Sideboards and Steering

On those days when the tide’s not right for catching clams, Bryce is making good headway on his Whizz. It’s tempting when she’s all framed up to go ahead and start the planking but it really pays to do all the inside work first.

Fitting the springboard and checking the run of the steering cables.

Check out this nifty little cut-off tool, with a guide. He used it to slot the aluminum steering tube.

The flange bases will get wood pads and the 1/8″ plate will connect to the steering cables with small cable clamps. A chain saw file makes a nice groove in the top edge of that plate for the cable to rest in. You don’t want to make these wood foot pedal pads too large because sometimes you want to scoot your feet down behind the pedals right to the bulkhead, like when you’re on a long, cold, windy run so your head is a low as possible to reduce wind chill and windage. It also helps if you’re trying to keep the other guy from passing you. In that position the wheel is in just the right place for steering, the sheet is cleated, you’re out of the wind and life is good.

And now the planking begins. An iceboat all framed up is a beautiful thing and a joy to behold, but time marches on. In less than a week the days begin to get shorter, and we all know what that means!

Posted in 2018 Season

Peter McGowan Remembers His First Time

You might have already seen this on the NEIYA site, but it’s really good, so read it again! We’ve all been there. Thanks, Peter, for taking the time to put this together. Very inspiring.

New post on New England Ice Yacht Association

Peter McGowan Remembers His First Time

by Commodore James “T” Thieler DN US 5224

Good article by rookie DNer Peter McGowan here- have a read and get pysched for fall!

First Time Experiences of Iceboat Racing

First Time Experiences of Iceboat Racing

Peter Mcgowan heads to the DN North Americans in Charlevoix, Michigan

James “T” Thieler

12 Channing St.

Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230


Commodore James “T” Thieler DN US 5224 | 06/11/2018 at 2:43 pm | Categories: 2018 Season | URL:

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Posted in 2018 Season

Whizz Building

Michel Frechette of Magog is coming along very well on his new Whizz. He wanted to feel the bounce, so set it up in the driveway on his DN plank.

The rakish nose block is a nice touch.

And just to double check the fit we’ll try it in the shop as well. Note the rugged strongback, as well as the pencil sharpener; always a sign of a good craftsman.

And now that the boat is off the strongback we can lay up the springboard with about an inch of crown.. The runner plank can’t be far behind.
Steve Duhamel is now making a bow chock specifically for the Whizz, but which will work beautifully on any small skeeter. The main difference is the longer arms, which make for easier steering, without the quickness that the DN spec chock causes. And it comes with a two inch long shaft, which means you don’t need to build a skyscraper on the end of your springboard to accommodate to long DN shaft.

Forty degrees and drizzle here in Maine today, with the scent of wood smoke on the breeze. A fine day to Think Ice!

Posted in 2018 Season

Whizz #21

Bernard Lavoie is making great progress on the first of two boat he plans to have ready for next season. He loaded the drawings into a CAD program, and judging by the fairness of his fuselage it was worth the effort.

He’ll have a little fancy footwork to get the side planks to fair into the stern block, but it is certainly is a nice trim little stern. Notice the temporary spreaders just forward of the second bulkhead. These will hold the stringers straight until the deck and bottom are on. Without them, there would be a bulge there caused by bending the stringers around that second bulkhead and pulling them into the stern block.

Isn’t great to have all these peeks into other people’s building spaces? It helps create a universality among those who build stuff. Workshops of the world, Unite!

Posted in 2018 Season

Some New Whizz

Bryce Geele, not far from the shore of Damariscotta Lake, is making good progress on his new Whizz, sail number 21. After winning the Cheapskate Championship he has set his sights on a greater challenge. The CIBC did not manage to get in the Whizz Regatta this past season, but we’ll be sure to hold it next year.

In Magog, Quebec Bernard Lavoie and Michel Frechette have started building Whizz #23, 23 and 24. Magog is at the north end of Lake Memphramagog, so you can count on sailing there next season. The Whizz is such a versatile iceboat. Light and easy to set up, fast in a wide variety of conditions, comfortable for days of long touring or hard racing, and it looks good. It’s no wonder the class is taking off.

For those guys who have been sailing the Whizz for a while, please plan on traveling to the ISA next year. Do it for the sport. That event wasn’t held this past season either, which means it’s guaranteed for next season. Would the Renegade fleet accept a challenge from the Whizz fleet? Let’s find out!

Posted in 2018 Season | 1 Comment

Cal Smith’s book and Doc Fellows papers

Llewellyn Howland’s excellent nautical book and ephemera catalog has a copy of Calhoun Smith’s book “Ice Boating”, 1962. It’s a beautiful book, with state of the art technical details as well as a rich discussion of ice boating history. The price, $40.oo, is remarkably low for this book. Item #432

There is also a roster of 175 ice boaters from Ma. and NH, 1964, compiled by Doc Fellows. $45. Item #219

Howland and Co.

Posted in 2018 Season

CIBC Spring Meeting Minutes

Thanks to new secretary Curtis Rindlaub, C Skeeter INDIGO, for putting together these minutes. Enjoy!

Chickawaukee Ice Boat Club Spring meeting April 14, 2018 Damariscotta Lake Farm Inn Minutes by Curtis Rindlaub, secretary
President Bill Buchholz summarized the season as “catch-as-catch-can” and “day-by- day,” with plenty of ice for those willing to go find it. The first day of sailing was November 17th, on Lac St. Joli, Quebec, making the season a day or two shy of six- months long. The club’s concern in the late summer and fall about Damariscotta Lake access was assuaged by successful launches from the beach instead of the ramp and from the Vannah Road boat launch. It seems these options will keep the club on the ice without the need for contemplating the purchase of some access point.
A review of safety concerns and incidents this winter re-emphasized the need to never sail alone and for each iceboater to take it upon him or herself to ask about all hazards “known and unknown” before setting sail. We discussed the unfortunate incident of Breck Holladay sailing his Nite into open water of The Fangs on Lake Megunticook and suffering fractured ribs and fractured boat. He appeared to have been sailing with Chris Biggert in a DN. Chris had turned to sail to the pits while Breck continued on toward the danger. Clearly, Breck was not aware of the hazard. And while there were many iceboats on the lake that day, if Chris and Breck were sailing together as partners, which they may not have been, Chris’s return to the pits left Breck sailing without another set of eyes. Discussion ensued about whether forming formal “buddies” to sail together, rather that informal groups or packs that just happen to be sailing near each other, would lead to greater safety, and whether this is practical. Lloyd recounted once wanting to sail across Sebago Lake. Lacking a buddy, he spied a lone iceboater and suggested they do it together. When they got to the other side and turned around, Lloyd could not make out any landmarks that indicated the location of the pits. When he asked his buddy if he knew where they came from, the buddy said, “How should I know? I’m legally blind.”
Jory Squibb then lightened the mood with an outstanding poem about ice grading, culminating in a shared sentiment: when it is really good, there is no number good enough to describe it. A short discussion on the one-to-ten ice-grading system followed.
As for club business, after many, many years, Lloyd Roberts is retiring as club secretary and Curtis Rindlaub is taking over and will try to fill his boots. The Warner St. Clair Trophy was presented to Lloyd for all he has done to foster not only the club but also the sport of iceboating. Many club members present attested that they would not be iceboaters had it not been for Lloyd’s encouragement and guidance. Jim Gagnon, club treasurer, reported steady sales of Think Ice, a balance of $3,073, and a membership in 2018 of 88, with 14 of them new members.
Think Ice, Lloyd’s seminal book on iceboating, has been revised once. The club discussed and seems in agreement that it would be wonderful to update it and republish it if possible. Curtis has been able to open digital files of the original, Bill has begun somerewriting, and Jim reports that there are only two cases of 48 each, plus a handful, of the last edition left. Both Jim and Bill have been trying to get those cases sent back to CIBC from the Midwest so the club can continue to get them in the hands of iceboaters. It was agreed that the printed newsletter is very much appreciated by club members, particularly for the club roster and Lloyd’s great articles. Curtis agrees to try to continue the tradition.
The meeting concluded with another of Jory’s poems and a wonderful potluck spread. Thanks to all who attended.

Posted in 2018 Season