When winter rolls around, there are those of us who prefer to batten down the hatches and wait out the ice storms with a hot cup of cocoa and a good book (or ten). But then there are also those who rather than loathe, love the blizzard season. For these winter warriors, the inclement weather is a sort of challenger to overcome. Man vs. nature and sail vs. snow as it were. Such is the mantra of the Boston Frostbiters.

Frostbiters in dry suits
What to wear for winter dinghy sailing

For the Love of Frost

Frostbiting is a term northeastern sailors use to describe the sport of extreme winter sailing. Those in love with this type of sailing are quick to remark how the nippy winter air sharpens the senses and the cleared out harbors (most powerboaters sit out this season) make for perfect open day sailing. Plus, there’s the thrill of dodging thin islands of ice and enjoying the company of hardy sailing compatriots. And hitting the bar afterwards.

Interested, but don’t know where to get started? Head to winter sailing mecca of Boston. There, the Boston Sailing Center kicked off their 26th Frostbite Racing season back in November, but it’s not too late for others to join in on the frosty fun as the races will continue on every Saturday afternoon from noon to 3 p.m. until the end of March. Each of these afternoon race sessions consists of several races, generally less than 30 minutes each, and so each crew has multiple shots of claiming a win.

Where to Sail in Boston During the Winter

There are a number of frostbite fleets in the Boston Area including:

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Naturally, it takes a special type of person to sail in Boston waters in the depth of winter. The whipped up spray may freeze your face and the winter winds may bite at your exposed flesh, but partaking in these winter races are great for heating up that competitive spirit and the group is always looking for committed sailors. You might even say frostbiting is a religion for these hearty sailors.

The Cape Cod Frosty Fleet

Try Out the Frost For Yourself

BSC boasts a large fleet of J/24s that race each week and attract over 100 sailors. You can either bring your boat and team, sign up your boat and use the BSC’s crewlist to fill spots, or sign up as a crew member to try out a Saturday Frostbiting race. Simply call the BSC at 617-227-4198 to learn more and get started!

Or to get a better idea of what Frostbiting entails, check out this documentary: