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.


  • 4LIYC Meeting February 26, 2020 @ Breakwater, Business Meeting Information

NEW: Order your 4LIYC Burgee.

Regatta Watch: ISA Called ON for Feb 7-9; NIYA Postponed

Renegades rounding the weather mark at the 2013 ISA regatta on Lake Kegonsa

The Northwest Regatta has been postponed to February 14th, 15th and 16th, 2020.

The ISA is called on for the Four Lakes of Madison for February 7th, 8th and 9th, 2020. Potential sites are Lake Mendota at Middleton Bay and Lake Kegonsa.

The final call will be made by noon CT on Wednesday February 5th, 2020.

Steve Schalk
ISA and NIYA Secretary/Treasurer

On behalf of the NIYA and ISA Race Committees

Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

The mighty TAKU Class A Stern Steerer

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed again to February 15 – 16, 2020. The Northwest Regatta is scheduled for the same weekend and will take precedence. The next update will be Sunday, February 9, 2020. Check back here at that time. Green Lake and Madison lakes are too thin, Lake Geneva is thinner, Green Bay blew out, Menominee is too thin, Petenwell is thick enough but has too much snow, Minnesota lakes have too much snow, Winnebago is melting but still has water under shell ice and crusty snow. Will water skis work on the boats?

Andy Gratton

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

Area Zamboni Driver Working OT

Seen in our area.

Above is a photo taken by 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson at Middleton Bay on Lake Mendota, Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 5 PM. [Slightly photoshopped by the ed.] A combination of warm temperatures, sun, and wind are knocking down the slush and drifts – in other words, Zambonifying our lakes this weekend. I took a walk on Lake Waubesa today and it was wetting out beautifully. I’m sure the same can be said of all area lakes. The cold part  of the Zamboni arrives Monday night when temperatures head below freezing. Of course, we’ll be checking ice for either club racing or possibly a regatta.

4LIYC Racing Update: No Club Racing for Feb 1-2

When the ice was better on Lake Monona

There will be no Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club racing for the weekend of February 1-2, 2020. 4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson described Lake Monona like “walking on the moon with 2″ of butter ice on the surface”. The Olin Park landing was too slushy for trailers and Monona was full of drain holes that appeared to have healed, but are thinner than the surrounding ice. Don plans to check Mendota on Tuesday with the hope for some Wednesday sailing. We will continue to monitor the area lakes.


4LIYC Ice Check: Friday 31 January

Lake Monona shows some promise (unlike this ice-encased old barn in Devil’s Lake, ND.) If you would like to join the ice checking crew, please be at the Olin Park landing tomorrow, Friday 31 January at 10:30 AM. If it checks out, 4LIYC racing will be called on for Saturday and Sunday. Stand by for news.

4LIYC Meeting Alert: Free Race Swag Weds Jan 29

Sean R Heavey: 2020 IDNIYRA North American Ice Yacht Championship &emdash; _D814786

Free Thermal Race Vests

Join us Wednesday night, January 29 and receive a FREE, limited edition thermal race vest, guaranteed to make you faster around the track. Available in either men’s or women’s versions, these vests are from the Signature Collection of a world famous ice sailor.

Not an ice sailor? No problem. One of these babies will make you a faster reader, faster cook, faster decision-maker, faster builder. No matter what you’re doing, you’ll be faster. Guys…don’t wear one to bed, however. If you need an explanation, our apology to your wonderful lady.

What’s the catch? No catch. Just show up!

Location: Breakwater Restaurant
6308 Metropolitan Lane
Monona, Wisconsin
Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
6:30 PM
Arrive earlier for dinner

“For the Glory”

Competitors and Race Committee members are slowly making their way back to reality (home) after spending an amazing week on a sheet of Montana ice. Several car loads of sailors went full tourist and headed over to Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse statue, and Devil’s Tower before turning east. Above is the best drone video ever made of iceboat racing by Glasgow, MT photographer Sean Heavey. Be sure to check out his photo gallery as well here. The drone video focuses on Detroit’s Ron Sherry US44 (2nd place in the regatta)  and Pewaukee and 4LIYC Skeeter sailor Steve Orlebeke US4926 (4th place in the regatta) as they battle for first place in the last race.

Day 4 of the IDNIYA 2020 North America Ice Yacht Championship on Fort Peck Lake …

Today was epic!! The Montana wind we all know and at times hate came ready to play. While I can write about the day and probably describe it pretty good I’m a visual person so I think maybe a visual will do it more justice.

But first let me set the scene… This is a drone clip of the last Gold fleet race of the day before the regatta was called due to excessive wind speed. The wind had ratchet up to a sustained 18 mph range with gusts to 22+. These boats go 4 to 5 time the wind speed so let’s just say they were scooting along and it’s really hard for a drone to keep up. But I was starting to get the hang of how to fly with them and keep the leaders in sight. The race consists of three laps and this clip picks up the leaders about half way through the second lap. Nobody is going down with out a fight… Does the first place boat hang on?

As a side note… a big thank you to all the racers and race officials for coming all this way to the middle of nowhere. What a great event you put on and I hope your return trips home are made safely. Also thank you to everyone in NE Montana for your hospitality and support. You made everyone feel at home and part of the middle of nowhere family…

Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

Photo: Jeff Smith

Via Wisconsin Stern Steerers Association Secretary/Treasurer Andy Gratton:

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed again to February 8 and 9. The Northwest Regatta is scheduled for the same weekend and will take precedence. The next update will be Sunday, February 2. Check back here at that time. Perhaps Green Lake or Lake Geneva will be ready by then.

Andy Gratton

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

Regatta Watch: ISA & NIYA Postponed

Photo: Jeff Russell

Via ISA and NIYA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The Northwest and ISA race Committees have postponed to next week. The Regatta dates are: February 7th, 8th and 9th, 2020. As always the Northwest takes preference over the ISA as they are now scheduled on the same dates.
There are no sailable sites at this point. Large portions of Green and Geneva remain open and many slush covered lakes may become sailable when colder temperatures occur.

iceboat.org On the Ice: DN NA Championship

It’s day 3 of the DN North American championship and I’m using my phone to compose this post while sitting on frozen Ft. Peck Reservoir. The second silver race was successfully sailed at 10 AM. Three attempts have been made to sail the third Silver  race this morning but the wind had other plans. We are waiting on the ice for the wind to join the fun so we can complete the third Silver race. I’m having trouble uploading photos from the phone. Dan Biermann, the official measurer,  is relaxing in a lawn chair directly in front of me. Several are napping in their boats. Gold fleeters are looking over their boats and equipment. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Regatta Dates 2020


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National Iceboat Authority Web Page

4LIYC Race Results

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 6
  • November 20 Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 4
  • December 18
  • January 2 THURSDAY Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 15
  • January 29 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 12
  • February 26 Business Meeting
  • March 11

Location: Breakwater Restaurant

6308 Metropolitan Lane

Monona, Wisconsin

Time: 6:30 PM

(Come earlier for dinner)



Ice Cam Links

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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