Ice yacht sets out on Lake Naraneka (VIDEO)

With temperatures dipping into the teens and single digits this past weekend, Ridgefield resident and sailor David Gelfman saw an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

The North Salem Road resident set sail on Lake Naraneka in his DN ice yacht, “El Diablo,” for the first time on New Year’s Eve. He returned for more frozen lake fun New Year’s Day and the day after — Tuesday, Jan. 2.

He acquired the iceboat — the DN name stands for Detroit News, where the first iceboat of this type was designed and built in the winter of 1936-37 — a few years ago “much like the guy who inherited the classic Red Barchetta sports car (from the famed Rush song),” he said.

Gelfman, an artist who works with metal and an avid tuna fisherman, has done some restoration on the boat over the years. He took turns sailing in the single-cockpit ice cruiser Tuesday morning with friend and longtime sailor Carrie Ertl.

The ice yacht has three steel blades in a tricycle-style arrangement and a 16-foot mast.

It can reach 55 mph fairly easily, according to Ertl’s husband, Jeff, who took video of the duo that can be viewed at

“Carrie has been sailing on lakes all her life,” Jeff told The Press. “That video was her first-ever run on an ice yacht. David was sailing on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for his first time ever as well. He set up El Diablo beside some hockey skaters and was up and running in no time.”

And with temperatures dipping as low as zero degrees this coming weekend, he shouldn’t have any problems going back on the frozen lake.

“Ice yachting needs the perfect set of conditions — you can wait years for them to appear,” said Ertl, who lives on Soundview Road and met Gelfman through his sister, Kay.

“It looks like the conditions should be good for some time.”