Sunday, December 15, 2019

A few archival posts and Manhassett update;

From the archives (actually from our old HRIYC Yahoo group - that platform has changed so I'm grabbing past files of pictures from various years, before it all disappears);

A few links below to those archival moments, and a few new posts,  
and a Manhassett restoration update. 
No ice here, or in the near future in and around the Hudson River. 
Click on title above picture to follow link.
**NEW**  - more letters from Capt.Drake, circa 1940s.

                                Rockin' the Boat ice boat launch, 2010

                               2011 removal of FDR's Hawk from the FDR museum.

Captain Frank Drake letters:  correspondence in the 1940s between Ray Ruge & Captain Drake

                                                  Ice Yacht name boards - a gallery....

                                    Manhassett restoration continues...

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Rip Van Winkle awakens... Hudson Winter Walk

Set up in a snowy yard in front of Back Bar on Warren Street. 

A-frame jig essential to step the mast (with just 4 of us)  

Mast up... managed to find most all the parts ( few diamond stays were missing)

Roof curl off the BackBar...
Moon shines over Rip Van Winkle during annual Winter Walk in Hudson.
Have to say the Rip was the most impressive sight up & down the length
of Warren Street. The hundreds of revelers that stopped by in amazement seemed to agree,

Hoping to see Rip next displayed in this fashion....

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Getting ready for 2020 winter sailing!

We had quite a snowstorm here Dec. 1&2 - about 16-20  inches in upper Red Hook.  Helps to bring down the temperature of the river.
Still we are getting ready for the season.  Last Saturday a group from the HRIYC pulled out Rip Van Winkle to ready it for display at Hudson's Winterwalk Festival on Dec. 7.  You can see Rip  at the Back Bar, at 347 Warren Street.
The annual meeting of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1:30-5:00;  We'll be at Hudson Hall, at 327 Warren Street, Hudson NY.
Galatea, displayed in 2017 at Winter Walk.
Right behind that big mainsail is the entrance to
Back Bar - great spot for a beer...

Rip Van Winkle is even bigger than Galatea, with a length of 40 '. We pulled it out of the barns at Rokeby,
in Barrytown, needing every hand we could find. Lots of dust to brush off and parts to find. 

Rip Van Winkle has been in the Aldrich family since the 1930's.
It was built by Ricky Aldrich's cousin Victor Livingston around 1920.
Lots more on Rip and other Rokeby ice yachts  here.

Nice long cockpit ( ~8'), but it is quite narrow at same time.  Tight fit when piloting.  

 Sketch/sail plan of Rip, done in 1969 by Ray Ruge.

 Plank & Backbone side by side.  Plank was rebuilt from a tulip poplar felled
along the Hudson at Rokeby about 15 years ago.

Planks loaded & ready to head to Hudson. Rip plank  is accompanied by perhaps the oldest and most historic
plank of all - from the ice yacht Sappho.    

"The Athens Boat"  Sappho (A. Whiting, owner, skipper) is from 1870, maybe earlier. It has a long recorded history of racing against Hudson ice yachts, as well as sailing down to Poughkeepsie to race Icicle & others. Sappho will get her own post some day... 

Sappho's Plank has been stored at Rokeby, on its way back to Hudson to be stored with  the backbone. 

While pulling out boats from Rokeby barns, you are steeped in the largest ( and perhaps filthiest) collections of historic yachts anywhere.  

 Runners (and tillers) .. some that fit the 50' yachts like Jack Frost

Planks, and more planks ... and a vintage Yankee (for sale actually)

just a little dusting to revive...


More runners....

                                             Sail Inventory on south lawn.... (Ames B. picture)

to be continued...

Friday, March 22, 2019


I've been meaning to post this for several years now, and I recently came across these images from 2014.  Rhinebeck artist James Gurney visited the ice when we had that fabulous sailing off Rokeby in March of 2014.
Plein Air artist and illustrator/author - hopefully you know his fabulous Dinotopia series- James pulled out his artist tools and sketched some of the lineup of boats that day.  Jack Norton came upon him as he worked and sent me the two photos.  James was kind enough to give me permission to use his finished work, which he had posted on his blog.

A little vodka keeps the watercolors flowing on the brush! Makes sense!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Ice, Finally!

It has been a great winter for iceboating! Everywhere but the Hudson Valley.....

Bill Buchholz and crew have been sailing most all winter up in Maine They have it dialed in with car top-able boats and many venues to sail.  All winter.
Meanwhile the Midwest has had some great sailing, including the dn world championships
and North American championship racing.

Today, in March, I saw my first rigged stern steerer on ice here! Just returned from 2 weeks in Australia & New Zealand and discovered we have some late season sailing happening.  Reid B. set up Vixen on Copake Lake - largest lake in Columbia County , NY.
We have had good cold this winter, but ill-timed storms and warm spells have spoiled safe ice formation. There was a short window of sailing to the south, the first weekend of February. Brett sailed Genevivie for a day or 2 on Orange Lake, but that was cut short with warm temperatures.
Here we are, the first week of March. The Hudson is free of ice; Tivoli Bay is mostly open. Copake is frozen over and we are looking at  several days of single digit temperatures this week, along with a minor storm. Next weekend (March 9-10) may shape up to be great.  Stay Tuned...

Sunday, March 3.  No wind in the afternoon. 
Nice to be on the ice after 101 degrees in Melbourne just 48 hours earlier. 

Reid chases a teasing breeze. 2 days earlier he gave many rides to friends and  lake residents.
It was noted that locals hadn't seen an iceboat on the lake in over 50 years. 

Next weekend  will be awesome!