Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Annual Meeting of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club

Join us for the 52nd Annual Meeting of the

                 Hudson River Ice Yacht Club

Sunday, December 11, 2016
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Hudson River Maritime Museum
Kingston, N.Y.
Join us for our annual meeting in
the Museum’s new boatbuilding school.
There is time to check out the Museum's display of 
 iceboats: Knickerbocker  and John A. Roosevelt’s Icicle.

Pot Luck : Bring a covered dish, drink or dessert to share
Meeting at 3:30 pm
Updates on Restoration of Manhasset, other boat news. 

Election of Officers to take place   
Club dues ($25) are due 


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Whiff, on display at Philadelphia Centennial, 1876.

Had to post this fabulous shot of Irving Grinnell's ice yacht Whiff. A rare photo of her on display in the Machinery Hall at the  Centennial International Exhibition of 1876.  More on Whiff here, from an older post.      Many thanks to Henry Bossett who sent me the image. 

The Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America ( which hadn't been raced for yet), streams down from the top of the mast.
Note the carved Gryphon just forward of the mast, on the bowsprit, carved from a single piece of black walnut.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ray Ruge

Ray was known as the Mr. Ice Boat.  He was active from as early as 1937 right through until his death, of cancer, in 1986. Ray designed, built and raced ice boats.  He wrote prolifically about the sport: Encyclopedia entries; regular articles for Yachting magazine; stories in Boys Life and many other magazines and news columns in local papers. Ray corresponded with sailors around the world.  His archives contain fascinating letters with Carl Bernard, of Wisconsin and Frank Drake, elder ice yachtsman who skippered boats for John A. Roosevelt. Ray built ice boats, and restored or uncovered dozens of historic stern steerers. One of his most important contributions, in my opinion, was reviving the interest in the old historic yachts. He was instrumental in locating, and getting back on the ice, dozens of old yachts that had been lying unused for years. He led restoration efforts on historic yachts including Whiff, Puff, Ariel, and Jack Frost. He sailed and raced Archie Rogers' Ariel, and John A. Roosevelt's Vixen.  He mentored young sailors who continue his passion with ice yachts to this day. Ray helped to revitalize the old Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, reorganizing it in 1964. His favorite bow steerer - Charette, is now part of the New York State Museum.  He would be proud of the recent acquisition and restoration of the Buckhout-built ice yacht Manhasset. He rubbed elbows with ice sailors who raced for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America - The Merritt Brothers of Chelsea; Frank Drake from New Hamburgh; George Buckhout of Poughkeepsie. He located the original Ice Yacht Challenge pennant and started that race back up after it sat idle for almost 30 years. He organized that race for a new version of the pennant ( the original went to the FDR Library & museum in Hyde Park). He raced (though lost) in that 1951 race on Greenwood Lake.  Ray also located and helped organize a race for the Van Nostrand Challenge Cup in 1978. It had been raced for only one time previously - in 1891 on Orange Lake.
Ray left us way too early. I never met him, getting involved in this sport about 7 years later. His collected archives are housed at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston NY. It is a valuable trove of the history of the sport.
There is a lot more to Ray's life and recollections of readers would be most welcome. If you get a chance, make an appointment at the Museum to look through his archives. It is worth a few hours to immerse yourself in history of the sport.
some images from his life...

Ray took to the ice early. An undated photo (circa 1920) with his mom.

Ray founded the Hudson-Highland Ice boat club.
They sailed out of Piermont on the west side of the Hudson.

Ray was affiliated with the Orange Lake Ice Yacht Club.
That club's roots went back to 1889.
Here he is at their 1939 awards dinner. (Ray 3rd from left)

I believe this was at the EIYA race in 1970 at Croton. sitting on the plank of Ariel.

Ray raced actively throughout the late 30s and 1940s.
He captured many C class races aboard his bow steerer Charette.

Racing on Orange Lake, NY, 1939.   C-1 is Ray's boat Charette.

"Ice Chips" was a column on winter sports - mainly ice boating,
that Ray wrote for a local paper in the 40s.
He was always trying to bring new folks into the world of ice yachting.

His beloved Charette, getting ready for shipment to the NYS Museum in Albany, 1975.
It was on display there for many years; It is in storage at this time.

The EIYA was a member association of ice yacht clubs in the northeast.
Member clubs were from NJ, Long Island, upstate NY, CT.  Ray was instrumental in the establishment of the EIYA.
EIYA pretty much ceased to exist in the late 1990s.

Puff. Irving Grinnel's old yacht, circa 1870. Ray got a group of Hudson Valley sailors
to restore and sail Puff in the mid 1960s. He located her in the old Grinnel Barns in New Hamburgh.

Ray aboard Charette.

Ray wrote regularly on ice-boating in Yachting magazine.

Icicle was the first bow steerer that Ray built. anyone know where this lake is? 

a brief video of Ruge, during a work party session on the renovation of Jack Frost, in 1972.

Early video footage of Ray Ruge sailing. Thanks to Chickawaukie Ice Boat Club in ME, for finding and uploading this.

Big Boat Gallery 1870-1900

Ice Yacht Virginia, with owner Judge H.A. Gildersleeve; circa 1880.

As it is the 140th anniversary of the Philadelphia Centennial, I thought I'd offer up a gallery of images of the historic big ice yachts of the Hudson River.  It was at the 1876 Centennial that Irving Grinnell displayed his newest Ice Yacht Whiff. That display was the first time many Americans saw an ice yacht, one that was beautifully crafted by Jacob Buckhout of Poughkeepsie. Buckhout, and others, continued to build beautiful, big, wooden gaff-rigged ice yachts into the 20th century.  Here is a gallery of some of them.

Viva, with owner J.C. Barron; circa 1880. 49' long; 493 sq ft of sail. 

John A. Roosevelt's Icicle, circa 1883.

Vesper - one of the oldest photos (I venture) of a Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht - circa early 1870s?.
Vesper appears in an 1861 listing of ice yachts sailing off Poughkeepsie.
A good representation of the style of construction from the 1860s.
A very early photo of John A. Roosevelt's Icicle.  This is the big 68' version, with 1070 sq ft of sail.
This photo comes from his ice boat scrap book - it was affixed to the inside cover of the very large leather bound book.

Another shot of ICICLE, off Roosevelt Point, likely from the late 1870s.

Irving Grinnell, aboard Whiff.  Here's a news piece from that time that I love 

Ice Yacht Haze, circa 1876. Aaron Innis, mayor of Poughkeepsie, sailed Haze for many years. This is the early version, built much like Whiff, with her mast stepped directly over the runner plank; big jib; long overhang on the boom;
heavy wooden side rails.

Another shot of Haze, from 1879.

Haze again, this time from 1883; Here she has been rebuilt in the "Scott" design.
Haze captured the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America in 1884 and 1885.



Northern Light. She was owned by J.C. Barron of Poughkeepsie. She won the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America in 1885, the 2nd race for it that season.

a great write up of ice sailing at the end of the 1890s:  Norman Wright


John R. Roosevelt's Santa Claus.

E. Harrison Sanford's Avalanche - 841 sq ft and weighing 3000 pounds!  Not long after this, a squall threw him unceremoniously from the boat. He promptly dismantled this lateen rig and had it rebuilt as sloop rigged.

Archibald Rogers' Jack Frost, circa 1900.  

Fleet off of Roger's Rock;  Jack Frost center.

Thomas Newbold with his yacht Blizzard.  I believe Blizzard is an early version of Jack Frost that Archie Rogers sailed.  When Rogers had a new Frost built, he renamed the older version Blizzard.  Newbold was his neighbor in Hyde Park.
Here, Blizzard carries 560 sq ft of sail and is 39 feet in length.  

Arctic. This boat was built around 1860 and sailed through the 1920s.  She burned up in a fire on the Hyde Park dock in the 1920s. She was owned by many of the well known ice yachters through 50+ years of sailing.  

Here is the historic yacht Robert Scott. This was the boat that Jacob Buckhout & Captain Relyea re-designed, using wire stays and a mast stepped forward of the runner plank. The result: a better balanced, better handled speedy yacht.  This boat had 499 sq ft of sail and, on its first real race in 1881 with J.A. Roosevelt's Icicle ( the huge version), easily out sailed her.  Harrison Sanford quickly purchased her and re-named her Great Scott - as seen here.

All photos are digital images I took from historic  pictures at the FDR Museum & Library.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wednesday in Kingston....Cure the Post election Blues....

Hudson River Maritime Museum 
50 Rondout Landing ▪ Kingston, NY 12401 ▪ 

Rocket (L) and Jack Frost (R) on Orange Lake 2015

Brian Reid - Hudson River Ice Yacht Club
Secretary & Club Historian with members of HRIYC
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Venue: Riverport Wooden Boat School classroom 
at the Hudson River Maritime Museum
Admission: suggested $5.00 donation ________________________________________________________________________
For more information, please call 845.338.0071 ext 15 or visit PRESERVATION ∙ EDUCATION ∙ DESTINATION ∙ COMMUNITY ACCESS 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

History of ice yacht Manhasset, with 1930 movies!

The Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset was built in Poughkeepsie, NY by George Buckhout in 1912. It was noted by George Buckhout in his last year of life that it was built for William Gardner, a naval architect. She is the only double cockpit yacht that Buckhout built.  

Letter to the Scott family from 1947. George Buckhout recollects building Manhasset.
I love his dig at Percy Ashley, the builder/designer from Orange Lake. 

 Manhasset first appears in the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club 1913 Club book. It was owned by J.W. Alker (and, seemingly, others). Alker was the son of the original founder and commodore of the MBYC; J.W. became commodore at a later point in time.
According to a letter from George Buckhout (as recorded by his son Fred Buckhout and sent to the Scott family in 1947), Buckhout built the boat for William Gardner, a renowned Naval architect. Gardner sailed out of the MBYC, although I have yet to see his name attached to Manhasset in any records. He is shown as owning the ice yacht Cold Wave and sailing in Manhasset ice yacht races in 1914 (from Yachting magazine  Feb. 1914.) This may be the same Cold Wave still sailed out of Lake Ronkonkama by HRIYC member Fred Krause.
Alker was a competitive soft water sailor as well. He raced both winter and summer!  By 1930 the Manhasset was owned and sailed by Edmund Lang. Lang is listed in the 1926 MBYC book as owning the Scooter Tout de Suite. Lang took Manhasset to Greenwood Lake to sail. See videos (below) of Manhasset sailing on Greenwood Lake in 1930. There is also footage of Lang sailing his Scooter.  I'll venture that it was Lang that sold Manhasset to the Scott's, of Lake View Iowa, where she sailed out of until this year, when she was purchased by the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club.

1913 Club book of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. They listed both hard and soft water boats in the club.

Still owned and sailed by J.W. Alker in the 1926 MBYC book.
Rudder article 1913.  Knickerbocker is now in the collection of the Hudson River Maritime Museum, and can be seen there.

From Rudder Magazine, Feb. 1913  Double cockpit design clearly shown.

Race results from  Yachting, February 1914. 

Race results from NYTimes, January 21, 1918.
is now in the collection of the Hudson River Maritime Museum, and can be seen on display.

Mystic Seaport has old 8mm film of Manhasset, shot at Greenwood Lake circa 1930. The movies came from a woman interviewed by Seaport staff in the 1980s. Her family went sailing with Edmund Lang in the 1930s. Her father worked for Lang in his small motors business. I acquired aVCR copy about 10 years ago.   There is video of sailing on Lang's scooter as well. 
Note - this is a low budget filming of the movie with my iphone off of the vcr playing on my old TV.... (I'll get a better digital transfer one of these days...)  

On the ice about 10 years ago.
Follow the restoration efforts here:  Manhasset Restoration

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Manhasset returns to Hudson Valley after 70 years!

Hanging with the big rigs.....Sept. 2016 trip, Iowa to NY (photo courtesy Kate Shuter)
It was with much excitement that we waited for the long journey of the Ice Yacht Manhasset back to NYS. HRIYC club members Dock & Kate Shuter hauled the yacht, snugly encased in its custom 45' long trailer, on a  1200 mile journey from Lake View Iowa to the Hudson River.

Manhasset was built in Poughkeepsie in 1912 by George Buckhout.  Its history is well documented and the boat remains virtually as it was built 104 years ago.
It has been in the Scott family since 1946, when EE Scott purchased her in Long Island and car topped, on a 1941 Ford, the 32' boat back to his home in Iowa. The family has sailed her on Black Hawk Lake ever since. Jim & Margaret Scott were long time (long distance) members of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. I got to know them a bit through short notes Margaret often wrote to accompany annual dues they sent each winter. I was always curious about this double cockpit Buckhout built boat. I eventually met the two when they passed through Hyde Park about 12 years ago. They told stories of the boat and we had a nice lunch together. Jim passed away several years back and it was about a year ago that I received an email from his son Eric Scott, inquiring as to whether the HRIYC would be interested in acquiring the yacht. Of course we were! After 12 months of discussions with club members and John Scott in Iowa we reached an agreement and a price.  The hard part - towing the boat in its custom 45' long trailer - was taken on by Kate & Dock. They had a smooth journey back over 2 days.
Now the club will begin restoration of this unique boat - the only double cockpit yacht built by Buckhout. We look forward to seeing her sail on the Hudson for the first time some winter's day soon!
Manhasset, atop a 1941 Ford Super Deluxe Sedan, on its 1946 journey from Long Island to Iowa. Think about that! 

Safely home in Iowa, 1946.

Manhasset rigged and sailing on Black Hawk Lake circa 1950?

 Marge Scott passes on the tiller of Manhasset to Doc Shuter of the HRIYC.
(photo courtesy of John Scott)

 Just returned home to the Hudson after 1200 mile journey. Note crane unit on aft end of trailer!

Tiller post and Buckhout's builder plate.

second cockpit in trailer; it had been removed from the backbone.

Cast bronze tiller.

welcoming party at Glasco-on-Hudson.

cockpit, inside the trailer.

More on the history of Manhasset to follow.

Follow restoration work here:  Manhasset Restoration