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.

The 2020-2021 ice sailing season is a few weeks away. 4LIYC racing and general regatta information will be posted here during the season. If this is your first time here, thanks for stopping by and check out our “How to Get Involved” page for more information. Please contact us debwhitehorse@iceboat.org if you have any questions. Think ice!


October 24, 2020: GREEN LAKE ICEBOAT SWAP MEET: More information.

November 4, 2020: 4LIYC MEETING ON ZOOM: More information

November 7, 2020: SOUTHERN WI ICEBOAT SWAP MEET: 10 AM-3PM @ the Delavan Yacht Club, Delavan, WI  More information. Map

BURGEE: Order your 4LIYC Burgee.

NOT UPCOMING: The Skeeter Ice Boat Club Swap Meet has been cancelled for 2020. More information.

Tomorrow: Green Lake Swap Meet October 24th

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

Green Lake Ice Yacht Club
Saturday, October 24, 2020
10 AM – 2 PM
Green Lake Town Square

UPDATE: Just a friendly reminder, the Green Lake Ice Yacht Club Swap Meet is tomorrow, October, 24, 2020.

Some breaking news from our friends to the northeast. Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Joe Norton called to let us know to save the date of Saturday, October 24, 2020 for an iceboat swap meet that is jointly being hosted by the GLIYC and the area ice yacht clubs of Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Neenah. Joe explained that their swap meet is in “honor of the Skeeter Iceboat Club” and is a one-time event. The swap meet will take place in Green Lake, WI at the Terrace on the Town Square.  Stay tuned for more details to come.

Throwback Thursday: 8mm Memories

Michigan’s Bill Parker converted his grandfather’s 8 mm ice boating films and uploaded them to YouTube. Take a look.

My father, Bill Parker, and my Grandfather, Howard Parker, built, sailed, and raced iceboats in the Battle Creek, Michigan area. These 8mm films are from the WWII era, primarily after the war. They were scanned from very neglected originals, and the quality is really bad. The original “cinematography” wasn’t great, and Dad was good at taking film of rig or boat details. Much of the footage is relatively static in nature, but there are action shots of iceboats here and there.

The most common iceboats shown are C-class, there is an A class boat or two, and also Skeeters. Grandpa owned an A-class boat for a few years called the “Gossoon”, and later, a Skeeter named “The Duchess.” Dad’s C-Class boat was “Valkyrie”.

I am sure of the Gouguac and Crystal lake venues, but unsure if the other venue is Lake St. Clair. I know they raced there, but also in Wisconsin venues. If you have any information about the venues or the boats, please feel free to comment. [On the YouTube page.]

2020-2021 Winter Forecast: There Will Be Iceboating Somewhere…Again

“Ice Yachts On The Hudson River” by Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. “They work primarily in the fields of photography and installation art, specializing in fictitious histories [much like winter weather forecasts – Ed.] set in the past or future. Website

The winter forecasts are out, peppered with words that hedge their predictions – terms like possible, possibly, maybe and expected.
You can trust our winter forecasts here at iceboat.org. We guarantee that there will be ice sailing somewhere in North America and around the world, hopefully near you! And make plans to attend your local iceboat swap meet this Saturday, October 24. Information below!
Farmer’s Almanac
John Dee’s Winter Outlook


New England Ice Yacht Club Swap Meet
Saturday, October 24
10 AM
Thompson Motor Speedway Golf Course
205 E Thompson Rd, Thompson, CT 06277
We will have lots of outdoor space for the swap meet, Lunch, and our Annual Meeting. You don’t have to come inside if you are not comfortable doing so but everyone should meet up in the parking lot. You do not have to be a member to attend the swap or other activities.
More information

Green Lake Ice Yacht Club
Saturday, October 24
10 AM – 2 PM
Green Lake Town Square Parking Lot
Green Lake, WI
More information

Delavan Yacht Club
Saturday, November 7, 2020
10 AM – 3 PM
Location: Delavan Yacht Club
1501 Cedar Point Drive
Delavan, WI
More information


How Do You Say HOLLYWOOD in Norwegian?

An intrepid ice skater who goes by the name “The Dutch Ice Finder” found the first of the season today on Lake Juvvanet in Norway and posted these heart-wrenchingly beautiful photos of perfect, fresh, black ice on his Facebook page. The season is soon upon us, folks. 

See the “B” This Week

Ritz the puppy is intrigued by the MARY B being assembled.

In addition to the autumn colors, apples, and pumpkins, fall in Four Lakes means setting up your iceboat to make sure everything fits. The MARY B group set her up in a Westport field on Saturday.. Daniel Hearn also took advantage of the beautiful day and the large area to set up his C Skeeter. If you’d like to see the MARY B, she’ll be up all week. Don Sanford sends the following:

Mary B is waiting for you! Have you ever wanted to get an up-close and personal look at the Mary B but just haven’t felt up to braving the cold and hiking out onto the ice?

Well, here’s your chance. Our volunteers set her up today and now you can even visit from the comfort of your car.

She’s waiting for you in a wide-open field near the intersection of Hwy 113 and County Hwy M.

Set your GPS for 5341 W. River Road., Waunakee 53597. Once you’re on River Road, just follow the Mary B signs.

Volunteers will be there to show her to you, answer questions and maybe tell you a story from 1 pm – 4 pm as follows:

  • Sunday, October 11
  • Tuesday, October 13
  • Wednesday, October 14
  • Thursday, October 15
  • Friday, October 16

Come on out this week, you won’t need a winter coat, gloves or your ice creepers!

Sorry about the late notice, but you know how it is with iceboats—conditions are always changing.

See you on the ice grass.

Please wear your mask.


Frankie Hearn tests his dad’s C Skeeter.

DN Tech Talk: Gluing Chocks

Previous: Shimming Runners
Polish DNer Tomek Zakrzewski’s is back with another instructional Youtube video.

One of the ways to glue chocks to the runner plank using simple jig and MMA adhesive. Building ice sailing gears can be easier when we learn one from the other.

2021 4LIYC Notice of Dues

The 4LIYC member card: Don’t hike your Skeeter without it!

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Meeting Schedule
Like sharpening runners, a notice of dues is another hopeful sign that the ice sailing season is weeks away. The 4LIYC remains committed to promoting iceboating and continuing to bring you all the news from our Four Lakes to the ice sheets of the world. Your dues support iceboat.org, the Buy and Sell page, the 4LIYC ATV, and the equipment to run club races and regattas.  It’s more crucial than ever to pay your dues by mail this season. You will not be able to hand our treasurer, Jerry Simon, your $20 membership fee at a 4LIYC meeting because we are temporarily moving to Zoom. You’ll receive this nifty membership card in the mail when you pay your dues. Club members will also receive an email with a link to our Zoom meetings where you will continue to learn the latest about the iceboating scene. Please make sure to include your email address with your dues.
THANK YOU for helping to support the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.

Annual Dues:
Senior (Regular) Member $20
Student Member $10
Under 18 Years Old $10

Jerry Simon, Treasurer 4LIYC
3788 Highridge Road
Madison, WI 53718
Click here to download and print the membership form.

“Frank Tetzlaff: A Woodworking Genius”

An old windowsill from Madison house remodel leads to an iceboating story posted on the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation website.
Previous: 1934 Northwest Regatta

By Don Sanford
Ask any Madison iceboater if they know who Frank Tetzlaff is, you’ll get an earful. They’ll probably bend your ears for hours about two revolutionary iceboats he designed—the Fritz and the Mary B. In 1930, Frank established himself as one of the foremost iceboat designers in the Midwest when he designed and built the 38-foot Class A[1] stern steerer iceboat, the Fritz, for Madison iceboater and furniture dealer Fritz Jungbluth. The Fritz was a work of art and radically different from her contemporaries. But in iceboats beauty is only skin deep. It’s speed that counts and the Fritz was fast–real fast, winning regatta after regatta, bringing honor to her owner and hometown. Continue reading.

FRITZ, designed and built by Frank Tetzlaff.

C is OG

Daniel with Jerry Simon, another OG.

Daniel Hearn unveiled the C Skeeter’s new livery last weekend. Of course there’s a story….

Yo, Yo, Yo…What Up, Homies?

I’ve got less street cred than Mr. Rogers. Yet my kids call me “OG.” I know it’s actually to poke fun, but I’m perfectly comfortable with my dorkiness. Kind of like calling your iceboating buddy who’s last name is Davenport, “Couch.”

OG is short for “Original Gangsta.” To me it sounded like a good name for an iceboat. Yeah, it’s a skinny old white dude behind the bubble, but that’s what the tint is for. Perception is everything.

In Madison, we pride ourselves in “taking it to the man!” Early in their college careers, my kids were on board with that. Until they realized, “wait a minute, OG is “the man,” and that pays for my tuition. Maybe reality does trump perception now and then? (Not a political statement).

I was happy to have the Original, Original Gangsta, Jerry Simon, my brother Brian and the Global Communications Director of Ice Sailing, Deb Whitehorse for the assembly. Once I clearcoat the mast, align the runners, make an anti-mast flogging device and apply a few more decals, I’m ready for ice. Can’t wait!

BLACK ICE Discount

Photo: Sail Racing

Previous: “Introducing Black Ice”

 Sail Racing recently introduced their Black Ice concept inspired by “dedicated sailors in the northern parts of North America that were designing and building advanced ice yachts capable of massive speeds on clear black ice.”  (On a personal note, their gear has kept me warm and functioning on the ice from Lake Baikal to the middle-of-nowhere Montana.) 

As a thank you to the ice sailing community, Sail Racing is offering a substantial discount and free shipping to the US.
Thank you Olivia and the rest of the Sail Racing team!

We would like to give you a 40% discount code, that you can share with the whole ice sailing community.

Code: blackice2020

The code is valid worldwide and throughout the year. You enter the discount code at the checkout and 40% will be deducted.

And right now there is free shipping to the US.

Regatta Dates 2021


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National Iceboat Authority Web Page

4LIYC Race Results

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 4
  • November 18 Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 2
  • December 16
  • December 30
  • January 13 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 27 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 10
  • February 24 Business Meeting
  • March 10

Location: 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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