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iceboating

a winter sport of sailing and racing on ice in modified boats. An iceboat is basically a sailboat that travels on thin blades, or runners, on the surface of the ice. An iceboat consists first of a single fore-and-aft spar, called the backbone, which may be wide enough to have a cockpit in its hull to carry the crew. This spar, or hull, is securely mounted on a broad, flexible crosspiece, or runner plank, which is at a right angle to it and which has a steel runner at each of its two ends. A third runner, the steering runner, is mounted at either the fore or aft end of the hull and is controlled by the helmsman using a tiller. A vertical mast carries either one or two sails, usually a mainsail and a jib. Smaller iceboats dispense with a cockpit in the hull and instead have a shallow, elliptical tray mounted on the backbone and upon which the one- or two-man crew sits. The modern iceboat's structural elements are made of high-strength steel.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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