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:

  • November 20, 2019: 4LIYC Meeting @ Breakwater Information

Seeing Red

Out with the blue, in with the red.

PK and Ken have been working furiously on their Class A Skeeter programs this past week. PK’s been upgrading the trailer lights while Ken worked his magic and transformed the formerly blue boat into traditional 4LIYC red and white.

 

Paul Exner: Elusive EQUINOX of Sailing

Paul Exner  waits for wind in his Renegade iceboat on Lake Mendota January 10,  2004          Photo: Craig Wilson, Kite Aerial Photography

Paul Exner is a professional sailing coach and former 4LIYC member who now lives in Hawaii. Through his business, Modern Geographic Sailing, he “help[s] sailors GET OFF THE DOCK and GO ANYWHERE BY SAIL safely and efficiently aboard their own boat.” Paul spent 10 years in Madison building SV SOLSTICE from a bare Cape George 31 hull. He posted the following story on his Facebook page about his Renegade days:

“Elusive EQUINOX of Sailing … I had a graffiti artist TAG my iceboat back in the day. I was new to ice-sailing, but got into it with 28-years of hard-core sail-racing background … I guess I wanted to make an impression.

This is a Renegade Iceboat, you can’t buy them commercially; they’re all owner-built. I didn’t build this Renegade, but I’d just completed the 10.5 year build of my SV Solstice so I bought this one from Jeff Russel; I joined Jim Nordhaus’ ice-boat work-shop in Madison, WI to work alongside a huge crew of ice-racers all modifying and tweaking their machines … super cool days.

I never really set the world on fire with my racing-results in the Renegade fleet, but man did I learn A LOT, and I had a few moments of racing success, especially in lighter-winds.

read more…

Robert “Ecky” Eckstein

Photo: Ken Norton

UPDATE: October 16, 2019: Please join family and friends of Robert “Ecky” Eckstein at his celebration of life
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
LOCATION: South Side Ice Yacht Club
1842 S. Main st. Oshkosh.
DATE: Monday, October 28, 2019
TIME: 3 PM – 8 PM
Open bar and catered food.

Oshkosh ice yacht sailor, Robert “Ecky” Eckstein, passed away on October 13, 2019. Ecky was a long time Lake Winnebago iceboater and sailed A stern-steerers, Renegades and multiple other iceboats. He was a lifetime member of the South Side Ice Yacht Club in Oshkosh, WI.

In true ice boating spirit, Ecky always offered his help and shop to any sailor who needed it. An example of that was during the 2006 Renegade regatta on Lake Winnebago when he made sure two 4LIYC skippers were able to complete their regattas after some first-day equipment failures by fashioning new steering components and a front stay tang.

George Gerhardt and Ecky enjoying a beautiful day of sailing Ken Norton’s boat in Florida a couple of years ago.

Sail Siberia 2020


Ice sailors, in March 2020 you have an opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime. Sailing on the largest freshwater lake in the world in one of the most remote areas of the planet is an adventure you’ll never forget. Below, German DN sailor Jörg Bohn G-737 shares his love story to Baikal.
Baikal: What To Know for 2020

Going East!

Have your ever considered going to Lake Baikal?
Here is why it’s worth the trip!

By DN G-737 Jörg Bohn

The Baikal Short “Love“ Story!
Since 2012 I’ve traveled every year to Siberia and the Far East to go ice sailing.
In 2012, I heard about the Lake Baikal event from British ice sailor, Chris Williams K-1.
The logistics of getting our iceboats to Siberia were solved that first time with help of our Russian ice sailing friends in Moscow and the Trans Siberian Railway. We flew to Irkutsk from Europe through Moscow. We arrived in Irkutsk early Friday morning, one day ahead the event.
A minibus was waiting for us at the airport, thanks to our hosts, and took us straight to the sailing area called “Little Sea“ (Sarma), opposite of Olchon Island, to a place called Uyota. Even though, I was tired it wasn’t possible to fall asleep on that five hour ride. I had never before in my life seen such a wide open beautiful mountain landscape. Thousands of cattle and horses were scattered on both sides of the road and sometimes right in front us. Half way into our trip we stopped for a delicious meal at a roadside restaurant made by the indigenous Burjatien people.

read more…

Freeze Alert!


If you’re an ice sailor, the cold front moving across the Midwest (which has prompted a freeze warning opportunity) is a good sign of things to come. Snow is falling out in DN Western Challenge land in Minnesota.
Nite class Commodore John Hayashi shares news about an early-season Nite regatta:

The Nite class is adding an early season regatta to the mix for the end of 2019. Hopefully there will be good ice in the upper Midwest so that we can get new Nite owners up to speed and out on the ice sooner than normal. Now is the time to work on your Nites, don’t wait  for those last minute repairs or new parts.

Spaight St. Syndicate: Bubble Baby Skeeter Got Back


Daniel Hearn continues to work like a mad scientist while building his Class C Skeeter in his basement laboratory.
Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate

Baby Got Back

The little hussy is no longer prancing around leaving little to the imagination.  I call it the Lulu Lemon Effect. Much to the delight of testosterone-filled young men across the country (OK, the old guys don’t mind either), stretchy pants have become acceptable casual wear, formal wear and everything in between for young women.  I’m dying to know how they wear them without ANY undergarment lines showing.  I’d ask my wife, but that would be a dead giveaway that I might occasionally look.  All three of my daughters pull this off, as well, but I decided I probably really don’t want to know.  But know this, young men—big daddio is watching.  He may not be all that big, but he’s Pitbull-mean and fights dirty.  Eyes on the horizon, Bevis.

 

She’s still got her tramp stamp showing, however.  I’m pretty sure she’s intentionally leaving the small of her back exposed, like she’s proud of her decision to deface her body for life.  You’d think spending time at a waterpark would be enough to demonstrate that these things don’t end well.  What she doesn’t know is that I’ve tipped off her mother.  Yesterday will be the last time the base of her spine sees the light of day, unless she’s wearing a swimming suit.  Which is going to be NEVER, because iceboats and swimming don’t go together.

RAMBL’N Red



Paul Krueger’s Class A Skeeter RAMBL’N is sporting a new coat of paint today in the traditional colors of the 4LIYC, red and white. Paul’s daughter asked Ken Whitehorse if all the recent modifications on PK’s boat would make him go “too fast”. Ken told her not to worry, he went for the pretty paint job instead of the fast one. Paul said, “We waited for a west wind so there were no complaints from the neighbor on over spray”. [Hey, there’s only one neighbor, iceboat.org headquarters!- Ed.]

Spaight St. Syndicate: The Old Man and the C


Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate
A wise visitor from the south, Skeeter Iceboat Club’s Lou Lonnecke, pays a visit to the Spaight St. Syndicate. Daniel Hearn reports:

The Old Man and the C

If they had ice in Cuba, I’m certain Earnest Hemingway would have been an ice sailor. Last Sunday I was the (not-so)-young apprentice “Mandolin,” learning from the Grand Master Lou, “Santiago” Loenneke. One of the realities of ice sailing is that you can be an old man yourself, but still the youngest guy in the room. We may be gray, but we know how to play!

Hemingway’s last major work, the novel tells the story of a battle between an aging, experienced fisherman, Santiago, and a massive marlin. Mandolin has great admiration for Santiago, but Santiago is on a bit of an unlucky streak. Kind of like getting tossed at the leeward mark on Lake Pepin last winter, but I’m not mentioning any names. Santiago eventually hooks the big one and battles the fish for three days until he is worn out and nearly delirious. That’s exactly the way Lou felt when he left the Syndicate on Sunday after battling with the top deck of my prized Madison marlin. She didn’t lay down easy, but in the end the old salt showed her who was boss. OSHA would frown upon the flattening method, but she complied, nonetheless, with 155 lbs. of movable “encouragement.”

Someday I hope my work will land in the hands of an adoring fan, who will find the creator’s signature hidden away inside a bulkhead.

Peter Lundt

Peter Lundt races his DN at the 100 year anniversary of the Northwest regatta sailed on Green Lake in Green Lake, Wisconsin in 2013.

Obituary
UPDATE
: (September 26, 2019) A memorial gathering will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Dr., Madison, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.A full obituary will appear at a later date.

We have some sad news to report, long time Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member Peter Lundt has passed away. Peter, an avid DN sailor, served as Secretary of the 4LIYC in the 1980s. Peter contributed to the club in other ways such as cooking and serving a high quality ham at club picnics, a tradition he continued to honor Jim Payton’s memory because Jim started it 40 years ago.  Funeral arrangements are pending and will be posted here when available. Gunderson’s Funeral Home in Monona is serving the family. Peter was also a passionate soft water sailor and belonged to the Lake Monona Sailing Club. Fair winds and black ice, Peter.

Regatta Dates 2020

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4LIYC Race Results


Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates

2019-2020

  • 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)


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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