Shop time with friends is a big part of iceboating and a long tradition with the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club. Last weekend, a group of friends invaded Daniel Hearn’s shop and laid up a composite C Skeeter iceboat mast under the direction of C Skeeter maestro Pat Heppert. Want to build a C Skeeter? Plans here.
Here are two stories from Ken Whitehorse and Greg Whitehorse about Bill.
Did you know the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club had a volleyball team? The late Bill McCormick sponsored the team. Bill was a terrific ball player! (Me, not so much.) And yes, Bill Mattison was a fantastic spiker! He could pound the cover off the ball! We played in the city power volleyball league against younger teams, including university club teams. We were city champions in 1978.
After a match, while having a few dippers, we talked about how cold it was. “It was makin’ ice.” Bill Mattison recalled how bitter cold it was in the trenches while fighting as a soldier in the Korean War. It was deathly cold. Bill McCormick served on a combat ship off the Korean shore during those winters. Bill McCormick said, “You know I always felt guilty and sorry for all those soldiers in that bitter cold, day after day. Bill paused ….. He said he was grateful for the warmth of the ship.
Mattison brought the conversation back to iceboating. He told us that on his return trip from the war, he drew up the plans for Honey Bucket #1. They were full-size plans, and he laid them all out on the beck of the ship! I learned a lot from those two men. We weren’t just playing volleyball. Fair Winds All. Until we meet again in the bye and bye.. Ken Whitehorse
I remember stopping at the Willy St shop one winter day. Bill asked me why I wasn’t on the lake sailing the previous weekend. (I sailed in the Skeeter fleet back then.) I told him that I had broken my runner plank the week before. He said, “Bring it in. Let’s get it fixed”. I told him it was beyond repair. His next words were, “get some wood off that stack there (Sitka Spruce), and we’ll start on a new one. By the third day, it was edged, planed, glued, and shaped. Bill did the vast majority of the work. He even put a coat of epoxy on it. I brought it back to my garage, hung the hardware on it, and was on the ice the next weekend. I’m sure Bill had other things to do that week, but getting another boat on the line took precedence. What a guy! Greg Whitehorse
Second day of M165 repairs: The inside bulkhead was reinforced with 1″ by 4″ by 11″ oak. Note the blow out at upper left. The deck was reinforced with three layers of carbon fiber. Next, we will mount the pulleys. Paul “Samson” Krueger will be able to pull the sheet rope with great confidence that the pulley system is secure! P.S. (Past Champs Iceboat Shop has no warranty on any repairs)
Paul, Tom Hyslop, and Grant Frautschi rolling RAMBLN’
Via Ken Whitehorse over at the Past Champions Iceboat Shop:
Immediately after the 2022 ISA cookout and trophy presentation, some racers came over to the Past Champions Iceboat Shop and helped roll M-165 on its side. Why? During the first A Skeeter race of the ISA, Krueger was running a fast second and was challenging for first. One more mighty pull on sheet rope would have secured the position! And so one more Herculean pull, and he ripped the pulley blocks out of the deck! Sigh…. There is no time for lamenting; it’s time to repair M165 with a newer and stronger oak backbone! See all you iceboat racers on the lake next week!