FDR Presidential Library Historic Stern-Steerer Display Dec 21 – Jan 7

“John A. Roosevelt at the tiller of Kriss (not Vixen) on the Hudson, 1902” Photo & caption courtesy of White Wings and Black Ice

If you are a fan of the classic Hudson River stern-steerers, this exhibit is worth a visit. Via the Hudson River Ice Yacht Preservation Trust and Brian Reid’s White Wings and Black Ice

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum to host a display of authentic Hudson Valley Ice Yachts
December 21, 2023 through January 7, 2024
Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home
Ice yachts on display will include KRISS, built for FDR’s uncle John Aspinwall Roosevelt, CYCLONE, built for Herman Livingston Rogers, son of the Roosevelt’s Hyde Park neighbor Archibald Rogers, and 999, built for the owners of the J. G. Bodenstein Ice Tool Company in Staatsburgh, New York in the 1870s.

The display is presented by the Hudson River Ice Yacht Preservation Trust and Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. The boats can be seen — with full rigging — in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, during regular operating hours (9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.), with free admission. The facilities are closed on Christmas and New Years Day.

Iceboating Meets Woodstock


Ice sailing enthusiasts know that the Hudson River and its Stern Steerers are where it all started in North America. A short film about the historic Stern Steerers still sailing the Hudson is being showcased at the Woodstock Film Festival. A group of talented high school students from the Hudson River area created the film.

Via Brian Reid’s Facebook post:

Nathan Burger & several classmates made a short film on ice boating for their American Studies class at FDR High School in Hyde Park, last spring.
It was accepted at the 2023 Woodstock Film Festival, going on this week. film summary Link here:
https://woodstock2023.eventive.org/…/on-the-ice…
The teen shorts showing will be Sunday, October 1, 2023 6:30 PM at the Woodstock Community Center. ticket link here.
https://woodstock2023.eventive.org/…/teen-shorts-youth… you can buy a virtual ticket which allows you to stream until midnight Sunday.
Nathan is 3rd generation ice boater in the Burger family; The film is also a beautiful tribute to his grandfather Emerson.
Congrats to Nathan Burger, Mia Ferrara, Frances Gorres, and Kalighan Pelish, for their film!!

Book Club: Ice Boating by H. L. Stone

Technicalities.

Ice Boating by H L Stone

Previous: Book Club
Stern-Steerers ruled the ice 25 years before Frederic Gardiner wrote Wings On The Ice. In 1913 Herbert L. Stone published a popular iceboating book simply called Ice Boating. Stone, who edited Yachting Magazine, wrote the forward to Wings On the IceStone crammed his book with technical details and drawings. His friends in the yachting world contributed to the book, such as the famous yacht designer Nathanael Herreshoff who tried to explain the math behind iceboat speeds. 

I can find no evidence that Stone ever owned an iceboat, but he had a tremendous influence on the sport by helping to popularize it through articles in Yachting Magazine. Stone played a big part in reviving the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant (IYCP) when he encouraged the IYCP trustees of the New Hamburgh Ice Yacht Club to pass on the trusteeship to the Eastern Ice Yachting Association. Stone was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2019.

White Wings Black Ice is the greatest website source on the Hudson River ice yachts of Stone’s time. Brian Reid’s website has page dedicated to vintage books as well.