“Frank Tetzlaff: A Woodworking Genius”

An old windowsill from Madison house remodel leads to an iceboating story posted on the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation website.
Previous: 1934 Northwest Regatta

By Don Sanford
Ask any Madison iceboater if they know who Frank Tetzlaff is, you’ll get an earful. They’ll probably bend your ears for hours about two revolutionary iceboats he designed—the Fritz and the Mary B. In 1930, Frank established himself as one of the foremost iceboat designers in the Midwest when he designed and built the 38-foot Class A[1] stern steerer iceboat, the Fritz, for Madison iceboater and furniture dealer Fritz Jungbluth. The Fritz was a work of art and radically different from her contemporaries. But in iceboats beauty is only skin deep. It’s speed that counts and the Fritz was fast–real fast, winning regatta after regatta, bringing honor to her owner and hometown. Continue reading.

FRITZ, designed and built by Frank Tetzlaff.

1934 Northwest

Madison’s iceboating history is all around if you know where to look. The FRITZ is still remembered at the former Bernard Boathouse on Gorham St. on Lake Mendota.

1934 Northwest

In the mid 1930s, stern steerers were still the only class that sailed in the Northwest. The 1934 Northwest A class title was captured by the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club FRITZ, a boat built by Frank Tetzlaff, owned by Fritz Jungbluth, and piloted that year by Carl Bernard. The boat would go on to win the Northwest A Stern Steerer title for a total of 7 times. There’s enough history about this boat for a book to be written. Here are some articles about that regatta and links to some history. Apologies for not having the time this morning to write a more deserving in depth report on this boat.