2020 Season

Montana Pebbles, Cont’d….

After the post about the Montana beach pebbles that hitch-hiked back to RI under my van last winter I received a few funny comments and suggestions-

The best was from Eben Whitcomb, who suggested I plant them in some good potting soil and see if I can grow some dental floss…. Had to laugh at that one and no, it isn’t a joke about my lack of dental hygiene (I hope).

It is yet another reference to the Frank Zappa song “Montana.” Like much of Mr. Zappa’s oeuvre it is very serious and somber. This particular piece relates the narrative of a young man who (like many) dreams of moving to Montana, getting a small horse, planting a crop of dental floss, and making a fortune. While wearing tweezers as jewelry.

Of course you could be a snob and say to yourself “What a cliche’. That same story has been told a thousand times.”

But do yourself a favor, click the link and have a listen. Enjoy the interpretation, subtlety and majesty of one of Frank Zappa’s better known works, “Montana.”


A Bit Of Montana….

If you made the trip to Glasgow, Montana for the DN NA champs you may recall the reddish brown stones and sticky mud at the launch site. Very tenacious stuff- I spent hours under the van with a pressure washer blasting it all off.

And now, half a year later, I’m still spotting these little nuggets in the driveway. Have to chuckle every time and also give thanks for a really fun season.

Here’s to the next one!


June 20, 2020. Solstice, baby.
Days will start getting shorter.
Nights will be getting cooler.
We all know what this means….
Think ICE….

On a slightly less cosmic note the Great Western Challenge is less than six months away…. get busy in the shop if you haven’t already!! Send pics and info on any interesting projects you have going- will post on the front page!

Hope all are having a safe and productive summer-



John Curtis checks in from north of the border, showing off his new garden trellis.

He says “Notice the 2 and 1/4” of crown and the slight gull wing profile in the trellis.”

The design is no doubt inspired by current fashionable DN plank measurements.

One wonders how it will deflect and react as the vines grow up and around it….

Not sure who the spokesmodel is but maybe Colin Duncan?

Thanks John- get the garden in order and get back to Iceboat stuff!

Around the Track, Not Around the World

Getting back to fitness requires motivation and sometimes that’s hard to find, but the other night I found some. I prefer going to the track because it’s the easiest way for me to set measurable goals. Lately, I am walking a lot longer before I pick up the pace to a slow run. I know I need to run. I just don’t like to run. The other night it was running night. At the track I saw an acquaintance that competed and won the 1999 Around Alone solo race for his class. Our respective sons wrestled together in high school and I will admit to being fairly awe struck around the guy. He sailed around the world – alone. That’s huge.

He was walking too and we said hello, but we kept to our own fitness thing. After walking two laps, I started to jog and passed him. Then after a bit I started to hear some steps and breathing behind me. Around the world guy had started running too. I really wanted to stop and likely would have, but I decided that the guy that won the around the world race was not going to be beat me on the track. After another two laps, I noticed he’d departed.

Yes, it was a small cheap victory and he didn’t even know I was racing him! What can I say? I needed motivation. Later that evening, T and I watched some ice boating starts of those fast Europeans. Those folks run REALLY FAR before they slide into their boats. That will keep me motivated for a while…

Stay safe everyone!

Karen Binder
DN 5630

Ron Sherry Interview

Whether you already know Ron or not you’ll enjoy this interview- Ron has an interesting history with iceboating and has become fairly proficient at it over the years….

Have a look and listen and enjoy the stories- and of course you’ll learn something!


LRIBYC Poster Boy

It’s not Fabio. It’s not Zoolander. It IS Scott Valentine modeling one of the more stylish face masks you’ll ever see!

Hope everyone is being safe and staying healthy (physically and mentally) and looking forward to the fall and hopefully a time when we will wear face masks only because it’s cold out.

Thanks Scott!

Think ICE!!

Meet The CIBC Rookie Of The Year

Had the pleasure of meeting this young gent up at Dammy last year. Check out his thesis here!


The List! It’s starting….

It’s official. The DN season has begun with the making of the "work list." My boat is in great shape, but there a pit and slush runners to make, a new step to accommodate my height so I can get a better push when I sheet in, some sails to purchase and numbers to buy, a little bag for my stands to fit into and attach to my runner box, drilling a bigger hole for my halyard lobster clasps to slide in and out of, and maybe if time a new plank. Of course, several of these projects will rely on the kindness and skills of others…

I am excited to start on DN projects given almost every soft water regatta this summer has been cancelled. COVID-19 restrictions made me realize how lucky I was last winter to travel to so many places to sail. MONTANA!

It’s also time to start Project Karen which will include a running and sprint regimen, some weights, and more yoga.

Oh yeah…I am going into this season BIG TIME!

Karen Binder – DN 5630
NEIYA Secretary

Charlie Blair: A Day in the Life of the Edgartown Harbormaster – YouTube

Some of you may know Charlie Blair. He campaigned DNs feverishly back in the day- went back and forth to Europe to compete like he was going down the street to get a gallon of milk.

He has a million stories and will deliver them with a twinkle in his eye and a big, booming baritone voice that will rattle the windows!

He is also the Harbormaster out in Edgartown- get a glimpse of his working day here. Click and enjoy!


NEIYA Trailer

John Pepper says he has been cleaning out the garage and had to wheel the iceboat trailer out into the daylight for a little while….

Looks good and of course we can’t wait to load it up and head for a frozen lake somewhere!

Think ICE…..

DN Class Officers

The votes are in- Congratulations to all the officers- be sure to thank them for all they’ve done so far and all they will be doing during the upcoming season-

Think ICE

2020 Officers and Governance Amendments Ballot


2020 Officers and Governance Amendments Ballot – DN North America

There was a 44 per cent response to the 2020 ballot on election officers and amendment of our Constitution and B…

2020 North American Championship, Ft. Peck, Montana. Photo: Gretchen Dorian

There was a 44 per cent response to the 2020 ballot on election officers and amendment of our Constitution and By-laws. It is apparent that specifications management is more important to members than governance, but we are (ice) sailors after all! All of the proposed officers were elected and the proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-laws were approved by overwhelming margins.

The Officers for 2020 are:

Warren Nethercote, KC 3786 – Commodore
Jody Kjoller, US 5435 – Vice Commodore
Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 – Secretary
Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 – Treasurer
Robert L. Cummins, US 3433 – Past Commodore

Warren Nethercote

Commodore IDNIYRA


Commodore – Warren Nethercote, KC 3786 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 99 votes(99.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 1 vote(1.0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 99.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Vice-Commodore – Jody Kjoller, US 5435 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 98 votes(98.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 2 votes(2.0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 98.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Secretary – Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 101 votes(100.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 0 votes(0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 100.0% of the vote.
101 votes tallied and 0 abstentions from 101 ballots

Treasurer – Deb Whitehorse, US 2366 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 100 votes(100.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 0 votes(0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 100.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Past-Commodore – Robert L. Cummins, US 3433 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the candidate 97 votes(97.0%)
No – I reject the candidate 2 votes(2.0%)
John Harper 1 vote(1.0%)
Yes – I approve the candidate wins with 97.0% of the vote.
100 votes tallied and 1 abstention from 101 ballots

Bylaw Amendment, “General”, Paragraph 2 PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the amendments 95 votes(100.0%)
No – I reject the amendments 0 votes(0%)
Yes – I approve the amendments wins with 100.0% of the vote.
95 votes tallied and 6 abstentions from 101 ballots

Amendment of the IDNIYRA Constitution due to EPIC Agreement PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the amendments 91 votes(98.9%)
No – I reject the amendments 1 vote(1.1%)
Yes – I approve the amendments wins with 98.9% of the vote.
92 votes tallied and 9 abstentions from 101 ballots

IDNIYRA Bylaw Amendment due to Regatta Management Agreement PLURALITY
Yes – I approve the amendments 94 votes(98.9%)
No – I reject the amendments 1 vote(1.1%)
Yes – I approve the amendments wins with 98.9% of the vote.
95 votes tallied and 6 abstentions from 101 ballots

DN Restoration

Ken Stafford checks in with this update on a nice vintage DN he is restoring- it looks like it’s almost too nice to sail now! Maybe he will race it in the Vintage/Classic category at some of our DN regattas this winter….

If you are up to anything iceboat-related over the summer write a few paragaphs, take a few pictures, and email them to me at t_thieler@yahoo.com and I’ll put them on the front page. Any and all content welcome all year long!

And now here is Ken’s report:

The short story about the boat is that it was offered as is, free for the pickup by a professor colleague of mine. It was in Pennsylvania where it had sat unused for over a decade…and no one knew its previous history. It was complete shy some fasteners and a broken batten. The runners were horribly rusted as were all the non-SS nuts and bolts. The sail had no numbers or emblem on it although I could make out the image of its number, “2013”. I stripped off all the white paint on the hull and discovered only a small amount of delamination near the bow…fixed that and repainted with forest green polyurethane. Polished all the bronze fittings and stained SS, replaced all the rusted fasteners with new SS, removed all the rust of the steel chocks and steering pull-rods and painted them black. Completely stripped the varnished spruce mast, re-glued some lose mast top pieces, and refinished with 5 coats of varnish. Stripped the paint off the plank and discovered a beautiful wood grain. Again applied 5 coats of varnish. Carefully copied the old outlines of the sail numbers and logo, cut out new ones from green self-adhesive sailcloth I got from Sailrite, and put them on along with a bunch of tell tails. Found the 2 pieces of the top broken wood batten and was able to bond some very thin tapered wood patches over the break…doesn’t seem to upset the camber too much. Spent about 3 hrs on each of the blades removing rust, and grinding in new edges. Also stripped and refinished both the beautiful wood tiller and unusual hand brake.

The sail is from “Kenneth A Nelson Sailmakers”, the boom blocks are “Sharpnack”, and the runners have “LCB” stamped on the aluminum stiffeners. I’ve been told that it was probably built in the late 50’s/early 60’s and that the sail number was originally issued to Steward Hamel from Sharon MA.


Ken Stafford

Memorial Day

Take a moment to think of those who made the biggest sacrifice a person can make…


Hey Folks- There is another e-ballot headed to all DN class members, this one having to do with electing officers-

It’s important stuff! Take a few minutes, read up on the issue, and of course vote early and often!

2020 Election of Officers and Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws – DN North America

2020 Election of Officers and Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws – DN…

2020 Election of Officers and Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws Late on Friday May 15th, IDNIYRA members i…

Going Postal….

Let’s talk about Mozambique.

At 309,475 sq mi (801,537 km2), Mozambique is the world’s 36th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Turkey. Mozambique is located on the southeast coast of Africa. It is bound by Swaziland to the south, South Africa to the southwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Zambia and Malawi to the northwest, Tanzania to the north and the Indian Ocean to the east. Mozambique lies between latitudes 10° and 27°S, and longitudes 30° and 41°E.

It has a tropical climate with only two seasons- The wet season and the dry season. No winter, no ice unless it’s in a drink.

And yet, somehow, they have some of the best postage stamps ever. Especially if you like iceboats. Click and take a look!


Summer Project Anyone?

John Pepper found this project on Craigslist…. Could be a good way to keep occupied during the hazy days of a potentially quiet summer!


May Runner Tracks Is OUT!

Hello All-

Hope all all doing well and are happy, healthy, and hanging in there….

Need a little reading material? The May issue of the DN class newsletter is out and as ever has some good content-

Check it out and read it online or even order a copy on good old-fashioned paper here:

May 2020 Runner Tracks Published – DN North America

May 2020 Runner Tracks Published – DN North America

Current Issue: May 2020 Thunk! Runner Tracks has landed on your virtual doorstep, 54 pages of the finest ice sai…

Think ICE!

Dry Land….

Not saying who this is or where this is but I will say that the mast is rumored to be a 2×4….

Virtual Wrap-up and Meeting

Can anyone guess when, where this was taken and the photographer? Leave a comment.

Greetings from the dark shadow of the Corona epicenter. Our season really didn’t have a typical last hurrah. Concerns and fear overtook our need for ice and speed.

I for one could have traveled but as a person coming from a high-risk area did not feel right about potentially exposing those in nearly pristine areas. It was a matter of personal responsibility. Taking responsibility is something we as iceboaters know and live by.

Now that I have gotten the grim and foreboding out of the way, it’s time to let the sunshine in and make plans to close out our season on a positive note. At this point our best option is virtual. The Zoom platform is pretty easy and I expect even the low tech or Luddites among us will be fine.

Our first Virtual Meetup will be this Friday at 6:00pm. The meeting info including password has been placed in the member forum which is password protected. https://theneiya.org/member-forum/

Don’t remember the password or want to just get it directly drop me an email john@neiya.org

See online Friday,



Anyone up for trying some land sailing out without going out to the desert? Bill Bucholz may have a plan….

Check the CIBC site to find out how….

Land Sailing

Land Sailing

Is there anyone in Maine who’d like to convert their iceboat to land sailing for the summer, find a venue, and h…

Skeeter Lifting Stands

John Pepper is putting more thought into his lifting jackstands for his Skeeter- The refinement continues!

This new iteration features sheaves that don’t keep the stand from folding all the way closed- this allows maximum lift and looks pretty slick as well. And let’s face it, that is important too….

As Dan Clapp once said of his philosophy of making his Skeeters not only fast and reliable but also good looking: “It’s got to go fast on the race course, but it also has to get ooohs and aaaaahs in the parking lot.”

Well done John, send photos of the prototypes when you have them!

Think Ice….

420 Explained….

Lest anyone be puzzled by the “420” post yesterday I thought I’d offer up this link as an explanation-

All in good fun and let’s face it, we can all use a laugh and a diversion from the regular world these days. And the photo of the Renegade was pretty good too!

Hope it was a good day for all.

Shake out the cobwebs and THINK ICE!

Happy 4/20/20

Sending out a best wishes to everyone on this most auspicious of days- Hope all are well and will celebrate accordingly!