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Who Remembers the Golden Days of Lyman Boats

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Who Remembers the Golden Days of Lyman Boats

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Old 03-05-2018, 09:42 AM
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Default Who Remembers the Golden Days of Lyman Boats

In August of 1961 my family moved from Detroit to Vermilion, OH. Dad worked at the Lorain Assembly Plant. The family settled into a house in the Lagoons. Dad bought our first boat a 20' Lyman runabout from Romp's Marina. For two seasons we loved the boat and took trips to the Islands, Cedar Point, the Huron River and fishing for Perch for weekend fish fry's.

In the winter of 1963 Dad traded the 20' Runabout in for a new 24' Lyman with a top strake painted red and with bow docking lights. We never took delivery of the boat as Dad and the family were transferred to St. Louis, Mo. just after the ice jams in the Vermilion River in the Spring of 1963. We did enjoy the new 24' for one weekend in the summer of 1963 when we returned to Vermilion to visit friends. Mr. Romp took delivery of our boat and employed it as a demonstrator.

Lyman's were great boats and I recall a visit to the Lyman factory in Sandusky. It was like no other factory this, then 11 year old, had ever seen. The scent of wood, sawdust and image of craft men building was more of an artistic than industrial environment.

In my estimation, Lyman's were the best wooden boats made and early Boston Whaler's were the best fiberglass boats.

Who else remember's Lyman boats and what are your memories?
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:36 AM
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There are still a few Lyman's running around our area. Back in the day they were one of the preferred hulls for striper fishing out at Cuttyhunk...

Beautiful boats.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:35 AM
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My Dad bought himself one in the 60's. Had a Johnson sea horse electric shift motor on it. Great memories growing up spending summer at crescent beach (lake Erie) out on that boat every nice day.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:04 PM
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My dad had a 16' Lyman lapstrake when we were growing up. My memories consist of the engine breaking down about 30 minutes out and him cursing as he rowed back to the dock. It couldn't have been every time, but it seems like it. I remember a lot of sanding and varnishing. I saw one like it at the wooden boat museum in Seattle.

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Old 03-05-2018, 12:36 PM
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There used to be Lyman dealer on one of the main roads in the town I grew up in. I'd be checking them out every time we drove by there and always wished my Dad could have afforded to drive in and buy one. The closest we got was a beat up 16 ft. Old Town lapstrake that always leaked somewhere or other and never had a decent-running outboard. My dad would occasionally block up the trailer & fill it w/water up to the waterline to swell the seams. Yeah, the good old days.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:08 PM
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My dad used to fish with his Firestone co-workers at Catawba Island in the 60's. The pic is from that era, not sure of the location but you can see the wooden boats in use. He said they used to catch blue pike and of course yellow perch. From that point on the family was hooked (literally) on Lake Erie and the Yellow Perch and Walleye fishing. Had a boat at Baypoint across Sandusky bay from the Lyman plant and we would cruise over to Sandusky to hit the restaurants and see the plant close by. Imagine that area back in the day...
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Old 03-05-2018, 02:02 PM
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I see them almost every time I am on the lake, in fact it appears to me that they are making a come back since I see them more often. I had fishing buddy that owned a 26' and he had a lot of problems with it. Is almost sunk a couple of times at the dock but fortunately someone at the marina noticed the bilge pump was pumping continuously and called him. When we put it in the water at the beginning of the season they would leave it in the slings for the wood to swell and seal.

I was on the boat a couple of times and if I remember right I thought the beam was to small. The last time I was out on it a board on the port side of the hull split and water started gushing in. We stopped running to reduce the amount of water coming in and the boat owner tried to cover the split with duct tape but it wouldn't stay on. We ended up putting the port trim tab all the way down and the starboard tab all the up, then we all sat on the starboard gunnel to keep the damaged part of the hull out of the water as much as we could. All the way in we were all nervous that the boat was going to capsize because it was leaning so much trying to keep the damaged wood area out of the water.

We got back to the dock and had the boat lifted out so he could take it home to fix it. It sat in his yard for a couple of years until it went up in flames. He got into an argument with a neighbor so he thinks the neighbor set the boat on fire by putting a rag in the fuel fill and lighting it. No question it was arson because the gas cap was laying on the ground. He was never able to prove that his neighbor torched his boat and since the boat wasn't in the water he removed his insurance so it was a total loss.

Personally I wouldn't own one if you gave it to me. They seem to be fragile and what happened to us could easily happen to any wood boat. Besides that it was just to much work to keep the boat looking good and keeping it floating. The hull never stopped leaking and it always had water in the bilge, I think he had a Gray Marine engine in it and it was hard to find parts for and was under powered.

Other than nostalgia I don't know why anyone would want one. I do give the Lyman owners a lot of credit for making the effort to keep running them year after year.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by My Turn View Post
My Dad bought himself one in the 60's. Had a Johnson sea horse electric shift motor on it. Great memories growing up spending summer at crescent beach (lake Erie) out on that boat every nice day.
Spent summers at Waverly but Crescent was the go to place. Remember the pier was the big hangout,as I recall they put up the ice boom for the first time and the pier was knocked over that year. Brother ran over it,as it was about 1-2 'under water at that point,not paying attention and sunk Dads new to him 3 week old Owens inboard.He ran away from home for a few weeks,fearing the ol man,don't blame him for that. Broke many a lower unit taking the short cut through the Waverly Shoals to save gas for skiing.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:49 PM
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We dock at Romps and there are still a number of Lymans docked there, including our friends 1969 26 foot single screw.

Classic boats for sure.

The old days at Romps.


The marina now:
https://romps.com/about-us/
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:06 AM
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Dad bought a 16' runabout brand new in 1955 (I was born in '53) from Zucker Marine in Cleveland. Dad was a mechanic and Al Zucker was a customer.

They (Dad and Zucker) went to lunch one day, hashed the deal out on a napkin. 16' Lyman, TeeNee trailer, 25HP Johnson Seahorse, and safety equipment for $900 (that is what I recall it cost from conversations).

My earliest recollections was going down to Edgewater Park (Cleve.) almost every weekend with Dad and my brother, head out to the 5 mile crib, get a basket full of perch and heading home.

Sometimes for a treat we would go to the Vermillion River for the day. Still remember going through the Lagoons looking at everyone's boats.

Then in the early to mid '60's we would vacation for a week at Catawba Island. We would rent a place at the Islander Apartments (now condo's) which was located on Lake Erie on the west side of the original entrance to West Harbor. Dad would always get a dock for the week. Great beach there too.

He sold the Lyman when I was 16. Not really sure why even today. Some of the best memories of my life was spent on that boat.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:29 AM
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The competition! Not really, because by 1971 When I worked for the Henry Boat Company in Plain City Ohio building Skiff Crafts, Lyman may have ceased operations.

I owned a 15 Lyman Runabout with a 35 hp Mercury for a while after moving to Connecticut.

Our boat and motor club has a couple members that has restored them. I bought a "Tonka Craft" in Mn. and dragged it to N.C. Another club member restored it and the Mark 58 I had hidden from my Wife. It shows that if you find an old Lyman, They can be brought back like new.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mr 88 View Post
Spent summers at Waverly but Crescent was the go to place. Remember the pier was the big hangout,as I recall they put up the ice boom for the first time and the pier was knocked over that year. Brother ran over it,as it was about 1-2 'under water at that point,not paying attention and sunk Dads new to him 3 week old Owens inboard.He ran away from home for a few weeks,fearing the ol man,don't blame him for that. Broke many a lower unit taking the short cut through the Waverly Shoals to save gas for skiing.
Half of the pier got knocked over in I think the early fifties so for a while when I was young half of it was up still and we used to dive off of it. The rest of it got knocked over probably sometime in the 60s and so it was a Shoal for a long time. I poked my boat into Crescent Bay about 5 years ago and couldn't believe how shallow the whole thing has gotten. Used to have friends at Waverly The Corr family.

My great-grandfather was the first developer and Builder at Crescent Beach. Kam Road was named after him.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:11 PM
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My grandfather had a cottage on Catawba Island, before rampant development took over. He had 2 Lymans (both inboard runabouts) over the course of my youth. I learned to navigate by running West Harbor Channel (and in open water, picking a spot on the horizon and keeping the bow on that spot). I learned to hate fishing because we fished (and I threw up) all over Lake Erie (I still remember thinking I would catch a florescent green fish near the nuclear plant). But, we kids considered ourselves lucky when we had a picnic and swim day at Gem Beach (my Dad was ALL about the fishing). And I always wanted my Dad to go faster, and now I know why we kept speed to a tolerable level (to avoid a broken rib). I thought the inboard box was such a COOL place to sit, and I loved the little 'door' in the front seat backrest (like a transom door) that allowed you to crawl into the front bench seat pretty easily.

I almost bought a 28' express that is for sale out here, but I don't think I could keep up with the maintenance. When I recently toured Catawba/Gem Beach (and saw all the development) and saw the decaying Lyman factory, my youth died a little that day.

But, I will always cherish the times on those Lymans.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:37 PM
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The first boat my dad bought was a 13 foot Lyman with a 35hp Evinrude. My brothers and sisters and all our friends and relatives learned to water ski on inland lakes on that boat. I'd hate to guess how may hundreds of miles we put on that boat. Required a lot of prep work each spring to get it ready to launch. I still wonder whatever happened to that boat. I've seen many Lymans on Lake Erie but of course not many that small. The restored boats on Erie are beautiful! Vermillion is full of them. The old Lyman factory building in Sandusky was converted years ago to a banquet hall and restaurant.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:56 PM
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I used to live near the S shore of Lake Erie and saw a lot of Lyman's. I used to drool over the Lyman brochures as a kid such as this one Lyman Brochure

The first boat my family bought was a used15' MFG which was a perfect replica of the several 15' Lyman's pictured in this thread only the MFG had a windshield and the helm was on the back bench with the wheel and binacle. I suppose the rear helm position was preferred for outboards with pull starts. The MFG is a perfect replica including such detail as a mahogany foredeck and fiberglass ribs on the lapstrake hull. My understanding is that MFG literally used Lyman's to create the fiberglass molds for the early MFG models. I learned to slalom ski with that boat propelled by a green 25hp Johnson outboard.

The last time I saw a Lyman was on the water was in all places moored in seawater on the Florida Gulf side. Although not painted in traditional Lyman colors, I could spot a Lyman lines a mile away which is what I did and confirmed it was a Lyman, a runabout probably 25'. A beautiful boat!
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:17 PM
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Some Lymans docked on the Vermilion River:



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Old 03-11-2018, 06:51 AM
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My Dad had two when I was growing up on Lake St. Clair. The first was a 26’ 1964 with a Gray Marine in it. The second was a 1972? Whatever was the last year of the true wood ones. That one was a kitchenette with a Chrysler Marine engine.
They were great boats for traditional smallmouth, walleye and perch fishing on LSC. Musky too. Best riding boats I’ve ever been on, if not the fastest.
The 2nd one was sold around 2000 to a gentleman in California Channel Islands area.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:28 AM
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I grew up in Sandusky with my first boat being a '59 16 foot runabout and a '59 35 HP Evinrude. Paid $350 bucks for it. I was 15 years old and was everyone's best friend in the summer. Kept it at the Cedar Point Marina next to my parents boat. I had a boat but did not have a car. Was not ideal in the winter months but boy I could not wait until early spring to get it back in the water. Fast forward 40 years, I'm living in Florida and am at a local marine store buying parts for my current boat. Overheard someone talking about a Lyman boat in for repairs. I asked if I could see it. Turned out to be the same model I owned, fully restored in pristine condition, owned by someone in Minnesota. Great memories I had on Sandusky Bay!!
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:28 AM
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Forgot to add that my Dad worked at the Lyman Boat Works as a teen.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:46 PM
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My farther had a 24 Lyman, I remember sanding the bottom and varnishing the top sides, great times for a kid to spend time with his farther
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