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.


Ice is never safe! If you are new to the sport or a seasoned veteran, please review our Sailing Safe page.


January 27, 2021: 4LIYC MEETING ON ZOOM:
More information

BURGEE: Order your 4LIYC Burgee

Regatta Watch: 2021 Renegade Championship Called ON for Jan 15-17

Via International Renegade Ice Yacht Association Regatta Chairman Don Anderson:

The 2021 Renegade Championship has been tentatively called on for January 15-17, 2021. Primary site is Lake Mendota for this 3 day event. We are keeping an eye on the weather and will make final confirmation on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 by 1 PM CT.

Mendota Declared Safe for Canines by Area Coyote

An area coyote took advantage of Lake Mendota’s emptiness for a pleasant lake stroll on Saturday morning, January 9. He was last seen heading towards the Edgewater Hotel, presumably for breakfast. Tip of the Helmet: Jeff Russell

Land of the Polar Night

While we wait for ice, Norwegian ice sailors share videos and photos from Soløyvatnet Lake near Bodø, where the scenery is incredible. They appear to take advantage of every drop of daylight with a narrow window of opportunity to sail. The sun rises in Bodø at 10:30 AM and sets at 1:48 PM.


Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed to Jan 23-24

Class C Stern Steerer: TWIN BEDS Peter McCormick   Photo: Gretchen Dorian

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to January 23 and 24, 2021. The next update will be Sunday, January 17. Check back here at that time.

We still need more cold air, so get your friends to leave their freezer open, too.

Andy Gratton

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

Ice Invaders

Big lake, big ice, big booming Skeeter hike on Lake Winnebago at the 2010 Northwest Regatta. Photo: Gretchen Dorian

Are you ready for some legendary arms-falling-off-from-pulling-sheet ice on big inland lakes? If we believe the weather forecasts this far out, ice sailing hotspots in Wisconsin like Menominee, Lakes Geneva, Winnebago, and Green should be coming online in the next two weeks. Fingers crossed.

Accuweather: Polar vortex set to unleash coldest air of season yet in US
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
Updated Jan. 9, 2021 3:11 AM CST

Accuweather January forecast for Madison, WI as of January 9, 2021.

4LIYC Club Racing Update for Jan 9-10, 2021

Greg Whitehorse sailing his Renegade BLADE RUNNER on Lake Monona

There will be no Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club racing for the weekend of January 9-10, 2021. Club members have been keeping a close watch on area lakes. Lakes Kegonsa and Monona are snow-covered. Lake Mendota’s “slow growth” ice holds much promise but needs a few more days of colder temperatures. The next update will be on Friday, January 15, 2021.


News We Can Use: Polar Vortex Making an Appearance

Enjoying the Vortex

via Accuweather:

“Many of the chips are beginning to line up to suggest we will see a shift of the polar vortex and an Arctic invasion across the central and eastern U.S. and Canada toward the end of the month,” Pastelok warns.

“The pattern also looks favorable for the bitter Arctic blast to be ushered in by a big storm somewhere in the eastern U.S.”

“Enjoy the ‘warmth’ while it lasts,” Anderson says, “because Old Man Winter is looking to return with a vengeance.” Read more.

Regatta Watch: 2021 WI Stern-Steerers Championship Postponed

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to January 16 and 17, 2021. The next update will be Sunday, January 10. Check back here at that time.

We need more cold air, so if everyone leaves their freezer open it may help grow ice thickness on the lakes. This would be easier than making lighter boats.

Andy Gratton
WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

The History of Iceboating Presentation

Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2020
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Location: Your most comfortable chair

Zoom alert! 4LIYC members, you won’t want to miss this one, a PowerPoint presentation from Archie Call about the history and development of iceboating. Archie has made some significant discoveries about who exactly was the first to iceboat in America and the Hudson River-style iceboat lineage. Archie will also take questions during the presentation; please mute your microphone unless you have a comment or question for Archie. Watch for the link to the Zoom presentation in your email box.

Archie sailed Renegades for 46 years with the Toledo Ice Yacht Club and the 4LIYC and retired in 2017 from active sailing. Archie has worn many hats during his life, including computer programmer, production manager, manufacturing operations researcher, data scientist, and system IT management. He’s been busy giving talks on various topics such as U.S. Twelve Square Mile Reserve Survey: 1805, DNA: The code of all life, Human Mortality, Roads in America, Historic survey of Perrysburg in 1816, and Ice Boating on the Inland Seas.

Archie Call sailing his Renegade on Lake Mendota in 2011. Photo: Robert Resnick

Regatta Dates 2021


Enter your email address to subscribe to iceboat.org and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 179 other subscribers

National Iceboat Authority Web Page

4LIYC Race Results

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 18
  • December 2
  • Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • 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


Web Analytics


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.


Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: