In 2007 fellow Woody Boater Dave Anderson was searching locally for a classic 1950’s style Lyman to restore, which can be a challenge if you live in Southern California. Dave, a life long wooden boat enthusiast, always liked the look and user friendly characteristics of the Lyman clinker-built hull design.
Then one day he recieved a call from a buddy to say that he may have found the Lyman that Dave was looking for in Newport Beach, and off they went to check it out. What they found was a lapstrake designed runabout that had been in storage since 1967. But they were surprised to learn that it wasn’t a Lyman at all, it was a 1956 South Coast 18′ Runabout. A What?
California based South Coast Company Yacht & Shipbuilders was established in 1908 and was a noted J-Class sailboat builder in the 1930’s & 1940’s. They also built tenders for the US Navy during WWII. As the story goes, South Coast was also a Lyman Distributor in Newport Beach, CA in the 1950’s, but were having trouble filling orders due to delays in shipping from the Lyman factory on Ohio. So in the mid 1950’s South Coast decided to build and market their own version of the popular clinker-built hull design by simply copying the popular Lyman design. This was certainly a common practice in the highly competitive fiberglass boat building business in the mid to late 1950’s.
Although it wasn’t the Lyman built boat that Dave Anderson was looking for, it closely resembled the Lyman in every way and from what they could see, appeared to be a nice candidate for a reasanably priced restoration project. The seller, who was the second owner of the boat, purchased it from the original owner in 1967 after it sunk outside his home in Balboa, California. The mishap occured when the original owner launched the boat after being in dry storage and the boat wasn’t properly soaked up. After being submerged at the owner’s dock over night, Lido Shipyard raised the boat the next day and transported the boat to their facility in Newport Beach for repairs.
The second owner purchased the boat from the original owner the same year (1967) with intentions of restoring it. He disassembled the boat, had the original 100 HP Graymarine engine completely rebuilt and never got around to completing the restoration work on the boat.
The South Coast 18′ remained in storage in Newport Beach for 40 years until Dave Anderson rescued it in 2007. Dave said that he has only found one other example of a South Coast 18′ since he bought his in 2007, but he is sure there are others out there, maybe even disguised as Lymans for all we know…
Dave brought his new (old) South Coast 18′ lapstrake home and began what would be a four year restoration project, in his spare time. Although this was not Dave’s first rodeo when it comes to restoring a wooden boat himself, it was his first attempt to restore a lapstrake style boat. When he was explaining the project to me over the phone, Dave laughed and said “Texx – I never imagined that there would be over 3,500 fasteners holding that old boat together!”
Dave said originally he was only planning to replace a portion of the transom, but one thing led to another, and before he knew it he had completely replaced the entire transom… Where have we heard that before… HA
Although the original Graymarine motor was professional restored fourty years earlier, after Dave completed some basic maintenance, the old motor fired right up and ran perfectly. Dave is the President of Anderson & Son Aircraft Parts, in Victorville, California and has a good understanding of how these old motors operate. As you can see, Dave also detailed the vintage 1954 Graymarine to appear the way it did back in the 1950’s.
One of his biggest challenges (other than dealing with the 3,500 fasteners) was addressing some minor damage to the wooden windshield frame structure which he thinks was caused by the last owner when he was putting it into storage. Dave didn’t want to remove the windshield frame and as a result, completed all the hull restoration work without flipping the boat. After receiving some advice from his friend (and noted restoration guru) Dave Wright, Dave Anderson successfully completed the delicate repairs to the windshield frame.
As shown below, Dave’s attention to detail is evident by how the dashboard and steering wheel turned out… And let’s not forget there isn’t any other examples of this marque to compare it to in terms of authenticity, but fortunately for Dave the boat was very original.
Dave’s next challenge was to name his new pride and joy. His plan was to name it “Wicked Good” after a term his Daughter In Law from Boston commonly used, with that unique Boston accent. But while vacationing in Maui, Hawaii with his family, one evening they were enjoying the beautiful sunset near the beach in Napili and Dave noticed a drink that was listed on the menu called “WICKED WAHINE” (pronounced WA HEE NEE). He ordered a few WICKED WAHINE’S from the bar and he’s not sure if it was the beautiful Hawaiian sunset that afternoon, the WICKED WAHINE’S, or the fact he was on vacation with his family, but the name stuck.
On Wednesday we received a number of comments and e-mails responding to our Lapstrake Pop Quiz Question, thanks to everyone for your responses. But unfortunately nobody came up with the correct answer which we now know is “South Coast 18′ Runabout.” So the Rare Collectors Edition pack of Wieners will go back in the freezer until the next Woody Boater contest or if we have a Woody Boater Staff Party in Tavares, which ever comes first.
We would like to congratulate Dave Anderson on his outstanding restoration work with the South Coast 18′ and also say thanks very much for sharing his story with the Woody Boater community. Dave plans to re-launch “Wicked Wahine” at the end of February and has promised to take along his camera and report back to us on the big launch day. We will provide Live-ish coverage of the big event.
Last but not least – Folks, this is just another perfect example of a dedicated Woody Boater fulfilling his dream of owning and restoring a rare vintage wooden runabout without spending a fortune. Dave completed the entire restoration himself, and can proudly take it around to some boat shows and should never feel uncomfortable about displaying his cool vintage boat beside one of the big triple cockpits or Cobras.
Were all in this great hobby together with the same common goals.
Great work Dave!
p.s. – This afternoon, before I knew that the Woody Boater web site had temporarily crashed, I e-mailed Dave Anderson to ask him if he was happy with the “Wicked Wahine” story. Dave e-mailed me back to say “Texx – The story reads great, now if only the pics would show themselves it would make my day… But patience is a virtue and so is restoring a wooden boat.”
That says it all… Texx