View Full Version : Iceboating?
12-17-2004, 10:27 PM
Anyone here do that? That looks very interesting (and dangerous!). Is it fun? How can you schedule races? Do you just have to take off and go when the ice conditions are right?
I talked to Buddy Melges one time at a Star event and he was talking about ice boating. Said it was marvelous. It LOOKS bloody marvelous. anyone got a good tale to tell?
Anyone here do that?
Don't have my own sled, but friends do. I've had a few go-rounds.
That looks very interesting (and dangerous!).
Very interesting, and as dangerous as anything else that is very fast. Sorta like a motorcycle - if'n ya go fast and do somethin' stupid, ya fall down; if ya hit somethin' it hurts, if ya don't ya just slide a lo-o-ong ways.
Is it fun?
Oh my god. How can going 40 - 60 mph with yer butt mere inches off the ice with no noise 'cept the wind in the rigging and the chatter of the blades (and your own uncontrollable hootin' and hollerin') not be fun? Most fun you can have in a snowsuit, IMHO.
How can you schedule races?
Tell everybody to be at that lake at that time on that day. Set up a "phone tree" so the first guy there sends a message to everybody else that it's good ice and fit to fly or bad ice so just drink beer. Sorta like racing sailboats and wind.
Do you just have to take off and go when the ice conditions are right?
Go and check out this site (http://www.iceboat.org/faq.htm) to have a lot of your questions answered. Pay attention to the speed part. ;) :D
12-18-2004, 09:29 AM
Oh Ya, been there, done that, smile.gif lots of fun. I built a DN back in the mid 60's. I know from 1 st hand experience what it sounds like to have a laminated wood mast explode from too much force. :eek: This was accomplished by having 2 people on a 1 person boat in gale force winds, we were going god awfull fast and I looked up at the mast :eek: it was bent out about a foot between the deck and the stays, then back out a foot again above the stays. Just when I noticed this it exploded into thousands of splinters, made one hell of a band it did. :eek: Then the work began, pushing the boat upwind about a mile back to where the car was parked. :confused: After a few years of ice boat fun I started satisfying my winter sport desire with running sled dogs, and sold the boat.
12-18-2004, 10:04 AM
I like ice skating on lakes so I see the iceboaters out occassionally. I also use their web page (http://www.concentric.net/%7Edn4762/Forms/reportlist.shtml) to keep track of ice conditions (and occassionally post my own reports there).
I'll never forget the title of an article WoodenBoat published a few years ago on iceboating. It just seemed to sum it all up:
"Hard Water and Splinters"!
12-18-2004, 10:49 AM
Your mention of Bud Melges got me wondering what he's up to these days. I think his son is running Melges Boats.We went to high school together in Lake Geneva. Ice boating on Lake Geneva was something else especially the really big boats.
12-18-2004, 01:35 PM
Did it for several years, and built two boats. It's the wildest sensation of speed I've ever experienced. (This included aircraft, cars up to 180 mph, and powerboats to 110 mph.) i gave it up because it takes a combination of good weather, good ice good wind, and you in the right place all at the same time. About five years of never sailing ended my participation. I now belong to a club whose membership includes several world champions, and may get another ride this winter.
12-21-2004, 08:20 AM
Epoxy boatbuilders have a lot to thank ice boaters for. The Gougeon Bros (of West System Epoxy) came up with the Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique back in the 60s (I believe) to keep their iceboats light and strong. Meade re-captured world title a few years back when over 60 years old. Give them a buzz (989 684 7286) for specific technical advice (don't believe they do questions by e-mail tho')
12-21-2004, 09:42 AM
Speaking of iceboating, check out the current (sorry, Jan/Feb) issue of Wooden Boat. Nice picture on the cover...
[ 12-21-2004, 09:43 AM: Message edited by: essaunders ]
12-21-2004, 11:19 AM
it's a blast but you've gotta move about 1000 mi. north. the ice in alabama stays a little tooooo soft for an iceboat. :eek:
bye the way, when swmbo moved to mich. from alabama she had never heard of ice fishing and thought we were all crazy here.
[ 12-21-2004, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: bob goeckel ]
David Tabor (sailordave)
12-22-2004, 08:28 PM
I've always wanted to try this out! Maybe someone here on the WBF can help me out???
12-23-2004, 08:39 AM
Of course I've never done it, but I wouldn't mind trying it myself. I have land-sailed once before, but ice boating looks more fun to me.
Doubt I ever get the chance, but it looks like fun.
12-23-2004, 04:06 PM
Built an iceboat from scrap lumber, a Sunfish sail, and $40 in parts from the welder. A nice coat of paint and then we stashed it in the rafters at camp, waiting for the perfect day. Only used it 3 times in 5 years but it paid for itself in the first 2 minutes. It is still lurking and waiting in the rafters. Also made a 6' X 9' skate sail that looks a lot like a kite. Held against your windward shoulder, it will really make your skates scream.
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