DN in Sailing Museum

Visit the Sailing Museum

The DN remains the world’s most popular iceboat for many reasons. It’s usually someone’s first ride, home buildable, easy to transport and set up, and pure fun to sail. The DN is also the perfect size for a permanent exhibit in the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s new museum in Newport, Rhode Island.

The DN’s natural wood hull, plank, and runners will stand out among the other five soft-water boats that will permanently hang from the former armory’s impressive wood ceiling in the interactive exhibition hall.

Home built by Doug Kolner (Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club) in Monona, Wisconsin, the boat reflects the DN’s humble beginnings at the Detroit News hobby shop in the 1930s and its evolvement into a modern racing machine. Doug built the boat using standard plans and it is most representative of the type of DN you’ll see at North American regattas. Typical of modern DN racers, the hull was built using Gougeon brothers epoxy, Harken brothers blocks, and Sarns hardware.

The DN class is honored to symbolize the spirit of American ice yachting in the new Sailing Museum.

Celebrating 50 Years of What Holds Us Together

DN sailors Jan and Meade Gougeon, inventors of WEST SYSTEMS Epoxy, enjoying a day of iceboating.

Congratulations to the Gougeon family and WEST SYSTEM employees literally being the glue (well, 2 part epoxy) that has been used in all iceboat builds for the past 50 years.  The DN class and Gougeon (how most iceboaters refer to WEST SYSTEM) have grown up together. From the WEST SYSTEM website:

Brothers Meade and Jan Gougeon begin building DN class iceboats with wood and epoxy, selling 200 iceboats between 1969 and 1974. “Where we got really lucky in our quest for epoxy technology was to be located 17 miles east of Dow Chemical Co. We introduced Herbert Dow (an avid sailor and the grandson of Dow Chemical’s founder) to iceboating. Herb made it possible for us to work with chemists in Dow’s epoxy lab, helping us to develop resins and hardeners we could use as both an adhesive and a coating,” company founder Meade Gougeon says. With Dow’s help, the Gougeon brothers develop the formulations WEST SYSTEM epoxy products are based on.

Jane and Mead have passed but their legacy lives on in every iceboat being made or repaired. Mead and Jan’s good friend, Ron Sherry, attended the 50th Anniversary party at WEST headquarters in Bay City, Michigan on August 3rd. Ron writes, “Great 50th anniversary party last weekend at the Gougeon brothers plant. Wonderful party filled with food, drinks, boats, and lots and lots of great friends all together to celebrate 50 years of making it easy for anyone to build their ultimate toys.” Ron shared the photos below:

Two great champions, Jan Gougeon US1183 and Poland’s Karol Jablonski P36

Jan Gougeon’s first DN, HOT CANARY

Meade (second from left) and his wife, Janet, when they met with the United States Commission on Energy to discuss making wind turbines.

Jan and Meade taking a moment on their catamaran powerboat.

WEST SYSTEMS company portrait when Jan and Meade were still involved.