Four New DN’s In The World

After a big push at the end this afternoon, we managed to complete one boat: plank, chocks and all, ready to go except for paint. Number two is just a day away from about the same. Number three went out the door with wet glue from putting down the last section of deck, and number four just needs decks and hardware. It was an amazing group. Everyone pitched in to help where needed, offering guidance to those a few steps behind.

For all of them it was the first time using a table saw, band saw, router, and for some, the cordless drill. Happy to report all eighty fingers are still intact. At least one of the boats will continue to be worked on; the fate of the others is unknown. This course might be offered again next year, but MIT can’t just start stockpiling un-finished DN’s. Keep your eyes out next year at the Swap Meet for some bargains…

All the engineers loved looking at the bob-stay.

Maria and Thatcher setting up to fasten the stud plates.

Squaring up the plank.

Let’s go sailing again!

Speaking of which, how far will we need to drive in the near future to find ice? Snow and crap forecast everywhere. No word from Ramblin Roger, but Roger, if you read this, know that we will follow you anywhere at this point so go get it!

Lastly, if we do ever get a chance to sail again, take along these wise words sent in by Bobby Able:


Many of us have yet to see any ice this season and we are
all eager to get out there as soon as possible. Due the the
late start you will probably not be alone. I found this from
someone who obviously is wise and experienced.
These are not my words. They really gave this some thought.
Thank you, whom ever wrote down these words.


Just some thoughts on etiquette and safety for this up
coming season. Pass it around, let’s have fun.

1. When I get to the launch site, I’ll unload everything
quickly, without lots of chatting with other folks.

2. If there’s someone else unloading, I’ll offer to help
with boats, since sometimes two people can sometimes
get two boats on the ice faster than they can set up
one boat each.

3. As soon as I’m done unloading, I’ll move my car away
from the launch point/ramp/whatever. THEN I’ll finish
assembling the boat(s). I’ll do this even if I’m one
of the first people at the site.

4. If I see someone who looks new to the ice, I’ll
introduce myself, and mention our club, even if it
means I’ll spend a few minutes less on the ice myself.

5. I’ll ask others about hazards before I hoist my sail.

6. I’ll pause for a moment each time I sail to think
about the risks, about safety, about who’s on the
ice and how safely they seem to handle their boats, etc.

7. I’ll stay “two mistakes away” from danger — my mistake
and the other guy’s.

Posted in 2016 Season

Caveats on Memphremagog Ice 4 PM Thursday Jan 14

Ramblin Roger called from the VT ice again. There is a significant pressure ridge near the launch site which he has not explored due to lack of wind and ongoing snow flurry. Lee Spiller is on the scent too. There is a skating club in Newport. Will VT get the same iffy weather forecast for the rest of us Sat. and Sun.? There is a little snow on the ice here and there with up to 1 inch driftlets. Will there be wind Friday? What will it be like next week? Roger says it looks good but what about the other 21 miles? We pass along the info and guess at the rest as usual.


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Posted in 2016 Season | 1 Comment

Ice in Northern Vermont Thursday Jan 14

Peripatetic ice spy Ramblin Roger Pickall, from Easton Maryland, looking for ice in the distant Northland, has found 6 1/2 inches of lovely ice which he is about to sail on Lake Memphremagog at newport VT. This big lake is partly in Vermont and partly in Quebec, apparently with ice to the horizon. He just called me from the parking lot at Whipple’s landing at 1 PM.

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Posted in 2016 Season

Last night’s (Tuesday) snow and ice.

Damariscotaa got 5-6 inches on new thin ice following blowout, there are holes. Huge piles of debris ice in launch area.

Lewiston got close to a foot of snow, bye bye Sabattus and Androscoggin.. Six inches snow in Liberty and likely Three Mile pond mentioned earlier and Clary pond.

Chickawauke got only a dusting of snow, now blowing off of 1 inch of punky new ice following recent blow out. Good sized holes present Tuesday afternoon. It is coming off to seasonal lows through Friday, then likely snow over weekend of course. Doubtful we can sail her this week.

Snow was forecast to be heaviest inland to North such as in Unity, Moosehead.


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Posted in 2016 Season

Pushaw Lake for Tuesday!

Our ace skater/spy Bob Lombardo, and his trusty fellow-skater Carl, sent in this report from our beloved Pushaw:

As of 3pm 1/11/16 Goulds Landing was locked in and we were able to walk down the bare ramp onto the ice. Ice was at least 5″ of clear ice under 1″ of slush ice as of yesterday [Sunday] and a mix of ice avenues, large areas of dark grey ice and minimal snow cover. Today there was just hard light grey ice as far as the eye could see. That 5″ of clear ice is still there and no snow or water that we could see and well drained off. There will be pressure ridges and drain holes for sure. We will circumnavigate the entire lake tomorrow on skates of course [we are skaters] and hope to see some boat action.

Photos taken today at 3pm from Goulds Landing

Winds are predicted to be stronger in the afternoon, possibly reaching 8 MPH or so. Snow predicted in the evening…..sooo….buddies….
are you ready? The lake is just NW of Bangor, Maine

Posted in 2016 Season | 1 Comment

Ice after storm Monday Jan 11

Lots of warm rain, 2+ inches, and gale wind blew out Chickawaukee, back to start. Damariscotta seems, on Dammycam view from launch area, to have held. Later in week promising.

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Posted in 2016 Season | 1 Comment

Sorry, Just One More

This just in from Denis in Quebec. The lesson here is communication. Had they known, these guys could have had a great day on Sabattus. In this age of amazing communication tools, it still comes down to having people willing to share their plans and the ice.

“Hi Bill
You won’t believe how stupid we can get when we search for ice and wind close to home. First, we drove to Pushaw (Jory talked about a fairly good surface). But it was 3/4″ of packed styrofoam. Then, We took I-95 and went to Unity Pond. Very nice ice, but very light wind. So we decided to head back to Québec because today’s forecast was also poor. We stopped in Skowhegan to see Lake Wesserunsett: 8″ of ice everywhere, but 1″ of packed snow. Then we stopped in Jackman to see Wood Pond. 5″ of ice but better ice, less snow on it. Final Result: 700 km, no sailing!!

In Lambton, Lac St. Francois has 4″. It must have frozen on Monday because it was still open water last week-end (I was here). Amazing how ice built fast. I am confident to sail here next week. We expect rain tomorrow and quick drop of the temps on Monday, and light snow with strong winds until Mid week. The surface should be OK for the end of the week if snow remains light.

Tell your students that it is a crazy sport. Or a superb sport for crazy people. ”



Posted in 2016 Season