Janet Lowry & Bob Simon
Grew up with wood boats & have been boating since I was 8 months old with my older sister Jennifer. Many adventures & wonderful memories. Its a GREAT hobby!
I have always loved wood boats and grew up with them. I then got into vintage fiberglass (which I still have). I now have 5 vintage wood lapstrakes to work on in addition to the glass boats! My late Uncle was the wood boat guy, and I’m going to make every attempt to get his wood boat collection back in order. My first wood boat (1961 Penn Yan) which I had in my High School days never made the water. It had a big V-4 engine on it and not stored properly on the trailer, thus developing a “hook” as noted by my Uncle. This is when I discovered MFG boats. My neighbor was having a garage sale and had several “boating” items for sale. I found out they had a 1957 MFG 15′ in their backyard that was going to be used for a sand box for kids to play in !!!! So, I bought that MFG for $50.00 (needing lots of work) but fulfilled my urge to have a workable lapstrake look vintage boat! That boat was put on hold (and is still on hold) because back in the day I had to have a car to drive back & forth to High School and my part time jobs. The car took priority over the boat. I also bought my car for $50.00 back in the day, so you can image how much work that needed ! Through it all, my sister was there to lend a helping hand she was a lot stronger than I was, and still is !!!
Fast forward a few years, past the car work I got involved in, and now back to the MFG’s. So, I have the 1957, which needs a lot of work…then I purchased a 1961 15′ MFG which I used for a few years until the transom started to go really bad. Back then I had no idea on how to go about repairing such an issue (before the days of computers & u-tube videos)! So, that MFG went to the scrap yard. Then I came across a “free” 1965 17′ MFG locally which had a good transom. I used that boat for many years, until the transom started to go bad on that one too! During my ownership of that MFG I came across another that I just couldn’t pass up…a 1962 MFG Hardtop! Guess what? The transom was bad on that boat too…BUT it was a hardtop! The blue top MFG was the “freebee” and the red top MFG is the “Hardtop” (which is removable).
Ok, moving right along, I’m never bored with all these projects I have to work on! Below is a picture of a very early MFG that I purchased from a club member. It’s a shell, but I have a vision for it ! This MFG had all wood topsides, wood seats, and wood inner & outer transom. Look at those beautiful lapstrake lines !
Now, I went to look at an old style bunk trailer and look what was on top of the trailer! (pictured below) It was destined for a chain saw massacre !!! NO ! Now I have another MFG, look at that nicely flared bow and of course the lapstrake lines. This one needs an interior, rigging & cosmetics…transom is done !!!
Now I did say I have wood boats…that belonged to my Uncle. I’m currently working on the 1959 Lyman and hope to have it ready to bring to the 2019 ACBS meet in the Thousand Islands. Yes, another lapstrake…that’s all I own. More to come……..
Well, all that work on the outside of the Lyman was a piece of cake compared to what was on the inside ! Fiberglass resin on the keel, gar-board planks, & up about 2 more strakes from there! Very time consuming to remove it all…some was loose, some was not! Then there was the red silicone! Most people would not have restored this boat due to the time it took to remove all this crap, but this Lyman belonged to my late Uncle and has been in the family since 1966. Many great memories…hope to have a lot more after the resto!
In the meantime, I came across an ad that had a boat for sale with trailer. Well, the trailer is a vintage Gator, 1958…just what I was looking for! Now what happened here is the ’58 Thompson is a wonderful restoration candidate!
Oh, here we go again! Another rescue of a Thompson from an uncertain fate! 1959 15′ with the long shaft motor transom option! I just love those Thompsons!
Bob Simon’s father and Grandfather owned a Fishing Station based in Woodmere, NY. Bob grew up working at the fishing station and in his late teens – early 20’s lived in one of the Bay Shacks in Woodmere Bay, only accessible by boat and NO electricity! Bobs father is pictured on the left side.
Harvesting clams, oysters & bait fish was primarily a year round job back then, and this is one of the boats that went out in all the elements to bring back the shellfish.