Welcome to iceboat.org

The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club is one of the most active iceboat clubs in North America. We’ve been building and racing iceboats for over 100 years in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Ice Is Never 100% Safe.

Our ice reports are strictly for iceboat racers. Recreational iceboaters, kite boarders, cross country skiers, and ice fishermen should not rely on our ice reports. We have safety equipment. Do you?

Buy or Sell Your Iceboat

One of the best pages in North America to buy or sell iceboats and their parts. There’s also a complete list of vendors who will supply iceboats, sails, and their components.

Common Questions:

How can I get started? How fast can they go? How much do they cost? Is it safe?

Regatta Watch

Information about the ISA, NIYA, WSSA, Nite, and DN regattas.

Iceboat Classes

Learn about Skeeters, DNs, Stern Steerers, Renegades, Nites, and Ice Optimists.

The Rules.

The purpose of iceboat racing rules is to prevent collisions.

Ice Yacht Clubs

The best way to learn about iceboating and make life long friendships is to join a local club.

Why We Sail.

“If all our ice were glass, slightly wet, and all our air reasonably steady with lifters just where needed, sailing would be perfect. Sometimes we do find this, and it is worth waiting years to have. Meanwhile we must accept the more ordinary ice conditions, ordinary weather and wind, and gracefully accept snow, sometimes for weeks. Our ideal comes from time to time, the Great Maker gives only so much of the very best.” Charles H. Johnson.

Iceboating for Kids

Ice Optimists were created specifically as a youth trainer, designed to be easily built using commonly available materials, and to keep costs to a minimum.

UPCOMING:
Stay tuned for the 2019-2020 ice sailing season!

Heavy Metal Lightweight


Daniel Hearn’s C Skeeter build reaches Iron Man territory.
Previous:
“It’s a Bubble”
Simon Says
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment”

Heavy Metal Lightweight

I’ve never done any metal fabrication to speak of. My few attempts with a hacksaw and general purpose drill bits always led to cussing and much shorter bits. But look at me now! I’m cranking out metal like Ozzie with a mountain of Marshalls. He might even give me a bro-nod. Not familiar? Spend some time on any college campus. It’s a form of “subtle” acknowledgement, when you’re too cool to acknowledge anything. Popularized by privileged, white males who grew up in McMansions in the suburbs, but still think the persona gives them street cred. Usually executed with the head slightly cocked to the side, squinted eyes and a subtle backwards tipping of the head. Often paired with the word, “yo.”

OK, so far, my functional and artistic output has only been from aluminum stock, but for a guy with metal phobia, my therapist tells me we’ve just had a breakthrough. And my sponsor, Pat, has been like a cheerleader at a wrestling match—appreciated by the singlet-clad gladiator, but sort of awkward for everyone else. “Gimme a G, gimmie an R, gimmie an I, gimmie an NDR…Grinder…Grinder…will take you far! Man, I can send the shards flying when I hear that one!

With all this encouragement, I may be getting over confident. I’m throwing around terms like 6061-T6, 304 SS, needle bearing, naval bronze, #10 rivet nut, and more into casual conversation. And I just ordered a pair of steel-toed Red Wings and purchased the bulk pack of Gojo with the convenient, dispensing pump. Livin’ large!

Not sure my confidence will extend to stainless, though. I tried to machine stainless once. As in “once-upon-a-time” or “one-time-only.” Your choice. I may have to call on Izzy the metal wizard. He left Oz some years ago and is rumored to live near Pewaukee. Locals say he grew tired of uninvited guests showing up wanting help with this and that. And that the roads were annoyingly bumpy. Some believe him to be Mark Isabell, the DN and A-Skeeter guy, but of course, no one has ever seen the Wizard. Legend has it that he’s got this magical machine he keeps behind the curtain that can cut metal with water. Yeah, I know, right…cutting metal with water? That sounds plausible. Not! But maybe that’s why he’s the Wizard?

4LIYC Banquet Photos

There’s a lot of laps around the marks in this group! From left: Skeeter sailors Bill Dale, Tom Hyslop, and Paul Krueger, Renegader Jack Ripp, Skeeter sailor Bill Mattison and Ken Whitehorse. Bottom row, Skeeter sailor Dave Nelson and Renegader Jerry Simon

How fitting that a spring snow storm arrived the same day as our April 27th Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club annual awards dinner, a reminder of the cold weather necessary for ice sailing. Highlights include 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson’s induction into the 4LIYC Hall of Fame, aka the Honor Roll; an all star line up of seasoned veterans (see photo above) and an acknowledgement of appreciation for Nite class outgoing Commodore, Don Sanford who wore the hat for ten years. All credit for the event goes to Trophy and Banquet Chair, Jori Lenon for bringing everyone together. Thanks to Greg McCormick and John Hayashi for the photos.

“It’s a Bubble “


Previous:
Simon Says
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
When Your Plank Needs Work
A Weak Moment
It’s A Bubble!  Daniel Hearn is ready to hand out cigars……..

At 5:57 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, Dawn and Daniel Hearn (well, really, mostly Daniel) welcomed into their lives a 7 lb., 10 oz. baby bubble, 58”. It was an difficult labor for Daniel, but he kept pushing through with Dawn never leaving his side (well, really, she was nowhere to be found, not caring much for the smell of epoxy or the massive amounts of dust that are ever-present throughout the process). Women really have it easy when it comes to birthing a bubble. #equality4dudes

The bubble was likely conceived during a wild weekend at the Northwest Regatta. Shortly thereafter, Daniel began to display nesting behavior, surrounding himself with iceboat parts that oddly brought him comfort. Breyer’s Ice Cream observed a sharp increase in consumption in the Madison DMA. And talk about crabby! Dawn figured it was Seasonal Effective Disorder. Nope. The test confirmed it…a bubble in the oven.

If you’re feeling a little hurt, having not received an invitation to the gender reveal party, your pain is unnecessary. The parents are not of the generation that stages such gatherings to create yet another occasion requiring family and friends to bring gifts. Damn Daniel, someone might have brought you the white Vans! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LUX70mXcEE Or carbon fiber twill, 6061 aluminum angle or a 67-tooth sprocket. See, the Millennial Generation isn’t lazy. They’re just better at working the system.

To stay up to date, you must start following the happy couple on Instagram. You know, because everyone wants to see more pictures of their stupid dog (do they have a dog?), what they ate for dinner last night, and now every bowel movement of their chubby little bubble.

MN Boys Take Majority of WI Skeeter Racing Trophies

Above: Pat Heppert and John Dennis with the first place Wisconsin Skeeter Association Paul Krueger Trophy.

The 2019 Wisconsin Skeeter Association (WSA) trophies winners have been selected based upon regatta results. After consultation with WSA officials, the United States Geological Survey, and the final say of WSA Director of Competition, Greg Whitehorse, the regatta starting and finish lines were determined to be on the Wisconsin side – even though the ISA and Northwest regattas were launched out of  the Minnesota side of Lake Pepin. These trophies will be awarded at the 4LIYC Spring Banquet on April 27th at Springers. You still have until Sunday night to make your reservation. Banquet details here.

B Skeeter Champion Steve Schalk
2nd Northwest Regatta
2nd 2019 ISA Regatta
Tied 2018 ISA Regatta
Also in acknowledgement of his
work as ISA & NIYA Secretary and
his support for the B Skeeter fleet.
      

Sunday Series 1st Place
John Dennis
The Tom Hyslop Trophy
aka “Yellow Boat on a Swivel”
      

Bottle Race
Pat Heppert
Many thanks to Pat for helping 
PK set up and tear down,
and most importantly,
ensuring all the pins and bolts
are stored in their proper places.
      

2nd Place
Paul Krueger
Started all races
and honoring an
incredible come back after
a year of recovery.
      

“Winning the Iceboat World Championships in a Borrowed Boat”

Photo: Catherine Firmbach

Written by: Michał Burczyński

This was my tenth time in the Gold Cup in the USA. The trails were blazed and everything was supposed to go as planned. But then a series of unfortunate events occurred that severely affected my starting plans. The whole thing seemed improbable.

We (the Polish team) had a few days head start in sending our iceboats to the USA, in case of any unforeseen problems. Our equipment got held up at the Paris airport. Our appeals to the shipping company went unheard. And just when things were looking up, our bad luck continued, as the plane which was supposed to bring our gear three days before the start of the Championships, failed to take off because of a malfunction. Continue reading.

“Simon Says. The Consultants Weekend”


Daniel Hearn addresses sitka spruce and  the C Skeeter steering system with a little help from friends. 

Previous: “Frosting For Frozen Fun”
When Your Plank Needs Work
A Weak Moment

Stopped by McCormick Lumber over my lunch hour Friday to pick up the one additional Sitka board I needed for the two 20 foot chines on the port side of the hull. I was greeted in the parking lot by the Global CEO of the conglomerate, Andy McCormick, who was returning from a high-powered business lunch. He was still sucking Diet Coke through the straw in the Hardee’s cup. I considered Andy a friend, but witnessing that he’s destroying our oceans still using straws, I may have to reconsider. He escorted me to the yard, probably concerned that I would slap as many boards as I could on top of the Swagger Wagon and tear off without paying. I asked him if he could close the overhead door as I searched for the fastest board, as I was a little cold. He asked me if I always wore my wife’s skirt on Fridays?

Saturday morning, thinking my neighbors probably wouldn’t appreciate the sweet howl of my planner in the driveway at 6:30 a.m., I made my way to my office to get the job done in our storage area. Since I don’t have a garage, I’ve sort of commandeered the space. It’s become an ice sailing junkyard; rather appropriate, as the room also harbors our building’s dumpsters. They don’t stink too bad(ly), and it’s a short throw for getting rid of the sawdust. Bonus. I’m probably supposed to put the $10-per-board-foot waste in a bag before depositing it in the non-recyclable dumpster, but we contract with a private service. They’ll pick up anything, unlike the City of Madison that will leave my carts stranded at the curb like a blind date with a nice personality, if they see one leaf poking out of the lid. With the first job of the day complete, back home for breakfast.

Next stop, Nordhaus Boatwerks. Arranged to meet up with Jim to compare different steering systems. After discussing pros and cons, I decided to go with a Renegade style system, but with a wheel (which is not allowed in the Renegade) and extra purchase achieved by attaching blocks to the steering post flanges and dead-ending the lines that go to the steering wheel sprocket back into a bulkhead. Maybe using Spectra rather than cable. I kinda sounds like I know what I’m talking about, right? Well, truth be told, before my remedial session with Professor Nordhaus, I was as clueless and a redneck in a woman’s studies class.
I was also rather uncertain about how I would ultimately attach the decking to the sideboards, so on my way back from church Sunday I gave Jerry Simon a call. It was 10:25 a.m. I was hoping he might be able to stop by my shop in the next week or so. He said, “I can be there by 11:00.” All Jerry needs is an app, and he could be like Uber. Before the eleventh bell faded, the doorbell chimed in and there he was in his well-worn sailing cap, jeans and work boot style shoes. Cheerful as always. I suspect Jerry is on Lombardi time—”if you’re on time, you’re late.” But he probably backed it off a bit for me, seeing as how it was Sunday, and all. And Palm Sunday, no less. Those services go on forever. No need to document with a watch. Every kid squirming in the pew is evidence enough. Of course Jerry didn’t come empty handed. He came bearing gifts of tools. A pneumatic staple gun in a plastic box with every component and staple size precisely labeled. He provided a detailed tutorial that would rival any YouTube sensation, and then showed me how I would put it to work for no-bubble decking and proper scarf joints.

My consultants weekend wouldn’t have been complete without a call to the Heppert Hot Line. All along I’ve thought it was a Call Center in Kingston, but I’m beginning to think the guy on the other end sounds more Minnesotan, than Jamaican. “How in the heck do I get a six foot level to touch three bulk heads on the sides of a curved boat,” I asked. “You don’t,” the guy said, “that’s only by the top rear spine. “Oh,” I replied sheepishly, thinking that maybe I had already sanded a little too much off the small section I had started with. Oh well, may have to shim out that one bulk head some to maintain the smooth curve. He went on to explain something about the flat spine transitioning into compound curves. “Ah…what,” I thought? But for the record, I never took any women’s studies classes.
(Photos below of steering in Meade restoration project at Nordhaus Boatwerks. My C-Skeeter steering will be similar).

Jane Wiswell Pegel Hall of Champions Dedication Ceremony

Jane Wiswell Pegel Hall of Champions Dedication Ceremony

Via the Lake Geneva Yacht Club:

On the 16th day of February 2019, Jane Wiswell Pegel was recognized for her service from 2011 through 2018 as Chief Judge of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club and for her decades of work on our behalf in Race Management as Senior Judge, Principal Race Officer, Regatta Chair, and Race Committee Member.

To honor Jane Wiswell Pegel, LGYC will be hosting a dedication ceremony on May 4th at 5:00 pm. Come show your support for her longtime dedication to the Lake Geneva Yacht Club. Light appetizers will be served. This event is open to all.

The Details:
What: Jane Wiswell Pegel Dedication Ceremony
When: May 4th – 5:00 PM
Where: Lake Geneva Yacht Club

 

LIFE on Ice

William “Curly” Perrigo and son.  Photo: George Silk

LIFE Ice Sailing Photos
As winter still tries to hang on here in the Midwest, take a look at this collection of photos from the great LIFE magazine photographer George Silk. He shot the famous 1962 LIFE cover shot (Excitement on the Ice) of Green Lake’s Joe Norton in his DN. The photo collection appears to be the out takes of Silk’s ice sailing work. Silk was a superb photographer and  may have been one of the first to strap a camera to the top of an iceboat mast. If you recognize any of these ice sailors, please email and let us know!
More LIFE magazines featuring ice sailing:
16 January 1939
23 March 1942

Tip of the Helmet to LifeSail Community Sailing Foundation Founder and Director Matt Schmidt in Marina Del Ray, California. Matt is coordinating an Ice Optimist build “implementing Reach, US Sailing’s STEM Program and Environmental Education Initiative aligned to National Education Standards, offering character and life-skill building activities to under-served and at-risk kids year round.” LifeSail’s Ice Optimist build is a great story, stay tuned for more on that.

“Frosting For Frozen Fun”


Daniel Hearn brings home the second most important part of any iceboating program, the trailer and sees the C Skeeter hull emerge from the parts and pieces.

Frosting For Frozen Fun

When I eat birthday cake (never with ice cream, but I love ice cream…I know, weird) my fork surgically targets the cake part first, leaving mostly frosting for a super sweet, sugar-filled finish. Flower? Corner piece? Ah…yeah…both, please.

It was all frosting at the Spaight Street Syndicate last weekend. Picked up my new C-Skeeter hauler in lower Michigan Saturday morning. Great little trailer company willing to sell direct to consumers and build custom quite economically. On the way there, dropped off a DN mast for repair with Bob Rast. Going to a newbie I assisted getting into a good entry level program. Welcome to the fleet, Vince! Had dinner with my oldest daughter in Chicago and spent the night at her place. I did eat meat on Friday during Lent. Since the Lord can walk on water, he’s certainly an ice boater, so I’m counting on him cutting me some slack.

On Sunday, I got to start dry fitting pieces. It’s been pretty much all cake since I started—planning, ordering, cutting, gluing, carboning, bending, sweeping, swearing, apologizing (to my wife for the excess dust; I don’t think she hears me cussing like a longshoreman). But all of a sudden ,“poof,” it looks like a boat! Frosting for frozen fun is good for my psyche.

Damn, I’m one board short! There I go again with my potty mouth. I’ll have to pay a visit to Andy at McCormick Lumber this week. He’s an Irishman…he won’t mind my language.

Previous: When Your Plank Needs Work
A Weak Moment

Regatta Dates 2020

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4LIYC Race Results


Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates

2018-2019

  • November 14
  • November 29 THURSDAY Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 12
  • December 27 THURSDAY
  • January 9 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 23 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 6
  • February 20 Business Meeting
  • March 6
  • March 20

Location: Off Broadway Drafthouse 5404 Raywood Road Madison, WI Time: 6:30 PM (Come earlier for dinner)


YOU ARE SKIPPER NUMBER

TO ROUND THE MARK SINCE NOVEMBER 1999.



Lake Access Permits

A year-round permit required for designated launch sites in the City of Madison and Dane County Parks. Locations include:

    • Lake Mendota Warner Park Mendota County Park
    • Lake Monona Tonyawatha Tr. Olin Park
    • Lake Waubesa Goodland Park

Purchase Lake Access Permit Online.

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