Well…it’s been a year. Hard to believe really! Much has been going on and I’ve wanted to get back to this business of blogging. I hated that I’d left it on what some could consider a sour note…the last post…that is.
So in actuality things have been moving along rather nicely. I’ve been working hard at work and was privileged to get a promotion. That has kept me busy trying to get back into the swing of a management role. I enjoy the job a great deal and have a pretty darn good team with which I work.
Missy and I had been in the market for a boat a bit bigger than my little Thompson Lake TVT that is featured elsewhere on this blog
Our 1949 Thompson left to make room for a new vessel. She went north to Marblehead.
So here’s how this all came about.
We’d been looking for a slightly larger vessel…vintage of course. We hadn’t found much, and in speaking to our friends at various times we’d let it be known to keep a look out. Low and behold my friend Sonny Clark…a bit of a Lyman enthusiast…was perusing the Lyman Boat webpage and stumbled into a nice deal clear down near the bottom of the page. It was a 1958 15 footer with her original 1957 Johnson 35hp and Gator trailer. Sonny sent an e-mail along with a caption…”Will finance”.
Sonny knew we were trying to get back on our feet after the divorce…moving…taking a new job that paid okay, not great, and taking on expenses after a long illness. But Missy and myself were plodding along and doing okay starting our lives over. Still…I was perplexed at this “offer”.
Frankly when I got his e-mail I was swamped at work and forwarded it to Missy and didn’t even get to look at it until later in the day. The boat looked decent. Looked solid enough. I was intrigued. Missy sent back an e-mails saying…”WOW!!”
So I called Sonny that evening and he said…”Well…I might as well tell you that you’re under no obligation to me, but I all ready bought the boat and we’re driving up to get it this weekend. But if you don’t want it, I can flip it and make money.” I was stunned. So we talked and he told me he was going to buy the boat (His 3rd Lyman) and if we wanted it, come look at it and we could pay him back as we were able.
Again…I was floored. What an act of kindness.
I asked what the “ransom” was…to which he said bluntly…”2000.00…I’ll do the title work and get the State to give it a hull ID. I’ll register it. You can pay me for all of that too. But it shouldn’t be too much more.”
Total: 2175.00 ALL IN!
So we went over on Memorial Day weekend and had a looksee. I was shocked! I’m not really a Lyman fan, but this was a really nice solid boat. I was quite familiar with them since you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one here in Ohio. They were made in Sandusky after all. Beside that, having worked closely with Ramsey Brothers Restorations in Toledo, I knew enough to be dangerous.
In fact after Sonny gave me the low down, I called Scott Ramsey and told him about the boat. He told me the 1958’s were indeed great boats, if not over-built. Earlier versions had a pattern of 3 small ribs and then a larger rib…then repeat. Our boat had all 7/8″ (large) ribs, thus making it a really tough little boat.
Her original 1957 Johnson RDE19 was in AMAZING condition! What a survivor!!
Lots of extras were included too! Her original Wilcox Crittenden hardware was all present. Her pennant staff an extra Michigan Wheel bronze prop, 3 OMC pressure tanks (2 were original to her) and a box of assorted goodies.
And one of the coolest features was side steering in the rear seat. At first I thought this odd. It was really a Lyman inboard thing. But I conferred again with Scott Ramsey who said he had seen it on small runabouts occasionally. It wasn’t rigged when we got the boat, but I just had to try it. So we hooked it up when we re-rigged her.
Overall the boat needs cosmetic issues worked on, but structurally…she’s a creampuff.
Her story is along the lines of…Her original owner and his wife split at some point, and he had a daughter from the marriage. So he purchased the boat to go fishing, and to take his daughter skiing. This is what they did together. (Thus the rear side steering…for fishing) He babied the boat. This was obvious by the paint and varnish that adorned her. While not a professional job…at least he tried to keep her up! He must have loved her too. I’m told he had her stem and knee replaced at the bow (always an area of concern on a Lyman) and her motor had a new head gasket.
Upon his passing, his daughter held onto her Dad’s boat where it sat in a garage since 1991. She decided that she and her husband of 50 years were not going to be able to use it, nor do much with it, so it went up for sale. Sonny made a deal with her, and then with us.
We couldn’t be more grateful. We’ve done little to her other than a few maintenance coats of varnish on her decks and a tune up of her motor. And this summer, we put close to 4 or 500 miles under her.
Missy and I completed a round trip run on the Muskingum River from Zanesville to Marietta, Ohio. The Zanesville Yacht Club sends along a lovely certificate for completing that run or 85 miles. All you have to do is have the Lock Tenders sign a paper, mail it in and your certificate comes in the mail!
Last year Missy and Chelsea (Missy’s daughter) and I loaded up the Thompson and made part of the trip. It’s an amazing chance to go back in time and traverse not only some lovely scenery, but also lock through 11 HAND OPERATED LOCKS to get from pool to pool as the river drops into the Ohio River Valley. Here is a video from last years run!
We also had some fun in other runs below:
So then…that brings us to our new “Chief of the Boat” Molly McGee. Molly is a black lab/Terrier mix we found waiting patiently for us to take her from the Franklin County Dog Pound.
I swore I’d never do another dog after Remy was put down. He was my buddy, and was game for anything…as long as it was with me. He made sales calls when I was working in Toledo. But time heals us…and the time had come to consider a new companion. I also swore I’d never own another black dog because of Remy. He got so damned hot in the boat. But…when you find the right one…what can you do
Molly is of course named after the wife of Fibber McGee (Which incidentally was the name of my Thompson that I’d just sold). So we kept the theme running. She is sweet, but we were sold a “bill of goods”!
They said she was 2 years old. I’ve never had a puppy. But we now think she is a shade over 1 year old!! She’s a lot of puppy. But I love her to death.
Most days I come home from work and I have to take a deep breath before entering the front door. Some days are not too bad, but at least one day I came home to something resembling Bob Crane’s crime scene! Only thing missing was blood splatters and a tripod! Good lord!
But…I can’t resist her!
Then of course there is Missy. I can’t say too much about her just now. She makes me very happy. I hope to blog about that story soon. But she puts up with me. When I start grumping (more often than not) she just laughs at me…then I start laughing at me. It’s silly really. But we have a good time! She likes to go out boating. She has been quickly accepted and loved by my friends across the board, for which I’m very grateful! We take little day trips. We go antique shopping. We hang out and do nothing much really at all other times. But we enjoy each others company.
Aside from that…life is good and the election is over.
Hopefully the country can put aside differences and move ahead in a positive direction. I can tell you I liked life better when I didn’t know my friends political leanings. Thanks a helluva lot Facebook!
So with that…I’ll leave you. I hope to be more active at blogging in the coming winter months. We plan to do a lot of cosmetic work on our Lyman. IE; Paint on her hull, some varnish, and maybe new electrical wiring. So I’ll try to take pics and update if possible.
So long. Have a great Holiday Season!!