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 3, 2019: SIBC Swap Meet  Information

Iceboat Midsummer: Gather Round the Mast Pole

Using Lake Baikal’s spring regatta and Minnesota’s Western Challenge as data points, this week marks iceboating’s mid-summer holiday.  Ken Whitehorse and Paul Krueger celebrated by setting up Paul’s Class A Skeeter, RAMBL’N, on one of the hottest days of summer to see how the newly built boom looked. Jim Gluek stopped over to look over and talk Skeeter sails.

Yes, that’s a sail from the quiver of Bob Kau’s blue Skeeter now owned by Ken Whitehorse (and will soon carry PK’s number, 165).

Bottles Up!

Pat Heppert, his C class Skeeter DRIFTER, and the Wisconsin Skeeter Assoc. Bottle Trophy

It took a while, but the Wisconsin Skeeter Association Bottle Trophy finally found its way to last season’s recipient Pat Heppert. Looks like Pat had the perfect bottle waiting for it! Pat writes:

 It is a great honor to be a part of the legacy of this trophy, and I am eternally grateful to be the caretaker of this for 2019. The artistry and imagination of every one of Harry Whitehorse’s creations are truly impressive. In the background you will also see the new expanded headquarters of the Heppert boat works!

Iceboaters Going the Distance

Detail from “Great Lakes Freighter”, a painting by Harry Whitehorse.

The long distance summer sailing season is upon us and iceboaters are there. Let us know if you are sailing the Chicago to Mackinac race so you can be added to the list.

TRANSPAC
July 10, 2019
4LIYC Commodore Don Anderson will be sailing his second Transpac from Los Angeles, CA to Hawaii on MR BILL. Race tracking.

CHICAGO YACHT CLUB RACE TO MACKINAC
July 13, 2019
Race Tracking
EQUATION: (Santa Cruz 70, Section: 01) Ron Sherry, Chris Clark, Tom Dawson, Dave Elsmo
EXILE  (J88, Section 08) Andy Camarda
SHMOKIN JOE: (J111, Section: J111) Julie Jankowski
Julie is  arranging for a group photo of iceboaters immediately following the awards ceremony in front of the stage, probably around 2:30 Tuesday.

A painting from the imagination of Harry Whitehorse, a time when massive long distance iceboat freighters would rule the Great Lakes.

FLIRT with LITTLE WIND


Wise iceboaters know that summer time means shop time.
Via Jay Davis, originally posted on the 4LIYC Facebook page:

Summer work project at Davis boat works in Iowa on Little Wind II. Repainting the bottom and sides. Also did some fixing on the trailer.

LITTLE WIND II, right side up at the 2013 Northwest Regatta, Green Lake, WI

4th of July On Ice

3 Nites and John Dennis’ (JD) A Class Skeeter on Lake Pepin at the 2019 ISA         Photo: Jann Klin

JD & Tom Nichols in 2012 

July 4th signals we’re climbing to the apex of the iceboating off-season (iceboat mid-summer is July 27, more on that later). It’s become an iceboat.org 4th of July tradition, ever since Tom Nichols built the boat, to post Class A Skeeter, EAGLE, in its red, white, and blue livery to commemorate the holiday. EAGLE was born in New Jersey, built and sailed by Tom Nichols. JD purchased the boat in July 2012 and brought her west. Below is a video of EAGLE’S first sail in Minnesota. Both Tom and JD have won the ISA regatta twice, Tom in 2005 and 2006 and JD in 2018 and 2019.

 

Harken Photo Contest

Pulled from video by Dave Elsmo “54′ of Fast” 

Harken Photo Contest

Heads up Stern-Steerer and Nite sailors and crew! Our friends at Harken are conducting a photo contest and the winner will receive a “Pewaukee The Way Locals Do It Weekend” which includes round trip airfare, lodging, a Harken 150 Cam-Matic cleat and a Harken Carbo Block, social gatherings, spectating the E Scow Blue Chip Regatta, and much more.

The photo must be taken from the boat in order to qualify for the contest. The rules state:

The most serious contenders will transport viewers, placing them in the middle of the activity on board, engaging the mind’s eye to help us feel the moment(s) your have selected.

It is certain, AT THE FRONT of sailing is a mental space much broader than a champagne-soaked awards ceremony or blasting down a 10 meter wave in the Southern Ocean. THE FRONT of sailing can be in an ice-packed harbor in Spitsbergen or diving to check an anchor placement in the Red Sea. AT THE FRONT…anywhere sailing at its most stirring is practiced.

“The Inspector”: Spaight St. Syndicate C(bd) Skeeter Update


Previously:
“Building In The Big City”
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment

The Inspector

I imagined it would be like Frank Lloyd Wright stopping by to check out our Convention Center. He’d be wearing the half circle reading glasses occasionally glancing over the top and then returning to the precise plans which captured his vision. The pockets of his finely tailored suit coat would be filled with measuring devices—a digital caliper, a laser guided tape measure, an atomic plumbometer—all calibrated by NASA. He’d pace around the structure, all too frequently grumbling a seemingly agitated “hmmmm,” which could only be interpreted as, “did this epoxy sniffer really think THIS is what I had in mind?” I was prepared for a tirade.

The night before, I had that dream where you’re supposed to be taking the final exam, but you realize you never went to class. Not one time. Or read any of the books. I needed something to relieve my anxiety. As luck would have it, a CBD store opened in my neighborhood. The proprietor is an old hippie, who goes by the name “Moon Dart.” He somehow rationalized that cashing in on people’s physical and mental struggles didn’t make him “the man.” Looks and smells like a capitalist to me, but in my hood we’re even left of Bernie, so that’s worse than calling someone the other “c” word. Yeah, that one. I went right for the highest potency, figuring it was like DN runners—more is always better.

Turns out, my anxiety was completely unnecessary. Inspector Heppert was very kind. At least in-person. When he gets a few beers in him, he might have the entire bar giggling like 7th grade girls at a slumber party, showing pictures of my incompetence on his iPad. But at least I won’t be around to hear it. After I slap a bunch of carbon on the outside, most of my infractions will be hidden anyway. And I know a good painter. So, I’m counting on at least “looking” fast. By the way, Moon Dart says the CBD oil is great for stoning runners. He advises stopping at 420. Makes sense.

Historic Iceboats on Display at White Bear Lake, MN

A vintage Skeeter iceboat built at Johnson Boat Works in 1945 before and after restoration.

If you are anywhere near White Bear Lake, MN on Saturday, June 22, you won’t want to miss the 14th Annual White Bear Lake Classic & Vintage Boat Show (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m – Lake Ave. at White Bear Shopping Center) where a vintage Skeeter and Stern-Steerer will be exhibited.

In conjunction with the boat show, the White Bear Press has published an entertaining write up about the Skeeter restoration and a historic Stern-Steerer that will both be on display.
(We’re glad you didn’t burn the boat! – ed.)

Old ice boats: not for faint of heart
By Debra Neutkens/Editor Jun 12, 2019
When he brought the project home, fellow ice boaters urged him to burn it. “I said, ‘no, we can’t really do that,'” Driscoll recalled. Then three people “put up their hands” and agreed to help in the restoration: John Taylor, Steve Wiberg and Steve Johnson. Steve is the grandson of Johnson Boat Works founder J.O. Johnson, a Norwegian immigrant who built his business on the shore of White Bear Lake. Continue reading.

UPDATE: Take a quick ride on Bald Eagle Lake in the PHANTOM Stern-Steerer. Tip of the Helmet: Pat Heppert

Steve Arnold: Celebration of Life June 29

Download Steve Arnold Celebration Of Life flyer.

UPDATE: Please make your reservation with Don Sanford by Wednesday, June 12!
Please join family and friends celebrating Steve Arnold
Saturday, June 29 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Steve campaigned his Nite, Nite Nite and his A-Skeeter, Intrepid all around Wisconsin, the Midwest, Canada and New Jersey during the late 1970s and early 80s. He passed away unexpectedly in November 2018.

We will gather at:
Wisconsin Aviation, Dane County Regional Airport
3606 Corben Ct.
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 268-5000
• Buck and Honey’s will cater hot and cold appetizers, beer, wine and soft drinks.
• Share stories and photos from Steve’s wide circle of iceboating and flying friends and family
• Share in a special “Gone West” toast from the Quiet Birdmen – an aviation organization that Steve supported for over 25 years. RSVP by June 15, 2019

Because we’re holding this celebration in an airport hangar, security requires a firm list of all registered guests prior to the event. Please send your name and the names of all guests in your party, along with your phone number and e-mail address to: Don Sanford
dpsanford@charter.net by June 15, 2019

“Building In The Big City”: A C-Skeeter Rises

Pre-Glue Test Fit

Daniel Hearn elevates his C-Skeeter build.
Previously:
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment”

Building in the Big City

I’m going to need new business cards, After completing my pre-glue test fit, I realized I’m not just a “Builder” anymore. I’ve gone vertical, so I must be a “Developer.” My basement projects have consumed all the available horizontal space. Anything more and you might see me featured on an episode of “Hoarders.” Is anyone else amazed at the kind of crap people will watch on TV? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly what you’d call “highbrow.” My wife has been training the Oconomowoc hillbilly out of me for 35 years, with limited success. But come on, “Moonshiners!?” When subtitles are necessary to understand a show’s characters who are speaking something that resembles English, that might be a good indication of a waste of time.

Back to development. As is typical with construction projects, my staging was a bit off. An unforeseen problem with my Sitka supply chain left me one board short. Not wanting to idle my high-priced labor and delay progress, I charged ahead with the available materials. Fast forward to today, and I’ve got a mostly completed frame, but nowhere to glue up my second side board. Hmm…what would a Developer do? Yes, that’s it, bring in the crane and scrape the sky!

At this point in my build, my mechanical equipment was collecting dust, so why not put it to use? With my Harken powered crane in place, I hoisted my frame out of the way and created the space I needed to glue up my second sideboard. Whoa…and when I cut her loose from the oppressive chains of the building table, if she didn’t go into an immediate hike, like she was rounding the top mark in a blow! This frozen filly may be a hard one to tame.
Daniel Hearn

Big City Building

Regatta Dates 2020

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4LIYC Race Results


Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates

2018-2019

  • November 14
  • November 29 THURSDAY Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 12
  • December 27 THURSDAY
  • January 9 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 23 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 6
  • February 20 Business Meeting
  • March 6
  • March 20

Location: Off Broadway Drafthouse 5404 Raywood Road Madison, WI Time: 6:30 PM (Come earlier for dinner)


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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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