On day three of Lapstrake Love Week, today we are featuring “Miss Sparkle” who is celebrating her 50th birthday this year. But to change things up, we decided to do the story during her famous photo shoot on Lake Greenwood. Where else can you see action like this in February?
In 2009 at the ACBS Blue Ridge Chapter Annual Meeting, Cathy & Joe McLay received the award for “Most Original / Best Preserved Boat” for “Miss Sparkle” their beautiful 1961 16′ Lyman runabout.
Cathy McLay remarked… The award was a total surprise, Joe had been approached by the a member of the club and was asked all about the boat, what, if anything had been changed, and Joe honestly said “Well, I did put washers under the screws in the floorboards.”
After selling our 1939 Century Imperial sportsman outboard, we decided that another outboard should be in our future. Since Joe had worked with Lyman boats while growing up in Ohio, he had a spot in his boating heart for them. So off we went to Ohio, land of the Lyman. While there his son told us that there was a boat that we might be interested in on eBay. “Let the bidding begin!” We saw her pictures and knew she had to come home with us to South Carolina! A day and night of keeping a close eye on the bidding made us like new parents….worry, worry…. However we became her new owners, and now we just had to go get her… in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We figured that another 300 miles wouldn’t matter when the end results are one great boat.
The boat was originally sold through a dealer in Windsor Canada. The original owner died and willed the boat to his son in law who was in northern Ontario. He kept it for an unknown period of time, and then sold it to a gentleman in Northern Michigan, who could not pursue refurbishing it due to health problems.
In May 2007 we got her home, found Tom Neff to take some of the dock rash off her, and repaint the the bottom. Joe (McLay) took everything out of the interior – stripped, refinished, and made her into what she is today.
In September 2007 she made her maiden voyage on Lake Keowee, South Carloina and it was a beautiful, sunny morning that made the water sparkle… thus came her name “Miss Sparkle”, as it seemed she was reflecting back all the light that was around her.
One day we were out cruising on Lake Greenwood, approaching another boat from behind, suddenly two wakes converged and Robert Miracle happened to be in a boat ahead of us and caught the action on his camera. (Notice the small waves in front of the “Miss Sparkle” below – Texx)
Seconds later Joe got the boat under control and although we were a bit shaken by the incident and although almost being swamped, everyone in the boat was fine and the trusty Lyman continued down the lake. I am a believer in wearing a safety vest now….
I submitted the picture to the Clinker, (the Official Publication of the Lyman Boat Owners Association) and they loved the energy and action that was captured by Robert Miracle, and they used the photo for the cover of the magazine in 2009.
Joe and I really enjoy Lake Burton, just outside of Clayton Ga. We have rented lovely houses there and spent vacations enjoying the lake, the people at the Marina “Laprades” and the wonderful scenery!
Cathy & Joe Mclay
Last week I was reading the results of a Membership Questionnaire that was sent out by one of the ACBS Chapters I belong to. A newer member commented that they felt somewhat inferior when they attend a chapter boat show or cruise day with their small 16′ Wooden Ski Boat, and seeing all the expensive, professionally restored inboard boats was a bit overwhelming for them.
Seeing what Cathy & Joe McLay have done with “Miss Sparkle” is exciting, and living proof that this great hobby is made up of many different types, sizes and classes of antique & classic boats, not to mention many different folks with different objectives. From working with Cathy & Joe on this story, their enthusiasm and pride of ownership was inspirational. They went out and found the boat of their dreams, completed the majority of the refinishing work and repairs themselves and were awarded for their efforts by the folks at the Blue Ridge Chapter.
We all need to reach out to the next generation of antique & classic boat lovers and make them feel welcome knowing that they are also an important part of future growth of this wonderful hobby, and we don’t want to loose them because they feel out of place or inferior.
Thanks Cathy and Joe for sharing your great story of “Miss Sparkle” with us and we look forward to meeting you in person one day soon.
The outstanding photographs for this story were provided courtesy of Miracle Photography.