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Lyman 13' Reverse Lapstrake Racer

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The Lyman thirteen foot displacement racer, first introduced in 1931 was an outstanding example of class C racing Runabouts. In the early 30's, outboard racing was becoming increasingly popular and Bill Lyman’s reverse lapstrake racer was gaining national attention. Bill Lyman raced quite frequently himself and designed this hull exclusively for racing. The lapstrakes were reversed from the garboard plank to the water line where the standard lapstrakes continued to the gunnels. This gave the hull more unrestricted entry into the water as compared to the standard lapstrake. The displacement racer had also been designed for the class C motors with which it had been consistently rating speeds in excess of forty miles per hour. Although primarily a racer, the thirteen footer is a functional boat capable of carrying three to four people. Interior arrangement consists of steering wheel placed slightly aft of amidship in the driver’s compartment. Forward of the steering wheel is a wide, low seat with comfortable backrest. The thirteen foot racer is available in two styles, with amidship deck and side decking as shown here, or in open style. The wheel on the open model is mounted on an angle dash leading from the floor to a crossrail, with backrest seat placed forward of this. Planking is of cypress with keel, stem, knee, ribs, and gunnels of white oak. Standard finish of the hull is black with interior decks, and trim varnished. Equipment consists of steering gear complete with control, cleats, paddle, and bowline.

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This past summer I acquired a 1931 13' Racer. It is the model with the amidship deck and side decking. My son Ryan, Mark and Matt O’Donnell and myself set off for New Hampshire to pick up this rare Lyman. Leaving on a Monday morning, we drove straight through in 15 hours and had the boat loaded by dark. The boat belong to a gentleman who owned the boat from 1932 on. When he got the bot from the first owner, he bought a new 1931 Evinrude Sport Four outboard motor for the power plant. Both the boat and motor are in excellent shape for their age. When restored the 13' Racer will have retained over 95% of her original wood with the lost rear floorboards being basically the only new wood. I hope to have the boat restored and on display at the Cleveland Boat Show in January. I am still researching for the original owner as the hull numbers were not recorded in the hull records until 1932 (they only had invoice numbers in 1929, 30, 31). The first owner raced the boat in 1931 as it still had the assigned racing number (S-88) on the first coat of hull paint. Any information on Class C racing results in 1931 could be of help in tracing this racer with the assigned racing number S-88 and would be greatly appreciated.

Tom Koroknay,
Lyman Boat Historian

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