The Essence of Iceboat Racing Captured in 29 Minutes

This video was worth the six month wait and worth your time. Thank you, Rejean Lemay of Kingston, Ontario. He shares his thoughts about spending three days on the ice with us at the DN Worlds:
"The DN ice boaters are nomads chasing the elusive perfect ice and wind conditions for their craft. They will travel long distances at a moment’s notice to meet venues that are dictated by sometime ephemeral ice and weather conditions to practice and compete in their winter sports....Over the past months, I compiled and edited the material to produce this video which I trust will rekindle the vibes and spirit of the Kingston DN championship in those who participated and volunteered as well as to contributing to making the sport known to a larger audience. In passing I also wanted to highlight Kingston as an attractive and welcoming venue for such events.
As an amateur videographer with limited technical means, I certainly was not fully prepared for snapping pictures and taping videos in the whipping wind and bitter cold offered by the vast expense of frozen Lake Ontario. I certainly did not expect the long waits in between races that were taken in stride by the participants which were the prelude to quick bursts of racing activities that left me little time and opportunities to collect video footage of quality. Video tracking of specific often distanced and fast moving ice boats with extended camera zoom was problematic as my weighed tripods and I could not always hold still in the wind sweeping the large expense of frozen water. So, I apologize for some of the shaking in the video that could not be corrected in post-production.
My extremities got cold from standing in the open and my fingers painfully frozen from operating the cameras bare hand even for short periods. I believe my metabolism slowed down from exposure, which was a good thing considering the number of hours I spent quite a distance off shore. Nonetheless, I was warmed by the convivial atmosphere enveloping the on-ice event. My experience was probably akin to that experienced by the race officials and volunteers who were instrumental in making the Kingston regatta not only possible but also the success it was.
The Video was Produced in HD - For best viewing, select 1080pHD and Full Screen modes from your player’s settings. Put on your headphones and enjoy."

Jane Pegel Receives Award

Jane Pegel was given a Leadership in Education Award by the American Assoc. of University Women, Geneva Lake Branch. Jane’s accomplishments in sailing and sailing education made her a worthy honoree.

Matt at the 2009 DN Worlds. Photo by John Russell.

Matt Struble Wins
"Closest Thing to Iceboating on Softwater" Championship

Congratulations to DN skipper Matt Struble for winning the A Cat North American Championship this week in Florida. Read more about it here.

Watch this interview with former DNer Ben Hall who talks about the similarities between the A Cats and DNs. Jane Pegel relayed the following about him: "Ben was an engineer at Kenyon, designed the Kenyon aluminum DN masts. Ben left Kenyon to join his brother at Hall Spars. Hall Spars built the wing masts for the America’s Cup winner. The designer of the masts races a Laser in the masters regattas, several times world Laser champion in his division. When they were first sail testing the wing mast it was over Thanksgiving in San Diego. Susie received a Christmas e-card photo of the the guy sighting up the mast during the test sails. Jeff Kent used to work for Hall. I assume you know that Henry Bossett with Jeff Kent crewing would have represented the USA in the Tornado class in the 1980 Olympics in Estonia if Jimmy Carter had not boycotted the Olympics.

TBT: 1934 Stuart

In the course of updating this website, I'm coming across so many great photos. Here's a favorite from the 1934 Stuart Cup which was sailed on Lake Winnebago. Sitting on the Debutante, from left, Carl Bernard, Camp Van Dyke, John Buckstaff, and Andy Flom.

Tom Lothian

Former Skeeter Ice Boat Club treasurer Tom Lothian of Williams Bay, Wisconsin has died at the age of 86. Mr. Lothian was also a former commodore of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club. He is survived by sons Tom and Jack and their children. There will be a visitation on Friday May 22nd at Toynton's in Walworth from 3-8pm. There will also be a short visitation on Saturday from 10-11 at the UCC church in Williams Bay followed by a memorial service. Here's a tribute to his uncle from John Lothian.

"Iceboating Rules the Lakes"

Wonderful article about the history of Detroit's iceboating scene. Read it here.

What did I just get myself into? Oh, I mean, welcome to the latest version of! This newly designed site has features that will make your browsing experience better on mobile phones and tablets.


The home page has all of the same information as the previous version but in a leaner and cleaner version. The page design is two columns rather than three. Starting from the top of the page in the right column, you will find:

  • Regatta Dates: Just click on the header and all will be revealed.
  • National Iceboat Authority information.
  • Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club By Laws, Racing Rules, Meeting Dates, and an archive of club race results.
  • A complete list of iceboat clubs and facebook pages.
  • The website visitor counter which is almost at TWO MILLION!
  • A list of webcams so that you might catch a glimpse of some sailing.
  • Information about Lake Access Permits for Dane County.
  • Link to the merchandise page.
  • The Google search box.

Please email to me if there's a favorite page or link that's gone missing. All of the main pages are redesigned and I'll be updating the rest of the site during the summer.

New Runner Tracks Posted

Runner Tracks, the DN class publication, is now posted.
Great story about the Worlds and lots of great photos.
Take a look.

The Song Remains the Same

"In my opinion, there is nothing on an iceboat more important than perfect runner alignment." Jane Pegel shares this 1964 Lakeland Boating magazine article about the designer of the Renegade, Elmer Millenbach. Read it here.

Too Weird Not To Share
What do you do when waiting for the wind? In Latvia, this is what they do!
Tip Of The Helmet: Jerry Simon R113

Future WSSA Commodore Calls Meeting To Order

WSSA Secretary Andy Gratton introduced his first grandchild to iceboating at the Fond du Lac IYC picnic. "The newest member of the Fond du Lac Ice Yacht Club, my 4 week old grandson, Charlie. I think he is keeping the ice chips out of his face."

Harken Lunch Club

Directly lifted from the Harken Facebook page:
"A reunion for the ages was held at Harken headquarters on Friday! Joining Peter and Olaf for lunch and their first tour of the new plant were: (Left to right)

  • Buddy Melges, sailing legend.
  • Charlie Miller: Former head of North Sails Midwest.
  • Bill Mattison, Ice boating legend.
  • Bob Gilson of Gilson Medical - where Peter Harken was first inspired to use plastic ball bearings in blocks for his ice boat!

The day was surely filled with more than a few good stories!"

MacGyvered Mast

Green Lake Ice yacht club member Drew Zaratsky shared some video and photos from yesterday's Fond du Lac Ice Yacht Club picnic where the owners of Spindler demonstrated an interesting new method of stepping and raising their stern steerer mast.

Joys: Your Iceboat Headquarters

Mel Jones from the Carl Bernard Scrapbook

UPDATE 4-26:Andy Gratton writes, "Since this is Joys Brothers week, I thought I better send in a photo of the emblem, with the Viking ship on it, so everyone can see what you get with the $100 sail. This is on the mainsail for Wisconsin."
The date on the label is quite old for any Wisconsin business to have been established considering the state achieved statehood four years later in 1848. The business was established as a ship chandlery and sail maker by G.D. Norris of Boston. Capt. Jon Joys, who began working there in 1856, later took over the business and changed the name. The Viking ship on the label is a reference to Capt. Joys' place of birth, Norway.
Via Jane Pegel: "This past winter Chris Goes (son of Cuppy), mailed to Bob Pegel these pages from the Joy Brothers (Milwaukee) iceboat catalog, vintage 1940’s. Mel Jones was then the sailmaker at Joy Brothers. Most of the hardware shown is for Mead built Skeeters, though I think the shock front end was invented by Tom Jones, brother of Mel Jones. We used to refer to that as the “Jones front end”. Tom worked at Starline in Harvard, IL and lived in Fontana. Both Tom and Mel were members of the Skeeter Ice Boat Club. In the summer they raced a class A scow. Intresting to note the deluxe Skeeter sail was $100.00."
Download catalog here.

Extending The Season

Michigander Stern Steerer skipper Eric Sawyer's view from the bridge of his other iceboat, the Great Lakes freighter, Kay E. Barker
The Fat Lady is taking her time again this year. Ice is sticking around a bit longer. As of April 11, Mike Madge reported he was still skiing (not sailing his DN because he doesn't have slush runners) on Lake Superior's Thunder Bay. On April 9, Warren Nethercote in Nova Scotia reported some spring sailing in his neck of the woods. Iceberg like formations have been seen floating around Lake Superior. Eighteen Great Lakes freighters, including Michigander stern steerer skipper Eric Sawyer, are stuck above Whitefish Bay on eastern Lake Superior, Ontario. p>

A DN Nederland Production in Conjunction with his Iphone:
Baikal 2015

What do you do when you flying back home from Lake Baikal?

Posted by DN Nederland on Monday, April 13, 2015

Previous posts from the 2014-2015 season here.