Northern Michigan Iceboat Events and News

Welcome to the new home of Northern Michigan Iceboating!!


We will be reporting on and sailing the area lakes near Elk Rapids, Michigan. We will also have surrounding reports from ice scouters in Charlevoix, Boyne City and Traverse City.

Come in, look around and enjoy yourself. As always, Think Ice!

Northern Michigan Ice Reports are on Facebook."Friend" Jack Jacobs.
Let's get a network of iceboaters together and share ice reports. It's easy and it's free!!


April 2nd, 2014


I can't say enough about how FUN Elk Lake still is. Clear ice, a little bumpy, lots of wind this morning!
It's a great late season! Come join us! The ice stays hard till around noon-ish when it's warm and sunny. Longer when it's cold and cloudy. Sit in your chair and complain about the season, or get off your butt and SAIL!

March 28th, 2014


THE ELK LAKE ICEBOAT PARTY IS ON!! It starts tonight and runs through the weekend at our house on Elk Lake!!
Come join us! The rain we got last night resurfaced the lake! BYOB and bring friends!
As always, everything is free of charge. Just bring a chair for your bum and food to share!
SEE YOU THERE :-) It hasn't even started yet and we already have 11 boats on the ice!
 photo 1011109_627017574045651_300381755_n_zps374e268c.jpg

March 24th, 2014


Still sailing Elk Lake every day there is wind. We are having a great time! More boats arrived :-)
See you this weekend for the Elk Lake Iceboat Party.

March 22nd, 2014


Another great day on Elk Lake! Winds were whipping and the guys were sailing as fast as they could stand!!
The Elk Lake Iceboat Party is ON for March 29th and 30th!! Please BYOB and bring something easy to store and eat to share. Examples are chips, cookies etc..
We have sailors from MI, OH, and NY attending
Here is a video from today... ENJOY!

March 20th, 2014


We had an excellent, fun day sailing Elk Lake!!
The 2014 Elk Lake Iceboat Party is March 29th and 30th!! Everyone is invited. It will be at our house on the lake.
While this video is not up to our standards and the boats are very far away, I think you can see them sailing fast. I have unpacked the regular video camera so I can get better video when we are sailing next. No more Iphone video like this one.

March 17th, 2014


Sailing Elk Lake tomorrow! It's going to be "breezy"
 photo Untitled_zpsc2e8a835.png

March 15th, 2014

We are setting up on Elk Lake at 10am Sunday morning. It appears sailable and with the freeze/thaw cycles we have coming it's only going to keep improving. We will be sailing everyday there is wind. Get it while you can! There is no place like sailing Elk Lake... and it's not just about the ice, it's about real friends!

The Elk Lake Iceboat Party is our way of thanking everyone for Jack having someone to sail on Elk Lake all winter! His friends are always there to lend him a hand and have a great time. This year we will have to see how it goes since there is only going to be sailing starting this week (other than a few early days). Thank you to the people coming tomorrow to help him set up and sail with him since I am housebound right now.
Tentatively we have scheduled the ELK LAKE ICEBOAT PARTY for March 29th and 30th! We will keep you posted after this next week.
The ice is over 2 FEET thick!

March 12th, 2014

We have not been updating because there has been nothing to say...
That is starting to change. We have had record breaking amounts of snow and cold this year, but we are slowly, but surely warming up now, We expect to be sailing Elk Lake in approx 9 days looking at the computer models. There is a slight chance for this Sunday, but I wouldn't make the drive for *slight* chance. Reports on West Bay are that it is almost snow free, with snow drifts from 1-3" and it is very rough!! Torch Lake is rough, but less rough than West Bay. Elk Lake has 0-2" of very stiff snow. We have 43 degrees and rain in the forecast for Friday. *fingers crossed. If that doesn't do it, we have several warmer days coming up next week. It won't take too much more to clear it. When it does clear, come sail all you can. This end of March sun is going to be rough on the surface.
Hope to see you all soon!!! We will be launching from the lake house on Elk Lake... as always... FUN!!

February 13th, 2014

Elk Is improving, we have 4" of medium density snow over 14" of rock hard ice.
While we wait.....
West Bay, out of Sutton's Bay, is being sailed. The ice ranges from rough to gorgeous, but it's the only game in town. Here is a photo taken today of a very nice spot! They guys had a good time!

 photo e9166141-b252-4daf-bc0d-b2bffd41b8ec_zpsdcc8c708.jpg

January 15th, 2014

We are snowed out for now... that is all :-(

January 12th, 2014

We got the boats up and made a couple passes today, but there was just too much shell ice. We didn't want to mess up the surface for later in the week, so we packed it up. I suspect we will be sailing again Wednesday. Mon night, Tues and Tues night should refreeze the surface solid. We will keep you posted.

January 11th, 2014

We have still been sailing Elk Lake daily. It was sailed today!
We found 7" of ice with some standing water on it from the melting snow. The snow is not completely gone, but most of it is and the rest should be gone by morning.  photo 94be6ed3-0793-4bd9-b580-58643b2aa3e4_zps7b551d16.jpg

January 9th, 2014

We have been sailing Elk Lake daily. Enjoy today's video! Thanks, Rob

January 5th, 2014


Sailing has started on Elk Lake!!
Several DN's were on it today. Rich also had his KiteWing out there. He did not find anything less than 4".
Come join us :-)
 photo fa5e8705-f158-4e10-91e4-20a8f406da3b_zps75d85d00.jpg
 photo 5437ebc6-6fee-4820-ac17-52df2896cb2b_zpsfb7848d4.jpg

April 5th, 2013


What an amazing day! It was unbelievable!! Yes, we ARE SAILING APRIL 5th!

We will also be sailing again Saturday and if the ice holds...Sunday also! There will be iceboats launching at Spencer Bay and at Whitewater Park! We left at 1pm and the ice was still hard...Some video below and more on Facebook

April 2nd, 2013

Lance was just on Elk Lake. It's clear, a little bumpy with LOTS of ice!! He will be sailing it tomorrow if anyone is interested. He is also planning on sailing Friday if all looks good

March 16th, 2013


It's late, so just a video from today.

This is just from the earlier part of the day, the best sailing was much later. That footage will come later.

March 15th, 2013

WOW! A great time was had by our entire group! Hundreds of miles were sailed today on Elk Lake.

Everyone came in with huge smiles :-)
There were many Jboats, a couple Arrows, Skeeters and a Skimmer type boat. All sailed fast and with ease. I will be adding video to this page later tonight.
We will of course be doing it again tomorrow. 9am at the Harbor Cafe and then to the ice to sail. Here are two different wind forecasts for tomorrow.
 photo image_zpsc4420c83.jpg
 photo photo1-2_zps699bafb5.png

March 14th, 2013

Another great day on the ice and a fantastic dinner after!

The launch for the party is now at White Birch Lodge!

Launch and party all in one place!

There is only 1" of snow in the forecast now and only a *chance* of that. Even if we do get it, with the conditions we have it's not going to hurt our sailing. Can't wait to see everyone there. Already a lot of boats on the ice and it's only Thursday! We will be at the Harbor Cafe each morning for breakfast before sailing. Join us!

 photo IFP_Snow5_zps4621310d.png  photo IFP_Snow6_zpsd55e30de.png

March 13th, 2013

This is what Spencer Bay looked like when we arrived. Almost completely snow free with a pebbly surface. Winds were so high that the percentage of clear changed almost by the moment, but as you can see, it's good easily sailable ice.
 photo 3725fb69-1531-4901-b05f-42a7ab3a83fe_zpsfd9e224b.jpg

March 10th, 2013


Elk Lake is looking great for the party (16th and 17th). The snow is gone and there is a coating of water on the surface that should refreeze into some nice ice.
The launch for the party will NOT be at our house and neither will the party itself. Our house is being shown several times this weekend, so please do not acess the property without our permission.
The launch will be at Third St (which some of you have used many times) then you need to sail south just past our house and around the point to your right (west). Stay off the shoreline near the point. You will come to White Birch Lodge on Spencer Bay. This is where we will be gathered. Don't sail past White Birch Lodge or you will be heading towards the river. The launch at White Birch Lodge is private property, so unless you are renting one of their condos, please use the Third St Launch. It is very close.

Below is a photo of the ice and a map.
 photo 6b586efd-bb94-4c04-b9dc-16d1b878eca1_zps9a489422.jpg

 photo 10bc2e94-6772-4d2b-8e62-f107d5434f73_zps4ad48899.jpg

March 5th, 2013

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Our 2013 Elk Lake Iceboat Party is rescheduled for March 16th and 17th. We have a great forecast for the week before. There are a couple days just warm enough to give us a great snow free surface. Then the weekend forecast looks great for the surface to be hard and smooth. Make plans to head to Elk Rapids the 16th and 17th! It's going to happen!!!. The launch and trailer parking won't be at our house, it will likely be at Third St so watch this page and Facebook for updates.

March 2nd, 2013

We are currently awaiting the thaw later this week. We have plenty of good hard ice thickness, but with the snow cover we have right now we need 10+ mph of wind to sail.

March 9th and 10th we will be holding a mini Elk Lake Iceboat Party. I know it's short notice, but people requested we hold our party. The location will be Elk Lake, but the launch site has not been determined yet. Launching and trailer parking will not be at our house. It will likely be Third St.
The launch on Spencer Bay is private property. While we have permission to be there, it is not a public launch for everyone. Third St is only one block away and very easy access :) Keep your eyes here and on Facebook for info.

February 13th, 2013


Another amazing day iceboating Elk Lake. Below is a very cool video from Rob. He was holding the camera in his hand so any pebbly areas were amplified
Also keep your eye on http://www.upnorthlive.com. Megan Moore came out and did interviews and even caught a ride in a sidecar!


February 12th, 2013

GREAT day of sailing today! The ice is in great shape, just pebbly.
Here are a couple photos and an Iphone video. Rob has some great helmet cam video that I may be able to post later tonight..UPDATE...added Rob's video. It really shows what the ice is like!

 photo 1705ccdf-5006-400a-aefe-7115af0da2bd_zps8c9d0e21.jpg  photo 81471f31-4759-4717-8fdf-a2ed5bebea6c_zps0617739a.jpg

February 11th, 2013


As of dusk both the main body of Elk Lake and Spencer's Bay are both almost completely clear of snow.
The main body of the lake has had measurements taken ranging anywhere from 5"-9" of ice. One person sailed it on the 5th, the rest of us sailed the bay. A night or two of cold temps and we should be sailing the bay again. The main body of the lake should be rechecked before anyone heads out to sail.
There were some heaves, crackS and ice chunks frozen on top of the ice of the main body, so sail slow over anything before sailing fast! Also, always check the ice for yourself when you arrive!

February 5th, 2013

More sailing today!!
Jack had a really good time sailing and did a lot of hiking.

I think everyone got some rides today. Lance even sailed the main body of the lake which had 4-6" of ice on the 3rd.
The snow is getting stiff, but the above freezing temps for the weekend and some sun on the way may help that. Every day there is wind, we will be there!!
 photo 531550_601282693221695_1955493243_n_zps496272d2.jpg


February 4th, 2013

Set up and ready to sail. Rob got a short ride today, but the wind ranged from calm to 2-3 mph. So we spent the afternoon setting up and checking ice. The wind forecast tomorrow looks great, so we will be sailing!!
 photo 65256_4675400641961_1649921005_n_zpsd874eeb9.jpg  photo 250698_600783259938305_1259121221_n_zpsa79a816d.jpg  photo 560229_600766999939931_1882562548_n_zps3621a468.jpg


February 3rd, 2013

FINALLY and update:
A VERY knowledgeable long time iceboater and Elk Rapids resident did a thorough ice check of Elk Lake. He walked out 1 mile to the center of the lake in front of our house, plus north and south of our place. He also checked Spencer Bay. He did not find anything on foot thinner than 4" of ice. Spencer Bay had 5"-6". We are chosing Spencer's Bay to sail because there is only 1" of snow there, whereas in front of our house is 2"-3" of light fluffy snow. Right in front of our house there are small ridges, just south is a better plate of ice.


December 25th 2012

Merry Christmas!
I walked on Bass yesterday. It's far to thin to explore and please don't be one of those people who think they know this lake and venture out alone. It is nothing like the surrounding lakes. When Bass has 4" of ice near shore there is often open or skimmed areas out further. Not to mention the two giant slush pits that stay soft until there is at least 6" of ice on most of the lake (usually). It does not freeze any where near uniform. If you have questions, contact us. If we are not sailing it, there is a reason. The last couple years people would show up to sail it, never sailing it before and end up dragging their boat out of a slush pit.
We will keep you updated on the ice status. We have sailed this lake for over two decades. We have been getting light snow for the last 24 hours, hopefully the ice is still thin enough it sinks. The first 15' from the launch is crap, refrozen ice. After the first 15' it looks smooth.

Bass Lake December 24th
15681_572294509453847_1977543489_n_zpsb519afd9

First 15' from the launch looks like this

418115_572295166120448_6345504_n_zpsf07ee499

Birch Lake is all open water, but is VERY still and the water is dense and ready
425573_572299346120030_1173530960_n_zpsa3b78dab



December 19th 2012

Iceboating has unfortunately lost another great one,Jan C Gougeon you will be dearly missed. You can read Ron Sherry's tribute here, it's a must read


December 13th 2012


We have had some light skim on some of the small lakes,
but looking at the forecast it's going to be awhile before there is sailable ice

Photobucket




December 9th 2012

The weather will be turning cold in the not too distant future

Photobucket




November 30th 2012


Iceboating has started in Minnesota. The ice looks amazing for the Great Western Challenge. Check it out at iceboat.org

Unfortunately we have been cold here, but the forecast for Monday is 60+ degrees




November 26th 2012


The weather has turned cold here.

In Northern Michigan this last week we had a storm that dropped from 1" to 15" of snow in the local surrounding areas

Here is an iceboat video to get the page started and get you in the mood. I will also be adding content over the next week or two as we wait for the local small lakes to freeze

Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!
www.onetruemedia.com


Map of recent visitors from around the world

ip-location



Iceboat Elk Lake right out your front door !!
Owned and operated by long time iceboater Rick Conrad


You are Iceboater number


to visit Elk Lake Iceboating

The home of Northern Michigan Iceboating and FUN!

...."it's the most fun I have ever had"
(Iceboat Larry)


The
2014 Elk Lake Iceboat Party
will be March 29th and 30th
Stay tuned!



To help cover the costs associated with this website


Keeping the tradition alive as a 3rd generation iceboater..

Jack, individually, has gotten more than 60 brand new people across the country into iceboating (mostly skeeter class) in the last 4 years
due solely to his enthusiasm and his willingness to share his knowledge and friendship. These are not people who already had boats, these are people some of whom had never even seen the sport in person.

Our ice checkers have decades of ice checking experience and most have decades of past and present racing experience. Click this link Michigan Ice Reports
If you haven't already, you can register after clicking the link.


We proudly belong
to the 4LIYC


Area Ice Hotlines

Central Lakes Region
248-988-0851