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There will be a Hardway attempt on Monday the 15th! If you don’t know what the Hardway is take a look at the posts below, that will tell you all you need to know-

It’s always an adventure and with a little luck you can make it happen this year!

Launch will be at Brewster Beach in Wolfeboro NH. There will be a push off time of 10:00 AM SHARP to take advantage of the hard ice in the morning. So be there early, rigged and ready to go by 10!

Keep an eye on this site for further details. Info may also be up on the CIBC site- Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club | Maine ice boat enthusiasts and friends

All usual safety protocols must be followed since this is a long haul over large expanses of the lake- helmets, picks, warm clothes, GPS, food/water, comm gear all even more necessary than usual.

Also COVID is still out there as well so be sure to mask up and maintain some distance between yourself and the rest of the gang. Even in the parking lot.

Stay tuned and sail safe. Think ICE!

Baikal In This Hemisphere…..

While we’re waiting for all this wonderful slush to freeze and the gale to calm down, think about this for next March. Can’t make it to Siberia? Montana’s the next best thing! Potential for a container full of iceboats departing Boston area. Fly to Billings, rent a car for the four hour drive to Glasgow, or take the one hour flight. The container full of boats will be there on the beach, Baklal style, waiting for you.

Could be interesting- Having sailed out in Montana last season I can vouch for the venue, it really is out in the middle of nowhere and the scenery is AMAZING.

Take a look:


Ice This Weekend- Quality And Quantity?

OK Folks….

Hope springs eternal, even for us chronically pessimistic and cranky New Englanders….

Ice reports are coming in from up north and it sounds like a matter of quality vs quality. As is fairly typical for this time of year there are some fairly good base plates of ice on Winni, Dammi, and Sunapee BUT with warm temps and sun there can be some quick degradation and rapid changes such as thin spots getting thinner, cracks appearing and widening rapidly, and pressure ridges forming almost instantly as ice sheets expand and heave. None of this is conducive to safe sailing…. So the thickness is there but the surface leaves a lot to be desired in terms of sailability and safety.

On the other hand we see all kinds of strange things on the ice and even those of us who have been at this for awhile still get surprised. The next few days are fairly warm and sunny all over the region and the nights will be chilly but not cold enough to tighten things up until Saturday night. Maybe there is a chance of a good Sunday morning this coming weekend. Or maybe a good day to hang out in the parking lot. Who knows?!?

All we can do is wait and see what the scouts report as this week grinds on- Many thanks to them, I know a few have really been all over the map looking for the good stuff…. On the subject of scouting ice, if you know of a decent sailing prospect let it be known, the karma points will be generous! So don’t mothball the ice toys just yet. Ya nevah know….

As always exercise extreme caution if you are venturing out on the ice- this time of year can be especially hazardous. Spikes, throw ropes, life jacket, thermal gear, spotters and partners are a MUST.

Think ICE!!

America’s Cup Day 1 Highlights

Hey Folks-

If you had as much trouble finding the America’s Cup on TV last night as I did and were as reluctant to pay the $130 NBC wanted to watch the series live (ouch!) as I was don’t despair, the highlights are on YouTube for free.

Fun to watch the racing and some of the stuff they do seems to apply to our hard-water world.

I won’t spoil the results for you but I will paraphrase Bill Bunting- When he and his brother would match race their two Nites Bill would say “I’m usually first runner-up and he usually comes in next to last….” Always got a kick out of that one. And so it is in match racing!

Click and enjoy here: 36th America’s Cup Day 1 Highlights – YouTube

America’s Cup Race 1 Tonight!

Hey Gang- could be more hard water sailing in NE this weekend, more on that later.

For now take a look at Race 1 of the America’s Cup tonight. Interesting craft in the event- sometimes they even go about as fast as an ice boat….

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Anyway coverage starts at 10pm here in the east, I think on NBC sports. Click the link below for more info.

Place your bets and clear your calendars for this weekend just in case!

Spreading The Stoke On Webster Lake

Webster Lake 3/7/21 Photo Credit Emily Babbitt

Sunday on Webster was one for the books-  Good breeze but not too much, good turnout but not a traffic jam, ice that was hard yet grippy, bright sun but not blinding, and temps cold enough to keep the ice hard but not make an iceboater think twice about getting out of the van.

Yep, a banner day to be sure-  not bad for early March!  I don’t know exactly how many boats were on the lake but there must have been at least 20-30 craft of all varieties-  DNs (old and new), Skeeters, BDXs, maybe a Whizz or two, a Lockley Skimmer, and who knows what else.  All were able to get out and enjoy the day.

There was a good bunch of cruising boats buzzing around and when race marks were set everyone seemed to take an interest in doing some hot laps-  It’s hard for any sailor to resist seeing how your boat matches up with the boat next door!  Great to see everyone living it up and always interesting to compare the performance and sailing styles of the different designs and skippers.  Watching the fleet doing lap after lap was oddly calming and mesmerizing…  Like watching clothes tumble in a dryer but way more interesting.  Later on when some loosely organized races were run that was interesting too!  Good time had by all, that’s for sure.

Thanks to Emily Babbitt for getting some great shots yesterday. You can view her pics here

And a few from my phone

Along with the range of boats were a range of skippers, male, female, older (don’t ask), younger (some in their twenties), and at least one who I don’t think is a teenager yet (ah, to be that young again!)  Bella was crushing it in her new BDX by the way, clearly, the kid has some talent and will be leaving her father in the dust soon enough!

We also had a good group of first-timers out;  One gent about my age (again, don’t ask) who has been a keen ocean racer and involved in numerous ’round the world race and America’s Cup campaigns doing bleeding-edge electronic and computer data, control, and navigation stuff.  All known in the biz as “mega-tronics.” His stories are a fascinating glimpse into that rarified world, and those are just the ones he can tell (I get the impression he has signed more NDAs than most of us have signed credit card receipts.)  In any case he is keen to delve further into the science and art of DN sailing-  Should be interesting!

Also in the mix was a young couple with extensive collegiate sailing experience and resume’s that include a lot of campaigning in Moth and 49er dinghies.  Another relatively new guy was out with a green sail, older hull, and aluminum mast and was doing quite well in the scratch racing that broke out.

Rounding out this bunch were two women I know from the classic yacht world, one who works on them for a living and one who has a real, respectable job but trims mainsheet one of the fastest classics out there!  All of these people sailed my 1962 DN for a bit and some of them moved up to the modern DNs after that.  All of them were STOKED and one of them is shopping for an old DN at this very moment.    Hope they will all dive in on some level!

Either way, it was great to see new faces out there giving this amazing sport a go.  We are all very lucky to have found it (or stumbled onto it) and we all know how much excitement and adrenalin it can generate no matter how we participate.  Which brings me to another point; My friend Dave always says that if you have something that revs you up and get’s you “stoked” (he lived in California for a while and he must have picked up some of the lingo) you have a duty to share it with like-minded folks.  Whether it’s a song, a boat, a band, movie, windsurfer, iceboat, whatever it may be you have to “Spread The Stoke!!” as he says.  Fair to say that The Stoke was spread far and wide yesterday!

There was a big regatta in Michigan last weekend and I have no remorse at all over skipping it; as much as I would have enjoyed racing (that’s my “stoke”) it was just as much or even more fun to get some new people out and see their reactions-  I re-learn this lesson every so often and I hope everyone in the group will make it a point to drag some new sailors out onto the ice and keep that stoke going!

Think Ice, T

Webster Lake Today

There should be good sailing on Webster Lake today- A groupbe launching from

Waterfront Mary’s

103 Birch Island Rd
Webster, MA 01570
United States

Hope to see some people there!

Saturday Launch And Parking

Saturday launch site:136 N Shore Rd
Bantam, CT

Just NE of the White Memorial Family Campground

Will be there at about 10. Show up any time!

Scratch Racing and Cruising This Weekend!!!

Hello All- The title above isn’t one you’d normally expect to see at this time of year BUT it isn’t the craziest thing we’ve seen lately….

As I said in an earlier post we have an embarrassment of riches in terms of ice and we would be remiss if we didn’t try to make the best of it. So here goes, a cunning plan to take advantage of as much as possible…. As I once heard Eddie Van Halen say; “If it’s all you can eat for a buck I’ll take three bucks worth!”

Of course racing and cruising is welcome on all of these lakes but if racing is what gets you going consider the following:

-Bantam Lake in western CT. Bantam Lake – Wikipedia
On SATURDAY marks will be set, flags will be waved, and the clipboard and score sheets will be in use…. Stay tuned for launch site info

An extra DN will be available for anyone who wants to give it a try

-Webster Lake in eastern MA Lake Chaubunagungamaug – Wikipedia

On SUNDAY marks will be set, flags will be waved, and the clipboard and score sheets will be in use…. Stay tuned for launch site info

An extra DN will be available for anyone who wants to give it a try

If cruising is your speed consider the following:

-Damariscotta Lake in coastal ME Damariscotta Lake – Wikipedia

I sailed this last weekend and it was on the rough side but very sailable and very enjoyable- it may be smoother now than last weekend due to a rain event that rolled through. See the CIBC site for details Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club | Maine ice boat enthusiasts and friends

-Lake Winnepesaukee in central NH Lake Winnipesaukee – Wikipedia
Sources say Winni is being scouted for a Hard Way trip, maybe this will be a good year for it! Again, stay tuned to this site for details

We have also heard rumors about ice on Mahopac Lake in southeast NY and some lakes in NJ but we don’t have any details.

AS ALWAYS, USE PROPER PRECAUTIONS AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS WHEN GOING ON THE ICE. Do not venture out without talking with locals and other sailors and doing a proper evaluation of the conditions and potential hazards. There are always plenty, especially at this time of year.


Fast Downwind Technique

Hey Gang- We have an embarrassment of riches in the ice department but will post about all that later-

In the meantime take a look and listen to the latest SailJuice video by Mike Madge- in this one he talks with Matt Struble about how to get through the downwind leg in a hurry- If you’ve ever seen Matt sail downwind you know he is worth listening to!

Click and learn- Stay tuned

Downwind Speed in the DN Ice Yacht – YouTube


Downwind Speed in the DN Ice Yacht

360 Degree Cameral On A DN

Andre’ Baby was good enough to send this video our way- Good footage and be sure to take advantage of the 360 degree feature!

Hello guys,

In case you haven’t seen the latest . You can orient the camera any which way while Tomek is sailing, with the arrows on the left upper corner of the screen.

Enjoy !

Tak ślizga się Mistrz Polski 2021 – Tomasz Zakrzewski / Sailing with Polish Champ Tomasz Zakrzewski


Tak ślizga się Mistrz Polski 2021 – Tomasz Zakrzewski / Sailing with Pol…

A Rookie Checks In

Great to see the enthusiasm and guts this youngster has! She did well at the Nationals and we look forward to seeing her improve with a well tuned boat and some more time on the ice.

Iceboating bug can be dangerous >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News (

Iceboating bug can be dangerous >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

The passion and persistence of iceboaters sets them apart. With the hours perfecting their boats and the miles d…

Going Faster Upwind in DN Ice Yachts, with Matt Struble – YouTube

More great tips from a top DN sailor- click and learn!

Thanks to Mike Madge for putting these together-

Fastest Laser In The World….

Not sure where this is but you have to love it….

EurILCA – No matter the weather, you can always sail your… (


As far as we know iceboating originated in the Netherlands a few hundred years ago and there is still a strong fleet there.

They don’t get to sail in their own back yard much these days but last week things got cold and they were lucky to have some primo ice to break the drought!

Thanks to Margreet Elfring for sending this from the land of windmills, legal weed, red light districts, black ice, and colorful tulips.

Could be some sailing options coming together closer to home, stay tuned- Scouts are out and about.

Think ICE!!

Great Advice On DN Racing….

Whether you race or cruise you will learn a lot by watching this video! Karol seems to have a knack for this iceboating stuff so pay attention….

Karol’s Winning Moves in the DN Ice Yacht – YouTube


Karol’s Winning Moves in the DN Ice Yacht

Mashpee-Wakeby update

This pond was sailed today- as always, there is thin ice and care needs to be taken-

We stayed in the Mashpee Pond portion, did not venture north into the Wakeby Pond part so no info on that-

In the southern part known hazards include thin and open spots along the SW shore of the the lake and care needs to be taken to avoid these. Also a “goose hole” was reported, not sure where.

The ice was a bit soft and there were many healed over drain holes- cold nightly temps could lock it up and warm temps could make it un sailable- as always, exercise extreme caution, follow safety protocols, and stay in known safe areas.

Do not sail alone, wear your ice picks, and keep your eyes open-

Think ice!! T

2021 DN Iceboat Nationals – YouTube

Some good video from the recent DN Nationals out in MI…

Iceboat Tours And Stories

Some good videos and stories here to while away the time until the snow melts….

At The Front – February 2021 (

2021 U.S. Nationals Called ON for Black Lake in Michigan – DN North America

It’s on!

2021 US Nationals – DN North America- update #4

The latest and greatest…. stay tuned

2021 U.S. Nationals Update #3 – DN North America

The latest-

2021 US Nationals – DN North America- update #2

Here is the latest from mission control- read up and stay tuned!

2021 US Nationals – DN North America- update #1

Take a look folks, and stay tuned. Hope to see a good turnout!

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI. 02840

401 258 6230