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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sails up! 2015 sailing season starts!

Sunset on the Hudson River at Barrytown.
Vixen facing south toward Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge.

The breeze came up early afternoon in Barrytown. Several dozen visitors took rides on Vixen, under the steady hand of skipper Reid Beilenberg. Puff was out sailing as well, along with a couple of Arrows. Rain Sunday will likely squelch any sailing for the day and may very well compromise the conditions and safety of being on the ice. It is suggested you DO NOT access the ice unless you have fully investigated whether the ice is safe.
This rain may help smooth out rough ice on Tivoli Bay, which may make that an excellent venue for next weekend.


Meanwhile further south... 

The original sign of the OLIYC that hung at the old clubhouse.

Vintage megaphone from the club.
 A small fleet of bow & stern steerers enjoyed sunny skies and no wind. Most skippers didn't bother raising sail. Jack Frost & Rocket managed a few tacks before pushing back to the pits. 

Rocket, rigged and sailing for the second season since it was rebuilt. 


The two largest traditionally rigged Ice Yachts in the world - Rocket (1888)  & Jack Frost (1893)
I would venture today was the first time in 124 years at Orange Lake that there has been the largest of ice yachts from New Jersey and Hudson River Clubs since the famed Van Nostrand Challenge Cup Race of 1891. The Scud, of North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, won that race, claiming the silver cup.  Scud out sailed Dragon, of Carthage Ice Yacht Club, and Lady of the Lake & Windward of the OLIYC in the 20 mile race. (I'll add more detail to this event in a later post some day) 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ice on the River!

It has been cold in the Hudson Valley over the last week plus...
Club members have been scouting ice for over a week and finally settled on a plate off of Barrytown - basically where we sailed from last winter.
Vixen, Reindeer & Puff are on the ice along with a couple of Arrows. Find your way to the old Barrytown Post Office and use good judgement crossing the RR tracks and finding access to the ice.
I haven't been there yet- too busy with school work. Hoping to launch next weekend.
Incredible that we are sailing on the river again!  Be safe.

Haven't had a chance to get photos from this week. But always can find some great images from the past to share...

Ice Queen and Ariel in a tandem hike on Great South Bay a few years back.
Recently re-discovered this great shot by HRIYC sailor Glen Burger.

Chris Vargo (R) & the late John Rose (L) ready to push off in the
Arrow fleet race at Red Bank in 1999. A pair of these 2 seater fiberglass bow steerers
are sailing on the river at Barrytown now.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Talkin' Ice Boats....

I'm giving a talk on the history of Ice Yachting in the Hudson Valley on Sunday in Livingston, at the Town Hall. 2pm.

I once helped display ice boats at an event for the historic Livingston estate Clermont a bunch of years back. I dug out a list of ice yachts that I compiled which were part of a series of estates connected directly or indirectly to the Livingston family in northern Dutchess/southern Columbia county. They were a good 45 miles or so north of the action in Poughkeepsie, yet there was a sizable fleet of ice yachts up this way (as it is in my neighborhood...) and several owners maintained membership in the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club.

The Livingstons and Ice Yachting;
Herman Livingston was a charter member of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, founded in 1885.

The following list shows boats owned by  Livingstons, along with a neighboring estate family, the Clarkson’s, as they appeared in club books:

From the 1888 HRIYC club roster:

Onteora               Herman Livingston         33’ in length                 443 sq ft of sail
Dashaway            Robert R.L. Clarkson      23 ‘                              220 sq ft
Galatea                Robert R.L. Clarkson     32 ‘                               410 sq ft   
Note: all 3 boats are still on the current day club roster.

From the 1900 HRIYC club roster:
Onteora               Herman Livingston         33’ in length                 443 sq ft of sail
Rocket                 Robert R. Livingston      22’                               156 sq ft
Bessie                  Robert R.L. Clarkson      35 ‘                              485 sq ft
Maelstrom            Robert R.L. Clarkson     36 ‘                               495 sq ft   
Kite                     Robert R.L. Clarkson     20 ‘                               225 sq ft
Alert                   Robert R.L. Clarkson     28 ‘                               250 sq ft

Rex                     Robert R.L. Clarkson     29 ‘                               260 sq ft


Rocket is still around, though hasn't been on the ice in over 10 years. 


Rocket, off Germantown, 1999, i think. It had certainly been re-rigged as marconi.
She blew out (tore up) her sail on her next journey down river that winter.
Dashaway is of the old side railer design. She is currently undergoing restoration.

Bowsprit with nameplate.

Hey, folks are scouting River ice off of Athens today - Sat. 1/10.
This cold may get us on to the River before you know it. 
Time to put the shrouds back on my mast... 

Friday, January 9, 2015

A not so exciting morning commute....

.....As there was no commute -- school was closed.





What a difference 24 hours can make.
But this is nothing new in the world of ice boating (see further down):
Ice is looking good and as we may be about to launch, along comes the storm.
We had 3- 4" in Northern Dutchess; the windy conditions may blow this fluffy
powder off the ice in no time ( and perhaps pile up drifts that one can't sail through.)



about 3 inches on the car this morning - Jan 9

At least we won't have to shovel out the boats!
Snowed in - Tivoli Bay Feb. 2014
(Boreus, Cyclone, Aurora)

Edmund P. Rogers shovels out Rogers Boat House, Hyde Park on Hudson Feb 1902.
EPRogers, one of Archie Rogers sons, was neighbor and buddy of FDR. They went to Groton together.


Ice will still be building over the next several days at least.  Stay tuned.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

excitement for the morning commute....

will be looking at the lakes and bays this weekend....
7:13 am, Northern Dutchess County.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Folks are sailing elsewhere...

As I write, we have had about 2 inches of snow here in the Hudson Valley. It has turned to sleet and now rain. It is supposed to turn to all rain through the night time hours. Sunday looks to get into the  50s!
But as I look beyond this week, we are looking at some cold nights and cold days.. One site shows a low of 1 degree on Wed. Night.  May be hope yet for ice. While we wait for ice here in the Valley, folks in Maine have been having an incredible week of sailing on a mid-state lake.   Here's a news  article on the sailing up in Maine.  The Chickawaukie club in Maine has had a great run of sailing over the last few weeks.

Meanwhile back home a nICE article by Patrick Landwe, Saugerties Lighthouse keeper,  dn sailor & club member gets us hopeful for ice as the season progresses.

Today we dismantled our club boats from the FDR Museum in Hyde Park and packed away FDR's ice boat Hawk to climate controlled storage, until its next display opportunity.  Vixen and Kriss were strapped to the roof racks of their respective vehicles and will stay there till ice appears and they are next assembled on sailable ice.
Always optimistic.
Happy New Year!!


Hawk is readied to move back to its storage location. Till the next display??


Hawk laid to rest  in storage. Note the warp in the sheer legs.
National Park Service employees oversee all aspects of the transport. 


Sunday, December 28, 2014


Thomas Newbold was FDR's neighbor & a former state senator at the time.
His boat was Nansen, built by George Buckhout. 
With no sign of ice here in the Hudson Valley, we at least get to enjoy raising sail and talking iceboating. We had two glorious days (Fri. - Sat.) at the FDR Museum and Library - sunny and mid-forties. It was a busy weekend with tourists in town for the holidays stopping in to tour FDR's house - Springwood - and the museum. A good number of visitors stopped by our "line-up" of historic ice yachts.
Greyhound (1908), Whiff (1876), Vixen (1885), Kriss (1898)
outside the FDR Museum, Hyde Park, NY



Tours of the FDR home start at the Wallace Visitors Center, next to FDR's Hawk.

 

Several members of HRIYC worked with the guides of the National Park Service to give short introductions to FDR's connection with Ice Yachting before the guided tours through his home.  One factoid we relate is that FDR's mother - Sarah Delano, gave FDR his ice yacht Hawk as a Christmas gift in 1901.   His Uncle John A. Roosevelt was certainly an influence on the young FDR and likely took him sailing on yachts on display at the museum - Kriss and Vixen. Roosevelt served as vice-commodore on HRIYC in 1908. His yacht raced in several club races in '08, though always with someone else at the helm. I find one reference from 1902 in which Hawk, with FDR sailing (or so it seems),  raced in a 4th class race against Ariel and Dutchess, placing third in an 8 mile race for a silk pennant.  







These types of events are wonderful to meet folks, some who have never seen an ice boat before. We also meet people who have their own stories of ice boating, or of friends or relatives who have sailed in the past. This weekend was no different. I ran into a gentleman who showed me a beautiful gem - a club book from the New Hamburgh Ice Yacht Club from 1886.
The New Hamburgh club was the second oldest Ice Yacht club (founded in 1879) after the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club (founded 1861). It's first commodore- Irving Grinnell - built many ice yachts and was a competitive racer. He also created the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America - the pinnacle of supremacy in Ice racing.  The Grinnell yacht Whiff, is one of the boats we have on display at the museum this week.

NHIYC was founded December 1869.

The club book of 1886.

M.W. Collyer - Moses Collyer - co-authored the 1908 book "Sloops of the Hudson."
That book was part of the inspiration that led to the construction of the sloop Clearwater, by Pete Seeger and others.
Interesting note that in 1886, Whiff was under command of Temple Bowdoin, Grinnell's neighbor. Later on, in the HRIYC club book of 1908, Whiff is again listed with Grinnell as owner. 

Puff (circa 1871) is still sailed today, owned and sailed by Emilie Hauser. Also, note here that Rogers rigged his Ariel as a lateen. He later sailed it as sloop-rigged, as she is still today.