Our 1957 15-Ft Lyman Runabout is progressing nicely. Joe and Rick have stripped the hull and transom from the gunwales down. Her clench nails have been, well, clenched anew. The one bit of rot discovered in the transom has received one of Joe’s trademark Dutchman repairs. The transom is in the process of being bleached ahead of staining, sealing and varnishing.
With the strakes sanded initially fair and having received two initial coats of Smith’s CPES, Joe and Rick are now paying every strake with multiple applications of 3M Marine Premium Filler and sanding between coats.
Once the final coat has cured, Joe will sand the entire bottom truly fair, ensuring sharp edges along each and every strake.
We will then apply three more coats of CPES, allowing it to cure for several days ahead of applying multiple coats of Pettit Tie Coat Primer, followed by three coats of Lyman copper bronze antifouling bottom paint.
Ahhh…. The beginning of the end of preserving our 1959 16.5-foot Lyman runabout is just barely beginning to peek over the horizon.
Rick first wet sanded the varnished exterior and interior through six grits, starting with 600 and finishing with 1500.
Buffing using our go-to suite of Presta cremes followed. The result? Pure glass. While he was buffing, Joe was busy in our clean room transforming the sea of parts into a forest with each suspended from the ceiling. The result? More glass and no dust.
The suspended parts have yet to be final varnished on the reverse sides of what you see in the clip.
It has been almost exactly one year since we shot her intake video, and now, final assembly of all wooden components cannot be far off.
Today dawned bright, brisk and windy. The roads are dry for Blind Date as she begins her trek home to Texas under the care, control and custody of Frank Mole’, Franke Mole’ Transport Service.
We have been working with Frank for three years now, as he prices fairly, is absolutely professional and cares for each boat as if it is his own. He is worthy of your consideration the next time you need a vessel transported. Her transport cover was designed and fabricated by Chris Hanson, Marine Canvas, Shelburne, VT.
Chris chose a varnish-friendly fabric comprised of a Sunbrella outer layer and an inner, soft layer that will not mar varnished services as she makes her way to Texas.
Shauna Whiting, Kocian Instruments, Stacy, MN performed what were little short of miracles with Blind Date’s rusty gauge panel.
Robert Henkel, Peter Henkel, Inc., Marine City, MI, executed a complete tear-down and rebuild of her Chrysler M47 engine.
Mickey Dupuis, D&S Custom Metal Restoration, Holyoke, MA, took on the challenge of preserving all her hardware, bow light, etc.
We did the rest during her almost three years with us, in what has turned out to be both a highly challenging and super rewarding preservation project.
Now that is a Milestone! Susan, who is a 1940 16-foot Lyman Yacht Tender with an rear cockpit that faces aft.
Other than having been stripped of all her finishes and preserved to our Snake Mountain Boatworks standard, and some repairs to her windshield and garboards, her hull is completely original.
Extensive research throughout Lyman World convinced us that her topsides had been finished brite at Sandusky, and have stayed that way since.
While she was flipped over, I spent way too many weeks beneath her removing decades of dirt, scuzz and old finishes, but I did so while preserving the fact that she’s been in service for some 80 years. Once cleaned, I stained all surfaces with Sandusky natural stain and applied four coats of Sikkens Cetol Marine – not Gloss.
After setting all of her clench nails through mahogany strakes below the waterline and cypress strakes above, we sanded her fair.
(The fact that, even though she’s not floated for over 20 years, and we expected some infiltration during her sea trial, neither bilge pump activated even once. Was there any water in the bilge other than that leaking in while we adjusted the prop shaft and rudder stuffing box? Yes, but so little that nothing came out when we opened the bilge drain.
Her topsides were stained with Sandusky natural stain. Her mahogany elements were stained using Sandusky Lyman stain.
All surfaces were sealed with four heavy coats of CPES, and then varnishing began and continued until we had applied 40 coats to her topsides and 30 coats to everything else using Pettit High Build varnish, which is now Pettit Flagship High Build.
Mickey Dupuis and his team transformed tired, pitted, and just awful into the jewelry you see here.
Robert Henkel, Peter Henkel, Inc., Marine City, MI, completely disassembled and then rebuilt her original Nordberg four-cylinder 60 HP engine and everything bolted to it.
Shauna Whiting, Kocian Instruments, executed an historically-correct preservation of her original gauge panel.
Loadmaster Trailer Co, Ltd, outdid themselves once again designing and fabricating a trailer that not only supports Susan completely, but almost hugs Susan during retrieval. Never before have we experienced such a smooth, effortless loading!
Now she can come home to Susie and Dana, longtime Lyman aficionados, But perhaps the best part is that, since her new stewards live on northern Lake Champlain, we have good reason to hope we will see much of them and of Susan.
She was Christened SUSAN in 1940 as she left Sandusky, Ohio, and now, for the first time in 20-plus years, we put fire to her totally-rebuilt, original, 60-HP, four-cylinder Nordberg engine.
OMG! Who ever thought a 4-banger would have such a voice! She fired almost immediately after we hit her starter. Initially, the idle was set a bit low, but, once Anthony turned the screw a bit, she idled along, producing 50 pounds of oil pressure while idling as smoothly as can be. We were a bit taken aback as she pumped the exhaust pipe full of water.
Once again, Robert Henkel, Peter Henkel, Inc. in Marine City, MI transformed a tired-and-worse marine engine into a power plant the both runs incredibly well, but also sits like a piece of jewelry in her engine bay.
Her original Cyprus strakes, every one of which is original, simply glisten behind the 30-plus coats of varnish we applied, but you will really see what she presents when we have her in the water, which we hope will happen tomorrow, as long as the launch ramp is not crowded by Memorial Day revelers refusing to practice social distancing or even wearing masks.
Starting with Voodoo Child, my 1953 22’ Model 110S Shepherd Runabout, we now install specific safety elements in every boat we do.
Susan is now a fully-preserved 1940 16-FT Lyman Yacht Tender with her telltale aft-facing aft cockpit.
We spared no expense while investing ourselves completely in executing a museum-quality preservation of this quite unusual and completely-original Lyman.
Yes, we did execute a few very minor Dutchman repairs, but that was it. Her old-growth Cyprus topsides are both original and gleam under 30+ coats of Pettit Hi-Build varnish.
Pulling her out of the shop and into the sun today is all the reward I need for ll those hours I spent beneath the hull stripping way too many layers of crud, paint and varnish; and then applying four coats of Sikkens Cetol Marine varnish. As a result, while her bilge and hullsides glisten, they retain all their evidence of being a well-used vessel for almost 80 years. Shauna Whiting, Kocian Instruments, invested herself incredibly in researching and then restoring Susan’s quite unique dash panel to both the highest possible standard and precisely as it was when Susan left Sandusky, OH in 1940.
Once again Robert Henkel transformed her original Nordberg engine from a rusty pile of cast iron into a unit that runs like a watch.
Mickey Dupuis, D&S Custom Metal Restoration, Holyoke, MA, cringed when I delivered Susan’s hardware. As always, he returned a collection of jewelry to us.
Megan Meisler and her family, who own and operated Loadmaster Trailer Co. Ltd. Did it again. Susan’s trailer fits like a glove, as she rides on a generous bunk system that both support her in every possible way and will be a dream for launching and retrieving her.
Maybe best of all, save for a brief hiatus decades and decades ago, Susan has lived on Lake Champlain. That her new stewards live among the islands of northern Lake Champlain means that she will live on her home waters for many decades to come.
Today we blast through another milestone, well two, actually.
Our 1957 23’ Lyman Runabout helm seat reconfiguration challenge is behind us, and we are ready to disassemble her interior, ceilings, seating and lockers for final sanding followed by staining, sealing and varnishing.
That’s all well and very good, but what is far more worth celebrating is that RJ stepped into his Dad’s shoes and proved himself equal to the challenge of fabricating the port side of our new pair of helm seats and lockers. Knowing him as I do, I was absolutely confident he’d cross this personal milestone and prove to himself in the process that he’s ready to tackle our fabrication challenges. And all on the day before Thanksgiving! He and we have much to be thankful for, especially when it involves personal growth,, as this challenge has for RJ.
Congratulations RJ! We could not be prouder of your personal accomplishment. You’ve always been a can-do guy around here, but now you know you can contribute mightily to Snake Mountain Boatwork’s quest to deliver only the highest standards of craftsmanship.
Susan is a Pre-WWII 16’ Lyman yacht tender with solid Cypress narrow strakes and coaming, mahogany transom and decks, aft-facing aft seating compartment, a fixed windshield and a wonderful tumblehome.
She is powered by a Nordberg Gasoline Marine Engine 4-cylinder flathead, 60 horse power, engine, which is mated to a Paragon transmission. Robert Henkel, Peter Henkel Inc. in Michigan, who executed a comprehensive engine and transmission rebuild, reports that Nordberg “dressed” Hercules engines, in this case a Model B. The Nordberg engine plate includes its own serial number, 130R – 4951.
The person from whom I purchased Susan has owned her twice, the first time for decades ending in 1989, and a second time in spring 2015. She was banished to barn queen status for 25 years by the in- between owners. I bought her from her original owner in June 2015.
Thankfully, my biggest fear, that years in a barn would grow a nice crop of dry rot proved to be completely unfounded. My plastic hammer returned solid, crisp reports everywhere on the boat.
How about the ribs? There simply is no wear, rot or fractures to be found. Indeed, the in-between owner left her outdoors during our recent deluge. The hull is so tight that it held water that had to be vacuumed out.
She has a five-digit hull number, 10151, which renowned Lyman expert, Tom Koroknay, (Lyman Boats – Legends of the Lake), suggests that she may be one of the few 16’, narrow-strake, yacht tenders Lyman introduced in 1931. He places Susan as built in 1940, just before WWII.
Mickey Dupuis and his crew at D&S Custom Metal Restoration in Holyoke, MA, once again transformed tired, pitted hardware into beyond-show-ready jewelry.
Shauna Whiting, Kocian Instruments in Stacy, MN, after much research, preserved Susan’s original gauge panel cosmetically and mechanically with spectacular, historically-correct results.
Megan Meisler, her dad, brother and crew at Loadmaster Ltd. In Port Clinton, OH, once again worked with me remotely and delivered another perfectly-fitting, super-elegant Vermont green trailer.
If only winter was not nigh! We’d have her out on Lake Champlain today!