Balancing Act: Navigating Tongue Weight at the Current Fast Champions Ice Boat Shop

It took half the race committee to move the trailer at the DN North Americans.

During the recent Northwest regatta and 2024 DN North American Championship on Lake Waconia in Waconia, MN, attendees who had the task of maneuvering the DN Western Region ATV trailer on the ice might have felt like they were steering the Titanic due to its hefty tongue weight. However, despite its weight, the trailer was a dream to tow and allowed me to improve my trailer-backing skills. Nevertheless, the necessity for maneuverability on the ice outweighed the benefits of towing ease, prompting a visit to the Current Fast Champions Ice Boat Shop (formerly known as the Past Champions Ice Boat Shop) for further customization and weight reduction.
CFCIBS Wrench-Turner Ken Whitehorse reports:

The tongue weight on DN Western Region trailer was 400 lbs ! That’s like throwing a 55 gal drum of water in the back of you car! Yikes! Hope you DN racers don’t need this next week! The Current Champs Shop is kinda busy swapping out old used air for new air in trailers tires this month!

Tale of the scale.

The Current Fast Champions crew found their runner-sharpening halted by an open-wheel midget racing car that had rolled into the shop.

Luckily, they were able to access the big machine.

The Neighborhood Just Got Better

PREVIOUS: There Goes the Neighborhood
The next door neighbor of made some improvements on their building on the Monday after the Northwest regatta.. Greg Whitehorse was there to help and document the change.

It was a busy day at the Past Champions Iceboat Shop in Monona, Wisconsin. Ken WhiteHorse captured the Northwestern Class A Skeeter Championship last weekend on Minnesota’s Lake Waconia, 47 years after capturing that same title in 1977(!!!). You do,after all, have to keep things “Current”.

Whole Lotta Boinging Goin’ On

Here’s the latest Spaight Street Syndicate Update on the baker’s dozen Nite mast project:

Whole Lotta Boinging Goin’ On

Yesterday was boinging day at the Spaight Street Syndicate. With a baker’s dozen of Sitka Spruce Nite Racing Masts nearing completion, it was time to determine the boingosity of each. Freshly back from the American Magic camp in Barcelona, the smart person job was handled by Kyle Navin, while the old man (the reigning Nite National Champion) recorded the data. “Funny, but every time the weight needed to be hoisted onto the sling, the two old guys had “business” to conduct on their phones,” commented the junior Navin. Little did Kyle know, but this was actually a training session on the fundamentals of business management–the day’s focus being on delegation and empowerment.


Precise boing data was collected with a top secret amount of weight (it was 80 lbs.) suspended at the mast center, with readings taken at the bottom third, halfway and two thirds points. The builders were pleased to note that the boing was remarkably consistent from side to side, even prior to final tuning. Over the range of masts, centerpoint boingosity was recorded from 3.2″ to 5.8″. In the days ahead, comparisons will be made to other existing masts that have performed well on the ice in the past.


Key questions–
1.) How much boing is ideal?
2.) How much is too much boing before mast failure?
3.) Since we now have the option to lose the lead, are softer masts more practical? Inquiring minds want to know.

Evolution of a Mast Project

The sanding crew, from left Paul McMillan, Jerry Simon, Steve Holtzman, Stefan Schmidt, Lars Barber, Don Anderson, Mike Ripp.

Just as changing a light fixture in a house frequently evolves into a room renovation, replacing a broken sheave on the mast of MARY B became a more extensive project.

In August, the Iceboat Foundation showcased two boats – the MARY B and the Class A Skeeter INSANITY – at Marshall Park during the E Scow Nationals. While both boats impressed the onlookers, the crew encountered an issue with a faulty sheave when they tried to take down the sail.

Mike Ripp, paint specialist

As they were replacing the sheave, the crew decided to take the opportunity to give the mast a fresh coat of paint. Mike Ripp, volunteered to do the entire paint job and will apply two coats of the traditional white paint, one side at a time over the course of the week.

The Spirit of ACME

Minnesota mastermind Pat Heppert slapped the ACME seal of approval on his latest build, a Mini-Skeeter, a boat that does double duty for land or ice. Pat has created a new blocking system and is anxious to try it on the ice. I suspect we’ll see MINI DRIFTER the first week of December at the Minnesota Western Challenge.
“[The blocking system ] worked well and didn’t break or bend, so rework is unnecessary. Putting the ratchet block between my feet was definitely a good call. You should be able to keep your arms under the deck at all times without difficulty.”
Previous ACME Lab posts:
Getting Framed
Still Somewhat Confused