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.

The 2020-2021 ice sailing season is a few weeks away. 4LIYC racing and general regatta information will be posted here during the season. If this is your first time here, thanks for stopping by and check out our “How to Get Involved” page for more information. Please contact us debwhitehorse@iceboat.org if you have any questions. Think ice!


October 24, 2020: GREEN LAKE ICEBOAT SWAP MEET: More information.

November 4, 2020: 4LIYC MEETING ON ZOOM: More information

November 7, 2020: SOUTHERN WI ICEBOAT SWAP MEET: 10 AM-3PM @ the Delavan Yacht Club, Delavan, WI  More information. Map

BURGEE: Order your 4LIYC Burgee.

NOT UPCOMING: The Skeeter Ice Boat Club Swap Meet has been cancelled for 2020. More information.

Introducing Black Ice

Black Ice from Sail Racing on Vimeo.

Explore Black Ice

In January of 2020, the Swedish high-performance clothing company Sail Racing sent their crew on an expedition to Lake Pepin on the Wisconsin Minnesota border to film Skeeters for their fall 2020 advertising campaign. They have filmed Skeeters in previous years including the 2013 International Skeeter Association Regatta (ISA) on Lake Kegonsa.  Skeeter sailors and the Sail Racing folks had hoped for another ISA but regatta conditions never came together. However, Lake Pepin’s ice provided conditions for C Skeeter sailors Daniel Hearn and Pat Heppert which enabled the Sail Racing folks  to complete their mission. Today they released the new line fittingly called Black Ice.


“Graciousness, attention to detail a way of life for Bill Mattison”

Bill & Mauretta Mattison. Photo: John Hart

Wisconsin State Journal
Graciousness, attention to detail a way of life for Bill Mattison
By Barry Adams

Idle is a rarely used gear for Bill Mattison.

The proof can be seen in the intricacies of miniature circus wagons that line the living-room shelves of his Madison home.

The wooden wagons, modeled after those at Circus World Museum in Baraboo, sport working brakes, tiny hinges and detailed paint jobs. One has a working steam calliope and another a series of thimble-sized cast iron bells tuned to specific pitches.
Continue reading.

4LIYC Meetings Join the Virtual Revolution

The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club is pleased to announce that our meetings for the upcoming season will continue through the Zoom app. Club officers believe it is critical to maintain our meeting schedule in order to keep our members informed about ice conditions, regattas, and fleet news. Currently, in Dane County, restaurants and bars have a 25% capacity limit which makes holding our club meetings next to impossible. Even though we can’t meet indoors, club members are excited and looking forward to the upcoming ice sailing season. Ice sailing is the perfect way to continue socializing and having fun outdoors. Club meetings could move back indoors if the COVID situation changes.

4LIYC club members will receive an email next week with more information about the Zoom meetings. If you have questions, please email debwhitehorse@iceboat.org.


  • November 4
  • November 18 Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 2
  • December 16
  • December 30
  • January 13 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 27 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 10
  • February 24 Business Meeting
  • March 10

Location: Online using the Zoom App 
Time: 6:30 PM

NSHOF Virtual Induction Ceremony

If you missed it last Saturday night, the National Sailing Hall of Fame has kindly made available the induction ceremony on YouTube. The embedded video begins with Peter Harken’s introduction of Bill Mattison. You’ll see many familiar faces in the photos and hear from Bill’s wife, Mauretta, a driving force supporting Bill’s passions for the water and boat shop.


Socially Iceboating

One of the tenets of this sport is adaptability – being ready for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. 4LIYC Nite sailor Lars Barber has been planning for the season like any good ice sailor and created this portable propane grill for some after-race cookouts. In normal times, a cookout on the ice is a treat. With COVID likely limiting our access to the local watering spots, a fire on the ice with brats, bags of shelled peanuts (Tip of the Helmet Tom Hyslop), and our favorite beverages will almost become mandatory. So take a few extra minutes to plan when heading to the lake. Throw a bag of pre-cooked brats, snacks, and garbage bags into the cooler. Iceboating will get you out of the house this winter. 

Shop Day: Plank and Fire-pit

Paul trimming a little carbon off of his Class A Skeeter plank.

Paul Krueger and Ken Whitehorse were back in the Skeeter Shop on Saturday preparing for the upcoming season. Paul focused on the runner plank while Ken welded up a portable fire pit. Is there room in the trailer for a portable fire-pit? A fire on the ice at the end of a sailing day could be the answer to the social-time dilemma that COVID has presented.

Ken utilizing his blacksmith skills. Wait, what’s that in the background, a Skeeter bus? 

“Millennium Factor”

Bill Mattison & HONEYBUCKET, an oil painting on canvas by Harry Whitehorse

“Millenium Factor”
For our final installment of Bill Mattison Week, we go back to the 1992 Harken catalog where another National Sailing Hall of Famer, Peter Harken, talks about Bill, Paul Krueger, winning the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant, and building MILLENIUM FACTOR QUATRO in the Willy St. Boat Shop.
In normal times, the 4LIYC would have thrown a party for tonight’s National Sailing Hall of Fame induction ceremony. There will be much to celebrate when we can gather off-ice again including Bill’s induction and Greg Whitehorse’s 4LIYC Honor Roll induction.  In the meantime,  follow Bill’s example and get busy in the shop making dust and preparing equipment for the upcoming season.

Previous: Bill’s Circus Life
The Icing On The Lake”
“Fast Forward Since Birth”
“The Hard-Water Gang” with Bill Mattison at the 2001 ISA
Shooting the Breeze with Bill Mattison
Bill Mattison Inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame
Iceboaters Fingerprints

Bill’s Life Is A Circus

Bill demonstrates his working steam calliope at the closing party for the Willy Street Boat Shop in 2008. Don Sanford in the background.

Bill Mattison’s Miniature Circus

Today’s Bill Mattison Week installment takes a quick jibe from ice sailing over to Bill’s other passion, circus modeling.  Barb Sanford’s 2017 article for Wisconsin Academy publication “traces his obsession for detail and passion for the circus”.  And yes, Bill did run away with the circus as a kid.  Read the article here.

Previous: “The Icing On The Lake”
“Fast Forward Since Birth”
“The Hard-Water Gang” with Bill Mattison at the 2001 ISA
Shooting the Breeze with Bill Mattison
Bill Mattison Inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame
Iceboaters Fingerprints


Southern WI Iceboat Swap Meet Nov 7 @ Delavan YC

Photo: Gretchen Dorian Class A Skeeters on Lake Winnebago

Bob Rast reports on the 4LIYC Facebook page that another iceboat swap meet has been organized at the Delavan Yacht Club.
Southern Wisconsin Iceboat Swap Meet
Date: Saturday, November 7, 2020
Time: 10 AM – 3 PM
Location: Delavan Yacht Club
1501 Cedar Point Drive
Delavan, WI

UPDATE: 12 September: Via Susie Pegel:
There won’t be a raffle.

North Shore Drive (Delavan Lake) under reconstruction starting Sept. 17,
including closing of bridge over the Outlet.
So to get to the Delavan Lake Yacht Club:
Go west on Hwy 50 into the city of Delavan to intersection with Borg Road
(Walgreens and Wendy’s on corner)
Go south on Borg Road to intersection with North Shore Drive
Go east on North Shore Drive until Cedar Point Drive and then down hill to
Delavan Lake Yacht Club
If you see Rustic Pub and Delavan Lake Store you have gone too far

Regatta Dates 2021


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4LIYC Race Results

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 4
  • November 18 Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 2
  • December 16
  • December 30
  • January 13 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 27 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 10
  • February 24 Business Meeting
  • March 10

Location: Online using the Zoom App Members please email debwhitehorse@iceboat.org for the link.

Time: 6:30 PM


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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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