The concept of bow-steering iceboats is much older than I had imagined, which makes sense because iceboaters have a long tradition of trying different technologies

“Can you imagine sailing on a pond and not a drop of water to be seen?”

Henry Bossett discovered an 1897 illustration and an 1850 Boston newspaper article while gathering material for our online Cape Cod Maritime Museum presentation, proving that sailors were familiar with front-runner steering in the 19th century. (Museum presentation, Sunday, April 30, 1:30 CT / 2:30 ET. Register here.)

The big boat in the illustration filled with passengers reminds me of the BERZERKER (a stern-steerer) last seen on Maumee Bay in Toledo. The BERZERKER was Frankenstiened together by the Toledo Ice Yacht Club as a one-weekend party boat. BERZERKER gave many people their first iceboat ride on Lake Erie during that Winter Carnival weekend in 2007.