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Thread: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

  1. #1
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    Default An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Me and a friend have decided to build iceboats. Two similar, and compete on the lake we live by. The lake is 4 km, and is used for skating, and we also drive cars on it when its frozen. Sometimes ofcourse the ice is covered with 2 meter snow...

    This must be a really low budget project, because the real money goes in the water-boats. High aspect of DIY and using what we have cheaply available. We are not looking for high performance.

    I know polytarp is almost a banned word here, but we consider that option. Then I was thinking about a fixed wingsail with a flap, like the dirtboat in attached video.

    I hope anyone with knowkedge about wingsail could help here. Is there a source for offsets to make a good wing profile and flap profile? I consider a frame partly made of polystyreen foam and wood, and maybe covered with shrinking palstic, if we find some. (They only sell it in 4x50 meter rolls here... not cheap)

    The iceboat itself will be our own construction, but inspired by DN, mini skeeter and a sweedish design called Isabelle.




    Regards

    Fred

  2. #2
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    The least expensive iceboats that we know about is the Cheapskate, designed by Lloyd Roberts, https://iceboat.me/cheapskate/. While set up for a Sunfish sail, there is no reason that it couldn't carry a cheap wing. Top speeds are about 70km.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Save yourself some money and build a DN to plan.
    Or buy used. That's what I did.
    Bought it for $1000, sailed it for three winters and sold it for $1000.
    Put about $75 into it in paint.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    We are not looking for high performance.
    Though some are certainly faster than others, there really is no such thing as a "low performance" iceboat. They either go quite fast, or they don't go at all. The whole deal with iceboating is that you will be cruising along at high speed and thinking "This must be about as fast as this thing can go." Then a puff comes along and it goes even faster as your eyes open even wider.

    Any sort of wing sail is about as far from "simple and inexpensive" as you can get. If you really want to build your own boat and sail, it would be much smarter to just build some kind of conventional sail, which is also going to be a better bet than beating the crap out of something like a Sunfish sail (which is what happens to them). A small iceboat sail is nearly dead flat with maybe just an inch or so of luff round added. It does, however need to be pretty heavy-duty as the strains on it will be severe. I've seen Renegade class iceboat sails which were two layers of Dacron sailcloth, so maybe you could double-layer polytarp and get a bit more lifespan out of it. Whatever it is, it has to be really strong and be able to withstand a whole lot of mainsheet tension.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    the simplest cheapest ice boats I am aware of are the South Bay Shingle, only 2 runners and no steering runner mechanism so they are very easy to construct and very durable, also carry 2 or 3 people and only 12-16' long... including bow sprit and boomkin, the deck is simply a sheet of marine plywood.



  6. #6
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    here's a ride... max speed of these boats is 35+- mph... which feels like 50+


  7. #7
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    Thanks all. maybe a thick polytarp will do then 400 grams pr square meter maybe or 600? Maybe possible to weld the seam too. Its no option to buy used as iceboats is not common here. I have never been closer to one than youtube. There was one sailing on the lake some years ago, and made it too Tv news 😁.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    I wouldn't waste your time and effort with a polytarp sail. In softwater sailing polytarp sails gets blown apart and lose their shape after a season or two of casual use. The forces acting on the sail in iceboating are dramatically higher. The structure and amount of reinforcing on a properly built iceboat sail is impressive.

    I live and iceboat in an area where iceboating is a regular winter activity and have seen all sorts of iceboat designs, including homemade Frankenboats. I've never seen a boat with a poly sail.

    I would really consider trying to get a used sail shipped to you. They are readily available and can be had for cheap. Also, I would reconsider your idea to design your own boat. Even if you are successful, which is problematic, your boat will have value only to you. There is no market for non-class boats. Excellent plans are available for class legal boats and these craft are proven performers.Successful iceboats go through several design and prototype iterations before being released to the public. Do you have the time, patience and resources for this process? You may end up spending the same amount of time and money on a poorly performing boat as you would have on a proven design.

    If you build to class legal plans and get a great boat you may inspire other sailors around you to join in and get a racing fleet going. Heaps o' fun.
    Last edited by Dusty Yevsky; 10-17-2017 at 10:31 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Yevsky View Post
    I wouldn't waste your time and effort with a polytarp sail. In softwater sailing polytarp sails gets blown apart and lose their shape after a season or two of casual use. The forces acting on the sail in iceboating are dramatically higher. The structure and amount of reinforcing on a properly built iceboat sail is impressive.

    I live and iceboat in an area where iceboating is a regular winter activity and have seen all sorts of iceboat designs, including homemade Frankenboats. I've never seen a boat with a poly sail.

    I would really consider trying to get a used sail shipped to you. They are readily available and can be had for cheap. Also, I would reconsider your idea to design your own boat. Even if you are successful, which is problematic, your boat will have value only to you. There is no market for non-class boats. Excellent plans are available for class legal boats and these craft are proven performers.Successful iceboats go through several design and prototype iterations before being released to the public. Do you have the time, patience and resources for this process? You may end up spending the same amount of time and money on a poorly performing boat as you would have on a proven design.

    If you build to class legal plans and get a great boat you may inspire other sailors around you to join in and get a racing fleet going. Heaps o' fun.
    +1 pressures on a Ice boat sail are far greater than a soft water boat, I made my sail by cutting and re sewing an old Star olympic type sail.

    the only thing you could do with a poly tarp sail on the ice would be a skate sail...

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the comments. One thing I learn here is about the pressures on iceboats... good to know!!!

    There is no aftermarked for iceboats where we live. We are lucky if the conditions are good for sailing 3-4 times in the season. We are doing it just to have a fun project, and learn. The construction will depend more on what we have available than what would be the best choice. This is not more serious for us than building a Stock Car/ soapbox car.... ok a little more😁

    our ambitions is more like the guy in the video here. But I am facinated also by the wing sails. I se them also buildt in frames with plywood. I like working with woood, and I am not afraid to do things over again. That could happen also using a plan 😁

    https://youtu.be/6L8pihMM89I




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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Sounds like a fun project.
    Good luck.

    IMHO, starting with a known design will make it more fun.
    West System had information on building a wing mast for a DN, done by one of the Gougeons. I was always interested but Texas doesn't have much ice.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    Save yourself some money and build a DN to plan.
    Or buy used. That's what I did.
    Bought it for $1000, sailed it for three winters and sold it for $1000.
    Put about $75 into it in paint.
    I have never sailed a DN, but I have seen them sail. A neat craft. I think the design was sponsored by the Detroit News, in Michigan, where there a lot of lakes to freeze over. They look like they could be built in the basement and passed out the window, and strapped to the top of your car. With 40 square ft of sail they can reach 70 mph, I am told.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Also known as the "poor man's iceboat". With 18" ski-boot skates you can go as fast as a DN, plus you can do it with skis when snow covers the ice, but black ice is the dream. I used to make 'em and sell'em about 30 years ago.
    A short clip from a few years ago in gentle 6-8kt breeze....
    https://youtu.be/lzDlPZplwDI

  14. #14
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    The DN is the most popular iceboat in the world and it's history is a good cautionary tale about the pitfalls of designing iceboats. The DN design, originally called the Blue Streak 60, was intended as an iceboat that could be built by amateur builders in home workshops and easily transported to the ice. The original fleet of 50 was built in a workshop at the Detroit News, after the paper placed an ad looking for volunteer builders. Almost all of the original fleet suffered catastrophic failures due to design flaws and none of the first design generation survived. Subsequent redesigns addressed the flaws but the evolution clearly demonstrates that designing a boat on paper doesn't guarantee success.
    Last edited by Dusty Yevsky; 10-17-2017 at 10:18 PM.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    The Cheapskate platform referenced in post #2 above is a proven really cheap iceboat platform with several seasons and hundreds of hours under it. Designed for a Sunfish sail ( and Todd, they seem to last well enough on this platform; the sails will never go back on a racing sunfish!) one could put a cheap wing up on it. From tests with wing masted iceboats in air heavy enough to allow sailing under mast alone it should be possible to build a single element wing.

    The references to skate sailing are interesting; that gets you into sailboard sails on a runner equipped board etc. But more seriously some of the Swedish skate sailors have developed icewings, home built wings that you stand inside. https://sites.google.com/site/icewinghomepage/ Perhaps one could look at how they do it; plywood and shrink wrap I think. One might be able to adapt that technology to a Cheapskate?
    Ben Fuller
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Well well well :-)

    We ended up making two iceboats with polytarp sails. As mentioned in the start of the thread it had to be low budget, and we also wanted the fun of just using materials we have and design it ourselves. Yes I know its not rational, but its fun!

    As you see in the video we underestimated totally the forces working on an iceboat, and we are back in the shed for some streghtening, especially under the mast, because one of the boats did break in two. i really had to laught out loud when it happened :-) but we did get some sailing, and its really exiting and fun! I know we can get a lot more speed than what you see in the video, as we didnt dear push it to hard after one of them snapped in two :-)


  18. #18
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Hey Fred. That looks like fun. Is the video shot on the lake at your house? Its a beautiful location.

    Good luck with the repairs and future experimentation.

    Stay warm - Gary

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    No, this lake is near Bodų (Not Tromsų) The ice on the nearest lake is not too good right now. I have come in contact with a few other Ice-sailers and we are a total of 6 in the area. All but one, started iceboating this winter, so its really a new thing here. Three have DN boats, and one of them buildt the swedish design Isabella. We have a Facebooksite sharing info about conditions and sailing plans on the lakes in the area.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Having built several iceboats in the distant past, I might make a couple of comments. The original DN design is about as simple as possible--basically three planks of spruce and a mast. The original hardware was fabricated from stock steel pieces as well. The new ones use carbon fiber, laminations, etc. to dramatically reduce the weight, but the original design still sails very well, is quite inexpensive to build. Main problem is the runners and steering gear, which can be fabricated but used to be commercially available. The old masts were spruce, the sails heavy dacron. The loads on the rig are extreme. I had a mast failure that exploded the mast with compression, leaving a kind of crushed pole behind.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    My DN was pretty "stock".
    195 pounds (~85 kg)
    Blades alone were 45 pounds.
    Aluminum mask, epoxy on plywood construction.
    Awesome ride.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    I had a mast failure that exploded the mast with compression, leaving a kind of crushed pole behind.
    Mast exploding sounds a bit scary. Our mast is 7×7 cm spruce laminated by four parts. I believe the polytarp tears up before the mast explode, but maybe a greater risk with a proper dacron sail...?

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    here's a ride... max speed of these boats is 35+- mph... which feels like 50+


    I think I threw my back out just watching this video!

    Jeff

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    There are several reasons the loads generated on the rig are so high. A typical main sheet has a purchase of 8:1 or more, which means the sheet load on the boom can be 600 lbs. or so. The boats sail at multiples of wind speed, which on some angles can push the apparent wind to 100 mph or so. The runners provide enough lateral grip so that even a small sail can lift the hull and runner plank off the ice--leverage that easily pushes the compression load on the mast into the thousands of pounds. There is no comparison to a boat in water, which allows the rig to heel and spill the force of the wind. I only mentioned the mast as a way of demonstrating the forces involved. Runner planks fail, hulls break, and so on.

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    I have seen this before... amazing! I think they need a helmet more than the lifejacket 😁 Many talk about DN here and ofourse that is the most reasonabel way to start Iceboating. But there is a lot of interesting designs out there. Some of us like to reinvent the wheel and enjoy finding our own solutions based on whats laying around in the shed 😉

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    Thanks Dan! We will try to make it as strong as possible.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    That video looks like a great place to sail an iceboat. I gave it up mainly because the days when everything was right (as in the video) were too few and far between. Clear ice, the right amount of wind, all at the time when you could sail. Our sail club has the ranking world DN champion as a member, and I used to know the people who developed the original DN class. With access to that kind of ice, it's a great sport for the winter months.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredostli View Post
    Thanks Dan! We will try to make it as strong as possible.

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    If you get interested in designing, one thing to note is that the runner plank--holding the blades--needs to be both strong and flexible, to absorb the shock of the runners without making them chatter and break loose. The hull often has a support underneath much like a sailboat spreader to take the compression load from the mast. One design I did was basically a DN with a wider hull, wide enough for two side-by-side. I think there are about 6,000 DNs out there, which makes it the most popular racing class by far. That and their portability are the big attraction to the design.

  29. #29
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    As I mentioned there is three DN in the area, so a couple of weeks ago I could see them and talk to the owners. Reports on our FB group says two of them is now under repair 😊 They have this wire on the underside to compensate for the pressure from the mast. One of them lost the wire and the hull collapsed... I have some metal bands from a wooden silo I consider to mount under the hull and runner plank to compensate downvard pressure.

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  30. #30
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    Here is a photo of how I intend to strengthen the hull. I will mount the mast on top and reinforce with some metal fittings. I hope this combined with a metal band under will be enough.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Surely a modern windsurf sail/rig would be perfect, light & strong, most have leeching which is ideal for high speed. Looks fun for sure.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Any Arthur Ransome fans here? Have any of them tried building a sailing sledge, a la "Winter Holiday"?

    Alex

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    I have a buddy who is a *Serious* composites whiz. He's working on a project to basically take a stock JS9000, completely enclose the cockpit, install a mess of electronics, replace the standard rig with a wingsail, and send the thing around the world. "more or less"autonomously. Now, we can discuss all day long about whether this project is good or bad, but that's not what I'm after. This guys REALLY knows his carbon fiber. It's his job, his business. He makes custom parts for projects all over the world. He made the wingsail for this boat.

    The stock rig...soft sails, carbon mast, wire standing rigging, weighs about 80-85 pounds. The wingsail with all the redundant electronics in it to adjust the trim tab, weighs about 210.

    You can draw your own conclusions.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Fred, I love what you have done. Thanks for posting.

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    Default Re: An Iceboat, with wing-sail maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Any Arthur Ransome fans here? Have any of them tried building a sailing sledge, a la "Winter Holiday"?

    Alex
    I enjoyed reading him many years ago, but I don't remember "Winter Holiday".

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