What an amazing boat. I am feeling the Lyman Love..

Behind the scenes here at Woody Boater HQ there has been a game of this boat and that boat vying for the grand position of the official Woody Boater go to boat. I am boatless and mentioned last week.. I do still have my trusty skiffany. But there is still a need for an identity.. As one Woody Boater said. Matt ya cant just go plain Jane on us.. We need a  fun big classic social boat. On the list from last week was a shot gun look at the market. Everything from a small plastic boat to a fat cruiser. Over the week we had narrowed it down to a Chris Craft U22 and possibly a Sea Skiff. And the Lyman deal had slipped back into the background until that photo of Deja Voom.. Texx felt compelled to fuel the fire. And it worked. I was up all night searching on line for Lymans. And narrowing it down.. Paul and I yesterday in our quest to nail down a good Sea Skiff settled on the 25 footer.. It’s trailerable and will fit in my boat house. With some resto mod paint we could sex it up…So its a 25 ft boat max…. OK…. Like marrying your mothers pick for a wife.. zzzzzzz. but cooks real nice..

This Sea Skiff Sea hawk, with a photo shop repaint to jazz it up. This is a very cool boat on a new trailer. Good power. The retro paint helps it snazzzzzz it up..If we choose a Sea Skiff in the end, we will do a series of how to jazz it up stories.

But there are still two U22’s out there that I still love. A brite sided one with a 5200 bottom and nice trailer in Georgia and a nice U22 white sided in Michigan. It has a 5200 bottom and the owner did not know that.. Both are priced, close to right, but because there are so many of these U22’s on the market.. Price is the only driving force. And both are still to high to make it work.. So.. Last night.. this started at 10PM.. After a all day Marathon.. Two Sea Skiffs have emerged.. Both the same money with trailers. Low hour, well taken care of boats, one a 1967 and the other a 1965… 25 footers, both with new big power and nice. They just need to be looked at.And then.. KAPOW, a Lyman all nighter.. til 2 AM , searching and digging with Texx on the wext coast.. 30 emails back and forth, brochures being sent. Boats from all over the planet being eyeballed.. Brokers being emailed.. All on one boat model..

Thats the set up.. A small kitchen on a soft top boat, its part cruiser part ette.. Its a crusette!

The Lyman 25 or later 26 Sleeper  or Crusette is the winning boat model! With more zippidy doo da in them than the Sea Skiffs.. The interior details, brite work on the decks and windsheild do it for me. That dam shot did it. Ya got to see the inside of a Lyman Sleeper through Robert Miracles eye.. So.. the hunt is now for the perfect Lyman Sleeper or Cruisette in the 25 foot size. SOFT TOP… The good news is that are a ton of them out there. To many actually. We have learned a ton about the buying process here. First, ya need a side kick and a knowledge of good survayers. Not the kind that Survay regular boats by the way.. I don’t care if they are certified. Guys like Dick Dow or Mike Green.. Those guys bleed varnish and know how to sniff out a rotten frame, or see the tell tale signs of an abusive owner. They dig… deep.. Also a good broker, one that will keep you from getting broke..er.. Rim shot here.. YA need someone that will guide you through the crap. And trust me.. there is a ton of crap out there. Like bear traps..”All the parts are there” is usually not a good sign, or a great handyman special..

Thats a ton of fun on the wata!

So. we are now on the hunt for the perfect Woody Boater LYMAN! Mr Lyman commenter has ruled the day. Unless some U22 or Skiff comes to the party ready to play. Those early 60’s 24 Sportsman still are cool as well.. and price right…

A very cool option still on the watch list. A 1960 late model Chris Craft 24 Sportsman

This story has lots of twists and turns as you can see.. Sometimes a certain boat will grab you because of one silly thing.. History, paint, price, value..  But Lymans seem to have all the right stuff for our special needs.. . If you are owner of a fat Lyman 25 sleeper or Cruisette and want it to live on the web in all its glory, speak up.. If you know of one, speak up.. No crap, handyman specials or excuses. No” all it needs.”.. No holes in bottoms. And no $100K ones that some guy has inlaid the gilded pubic hairs of his conquests into the seat backs.. We want the best one in the country. It will become a poster child for all that’s Lyman in Woodyboaterville…

22 replies
  1. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    couldn’t agree more on the selection process so far and the preferred boat – I love the Lymans’ with more brightwork than the Sea Skiff of the mid 60’s. They have a bit “warmer” feel to them and I hope you find the right one – soon.

    I haven’t seen as amny around as I have Skiff’s but I am sure a number will pop up now.

  2. Don P
    Don P says:

    I beleive that Antiqueboatamerica has a couple lymans on it in the size you want. But I have to say that the 1960’s 24 Sportsman is a cool boat and they are a decent ridding boat. The only problem is finding one in good shape that doesn’t need a ton of work. If you need any help in finding either boat let me know.

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    What is all this insane talk about brokers and surveyors? A boat is not a logical purchase, it is an emotional purchase.

    Doing a full investigation now eliminates many of the fun surprises down the road. Drop all the research and due dilligence, and just make an impulse buy. You’ll get the boat quicker and you will have so much more to write about as you dig into it learn about the special things that give your new boat character.

  4. ed d
    ed d says:

    My godfather had two gorgeous little lymans during the sixties: The Nausea and its immediate successor, the NauseaII. Wonderful boats!

  5. Robert Miracle
    Robert Miracle says:

    Hey guys. You don’t know how close we came for not getting that Lyman Boat pictures. We had been on that bridge for one hour waiting for the boats to come through. It was 95 degrees in the bright sunshine and we had enough. The cars and trucks were wizzing by making it hard to hold the camera sitll to get the shots.
    We decieded that all of the boats should have come by and we went back to our camper. (Miraclephotography portable studio). I got a call on my cell phone from Shelia Gillroy that they were at the bridge and didn’t see us. I told them that I was back in the airconditioning cooling off. She explained they got a late start and on the way they sprang a leak in the cooling system. Every good boater should carry a roll of duct tape and they had one . They wraped the hose and continued on to the bridge. I couldn’t turn her down so I got back in my truck and headed back down.
    My wife and I had the pleasure of riding with Bill and Shelia Gillroy on a three nignt 4 day cruise on the St John river after the Sunnyland show last year.
    That boat is amazing. There were six of us riding for four days. They was plenty of room for all of my gear and room for me to move around to get some great wild life shots. Go to my web site and look at the folder St. Johns River Cruise to see the great shots that I got. Bill and Shelia are amazing as a crew. I will tell you when you are in high winds trying to dock that size boat you better know what you are doing. When we were docking at Sanford Fla. the winds were howling. Bill guided that boat into the dock. A big gust of wind hit us broad side and was pushing the boat into a steel piling. Shelia was out the window and got to the front of the boat and push the boat away from the piling. Get this, Shelia weighs less than a 120lbs and was able to hold that big boat off the steel pilings. Those two are a great team. They work together like a charter boat crew. That was the best week that we have had as photographers. I was glad I was on that Lyman going across those large lakes with that high waves and wind.
    Bob Miracle

  6. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Lyman, beautiful boats that want to be used for all kinds of activities and lots of people room. My 1957 18 foot outboard has no kitchen but I have had up to eight people on it with no problem. The open space between foward and aft seats allows me to lay down and stretch out all 6’2″ so I can camp out if I choose. Plus the pre-1961 Hulls with the plumb stems, narrow strakes and toumblehomme sterns look fantastic to me. Boats whose design have been copied by more than one other boat builder. Plus you get that soft ride that the lapstrake gives. If you want an inboard of similar fashion look at the 23′ model of a similar time period 1957-1960. If not here are some hull numbers to look for, 25′ inboard runabout 1963-1966 K-1000 to K 1770
    26′ inboard runabout 1967-1973 R-1000 to R-1670
    Good Luck

  7. Chris
    Chris says:


    I had a 29′ Lyman for many years, the 26′ cant be beat. The 25′ is ok, but the 26′ is alot more boat. You will be able to go places that send CC’s to Davy Jones Locker

  8. matt
    matt says:

    Thats what I hear. The 26 is the go to boat.. 5200 bottoms and great ride. A nice evolution from the 25..

  9. Steve Haines
    Steve Haines says:


    This is great site for one and you are absolutely on the right track here. We just purchased a 26 Cruisette RC-1021 out of Ohio and are currently enjoying it as a wonderful family boat on the Connecticut River. We used to own a 1957 26′ Sea Skiff (Enclosed Flybridge Cruiser 4-sleeper) which we loved and ran all over Long Island Sound for about 15 years. We bought the Lyman initially because of the lack of quality midsized Sea Skiffs around. But man o man, this is a great boat!!! We love it. Quick enough to get where you are going, great looking with all its gleaming bright work, comfortable for a crowd, easy on fuel and light enough to tow anywhere. Even with all that what I am most impressed with is the ride. She just hunkers down into any swell, wake or wave and settles out with a complete lack of drama. I vote find a ragtop Cruisette and enjoy!!!

  10. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    If you do not already know, try jaxed.com and type in Lyman, it lists ebay and craiglist boats.

  11. Randy Rush-Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush-Captain Grumpy says:

    Matt: Theres a 65 Lyman sleeper on Craigs list in NH for 12k, Ive seen it, its very nice. He bought something else and it has to go, if you know what I mean….

  12. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:


    The ’67 26′ Cruisette Hard Top on Antique Boat Center is my dad’s boat… Does the hard top kill the deal for you?

  13. Mark
    Mark says:

    We (Antique Boat America) have a 24′ Sportsman that is scheduled to come to the Clayton Auction unreserved. It’s a nice looking boat, gutted and gone-through by the owner. The decks will need to be reseemed, but it sounds like a great user boat!

  14. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Yes, Matt, Lyman’s are a great boat and the thing to do for those who need something extra for open water use in confidence. Good luck!

  15. Jeremy G.
    Jeremy G. says:

    We (Custom Marine Inc.) In Sandusky OH. currently have two customers looking to sell their 25 lymans. One of wich has a brand new bottom we installed and is getting a total refinish in its interior the other, is an an all original boat last restored by the Lyman Factory in the 80’s with the exception of maintaining it.

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