By John Young, Water Wonderland Chapter

I’m John Young and have been a member of ACBS for many years, and boats have long been a part of my life. I have two wooden boats, a 1958 Lyman 16.5ft outboard with a 1958 Johnson 35hp and a 1953 Chris-Craft 17ft Special Sportsman with a 1959 Chris-Craft 185hp V8 engine that I have used and restored over the years.

The Lyman was given to me by the original owner when I was 16.  At the time I had to refinish it inside and out. After using it for 12 years the decks were coming apart, so I spent 2 years doing a complete restoration. After that, I used it for another 27 years until I finished restoring my second boat, the Chris-Craft. So now the Lyman sits ashore, needing some bottom and transom work (maybe next year?) before it hits the water again.

I acquired the Chris-Craft 29 years ago with a frozen Gray Marine 4 cylinder engine and a bent trailer. With young kids and aging parents to take care of, I didn’t have time to do much to it for the first 16 years but started working on it in earnest about 13 years ago. I replaced the bottom using the 5200 method and refastened and refinished the topsides and decks. I had the seats reupholstered and, since we wanted to use it for water skiing, I re-powered it with a Chris-Craft 283ci engine which I then had to build a new engine box for. It took 7 years on and off to finish it but was finally able to take it to the 2017 poker run and boat show in Hessel, Michigan, where I got a 2nd in class.

I had a great time again this summer at the Hessel show and reconnected with our Water Wonderland chapter during the poker run. Next year I’ll try to bring it to the Water Wonderland Chapter Show, Boats on the Boardwalk.


  1. Great write up John! Truly inspiring. I’ll watch for you at Hessel in 2024 and other Water Wonderland Chapter (WWC) events!

    David Irvine
    WWC/Michigan Chapters, ACBS

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