Welcome to iceboat.org

The Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club is one of the most active iceboat clubs in North America. We’ve been building and racing iceboats for over 100 years in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Ice Is Never 100% Safe.

Our ice reports are strictly for iceboat racers. Recreational iceboaters, kite boarders, cross country skiers, and ice fishermen should not rely on our ice reports. We have safety equipment. Do you?

Buy or Sell Your Iceboat

One of the best pages in North America to buy or sell iceboats and their parts. There’s also a complete list of vendors who will supply iceboats, sails, and their components.

Common Questions:

How can I get started? How fast can they go? How much do they cost? Is it safe?

Regatta Watch

Information about the ISA, NIYA, WSSA, Nite, and DN regattas.

Iceboat Classes

Learn about Skeeters, DNs, Stern Steerers, Renegades, Nites, and Ice Optimists.

The Rules.

The purpose of iceboat racing rules is to prevent collisions.

Ice Yacht Clubs

The best way to learn about iceboating and make life long friendships is to join a local club.

Why We Sail.

“If all our ice were glass, slightly wet, and all our air reasonably steady with lifters just where needed, sailing would be perfect. Sometimes we do find this, and it is worth waiting years to have. Meanwhile we must accept the more ordinary ice conditions, ordinary weather and wind, and gracefully accept snow, sometimes for weeks. Our ideal comes from time to time, the Great Maker gives only so much of the very best.” Charles H. Johnson.

Iceboating for Kids

Ice Optimists were created specifically as a youth trainer, designed to be easily built using commonly available materials, and to keep costs to a minimum.


Ice is never safe! If you are new to the sport or a seasoned veteran, please review our Sailing Safe page.


February 27-28, 2021: Renegade Championship and Nite Commodore’s Cup Regatta (Provisional Scoring)
March 10, 2021: 4LIYC MEETING ON ZOOM:
More information

BURGEE: Order your 4LIYC Burgee

2021 Renegade Championship – Nite Commodore’s Cup Day 2

4LIYC members Tim McCormick, left, and Ron Rosten, right, line up in the one and two blocks for the fourth Renegade race.

Sunday’s conditions were a paradox of wind with intermittent fog. The Nites were the first to sail, and Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Byron Hill won his first race of the day.

The wind picked up, which made for an exciting and competitive Renegade race won by Tim McCormick. The Nites were able to sail one more, again won by Byron Hill.

The Renegades lined up for race four which was a four-lapper. After two laps, a competitor pulled in and informed the Race Committee that the weather mark had fallen because he had hit it. Chief Judge and Nite Commodore John Hayashi, assisted by Pat Heppert, immediately decided that sailors fishing around for the weather mark in the ever-lower visibility was a lousy situation and black-flagged the race.

Congratulations to Jim Gluek for his second Renegade Championship and Byron Hill for his victory in the Nite Class. Thanks to John Hayashi, the Green Lake Ice Yacht Club, and Pat Heppert for all his help.

The celebratory braunschweiger and onion sandwiches provided by Green Lake Ice Yacht Club’s Debbie Biermann at the trophy presentation were much appreciated. Her husband, Dan’s, birthday is coming up, and he asked her to make them rather than a birthday cake. We all hope it’s a new tradition.

Class A Skeeter sailors Ken White Horse and Paul Krueger haven’t had the conditions to sail this season. Mike Ripp made sure Ken kept his racing skills tuned up and lent him his Renegade to race in the regatta. Paul Krueger joined Ken as a coach, pit crew, and ATV driver.

Thanks, Peter Sarelis, for traveling to the regatta from Michigan and representing the Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club.

Regatta Watch: 2021 WSSA Called On for March 6-7

Andy Gratton’s fleet. Photo: Mike Kroll

The Wisconsin Stern Steering Association Regatta for 2021 has been tentatively called on for March 6 and 7. The site selected is Oconto, WI with a secondary site at Escanaba, MI. Final confirmation will be made by 1 PM Thursday, March 4. Check back here after that time. It is very probable that trailers will need to be pulled on at either site using a 4-wheeler.

Andy Gratton

WSSA Secretary/Treasurer

2021 Renegade Championship – Nite Commodore’s Cup Day 1 Photo Gallery

Mike Ripp and JACK’S FROST on Green Lake in Wisconsin. Photo: Jim Stevenson

Provisional Results

Light air and sticky, granular ice were the keywords of Saturday. Patience paid off for the Renegades, and they were able to sail two races. In the first race, light air specialists Greg McCormick, Tim McCormick, and Jim Gluek arrived at the leeward finishing line simultaneously for an exciting finish where Greg inched out the other two. Winds dropped during the second race, and just three sailors, race winner Jim Gluek, Greg McCormick, and Daniel Hearn, were able to make the time limit. The Nite fleet gave it their best try, but the light air brought out the black flag.

Pilot Jim Stevenson flew up for a look at the regatta and shared these photos with us. Thank you, Jim!
Boats should have no trouble getting around the course in today’s winds, forecasted to be 10-15 mph with possible gusts to 30mph.


Jay Yaeso designed and built this Stern-Steerer so that his two boys could enjoy ice sailing together. Glad to see that ice conditions at Oconto County Park near Peshtigo, WI enabled FROSTY and the Yaesos to start that journey. Of course Stern-Steerer sailors Mike Kroll and Andy Gratton were there too but off exploring when Jay took this photo.

Fort Peck Mini Skeeter Fleet

Here are some of Montana’s Mini Skeeter fleet who joined us at Fort Peck including John Eisenlohr, Dave Gluek, and Dave Farmer. Via John Eisenlohr’s Facebook page. Now I’m getting ready to head to Green Lake for the Renegade Championship and Nite Commodore’s Cup.

We joined Deb Whitehorse , Daniel Hearn and Pat Heppert at Fort Peck. Some locals from Glasgow showed up with DN’s. We drove 8 hours east on the high line of Montana to get there. Its been good sailing and fun racing the last 3 days. So far I’ve logged 253 miles of sailing. Thanks for inviting us to the photo shoot.

Regatta Watch: 2021 Renegade Championship Called ON for Green Lake, Wi

The 2021 Renegade Championship has been Called ON for Green Lake in Wisconsin, February 26-28. The first race is on Saturday, February 27 at 10 AM CT. Racing has been cancelled for Friday, February 26. This post will be updated with Sailing Instructions and more information as we receive it.

Preliminary Results  


Sailing Instructions

Online registration is MANDATORY. You will not be able to pay using cash or check at the sailing site.





Fort Peck Day 2: AM Report

Photo: Sean R. Heavey

Good morning again from below Fort Peck dam near the Missouri River. We had a long but fun day on the ice. We decided to move base camp from the marina landing to Duck Creek, the 2020 DN North Americans’ launch site. There was a rough ice area between the launch and the black ice that would have been difficult for the C Skeeters to push through. (DNers who used the south launch on Black Lake in Michigan at the U.S. Nationals will understand. It was challenging moving a DN through the minefield; imagine pushing a C Skeeter.)

We had plenty of willing and capable help to figure out the logistics of the move. Sean and his friend Dave carefully towed Daniel and Pat across the rough ice and around a heave. Once on the black ice, the sails remained rolled up on the planks, and they sailed using only their masts to the new launch.

The wind finally subsided enough later in the afternoon for some sailing and photography. A line of snow squalls on the other side of the lake provided an artistic backdrop.

After a dinner at the Gateway, we went back to the ice so that Sean, Dave, and another friend of his, Carlos, could experiment with lighting effects for night photography. Underwater flares were cool to watch, but they didn’t provide enough light for these photographers’ vision.
Sean, Dave, and Carlos brought out a host of specialized lights and rigging. We’ll be on the ice again tonight and hoping for a clear night sky with visible stars.

The winds are conducive for C Skeeter sailing at 12-18 mph with a 30F temperature. Pat is cooking up some eggs, and I’d better get ready to go to the ice. We are also expecting some Montana sailors to arrive this afternoon.

Here’s how Lake Mendota compares to Fort Peck Lake.

Fort Peck Day 1: AM Report

The playground, scoured by 55 mph gusts on Monday.

Good morning from the shores of one of the dredge cuts leftover from the Fort Peck Dam construction in Montana. We’ll be heading to the lake when the sun rises to set up the boats.

On Sunday night, we arrived in Minnesota to pick up Pat and his C skeeter. Of course, this being iceboating, Daniel’s boat needed a few adjustments to the cascading block system. Then the trailer had to be painstakingly packed to avoid any other component rubbing and potentially to destroy the bubble canopies. Happy to report that all parts arrived in excellent conditions.

We drove all through the night towards the setting moon, practically the only traffic on the interstate through North Dakota. We met up with Sean Heavey in Glasgow at breakfast as the high wind warnings came to fruition and made a plan for the day.

Ice fishing folks braving the 55 mph wind gusts filled the landing we used for the 2020 DN North Americans. Pat and Daniel helped local DNer Tim Ogrinic wrestle his DN off the ice and checked into our house located 20 minutes from the landing. It was a day to scout for courses from the car and return to the Gateway restaurant for lunch, where we spent a lot of time in 2020.

We’ll be leaving soon to set up at the Marina landing. The ice more towards the dam has excellent potential. Stay tuned on Facebook and here for an evening report.


There Goes the Neighborhood

Stolen from the 4LIYC Facebook page from Greg Whitehorse:

My Cousin Ken called me today and asked if I could help out on a project. He said I would have to use every bit of my accumulated knowledge gained by 31 years of being in the sign business. When I asked if it was a paying job (I recently retired and am now surviving on a fixed income) he quickly replied “Of course not”. Oh well. I decided to help anyway. It seems that the place which was formerly known as “the place where Paul and Ken worked on their boats”, was getting an official name.

Regatta Dates 2021


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National Iceboat Authority Web Page

4LIYC Race Results

Click for 4LIYC Meeting Dates


  • November 18
  • December 2
  • Elections, Elect Fleet Captains. Vote on ISA & NIYA Agenda Items
  • December 16
  • December 30
  • January 13 Honor Roll Nominations
  • January 27 Deadline for By-Law or Racing Rules Amendment Submission
  • February 10
  • February 24 Business Meeting
  • March 10

Location: Online using the Zoom App Members please email debwhitehorse@iceboat.org for the link.

Time: 6:30 PM


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Lake Access Permits

A year-round permit required for designated launch sites in the City of Madison and Dane County Parks. Locations include:

    • Lake Mendota Warner Park Mendota County Park
    • Lake Monona Tonyawatha Tr. Olin Park
    • Lake Waubesa Goodland Park

Purchase Lake Access Permit Online.


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