UPDATE SEPTEMBER 7, 2020: Mike Butler corrects the record:“Just a couple of corrections. The boats name is really the Ace of Spade. Not sure why that was. It was not built for my dad. Connie Korsmo built it for my great uncle Ray Butler who worked with Connie at Madison Kipp. This would have been around 1935. Ray gave it to my dad after the war.
He built the new hull, that Mike has now, in the 50’s after he boom jibed the boat and damaged the hull. The attached photos are of the original hull. I still have the blueprint of that boat. Jack Ripp took the photos. Jack took a lot of photos over the years and I got together with Jack and dad shortly before he died. Spent an afternoon going over lots of Jack’s pictures. Hopefully someone still has them.”
Peter Fauerbach noted that Connie Korsma was the chief engineer at Madison Kipp Corporation. “The Kipp” as it’s often called here produces machined die castings and has been in operation since 1898.
Here’s another beautiful iceboat model from Mike Butler up in Oshkosh, WI of his dad Dave’s C Class Stern-Steerer ACE OF SPADES. When Jerry Simon asked the late Jack Ripp about the boat’s lineage, Jack told him Connie Korsmo, who worked at Madison Kipp, built 2 Hudson River style C Class Stern-Steerers, one for himself and the other for Dave’s uncle, Ray Butler, Sometime later, Dave added a new cockpit backbone, likely for comfort. Dave Butler was a life long 4LIYC member who served as a officer and was inducted into the 4LIYC Honor roll in 2012.
And the ACE OF SPADES? Just look for the bright orange/red stern-steerer at any regatta. She’s currently owned by Mike Peters.
ACE OF SPADES, Mike Peter’s C Class Stern Steerer at the 2019 Northwest on Lake Pepin. Photo: Pat Heppert
HAPPY NATIONAL RIDE THE WIND DAY! Sailing Lake CDA isn’t just for the summer. In this photo (circa 1890) Fort Sherman soldiers are ice boating and skating on Lake Coeur d’Alene! That is Tubbs Hill in background. George Donovan, 4th Inft. band from Fort Sherman may have been a member of the skating party.
Johnson Boatworks B Class Stern steerer model c 1930
Previous: Minneapolis Play Week
Last week, Jim Gluek shared some family history about his grandfather who raced a Johnson Boatworks-built B Class Stern-Steerer in Minneapolis. Jim has found the perfect place to display the trophy, right next to the model of the stern-steerer that likely dates from around the 1920s.
Jim’s grandfather’s model is a good excuse to take another look at the world of iceboat models which have become highly prized collector pieces. Below are photos of William Bernard and son Carl’s models. (The Bernard Boathouse on Lake Mendota is where iceboat racing began in Madison.) The Wisconsin State Historical Society has a Bernard model iceboat in its collection that Bill Mattison has restored twice. Let us know if you have a model iceboat!
Jim Gluek (Skeeter, DN, and Nite class) came across some family history in the form of this vintage trophy won by his grandfather back in 1927 on Lake Minnetonka. Jim’s grandfather raced a Johnson Boatworks-built B Class Stern Steerer. Jim also mentioned that when conditions are right on Minnetonka, Harry Allen rigs up his vintage B Class Johnson stern-steerer and takes it through the paces. (What iceboater wouldn’t want a shirt with that beautifully designed graphic?)
The Johnson Boatworks was founded by John O. Johnson in 1896 on White Bear Lake in Minnesota. In addition to building iceboats, Johnson was instrumental in scow and other soft water designs. (Johnson Boatworks is now known as White Bear Boatworks. )
Johnson Stern-Steerers have been featured over the years here on iceboat.org. This picture dates from 2013 when Fond du Lac iceboaters Dave and Jeff Lallier gave their then 84 year-old mother a ride in a Johnson B. Note the “banana” spar.
The Dane County Historical Society Newsletter has published an article by our own Don Sanford about the historic stern-steerer MARY B.
The Mary B was fast, really fast, but just who or what was she? A racehorse, a track star, or maybe a downhill skier? None of the above, she was an iceboat…She was the dream of one of Madison’s largest electrical contractors and public-spirited citizens, Orvin “OT” Havey.
Around 1915, the Van Camp brothers of Oshkosh, WI wanted to compete for the most prestigious ice sailing trophies of the day. They looked to the east coast and commissioned a top-notch Class A stern steerer. The DEBUTANTE was built by Jacob Buckhout of Poughkeepsie, New York, the most renowned ice yacht builder of the Hudson River style during that time. An first class racing ice yacht needed a corresponding helmsman and the Van Camps called on Oshkosh’s John Buckstaff to take the tiller. The DEBUTANTE won the Stuart trophy in 1920 and 1939 with “Bucky” in the driver’s seat. (The “DEB” also won the 1960 Northwest Class A trophy with Bud Stroshine.)
In 1963, Roger Derusha of Menominee, MI bought the DEBUTANTE in from the Van Camps. Roger was an influential Renegade sailor and passed on in 1999. The “DEB” is still in Menominee, MI with Roger’s son, Renegader and DNer Mike Derusha.
This video combines two interviews from the 1980s. The first interview is Greg Siebold with Roger and Mike. The second interview takes us to a workshop at Marinette Marine where Mike Peters and Steve Buch interviewed Roger at length about the DEBUTANTE. Apologies for the quality and poor aspect ratio of the videos but we are lucky to have them.
The DEBUTANTE with Carl Bernard, Camp Van Dyke, John Buckstaff, and Andy Flom.