UPDATE: The incorrect photo (now below) was used in the original post. The post has been edited with the correct photo.
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Iceboat shop news from Daniel Hearn:
It’s always good to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. With the C-Skeeter, I buddied up to Pat Heppert, and so far, he’s still taking my calls and responding to my texts and emails. When I got intrigued with fixed wing boats, inspired by Dan Clapp’s W28, I reached out to Wing Wizard, John Eisenlohr, who lives in Montana. I had the pleasure of meeting John and some of the other Montana Ice/Dirt Cowboys on our last trip to Fort Peck. Before I knew it, my W28 wanna-be with DN parts had morphed into a 18 ft. tapered wing and flap, with 30″ removable top sections. Plus, a largely enclosed 13 foot hull, 6 foot springboard, and a 12 foot wide plank. I think they call this phenomenon, “project creep.” What is it with iceboaters, anyway? In the immortal words of Dan Clapp himself, “it’s not like we’re racing!”
Here’s a shot of my main wing as it sits now. I’ve just installed the leading edge pieces, but have yet to shape. My hinge boxes are also ready to be installed on the appropriate ribs. After that, I’ve got some additional internal reinforcing to do, and it’s on to skinning. John normally installs the leading edge blocks after the skinning, using ropes with tourniquet-type devices. I decided to mount leading edge blocks first, so I could just use clamps. Guess I’ll find out if this makes the skinning more difficult.
From the news of the odd department, NASA researchers have recently declared rocks as ice sailing entities.
Tip of the Helmet George Gerhardt.
What moves the sailing stones of Death Valley?
…the rock movements occurred during a rare combination of conditions in winter. There had to be a shallow layer of water in the dry lake bed and nighttime temperatures cold enough for the formation of a thin layer of ice. On sunny days, melting caused the ice to break into large floating panels that, driven by light winds, pushed against the rocks to move them, leaving tracks on the desert floor. Read more.
3 Class A Skeeters and the historic Stern-Steerer ROSEMARY on Lake Michigan at Menominee, MI.
In case you missed it, Gretchen Dorian has uploaded all of her spectacular Stern Steerer WSSA and Class A Skeeter photos from the Menominee ice sailing rendezvous weekend of March 6-7. Have a look!
GULL, down from the rafters.
Members of Michigan’s Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club recently gathered to assess a vintage Stern-Steerer iceboat’s condition. They hope to see her sail again and are taking it on as a club project.
She sailed many years and had been idle, we think, since the late ’90s. Our past Commodore Randy Johnson, may his memory be eternal, was the last caretaker of the Stern-Steerer. She did not possess a name. Our Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club named her upon receiving her as the next caretakers in her lineage. It seemed appropriate to name her GULL of Gull Lake. We look forward to letting her soar on home ice once again. We plan to clean and refinish both the hardware and the woodwork. All the parts are there and in solid shape. We will only swap out some steel turnbuckle adjusters that look to have gone beyond their lifetime for safety. I do not have a photo of her sail yet, which is inside our current Commodore’s home for safekeeping. I will post more photos when the weather allows us to unfurl the sail. She sailed, and we don’t know if she ever raced. Some incoming comments seem to say she shared ice in the Toledo area. We have a trailer project started. We plan to bring her to the ice wherever it may show….. maybe Fort Peck?
Peter Sarelis, Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club, Michigan
The world’s ice sailing community is growing more extensive, with Chinese sailing clubs discovering the DN. Jinzhou Yachting and Sailing Association and Jinzhou Bay Sailing Club officially joined IDNIYRA Europe this past weekend during their annual Secretary’s meeting. A Ron Sherry-built DN was shipped to China a few years ago, and the Jinzou Sailing Club purchased DN plans to build their boats soon after. According to Google maps, Jinzhou Bay is only a nine-hour drive to Vladivostok, Russia, where DN ice sailing is very popular. It will be interesting to watch the development of organized ice sailing in China. Perhaps they will be curious about what it’s like to sail a Skeeter or Stern-Steerer.
Via IDNIYRA Europe:
…This weekend at our annual National Secretaries’ Meeting we had some very special guests in attendance:
On behalf of the Chinese DN Fleet, Mr. Wang Qiguang chairman of the Jinzhou Yachting and Sailing Association and Jinzhou Bay Sailing Club, Mr. Wu Ming director of the club and Ms. Zhu Di, Chinese-Canadian interpreter was also invited to serve throughout the process.
…As they told us, in the past three years, during the introduction, training and participation in- and hosting of various icesailing competitions, they stumbled across pictures and videos of DN iceboats on the Internet. The appearance, structure, speed and specifications of the DN immediately aroused everyone’s interest. In 2019, they purchased plans from North America and manufactured a few of China’s first iceboats of the class. Last year contact has been established with IDNIYRA – Europe and official talks began on joining the Organisation. We received their application of membership earlier this year.
…We wholeheartedly welcome the Chinese Fleet in our Class Association!
Count them, 18 DNs!
Via Chickawaukee Ice Yacht Club’s Bill Bucholz:
NOTICE OF REGATTA
Thursday, May 13- Sunday May 16 at Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, Maine.
Loring AFB is a closed base with two 2mi long runways that are 300’ wide with many taxi ways between the runways as well as several outpost taxi areas that are sailable, including a large pad area suitable for large fleet starts. It is likely the best asphalt land sailing location on the East Coast of the US. Our leasing of the facility for the weekend includes usage of a large hangar that we can store all the boats in with our masts and sails up! There are also restrooms nearby in a separate building.
Free sailing, tuning and touring Thursday, racing Fri-Sat-Sun. Combination of short courses and the 7 mile full base long course. Starts to be dail-up or standing depending on wind. Bring a stop watch. Racing shall be governed by the NIA iceboat racing rules, as well as some that are specific to the BloKarts. Read more