Frequently Asked Questions about Land and Ice Sailing

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you sell T shirts for sailing enthusiasts?
A. Yes,check out my store on etsy.

Q. I'm interested in trying either ice or landsailing, will you take me out for a sailing session?
A. Most likely the answer is yes, contact me for more information.

Q. Do you sell rigs?
A. No, however if you are in the northern Colorado area I am willing to help you build one. Usually takes 3-4 days to complete.

Q. Where can I find plans for building my own?
A. I'm in the process of finishing an e-book. Contact me for more information.

Q. Where can I find sails?
A. Look online or at swap meets. Ask your friends to keep their eyes open for you. Check thrift stores and garage sales.

Q. How fast can you go?
A. Several factors affect speed. Wind speed, size of the sailing area, sail size, and dimensions of the landsailer. The small rigs we sail may reach speeds of 40+ mph, although most of the time we are in the 30's. It feels faster, since you are close to the ground. The landsailing world speed record is 116.7 mph.

Q. Don't you have to sail the same direction as the wind is blowing? How do you get back upwind?
A. The general course sailed is across the wind. If you sailed downwind, the maximum speed would be limited to the true wind speed. The sail is basically a wing standing on end. As air flows over it, lift is developed to the downwind side. Since the wheels ( or runners on an iceboat ) resist the sideways lift, it is converted to forward motion. Depending on the sail, and wind speed it is possible to sail as close as 45 degrees into the wind. Take a look at the Sailing Instructions for a more in depth discussion.

Q. How much do they cost?
A. A small landsailer can be built for about $500, if you are resourceful in finding the materials. The most expensive parts are a good set of bearings, wheels and tires. Sails, masts and booms can be found at swap meets and online.

Q. Do they have brakes?
A. No, although some have a parking brake. Brakes are pretty much useless at speeds above walking. Turning into the wind is the most effective way to stop.Surprisingly enough, the higher the wind speed the easier it is to stop, due to the aerodynamic drag on the sail.

Q. How much wind does it take?
A. Minimum wind of around 10 mph, for a small landsailer. In lighter winds, a larger sail can be used.

Q. How thick does ice need to be for ice sailing?
A. A minimum of 4" of clear ice. If the ice is cloudy it may mean it is not as strong. The only reliable way to check ice thickness is by drilling test holes. I use a cordless drill with a 1 - 1/2" spade bit. Start near shore and drill holes as you go out.