Hardwater sailing

Well, we’ve got some great ice these days. Thought you guys might like to see
what 4 miles of it looks like;


Bill I can only imagine the thrill of such a sailing site as you show in your photo.
The sheer vastness of this dead flat surface would make for a perfect ice yacht course, both full size and model.
I have only once sailed a full size land yacht and that was on sand. It was a great buzz. I envy you with your full size ice yachts, I know the speeds they reach, it has to be the most fun you can have with your pants on. :hot:


Any chance for a video???:jump4:

Thanks for the interest. The below link is a couple videos shot 3 years ago by a fellow iceboater named Geoff Sobering. I’ve made alot of improvements in my rig & ice runner program since then. BTW, the MPEG versions are kind of jerky the 1st time thru, but smooth out alot when you run them again. He did some more filming last year & will be editing it into a short clip one of these days.

Bill, I’m beginning to wish our water went hard!

Yeah, that’s why we sometimes refer to it as “Viagra sailing”…:wink: ;-).
The problem is that good conditions are much more fickle than “softwater” sailing. For instance, we had a couple weeks of great ice early in the season, then had an extended thaw that melted everything. When it got cold again, the lakes froze but were covered by 6" of snow the next day. We’ll likely get another thaw to melt the snow, but until then the only option is the municipal rinks which are plowed. I plan to sail on one of these this morning before it gets filled up with 8 year olds with hockey sticks …;-(.

As we’ve had some new forum members recently, a reminder that Bill has cool plans available (at a very modest price) to build one of these machines - wheels do in the absence of ice.

It’s a project still very much on my agenda - I just didn’t quite get around to it before this winter set in.

What sort of surfaces work with wheels at this size? Not so very far from me we’ve got two major land-yachting beaches at Southport and Lytham St. Annes. Come to think of it, the beaches at Cymwran, Llanddwyn and Porth Oer [sic, sic and sic] are probably ideal if you don’t need five miles of space and the surface is appropriate.

You do have me intrigued.

I’m sure that hard packed sand beaches work just fine, in fact an European rc landyacht regatta was held in France a couple years ago on sand. I know there are several Brits engaged in the hobby.

Most of my non-ice sailing has been on blacktop (asphalt) parking lots, but I have also travelled to Dry Lake Ivanpah on the Nevada-California border to sail on the dry lakebed. See the attached picture.

Also, I did a bit of video today & put it on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mOVKwPpL2Q . The ice was too small, rough & the rig was too big for the gusty conditions, but you can get an idea of the speed potential. Unfortunately, the quality isn’t very good, as it was being filmed by a passerby who was unfamiliar with the camera. Also, it was backlit which hurt the image. I plan to do better next time, but it’s a start.

Edited by the author.

Tato Lazo


unfortunately Bill died last year.


Very sorry to hear that Bill has passed away, Modelling is now the poorer for that.
My Condolences to all his Family.


Hello JayDee -

I have passed on your post to Bill’s wife. Hopefully she retained his email address and I’m sure she will be pleased to see that Bill was so well remembered by the model sailing community. If she does get the message and responds, I will be sure to forward it on to you.

Warmest regards, and thanks


PS - still owe you that long letter.

As received from his wife:

[COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial]Thank you so very much for your kind words and thoughts. I still find myself thinking “I have to ask Bill about this”, often regarding something I am doing only because he is gone. In January I ordered a Valentine’s gift for him! If you have the opportunity to do so, please pass on to “JayDee” that I appreciate his kind words as well, and that I am saving all of these for our daughter to have always. These glimpses into his life outside our family circle offer her a broader view of her father, and will, I think, also give her some measure of comfort.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial] [/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial]Many thanks,[/FONT][/COLOR]

Again, JayDee - many thanks for your post. Dick

Hello Dick,

Thanks a lot for doing that for me, he will be greatly missed, How sad.


Any time!

Take care of yourself.