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Sarns Hardware's History

Sarns Hardware strives to provide quality ice yacht hardware at reasonable prices.  Sarns was founded by William B. Sarns of Harrison Township, Michigan.  Mr. Sarns had operated the company from the late 1940’s, and also operated a machine shop; they fabricated ice boat hardware as an extension of the machine shop, as Mr. Sarns was an avid Ice Boat enthusiast.
A brief history of DN Class is as follows:
  • 1936 DN iceboat design developed by Archie Arroll, Joe Lodge, and Norman Jarrett in a competition held by the Detroit News newspaper. The DN can trace its ancestry directly to the early Skeeters.
  • 1937 First 50 DNs built in the hobby shop of the Detroit News newspaper.  Eastern Ice Yacht Association forms.
  • 1938 Detroit Ice Yacht Club forms on Lake St. Clair.  DN "Blue Streak ‘60’" ice yachts race for the William E. Scripps trophy, an award presented by owner of the Detroit News to the DIYC to promote interest and competition in the DN.  This is the first of four ice yacht clubs that will be active in metropolitan Detroit by the 1950s.
  • 1940 Gar Wood trophy raced for the first time.  Detroit Ice Yacht Club sponsors this.
  • 1946 Bill Sarns, a third generation machinist, starts ice yacht hardware manufacturing business in his parents garage at 18 years of age.
  • 1953 Ice boaters from the Detroit Ice Yacht Club, Anchor Bay IYC, Cass Lake IYC and the North Star Sail Club, meet at Chuck Cartwright’s house on Cass Lake.  International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association is founded, and incorporated in the State of Michigan. Bill Sarns is elected Secretary, and writes the first Constitution.
  • 1954 First IDNIYRA "Annual Regatta" hosted by the North Star Sail Club and sailed on Lake St. Clair.  Top five finishers are Jack Moran, Skip Boston, Paul Eggert, Bill Sporer and Bill Sarns.  Bill Sarns again wins Scripps trophy in regatta on Lake St. Clair.
  • 1997 DN official construction specifications now evolved so that boat continuously improves. DN most popular iceboat in North America and the world because of ability to sail in wide range of ice conditions.  DN ranks in top ten of all one design sailing yachts competing in a National Championship in North America.  Present state of DN evolution allows senior sailors to compete successfully at highest level of Gold fleet.
  • 2001 Bill Sarns retires Sarns Hardware Company to ELI and insures the continuance on ice boat hardware for DN Class Racers.


All parts manufactured for DN Class Ice Boats were designed by the IDNIYRA (International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association) and are certified by them.  Any variation from the specified design IDNIYRA disqualifies the participant from the DN Class.  The plans and specifications for all hardware parts and the construction of the fuselage are per IDNIYRA and are published by them.

Sarns Hardware provides a service to ice boaters by saving them the trouble of making parts themselves by providing parts which would otherwise be unavailable at a reasonable price.



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