Growing the Herd

Andover MA Winterfest 2020, Pomp’s Pond

I have three items on this update. Our participation in a local MA Winter event, an upcoming event at the NH Boat Museum in Wolfeboro and a review of ice etiquette.

A couple months ago the NEIYA was asked to participate in the Andover MA Winterfest. The purpose of the festival was to promote winter outdoor activities. How could I say no? Local iceboaters Frank Morse and Peter Boynton agreed to bring boats down and sail if the conditions allowed. Since I was not driving home from MT and had fled Winni before the torrential rains came Saturday night I was able to attend as well. The crowds began to build a little after 10am and the winter demonstrations began. There were talks and demos on ice fishing, harvesting ice, winter hiking and geocaching, ice rescue drills by the local fire department and talk about ice boats of course. I spoke about the history of iceboating, safety, and cruising and racing today. We were well received and there were many questions from the audience. There were a couple interested people both from the audience and the firefighters. I am hoping one or two of the families in the audience comes out on the ice real soon. We agreed to come back next year and perhaps schedule a local demo day when conditions allow.

Charlie Silfvenius our Hardway Chairman will be dong an iceboat demo at winter festivals in Wolfeboro February 16th and 22nd. More details to come. I am sure Charlie could use a hand or extra tongue or two to talk up iceboating to the crowds. More details to follow shortly.

Looking back we had a great one, two, three four or more days on Winnipesaukee. Over the course of the week we had 25 boats on Wednesday, 30+ on Thursday, 40+ on Friday and 25+ on Saturday. With all the coming and going I estimate we had between 60 and 70 unique boats sail over the four days. That is a pretty great gathering and the largest I have seen in some time. With all those boats running around courtesy and caution is a must.

A couple thoughts in no particular order

  • Sail heads up and in control
  • Be aware of other ice users
    • Skaters
    • Kites They move pretty quickly and their kites if on the ground may have thin line stretched out from the kite. Stay Clear of it our blades are sharp
    • Kite Wings
    • Ice Boards they are fast so aware
    • Motorcycles fast and may not be traveling in a direction that one would expect from a wind-powered craft. Give them room
    • Snowmobiles same as motorcycles but a little bigger so easier to see.
    • Walkers
    • Ice fishermen and their Tip-ups. Stay well clear and if you do accidentally run one over stop and offer to replace (pay) if it is damaged
    • Anything else out there

If we are sailing near public launch areas we have to share. Sail heads up and with courtesy.

Looking ahead we have people out checking Winni today, there are many eyes on Bantam in Litchfield CT, there is news that Jordan Bay on Sebago might come it (watch for news), there is positive progress on Sunapee and a few other choices. The weather that came through is presenting some new possibilities so if you know something let us know via and or post to the forum.

Sail Fast & Sail Heads Up,


P.S. I like all of us are eager to hear more about the NAs and sailing on Peck Lake. There will be more to come from our the latest North American Champion and others that attended.

3 responses

  1. Scott Page

    Ice at Ellacoya still very nice. Moderate strong wind. One skater with sail. One motorcycle. No iceboats yet. 12pm Tues.

    Sp Sent from my iPhone


    01/28/2020 at 12:07 pm

  2. Does Anyone know what happened to the ice on Winnie after the rains on Saturday nite??

    01/28/2020 at 10:49 am

    • Dave as mentioned people are starting to check today

      01/28/2020 at 11:38 am