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:
4LIYC Meeting: January 23 Info

Northwest Notes

Jim Gluek among the ATV tracks with his Skeeter, MERLIN. Photo by Jonathon Ringdahl. See the rest of his photos here.

NIYA Secretary/Treasurer receives key to Lake City from Mayor Mark Nichols

There are a thousand little stories that happen at a Northwest regatta. Watching the magnificent stern-steerers take to the stage brings us back to the roots of this sport. Here are a few random stories from the regatta. And hey, you should plan on going next year!
I’ll post more photos and commentary tomorrow.

Regatta like the Northwest do not happen without the time and work from volunteers like the following:
NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk
NIYA Regatta Chair Tim McCormick
NIYA Race Committee members Jay Yaeso, Andy Gratton, George Gerhardt, Chip Sawyer, and John Davenport.
PRO Joe Norton
Assistant to the PRO Scott Goetz (who also brought the 4LIYC ATV)
Tabulating from the Fontana Home Office: Mary Jane Schalk
Lake City Mayor Mark Nichols
The Residents of Lake City

PRO Joe Norton receives key to city from Mayor Mark Nichols

The support that iceboaters receive from the entire town of Lake City is phenomenal. Mayor Mark Nichols has made sure that a porta-potty has been at the landing for the last 3 weekends. He attended our banquet. Saturday night and gave out 3 keys to Lake City (Steve Schalk, Joe Norton, and myself) that recognized our efforts as regatta volunteers. Not only that, but he sailed out to the course on Saturday in his DN and raced! Think about that, how many mayors do you know of that sail iceboats?

 

3 times 3

 

There are 4 of us who have attended all 3 regattas in Lake City this January (the DN Western Regions, the ISA, and the NIYA) :  John Dennis, Jim McDonagh, Steve Orlebeke, and myself.  JD & Jim McDonagh have spent more than half of January on Lake Pepin checking ice and sailing.

 

 

 

ACE OF SPADES & LITTLE WIND line up to race. Photo: Pat Heppert

The Davis stern-steerer family never miss a Northwest regatta. John was thrilled to only have a 3 hour drive this year, the closest the regatta has ever been held to his home in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Daniel Hearn gets ready to race Fred Stritt’s D Stern Steerer Photo: Pat Heppert

Daniel Hearn not only raced and did pretty well in the DN (1st) and Renegade (2nd) classes, he took up Fred Stritt’s offer to race Fred’s D Stern Steerer. Daniel was also seen test driving Pat Heppert’s fast C Skeeter earlier in the day.

Mike Kroll and Gretchen Wilbrandt.

Stern Steerer fanatic Mike Kroll gave soft water Minnesota sailor Gretchen Wilibrandt a ride in his D Stern Steerer. He handed the tiller over to Gretchen and she drove it like she owned it.  Could there be a new stern-steerer sailor at the next WSSA?

 

Northwest Trophy Giving

2019 NIYA Results

Sunday morning’s bitter temperatures and no wind at the Northwest meant the regatta was called complete. Prize giving was set up in the parking lot. My phone’s camera did not appreciate the cold weather as you can see by the quality of the pictures. Congratulations to all who participated and to those who took home some hardware. Thanks to all who made the effort to come to this historic regatta which hadn’t been sailed in 3 years. Well done!

A Stern Steerer 1st & Stern Steerer Overall: Erik Sawyer & crew Rick Hennig

C Stern Steerer 1st: Mike Peters & crew Terry Reynolds

D Stern Steerer: 1st Joe Terry, 2nd John Davis

E Skeeter: 1st John Dennis, 2nd Jay Yaeso

Skeeter Triple Crown for winning both Northwest and ISA: John Dennis

Renegade: 2nd Daniel Hearn, 1st Tim McCormick

DN: 2nd Peter Orlebeke, 1st Daniel Hearn, 1st Junior Soren Hughes

Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

 

Stern-Steerers racing at the 2019 Northwest Regatta on Lake Pepin at Lake City, Minnesota. Photo: Gretchen Dorian

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to February 2 and 3, 2019. The next update will be Sunday, January 27. Check back here at that time.

Andy Gratton

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

NIYA Day 2 PM Update

Provisional Results Back in from an an extremely cold day with light to moderate breeze, enough too power through the snow. It started out light and built throughout the day. All fleets now have 3 races completed.The Northwest had a first today, the mayor of a town where we are sailing joining in to race. Lake City mayor Mark Nichols races soft water boats and raced his first iceboat race today. Off to the banquet.

 

NIYA: Day 1 PM Update

We were able to get 4 races in before the snow came. The DNs, Renegades, the A Skeeters, and the Stern Steerers sailed in light to moderate shifty conditions on 1/4″ snow covered ice. Visibility soon diminished as the flurries arrived and persisted causing racing to be postponed until tomorrow.
We are hoping the flurries end without ending the regatta. Stand by for tomorrow’s update.
Provisional Results

 

Bring It On

The Skeeters are back on Lake Pepin this weekend to bring it on for the Northwest, including this boat, Jim Gluek’s A Skeeter Merlin. A Jim McDonagh video production.

 

Northwest ON for Jan 18-20 @ Lake Pepin MN

Provisional Results
During the regatta, Mary Jane Schalk will be continually uploading Northwest fleet results like she did for the ISA. Check the link often because she tabulates after every race. In the meantime, check out the list of competitors at the Results link.

Notice of Race
Sailing Instructions

Notice – Finishing Method Update for the NIYA Regatta
Please note that the finishing procedure for the One Design classes (DN and Renegade) and the Skeeter Classes must conform to their respective rules per the NIYA By-Laws. Since all of those Classes currently specify use of the Bart rule, that method will be used for 2019 and future NIYA Regattas. The Bart rule method of finish will not be used for the A, B, C, and D class Stern Steerers sailing in their combined race.

Weather Underground PWS KMNLAKEC11

LAUNCH
Roschen Park.

SAILING AREA – WHAT TO KNOW
There’s a fairly obvious pressure ridge about 1/3 of a mile south of the launch. Do not sail to the Willows because of open water. There’s about a  2 mile x 2 mile sailing area. Don’t go wandering off!
MAP

LODGING:
THE WILLOWS:
Willows on the River Condominium Resort
100 Central Point Road
Lake City, MN 55041
1-651-345-9900
Website
Map
When making reservations you must tell them you are with the ISA regatta.
IMPORTANT: Must call the hotel directly at 651-345-9900 to get discount. No Expedia.

    • Single condo rooms sleep 1 – 4.
      Thursday is $125.00, Friday and Saturday are $87.50.
    • Double rooms sleep 6 -8.
      Thursday is $205.00 with Friday and Sat. $127.50.

AMERICINN
Website
1615 N Lakeshore Drive Lake City, Minnesota
651.345.5611.
2 Queen room (no view) 89.90 + tx.
Single queen with a view $89.90 = tx.
2 queen handicap $89.90 + tx.
2 single King $99.90+ tx.
Suite with 1 king and 1 queen separate rooms $109.90 + tx.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, January 18:
8:30 – 9:30 AM Registration at the launch
10 AM First race
Order of Rotation:
See Sailing Instructions for more detail.

  1. DN
  2. Renegade
  3. E Skeeter
  4. A, B, C, D Stern Steerers
  5. ISA B & C Skeeters

6 PM Annual NIYA  Meeting at the AmericInn
NIYA AGENDA

Saturday, January 19
9:30 AM First race
Banquet at the Lake House Restaurant at the Willows.
6:30 PM  cocktails
7:00 PM dinner and order off the menu.

Sunday, January 20
9:30 AM First Race

Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to January 26 and 27. The Northwest Ice Yacht Association regatta has been called on for January 18 to 20, that regatta takes precedence. Further WSSA updates will be posted January 20.
Andy Gratton
WSSA Secretary

The 1901 Minnesota Ice War


50 racing Stern-Steers and an ice harvesting business around Lake Calhoun were not a good mix back in 1901. Read the whole story, “Competition on the ice” from the Southwest Journal.

The people took matters into their own hands. They poured kerosene oil on the ice. The Cedar Lake Ice Company retaliated by laughing that those responsible would simply have to pay more for their unspoiled ice in the summer. And when that didn’t stop them, the ice company started spreading ashes on the ice tracks used by the ice boaters.

Regatta Dates 2019

 

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Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates

2018-2019

  • 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.


YOU ARE SKIPPER NUMBER

TO ROUND THE MARK SINCE NOVEMBER 1999.



Lake Access Permits

A year-round permit required for designated launch sites in the City of Madison and Dane County Parks. Locations include:

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