With the actual speed of the wind a skater may be hurled along the ice if he is aided by sails. He has been known to travel at the rate of 40 miles an hour,
Frame for Skater's Sails
And the sport while affording the limit of excitement, is not attended with danger. The sails are easily made, as the illustrations and description will show.
Secure two large thin hoops about 4 ft. in diameter. They may be obtained from an old hogshead or by bending thin strips. For each hoop select a piece of strong cane about 3/4 in. in diameter to constitute the fore and main masts or cross-yards. Extend these across the center of the hoop and fasten each end firmly to the hoop's sides. For the middle of each cross-spar make a cleat and lash it on firmly. The main spar should also be made of two pieces of strong cane, each about 9-1/2 ft. long. Bind together at each end so that the large end of one is fastened to the small end of the other.
Next comes the attaching of the sails to the separate masts. The sails should be made of strong sheeting or thin canvas. Tack the cloth to the hoop on the inner side after it has been wrapped around the hoop two or three times.
Now the main spar should be attached by springing it apart and slipping the cleats of the crossspar between the two pieces. Bind the inner sides of the hoops tightly together by means of a very strong double cord, as shown in the figure. Then your sail is ready for the ice pond. See that your skates are securely fastened, raise your sail and you will skim along the ice as lightly as a bird on the wing. With a little practice you will learn to tack and guide yourself as desired.
Illustration: Skater's Sails Finished
Plan of Ice Boat, Sail and Rudder
If the hoops cannot be easily obtained the sails may be made equally effective by using the main spar and fore and main masts as herein described, making the sails square shaped instead of round and leaving off the hoops. In this case the sails should be securely bound with strong tape. Attach a corner to each end of the cross-spar, and a corner to the outer end of the main spar. The remaining corner of each then appears opposite to each other, and should be fastened together by strong cord in the same manner as the hoops. In this case the sails may be left off until after the frame is entirely put together and then fastened on to the spars by buttons.
A more simple sail may be made according to the plans illustrated in the lower drawing. It is made by binding together in the center the halves of two strong hogshead hoops, or two bent poles are better. If possible the sail should be about 8 ft. long and 4 ft. wide. Fasten on the sail at the four corners. The rig will convey two persons and is more easily constructed than any other.