Iceboats in WoodenBoat

According to Paul Zucco, iceboats have been featured on the cover of WoodenBoat magazine six times since it’s founding. A little research into the long row on the top shelf confirmed this, and Doug Raymond was kind enough to throw in the missing issue.

The first issue was #14 in 1977. The cover girl was Freddie Krause’s COLD WAVE, and the article by Peter Burckmyer featured and interview with some of the Hudson river Lawrence family members. It’s all about the gaff riggers, fitting for the time when the magazine was all about pine tar and hemp. They clipped artwork from S. Calhoun Smith’s fabulous book “Iceboating”, probably at that time still in print. Find it if you can.

Then came the DN’s in #86, 1989. Joe Norton is interviewed and tells a good story about the boat’s development, state of the art and the future. He predicts exactly how Jeff Kent and others have come to use wood as just one part of a composite structure. WoodenBoat has started with it’s love-hate relationship with epoxy.

#92, one year later, takes us back to tradition with the South Bay Scooter. I don’t believe the Scooter folks had started building in fiberglass yet, but this is a terrific article, quite long by WB standards. There’s even a photo of puddle jumping, but I still can’t imagine how the sail generates enough horsepower to get the boat from the water up onto the ice.

Dan Clapp is the next cover boy in an early bubble boat in #110, 1993. WB is now all about high tech wood/epoxy composites and what a great boat with which to demonstrate it. On the cover, he’s passing Peter Harken in a rumble seat skeeter. That type always had difficulty getting the balance correct enough to actually steer, so the boats by Clapp and Tom Nichols dominated for quite a few years. Tom tells a great story of racing with the guys from the mid-west on Lake Champlain and the Easterners are just walking away from the mid-westerner’s rumble seaters. They called Buddy Melges back in Wisconsin asking him what they should do, but Buddy wouldn’t accept that his guys were getting beaten so badly by such an unusual design and just told them to try harder! The rest is history.

WoodenBoat #182, 2005 comes home to Maine to tell us about L.F. Herreschoff’s SLIPPER. She’s an early fuselage type stern-steerer with a marconi rig. Great photos by Dickie Saltonstall on a beautiful day on Lake Sebago illustrate Bill Bunting’s story, and there is a nice sidebar by Lloyd Roberts. Plans are featured, so you’ll be able to build one for yourself if so motivated. It is iceboat building season, after all. SLIPPER was seen sailing on the Hudson this season, but we hope to see her back in Maine someday, too.

And another fuselage stern-steerer with a big steering wheel is the most recent, this past January. Great photos were taken by Alison Langly that day in 2013 just in case some one might do an article on the Monotype. Bunting twisted my arm pretty hard to get me to write it; I owe it all to him, thanks Bill. The funniest thing, though, is that the photo at the head of the story prominently shows a hole in her starboard quarter. It looks like a bullet hole, and if you squint just right you can imagine that it’s actually a Sopwith Camel you’re looking at, just back from a flight behind German lines. But no, her mooring thawed out in a southerly gale and she swung around impaling herself on another boat’s runner. Another reason to remove your runners at night.

Think Ice!

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