pre-season musings….

i can’t wait to see Bill’s new book….the coffee-table book about our 2014 season….if you scan the archives, you’ll see that that’s a good season to start the tradition of making these books every year: that season was absolutely outrageous! Plymouth Pond came in…..then Chickawalkie and Megunticook duked it out as favorites….until queen Darmiscotta played her trump card….and…just as we were thanking our stars: South Twin near Millinocket zapped us…. and then…lightening struck: Moosehead!…. Bill even jetted off to Siberia for ultimate bragging rights…..and I….I heaped my cornpone ever higher on the plates of ice-starved cyber-prisoners…. so, all in all…….it will be interesting to see it in print…..maybe having that book will help with this agrivating two month count-down…

At 74, I’ve been surgically patched-up for another go…..and….since holding a sheet under tension for long periods is part of my challenge, I’m installing a little jam cleat which should give me some shoulder relief….ah aging…..I think of Lloyd trotting his quiet reaches in Cheapskate, in a boat he carries under one arm from the truck….

(Inaugural sail on windless Monmouth)

a quiet prayer comes to my lips: dear Higher Power, please give me serenity with aging….that letting go…..that patience….help me to follow Lloyd’s wise leadership……..but…..but….not quite yet!

sooo….as the weeks tick by, I wonder: can lightning strike again? can this amazing passion somehow be sustained?

if health should hold, in this dying year
we’ll chop the holes, we’ll launch the gear

we’ll do our sit-ups, check our knees
burden gods with hearty pleas

then spread again our borrowed wings
and hear that song
–that wondrous song–
a runner sings!

Posted in 2016 Season | Leave a comment

Amazing Iceboats at Incredible Prices

Here in the East, Cody Sisson wants to sell his two A Skeeter bubble boats. One is ready to go and the other needs some work, but all the parts are there. Something in the mid four-figures get’s you fastest-boat-on-the-ice, as well as one for your match racing buddy. Write to Cody:

Out in the mid-west, Dan Kampo is selling Miss Wisconsin, something with which he’s spent years chasing the fastest iceboat on the planet prize. The boat is 40 ft long, tubular steel covered in airplane fabric, 38 ft wing spar, 24 ft. plank. Find out all about it here: Timeline There are also 2 Nites in average condition. All for just over $9000.oo

Contact Dan:

For other good stuff, be sure to show up at the swap meet November 7, Knights of Columbus hall, Westborough, MA

Posted in 2016 Season | Leave a comment

CIBC 2014 Yearbook

We are about to order a printed book, collecting the best of the 2014 season. It’s from the archives, photos and all, soft cover, and will cost $48.00. Before we place the order it would be good to know how many to print.
If you would like a copy, please respond before Sunday and we’ll place the order. They will then be available in time for the fall meeting. If this works out we will make it an annual publication with potentially some subsidy from the club. But for this year we will need to bear the cost ourselves.

Thanks, Bill


Posted in 2016 Season | 1 Comment

CIBC Fall Meeting


11:00 am Meeting, USUAL POT LUCK LUNCH to follow.

At the spring meeting we held the meeting first and had lunch afterwards. By all accounts it was an improved format, so we’ll do the same at Dave’s. Much better to rush through the meeting to get to lunch than the other way ’round.

Bring some food or drink to share. There will be hot protein and a grill. Don’t forget to show up with a burgee design.

As always, this will follow the NEIYA Meeting and Swap Meet (below) on Saturday 11/7. The swap meet is a must-attend for all kinds of gear, complete boats, and a great way to meet your iceboating buddies without helmets and goggles, and just to get a good pre-season gulp of the Kool-aid!

Directions to Dave’s: Maine Turnpike Exit 32, turn left at light at exit onto Rte 111 for a couple of miles. At a complex intersection tend rightish onto West St. between a Burger King and a cemetery, go about 3 miles past a high school and through another light. At the next intersection turn Right onto Guinea Rd. then about 1/2 mile turn right onto Cretien Rd. to second house from the corner on right (two buildings connected by a raised walkway).

And don’t forget about these goodies. There were a few times last season when throw ropes and picks kept the day fun.

Throw bag: Self Rescue Picks

It’s that time of year again. lt’s getting colder and, of course, the NEIYA annual meeting, Swap Meet and Luncheon. Mark your calendar Saturday November 7th, same as last year, Knights of Columbus Hall 17 Willow St, Westborough, MA 01581.

There will be prizes, give a ways loads of gear in the lot and this year lunch will be JUST $10. That’s right half off last year’s price and of course plenty of Swedish meatballs.

Posted in 2014 Season | Leave a comment

Club Burgee

Late eighteenth century ship expert and CIBC Century Award winner Don Sterns had the opportunity to check out the French ship HERMOINE of that era in Castine, ME, as she wound up her tour of the US east coast. He had these few words to offer:

“When this rig rolled in to Castine last month I had a first hand seat and a few observations.
1- These guys were living history.

2- They knew how to dress.
3- They had great rigging.
4- They were hands-on when it came to sails.
5- They had a grand flag.In short, they had one more item than the traditional iceboater.”

Now, what your editor gleams from his observation is this:

1. Iceboating is an old guys sport that struggles to attract young sailors.

2. We know how to dress to stay warm, but don’t quite make it into the chick magnet category.

3. We totally have great rigging.

4. We lug ’em down to the ice, raise ’em by hand and sheet ’em double fisted.

5. The CIBC does not have any flag, let alone a great flag.

So, with the fall meeting about eight weeks away let’s all make an effort to come up with a design for a club burgee/flag/pennant; call it what you will. It should be triangular, about the proportions of the NEIYA’s, or maybe it’s a streamer or maybe it’s square. Let it all hang out and bring your ideas to the meeting. If you can’t make it, send it to your president and he’ll present it to the attendees who will then vote to select the winning design.

About that eight weeks to the meeting, that’s only eight weekends, and then just a few more until we have ice. Last year we sailed the weekend of Nov. 28 on Plymouth Pond (see the archives for details). Don’t get caught with your pants down the morning of first plate of black ice. It will sneak up quicker than you think. Patch the sail, pack the trailer wheel bearings, sharpen and align, replace that lost shackle, etc. And while your humming happily away at such delightful work, dream up a great design for a flag that would make Don proud!

Posted in 2014 Season

Iceboating Social Research

A small group of business school grad students chose to examine the iceboating world as part of a market research project last winter. Here are the results of that research. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond; they were thrilled with the feedback;.

Question 1 – Are you Male or Female

Are you male or female?
Category Percentage Frequency
Male 96.3% 52
Female 3.7% 2
Total 100.0% 54

Interpretation: The vast majority of the market is almost exclusively made up of men. The proportion of women can almost be seen as an outlier as it represents such a small portion of the respondents.
Question 2 – What is your age?

What is your age?
Category Percentage Frequency
17 or younger 0.0% 0
18-20 1.9% 1
21-29 0.0% 0
30-39 1.9% 1
40-49 13.0% 7
50-59 37.0% 20
60 or older 46.3% 25
Total 100.0% 54

Interpretation: The survey reveals that the bulk of the results are found in age groups 40 years and older. Additionally the vast majority of the market (83.3%) is made up of respondents aged from 50 years old and above.
Question 3 – In what city do you live?

Interpretation: Most of the survey respondents are based out of the USA mostly around the Great Lakes area as well as around the northern part of the East Coast. A few respondents come from different region of Canada such as the province of Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta.
Question 4 – What is your approximate average household income?

What is your approximate average household income?
Category Percentage Frequency
$0-$24,999 4.0% 2
$25,000-$49,999 18.0% 9
$50,000-$74,999 24.0% 12
$75,000-$99,999 16.0% 8
$100,000-$124,999 18.0% 9
$125,000-$149,999 10.0% 5
$150,000-$174,999 2.0% 1
$175,000-$199,999 0.0% 0
$200,000 and up 8.0% 4
Total 100.0% 50

Interpretation: The major parts of our sample respondents are making a yearly average income of $25,000 to $125,000. There is also a small portion or the market currently making $200,000 and above which is revealed on the graph by a small skew on the right.
Question 5 – How long have you been practicing Ice Boating?

How long have you been practicing Ice Boating?
Category Percentage Frequency
Less than a year 3.7% 2
1-2 Years 1.9% 1
2-3 Years 1.9% 1
3-4 Years 1.9% 1
4-5 Years 5.6% 3
5+ Years 85.2% 46
Total 100.0% 54

Interpretation: Most of the survey respondents are experienced and as per the results above only 14.8% of them have less than 5 years of experience.
Question 6 – How often do you go ice boating per year on average?

How often do you go ice boating per year on average?
Category Percentage Frequency
1-5 Times 29.6% 16
6-10 Times 18.5% 10
10-15 Times 29.6% 16
15-20 Times 14.8% 8
More than 20 Times 7.4% 4
Total 100.0% 54

Interpretation: The number of times association members go ice boating per year is pretty scared but is mostly between 1-15 times per year. After 15 times per year the greater the number of times, the bigger the decline is.
Question 7 – Do you participate in ice boat races or competitions?

Do you participate in ice boat races or competitions?
Category Percentage Frequency
Yes 53.7% 29
No 46.3% 25
Total 100.0% 54

Interpretation: The data above reveals that slightly more than half of association members participate in competitions.
Question 8 – Which race did you participate in and where was it held?

Interpretation: Most of the races are located in the same area where the majority of the clubs are. The maim location for race are Minnesota, Wisconsin, New-York and Maine.
Question 9 – Do you currently own an ice boat?

Do you currently own an ice boat
Category Percentage Frequency
Yes 100.0% 54
No 0.0% 0
Total 100.0% 54

Interpretation: All of the survey respondents currently own an ice boat. That question was used as a qualifier for questions 10, 11 and 12 and does not provide much meaningful data.
Question 10 – What type of boat do you currently own?

What type of boat do you currently own?
Category Percentage Frequency
DN Ice Boats 45.3% 34
Nite 10.7% 8
Renegade 4.0% 3
Skeeter 33.3% 25
Skimmer 6.7% 5
Total 100.0% 75

Interpretation: The data above reveals that the two most popular classes of boat are the DN and the skeeter class. The other classes combined represent only 21.4% of the market.
Question 11 – How much did you pay for your ice boat?

How much did you pay for your ice boat?
Category Percentage Frequency
less than $1,000 25.0% 13
$1,000-$2,499 19.2% 10
$2,500-$4,999 30.8% 16
$5,000-$7,499 11.5% 6
$7,500-$9,999 5.8% 3
$10,000 and up 7.7% 4
Total 100.0% 52

Interpretation: The data above shows that the majority of people usually pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. Only a smaller portion of the market (25% of the results) paid above $5,000 for the boat they currently own. The data reveals that the most common price paid for an ice boat goes anywhere from $2,500 to $4,999.
Question 12 – How much do you spend per year on parts and improvements on average?

How much do you spend per year on parts and improvements on average?
Category Percentage Frequency
0-$500 68.9% 31
$500-$1,000 17.8% 8
$1,000-$1,500 4.4% 2
$1,500-$2,000 4.4% 2
$2,000+ 4.4% 2
Total 100.0% 45

Interpretation: Most ice boaters spend less than $500 in parts and improvement per year. A significant amount of respondents are spending $500 to $1,000. A small portion of the market (13.2% only) spends more $1,000 per year.
Question 13 – What features do you look for in an ice boat?

What features do you look for in an ice boat?
Category Percentage Frequency
Quality 42.3% 22
Performance/Speed 63.5% 33
Price 32.7% 17
Easy Transportation 17.3% 9
Comfort 23.1% 12
Total 52

Interpretation: For the data above it is important to take note that the participants were allowed to pick more than one choice therefore the percentage column will not add up to 100%. The data above reveals that most participants (63.5%) look for performance and speed. Other critical factors that are important to consider are quality and price.
Question 14 – Are you looking at purchasing an ice boat in the next 2 years?

Are you looking at purchasing an ice boat in the next 2 years?
Category Percentage Frequency
Yes 20.8% 11
No 79.2% 42
Total 100.0% 53

Interpretation: The data reveals that the majority (79.2%) are currently not looking at buying a boat in the next 2 years.
Question 15 – How much would you be willing to pay for your next boat?

How much would you be willing to pay for your next boat?
Category Percentage Frequency
Less than a $1,000 27.3% 3
$1,000-$2,499 45.5% 5
$2,500-$4,999 27.3% 3
Total 100.0% 11

Interpretation: The data above reveals how much the participants that answered yes at question 14 are willing to pay for their next ice boat. The data reveals that respondents are not expecting to pay more than $5,000 and are likely (45.5%) to be purchasing a boat in the $1,000 – $2,500 range.
Question 16 – Which type of boat are you looking at purchasing and why?

Which type of boat are you looking at purchasing and why?
Category Percentage Frequency
DN Ice Boats 55.6% 5
Other 44.4% 4
Total 100.0% 9

Interpretation: The data reveals that the participants willing to purchase a boat in the next 2 years are mostly looking at buying DN type boats. The other category data is made of up of people willing t buy DIY boats, 2 place boats, Ice Optimists, as well as people who weren’t sure what they were looking for. None of these participants were looking at buying skeeters.

Posted in 2015 Season | 1 Comment

Guertin’s Iceboat Repairs

Denis Guertin is fortunate to have his iceboats stored at his summer place on Lac St. Francois in Quebec. So while everyone else is out sailing and water skiing, Denis is working hard in the basement to repair the damage from Pushaw Lake. We were a big fleet on the first excursion down the lake after its “recovery” from a wet-out. We all agree there might have been a whiff of ice-narcosis in the air as we reflect back on how fast we flew into unknown territory. Indeed, there were the remains of the pressure ridge from the week before which was still a few days from full recovery. As Denis moved into the lead position he gave us all a front row seat for disaster. One moment he was the envy of all, the next he was at the center of a pile of iceboat parts. We all rounded up, Wolfie stopping just as his runner dropped into yet another hole.

But Denis is nothing if not resourceful. We managed to re-fasten the stud plates, tape the loose plywood around the cockpit, and tip-toe back through the swiss cheese to solid ice. The rest of that week on Pushaw now sets the bar for grade 10 ice.

So he’s patched up all the damage, and while he was at it added wedges under the stud plates to level out the plank. Planks which are not level when sailing do funny things to runner alignment when they bend.

He did a nice job of cleaning up the gouges caused by the stud plate screws as they ripped out. He wasn’t rigged with whisker stays that day, so the question is what would have happened if he was. Would he have pulled through the hole, or would there have been more damage?

Anybody else doing anything interesting with iceboats this off-season?

Posted in 2015 Season