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.

NEW: Pay Your Dues Online

4LIYC Meeting :
Thursday, January 15, 2024 on Zoom. More information.
DN Senior Shuffle: Postponed More information
4LIYC Shipstore: Order custom iceboat shirts, hats, and gear. More information.
 Order your 4LIYC Burgee

Eight Bells: Tim McCormick

Peter, Tim, and Greg McCormick on Lake Kegonsa, March 2023

The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club mourns the loss of our esteemed member, Tim McCormick, who passed away early this morning after a prolonged illness.

As news of Tim’s passing spreads, I wrote this post during and after the annual meeting of the DN class in Waconia, MN, and asked Ron Sherry for some comments. He remarks, “We lost an icon of the iceboating community who has won International Skeeter Association and Northwest Regatta Renegade titles, was a great class representative, and helped to grow the sport. Ha has served as our secretary-treasurer of the National Iceboat Authority since Jane Pegel retired and has done an outstanding job of taking iceboating in the future.” On a more personal note, I have fond memories of being able to spend time with Tim, his brother Andy, and cousin Peter last March on Lake Kegonsa, Tim’s last time ice sailing.

We extend our deepest condolences to Tim’s family and friends during this difficult time. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

UPDATE: The ice sailing community is posting tributes and condolences to Tim on the 4LIYC Facebook page. Jane Pegel emailed this last night: “The iceboating community will have a difficult time finding someone to replace Tim McCormick. He was outstanding both on the race course and the time-he devoted to the National Iceboat Authority .
With respect, Jane Pegel”

Northwest – Across the Ice

Across the Ice | Minnesota 4K from ImageStream Press on Vimeo.

Winter may be coming to an end, but not yet for the 2024 Northwest Regatta on Lake Waconia in Minnesota. Some rough ice for iceboating but good winds and weather. The Northwest is the oldest ice sailing regatta in North America dating back to 1913. The DN Class North American Championship begins on Monday, 2/25/24. Great to have this event in Waconia, Minnesota.

Aerial segments filmed with a Mavic 3, edited and color graded with Vegas. Portions of the film have been sped up to compress the time over the vast distances with adjustments to lighting for effect. Flown within visual flight ranges, max altitude 400ft AGL across Minnesota. Music by Christopher Dennis Coleman “Vesper”, CHPTRS “Last Chance, “You Will Find Me” courtesy of the Musicbed.

4LIYC Meeting News: Celebrating Success on March 6 @ Four Lakes Yacht Club

We have an exciting update regarding our upcoming club meeting. In light of recent events, we have rescheduled the meeting initially planned for February 28 to Wednesday, March 6. This adjustment will allow us to gather at Four Lakes Yacht Club and celebrate our club members’ recent achievements at the Northwest Regatta.

We have much to celebrate, including Ken Whitehorse’s E Skeeter Championship, Doug Kolner’s 2nd Place Renegade finish, and Bob Cummins’ 3rd place in the DN fleet. The club will provide pizza and drinks for everyone to enjoy as we celebrate the achievements of our members.
Remember, the meeting of Wednesday, February 28, 2024 is canceled and rescheduled for March 6. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Time: 6:30 PM
Four Lakes Yacht Club
6312 Inland Way, Monona, WI
Parking: There is a public parking ramp across the street from the Yacht Club

2024 Northwest Prize Giving

Congratulations to all participants of the Northwestern Yachting Association Regatta! Thank you for your dedication and passion for the sport as you competed in North America’s oldest ice sailing regatta, a tradition that began in 1913.

The wind never fully cooperated Sunday morning, leading to a challenging waiting game. The regatta was called complete Sunday at 11 AM by NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who contributed to the regatta’s success, from those who scouted for ice, set courses and starting blocks to those who assisted with off-site tabulating, including Ann Foeller and Mary Jane Schalk.

Northwest DN champion Robin Lagraviere, alongside his fellow Canadians Nicholas Mabboux and Jacek Marzenski, were notably absent as they were out on the course training for the upcoming DN North American Championship, set to begin on Lake Waconia today, Monday February 26.
Follow the action here.


Regatta Watch: 2024 ISA Postponed to March 8 – 10

NIYA B Skeeter First Place – Jim McDonagh – Photo: Kevin Barta

The 2024 International Skeeter Association Regatta is postponed until March 8 – 10. Hoping for a cool down after next weekend’s forecasted warm temperatures. Next update, Sunday, March 3, 2024.


Northwest Regatta – Day 3 – AM Update

C Stern Steerer ACE OF SPADES – Photo: Kevin Barta


Day two of the 2024 Northwest Regatta brought clear, sunny skies, ideal conditions for a day filled with races and camaraderie on Lake Waconia in Minnesota. As the day progressed, the race committee concluded the day’s activities earlier than planned in light of the building winds.

Mike Peters and ACE OF SPADES

Ken Whitehorse tells the story of the when Buddy pulled out a bottle of Cutty Sark out of his jacket at Northwest. John Davis is on the plank. John has been attending the Northwest since 1954.

A highlight of the day was the presentation of the esteemed Bottle Trophy to the deserving crew of the C Stern Steerer ACE OF SPADES, helmed by Mike Peters and Terry Reynolds. In his eloquent speech, Ken Whitehorse shared the rich history of the trophy, first sponsored by the legendary Buddy Melges. Mike Peters and ACE OF SPADES with crew Terry Reynolds carry on the bottle trophy legacy this year.

2024 Northwest: Day 2 – AM Update

Renegaders Doug Kolner and Mike Derusha at the one and two blocks.


Update –  Post updated to include the real location. The webmaster regrets the error and blames it on not enough coffee. The 2024 Northwest Regatta kicked off on Lake WACONIA in Minnesota on Friday, February 23, the first one held in five years.

The winds remained relatively steady throughout most of the day, ranging from 8 to 12 mph. The Race Committee had to reset the course twice. However, as the day progressed, the winds began to fade. The last Stern Steerer, B Skeeter, and DN races were black-flagged because of the time limit.

The bumpy ice conditions tested each sailor’s skills. After each race, sailors had to check all fittings to ensure they remained secure, noted DNer John Harper (US60) from Michigan.

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Schedule Update
9 AM: First Race. Stern Steerers Race #2
Followed by B & C Skeeter Race #2
Normal rotation then resumes:
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter

Michigan Renegader Peter Sarelis turns the hotel hallway into a sail loft.

2024 Northwest Update: Stern Steerers Race at 9AM on Saturday 2-24

Photo: Jacek Marzenski

A long day on the ice. I’ll have more early tomorrow morning. A message tonight from NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

Saturday, February 24, 2024 Schedule Update
9 AM: First Race. Stern Steerers Race #2
Followed by B & C Skeeter Race #2
Normal rotation then resumes:
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter

Day 1:2023 Northwest Starting Positions

Good Morning from Waconia, MN, site of the 2024 Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Regatta. Starting positions will also be posted on the RC trailer on the ice.
Skipper’s meeting at the launch at 9 AM. See you on the ice!
The last time the NIYA was held was in 2019 on Lake Pepin in MN. The Northwest is the oldest ice sailing regatta in North America and was first sailed in Menominee, Michigan in 1913. It survived two World Wars, a pandemic and it’s great to be back. We are pleased to see such a large DN fleet this year with the DN North Americans having been called on for Waconia as well. The DN North American Championship begins on Monday.

Friday, February 23, 2024 Schedule
Skipper’s Meeting at 9 AM at the launch
First start 10 AM
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter
NIYA Annual Meeting at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn, Chanhassen, MN

2024 Northwest Regatta Information

The 2024 Northwestern Ice Yachting Association regatta is called on for Waconia Lake in Waconia, Minnesota.
Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Regatta
Dates: February 23 – 25, 2024
Location: Lake Waconia, Waconia MN
Launch: Lake Waconia Regional Park
8170 Paradise Ln, Waconia, MN 55387

Regatta Headquarters: Holiday Inn Express Chanhassen, MN
$109 per night King
$119 per night 2 Queens
Online Booking Link
If you are booking online, please make sure to put in the correct dates otherwise it will say there isn’t an existing block.
Tell them you are with the Northwest Regatta to get the discount.

AmericInn by Wyndham Chanhassen, MN

Country Inn & Suites Chanhassen, MN

Super 8 by Wyndham Chaska, MN

Register: Click here to register online.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, February 23
Registration closes at 7AM
Starting positions for the first race in each class will be posted on a Competitor list by 9:30 am at https://www.iceboat.org/regattas/niya/
First start 10 AM
E Skeeter
A,B,C,D Stern Steerer
ISA B & C Skeeter
NIYA Annual Meeting at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn, Chanhassen, MN

Saturday, February 24
First start at 9:30 AM

Sunday, February 25
First start at 9:30 AM

Race Documents
Notice of Race
Sailing Instructions

Online Ship’s Store

Regatta Dates 2024


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National Iceboat Authority Web Page

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 8 Zoom
  • November 22 Elections
  • December 6
  • December 20
  • January 3 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 17 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • January 31 – in person, no Zoom
  • February 15 Business Meeting – Zoom only
  • February 28 – in person, no Zoom
  • March 13 – Zoom only

Location: In person at Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club 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.