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Thread: Ice Boat planning.....

  1. #1
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    Default Ice Boat planning.....

    Its been below 0f for most of the last month, warmed up 50degrees yesterday to get into the 20s and is zero right now, supposed to get cold again soon..... so I expect the lake will freeze early and maybe be a good year to try our hand at sailing on it.

    I know even less about ice boats than I did floating boats when I started building them.....

    I have a heavy homebuilt mast and boom and an 85ft2 sail.

    Wanting to try something easy, fast, and cheap to build with no intent on longevity or beauty to experiment with this winter and build something nicer over the summer or next fall/winter.

    Any thoughts or advise welcome as I start researching.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Roughly along these lines,
    http://www.isabella-iceboat.com/isabella.html
    Their plans start out with this,


    The directions are only recommendations ; all measurements are consequently approximate and the yacht can be built to suit personal wishes.

    Which is right up my ally....


    Roughly 2x the size using my own mast and sail..... ill read up on it, springboards will have to be scaled which won't be as simple for me.....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by narfiwillem View Post
    Roughly along these lines,
    http://www.isabella-iceboat.com/isabella.html
    Their plans start out with this,





    Which is right up my ally....


    Roughly 2x the size using my own mast and sail..... ill read up on it, springboards will have to be scaled which won't be as simple for me.....
    You might want to pick up plans for a DN60--they can be had fairly cheap, I'd bet. With 25 sq ft of extra sail area, though, you'll likely need to upsize a bit.

    As far as scaling the runnerboards--simple as can be. Just set a plank across a couple of supports and sit on it. Bends too much? Laminate on another layer. Repeat until you get the amount of deflection you want.

    We built ours to the DN60 specs, which was WAY too light. Later versions--including our two-seater versions--used a MUCH heftier plank for the runners. We found the sizing for it as described above.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    A plank with some blades will go....

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...54-Ice-boating
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    You might want to pick up plans for a DN60--they can be had fairly cheap, I'd bet. With 25 sq ft of extra sail area, though, you'll likely need to upsize a bit.

    As far as scaling the runnerboards--simple as can be. Just set a plank across a couple of supports and sit on it. Bends too much? Laminate on another layer. Repeat until you get the amount of deflection you want.

    We built ours to the DN60 specs, which was WAY too light. Later versions--including our two-seater versions--used a MUCH heftier plank for the runners. We found the sizing for it as described above.

    Tom
    Thanks, they can be downloaded free here, (printed copies for $25)
    https://www.idniyra.org/about/specifications/

    For the sail I have, and 2 side by side seats, roughly 50% upsized would probably work about right.
    I prefer the simplicity of the kiss Isabella for a first attempt, but am more than happy to marry multiple ideas together with my own twist

    with your oversized beam/plank/springboard, did you have issues with the skate not staying in contact with the ice over bumps?
    It looks like the DN doesn't have a springboard for the front runner while the Isabella does, are there issues with the front runner bouncing much or is it a non issue? (remembering this is just for fun, not any racing or class specs, etc..)

    I have a pretty healthy respect of the ice(and water) and am also curious on any safety measures... any way of slowing down or just turn into the wind? etc.... anything obvious or not so obvious would be welcome, will be doing this with my son once I am comfortable with it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    A plank with some blades will go....

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...54-Ice-boating
    hehe, those shingles look kind of fun (and cute in their own way)
    it's just the kind of encouragement I was looking for too..... I often suffer from paralysis by analysis

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Take a look at Lloyd Robert's Cheapskate. Might work with your sail. https://iceboat.me/cheapskate/
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    If you can find a Sunfish or Sailfish sail and spars the Cheapskate is an easy build with good and forgiving performance.ACECBCBF-5279-4648-AD62-A1625743FA2E.jpeg

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by narfiwillem View Post
    Thanks, they can be downloaded free here, (printed copies for $25)
    https://www.idniyra.org/about/specifications/

    For the sail I have, and 2 side by side seats, roughly 50% upsized would probably work about right.
    I prefer the simplicity of the kiss Isabella for a first attempt, but am more than happy to marry multiple ideas together with my own twist

    with your oversized beam/plank/springboard, did you have issues with the skate not staying in contact with the ice over bumps?
    It looks like the DN doesn't have a springboard for the front runner while the Isabella does, are there issues with the front runner bouncing much or is it a non issue? (remembering this is just for fun, not any racing or class specs, etc..)

    I have a pretty healthy respect of the ice(and water) and am also curious on any safety measures... any way of slowing down or just turn into the wind? etc.... anything obvious or not so obvious would be welcome, will be doing this with my son once I am comfortable with it.
    I don't recall any issues with bouncing. We had some flex in the main runner board, and a spring (I think) on the front skate. Best with smooth ice, obviously. Bumps will make things shake and rattle, and it can be surprisingly noisy. We wore motorcycle helmets. Never crashed, though we did some 2-skate sailing in gusts. No racing for us either, just casual sailing. Our DNs weren't class legal the way we built them anyway.

    No way of slowing down but steering to windward on our boats. But where we sailed, we always had plenty of room for that.

    I did hear of one big boat--a Skeeter?--that crashed pretty bad. I think the front skate jumped a pressure ridge, but the back skates caught on it. I think that resulted in a broken femur if I remember right.

    I think we probably got up to around 40-50 mph in our little boats. Never measured it, though. There was a pretty well-established iceboat community (Oshkosh, WI), so we had reliable information about open water dangers.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    I just sold our old Arrow, which is kind of like a production version of an enlarged, two-place DN type iceboat. The runner plank was solid and made from three layers of laminated 3/4" thick spruce, 12' long and maybe 8"-9" wide. It originally did not have the bow springboard. After one day when I jibed to go downwind and stood it on the bow runner with both aft runners off the ice (which is seriously scary) I decided to add the springboard. It not only improved the smoothness of the ride, but by making the triangular base formed by the three runners larger you add more stability. We never experienced any runner bouncing on either of our iceboats. The little Cheapskate should be pretty fun. It reminds me of our first iceboat, which was about that size (Lockley Skimmer 45) but made from steel tubing. Do be aware that iceboat speeds will tend to beat the heck out of a Sunfish sail fairly quickly, so don't invest a lot in a fancy one. Good iceboat sails tend to be made from fabric which is about twice the weight of similarly-sized summer sails and they tend to be cut a lot flatter.

    arrow 003.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    If you have skates (long blades are best), build a skate sail. The poor man's ice boat. Make some ski boot skates for extra fun.
    https://youtu.be/lzDlPZplwDI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzDl...T&index=3&t=1s

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    One of our favorite iceboat runs was a long upwind leg we sailed once in our Arrow, right next to two other sailors. One had a skate sail and ice skates. The other had the ice version of a windsurfer, which has a board like an oversized skateboard with similar trucks, but they have small runners where the wheels would be on a skateboard truck. The power is furnished by a windsurfer mast/sail rig, set up the same as it would be on a sailbord. It was really fun to go ripping up the lake in formation.

    I've been scheming for years to build one more small boat, using kind of a stitch and glue plywood body and placing the sailor out front, which would be a pretty wild ride. Some of the big Skeeters have been built that way. You can't see the sail while sailing, but that really isn't needed for iceboats. You trim the sail by feel and when you do something right the instant eye-opening speed increase is pretty obvious. This is my potential mini boat plan. Maybe one of these years.....

    Blackbird.jpg

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Love the concept Todd, and your artwork is superb!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    The OP describes the original DN. It's by far the most popular design today, with international competition. Problem is that technology greatly increased the cost. Originally it was two planks for the hull, a laminated wooden runner, and hardware fabricated from common steel shapes. Plans originally were published in the Detroit News, hence the name. It cost about $50 to make one, and if you didn't want a fine finish, it could be made in a weekend. Today, carbon fiber has cut the weight and improved the performance, and most home-builts aren't competitive. Still, the original is a lot of fun to sail, and very portable--important if you need to drive to get to good ice and wind conditions on a weekend. (FWIW, a guy in our sail club is the DN reigning world champion, who makes high--tech boats.)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    This is my potential mini boat plan. Maybe one of these years.....

    Blackbird.jpg
    I am curious about the horizontal 'hook' in the mast above the sail, is that artistic, or something to actually build into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by sp_clark View Post
    Love the concept Todd, and your artwork is superb!
    He has a book with equally nice artwork in it,
    https://www.amazon.com/Canoe-Rig-Ess.../dp/0937822574


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    The OP describes the original DN. It's by far the most popular design today, with international competition. Problem is that technology greatly increased the cost. Originally it was two planks for the hull, a laminated wooden runner, and hardware fabricated from common steel shapes. Plans originally were published in the Detroit News, hence the name. It cost about $50 to make one, and if you didn't want a fine finish, it could be made in a weekend. Today, carbon fiber has cut the weight and improved the performance, and most home-builts aren't competitive. Still, the original is a lot of fun to sail, and very portable--important if you need to drive to get to good ice and wind conditions on a weekend. (FWIW, a guy in our sail club is the DN reigning world champion, who makes high--tech boats.)
    That's good to hear, like I said above, I often struggle from paralysis by analysis. So I ordered some lumber yesterday, some angle brackets, some cable and some steel angle (no stores in the village I live in, everything has to be flown here in small planes), so hopefully in the next few days it will get here, and I can start piecing something together. $50 isn't what it used to be, it was still close to $700 for construction grade stuff from Lowes :/

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    The "hook" was something I saw once in a book about the great South Bay ice scooters on a boat called "Scoot". It could be done as a sail with a sleeve luff and a hooked masthead or with a straight, bolt-roped style mast with the aft half of the hook actually just being a large headboard on the sail. There was some talk somewhere about how it would do some good things in terms of tip vortices, similar to the wingtip shape on a British Spitfire fighter plane. You would need to ask our resident Spitfire pilot about that one, as it is several thousand feet over my head. To some extent, it would also function similarly to some of the fat, square heads currently common on multihull and fast racing boat sails. Plus...it looks cool!

    At this point, it's getting kind of funny, but that drawing, as well as all of the drawings in my book, were drawn on my 1996, first generation PowerMac with a 500 megabyte hard drive. The software was MacDraw Pro, which they discontinued in 1992. The funny part is that I still draw on it today. I have a folder with over 100 different sail designs on it, most of which were building plans for sails I built for customers over the years. It is not as fancy as modern drawing programs, but I'm used to it and the built-in measurement system it has is quite accurate. The only big problem with that rig is the speed. There are a couple of drawings in the book that have up to ten or twelve stacked up layers going on with lots of tiny parts. At times, it could take half an hour for it to pan from one side of the drawing to the other to fix some little error. The program is apparently still download-able on some Mac-related nostalgia forum if you have a machine old enough to run it, and when pushed to its limits it can be quite good.

    hardware.jpg

    It's also handy for planning building projects since the measurement systems are accurate.

    bass-cab.jpg

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    I don't know what I am talking about, but I bet you could find an tech minded young person who could figure out how to run your old software on modern hardware, best of both worlds.... I don't know if emulation, or virtualization, or some other fancy word, but they probably would....

    Some of that is the software, but I am guessing a lot of it is you selling yourself short on your artistic ability to work with it, the touches and details of the rope and stitching and grommets around the edge of your example page above is a great example of it.

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    It is interesting you mention the spitfire, again I don't know much*, but at different speeds different airfoils have different effects. (did you know that over a certain speed, if properly configured, the cooling radiators on the bellies of some ww2 fighters provided extra thrust? The Meredith effect) Typically, a mast and sail would be optimized for a different speed than an aircraft, but on a speed oriented ice boat that can go 60-100+mph you get into new territory that does have research done, just not on boats, lots of planes operate in that speed range and lots of research has been done.

    *I am building a Zenith 750 Super Duty with my son when we aren't distracted by other things

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    At this point, it's getting kind of funny, but that drawing, as well as all of the drawings in my book, were drawn on my 1996, first generation PowerMac with a 500 megabyte hard drive. The software was MacDraw Pro, which they discontinued in 1992.
    Outstanding Todd. And this is coming from a fellow who bought his first Mac (7100AV) with a severance settlement in late '93. Used that to learn Photoshop (v. 2) and Freehand (absorbed by Adobe, became part of Illustrator which hasn't yet gotten to where FH left off) leading to the next 15-year stint managing Macs for a design firm in Chicago. I'm posting this using a new M1 Pro MacBook, just arrived last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by narfiwillem View Post
    He has a book with equally nice artwork in it,
    https://www.amazon.com/Canoe-Rig-Ess.../dp/0937822574
    Yep, my wife gifted me a copy for Christmas two years back just after I'd started assembling my CLC Waterlust canoe kit. It's been read several times cover to cover and I still go back often just to absorb some of the rigging details Todd's depicted innit.

    Quote Originally Posted by narfiwillem View Post
    Some of that is the software, but I am guessing a lot of it is you selling yourself short on your artistic ability to work with it, the touches and details of the rope and stitching and grommets around the edge of your example page above is a great example of it.
    ^^^ THIS!!

    As with so many things, "it's not the arrow, it's the indian."
    Last edited by sp_clark; 12-03-2021 at 07:31 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Yep, my old Mac is a 7100/80 AV with an additional Lacie drive plugged into it for more storage space. The other iceboat that I always wanted to build was a modern replica based on the designs for the big old stern-steered gaffers - something where it would look appropriate to be sailing while sitting on a tufted velvet cockpit cushion. We still have a few old stern steerers in the local clubs. Most around here have been modified with a lot of modern rigging. On one hand, it makes you sad that they no longer have their original rigs and configurations. On the other hand, that's justified as they have been kept in service over all those years and upgraded as needed, when needed, to stay competitive. My personal view on iceboat racing is that it involves too much time driving long distances pulling a trailer, sometimes in bad winter weather, and too much time standing on the ice freezing to death while some other class is racing, so I wouldn't care if my "classic" boat was not quite as fast as current racers.

    The plan looked like this, combining some fairly basic woodworking and some blacksmithing-style metal work.

    !29'GN.jpg

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Careful with that LaCie drive Todd. I had several of 'em fail after a couple years' use at that design firm.

    Seems the drives were fine but the power supplies were junk, and when the drives failed the data on 'em was unrecoverable. Caught a good deal of flak from users and management despite my widely ignored recommendation for not saving files to them, because they weren't available to back-up protocols for the main server storage. Bought to increase scratch disk space for Photoshop, they became the favorite repository for working files 'cause it was faster than saving files to the networked server.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Good to know. Luckily, the MacDraw files, even pretty complex ones are pretty tiny compared to modern graphic and photo files, so I have everything important backed up on Zip Disks and other computers. The original version of my book, for example, with all the text, all the illustrations and 95% of the page layouts done, all made in MacDraw, fit on 12 old time 2.5 MB floppy disks, and a current final version fits in a 27.5 MB PDF.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Have friends visiting for 10 days so not doing much on projects then it turned cold again... Too cold to do much in the tent at -20f

    I did get the two hull sides layed out to look at the shape I think I'm happy with, 2x 2x6s 16ft long. Probably need a spacer and some relief at the front, was using an unblocked c-clamp and it tried to splinter and punch through. Still thinking about it.

    Laminated up the rear runner beam, 2x 1x6s 12ft long and a 2x6 8ft long. Might be stiffer than needed but will secure the shrouds at the outboard ends of the 2x6.

    Still need to laminate the front runner spring board, I have 3x 1x6s 8ft long, will decide if going with 2 or 3 based on how the ends of the main beam feel. I'm guessing just the 2 though.

    20211213_063011.jpg

    20211212_144624.jpg

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Progress!
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    the Ice Flyer is a design that also uses a windsurfer rig

    https://youtu.be/XSDpcSCnGp0

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Guests left today after extending stay a few days, so I got to spend a little more time on the boat this afternoon.

    Screwed the hull together and sheeted the bottom and the bow. Screwed in a seat support and seat back. Still need to figure out angles and sizing for the knee raisers/support.

    Thinking about what I'll do if we get a bunch of snow on the ice and thinking about skies built into the skates. I have most of a sheet of 1/8" marine ply and thinking of laminating 2 layers 6in wide and 4ft long with a layer of 12oz fiberglass on the bottom and front bent up. Then have the skate blades through a slit in the center so when it's ice it's just the skates and when more than a few inches of snow the skies offer flotation while the skates still cut for hopefully some lateral resistance.

    It's not light.... Hopefully won't be too heavy...

    Also a picture of the laminated front springboard. Need to sand the excess glue off of it and the plank.

    20211219_181333.jpg

    20211219_181354.jpg

    20211219_181448.jpg

    20211219_181500.jpg

    20211219_182312.jpg

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    I think you will find the idea of trying to make an iceboat work on skis and snow is basically just a waste of time and materials. What makes iceboats work in the first place is that the skates have very low resistance to overcome. That is not the case with skis and snow.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    ^ Yeah. Snow on the ice is one reason for iceboat trailers. It's a non starter. You'd probably be better off using wheels than skis.( But, I am not suggesting that)

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Plus, one of the most critical elements in successful iceboating is that your runners absolutely must have excellent resistance to side slipping, and the plank runners must be very solidly mounted in their chocks in order to stay accurately aligned to each other. Instances where dull or poorly aligned runners are losing their grip, off and on at high speeds, can be pretty scary. It is also quite inefficient as you can see, hear and feel the poorly aligned plank runners skid every few seconds, self-correcting for the fact that they are not both pointing in the exact same direction. Skis would likely need to be on edge in order to do that sort of thing. They would also need to be so stiff that they wouldn't bend because bent skis carve turns, and the last thing you would want is a runner plank that won't run straight.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    I think you will find the idea of trying to make an iceboat work on skis and snow is basically just a waste of time and materials. What makes iceboats work in the first place is that the skates have very low resistance to overcome. That is not the case with skis and snow.
    Noted and won't pursue that idea, at least to start with

    Been busy with Christmas, but got out yesterday and made a little progress.

    20211227_063442.jpg

    Each main runner blade is 24" long, with the front one being 22" (3 pieces cut off of a 6ft stick with a 2" angle) They may be a little on the short side, hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me in the butt.
    Will sharpen them on the belt sander, resting the non-sharpened flange of the angle as the guide rested on the side of the sander beside the belt.
    I didn't think about it beforehand, but cutting them at an angle like that to maximize length while still cutting an angle made them point the same direction instead of having a left and right, for a cheap quick build like this I am hoping it won't matter too much.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Make sure that the chocks holding the runners to the plank are bomb-proof. There can often be a whole lot of stress on those connections.

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    I think you will find the idea of trying to make an iceboat work on skis and snow is basically just a waste of time and materials. What makes iceboats work in the first place is that the skates have very low resistance to overcome. That is not the case with skis and snow.
    Not a waste of time exactly, but certainly sedate compared to the usual iceboat. Gérald Mercier developed what looks like a successful "snowboat" several years ago.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQdK_4cFZBM

    Ken

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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    I wonder what the purpose of the split skies is, utilizing human skies and needed more surface area? or is there some advantage to a split ski over a single wider ski?

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Ice Boat planning.....

    Quote Originally Posted by narfiwillem View Post
    I wonder what the purpose of the split skies is, utilizing human skies and needed more surface area? or is there some advantage to a split ski over a single wider ski?
    He used to have a web site where he explained some of his design choices, but unfortunately it is no longer online. I think the double skis were maybe intended to provide more edge to resist side-slipping.

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