1 Ice Yacht Racing Way

1 Ice Yacht Racing Way


From the vast files of ice sailing researcher Henry Bossett, here’s an idea from the 1800s that never caught on, a planned community centered around ice sports and refrigeration. George Newnes originally published the illustration in his British weekly magazine, Tit Bits, “Tit-Bits from all the interesting Books and Newspapers of the World.” Newnes was an “early father of popular journalism”, and Tit-Bits had a surprisingly long run from 1881 to 1984. (I enhanced the iceboat sails with color.)

Bobcat On Ice

Bobcat On Ice

A short video via Andy Gratton. Minnesota ice sailor Kurt Martinson’s pandemic project was to convert a Bolger Bobcat (an adaptation of the Beetle Cat.)

Via Kurt Martinson: Hoping for enough wind to power thru some snow cover tomorrow. It’s a Bolger Bobcat I converted. 12’x 6’ plus the bowsprit. A pandemic project. Still working on getting the sail plan balanced. Think ice.

1200 Year Old Boat Recovered from Lake Mendota

1200 Year Old Boat Recovered from Lake Mendota

Photo: Don Sanford

Dejope (Four Lakes) is the territory of the Ho-Chunk Nation, the indigenous people who always have and continue to live here. The Whitehorses are Ho-Chunk Nation tribal members and long-time Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club members, including my late husband, Harry Whitehorse. I’ve always thought Native people had the technology to make iceboats. Harry told me that his uncle George Seymour built traditional snow sleds using deer antlers for the runners. Indigenous people could have made an iceboat using deer antlers for insert runners, woven rush mats for a sail, and a dugout canoe for the hull.

Yesterday, November 2, 2021, archeologists carefully removed an ancient dugout canoe from the bottom of Lake Mendota, where it had been resting for 1200 years. Looking closely, one could imagine a mast step and a steering chock hole.

Channel 3000: 1200 Year-Old Canoe Pulled From Lake Mendota
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Via Tom Kneubuehl posted on the Historic Madison, WI Photo Facebook page:
“This dugout canoe was pulled out of Lake Mendota around 1:00 p.m. today. It could be the oldest known sunken boat/shipwreck in Wisconsin. It is about 1200 years old and was discovered by a diver in June when it happened to catch their attention. Apparently the diver contacted the State Historical Society and a chain of events happened which led to today. A cache of fishing weights were found in the canoe so apparently it was used by the inhabitants of that time to fish with weighted net. Note how small the canoe looks. They must have had great balance and were obviously smaller. The canoe is undergoing a lengthy preservation process to make sure it survives. I live close to the lake location where it was brought ashore so this information is from conversations with people at the scene. The number of people involved is long. City and state had a lot of archeologists and other key personnel there to direct and help the extraction. The Mayor was there along with other key city department leaders. Divers did the underwater work and brought the canoe to shore including from the Sheriffs Department. Anyone else who knows more details can add to the story in the comments but in summary it was a pretty amazing sight.”

That Time On Little Bay de Noc

That Time On Little Bay de Noc

An example of a lateen rigged stern-steerer with an A-frame style mast.

Wisconsin Stern-Steerer Association Secretary Andy Gratton passed along this story from Steve Maniaci of Michigan about Little Bay de Noc and a stern-steerer with an unusual mast.

That capsizing photo (see “Who Did It Better?“) brings back memories on Little Bay de Noc, back in January of ‘69. My girlfriend and I were in my dad’s four-place stern steerer, going east and west along the leeward south shore of Gladstone’s waterfront with a strong north wind. Things were going well until I went beyond the power plant point and caught the full broadside blast of wind coming unimpeded from Rapid River.

 

We went up and over in a heartbeat. Thankfully, my girlfriend was wearing an insulated snowmobile suit that cushioned the blow. I was never so thankful for my old motorcycle helmet as that day.

 

I don’t know what the technical name is for that type of mast. We just called it a wishbone mast. The two parts of the wishbone were anchored to a metal bracket on the cross plank and were quite a ways out towards the runners. They came together with a metal bracket that held a large pulley for the mainsail halyard. The masts leaned forward and were held in place by two metal bars anchored to the nose bracket that also anchored the guy cables to the plank to the nose.

 

My dad bought it in the mid-’60s from Atley Peterson, an old Swede from Escanaba. Atley and his family built it, and he said they had clocked it at 90 mph back in the ’40s. The solid wood beam that makes up the body that everything attaches to has weakened with age and is no longer safe. The last time I sailed, it was on Little Traverse Bay in the late ’80s.

 

Iceboating is exciting and exhilarating, but it is so loud. I much prefer sailing my Boston Whaler Harpoon 5.

Chauncy Griggs 1936-2020

Chauncy Griggs 1936-2020

Chauncy Griggs, left talking with Dave Lallier at Burly & Donna Brellinthin’s cocktail party in Lake Geneva at the 2005 ISA. Photo: Jeff Smith

The ice sailing community extends condolences to friends and family of Minnesota ice sailor Chauncy Griggs who passed on January 7, 2021. Chauncy was an innovator well known for developing a wing-mast. He won a Challenge Pennant race in the 1990s on Lake Mendota with his sold wing mast. Those who were present still remember it as the fastest anyone had ever seen an iceboat move. His Class A Skeeter SHAZAM is pictured below.

Obituary

Griggs III, Chauncey Wright Age 84 of Mahtomedi died at home on January 7, 2021. He was recently preceded in death by his life-long love, soulmate, and wife of 59 years, Ethel W. Griggs. Chauncey is survived by his sons Chauncey (Eileen), and Bill (Heather), his grandchildren Lydia, Oliver, Liesel, Bennett, and Julia, sisters Ginny Magnuson, and Gian Hartner, and Ethel’s sisters Ariel Dickerman, Barbara (Mike) Bliss, Sally (Mark) Foster and Cynthia Mills (David). He leaves behind many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and dear friends. Chauncey graduated from Saint Paul Academy and the University of Minnesota in mechanical engineering. He owned and operated Griggs Contracting for over 40 years, but his life revolved around his hobbies. He loved to work in the garage customizing cars, boats, and airplanes. He was an early adopter of the fixed wing sails in ice boating and land-sailing, constructing his own boat and wings. Chauncey was also a private pilot (venturing into acrobatic flying in his 7o’s), catamaran racer, windsurfer, water skier, and inventor. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of Chauncey and Ethel’s favorite causes in his memory: Planned Parenthood, the Girl Scouts, or Habitat for Humanity. A virtual service will be held on January 23, 2021 at 11:00. For viewing information, visit unityunitarian.org
Published on January 10, 2021

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