A Tale Of Two Stern Steerers

Ben Fuller has been driving old Tipsy petty hard these past years. She’s probably had more ice time in the past five years than in the previous forty, so she’s in the shop for a little structural work.

Curiously, the full length side boards are backed up on the inside with plywood. It’s obviously original, fastened with copper rivets and hide glue. It was delaminating, as seventy-five year old plywood tends to do. There’s rusty steel, broken screws, all the special treats found in old boats. As soon as the steel breasthooks were removed from the stern, she just fell open. Amazing how old boats, both soft and hard, can hold together mostly by habit.

Ben steers her very well with the tiller tucked under his arm. I don’t recall ever seeing Tipsy flicker. But I do know that he needs just to move his upper body ever so slightly to make her turn. “Twitchy” doesn’t even begin to describe the sensation of sailing Tipsy.

Some stern steerers have been modified to steer with a tiller. This reduces the steering gear ratio from 1:1 to any tame ratio you’d like.

Bob Hines restored his boat ten years ago, but hasn’t managed to get her out since then. He gave the steering an awesome reduction. Notice the forward facing seat and tiller. He has a passenger seat forward of that. Looks very comfortable.

Last time he had her out was when Lee Turner hosted the Spring Flings on Winnipesaukee. But he reports that he’s set her up, found all the pins and parts, and is looking forward to the coming season.

Got projects? August is nearly done…the countdown continues.

Posted in 2018 Season

75 Days Till The NEIYA Meeting, Swap & Lunch

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New post on New England Ice Yacht Association

75 Days Till The NEIYA Meeting, Swap & Lunch

by NEIYA Admin

With the Dog Days of summer behind us it’s time to think about Ice boating and the NEIYA Annual Meeting Swap Meet, and Luncheon. Mark your calendars NOW and show up on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at our new venue.

Hudson-Concord Elks Hall
99 Park Street, Hudson, MA 01749

Our new venue is bigger and we have lots of plans to use every inch. Wanna show off or sell your latest project before it hits the ice? Bring it on down.

Come and celebrate last season, and get ready for an even better 2019 iceboating season.

Posted in 2018 Season

Small Skeeter YELLOW BIRD For Sale

Yellow Bird is a small skeeter, 16 feet long (including the spring board) and uses a DN rig and sail. Built as a 7/8 scale North Easter, she is responsive, well balanced and easy to sail. A spruce mast and fir boom carry a Shore wide range medium sail which is trimmed by Harken blocks. The ten foot airfoil shape spruce plank has nice cast aluminum chocks and oak-body tee runners with a runner carrying box and sharpening jig. The cockpit is snug and comfortable with an upholstered seat and wheel steering. Yellow Bird is in a trailer, complete and ready to sail. Located in Arrowsic, Maine. $2200.00 obo
Call Bart Chapin
C 207 841 7739
P 207 443 4116

Posted in 2018 Season

Boat Show, good cheap DN

While the CIBC didn’t manage to sign up and new members this past weekend at the Maine Boats and Harbors show, we did raise awareness of the sport and found some great networking opportunities. We have a very good lead for a more reliable spy on Moosehead Lake, and we discovered a secret stash of big stern steerers on Marancook Lake, near Great Pond in Belgrade Lakes. The folks there agreed to give us a call when Great Pond and Marancook are sailable.

The low point was when a woman asked if her child could sit in the “kayak” to have her picture taken. She wasn’t too interested when told it was actually an iceboat.

Our own Charlie Sylveius, and then later, John Stanton showed up. John reports that we have a new venue for the Fall meeting and Swap Meet, so stand by for directions. During one of the many great ice conversations my wife pointed out that “it’s only August, boys”. so we thanked her for reminding us that time is running out and we need to get right on those ice boat projects!

One of the exhibitors has an older DN for sale in Leominster, Mass. David Erickson, 978-857-8014. ericstove@gmail.com. $400.oo

Thanks to Jim Gagnon, Curtis Rindlaub, Guy Pollyblank, Tom Nichols and Lloyd Roberts for manning the stand all weekend, and to Denis Guertin for supplying the teriffic video which ran endlessly all weekend.

Posted in 2018 Season | 1 Comment

Maine Boats and Harbors Show

The CIBC will be exhibiting iceboats at the boat show in Rockland this coming weekend. If you’re in the area please come by and say hello, and get a nice dose of thinking ice here in the depths of the off season.

Friday and Saturday 10:00-5:00, Sunday 10:00-4:00. Harbor Park, Rockland.

Posted in 2018 Season

Skeeter for sale near Long Pond Lakeville, MA

Looks like a bit of a project, but one never knows. Could be a gem!


See it also at www.iceboat.org in the buy and sell section. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an iceboat project down in the cool cellar at this time of year?

Posted in 2018 Season | 2 Comments


Anyone who has a forge and is interested in making their own creepers could copy this model from 19th century Finland. It was found in an old tenant fisherman’s cabin on a remote island. Only one was discovered, which indicates how hard life was in those days…

No velcro, no plastic, no stretchy rubber to break, just iron and leather. The addition of a heel cleat would be nice. Even with the modern styles it’s important to have the heel cleat.

Posted in 2018 Season