The Ice Boat Foundation Inc.Living History Through Ice, Wind, and Sail
Meet Our Flagship, THE MARY B
Historic Ice Yachts.
Built For Speed.
Many cities are associated with some activity, pastime or industry.
During the winter in Madison, Wisconsin iceboats captured the city’s attention.
What we do
We are the current stewards of the Mary B, a world-class champion iceboat designed and built in Madison, Wisconsin.
As long as a city bus and clocked at 100 miles-per-hour the Mary B exemplifies the best in iceboat design, materials and craftsmanship. She elegantly represents an awesome contribution to the sport and demonstrates why Madison is the Iceboat Capital of the Universe.
Watch The MARY B Trailer
News Flash! We enlisted Madison-based filmmakers Gretta & Aarick at Downtown Dailies back in January of 2020 to help us tell Mary B’s story in a short film. They’ve plowed through hours and hours of archival film, inspected hundreds of images and shot hours of interviews. We believed there was a good story here—not just about a big iceboat, but about her hometown, Madison, WI. The preview is ready. Watch for the premier sometime in January of 2021.
MARY B History
In 1947 Orvin “O.T.” Havey, one of Madison’s largest electrical contractors and public-spirited citizens, became a man on a mission when he commissioned an iceboat that could bring iceboating’s most important trophies back to his hometown. He spared no expense. His iceboat, the Mary B, set a new standard and ultimately became a legend, eclipsing her owner and the men who sailed her.
The Ice Boat Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was established in 2016 to purchase, restore and display vintage iceboats. Led by several well-known Madison-area iceboaters, historians and civic leaders, the Ice Boat Foundation runs entirely on contributions from people like you who are excited about preserving this moving piece of Madison history.
O.T. Havey and Carl Bernard with the Stuart Cup. In 1952 the Stewart Cup came back to Madison after a tough five-race series against Detroit’s Ferdinand the Bull on Lake St. Clair. Photo courtesy Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.
Mary B on the ice probably off Conklin (James Madison) Park. Langdon St & State Capital in background. Photo: Courtesy Byron A. Tetzlaff
Mary B at the Frozen Assets Festival, Edgewater Hotel, Lake Mendota 2018. Photo courtesy Brett Larson.
A big main needs big battens! Peter Fauerbach takes advantage of the perfect workspace on a perfect day to install our new battens on the B’s recently-cleaned sails. Photo courtesy Don Sanford.
Volunteer work party installing runner chocks 11/14/2016. Don Anderson, Steve Holtzman, Don Sanford, Bill Bauer, Tony Perme, Paul McMillan, Jerry Simon, Bill Mattison. Photo courtesy Don Sanford.
Sails are up! We’re almost ready to push off. Photo courtesy Don Sanford.
Mary B on Lake Mendota 1966. Photo courtesy Jay Payton.
Group photo standing in front of Mary B: O.T. Havey, ?, O.T.’s Daughter, Mary B (herself), Frank O. Tetzlaff. Photo courtesy Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.
Mary B on the ice. Location unknown. Side baskets have been installed Photo courtesy Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.
Memories of The MARY B
Peter Harken, co-founder of Harken Inc.
“I remember sailing with Jim Payton on Mary B at Oshkosh in a real blow and we did win that one… That was the race where we made one downwind leg (2 miles) in one minute flat. Quite a thrill!”
University of Wisconsin Professor of Biochemistry W. W. “Mo” Cleland
“O.T. Havey’s Mary B was as pretty as a girl in her first formal and skipper Carl Bernard sailed her with the calm assurance of a fellow who knew he had the best date at the party.”
Henry J. McCormick, Wisconsin State Journal, February 9, 1953