Some of the ice sailing community may be spending more time at home this winter than on the ice – depending upon local conditions. If sailing is impossible this season, let the internet help you explore more about the sport and its history in the form of online books. This is the first in a series of posts about ice sailing books.
I stumbled across a new-to-me resource, the HathiTrust digital library. What a surprise to find a complete digital version of Frederic Gardiner’s Wings On The Ice. Published in 1938, Wings On The Ice has been one of the most sought after ice-sailing books in North America for many years. My copy was an eBay purchase that cost the equivalent of a gallon of epoxy and hardener.
I learn something new or relearn something forgotten each time I open Wings On The Ice. For instance, Harry Melges Sr. is listed along with Walter Beauvais -Beauvais is credited with originating the Skeeter class – as a designer of the Four Runner Iceboat. (See Iceboating Tech That Never Caught On.)
Wings On The Ice is loaded with such a great wealth of information that I could devote a whole year of website posts to it. Speaking of relearning things forgotten, the book also references some of the earliest plans for ice yachts from Fredrik Henrik af Chapman’s book, ArchitecturNavalis Mercatoria published in 1768. (See Chapman’s Iceboat Plans of 1768.)
If ice sailing building, racing, and history interest you, pull up a chair to the virtual fire, turn on the e-reader, and immerse yourself in the details of this sport.