All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Snow Goose Flies

Ken Rich and Dale Young's new boat—the Snow Goose—was recently taken for a test drive on Rockland's frozen Chickawaukee Lake. It's an iceboat, built by the Apprenticeshop, and modeled after the Great South Bay Scooter. This isn't one of those skimpy devices called "DNs" you might have seen skating across the ice.
Rich and Young chose their design from the cover of an old WoodenBoat magazine. Issue No. 92 featured a picture of a Great South Bay Scooter. This is a boat that evolved from the work boats and duck hunting boats used on the south coast of Long Island, N.Y. in the late 1800s. Men in the predecessor of the Coast Guard, who manned the offshore lighthouses, used the boats as taxis to go back and forth.

Unlike the DNs, if the ice beneath you gives way to a medium of more liquid consistency, with a Great South Bay Scooter you are sailing in a real boat that will float and keep moving forward toward more ice. It may not be as fast as the DNs but the Long Island races early in the last century reported times surpassing 60 mph on the great stretches of clear sea ice. [Link]
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