While the Great Lakes region is recognized as the birthplace of many of the most popular names in collector boating, one manufacturer’s unique designs and classic construction techniques proved to be a perfect match for the often-choppy waters of America’s inland seas. Lyman Boat Works began producing small boats in the 1880s, and in the 1930s it helped popularize the use of the ancient lapstrake-style of hull construction in modern recreational boatbuilding. Lapstrake hull construction features overlapping hull planks, resulting in a tough hull that is well suited for rough water.
Lyman has long had a devoted following, as evidenced by the stellar community fostered by the Lyman Boat Owners Association, which has created a robust market for these boats for many years. Lymans are highly regarded in the marketplace, with values remaining stable over time. One particular model has seen values steadily increase in recent years – the venerable Lyman Sleeper.
Constructed in the typical utility configuration, the Sleeper adds a modest v-birth and beamy dimensions, resulting in a fun, practical vessel capable of meeting a wide range of boating needs. While some might find its 25- or 26-foot length peculiar – fairly large for a runabout, a little small for a comfortable overnighter – it is in many ways the definitive example of the type of boat Lyman was trying to promote in the late 1950s and ’60s. As a result, values for Bristol boats have increased by more than $10,000 since last year, averaging from $28,800 to $39,000.
For more information on Lyman values, as well as values for several other manufacturers, please visit our updated online price guide.