The Schmidt Family Ice Optimist Project

Dust collection tech Robin Schmidt readying his Ice Optimist for some clear coat. 

Youth Iceboating Page

Western Region DNer Matt Schmidt US5536  shares some family Ice Optimist news

My youngest Robin (4 1/2) is helping get his Ice Optimist ready for the first freeze! We were given an unfinished hull a few weeks ago and scrambled to build a plank and sort out steering gear. The second clear coat is on tonight. Hoping that he, his brother Caleb (7), and sister Sarah (7) will put it to good use!
Hoping for ice in Pewaukee,

In case you didn’t know, Ice Optimists were created specifically as a youth trainer, designed to be easy to build using commonly available materials and to keep costs minimal. It uses a standard Optimist dinghy sail plan (hence the name), so youth sailors can use much of the same equipment in summer and winter if they sail/race in both seasons. Learn more about Ice Optimists and the DN Youth program from our North American Junior Sailing Program Director, Sam

Mastering Deflection

As we approach Minnesota’s Western Challenge in 37 days, here’s a practical article on DN iceboat plank deflection recently forwarded to a new DN builder and sailor by Warren Nethercote KC3786.

John Jambock’s article was published in the 1991 DN Newsletter. Deflection is a critical factor in improving the performance of an iceboat, and it determines how well the boat handles on the frozen surface. John Jombock’s article provides valuable insights into the optimal thickness and materials for planks that can achieve the required stiffness.


If you’re interested in exploring more articles with technical and sailing tips, check out our archive from the original DN class website originally created by Paul Goodwin. There’s a wealth of knowledge waiting for you there. IDNIYRA Website Articles Archive

Thinking About Ice

DN class members have been doing a lot of ice thinking this summer. Brian and brother Bruce Jones are making dust, mixing glue, and giving their clamps a work-out while building 2 DN hulls in steamy Florida. The IDNIYRA Facebook community has been following along, asking questions, and giving suggestions.

DNer Mike Miller has been dreaming of Minnesota’s Lake Christina, site of many Western Challenges, the first unofficial DN gathering of the season. Mike posted a short video from Lake Christina on the IDNIYRA Facebook page, reminding us what’s “coming soon.” I can’t embed it, so here’s one from Jim McDonagh US5213.

This website has a new page, the Runner Tracks Library, where you can see all the covers of our class newsletter since it went electronic in 2013.
Runner Tracks Library

The season approaches.

Jones Brother’s Florida DN build.

Karol Jablonski Talks DN Runner Prep

P55 hit the road and visited Karol Jablonski P36. Karol, a 12 time DN Gold Cup champion, knows a thing or two about runners. Rumor has it that Tech Talk is working on having an American guest star talk about his runner philosophy. If you have questions or comments about this video, please leave them on DN Tech Talk’s Youtube page.