Finally, magic: Snow and cold and wind line up for the perfect ice boat adventure

Last year I reported a story on a group of local guys who own an ice boat.

Sailing an ice boat requires the perfect confluence of several, very rare weather events. You have to have smooth clean ice — so it has to get cold before it snows. Then you need wind. Not too much, and not too little.

When it works, Jon Blessing, one of the guys who owns the boat, said it’s like hitting warp speed. The boat has been clocked at 54 mph. But last winter, the weather just never lined up. I wrote the story anyway.

Then last week, Blessing called me. The ice was perfect. The wind was perfect. He said we had about three hours of good sailing. I dropped everything.

Here’s what it looked like:

  • RBHolb

    Dang, that looks like fun.

  • MrE85

    I’ve seen these on White Bear Lake before. What RBHolb said,

  • Carol S.

    Looks like fun. Hope you had a good time.

    I have always wanted to ice skate in conditions like that, just to be able to skate and skate and skate without running into a snowbank or rough patch. Makes me want to be a kid again when my ankles were strong enough for hours on a thin blade.

  • joetron2030

    I just love the feeling of walking out on a frozen lake. Especially when the ice is clear and you can see the bottom at shallower spots.

    Ice boating looks like a lot of fun.

    • Guest

      I recall skating over clear ice and CHASING the fish thru the weeds as they ran from my shadow. Very Cool.

      Ice fishing for me was more about the watching than the catching. A true dark house with no light inside except for what glows up from the hole……awesome.

  • Dan

    Having missed the original story, I’ve never stopped to think about how many things have to line up for one of those things to actually go. Thanks for story and follow-up video.

  • Guest

    I understand the bays in Duluth are protected enough from wind to often freeze smooth