As a boy in the 1950s on Little Sebago Lake in North Windham I fell in love for the very first time. The object of my attention was not Carolee Leadbetter, the pretty girl next door, but the boat next door, a 1956 Lyman speed boat!
Our summer neighbors, the Ripleys, were exceptionally nice people, especially to folks they hardly knew - the folks on vacation from a three decker in South Boston. Say what you will about Mainers, they're not snobs.
Mr Ripley owned an Oldsmobile dealership in the Portland area, a camp on Little Sebago and that 1956 Lyman speed boat. When I saw that boat for the first time my heart skipped a beat.
Lyman boats were wooden boats constructed in Michigan and were built to withstand the rocky shores of Lake Michigan. They may have been built for durability and reliabilty but I loved their classic lines and their gleaming white bodies against perfectly varnished mahogany.
A few years ago I stopped by the Ripley camp in North Windham and found that, after over 50 years of ownership, the family had sold the camp on Little Sebago. For old times, I took a peak at the dock hoping to see the Lyman tied up there. The Lyman was gone, too. That glorious boat now exists only in my memory.
Although Lyman boats are no longer built you can see a number of them this Saturday, August 2nd from 10AM to 3:00PM at the causeway in Naples, Maine. In fact, one of the finest restorers of Lyman boats in the world lives here in Maine and will be attending the show.
I mention the restorer only because you too can own a classic boat. If you attend the show my friend Howard Perkson, who has forgotten more about classic boats then I'll ever know, can point you in the right direction. It's easy to find Howard, he's the friendliest guy at the town dock. Howard is a great ambassador for the sponsors of the show, The Mountainview Woodies Classic Boat Club Of Maine
At the show you will not only see Lymans. You'll see the gorgeous mahogany Chris Crafts, Gar Woods, Century's and other classic wooden boats. Do try to make the show. It's the closest thing we have to a "must see" event all "summah". See you there!!!!