Lyman wooden Boats – Clinker Built

Clinker built means that in this style of planking each board edge overlaps the other plank edge and they are clinched nailed to the ribs (plus, screwed to the frames) such that each plank edge is shown. Some feel that the horizontal lines of the side planking laps give a sense of motion or speed to a boat compared to a carvel-hull.

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These boats ride differently than a hard chine boat design. The hull shape uses a round-bilge shape and with the plank edge proud, they give good maneuverability, are seaworthy, and soft riding. Particularly in a good, hard chop. Take a ride and feel the difference for yourself. Other brands that built some wood clinker built boats were Chris Craft (in their Sea Skiff division in the Chris Craft plant in Salisbury, MD.), Hubert L. Johnson, Luhrs, Hutchinson, and Century boats.

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Most of the Lyman boats were finished with a a semi-gloss white paint on the lapstrake (clinker-built) hull sides. Today, many boats have been re-finished in high gloss white paint, when they are restored.

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These boats were finished with a special color Lyman exclusive formula stain and then varnished for their deck, seats, transom, and windshield. This Lyman mahogany filler stain with many coats of varnish over that would be the proper choice in seabuddy’s mind. Lyman boats was also known for its use of ribbon striped (sometimes called tiger striped) mahogany veneered marine-grade plywood on their fordecks. That material grade is more expensive, but to me it is worth it. Again, take a look for yourself at your next classic boat show.

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Lyman Boats made the most boats at its production peak in 1955, with over 5,000 boats produced in sizes from 13’ to 20’ in length. As the founding family died off and fiberglass took the lead as the quicker matieral of choice for small boats, Lyman Boats made their last boat in 1973.

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Bernard Lyman personally built his first boat in 1873 in his spare time, and then by 1875, he made boat building  his full time way to make a living, according to Tom Koroknay, now known as “Doc Lyman”, the Lyman expert. Special note: While Bernard was the brand’s founder, his son, Bill, led the company into a great boat building company during his time in running the company.

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