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.
NEW! Buy Your Copy of
Mary B: Madison’s Legendary Iceboat
The 43-minute documentary film, produced by Donald P. Sanford, Gretta Wing Miller and Aarick Beher for the Ice Boat Foundation, Inc., tells the story of this Madison icon, the men who built and raced her and the efforts of the Foundation to restore and preserve her. It uses recently restored archival footage and interviews with sailors and Foundation members.
The DVD includes these special features:
- The Stuart Cup
- The Hearst Cup
- On the Ice with Mr. Wright
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.
If it’s happening you’ll find it here
Mary B fans… If you have time on your hands this Sunday, February 26, 2023, come on over to the Monona Public Library, 1000 Nichols Rd. in Monona. Gretta Wing-Miller and I will be guests of the East Side History Club. They invited us on the condition that we bring...
Make a plan to show up at the Edgewater Hotel on Lake Mendota this weekend (February 4-5, 2023) for this year’s edition of the Clean Lakes Alliance Frozen Assets festival. In addition to all of the activities, displays and exhibits, you’ll have a rare opportunity to...
Make a plan to show up at the Edgewater Hotel on Lake Mendota this weekend (February 5, 2022) for this year’s edition of the Clean Lakes Alliance Frozen Assets festival. In addition to all of the activities, displays and exhibits, you’ll have a rare opportunity to see...
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