at
The Dock ( at Bayview) from
10 am to 1 pm
12504 E D Ave
Richland, MI 49083
Swap, sell, buy, trade. Catch up with friends and make many more who enjoy our unique sport of Ice Yachting.
Sponsored by:
Gull Lake Ice Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club
West Michigan Ice Yacht Club
and Grand Traverse Ice Yacht Club

MINNESOTA: To be announced.
NEW ENGLAND: Saturday, October 29, 2022 @ Thompson Speedway Golf Course, Thompson, CT. More information.

The Wings of Ice Fields

Here’s another find from Henry Bossett, The Winds of Ice Fields, a Russian booklet published in the 1970s. In addition to some crucial DN history, the booklet features some epic photos of 12-meter wing sail iceboats.
All Wing Sail posts.

1 Ice Yacht Racing Way

From the vast files of ice sailing researcher Henry Bossett, here’s an idea from the 1800s that never caught on, a planned community centered around ice sports and refrigeration. George Newnes originally published the illustration in his British weekly magazine, Tit Bits, “Tit-Bits from all the interesting Books and Newspapers of the World.” Newnes was an “early father of popular journalism”, and Tit-Bits had a surprisingly long run from 1881 to 1984. (I enhanced the iceboat sails with color.)

Plucky Kids Beat Snobby Kids in 1922 Iceboat Race

SIRIUS at the 1913 Northwest Regatta at Menominee, Michigan. (See all the photos from that regatta here.)

One hundred years ago, a newspaper insert geared towards children, Golden Days For Boys and Girls, published this gem of a story in nationwide newspapers. The fictional action takes place around what appears to be the Lake Winnebago area. One of the boats in the story is named SIRIUS, and perhaps the boat with that same name from Lake Winnebago was the inspiration. Take a few minutes to read the story. (Click on the image to enlarge.) The author was not credited but the story would make a terrific movie.

Eight Bells: Terry Erwin

The ice sailing community mourns another one of our sailors. Terry Erwin of Wayzata, MN, passed on August 15, 2022, after a long illness. Terry sailed in the DN and Nite classes and knew how to make an iceboat go fast. His presence has been greatly missed these past few years. He was always willing to share his knowledge. An example is an article from the 2012 Nite Newsletter, posted below as a way to honor and remember the remarkable sailor he was.


Regatta Dates 2023


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National Iceboat Authority Web Page

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 9
  • November 23 Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 7
  • December 21
  • January 4 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 18 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 1
  • February 15 Business Meeting
  • March 1
  • March 15

Location: In person at S & B Strategic Marketing or Online using the Zoom App Members please email debwhitehorse@iceboat.org for the link.

Time: 6:30 PM


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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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