Robert “Ecky” Eckstein

Robert “Ecky” Eckstein

Photo: Ken Norton

UPDATE: October 16, 2019: Please join family and friends of Robert “Ecky” Eckstein at his celebration of life
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
LOCATION: South Side Ice Yacht Club
1842 S. Main st. Oshkosh.
DATE: Monday, October 28, 2019
TIME: 3 PM – 8 PM
Open bar and catered food.

Oshkosh ice yacht sailor, Robert “Ecky” Eckstein, passed away on October 13, 2019. Ecky was a long time Lake Winnebago iceboater and sailed A stern-steerers, Renegades and multiple other iceboats. He was a lifetime member of the South Side Ice Yacht Club in Oshkosh, WI.

In true ice boating spirit, Ecky always offered his help and shop to any sailor who needed it. An example of that was during the 2006 Renegade regatta on Lake Winnebago when he made sure two 4LIYC skippers were able to complete their regattas after some first-day equipment failures by fashioning new steering components and a front stay tang.

George Gerhardt and Ecky enjoying a beautiful day of sailing Ken Norton’s boat in Florida a couple of years ago.

On Twinbeds

On Twinbeds

TWINBEDS on Lake Kegonsa at the 2002 Northwest Regatta

The McCormick family, long time members of the 4LIYC, have owned TWINBEDS, a Class C Stern Steerer, since 1949 when 19 year old Bill McCormick purchased the boat from Charlie Bleck who lived in Monona, WI. Peter McCormick, who takes her tiller these days, has been on a quest to learn more about the history of the boat. Charlie Bleck purchased the boat from Phil Berdner, an Oshkosh Ice Yacht Club member and owner of a marina. When Chuck bought the boat it had a spare mast that was 4-5 ft taller than the sail. Chuck replaced the mast with a shorter one.

TWINBEDS was built here in Madison by Carl Bernard in the Hudson River style instead of the Madison style- which means she was built after 1927. (MISS MADISON was the last Madison style stern steerer built here). TWINBEDS has captured the Class C stern steerer Northwest regatta title 11 times.

Garage Find

Garage Find


Ran across this photo on the Historic Madison, WI Photo Group’s Facebook page over the weekend. The photo was part of a collection that a group member found in her dad’s garage. It’s titled “Boat House U.W. Dec. 97” (as in 1897). In it we see a Madison style stern-steerer, designed and built by William Bernard on Lake Mendota near the University of Wisconsin boat house (which was torn down in the 1950s). The Bernard Boat House was just a quick sail down the lake from the university. Back then, university fraternities owned iceboats and iceboats could also be rented by the day from the Bernard Boat House. Below is a photo dated 2 years previous to the UW Boat House photo with an impressive line up of stern-steerers at Bernard’s Boat House.

“Dean’s RED ARROW” looks similar to the stern-steerer in the 1897 photo.

In The Throw-Back-Thursday News: Emil Fauerbach

In The Throw-Back-Thursday News: Emil Fauerbach

Page from William Bernard Scrapbook. PRINCESS II, built by Wm. Bernard and sailed by Email Fauerbach.

A few days ago, 2 separate emails arrived within hours of each other regarding history about one of Madison’s original champion ice sailors, Emil Fauerbach. It was a sign that it’s time for a history post. Henry Bossett ran across an article about the Madison ice yachting scene published in 1904 the New Jersey Ashbury Park Press. Peter Fauerbach (Emil’s great great nephew) and all things Fauerbach historian, shared a snippet he found in his research. Emil Fauerbach was most famous for winning the Hearst Cup in 1914 in PRINCESS II. He died a few years later and left such a void in Madison’s ice sailing community that many thought it wouldn’t survive.
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