Living , Modern



1949 -

Bob Dill, an adventurer at heart, is an ice boat racer, and at one point held the world speed record in a land yacht.


Accomplishments and Honors:

  • Co-pilot/designer of the Iron Duck, set land speed world record in 1999 (108.8 mph)
  • Later speed recorded by co-pilot of 116.7 mph -record has stood for 10 years
  • Dill was second fastest pilot – at 112.3 mph
  • Extensive scholarly work on speed characteristics of wind-powered ice and land yachts
  • Subject of award-winnng film “Iron Duck”, produced by Ben Dolenc


A film about Dill’s pursuit of the Land Sailing Speed Record was released to tremendous acclaim is 2020. The following is excerpted from the introduction to this film, “Iron Duck”, produced by Ben Dolenc:

“It almost ended before it started, with the crash of their first-speed yacht record attempt, the disaster that broke the short-lived Wood Duck. The Iron Duck tells a story of how Bob Dill and Bob Schumacher went on to build and sail the fastest wind-powered vehicle in the world.

In 1999, they shattered the 100 mph mark and secured a place in the record books that held for ten years to the day. The wind-powered world speed record was an obsession of Dill’s who thought he could break it with the initiative engineering ideas he had to build the Iron Duck. Bob Dill’s infatuation with the speed record drew him to drag his best friend Schumacher along across the country every year for a decade. They persevered through unpredictable playa conditions, design iterations, and entirely self-funding an ambitious record attempt. The campaign was a success with Bob Schumacher, who set a new and seemingly unbeatable speed record at 116.7 mph. However, both friends have always wanted for the trophy to be in Bob Dill’s name.

Today, we follow Bob Dill as he brings the legendary boat out of retirement to sail it one last time (his 70th birthday) before scrapping it and saying goodbye to the 30-year project. As in the speed trials, the wind doesn’t readily cooperate, and Dill has to decide if he is ultimately ready to let go of the dream of the Iron Duck.”

Recognizing Bob Dill and the Iron Duck >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News


To view the film, or for more information:

Link to article with interview of Bob Dill:

Link to Sailing Scuttlebutt Article on Bob Dill and “The Iron Duck”:


[searchandfilter id="7549"]

Preserving America’s Sailing Legacy

Engaging Sailing’s Next Generation

Stay Connected to the National Sailing Hall of Fame