Sorry, you are 88 years too late for the Skeeter raffle. Likely DUTCHMEN, Carl Bernard’s first Skeeter built in 1935. (Photo, c. 1955: Color slide from the Carl Bernard collection.)

An interesting rabbit hole opened while researching another iceboat. Skeeters first came into the 4LIYC in 1935, much earlier than I had assumed. A 1935 newspaper clipping mentions that a “Class E German type iceboat” had been raffled off by the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club. Carl Bernard had a few photos of an early Skeeter without a springboard set up on the pier at the Bernard Boat House on Lake Mendota. I also remember seeing the German iceboat plans in the Bernard scrapbooks at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

A January 1935 Wisconsin State Journal article reported that nine new Skeeters would be competing with the club, six of which were built by Carl Bernard.  A visit to the State Historical archives to look at the German front-seater plans is needed to fill in the rest of the 4LIYC and Skeeter development history.

The lucky winner of the Skeeter was Jerry Hirsig, an owner of one of Madison’s famous department stores, Wolf Kubly and Hirsig. Hirsig wasn’t an ice boater and purchased the ticket to help the club raise funds. He said he was saving it for his grandson, but there’s no further mention of the boat or grandson in the newspaper archives.

Carl Bernard and the 4LIYC’s focus remained on Stern-Steerers until after WW2 and the Korean War when the Skeeter class became dominant.