by Stuart & Helve Clough members of the Thousand Islands chapter
While spending summers on Grenell Island for the last 70 years or so we thought it would be nice to have a safe dry boat to take us to the mainland when the weather was threatening and waves were building. With this thought in mind we spotted a 1955 18 foot Lyman in front of the Antique Boat America Showroom with a sign advertising an end of season sale and the name Geezer on the transom. It was fitting. I also wanted a project and this looked like it would do. She had a Chrysler Marine Ace under the engine box, and when I hooked the starter motor up to a 12 volt battery, the engine turned over. We were sold. We arranged a purchase and towed it home. The next two years were spent trying to get her ready.
She did need work. The restoration was both an adventure and an education taking us places we had never gone before. The stem, a new engine stringer, sections of a bunch of laps, a few ribs, the transom clamps and the bottom half of the transom, the splash rails and rub rails all had to be replaced. The old pegboard liner in the cockpit was removed. Fortunately we had good help. Our grandson was good at clenching copper nails. It is special seeing young people getting involved with wooden boat restoration. Our future is bright.
Lots of fairing and sanding preceded new paint and varnish inside and out, and the boat was finally deemed ready for the engine.
Gallons of thick sludge were removed from the gas tank. The fuel lines were replaced. Thick sludge was removed from the carburetor and after much crossing of fingers, she started. The freshly painted engine was installed in the boat and with all new wiring and upholstery, she was ready to launch.
Since her launching she has met our expectations. We renamed her OOPS (we hadn’t really planned to buy another boat). Our restoration adventure and education indeed paid off. When shown at the Alexandria Vintage Boat show she actually picked up a Lyman Award. She now provides shelter in stormy weather, smooth rides in crossing seas, and enlightening adventures that bring friends and family together. Look for her in the Thousand Islands.