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.

October 14: 4LIYC & Hoofer’s Free Ice Sailing Program @ the Memorial Union More information.
November 4: Skeeter Iceboat Club Swap Meet in Williams Bay, WI More information
November 14: First 4LIYC Meeting of the 2018-2019 Season Info

4LIYC Fall Sailing Event This Sunday, Oct 14

4LIYC members Don Sanford & Ken Kreider to the rescue with an on-the-ice lunch buffet at the 2017 DN North Americans on Lake Monona.

Iceboating: Come For the Speed, Stay for the Friendships

Here’s a reminder about a program about Lake Baikal ice sailing  and social event and that the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club and Hoofer’s is sponsoring on Sunday, October 14 from noon to 3 PM at the Memorial Union in Madison. It’s your chance to learn about ice sailing, adventure travel, Siberia, the 4LIYC, and meet ice sailors from around the world and Midwest.

4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson called me this morning to talk about something that doesn’t get mentioned enough, how the friendships and camaraderie in iceboating are possible because it is such a unique sport. Bill Mattison’s classic line describing the sport,”nothing’s fickler”, can be a feature, not a bug, of iceboating.  There’s an upside to the fickleness.

Don talked about the differences between a soft water and hard water regatta. If conditions aren’t right, ice boaters are freer to get off the lake and explore their regatta destination making it more enjoyable for everyone. “Anytime I set up my iceboat at a regatta, getting to sail is a bonus. What makes it fun for me is renewing friendships with others who have this sport in common. The first iceboat ride you take of the season is worth the price of admission (i.e. owning an iceboat) because it is such a thrilling ride. Even if you don’t get another ride, it’s still a good investment.” Sharing morning donuts on the ice before a day of sailing, grilled brats at lunch, and a few beers at the end of the day with Tom Hyslop’s giant bag of peanuts- in-the shell makes iceboating festive sport.

As these photos below show, iceboaters enjoy the social aspects of sharing a meal on the ice whether it’s on Lake Baikal or Lake Monona. If you are curious about the sport, we hope to see you there on Sunday so you can learn more about us. If you are a 4LIYC member or member of another club, we hope to see you there to begin the process of renewing old friendships.

UPDATE: DN Champion Ron Sherry To Attend 4LIYC Baikal Sailing Program Oct 14
Multiple DN World, North American, and Baikal champion Ron Sherry is making the drive from Detroit, Michigan to attend this event and catch up with iceboating friends. Ron has been to Lake Baikal twice and has won 3 titles there and will be on hand to share his experiences.

Free Program & Iceboat Exhibit Sponsored by the 4LIYC and Hoofer’s Sailing Club

Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Time: Noon to 3 PM Program at 1 PM
Location: University of Wisconsin Memorial Union, Tripp Commons, 2nd Floor of the Union
800 Langdon St, Madison, WI    MAP

Parking: Helen C. White Parking Garage  MAP
State Street Campus Parking Garage MAP
Your favorite Wisconsin beverages and food will be available for purchase at Der Rathskeller and other restaurants located in the Memorial Union.
Questions? Please email us: debwhitehorse@iceboat.org

2018-2019 Winter Forecast: There Will Be Iceboating Somewhere…Again

Hollywood ice on Lake Mendota

Hollywood Dreams: Lake Mendota

It’s that time of year when cold weather enthusiasts start combing over winter predictions which are soon forgotten because they are vague and usually wrong. Like we said last year, the only thing we can predict with 100% accuracy is that there will be ice sailing somewhere in North America, hopefully near you!

How many courses?

In the meantime, stern-steerer sailor Kurt Martinson D7 alerts us to some quality black ice on the coast of Greenland seen from 36,000 feet a few days ago.

4LIYC Fall Ice Sailing Event

For well over 50 years, this iceboat club has kicked off the season with some sort of fall gathering to get iceboating back on everyone’s minds. For many years, we’ve hosted picnics. Two years ago, we held a very successful iceboat show at Dick Lichtfeld’s property.
This year, we are excited to announce an event in conjunction with Hoofer’s Sailing Club at the famous University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. (Sailing iceboats on Lake Mendota to the Union for lunch is part of what makes Madison a unique ice sailing center.)
DN ice sailor Dideric van Riemsdijk H467 from the Netherlands (where it all began) will present a program on the annual ice sailing regatta that takes place every spring at one of the planet’s most remote places, Lake Baikal in Siberia. We will have iceboats set up in historic Tripp Commons on the 2nd floor of the Union.
Please join us on Sunday, October 14, 2018 for this free event where you can meet up with old friends or learn about the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club and how to get started in the sport. All are welcome  including area iceboat and sailing clubs. The planets have aligned (at least here in Wisconsin) because there’s no Packer game that Sunday. 


A Free Program & Iceboat Exhibit Sponsored by the 4LIYC and Hoofer’s Sailing Club
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Time: Noon to 3 PM Program at 1 PM
Location: University of Wisconsin Memorial Union, Tripp Commons, 2nd Floor of the Union
800 Langdon St, Madison, WI    MAP

Parking: Helen C. White Parking Garage  MAP
State Street Campus Parking Garage MAP
Your favorite Wisconsin beverages and food will be available for purchase at Der Rathskeller and other restaurants located in the Memorial Union.
Questions? Please email us: debwhitehorse@iceboat.org

News from Lake Puckaway

Via John Hayashi

The new kid on the block!

After talking to a bunch of local iceboaters, we have finally decided to pull the trigger and deliver. Our goal is simple, more ice time, more iceboating, more fun. How do we do it? Our goal is to provide everyone with more opportunities to get on the ice. The opportunity to weekday race is one example that works well for the Skeeter Iceboat Club, why not jump on the opportunity as well?  For people that want more racing on weekends the opportunity to get cracking and enjoy morning ice and get in those extra races is also appealing for others. For our cruising friends, how about the opportunity to get more ice time with other iceboaters?

Lake Puckaway (near Montello, WI) is perhaps one of the best locations for early season ice. It has lots of space and it is shallow so it tends to freeze up first and fast. It is the ultimate iceboating site. Our goal is to make it the early season hotspot.

We are holding an organizational meeting on October 25th at 7:00 pm out at Mike and Cathy’s to put this all into action. If you are interested in dinner you can come earlier. Come get involved and see what we have already put together and our plans for the future.

Location: Mike and Cathy’s Good Old Days W995 W North Shore Dr, Montello, WI 53949

More ice time more fun!

For more information contact L34scow@aol.com

ISA: 2019 Notice of Dues

Paul Krueger leaving an impression on Lake Kegonsa. Photo: Peter Fauerbach

The annual dues are $25.00 for the 2018-2019 season, payable to:
International Skeeter Association
Steve Schalk, W6001 Brick Church RD, Fontana, WI 53125
December 1st, 2018 is the deadline for new items to be placed on the 2019 agenda. Items from 2018 carry over if no meeting is held in 2018.
January 11, 12, & 13, 2019 (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday) is the scheduled weekend for the 2019 Regatta.
ISA Homepage

NIYA: 2019 Notice of Dues


Photo: Joe Stanton

The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association is an affiliation of iceboat clubs formed in 1913 for the purpose of holding an annual regatta.  Iceboat clubs constitute the membership and now is the time for club’s to pay their dues of $20. If your club didn’t receive a Notice of Dues in the mail, please download and return to the NIYA Acting Secretary, Steve Schalk.

January 18, 29, & 20, 2019 (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday) is the first scheduled weekend for the 2019 Regatta.Please return any new agenda items for the 2019 meeting to the Acting Secretary Steve Schalk by December 1st. These will be added to the agenda from 2018. The Regatta notice and new agenda will be sent out and posted on Iceboat.org no later than December 7th. The Race Committee and Nomination Slate remains from the 2018 season as no meeting was held.


Mad Men On Ice: The Motor City & Iceboat Advertising

DN Iceboats in Car Advertising
Another in the series on the connection between Detroit’s auto industry and iceboating.
From the golden era of illustrations, an ad not from the car manufacturer, but from the company that supplied the body components for the Plymouth Duster, Budd. The iceboating theme fit right in with the idea of the Duster’s sporty body style.

In DN trivia,  sail number 265 was assigned to Barbara Frank of Pewaukee at the 1957 Northwest which was sailed on Lake Monona in Madison, WI. The sail number was transferred to William Perrigo in 1958. I suspect that the artist randomly chose the sail numbers.

Area Iceboat Shop Deconstructs to Reassemble

Krueger Whitehorse Iceboat Shop

Ken Whitehorse

In 4LIYC iceboat shop news, the Krueger-Whitehorse shop is being torn down and the contents relocated 50 feet north of its present location. This all began in the 1950s when Walter and Harry Whitehorse needed a place to work on their open-wheel sprint and midget race cars. Iceboats were added to the mix in the 1960s when Harry and Walter discovered a way to keep going fast in the winter. Paul Krueger has been in the shop since the beginning when he was a teenager, first turning wrenches on midgets and then working his magic on Skeeters.

Mad Men On Ice: The Motor City & Iceboat Advertising

Geoff Sobering emailed a link to this old favorite, a Chevrolet advertising newsreel from 1935 featuring a car racing a stern-steerer. A few days ago, Bob Rast posted the Oldsmobile magazine ad below in the 4LIYC Facebook group. (DN class records don’t indicate who owned 289)
Both got me thinking about how much Detroit’s auto industry and iceboating have been intertwined, not only in advertising, but in boat development and iceboat skippers who have ties to GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc.  Detroit has given us the DN and Elmer Millinbach, iceboat innovator.  Renegader Lorne Sherry (Ron’s father)  designed and tested trailer hitches for GM, DNers Paul Goodwin, Jim Grogan, Ted Flack, Rob Holman, and Leon Lebeau work in the industry. Photographer Gretchen Dorian’s family owned a GM dealership in Detroit.
Iceboat ads have been featured on this website previously but they are always fun to revisit to help get us fired up for the upcoming season. I’ll post a few more in the coming weeks. If you have a favorite and want to share it, let me know.

Oldsmobile DN Iceboat Ad

Regatta Dates 2019

Wisconsin Iceboat Hotline

  • DN Western Challenge
    Dec 1-2, 2018
  • DN Western Region Championship
    Jan 5-6, 2019  DN North America
  • International Skeeter Association & Renegade Championship
    Jan 11-13, 2019
  • Northwest Regatta (NIYA)
    January 18-20, 2019
  • DN  European Championship
    January 20-25, 2019
  • DN & Ice Opti Junior Worlds
    February 4-8, 2019
  • DN Gold Cup & North American Championship
    February 16 – 23, 2019
    DN North America
  • WSSA Stern Steerer Championship
  • Nite Nationals
  • Baikal Ice Sailing Week, Siberia
    March 16 – 23, 2019


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Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 14
  • November 29 THURSDAY Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 12
  • December 27 THURSDAY
  • January 9 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 23 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 6
  • February 20 Business Meeting
  • March 6
  • March 20

Location: Angelo’s 5801 Monona Drive Monona, WI Time: 6:30 PM alternate weeks 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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