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.

November 14: First 4LIYC Meeting of the 2018-2019 Season Info

First Meeting of the Season Tonight Nov 14

Please join us tonight for the first meeting of the 4LIYC ice sailing season. Same place (Angelo’s Italian Restaurant), same time, and same great all you can eat pizza buffet for only $10.

Location: Angelo’s Italian Restaurant
5801 Monona Drive
Monona, WI
Time: 6:30 PM alternate weeks
We meet downstairs and all are welcome.

See all meeting dates here.

First, Eh!

Thunder Bay, Ontario DN sailor, Mike Madge is once again the first to ice sail in North America (as far as we know). Last year, he was sailing on November 9. Another box ticked!

Just back from Whitefish Lake
4″ of Black ice with maybe 1/4″ covering of Snow.Wind 15 gusting to 20 made for a fast ride

Meanwhile in Minnesota, lakes are coming online in the usual places near Alexandria and with tonight’s low at 10F, it will only get better! Stay tuned to the Minnesota ice boating website for the latest.

Steve Arnold

Steve Arnold

Some sad news to share, Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member Steve Arnold passed on over the weekend. Steve served as 4LIYC Commodore for several terms from the late 1980s to early ’90s. He started racing in the DN class, then moved onto Nites and Skeeters, and was very competitive in club races. Steve also helped run our club races and regattas.  He was an avid pilot and in the last 20 years, we’d see him circling above us in his plane while we raced and often landing on the ice for a visit.


2018 SIBC Swap Meet: November 4, 2018


Get them fresh and hot!

Another milestone that brings us closet to the season! If you are looking to buy an iceboat, don’t miss this important event.
Via Jane Pegel:

Skeeter Ice Boat Club: 33rd Annual Swap Meet

Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Time: 9:00 to noon
With a free raffle at 11:30 a.m.There is no charge for participating.
Location: Lucke’s Cantina
220 N. Elkhorn Rd. (WI Hwy 67), Williams Bay, WI.

For more info, email sailing19@charter.net

This is the day to swap, buy, and sell new and used iceboats and equipment. Boat builders & hardware manufacturers will display new products. Breakfast and/or lunch will be available at Lucke’s.

Display area:

Items for sale can be set up on the black top parking area at Lucke’s
and in the vacant lot to the south of the old Sailing Specialists building.

Please do not park your cars in the display area.
Please do not park or set up your displays adjacent to neighboring businesses. A short distance to the north there is a municipal parking lot located at the intersection of Elkhorn Rd. and Stark St. (on the north side of Stark St., opposite Burrough’s Floor Coverings).

Iceboating’s Spookiest Story: The Strange Tale of the Ice Soar

Today is Halloween which brings to mind iceboating’s favorite (and only) ghost story, “The Strange Tale of the Ice Soar“, by Greg Whitehorse. Make it part of your Halloween tradition!

Outside the windows of the South Side Ice Yacht Club, the Skeeters, Renegades and Nites were effortlessly gliding over the dark gray ice sheet. Suddenly, sailing into view came a chilling blast from the past. A huge stern-steerer, its yellow stained, canvas sails straining against the twenty mile per hour wind. Behind its sheer size, the Skeeters, Renegades and Nites disappeared for seconds at a time before appearing again on the other side.
Two, no three burly men steered and cranked and pulled, trying to tame the unruly beast. Moving in a southerly direction, its left (port? starboard?) runner gently lifts off the ice, a few feet at first, and then quickly shoots skyward. The runner plank is at an impossible angle to the ice. Surely the beast is going to capsize, but no, the three burly men continue to steer and crank and pull and the ice yacht slowly regains a more proper stance on the frozen surface. A slight change in direction to take advantage of a felt, but unseen wind shift, and the beast sailed away from view.

Continue reading.


Photo: Kai Linde – posted on Isseiling Salten Facebook Page

The iceboating season began in Norway today!
Are your runners sharp? Ice is just around the corner for all of us here in North America. Get ready for the season by attending an iceboat swap meet in your area this coming weekend. The Skeeter Iceboat Club is holding theirs in Williams Bay, WI on Sunday morning, November 4.  More information.
Here’s a list of swap meets across the country taking place this weekend.
From the Norwegian ice sailing Facebook page Isseiling Salten

Then ice sailing season is open! Beautiful “Black ice” About 7 cm on kosmovatn. It blew fresh breeze lake on rognan, but almost too small to sail on kosmovatn. Further out on the lake, the wind came from all sides and very uneven….. I’m glad I took the day off and took the chance to try valnesfjord the ice for thaw set in now tonight.

A Winning View From Above

Craig Wilson Kite Photographer

Craig Wilson and his kite at the 2009 Renegade Championship on Green Lake, Green Lake, Wisconsin.

Long before drones became  prevalent, Kite photographer Craig Wilson recognized the beauty of boats on ice. He recently won an award from the country and museum where kite photography all began. Craig’s submission of a vintage stern-steerer  photo hangs in a museum in France!
Tip of the Helmet: Jeff Russell
From Craig’s Facebook Page, Kite Aerial Photography by Craig Wilson:

Craig Wilson Kite Photographer IceboatUsing a kite to lift a camera has been a thing for 130 years. Frenchman Arthur Batut is most generally accepted as the first person to accomplish that feat in 1888. This past summer a worldwide aerial photo competition was hosted in Labruguiere France with selected images shown at the Aurther Batut Museum.
At the end of the show I was one of the prize winners. Quite an honor to have some of my artwork selected to be included in the show and really amazing to be a prize winner in the birthplace of Kite Aerial Photography.
Craig Wilson

NASA Ice Check

Here’s a nice flat piece of ice estimated to be over a mile wide to get us in the mood for upcoming ice checks. Learn more about how tabular icebergs are formed on Live Science.

4LIYC Nites Meet November 7

Nite Iceboats Lake Mendota

Photo: aliheinemann20 via Instagram

For the second year in a row, the 4LIYC Nite fleet is meeting for some fun and to make sure all Nite sailors are ready for the season. If you are interested in iceboating or learning about the Nite fleet, please join in.

The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Nite fleet is getting together on November 7th for a fleet meeting, dinner and a night of throw down competition. If you have never been there it is a blast. Come witness Grant’s prowess at Wack a Mole, see if Donny has any football chops, perhaps we see Greg S. and his basketball touch,. For our more electronic skilled members, there just maybe an Asteroid, Centipede or Frogger game lurking in the building. If you do not show up you get grill duty the first day on the ice. Congratulations new fleet captain.
Date: Wednesday November 7, 2018
Time: 6:30 for dinner, meeting, and games
Location: Dave and Buster’s on the west side in West Town aka (old Sears spot) Map
Remember the Nite fleet are the fun people. Hint: That is a friendly challenge Renegade fleet.
See you there
John Hayashi.
4LIYC Nite Skipper


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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