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.

UPCOMING:
Iceboat Swap Meet: October 31, 2021 @ 1352 E. Wilson St., Madison. Hosted by 4LIYC. More information.
4LIYC Meeting on Zoom: 6:30 PM CST, Nov 10, 2021 More information.
March 2022: The Hard Water Summit, Ft. Peck, Montana More information

BURGEE: Order your 4LIYC Burgee

DRIFTER: Now in Stereo

DRIFTER Archives
C Skeeter Archives

Pat Heppert’s seeing double and working like a madman up in MN to get ready for the season.

Best ISA rule ever: “ 5.4 Each yacht shall carry on both sides of her hull a name, of the owner’s selection, in letters not less than 3” high, in a color contrasting to that of the hull side.” It’s an official rule, not a suggestion. But how do you go about picking a name? A proper yacht would bear the name of the owner’s spouse (like the Mary B), but these modern ice missiles are far from proper yachts, I don’t think they even float. Some pick a clever play on words relating to the cold winter (Icicle, Ice Scream, Frozen Asset). Others incorporate the boat design name (Nite Flight, Good Nite, Whizz kid, Wizzard, Cheese Whizz). Some have admitted their personality in their boat name (Instigator, Notorious, Rebel). Still others name it after their favorite things in life (see Ken Kreider).

 

So what’s with this total lack of creativity to pick a new name for the new boat. It turns out, I don’t have a choice anymore. A while ago, when in high school, I was sailing a DN that was super fun, but when it hit a snow drift, it seemed to either just stop, or hike up, or get kind of airborne. Meanwhile, Dad was right next me in his 700 lb Class E skeeter, and he would go right through the drift which would just absolutely explode into a spectacular white cloud of powder, and keep rumbling down the ice without any loss of speed.

 

So when we built my Renegade a couple years later, we had to pick a name. I thought “Drifter” because I wanted to blast through snow drifts just like Dad. Fast forward a few decades and the name kind of stuck. Every winter it seems like I am approached by multiple people who don’t really know my name, but instead ask me “Are you the Drifter?”. So I have finally come to terms with the fact that indeed I have no choice, it turns out that I am the Drifter.

 

Pat Heppert

C-Skeeter “Drifter” I-291

International Skeeter Association: 2022 Notice of Race & Dues


ISA DUES/MEMBERSHIP FORM

ISA HOME PAGE

International Skeeter Association (ISA) Secretary Steve Schalk has released the 2022 ISA Championship Notice of Race and Notice of Dues. Download the dues form and send it to the address provided.


INTERNATIONAL SKEETER ASSOCIATION 2022 CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTA NOTICE OF RACE

DOWNLOAD IN A PDF FILE
10/2021

All races will be sailed under the rules of the National Iceboat Authority and those of the International Skeeter Association (ISA).
Date:  The Regatta will be held on January 7, 8, & 9, 2022.

Race Schedule: 

  • The first race will be at 10:00 AM local time on Friday, January 7, 2022
  • Preliminary site location will be announced by 6 p.m. CST on the Sunday prior to the regatta
  • Final call will be announced by 12 noon, C.S.T on the Wednesday prior to the regatta
  • Races will be held for A, B, C Class Skeeters, Nites and Renegades should Renegades choose to hold their national championship regatta in conjunction with the ISA Championship Regatta.
  • Nine races are scheduled for each division. Three are necessary for a complete regatta.

Postponement:

  • The Regatta will be postponed if the Northwest Ice Yachting Association Regatta is held on these dates.
  • The Race Committee may postpone the regatta or change regatta site any time prior to noon, C.S.T on the Thursday prior to the regatta.

Location:  Possible locations, in order of preference, are: East Division, Green Lake, Lake Geneva, Madison, Green Bay.

Entries:

  • Each competitor must be a current member of the ISA. Dues may be paid on the ISA website or at the regatta.
  • Entry Fee is $15.00 per yacht.

Registration:

  • Will be available at iceboat.org on the ISA page when the regatta is called ON
  • Competitors may also register at Regatta Headquarters from 8:30 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. local time on Friday, January 7, 2022.

Sailing Instructions:  Will be available on the ISA website and at the time of Registration. Awards will be given according to Part II Section 3 of The International Skeeter Association Constitution, By-Laws and Racing Rules

In DN World

dniceboat.org

To help attract new ice sailors, the North American and European DN Class have introduced a world portal website, dniceboat.org, showcasing high-quality DN videos, photos. The portal also features IDNIYRA’s common governing documents, regatta history, and rank list. 

Under the Class Information menu item, the DN Specifications and Racing Rules are two pages of note to all ice sailors. The class will keep Specs pages up to date in an easier to read format than the class yearbook, adding the Interpretations to their specific Spec. The Racing Rules and their definitions are presented in more of a graphic form. 

dniceboat.org is a portal to idniyra.org and idniyra.eu, which will keep members informed of their specific continental affairs.

Spaight St. Syndicate Update: Flat Pack Masts

Mast mania

Daniel Hearn’s mind wanders over to Ikea iceboat mast section…
Spaight St. Archives

Ikea Masts

Ingvar Kamprad built a $40 billion per year enterprise selling furniture in boxes. His future took shape when he realized success depended on the simplest, most cost-efficient distribution from factory to customer. The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, figured out he didn’t even have to make anything to become the richest man in the world (never mind the divorce). He just had to have the best distribution system anywhere.

 

I’m sure our first billion is showing up in the offshore shell company bank account as I type, now that word is out that you can buy a C-Skeeter mast in a box. If you’re looking for my name in the Pandora Papers, however, don’t bother. The Corp will eventually trace to my wife’s name. She’s the smart one in the family!

Daniel Hearn

Gretchen Dorian Exhibition: Sailing On Ice in MI


Folks in the Michigan and Ohio area will want to put this on your calendars.  Gretchen Dorian’s ice sailing photos will be on exhibition at the The Ford House in Grosse Point Shores near Detroit, Michigan November through March 2022.  Make a reservation for the November 21, 2021 opening reception on their website. More information.

Join us for an opening reception and view our latest exhibition, Sailing on Ice, featuring ice boat photography by Gretchen Dorian.

The reception is free and open to the public, but space is limited to allow social distancing, and registration is required. The exhibition is in the Teague Gallery inside our new Visitor Center and runs through March 20, 2022.

Ford House requires masks inside all of our buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

About the Artist

Gretchen photographs iceboat racing competitions around the world. Gretchen lives and works in northern Michigan. She grew up sailing on Lake St. Clair. Her photographs have been published in Wooden Boat Journal, ESPN Magazine, SAIL, Sailing World, Lakeland Boating, BOAT US, Great Lakes Scuttlebutt, Michigan BLUE and Outside Bozeman Magazine. Online publications include the Wall Street Journal, TRAVERSE Magazine, Sailing Scuttlebutt, Sailing Anarchy, HARKEN and Seahorse of the UK.

21-22 4LIYC Meeting News Update


The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club meetings will continue on Zoom. The upside is that last season, Zoom enabled our club members from outside the Madison area to participate and talk ice. We will review our meeting options towards the end of December.
Again as last year, club members in good standing will receive an email with the meeting link a day before and on the meeting day.

2021 4LIYC ON ZOOM MEETING SCHEDULE
Time: 6:30 PM Central
November 10
November 24: Officer and Fleet Captain Election
December 8
December 22
2022 January: Meeting schedule and location will be reviewed.

Inside Overlap @ Spaight St.


“Two (or insert any number) are just as easy to build as one” has to be one of the top ten commandments of iceboating building. Daniel Hearn checks in with his latest update.
Spaight Street Syndicate Archives

Inside Overlap

When I’m racing catamarans, I like to amuse myself by coming into the starboard gate on port tack. More often than not, some cowboy will come charging in barking STARBOARD!, with gotcha-rage in their eyes, unaware that he has no rights. Makes me laugh every time.

 

In my basement shop, I am also currently exercising my inside overlap rights. My entitlement is not guaranteed by any rule book, but my wife still let’s me get away with it. She’s been a really good sport about it, but I can tell she’s not amused. I’m afraid by the time first ice comes, my penance will be along the lines of a hooker leaving a confessional. But it will be worth it!

 

Just about ready for top skins on both the new C-Skeeter and the fixed wing boat.
Daniel Hearn

2021 Iceboat Swap Meets

We Sure Do!

Iceboating clubs around the nation, including the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, will again host their annual fall Iceboat swap meets. Swap meets are a great place to learn about the sport and types of boats.

NEW ENGLAND: Thompson, CT, Saturday, October 23, 2021 10 AM
Thompson Speedway Golf Course, 205 E Thompson Rd, Thompson, CT 06277
MAP
Go fast ice time is coming and our annual meeting and banquette is on for Saturday October 23rd. What more fitting place for speed seekers than a race track? The NEIYA is made up of the people and the history we share, camaraderie, fellowship, spirited competition, and sailing together. Come out and welcome in the upcoming 2022 Season. The NEIYA annual meeting has been going on for four decades. It is a gather of new and experienced ice boaters, a great place to buy or sell equipment and catch up with old friends and make new one.
MORE INFORMATION

WISCONSIN: Madison, Sunday, October 31, 2021 9 AM – Noon
MAP
The 4LIYC is sponsoring the southern Wisconsin Iceboat Swap Meet this year at Daniel Hearn’s office on October 31 from 9:00 – noon. Company name is Stephan & Brady Strategic Marketing; address is 1352 E. Wilson St., Madison. Hoping for nice weather, so we can open up the overhead doors. Food and beverages will be served. There is no charge for participating. This is the day to swap, buy, or sell new and used iceboats and misc. equipment. Boat builders & hardware manufacturers will display new products. For more info, email debwhitehorse@iceboat.org
Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club
36th Annual Southern Wisconsin Swap Meet (founded by the Skeeter Iceboat Club of Lake Geneva, WI)
Date: Sunday, October 31, 2021
Time 9:00 to Noon
Location: 1352 E. Wilson St. Madison, WI
MORE INFORMATION

MICHIGAN: Muskegon Yacht Club, Saturday, November 6, 2021  9 AM – 2 PM
3198 Edgewater St, Muskegon, MI 49441
MAP
ANNUAL COMBINED SWAP MEET
West Michigan Ice Yacht Club
Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club
Grand Traverse Ice Yacht Club
This year its at the Muskegon Yacht Club, Muskegon, Michigan.
Every year since 1975, winter sailors from throughout the Midwest converge on November’s first Saturday to kick off the new season.
Complete Iceboats on exhibit…. see some current day and historical iceboats. Lunch is available for a small fee with tickets for the raffle of iceboat needed parts and useful seasonal items for the sport. The lunch buffet is provided by the main kitchen of the Muskegon Yacht Club Buy, sell, or trade complete iceboats, parts, or upgrade your current rig. Enjoy the start of a new season, learn about iceboating.

MINNESOTA: St. Louis Park, Saturday, November 6, 2021 9 AM – 1 PM
MAP
Tim Carlson at Sailcrafters ((952)540-7474) is hosting his annual Iceboat Swap meet on Nov 6, 2021. You can expect to see all types of iceboats and all types used gear. If you are new to iceboating, this is the perfect place to meet local sailors and check out used equipment. Sailcrafters is located in St Louis Park at 7450 Oxford Street. Doors open from 9 am to 1 pm. If you are looking for new gear, Tim caters to the local iceboat community and can provide new sails, stays, line and everything in-between.

 

 

Southern WI Iceboat Swap Meet on Sunday, Oct 31 9 AM – Noon

The 4LIYC is sponsoring the southern Wisconsin Iceboat Swap Meet this year at Daniel Hearn’s office on October 31 from 9:00 – noon. Company name is Stephan & Brady Strategic Marketing; address is 1352 E. Wilson St., Madison. Hoping for nice weather, so we can open up the overhead doors. Food and beverages will be served.

There is no charge for participating. This is the day to swap, buy, or sell new and used iceboats and misc. equipment. Boat builders & hardware manufacturers will display new products. For more info, email debwhitehorse@iceboat.org

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club
36th Annual Southern Wisconsin Swap Meet (founded by the Skeeter Iceboat Club of Lake Geneva, WI)
Date: Sunday, October 31, 2021
Time 9:00 to Noon
Location: 1352 E. Wilson St. Madison, WI

4LIYC Picnic Report

Family photo.  Photo by Bob Borkowski.

Thank you to everyone who attended this special 4LIYC picnic on a postcard-perfect fall day and to our fantastic host, Tom Kretschman. We had a clear view of the runway, where we watched planes landing and taking off. Historic airplanes, equipment, and vehicles provided the backdrop for one of the most memorable picnics in club history. Commodore Don Anderson officially inducted Greg Whitehorse into the 4LIYC Honor Roll. Several people shared stories about the tremendous impact Greg has had on our club. We were honored to have Bill and Mauretta Mattison and Dave and Nancy Nelson in attendance.   Our host, Tom, gave a tour of the various outbuildings that housed a collection of historic vehicles. Several club members took to the air for a ride in a WW2 French training airplane. What way to kick off the upcoming iceboating season! Next up, the Swap Meet on Sunday, October 31, 2021.

The 4LIYC picnic was a fly-in event that Renegader Jeff Russell took to heart.

 

Regatta Dates 2022

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4LIYC Race Results


Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates

2020-2021

  • November 18
  • December 2
  • Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • 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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