Iceboat For Sale, & Cetera

Here’s an interesting two person DN. Solid and well built. Needs cleaning and paint, but it comes complete with mast, runners and sail. Boat is in Camden, call 975-6980 for info.

Most of the dirt was washed off in the rain on the way home last week.

If you’d like to spend a little more, here’s a link to a sunfish rig looking for a Cheapskate. See the plans on this web site for details.

In other building and repair season news, Steve Lamb has acquired a lovely old stern steerer called Cyclone. She’s gaff rigged and is fitted with a beautiful cast iron tiller.

James demonstrates the proper technique, and appears to be growing a beard. All he needs now is the fur coat.

Steve says that aside from some twist in the main beam, she’s ready to go. Let’s hope for ice on the Hudson this coming season!

At Iceboat Central we are building a front seat C Skeeter from a design by Pat Heppart for a skipper from New Jersey. Launching will be in Maine next season.

There will be a sliding canopy, of course. Mike Acebo is building one as well for George Neyssen. Could this small fleet be a harbinger of a renewed C Skeeter class on the East Coast? These two boats, along with Tom Nichols’, will see some spirited racing next season. Hopefully there will be an ISA on good ice somewhere east of Minnesota!

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Mystery Snow Shoes

Scott Woodman researched the picture of the little snow shoes from the recent newsletter. They are vintage Swiss Army snow shoes. Maybe the Swiss Army does not iceboat after all, an apparent lapse in their otherwise admirable national defense system.

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Posted in 2016 Season

Ice Report, 4/19

There’s a warm wind blowing on Moosehead Lake today, from the south at twenty. The surface is looking better and better. The skies are overcast, all the better to prevent slush-out, but with the strong wind and slush runners iceboaters would be having a ball today.

The Birches Webcam | Moosehead Lake lodging | Maine | lodging | lakeside cabins | Maine vacation

Alas, the thrill is gone. Iceboaters have heard the Fat Lady and succumbed to her siren song. Work is getting done, gardens tilled. But what Maine iceboater doesn’t feel the nip in the air today, notice the swaying of the pines, and just wonder if maybe we should have gone after all. It was in the cards, this cold snap having been well forecast over a week ago. But one by one the intrepid hard core of the CIBC slipped sheepishly into spring.

So it’s quiet day on Moosehead Lake. The snowmobilers and ice fisherman have left, summer visitors yet to arrive. It could have been ours, but now it belongs only to the creeping warmth, and a certain singer who’s mournful message can be heard in the wind.

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Ice on Chickie

The ice that vanished today actually was used once this season. We had a nice fire on the beach heating a pot of baked beans. The big hole that never froze until way into the winter was marked by Lloyd with four cones. There was match racing all morning until the wind died, and the hole was the leeward mark.

Some weeks later, a neighbor who was working on a house with a nice view of the lake told me that another worker pointed out those cones, wondering who would be marking such a huge and obvious hole. “Well,” he said, “I have a hunch it might be my neighbor, the one who sails iceboats.” Just goes to show it pays to keep promoting iceboating awareness.

And just a note to tuck in the back of your mind: Moosehead will be having a cold snap early next week, with temps Monday night around twenty. If the edge survives this week, there will be a small contingent on Tuesday heading to Rockwood who refuse to accept the Robins and crocuses. Stay tuned here, or be in touch.

The building and repair season starts now: always put your runners away sharp, replace missing pins, knock off the punch list before it’s forgotten!

Posted in 2016 Season

Ice on Chickawaukee

Tuesday April 11. The last of the ice that never got used on Chicky melted last night. Long hot summer ahead.

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Posted in 2016 Season

this is only a test


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Cruising Iceboat in Finland

Last winter when we sailed day after day on Moosehead Lake, a coupe of guys began toying with the idea of lashing camping gear to the boats and setting of for a camping cruise of the lake. Of course, after a drink in front of the fire at the Birches Lodge they saw life a bit differently. But here’s a couple in Finland who seem to have it all figured out.

They had been out for a week when DN and Monotype sailor Mats Loftsberg met them on the ice. The cozy cabin sleeps two, and the skunners will cross most cracks easily, while the fuselage actually floats. Mats says the yacht is made of wood, but the people are made of steel!
This time of year in Finland the weather is much like we have here, and having past the spring equinox the days begin to get longer much quicker than in our lower latitudes.

Google Maps

They are cruising this archipelago in the Gulf of Bothnia, near the city of Jacobstad. It takes a geography like this, Winnepesaukee or Moosehead Lake, to make sense of an activity like this, but imagine the fun. Maybe a fire ashore in the evening, a little ice fishing, and long days of mellow sailing. Who knows what they do if it snows; maybe one of those Jack Jacobs chain saw drives would get them home

While we haven’t completely given up hope for this season’s sailing in Maine, anther foot of snow is coming at us tonight. As long as the temps remain moderate, as they have been, the ice will hang in there a bit longer and give it one more chance to re-surface. Bob Lombardo reports that according to an ice fisherman, Hermon Lake has actually gained four inches in the past month.
Meanwhile, don’t forget about the CIBC potluck spring meeting a week from Sunday at Damariscotta Lake Farm Inn.

Posted in 2016 Season