The Right Path

Winnebago ice sailor Andy Gratton checks in while we wait for the ice to return.

Here are a couple shots of rough ice on Winnebago from last Monday, Jan 29. The ice is sailable with a small maneuverable boat if one follows the right path. The boat was sailed to that position.

Fond Du Lac Ice Yacht Club Readies for the Season

Dave Lallier with mother Carol in 2013 sailing their Johnson A Stern Steerer on Lake Winnebago. .

Carol Nichols ready to sail in 2013.

Fond Du Lac Ice Yacht Club members in 2023.

Our friends from Fond du Lac Ice Yacht Club recently shared a photo which features three original founding members – Dave Lallier, his mother Carol Nichols, and Karen Whealon. In 2013, Dave and his late brother Jeff had a fantastic day of sailing on their Johnson A Class Stern-Steerer with their mom, Carol. The Lallier family’s passion for ice sailing started with Dave and Jeff’s parents. “This iceboat thing started for me when I was a baby sitting on Mom’s lap in the back seat of MR. DASS, an old Don Ward D Skeeter still in the family. Jeff and I were lucky to have spent much time sailing with mom and dad when we were young.”
With the forecasted cold temperatures, here’s hoping that Lake Winnebago has a good freeze this season.
Tip of the Helmet: Julie Jankowski

Historical Photos from the 1947 Northwest

A55 is TAKU, currently owned by the Schloemer family of Lake Geneva, WI. Photo colorized by Photoshop.

Northwest Regatta Page

Thanks to Lori Klein-Clossen for sharing two captivating photos from her grandfather’s collection from the 1947 Northwest at Oshkosh. These photos are a welcomed addition to the 1947 Northwest history page.

In 1947, after a five-year hiatus due to World War 2, the first post-war Northwest convened at Oshkosh. Among the notable triumphs, the 4LIYC’s FRITZ, under the new ownership of the Lunder brothers with Carl Bernard at the helm, clinched the A Stern Steerer trophy. Ed Rollberg, a future bearer of the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant, secured the E Skeeter title.
The post-WW2 era brought a wave of innovation, with returning iceboaters, like the visionary Elmer Millenbach, designer of the Renegade.

A noteworthy read from the start of the 1946-1947 season: Yachting Magazine published a comprehensive article by eastern iceboater Ray Ruge, offering an in-depth exploration of iceboating in North America. Dive into the past and read it here [insert link].

Tip of the Helmet to Lori Klein-Clossen for connecting us with these historical photos.

UPDATE: Stern-Steerer skipper Mike Peters weighs in:

The only boat I can identify in the Skeeter picture is the left hand skeeter WILLY built by Al Ziebell of Oshkosh. I think the boat was new that year.
In the Stern Steer picture, from left is the FLYING DUTCHMEN owned by John Buckstaff, A-55 PHANTOM owned by Jimmy Kimberly, then sold to my Dad and Harvey Hayes. The boat is know TAKU out of Lake Geneva. Number 9 is FERDINAND the Bull from Detroit. Now owned by the Melges family from Lake Geneva. A3 is a mystery, looks like a Johnson Boat Works A Class. C12 is a bow steer CRAZY Craft owned by Bud Stroshine of Oshkosh. The last boat is a B from Pewaukee that won her class that year as noted in one of the most recent articles on


Andy’s Iceboat Board Game

Lake Winnebago ice sailor Andy Gratton checks in with his version of an iceboat board game:

I was doing some catching up tonight and saw the nice iceboat game from Michael Young. That reminded me of the game my two kids and I used to play way back when they were in grade school. I dug it out and included some pictures. We used markers and a spinner from another game. I would have made 3D-printed stern steerers for markers, but 3D printing was barely known. Everything on the game happened in the 1992 regatta at Oshkosh – Rosemary capsized, Todd Haines was thrown from Mary B, Country Woman broke the halyard, I think John Davis got stuck in a snowdrift, there was an ice shanty on the course, and more than one boat spun out. This isn’t nearly as fancy as the new game, but it’s fun for small kids. Print it off and play it if you want. Three laps!

Read Andy Gratton’s classic story, The Day The ROSEMARY Tipped Over.”