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.

NEW LOCATION: Off Broadway Drafthouse!! 4LIYC Meeting: March 20 Info
4LIYC Banquet: Save the date! April 27

Saturday Skeeter Session

Ken Whitehorse and Jim Gluek crunching the numbers of Class A Skeeter sails down at the Krueger/Whitehorse Skeeter Speed Shop.

4LIYC Skeeter sailors Ken Whitehorse, Paul Krueger, and Jim Gluek gathered at the Krueger/Whitehorse Skeeter Shop on Saturday. They brought and measured 8 sails and learned that all were less than 74 square feet. They also spent the day configuring a new Harken cascade pulley system designed by Steve Orlebeke for Ken’s new blue-soon-to-be-red Skeeter. Steve’s design is attracting a lot of interest including some from Daniel Hearn who stopped by to see it being installed. Ken reports that Tom Hyslop will also be changing his pulley system over Steve’s design which uses a combination of Harken block 3238, 3216, and 3215.  Iceboat work never stops!

Jim Gluek took some of the photos and sent along this note:

Great day with two legends in our sport. PK and Kenny. Stories of the Skeeter side-car so Kenny could take a crew; two sets of chocks on the plank so you could move the runner in board. One of the most awesome thing about ice boating are the people and the stories over the years.

Steve Orlebeke: At The Front!

Steve Orlebeke sailing a Class A Skeeter at the Northwest regatta on Lake Pepin, MN, January 20, 2019.

4LIYC Skeeter & DN sailor and head of Harken Engineering Steve Orlebeke explains why he’d rather be on ice in the Harken publication, At The Front.

Like a lot of us here in Pewaukee, I’m a lifelong sailor. Maybe less like most of us, my favorite sailing is done where you really hope you never get wet. For the last several years I’ve been working as hard as I can in the Skeeter and DN iceboat classes. I descend from a grand Harken tradition. Get them in the right moment, Peter and Olaf might let slip that they like iceboating best too. Read more.

Waiting with NORA

“When I grow up”

A splendid picture from Uppsala in Sweden with the famed historic ice yacht NORA and an Ice Optimist as they wait together for the wind to come up.

Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to March 9 and 10, 2019. The next update will be Sunday, March 3. Check back here at that time. Still too much snow on the lake although the ice on the roads might work for us.
Andy Gratton
WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

On the DN Road: Gold Cup & NA Update

Nevada’s Renee Fields at the helm of 4LIYC’s Jori Lenon’s DN at the DN World Championship, Indian Lake, OH

DN North America

A quick update before heading out for the first day of the DN North Americans on Lake Wawasee in Indiana. Yes, we’ve moved 3 hours west from Ohio to better ice. You’ve all probably heard by now that 2019 DN World Champion, Michal Burczinski of Poland, won the regatta in a boat borrowed from 4LIYC member and Spaight St. Syndicate director Daniel Hearn, and not just any boat, Daniel’s best equipment. An incredible testament to true sportsmanship by Daniel when he learned that the Polish boats were delayed in transit and wouldn’t make the regatta in time.
But that’s not the only 4LIYC boat on the line. Jori Lenon loaned her boat to land sailor Renee Fields of Nevada who had never sailed an iceboat prior to this regatta. Renee was the third highest placing female in the Gold Cup. I think we may have another convert. So thank you Jori and Daniel for helping to promote this sport by loaning your boats to competitors. Follow the action at idniyra.org! Off to the lake….


DN World Championship Update

Photo: Debbie Parker

A quick post before I head off to day two of the DN Worlds. Excellent racing yesterday in 3 hugely competitive fleets. Scores, photos, and video over at idniyra.org


Regatta Watch: WSSA Postponed

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association regatta has been postponed to March 2 and 3, 2019. The next update will be Sunday, February 24. Check back here at that time. Still too much snow, shell ice, and roughness.

Andy Gratton
WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

4LIYC Goes East to Ohio!

A hint of what’s to come: Line up from  the 2019 European Championship                 Photo: Gwidon Libera

Several members of the 4LIYC including Daniel Hearn, Dave Elsmo and myself will be heading to the 2019 IDNIYRA Gold Cup and North American championship which has been called on for Indian Lake, Ohio. This is going to be a good one to watch – as of this morning, 112 competitors are registered with surely more to register tonight. I’ll try to post updates throughout the week.  Safe travels to everyone!
Follow along at idniyra.org.


Runner Tracks Newsletter Scores

2019 February Runner Tracks

The February issue of the DN newsletter, Runner Tracks, has just been published over at the DN class website. Besides some excellent photography, this mid-season issue has a couple of articles that may be of interest to those involved with the race committee end of things. IDNIYRA Commodore Warren Nethercote’s article about the DN tiebreak system also includes information about how Steve and Mary Jane Schalk deal with tiebreaks in other classes. If you want to get a handle on the Bart scoring system, read Loretta Sherry Rehe and Paul Goodwin’s article that explains Bart scoring (also known as Grand Prix scoring, or Indy 500 scoring as I call it. When the checkered flag goes up at the Indy 500, all cars finish no matter what lap they are on.)

Regatta Dates 2019



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National Iceboat Authority Web Page

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • 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)



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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