Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey has a long ice sailing history and is building on its tradition by hosting a Tune-Up Night. You can find more information on their new Facebook Group.
We hope to see folks who like to race and folks who enjoy cruising in any kind of iceboat. It’s also for people who want to know more about iceboating and our long history of sailing on Lake Hopatcong.
We rented a church parish hall, big enough to set up – a couple DN’s (new and vintage) inside so we can talk about setups and tuning. Big enough to lay out a mini-course and catch up on rules basics.
Plus…we’ll have a runner sharpener on site and some guys who know how to use it. Bring your runners and stuff to sell or trade if you want. Heck, bring your boat and we’ll set it up inside.(Please bring pads to protect the gym floor)
And we’ll have chili, snacks, beer and soda.
All are welcome. No charge.
6:00 to 9:00 PM
St. Judes Church Parish Hall. 40 Maxim Dr, Hopatcong, NJ 07843 (Parish Hall is behind the church)
More information on the Facebook Page
Michigan’s Ron Sherry set up these Skimmers on Lake St. Clair. In his article for the DN class newsletter Runner Tracks, “Be The Guy”, he wrote, “Be the guy that makes sure giving someone their first ice boat ride is a safe, exciting experience that they will tell all of their friends about.” Read the article here.
Last season, several 4LIYC members brought their Skimmer iceboats to the lake for fun and to easily give people their first taste of ice sailing. As of this week, Skimmer manufacturing and sales is now Wisconsin-based.
Windward Boatworks is excited to announce the acquisition of the Skimmer 45 Iceboat product line. The past owners, Jon and Nancy Cheris of Wind Power Products, manufactured and sold Skimmers for over forty years.
Windward Boatworks has been focusing on increasing ice sailing participation within the iceboating community and creating opportunities for summer sailors to try the sport. Everything pointed back to an iceboat priced comparable to other outdoor activities and easily shippable. Each time, Skimmer 45 became part of the discussion. That said, adding it to our line of products at Windward Boatworks made sense.
We envision an opportunity to get more iceboaters into the sport. For the more actively involved iceboaters, we are looking forward to re-establishing the Skimmer 45 National Organization and offering even more opportunities.
Ever since Buddy Melges’ induction in the first class of 2011, ice boaters have numbered among the elite sailors honored by the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF). Other hard water inductees include Peter Barrett, Olaf & Peter Harken, Jan & Meade Gougeon, Bill Bensten, Herbert Lawrence Stone (who authored books and articles), Bill Mattison, and Jane Pegel.
The sailing community’s full recognition of the sport of ice yachting has culminated with the inclusion of an iceboat in the new NSHOF museum in Newport, Rhode Island.
When visitors enter the impressive interactive exhibition hall, they will notice six boats hanging overhead from the exposed wooden rafters of the historic former armory. One of those six is an iceboat representing our community and those who live to “Think Ice.”
The NSHOF asked Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club Nite sailor Don Sanford (the driving force behind Bill Mattison’s induction), myself, and others for an iceboat. The museum had hoped to hang a Class A Skeeter, but the wide plank would have taken up too much space. They chose one that would fit – the most popular iceboat globally, a DN.
Peter Harken asked that the boat not be a “fixer-upper” but a fully fitted racing boat. The NSHOF accepted Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club member Doug Kolner’s offer to donate his complete modern DN.
The DNs natural wood hull and plank, built in a small garage in Monona, Wisconsin, are true to the roots of the DN’s humble beginnings at the Detroit News hobby shop in the 1930s. Doug built the boat using standard DN plans, and it symbolizes all the iceboat builders who enjoy kicking up some dust and mixing epoxy in their garage shops.
Current members of the NSHOF’s influence is evident in the fact that the boat was built using Gougeon brothers epoxy and Harken brothers fittings technology. Doug recognized NSHOF member Bill Mattison and Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Joe Norton as the builders who had influenced his iceboat building know-how.
Not a PC headline, but what can you expect from a sport dominated by old white dudes with hair growing out of their ears. Long past time to change our demographics.
Meet Erin Bury. She’s the size of a gymnast with a personality as big as the Deuce. Still in her twenties, she calls the Twin Cities home. She showed up on the catamaran racing circuit last summer with another Gopher and thought ice sailing sounded rad, when she heard us talking about it.
Last weekend, she stepped off a plane from Hawaii jet-lagged, took a quick cat nap, and headed to Lake Christina where she knew we were going to be. After checking out the boats big and small, she was convinced this sport was her kind of thing. Erin also brought her boyfriend, Dave. He’s cool. He brought his dirt bike with studded tires. He even let a couple of old dudes ride it, chiding us to lay it down like we mean it. He’s young and invincible. We know better. Sort of.
Also joining us from the Twin Cities for some tiller time was another cat sailor, Gretchen Wilbrandt. Gretchen’s first DN experience was the World Championships two years ago when she casually mentioned that ice sailing sounded like fun. Another first-timer, Renee Fields, also flew in from Arizona for the Worlds. First time…world championships…no big deal. Chicks rock!
Anyway, back to Erin. This weekend, she and Dave met us at Lake Altoona. Erin was itching to give it a go. Wind was light, but so is Erin, so with a little boost from a powered kick sled, she was up and going. (Side note: We discovered that the sleds are great coaching tools, too. My brother Brian sat on the seat, while I drove. He could easily get Erin started with his foot on the stern, and we both were right there for instructions). Next weekend, Erin will be meeting us on Lake Puckaway, if the weather cooperates for that regatta. Who knows…maybe she’ll be an iceboat owner by then.
Thanks to our friends Tim Mower and Bill Ecklund for inviting us to come and sail with them. And it was great to meet other locals, Dan, Dan and Rolf. Hope to sail with you again sometime.