International DN

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International DN
Class symbol
Dn p 400.jpg
International DN class in Żnin, Poland
Hull weight20.4 kg (45 lb)
LOA3.7 m (12 ft)
Beam2.44 m (8 ft 0 in)
Mast length4.9 m (16 ft)
Mainsail area5.57 m2 (60.0 sq ft)

The International DN is a class of ice boat. The name stands for Detroit News, where the first iceboat of this type was designed and built in the winter of 1936–1937. Archie Arrol was a master craftsman working in the Detroit News hobby shop, and together with iceboaters Joe Lodge and Norman Jarrait designed a racing boat they called the "Blue Streak 60", later to become known as the "DN 60". In 1937 a group of 50 laymen worked with Archie in the hobby shop to produce the first fleet of the new iceboats. These first boats broke during the initial season, and after Norm and Joe modified the design to increase the strength, the group got back together to build a second set of iceboats in 1938.[1]

This design, featuring a narrow, single-person cockpit, three steel blades in tricycle style arrangement and a steeply raked mast, remains to this day the most popular ice boat design in use.

The DN is 12 feet (3.7 m) long, with a 21 inch (53 cm) wide cockpit and an 8-foot (2.4 m) wide runner plank. The 16 foot (4.9 m) mast supports 60 square feet (5.6 m²) of sail area. The front runner is typically rigged with a steering rod that connects the runner to a tiller that is mounted just aft of the mast base.[2] The boat weighs around 100 lb (45 kg), and is piloted by a single helmeted sailor.

The class has a devout following. The International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association (IDNIYRA) is the governing body for the class. It publishes standards for boat design and allows enthusiasts to assemble for races and to share good ice locations. The DN is raced extensively in the northern United States, Canada, and throughout Northern Europe, with World Championships alternating between North American and Europe each year.[3] In addition to the World Championship, the North American and European Championships count towards a racer's World Ranking.[4]

One of the reasons that the DN Ice Boat Class has become so popular over the years has been largely in part to how transportable and fast they truly are. With a steady 10–12 mile per hour wind and good ice conditions, the DN, when piloted properly, can reach speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour. And with just a 12–15 mile per hour steady wind, the DN ice boat can reach a readily attainable 55–65 miles per hour, providing a thrilling rush of purely unadulterated bone chilling wind powered ice sailing.


  1. ^ Zacharias, Pat (1998-02-08): "Sailing on Lake St. Clair's icy winter winds", The Detroit News –, retrieved on 2009-01-12
  2. ^ "IDNIYRA Official Specifications",, retrieved on 2009-01-12
  3. ^ "IDNIYRA Official Results",, retrieved on 2009-01-12
  4. ^ "IDNIYRA Official Ranking Lists",, retrieved on 2009-01-12

External links[edit]