by Skip Bliss member of the Blackhawk chapter
Lake Geneva is the second largest Inland Lake in Wisconsin, and has long been recognized as a mecca for Sailing and Motor Boating enthusiasts. At roughly 5,000 spring fed acres and 160 feet deep it attracts both summer tourists and year round residents. I have spent my entire life on the lake and my wife Linda and I have raised our family in the home I grew up in.
Lake Geneva has every shape and size boat, but it has a history and reverence for the classics. All the big names are here i.e. Gar Wood, Chris-Craft, Streblow, Lyman, etc. I grew up with Chris-Crafts (Wood & Fiberglass) but one day 15 years ago I saw a small local ad for a 26′ Lyman Sleeper. I had always liked the lap strake style and once I saw the boat and test drove it I was hooked. I believe we are the third owners and the next several years were spent replacing all the Nautolex material and plywood on the decks and flooring with Teak. We also crafted a new Instrument panel, installed a new audio system, re-upholstered all the seats and engine cover, varnished all bright-work, and applied Sikens Cetol to all wood decks and floors.
The majority of the work continues to be done skillfully by Lars Bergersen at The Bergersen Boat Company of Lake Geneva. Next came a new MerCruiser MAG. MPI – 300HP. Engine to replace the original Chrysler 318. I have found that with relatively small annual upkeep since the original upgrades, the maintenance costs of this Lyman have been quite reasonable. My family has been in the Newspaper/Radio Broadcasting business for 5 generations and after a spirited naming contest we settled on “The News Cruise”. The News Cruise resides in a canopied slip alongside our son Kyle’s family boat, a 1966 Chris-Craft 23 foot Lancer which has been completely restored, repowered, and which features a variety of other contemporary “creature features.” It has been in the family since it was new covering Three Generations and continues to carry the name “Blissful” along with the addition of “Gen. 3”
There are approximately 40 Lymans on Lake Geneva of all sizes. They are very seaworthy, dry boats and are well suited for families, recreational cruising, and enjoying our terrific Lake Geneva Sunsets.