Historic Iceboats on Display at White Bear Lake, MN

Historic Iceboats on Display at White Bear Lake, MN

A vintage Skeeter iceboat built at Johnson Boat Works in 1945 before and after restoration.

If you are anywhere near White Bear Lake, MN on Saturday, June 22, you won’t want to miss the 14th Annual White Bear Lake Classic & Vintage Boat Show (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m – Lake Ave. at White Bear Shopping Center) where a vintage Skeeter and Stern-Steerer will be exhibited.

In conjunction with the boat show, the White Bear Press has published an entertaining write up about the Skeeter restoration and a historic Stern-Steerer that will both be on display.
(We’re glad you didn’t burn the boat! – ed.)

Old ice boats: not for faint of heart
By Debra Neutkens/Editor Jun 12, 2019
When he brought the project home, fellow ice boaters urged him to burn it. “I said, ‘no, we can’t really do that,'” Driscoll recalled. Then three people “put up their hands” and agreed to help in the restoration: John Taylor, Steve Wiberg and Steve Johnson. Steve is the grandson of Johnson Boat Works founder J.O. Johnson, a Norwegian immigrant who built his business on the shore of White Bear Lake. Continue reading.

UPDATE: Take a quick ride on Bald Eagle Lake in the PHANTOM Stern-Steerer. Tip of the Helmet: Pat Heppert

Steve Arnold: Celebration of Life June 29

Steve Arnold: Celebration of Life June 29

Download Steve Arnold Celebration Of Life flyer.

UPDATE: Please make your reservation with Don Sanford by Wednesday, June 12!
Please join family and friends celebrating Steve Arnold
Saturday, June 29 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Steve campaigned his Nite, Nite Nite and his A-Skeeter, Intrepid all around Wisconsin, the Midwest, Canada and New Jersey during the late 1970s and early 80s. He passed away unexpectedly in November 2018.

We will gather at:
Wisconsin Aviation, Dane County Regional Airport
3606 Corben Ct.
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 268-5000
• Buck and Honey’s will cater hot and cold appetizers, beer, wine and soft drinks.
• Share stories and photos from Steve’s wide circle of iceboating and flying friends and family
• Share in a special “Gone West” toast from the Quiet Birdmen – an aviation organization that Steve supported for over 25 years. RSVP by June 15, 2019

Because we’re holding this celebration in an airport hangar, security requires a firm list of all registered guests prior to the event. Please send your name and the names of all guests in your party, along with your phone number and e-mail address to: Don Sanford
dpsanford@charter.net by June 15, 2019

“Building In The Big City”: A C-Skeeter Rises

“Building In The Big City”: A C-Skeeter Rises

Pre-Glue Test Fit

Daniel Hearn elevates his C-Skeeter build.
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment”

Building in the Big City

I’m going to need new business cards, After completing my pre-glue test fit, I realized I’m not just a “Builder” anymore. I’ve gone vertical, so I must be a “Developer.” My basement projects have consumed all the available horizontal space. Anything more and you might see me featured on an episode of “Hoarders.” Is anyone else amazed at the kind of crap people will watch on TV? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly what you’d call “highbrow.” My wife has been training the Oconomowoc hillbilly out of me for 35 years, with limited success. But come on, “Moonshiners!?” When subtitles are necessary to understand a show’s characters who are speaking something that resembles English, that might be a good indication of a waste of time.

Back to development. As is typical with construction projects, my staging was a bit off. An unforeseen problem with my Sitka supply chain left me one board short. Not wanting to idle my high-priced labor and delay progress, I charged ahead with the available materials. Fast forward to today, and I’ve got a mostly completed frame, but nowhere to glue up my second side board. Hmm…what would a Developer do? Yes, that’s it, bring in the crane and scrape the sky!

At this point in my build, my mechanical equipment was collecting dust, so why not put it to use? With my Harken powered crane in place, I hoisted my frame out of the way and created the space I needed to glue up my second sideboard. Whoa…and when I cut her loose from the oppressive chains of the building table, if she didn’t go into an immediate hike, like she was rounding the top mark in a blow! This frozen filly may be a hard one to tame.
Daniel Hearn

Big City Building

Lowell North

Lowell North

Class A Skeeters with North Sails (created by Henry Bossett at the North Sails New Jersey loft) line up at the 2010 Northwest Regatta on Lake Winnebago. Photo: Joe Terry

Lowell North, one of the most influential men in sailing passed on June 2nd. That brought to mind something that has become iconic for me, Joe Terry’s photo of a perfect line up of Skeeters, all with the big blue North sail logos. Lowell North had a strong Wisconsin connection in Madison native, Peter Barrett, who won an Olympic medal with Lowell and “founded the second North Sails loft (Seal Beach, CA) before moving home to Pewaukee, WI to start North Sails Midwest, the first North loft outside California.”

There’s been a long tradition of ice sailors who have worked with North Sails. You’ll find some of that history in 4LIYC Nite sailor, Don Sanford’s story about the life of Peter Barrett.

Peter Barrett: A Life Under Sail by Don Sanford

In 1964, Lowell North hired Peter to manage North’s second sail loft in Costa Mesa, California. Peter and his family moved to California in the summer of 1965. Peter would work at North Sails for the next 21 years. Five years later, in 1969, he and his family moved to Pewaukee to manage the new North Sails Midwest loft. Together with his old UW sailing buddies Charlie Miller, Art Mitchell, and Peter and Olaf Harken, they operated North Sails Midwest, Harken Yacht Fittings and Vanguard Sailboats from the basement of an old bottling plant in Waukesha. They all lived on Pewaukee Lake, raced Finns and were members of the Pewaukee Yacht Club.

Williams Bay Centennial Celebrates Ice Sailing

Williams Bay Centennial Celebrates Ice Sailing

Skeeter Ice Boat Club ice sailor Jane Wiswell Pegel.

Via Susie Pegel:

Williams Bay, Wisconsin (“Iceboat Center of the World”) is celebrating its Centennial in 2019. It has been 100 years since being incorporated as a village. Four booklets are now on display at the Barrett Memorial Library in Williams Bay:
1)”Iceboating and the Skeeter Ice Boat Club”
2)”Jane Pegel—Iceboat Champion”
3)”The Williams Bay Sailing Club”
4) “Dr. Clifford Y. Wiswell—Town Doctor”

A series of special events will be taking place during the year culminating on October 19 with the big blowout celebration including food, beverages, entertainment, bike parade and more!!

Steve Arnold Photos: The Biggest of Planks

Steve Arnold Photos: The Biggest of Planks

Bill Mattison builds the DEUCE runner plank c. 1980, from the Steve Arnold collection

Vintage ’80s

Bill Mattison with help from 4LIYC members built a new runner plank for the World’s Largest Iceboat©, the DEUCE, in the early 1980s in his Williamson St. shop. Luckily, we have photos that the late Steve Arnold took during that build. Twenty some years later, Bill supervised the lofting and building of DEUCE’s hull at Rick Hennig’s Cabbage Patch shop in Racine which culminated in a glue-party that attracted iceboaters from all over the Midwest who wanted to take part in that historic occasion. (Photos and stories documenting that build here.) I can’t think of a better time to repost Dave Elsmo’s classic video about the DEUCE, “54 Foot of Fast”, embedded below.

%d bloggers like this: