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.


  • January 15: 4LIYC Meeting @ Breakwater 
    Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission Information

NEW: Order your 4LIYC Burgee.

Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

Via Wisconsin Stern Steerer Association Secretary Andy Gratton:

he Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to January 25 and 26. The next update will be Sunday, January 19. Check back here at that time.

Regatta Watch: ISA Postponed

Via International Skeeter Association Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The ISA Championship Regatta is postponed to January 24th, 25th and 26th 2020. There are no sailable locations at this time. There are many sites with open water that will freeze after the upcoming snowfalls. The Northwest Regatta takes precedence now that both are scheduled on the same weekend. Next update is on Sunday, January 19, 2020.

Regatta Watch: Northwest Postponed

Via Northwest Ice Yacht Association Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk:

The Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Championship Regatta is postponed to January 24th, 25th and 26th 2020. There are no sailable locations at this time. The weather forecast is snowy, but there are many of our regular sites with open water ready to freeze, hopefully after the snow. Check back on Sunday, January 19 for the next update.

Pepin Update

It was a cold day on Lake Pepin. Temperatures climbed out of the single digits late morning but the sunshine and blue skies made it manageable. Several Minnesota DNS arrived and explored the lake. Daniel Hearn spent the morning reassembling and reattaching his C Skeeter bubble which had flown off the boat on Friday. (Most iceboaters can relate to the hotel room surgery photo below.)We set up some marks for some scrub racing. The wind was moderate, maybe 7 – 8 mph. Enough to keep everyone happy. We’ll enjoy one more day in Lake City tomorrow before heading back home.


No 4LIYC Racing Jan 11 – 12

Not Home Ice

We are still waiting for the ice to appear here in the Four Lakes area. Kegonsa and Monona are in various states of ice and open water and a snow storm is on the way. We’ll know more after the storm.
Meanwhile, here’s the current view of Lake Pepin from Lake City, MN. The ice has not been sailed yet. Will report more later on the particulars.


Pepin Pop Up Regatta Jan 11-12

2019 ISA on Lake Pepin in Lake City, MN Photo: Steve Brown

Mayor Mark and AmericInn Host, Justin are rolling out the red carpet to have us back this weekend for what we’re dubbing the Pepin “Pop-Up” Regatta…unscheduled, unsanctioned, unscored…and undeniably among the best ice sailing venues anywhere!


Does it have a sail? Does it have runners? Does it have a loose nut at the helm? You’re in! Just show up and have fun. We’ll scrub race, trade secrets, tell stories and test the ice for a possible ISA and/or DN North American Championship. If the stars aligned like that, wouldn’t that be unbelievable!?


Here are some pictures and a description of the ice conditions yesterday, January 7, 2020.

Ramp could use more ice, but 15 feet out 5-6″ thick. At 50 – 100 ft. out, 8-9″ thick. No pressure ridges as far as I can see. Pretty smooth. I can bring the 4LIYC ramps and Deb can bring the DN Western Region ATV and trailer.”


It’s subzero there right now, so the landing will be even better and the ice even thicker. Small amount of rain in forecast for Thursday, which should help Zamboni the decent ice we have already. Temps. in mid to upper twenties Saturday and Sunday with winds 10 – 15 mph.


Justin has even offered an under-the-radar rate of $75/night at the AmericInn just down the street from the Lake City Launch. So pack your long undies and call the hotel at 651-345-5611 and book your room.


Doesn’t this sound like one that would be unfortunate to miss?

Unofficially Signed,

Daniel Hearn
US 5352
R 506

Greg Whitehorse Nominated for 4LIYC Honor Roll

Greg Whitehorse sailing his Renegade BLADE RUNNER on Lake Monona

At the last 4LIYC meeting, Greg Whitehorse was nominated for the club’s Honor Roll, something that was long over due. Besides sailing and building ice boats nearly his entire life, Greg has been designing our 4LIYC graphics for many years. He also wrote a club newsletter for a while, peppering it with his  wry sense of humor. In your internet travels, take some time to read or re-read The Blade Runner where you will find the finest writing about ice boating anywhere.

Jerry Simon and Greg McCormick nominate Greg Whitehorse to be inducted into the 4LIYC Honor Roll. Greg has been an active club member for over 40 years and has served as Commodore or Vice Commodore on multiple occasions. As club historian, Greg has collected, maintained and preserved club records, artifacts and memorabilia.

An active racer with a long history in both the skeeter and Renegade fleets, Greg competed against and chronicled the stories of the sports greatest champions. Greg highlighted the victories and losses and penned tales of triumph and tragedy in his newsletter: “The Blade Runner.” Greg captured (in real time) races, events and conversations that would have otherwise been lost or forgotten.

Greg has generously shared his artistic talents, creating several club logos in the form of patches, hats and glassware, all promoting the 4LIYC and the sport of iceboating. Greg’s contributions to the sport will be appreciated for generations.

ISA News & Views

Fresh off the virtual printing press via ISA Secretary/Treasurer Steve Schalk, here’s the latest edition of News & Views, the International Skeeter Association’s newsletter.
ISA News & Views Jan 2020

Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

Via Andy Gratton WSSA Secretary/Treasurer:

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to January 18 and 19, 2020. We need some January weather to achieve thickness, not more of this April weather. The next update will be Sunday, January 12. Check back here at that time.

Andy Gratton

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

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)



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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