Iceboating History

CIBC historian Bill Bunting would like us all to come to this fascinating event, linked below the appeal:

“Pressure has been applied on me to do something to help make this event a success. I have racked my brain to figure out a way to connect it to ice boating so that it might legitimately qualify for website mention.

The best I can come up with is that this collection of glass plate negatives was preserved in large part thanks to the efforts of Wayne Hamilton, supplier of much of our incidental ice boat accoutrements, and also our good friend Polly Saltonstall, sister of the legendary Dickie S., designer of Indigo, loftiest and among the fastest boat in the CIBC fleet, and wife of CIBBC member-in-good-standing John Hanson. Also, that the curator of PMM is none other than our own Capt. Ben Fuller, pilot of the venerable stern-steerer Tippy. And that author Bunting holds the club record for locating water hazards in Herring Gut.”

Posted in 2016 Season | Leave a comment

DN Racing In Siberia, Anyone?

It may be more possible than you think! The Baikal Sailing Week is coming up fast and is surely one of the more unique DN regattas anywhere in the world. It will be held this spring following the European Champs.

I’ve heard amazing tales from this one, stories from both on the ice and off. The photos and videos look amazing. Lake Baikal is a fascinating body of water, even more so when you put a bunch of iceboats on it!

There has been a some interest from some New Englanders in going this year, and whether you are a seriously competitive sailor or not this event has a high adventure-factor!

Getting there is half the fun- We have to let the organizers know how many souls we may be bringing along so if you are interested give me a shout at t_thieler or 401 258 6230 and I can give the organizers an idea. More information on this on the website:

We have been looking into shipping boats directly from the east coast but it looks like it may make the most sense to go with the European group. They have a routine established at this point. The shipping container leaves from Germany and gets packed up following the European Champs. My own plan is to fly over with all gear, do European Champs, ship it all to Baikal with the container, somehow get to the regatta (either stay over or fly home for awhile), do the regatta, and get my gear back over the summer. Maybe sort of complicated but hey, I’ve always wanted to see Siberia.

The guys that spearhead this thing every year want to see more Americans over there and extend a big invite- the more the merrier! So take a look at the website and let me know if you’re up for it- Clock is ticking so get after it!

Think Ice! T

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230

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Need Crew: help!

Rick Bishop Needs a Last Minute Racing Crew:

Richard Bishop <rbishop15>

Sailing at Biddeford Pool this Friday and Saturday at Rhodes 18 Nationals
Our third crew just cancelled!
Any ideas for a light third for us?
Great food and guaranteed good times.

Thank you!
Rick Bishop

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Skimmer, Anyone?

Bart Chapin found this on Craigs List. It’s in the Sanford area:

It’s always great to hear that people are looking up iceboats in July!

Meanwhile, here’s something to help keep you cool.

Posted in 2016 Season

Ice Wins In July

The small village of Lampton is nestled along the southern end of Lac St. Francois in Quebec. Careful readers of these musings will remember this lake as the venue for the first annual CIBC Hundred Mile Race last March, and the summer home of winner of that race, Denis Guertin. Apparently Lambton has a fine community spirit. This from Denis:

“A few weeks ago, I took part to a photo contest in Lambton.
Participants had to submit a picture taken in Lambton. The theme of the contest was: Showing someone doing his sport or hobby in Lambton.
So I decided to send a picture of Bill, Jim, Lee, Karin and me (behind the camera) all aligned with our iceboats, the day before the 100 miles race. And guess what? I won the first price… $100

I guess I will have to pay you all a beer some time next season.”

Don’t worry about that beer, Denis. Your hospitality during those amazing days in March was already way over the top. Here’s to pulling it off again next year!

Posted in 2016 Season

Doug Raymond’s Hobie Tri

With all the buzz around the America’s Cup foiling catamarans performing like middle of the road iceboats and how we are waiting, patiently as only iceboaters do, for the huge influx of charged up go fast sailors into our sport, Doug sends along a middle way. Not quite Denis and Frank sailing their Hobie 16 on the verge of disaster, nor the high end international foilers, but a step beyond Jory Squibb with his new passion for sea kayaks. Here’s what Doug has discovered, along with a video for illustration.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation.

About ten years ago I purchased a Hobie Adventure Island. It is a kayak with folding amas and a sail. It has Mirage Drive, a system that allows the skipper to pedal it with one’s feet, leaving hands free for fishing. The Mirage Drive was invented by Greg Ketterman. He also designed the boat. If that name seems familiar it is because he was also the designer/inventor of the Tri-Foiler and the world speed record holder for a while. So, what does this have to do with iceboating? With amas extended the boat is eight feet wide. All up it weighs about 125 lbs. The mast is 16’. Sail area is 60 square feet. The skipper sits in a comfortable position facing forward, (just like a DN? ed.) not on a tramp but in an adjustable seat. You can car-top it or carry it around in the back of a pick-up. Or if you prefer, trailer it. Sounds a lot like a DN doesn’t it? Okay, so what about speed you ask? Unlike DN’s, multi-hulls and other Hobies they aren’t fast. But don’t stop reading. The lack of speed doesn’t negate the the thrill we seek. The sail is instantly reefed to any size on a roller furling mast. This allows the skipper to sail safely in thirty knots of air and enjoy the ensuing adrenalin rush. And if you are lucky enough to be out when the breeze just starts to build and the water is still flat you’ll find yourself trimming for every last ounce of speed and you’ll swear it feels exactly, well almost, like a March day sailing in three inches of slush. It is uncanny how similar the sensation is. These boats have many other attributes. Number one: There is always a venue available. No waiting for ice. They are capable of expeditions. One guy sailed his from Miami to Montreal. NumberTwo: You can get to and experience areas inaccessible by any other sailing craft. Number three. And this gets to what I did on summer vacation. They can be fitted with a motor. I recently added a Minn-Kota 30 pound thrust electric motor. When the wind dies it moves me along at 4 MPH. I copied the mounting design from an Aussie who posted photos on the Hobie blog site. So my fellow iceboaters, you may want to consider getting one of these. You will not regret it. You’re welcome to try mine if you like.

Posted in 2016 Season | 2 Comments

Happy Solstice

To celebrate the shortening of the days as we begin the countdown to first black ice, here’s a few tidbits to slake your thirst:

Moosehead Teaser YT – YouTube


By Dave Wilkins, 2003

Regattas are fun and touring’s real nice.
But some of us think there’s more fun on ice.
How fast can we go? Someone exclaimed.
No, no, just stop at 60 you fiend.

Rattle and rumble, a DN can fly.
This must be 40 with a gleam in the eye.
Faster and faster, so it’s all just a blur.
At 50 man, she’s starting to purr.

Bear off in the puff and strain on the sheet
Now Ron Sherry’s got someone to beat.
At 60, OK now we’re movin some quick.
Oh damn, this ice had better be thick.

70, ahum, has it ever been done?
Will this rig stay together? Is this really so fun?
White knuckles, palpitations, adrenaline rush.
Snow drifts, a shoreline, lumpy hard slush.

Roaring of runners and well bended mast.
Straining so hard to complete the task.
I don’t know if I can get much quicker.
Oh heck, sheet some more cause I need the sticker.

Quit now? No way, I’m no fool.
Cause ego’s in charge, I’m out of control
These boats are fast and I am the best.
Here’s the proof from the GPS in my vest.

Also, Congratulations to the iceboaters who have just finished the Bermuda Race. Steve and James Lamb, Oliver Moore and a few others.

Posted in 2016 Season | 1 Comment