I was talking to my uncle a month or two ago and he was telling me about the ice sailing going on the lake near his house. I’ve never heard of ice sailing before and I was surprised to find out that these ice sail boats go around 50-60mph! He finally sent me pictures the other day, so I got an idea of what these things look like. As you can see below, these boats are pretty small; it must be pretty cool going 50-60mph on these things.

Ice Boats
Ice Sailing

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  • Cool pics. Would love to have a ride on one of those beauts one day.

  • Here’s an interesting description of an ice-boat predecesor, taken from Jules Verne’s classic “Around the World in Eighty Days,” written in 1873. Although Verne is known for science fiction, this book was more of an adventure story and described the world as it was in his time. In this passage, the protagonist’s train trip across the United States has been delayed and he contracts with a man to ride in this vehicle across the central plains of the U.S.:

    “… a curious vehicle, a kind of frame on two long beams, a little raised in front like the runners of a sledge, and upon which there was room for five or six persons. A high mast was fixed on the frame, held firmly by metallic lashings, to which was attached a large brigantine sail. This mast held an iron stay upon which to hoist a jib-sail. Behind, a sort of rudder served to guide the vehicle. It was, in short, a sledge rigged like a sloop. During the winter, when the trains are blocked up by the snow, these sledges make extremely rapid journeys across the frozen plains from one station to another. Provided with more sails than a cutter, and with the wind behind them, they slip over the surface of the prairies with a speed equal if not superior to that of the express trains.”

    In a later passage, the ice-boat is said to have achieved speeds of 40 mph. Not bad for 1873!

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