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There is a section of river off of Barrytown down to Rhinecliff that freezes thick enough to provide a good sheet for sailing. Other location is off of Germantown. Last time we were about to sail in Barrytown was March 2014.  Orange Lake in Newburgh is another choice. We sailed there  2018 and 2019 seasons, no ice anywhere in 2020. Do a YouTube search on "Hudson river ice yachts" for videos of our boats. 


Hudson ice yachts


More yachts


Orange Lake

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2 hours ago, Edwardkenway said:

Do you use it step the mast as well?

Edward, we acquired the boat about 3 years ago from a family in Iowa some 2,000 or so miles inland from us. It was originally built here in the Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie, by George Buckhout who designed and built all the gaff rigged Hudson River ice yachts for the various "landed gentry".  It needed a lot of restoration when we got it, including a reglueing of the entire backbone.  We have not sailed it yet.   But, yes, the crane is used to lift the backbone, 38 ft in length,  in and out, the mast, runner plank can be lifted by 2 or 3 people.  It could be used to step the mast, which I think the prior owners did. We sometimes will use the mast of another ice yacht, or a gin pole  to step masts.    Since Buckhout built it in 1912, it has been on Long Island, Greenwood Lake on NY/NJ border, and then to Iowa, wher it was sailed for decades before the family offered it for sale to us. BTW it has 2 cockpits, one of a very few that does. 


The trailer photos were taken the week one of our members returned from Iowa towing the trailer back to us. 

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I guess it's  high tea but I suppose correctly it should be dinner but I have that at lunchtime so it's "me tea".

Confused, so am I!!  there's nowt so strange  as the English 😆

How long do you think it will take you to complete the restoration?

I also searched YouTube and watched one or two of the videos, it's quite a popular pastime isn't it?

Some of the yachts look as though the pilot is just balancing on the beam, but it does look fun!!😁

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Watch this video of Ice yacht Rocket launch , my model of this is in my signature.  She is clocking 55-60 MPH .  I was there when these were taken. 


We are hoping to complete the restoration by the end of this month, then get it moved out of our host, Jim's, workshop as he has an 1830s authentic Dutch windmill restoration project and will need to move back inside soon. Right now he's ouside cutting the main shaft on his sawmill. The windmill is on Long Island here in the colonies. 


Yes, it is a great and popular winter sport when we have ice, we need minimum 11 inches thick ice to safely sail these boats. The Dutch introduced it to America back in the 1700s or there abouts, we, Americans,  redesigned their boats into the design you see today.   The speed is theoretically 4 to 5 times the speed of the prevailing wind due to the combined effects of true wind and apparent wind and near zero friction of the (ice skate like blade) runner over the ice.


The "basket" is where you normally ride and it is pretty stable. One of the reasons why we opened the backbone completely was because videos taken by the previous owner showed it twisting under sail , some of the glue joints had failed, so we added additional blocks (bulkheads) and reglued everthing. Should be stiffer now. Will know when we get her on the ice and under sail. 

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Thanks ! I hope you can get the internet problem resolved. The video shows how the boats are assembled kn the ice and then takes you for a ride, the cameras (4) were mounted on the boat for eye level views.  BTW  that is the Hudson River they are sailing on, the bridge in background is the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge approx 2 miles in length.

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Glad you enjoyed it ! Check out this one with Brass Band taken on the same day, this one shows more of our fleet and the River. The band came down on their own from Bard College campus which is a couple miles upriver.


Yes, the heeling, or hiking as ice boaters call it, is exhilarating but dangerous. I've seen runner planks snap under the strain, and boaters spin out while hiking. They do it for effect but it does slow the boat a bit. It puts a lot of strain on the boat unlike a hulled "wet water" boat. 


I am off to work on the restoration again today.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, we've completed the restoration of the Manhassett ice yacht on Saturday, 8/15. This past Tuesday, 8/20, a group of club members loaded her onto a member's  truck and took her back across the river to Tivoli/Red Hook to be stored in her trailer in the barn until we get ice.  We are tentatively going to do a setup and mast stepping on Saturday, 9/12 with a little celebratory champagne as social distancing allows. 


Some photos below:  (3 coats of Marine Varnish applied)






Guides for the forestays that hold the bow down - countering the upward pull of the sails on the backbone



The skeg is reattached - this protects the tiller (rear skate) from damage from an ice hummock and from falling into an open crack in the ice. It will bounce the stern upward if it hits something - it is also sacrificial.


I will post photos later of the setup and mast stepping so you can see the ice yacht fully assembled.


Then I guess it will be back to the basement bunker, err model shop, to resume working on the Constellation. 


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52 minutes ago, Jack12477 said:

Then I guess it will be back to the basement bunker, err model shop, to resume working on the Constellation

We KNEW you were building your forces up and now we are sure, all those tanks and other armour 😆 and adding to your naval might:dancetl6::pirate41:

Manhassett looks good, plenty of shine with the varnish! Here's hoping you get some ice this winter 👍

Does the name have a meaning?

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On 8/24/2020 at 11:04 AM, Edwardkenway said:

Does the name have a meaning?

I don't know with certainty but I would surmise it was named after the original yacht club to which the original owner belonged. The family in Iowa who sold us the boat so it could be returned to the Hudson Valley provided us with this information which they had received from the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club.


"An original Hudson River racing ice yacht of the 350 ft class, it was designed and built by George Buckhout in Poughkeepsie NY around 1912.


Buckhout and his father, Jacob who was really the pioneer in ice yacht design, built hundreds of ice yachts mostly for the rich and famous who resided on the Hudson.

Jacob built the largest ice yacht in the world "Icicle" for John Roosevelt and George build one for Franklin Roosevelt ("the Hawk").


"The Manhasset" was the only yacht built by Buckhout that had a double cockpit. She was originally built for a naval architect by the name of Gardner, who was a member of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club of Port Washington, Long Island, New York .


The first owner of the "The Manhasset" gained attention by the wonderful qualities of the schooner, "The Atlantic", which won the race across the Atlantic Ocean in 1905. Garden's performance with smaller yachts stamped him as one of the leading naval architects of the world.


In 1913, "The Manhasset" was listed with four other ice boats in the year book of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, and in the February 22, 1914, issue of "Yachting", the ice boat was racing with old-timers on Manhasset Bay.


On January 20, 1918, The New York Times reported on the seven fastest ice boats engaged in two races over the 15-mile triangular course of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club.  "The Manhasset" took second place in the morning race and won the afternoon race.


Again in 1926 and 1927, the boat was listed in the year book of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club"


And now it is back in the Hudson Valley owned by the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, founded in 1885.


Footnote: John A Roosevelt was one of the founders of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, its first Commodore, and was the uncle of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,  32nd President of United States


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  • 3 weeks later...

Yesterday (Saturday) about a bake's dozen of us gathered at the farm of a fellow ice boat club member to reassemble the Manhasset and make sure we had all the parts.  Unfortunately installing all the hardware and getting the boat realigned and the mast rigging sorted out (even tho all the stays were labeled) took more time than we anticipated so we ran out of daylight and decided to forego, for now, trying to step the mast.  As the sun was setting in the west we finally go all of the components loaded back into the trailer. We used the trailer's crane to lift the backbone and runner plank into the trailer.


Photos of the events follow:


Installing the main runners to the runner plank




Carrying the backbone from the lean-to shelter and aligning it on the runner plank and fastening the gammon straps that hold the runner plank to the backbone (it took 10 people to carry the backbone)







Assembled with both cockpits installed



With less than an hour of daylight remaining we decided to stop at this point, disassemble the boat and using the crane load it into its trailer.



And finally the motley crew of restorers  (sorry for picture darkness - I gave the camera to someone and somehow the camera got switched from AUTO to Manual)




And with that chapter closed we will resume the building of the Constellation. Stay tuned !


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Thanks Edward.  It was a fun project. Now if "climate change" will be kind to us this winter and let the Hudson River freeze to a thickness and area we can safely use, we may get to take it for a sail. Of course, there are still some tune-ups to be done, starting with sharpening those runner blades 😉


I am thinking about scratch building a model of Manhasset later in the season, the dual cockpit should look cool, especially since I now know exactly how it attaches to the backbone.  Probably do it in the same scale as the Rocket.

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  • 1 month later...

I am still here ...... no progress on build ....... been a crazy month so far ..... went in hospital for same day ventral hernia repair Oct 8th ..... emerged 5 days later after spending 3 of those days NPO,  nil per os, with an NG tube, because the alimentary canal  went to sleep and would not wake up. 


The surgery was a breeze. I was fully awake post op and ambulating,  just certain parts of the waste disposal system decided to take a 3-4 day nap.  The medical term is ileus.


And Covid Rules - 1 visitor per day per patient between 1100 hours and 1800 hours for 4 hours max; when they leave they can't come back till next day.  Nor can a new visitor come in that day. So the Admiral and my oldest daughter took turns visiting on alternate days. 


I've been home since late Tuesday Oct 13th.  Can't lift anything over 10 pounds for 4 weeks post op.  Also no ambition right now to work on boat. 

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