By Bud Stout memeber of ACBS

My “Lyman life” started in 1955 when I was 13 years old. We spent our summers at my grandparent’s home on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. That year, Father ordered a new 15 ft. Lyman outboard with a 25HP Johnson and a red steering wheel. The boat came from “Hoppy” an infamous dealer right there in William’s Bay.

Initially I wasn’t allowed to drive the boat unless my Dad was with me. That lasted about three days when I crept downstairs very early one morning, slid into the water, retrieved the boat off its mooring and swam it to the pier. Off came the cover before wiping it down and polishing everything. With some trepidation I got the courage to take it for a short spin trying not to wake anyone. Afterwards when I went up to the house Dad said, “well I guess you know how to run the boat”!

In those days, my siblings and I wanted an inboard Chris Craft so bad I don’t know how Dad ever withstood the begging and pleading but he did. He was a dedicated Lyman man.

To my delight in 1966 our neighbor on the lake bought a new 25 ft. Lyman Sleeper, a beautiful boat. By then I was on my own and rarely had the time to visit Lake Geneva but when I did, he was always ready to take me skiing. On one of those visits I remember skiing behind it in very rough water. The boat took it well, but I was rather “beat up” after that slalom ride around the lake.

My mom and her brothers sold the Lake Geneva home in 1972; and our neighbor with the Lyman Sleeper bought the cottage. We didn’t stay in touch, but I thought of him and the boat fondly.

In the spring of 1993, I got a call from one of my neighborhood “buddies” who still lived on the lake, informing me the Lyman Sleeper was for sale. I left my home in Northern Indiana and made a beeline for the lake.

After looking her over, I contacted Gage Marine in Williams Bay, Wisconsin and asked them to inspect it and report on her condition. With an all thumbs up, I purchased the boat.

Over the winter of 1993-94, Gage completely stripped the exterior of the boat and brought her back to like new condition with beautiful new upholstery.
That Spring I had the boat shipped to Lake Charlevoix in Charlevoix, Michigan where she still remains in service.

About twelve years ago Van Dam Custom Boats of Boyne City, Michigan replaced the bottom, keel, fore foot, cracked ribs and part of the transom. We also replace the original engine. She looks and feels like a brand-new boat.

I named the boat ‘Ray Mon” in honor of my late father with whom I share a name. I thought it appropriate to name her after the man who started all this Lyman love.

3 Comments

  1. I’m a brother of Bud, and he got the story of our Lyman youth at Lake Geneva 100%. I had forgotten about the red steering wheel, but not the part about longing for a mahogany Chris Craft. I’ve owned 1 Lyman and 3 Chris Crafts since that time and am still dreaming of a fourth.
    Some dreams never change.

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