The Ice Boat Foundation Inc.

Living History Through Ice, Wind, and Sail

Meet Our Flagship, THE MARY B

Historic Ice Yachts.
Beautifully Built.
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 and the download include 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.

Donate

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.

Mary B's owner, O.T. Havey and skipper Carl Bernard

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Sails are up! We’re almost ready to push off. Photo courtesy Don Sanford.

Mary B on Lake Mendota  1966. Photo courtesy Jay Payton.

Mary B on Lake Mendota 1966. Photo courtesy Jay Payton.

Group photo standing in front of Mary B:  OT Havey, ?, OT's Daughter, Mary B (herself), Frank O. Tetzlaff

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

Mary B on the ice. Location unknown. Side baskets have been installed Photo courtesy Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club.

Memories of The MARY B

“I was raised in the Philippines and attended UW-Madison in the early 1960s. That’s when I cut my teeth on the new found love of my life–iceboating on the B. Professor Mo Cleland and I were crew and Jim Payton, skipper on many races back in those days. Mo and I were in a side mounted steel bucket facing backwards tending the big loaded main sheet. We were human winches that could act much faster trimming than any winch could at that time. It’s truly great what you guys have done to save the 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