2021 Season

Art Menard Sails Off Forever

Art Menard, Kate Morrone, Bob S, Paul Zucco and Dave Buckley Ninigret Pond 2014

It is with sadness that I have to share the the news of the recent passing of Art Menard. Art was one of the core sailors that would be out on a regular basis. We will all miss seeing Art in the coming winters. But we will remember Art when we sail in and around Massachusetts.

Farewell Art and may your hand be steady on the helm of whatever craft you choose to sail. I’m sure your choice will be an iceboat on miles of black ice with a steady 12 knts to wind up the speed.

Art’s obituary can be found here https://obits.masslive.com/obituaries/masslive/obituary.aspx?n=arthur-menard&pid=198959897

As always please share any pictures or memories of Art, either in a comment or feel free to send directly to me and I will post. The above picture was all I could fine in our archive.

Sail Fast and Think Ice,

John Stanton
Commodore, NEIYA


Nice little article here- a good little short history with a nice painting to go with it. Something to reflect on as we while away the summer months…

Special thanks to my mom for sending this one in!

Inline image

Memorial Day

Take a moment today folks….


Hey DN people, be sure to cast your vote regarding the spring IDNIYRA ballot- your opinion matters!

If you are an active class member you should have an electronic ballot from the IDNIYRA in your inbox, it went out May 15. Voting closes Saturday May 29 so don’t delay- If you didn’t see it in the inbox check your spam folder. Click the link below for details.

As always, vote early and often…. And Think Ice!

2021 IDNIYRA Spring Ballot News – DN North America

Canadian Championship Trophy- Help Needed

Hello All-

I am fixing up the DN Canadian Championship trophy- So far I have filled in a few blanks but there are several to go-

If you can take a look at the attached list and fill in any blanks that would be great- feel free to suggest any corrections as well and send them to me at t_thieler@yahoo.com

Much appreciated- hope spring is going well for everyone- Best, T

What I have so far:

1972 Ed Kraft

1973 Ed Kraft

1974 Spike Boston

1975 Ed Kraft

1976 Spike Boston

1977 John Schuch

1979 Don Walton

1982 Ron Sherry

1983 John Koeck

1986 Spike Boston

2000 Andre Baby

2001 Andre Baby

2002 Andre Baby

2012 Jacek Marzenski

2013 James “T” Thieler

2014 Eric Anderson

2017 Mark Christenson

2019 James “T” Thieler

2020 James “T” Thieler

James “T” Thieler

12 Channing St.

Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230


May Runner Tracks Is Out

Hey Folks-

Be sure to take a look a the latest Runner Tracks- Very well done as always and this time it includes an article by our very own Bill Bucholz- Congrats to Bill for getting the ink!

See it and / or order it here:
2021 May Runner Tracks Newsletter Published – DN North America (idniyra.org)

Don’t forget that spring, summer and fall fly by faster than you think they will…. Get that worklist out and get your iceboat projects done while it’s nice and warm in the garage.

Think Ice!

Landsailing at Loring This Weekend

Hey Folks- Big landsailing event this weekend- stay tuned to the CIBC site for details at
Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club | Maine ice boat enthusiasts and friends

First update here:
Eastern Landsailing Championship | Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club

Second update here:

Loring Update | Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club

I haven’t attended this event but it sounds like a great time- If you have something with a sail and wheels be sure to check it out!

Think Ice (or pavement for now)

Spring CIBC Gathering

Hey Folks- If you are so inclined and need to get out of the house head on up to the CIBC spring meeting- Always a good time to be had with the Maine-iacs!

Details here:

Spring Gatherings | Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club

The Prima Donna Has Belted Out Her Song….

Not a bad season considering everything that was going on over the winter. If you were able to get out and enjoy some hard water sailing during it all give yourself a pat on the back. If not, remember to get out twice as much next season!

Of course the official word of the ice going away gives us all reason to utter a few words that aren’t as polite as they should be. If anyone gives you any grief about it, feel free to use the attached retort, sent in by John Pepper. Thanks John!

Think Ice- Get cracking on that worklist for next season…..

Moosehead Lake Video

This drone video shot by Jonne Trees last weekend at Moosehead Lake, ME.

Two days of great sailing, April 3 and 4. Good breeze, good ice, sun, scenery, Just proves that it ain’t over ’til it’s over!

Thanks to Jonne for the video and the Maine gang for scouting it-

Click and enjoy!

Moosehead Lake Ice Sailing Aerials – YouTube


Moosehead Lake Ice Sailing Aerials

Moosehead- Pics And Video

Hey Folks-

For those of you who thought the Moosehead Lake news last weekend was some sick April Fool’s prank, let it be known that there was plenty of ice, plenty of breeze, plenty of sun, and plenty of speed to be had!

Great to sail on April 4, I think that is the latest I have ever gone….

In any case, keep it in mind for next year, just in case we get another chilly spring- Worth the trip!

The picture is from Jonne Trees, the video (I hope the link works) is from Jeff Kent.

Get tuned up, only about half a year until the next ice….




Moosehead Lake is delivering…. Ice is thick, surface a bit rough but hey, totally sailable and enjoyable.

Especially for early April!

Marks are set, will be scratch racing tomorrow if there is breeze.

Forget the holidays, never mind the family, they’ll get over it. Come on up!

Lodging at The Birches. See earlier posts for details.

Think Ice!

Moosehead Lake Update

It’s looking like more of a possibility as the weekend approaches- Scouts are headed there at this moment, we look forward to hear what they find-

The latest update is here:
Moosehead Lake | Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club

Keep an eye here for more news:
Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club | Maine ice boat enthusiasts and friends!

There should be a good number of boats there as quite a few people just aren’t ready to pack it in yet (myself included). With a little luck we will all be able to brag about sailing in April all summer!

Even if we can’t sail much the place is as scenic as it gets, great spot to sit in the spring sun and unwind before the summer craziness hits.

Load ’em up and stay tuned! T

April Iceboating Anyone?

It could happen- sounds like Moosehead Lake may still be sail-able. Get your soft-ice gear (full sails, slush runners, max inserts, skunners, whatever you have) out of the storage locker and think about it….

What better reason to put off getting your tax information together? Keep your priorities in order!

Keep an eye on the CIBC site for updates….

Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club | Maine ice boat enthusiasts and friends

Moosehead Right Now | Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club

2021 DN US Nationals Phot CD Available

Hey Folks- Gretchen Dorian braved the wind and cold to get quite a few awesome shots of the action at the DN Nationals in MI last season-

Do yourself (and her) a favor and grab a disc!

2021 U.S. Nationals Photo CD – DN North America (idniyra.org)

2021 U.S. Nationals Photo CD – DN North America

Photographer Gretchen Dorian has put together a CD with over 850 images from the 2021 U.S. Nationals sailed on B…

Sad News From Up North

Mike Webber, KC 5591

The Nova Ice Yacht Club lost one of its most active members on March 17 and the IDNIYRA lost a newer, committed DN sailor.

Mike Webber, KC 5591, of Petite Riviere Nova Scotia was a professional mariner, a marine engineer. His marine engineering career began on the Great Lakes and then moved to the salt water where he worked in offshore support and then on tankers. Most recently he was the Chief Engineer and Chief Superintendent for the Polar Prince, a Lunenburg-based research icebreaker engaged in seismic surveys, contract icebreaking and other Arctic operations.

Mike was a life-long sailor, who spent some of his time off as a professional mariner cruising the Caribbean with his wife and children. Mike only started iceboating about five years ago. He quickly graduated from beaters to competitive DNs. When he upgraded his DN program he helped others get started by giving way his beaters. He improved his performance through practice and seeking the advice of more experienced DN sailors. Last year he won his first race, and regatta, when he won the Maritimes Championship on Lake Mush-a-Mush, Nova Scotia. He finished 7th in the Silver fleet at the 2020 North American Championships at Fort Peck, Montana.

Mike will be remembered for his sunny personality. He could be counted on for support when help was required. Eight days driving with him, from Nova Scotia to Montana and back, was eight days well spent. Mike was 51: it was too soon for him to go.

Warren Nethercote, KC 3786

Mike’s full obituary can be seen at www.sweenysfuneralhome.com

Obituary of Michael Leigh Webber | Sweeny’s Funeral Home Ltd. – Bridgewater

WEBBER, Michael Leigh – Age 51, of Petite Riviere, passed away Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Beloved son of Warren …

Sailing Into Spring

Earlier in the week, I borrowed the words of the infamous John Belushi and in spite of a loose interpretation of world history, it came to pass. “Nothing is over until we decide it is!…” A number of sailors on a few venues proved that the season is still ON.

Saturday, the first day of spring saw New England action on Lake Winnipesaukee and up in Maine on Lake St George. Conditions were typical for this time of year. Cold overnights locking up the prior day’s slush from the high on the horizon late March sun. Randy said it was slush runner time, signaling the end is near.

Could we get another shot at sailing? The coming week’s weather is not promising. More north Moosehead maybe?

Sail Fast, Sail & Be Safe


P.S. People if you have never seen Animal House or not in a while you owe it to yourself to watch. They just don’t and probably can’t make ’em like that anymore.

NH and ME Sailing Saturday / Sunday

Hey Gang- Hope springs eternal!

Some boats will be sailing out of Leavitt Beach on Winnipesaukee Saturday and Sunday. Well, trying to sail anyway!

Forecast is for moderate breeze and temps well over freezing so bring the slush runners and skunners. We will have some marks set up so if possible scratch racing will be going on- if no scratch racing then some cruising. If neither, good times will be had flapping jaws in the parking lot!

There may be some sailing going on in Maine as well- check the CIBC site for any updates at Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club | Maine ice boat enthusiasts and friends

Hope to see some people up to give it a go! It sounds like there is a good base on some lakes in NH and ME, always interesting to see how the surface and launches hold up. With a little luck we can get some more weekends in. Stay tuned to this and CIBC sites for details as we head kicking and screaming into April.

As always be sure to observe all ice safety guidelines- ice picks and other safety gear are mandatory. Also be sure to maintain social distancing and COVID protocols- Mask up, keep your distances, and don’t share drinks or smokes. Do the right thing and bring extras for everyone!

Think ICE!


Official Hardway #19 Recap

As those that were there and those who heard know, it was a true challenge for men, women, and craft. A single group of seven coordinated sailors completed the Hardway in a manner prescribed by the rules.

Official roster of finishers for the Fleet 19, March 16, 2021 Hardway

Charlie Silfvenius: Hardway Commodore
Ann Rowe
Jerome Holden
Peter Boynton
Bill Buchholz
Jim Gagnon
Milo Fleming

Special commendations go out to those who rendered assistance to those in need and specifically Jeff Kester who found the AWOL boat) and then towed it home. Jeff I am sure we will see you next time around.

This and all Hardways are a collection of stories from the sailors who participated. Some of those individuals (actually most, myself included) did not complete the up and back. There are lessons learned from everyone that hit the ice this past Monday.

I hope to have many of their accounts published for all to read.

Milo Fleming is probably the youngest sailor to complete the Hardway and his story will be posted in the next couple of days. He is working on it between his other high school assignments.

There was a toast made to Leo back at Brewster Beach and I know he is smiling down on all those that attempted and completed the Hardway. The legacy lives one.

I look forward to another attempt next time and know many other sailors do as well.

Sail Fast, Sail & Be Safe,


P.S. I know that people sailed Winni and St George in Maine today. Condition reports are being coordinated and posted for the weekend shortly.

The decision process of marginal conditions sailing… (Part 1 of 2)

(Part 1 of 2)
Sailing in elements that press your abilities…

Broken tiller in hand… split mast, wood chips and a sore knee… Ebben Whitehair is still thumbs up after a hard tumble.

“To Go…. or not to Go…”

In the world of ice boating we are often faced with the decision ‘to go, or not to go”. If one were to simply look out their breakfast room window and make the call for the day I think nobody would ever make it to the ice. So by nature most of us just kit up and run with the thought ‘maybe this will work out somehow?’, and more often than not we have great days of sailing. But what about those marginal decisions you have to make AFTER you arrive on site? Thin ice? Too much wind? Skills of others we are sailing with? If EVERYBODY else is going then why not me? These seemingly simple decisions can have dire consequences. Here is how I go about making those decisions when it comes to my extreme sporting adventures:

1) Conditions – using your personal experiences what are YOU seeing exactly? Take the time to look at all the signs you can i.e.. wind types, variable ice thickness, ice surfaces, cracks, open leads, holes, bob houses, tip ups, personal fitness, fatigue etc. From there I seek out a few of my more experienced mentors to gather what is on THEIR minds at that moment and to see what things I have overlooked. Generally I pick up a lot of local details and items of heightened concern. Chances are somebody on scene has been playing there for days and has all the insider info – like the stuff that could hurt you. This is where taking the time to arrive early pays off. Take all of these details and multiply them together with the end thought being: can I handle all of these concerns if thrown at me at once? Be honest with yourself and consider the simplicity of deciding “maybe i’ll sit this one out”.

2) Mates – exactly who will be out there with you? As a group (big or small) if things go bad do you have a balance of skills to unjam a crises? Are you able to trust/work with everybody in the pod? Are you truly independent as a group and do you have the resources to self extricate if need be? do you have the hardware to approach the day safely or summon help if required? Does everyone have the capacity to evaluate their own skills needed to participate? If you have less experienced participants in your group who insist on ‘giving it a go’ do you have the experience to cover their needs? These items may seem trivial in the pits, but if you land in a hostile environment they become essential elements. If the feeling persists that you are in over your head…. well, you just might be. Consider again to take a rain check.

3) Overall plan – Who is the key person who knows of your sporting plans today should something go terribly wrong? If your group succumbs to a catastrophic event what is the fallback plan? Make sure you have somebody keeping an eye on you. Someone that is not only reliable, but currently in communication and timely in character and able to initiate a rescue group if events run foul.

4) Is your kit up to the task – when was the last time you had your gear apart for inspection? Are you confident it will be able to handle the conditions including an extra margin for safety? Normal wear and tear only accumulates. The off season is a great time to tear into your entire kit – I assure you, it is not as pristine as you last remember – the damage incurred from heavy weather on your boats hardware can be shocking. A simple repair at home beats one in the field any day! And lastly, Is your clothing sufficient for a wet walk home in the worst conditions you might face? Evaluate everything, fix what you can early, and have spares on hand when possible.

Of course there are many more considerations to be made before any extreme adventures are undertaken but these are a few basic thoughts I try to entertain prior to stepping into a harness or on any boat. There is a common saying in my mountain flying circle which says: “it’s better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground”. When you find yourself too deep in the breeze it can be a terrifying experience. Understand that the decision to go, or not to go, is ultimately yours to make. Trust your gut feeling and keep in mind that by sailing with good mates, dependable gear and a solid plan, then, when you find yourself over your abilities a 180 turn is all thats needed to return home safely.

Stay tuned for part 2 – “6 miles under bare poles – arriving back home after a great day on the ice?!”

Sundowner over Vermont

VC Jay Whitehair

Don’t Put Your Gear Away Just Yet

…Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!…

After Monday’s Hardway assault on Winniaposaki, I know some people want another crack at the lake while others got more than enough. There is a little weather moving through that region. There will be people launching from Leavitt beach tomorrow Friday 3/19. Let’s see how they do and maybe Winni will come through for the weekend.

Still waiting on favorable conditions in Maine. I know that Bill Buchholz will find something to sail on. Stay tuned and check http://iceboat.me.

Another weekend is coming up quickly hope to see you all out there

The pictures keep on coming in from a great day on Webster Lake (MA) a couple weeks ago. Thanks go out to Bill Converse for sharing with us. More online here https://photos.app.goo.gl/asC6jsg8HUxYGhETA
Keep the pictures coming people. There is plenty of room in the cloud for iceboating pictures.

Sail Fast, Sail Safe and be Safe,


Bantam Lake Tracks

Mike Acebo did what could be called a thorough job sailing the southern part of Bantam Lake over the last few days-

Take a look at his tracks vs the map of the lake and you’ll see….

Well done Mike, I think you may have invented a new art form!

2021 Hardway Reflection

Date 3/15/2021
Winds 15 with gusts to, you don’t really want to know.
Temperatures low 20s with the wind chill below zero
Bright sunshine
Fleet #19
29 participants sign up

Ice was scouted the week before with only one major barrier noted and that was a major pressure ridge off Welsh island going clear across the lake at the north end of the Broads. Cold nights over the weekend did some major repair while also opening up a few other minor hazards along the way.

Ice was scouted the week before with only one major barrier noted and that was a major pressure ridge off Welsh island going clear across the lake at the north end of the Broads. Cold nights over the weekend did some major repair while also opening up a few other minor hazards along the way. 

Ice surface was rough appr. Grade 4 and solid

Skippers meeting was held at 10:15 and fleet left at 10:30

Directions were given to pick a sailing buddy and stay within quick closing distance in cease of assistance.

My phone number was given out and participants were told to text me if they turned back and were safe in harbor.

The first meetup was in the lee of Parker Island. The whizzes and J14s were there quickly and when I arrived they were ready to continue. I held back and waited for the remainder of the fleet to weather. The attrition rate was high as the main part of the big lake showed its power. A dozen boats from the second wave left shortly after the first sailing conservatively to the pressure ridge. A crossing was quickly found and we made our way up to 6 mile island.  After a brief rest, we headed out again. The miniskeeters were having some problems and pulled into the lee of another island. After crossing another small break my sail came down as my halyard shackle had worked open from sail flapping I assume. The group continued up the lake while I ran sweep.  After a quick rest and a check on the minis, I continued on only to have my mast fall down due to a quick pin on the forestay popping out. ( I Had just replaced the clevis I had in there yesterday. Lesson learned ) I then proceeded up the narrows and joined the fleet at Center Harbor at about 2:30. After a quick bite, the discussion was made about the return. There was great concern about running downwind and coming about to avoid hazards. About half the second wave decided to park their boats and hitch a ride back to Wolfeboro to get their cars.

Four of us started back under sail as a trial rounding up behind the first island to reassess our comfort level.  One tried bare poling for a bit but decided he would rig and try again. Running dead down wind proved effective and we continued down the lake catching up to the minis as they were Body sailing back.(using their bodies as sails) They were making fair progress so we continued helping each other over some more minor ridges that had formed since morning. I made several loops back to check on the body sailors while the fleet continued on down to Parker for the final check. With everyone in sight we then rounded into the Wolfeboro bay for a congratulatory high five.

The minis get the red lantern award for being the last in.

The remaining sailors then gave a toast to Leo and we packed up for the day.

Respectively submitted,

Charles Silfvenius
Hardway Chairman

P.S. There will be some Hardway committee discussions in the months after the ice leaves us.

P.P.S. Commodores note, every Hardway is a collection of sailing tales from individual pilots. Additional stories to follow in the next few days.


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!