Iceboating 101

4LIYC Junior Sailing Page
IDNIYRA Junior Sailing Page

This slide presentation, created by Sam Bartel, the IDNIYRA Junior Sailing Director, is cross-posted on DN North America. However, it is too valuable not to share with the entire ice sailing community. Keeping the pipeline full is crucial for DN Junior Sailing, and Sam’s presentation helps maintain and improve momentum.

Keeping Sharp

Mike Ripp, Ron Rosten, Lars Barber, and Doug Kolner get ready to sharpen. 

Saturday was a busy day in the world of iceboating. 4LIYC Renegader Ron Rosten shared runner-sharpening wisdom with Mike Ripp, Lars Barber, and Doug Kolner, who have recently invested in Bob Rast’s state-of-the-art sharpeners.

Adding to the excitement, a new Ice Optimist arrived in Madison. Ice sailors on Facebook shared stories about the Nite fleet welcoming a new member and the gang at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, preparing to get their DNs on the ice.

In less than three weeks, DNs will head to Minnesota to kick off the season at the annual informal gathering, the Western Challenge.

Lake Hopatcong Ice Yacht Club Tune Up Night

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.
Friday 12/30
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

See You Skimming

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.

Via John Hayashi of Windward Boatworks, Princeton, WI

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.


See You Skimming!
John Hayashi
Windward Boatworks

Iceboat in National Sailing Hall of Fame Museum

Visit the musem.

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.