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Spring 2010 (Issue No. 47)

BETTY JO -- 1934 LYMAN CAT SAILBOAT 15'

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BETTY JO -- 1934 LYMAN CAT SAILBOAT 15'. I learned from Jim, the owner of the 1952 Wagemaker above, that Lyman made 15 sailboats back in 1934 and 1935, and it seems that only two, or possibly three, are known to have survived. Once you get a look at the photo, there's no mistaking that Lyman styling. After restoring one recently, Jim donated his "1934 Lyman sail boat to the new owners of the Lyman boat factory last year so others could share the knowledge that Lyman actually produced sail boats in the 30's" and so that "wooden boat lovers can see what the old sail boats looked like."

 

THE BARN BOAT: In the summer of 1972, I received a call from a friend stating that his brother had purchased a small sail boat to be used at Hoover Dam, Columbus, Ohio. I have always had small runabouts since I was 14 years old and wanted to try sailing. I purchased the boat for $100 cash and after inspection found it to be intact with the exception of the sail, which was shredded canvas and rope. After calling around to several sail makers in Cleveland, Ohio I found Thomas Sail Makers with the original patterns. Thomas made an original 149 sq. ft. sail from Dacron, and I was off and sailing. A friend and I took the 15 ft. sail boat up to Hoover Dam, and it did surprisingly well in the light morning breeze. That afternoon a small storm blew up, and she really took off heaving to the port side with water splashing over the gunnels trailing a wake of white water. All of a sudden, the sail laid down in the water and everything stopped. Much to my surprise the little boat was designed to float on its side with the sheet and its 26 ft. wooden mast bobbing along side. We scampered up the bottom to the high side of the boat, and the little boat righted itself and we were off and running again. Wow! After that trip, I used the boat for dating where I met and married my wife, Betty Jo, for whom I named the boat. We both had 5 children after combining families, and the little boat was banished to a back barn on our farm in Jackson, Ohio where it resided as a mouse condo for most of its life. In the summer of 2007, the little boat and was taken out of its barn and after 3 months resurrected to its current status of curiosity. The old folks still remember the glory days of Iron Men and Wooden Ships and now and then they may have caught a glimpse of a true Lake Erie ghost ship of the past powered only by the wind and those men that loved them. (by Jim Gee)

BYB: Now, imagine my surprise when -- after just learning from Jim (previous boat story) that Lyman built sailboats in the 1930's and that only 2 or 3 survive -- I am contacted by Reid, the owner of another Lyman sailboat. Coincidence? Nope. Jim suggested to Reid that he contact Bone Yard Boats. It's a small world out there folks, and even smaller when it comes to wooden boat people.

 

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      Bone Yard Boats     ***     P.O. Box 1432     ***     Marblehead, MA  01945 42° 30.20'N   70° 50.20'W  
     
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Bone Yard Boats is the quarterly newsletter -- and website -- whose mission is to save old boats.
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