Monday, August 9, 2010

A Letter from Cabot
What Is Going On In Thomaston?

With rumors swirling and big personnel changes recently, you may have been wondering about the status of things at Lyman-Morse. We are still alive and well, and still building exceptional boats here in Thomaston! However, with the confluence of a slow economy and two projects that have been stopped in mid-stream, we are moving forward cautiously. As you may know, JB Turner is no longer with us, and we have re-structured from top to bottom. While our overall manpower has declined, we are still strong at 100 employees.

Two years ago we hired two consultants to help us with the financial and management aspects of the company. As a result we have altered our management style and changed key personnel. I want to assure you that we have not been operating in a vacuum, but moving with great care as it has affected some very nice people. We are now moving forward and thought we would share our vision with you.

The first major step has been to streamline our decision making process. Our project managers are now empowered to make decisions quickly, control the entire project, and be held accountable. This allows me to run the company and work on new projects and sales. This is an easy step as we have narrowed down to a very capable and smart group to lead the way.

Another big step has been to alter our accounting, estimation, and budgeting process. We have recently implemented a brand-new marine software to track and relay the financial aspects of all our projects. The new system will use the original estimate and track the hours, materials, updates, and allow more efficient tracking of time cards (hours), inventory, receiving, and above all billing.The importance of this system is to keep everyone informed on all aspects of the project and our owners will be able to access their account on line (eventually).

The words 'Lean and Mean' are used a lot in this economy. With these changes, we aim to make the company more efficient, but also strive to keep Lyman-Morse a pleasure to do business with. Over the last thirty-five years we have had fantastic customers and an excellent crew. Our goal is to keep these relationships - an efficient and well run workplace for our employees directly translates to satisfied customers.

We have a carbon sailboat under construction which continues to move along well. The amazing hydraulic system will run every aspect of the boat, and the rotating thruster for the main propulsion unit, a bow thruster, captive reel winch, Lithium Ion battery system, and hydraulic ram for the main sheet will truly make this a push-button boat. We will be launching her at the end of July - a one-of-a kind at the leading edge of interesting technology. There are not too many yards able to accomplish this and we are bringing in teams from England and Australia as we look for the best in the hydraulic and wireless business.

Our partnership with e Sailing Yachts is doing very well. We have just test-sailed the first two e33s on the St. George River. It is a fast, easy, and fun boat to sail. We hope to sell more as we finish up the third e33, and are working to develop the e27 and e44 models as well.

Despite the slowdown in the new construction side, our service yard continues to gain momentum. We tackled several large refits this past winter, and have a full workload this summer. We were at maximum capacity this past winter and are already filling up for 2010. The service yard crew is an integral part of our company and offers perhaps one of the most talented all around crew anywhere.

We're capitalizing on some of our key strengths and premier facilities to provide services outside the marine spectrum. We have opened up our metal fabrication shop to the outside world and have brought in some excellent projects. We have perhaps the nicest facility in Knox County and an exceptionally talented crew. We're also just wrapping up a major structural and cosmetic renovation on a historic sea captain's home here in Maine. Additionally, the ZeroBase (solar power generator) units are now in Haiti, on mountain tops in the Middle East, wintering at a camp in inland Maine, on an island in Penobscot Bay, and in various parts of the country being reviewed by various organizations. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

We are aiming to stay competitive in the new construction side with a line of semi-custom projects. We have molds from several extraordinary boats including:

· Ringleader- a 65' express sport fisherman,
· Whistler - a Hunt 54'cruiser
· Marquesa 54' - a Chuck Paine/Ed Joy long distance sailboat
· Mala Conducta - a Morelli & Melvin 62' catamaran
· Deerfoot 70 by Ulf Rogeberg - a sturdy long distant cruiser meant for high latitude sailing.

With these excellent molds we are poised to jump right in to building a yacht in less time for less money.

Unfortunately, the owner of the Deerfoot 70 has suffered financial setbacks, leaving the project with it 60% complete. We are now looking for someone who would like an exceptional Lyman-Morse built boat which can be available by next summer. There is some very good work that has been done on this boat so we hope someone will step forward. We can supply a complete set of plans and estimates. She has been built to provide safe high-latitude sailing as well as comfortable coastal cruising.

There have been many questions on who to contact with our new "look". We have not changed all that much, but our offices are emptier as the foremen are on the floor where they need and want to be. I've assembled a truly talented core group of people who are helping to lead us in the right direction.

· Steve Tofield: Customer Service
· Drew Lyman: Service Yard
· Scott Layton: Brokerage
· Bill Belyea: Chief Project Manager
· Bruce Hopkins: CFO

Of course, you are always welcome to contact me, too.

The marine business worldwide is undergoing rocky times and we are no exception. We have a lot to offer. With this restructuring, we will be in a better position to guide our customers to successful conclusions of their projects. We're persevering, but another new boat on order would get us completely on track for the next year!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Ring Leader "Sets The Path" In February's MARLIN

With the Miami Boat Show rapidly approaching, the boating world is buzzing with sport fishing boat fever. It comes with great joy that our new express sport fish, Ring Leader, received resounding praise in the new issue of Marlin Magazine. Read the article on Lyman-Morse's Ring Leader in the new issue, or catch it here.

While Ring Leader will not officially be on display at the show, she will be available for viewing by appointment during the month of February in Miami. Call 904.237.3699 for information.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lyman-Morse and e Sailing Yachts Form Alliance

Our New Year’s Resolution? To broaden our horizons.
With that, we’re proud to announce our new alliance
with e Sailing Yachts. Founded in 2006 by sailmaker
Robbie Doyle and designer Jeremy Wurmfeld,
e Sailing Yachts offers a line of high performance
production boats recognized for their comfort, stability
and ease of sail.

We have begun working together to build the award winning e33 daysailer.
Construction and pre-construction planning have begun
here at the yard in Thomaston on three e33 hulls scheduled
for spring 2010 delivery. We are also working with
e Sailing Yachts to build their e27 and e44 models,
slated for late 2010 and 2011 launches.

e sailing yachts founder, Robbie Doyle, commented
“Given e Sailing Yachts plans for growth, we are thrilled
to be working with Lyman-Morse as our exclusive
builder”. About Lyman-Morse, E33 designer and
co-founder Jeremy Wurmfeld added “We believe our
clients will be very happy with their long standing
reputation for value and quality craftsmanship and full
list of services available at their state-of-the-art facility.”

We’ve been working closely with designers Carl
Persak and Jeremy Wurmfeld to streamline the building
process as much as possible. JB Turner and Cabot Lyman
see a lot of opportunity in this new venture. JB, who has
always been a proponent of supporting new designers,
views this as an “excellent opportunity to enter the
production boat building market”. Cabot added,
“Working with Persak & Wurmfeld to build straightforward
boats that are exciting to sail keeps with our
philosophy that simplicity and performance adds to the
customers enjoyment.

to learn more about their models.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yes, this building IS BIG!

A picture speaks a thousand words. Not much else needs to be said here, except to explain that this is the 70' power catamaran, Amity, being driven into the building on the right and the 84' Metolius on the left. You can't see the 48' boat under construction next to it.

Can we handle large scale projects? You bet.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Replacing Teak Decks: Lyman Morse's Service Yard

In addition to our core business of building custom yachts, Lyman Morse also has a bustling service yard. We see a lot of summer work from cruisers and the big boats up from the Caribbean, but over the winter, the service yard crew is responsible for approximately 90 boats. They do everything from standard decomissiong to all-out major refits. This year they are hard at work on a major teak deck replacement project on Metolius, a 83' Royal Huisman sloop built in 1992.

In these pictures you see the Lyman Morse team removing the original decks. Air chisels are primarily used to remove the deck. It is a slow process, as the planks sometimes come over in very small pieces. After this phase is complete, they will detail the decks to make sure they are perfectly smooth and all debris is removed. A corrosion treatment is then applied.

The boat originally had a plywood subdeck between the teak and the aluminum superstructure. We've decided to replace that deck with a composite board which weighs approximately 20-30% less than the plywood! This is a relatively innovative idea and we're excited to be able to put some of our innovation to work.\

Teak Decking Systems created the patterns before all the original decks were removed, and will be back in a few weeks to lay the new one. We'll then rebed all of the deck hardware. Sure, new decks are a nice feature, but another forgotten benefit of this project is that all the deck hardware will get new, fresh seals and will also be inspected for any corrosion, wear & tear, leaks, etc. It is sort of like a "check up" and is very helpful in maintaining the overall integrity of your boat.

Check back as we show the progress over the winter.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lionheart Concerto makes her debut

While we're still several months away from the "official" launch of Lionheart Concerto, we still couldn't resist having Billy Black come up to Maine to take some shots of her recent trial runs.

This boat is the 2nd new build by our customer Ken Sawyer, and is the 5th project he's brought to Lyman Morse. In addition to this project, he totally rebuilt a Toshiba 40', refit a Seguin 46', built the 52' Fairweather, and has had us build a large volume of furniture and architectural pieces for his home here in Maine. Needless to say, we've developed a great relationship with Ken over the years. His creativity knows no bounds and we're always excited to work with him on new projects.

One of the most unique features of this boat is the fully functioning and impeccably detailed Yamaha player piano in the salon. Ken is passionate about music (as if the boat's name didn't give that away)! He had our Cabinet Shop team carve some beautiful art deco detailing to frame the piano.

We're looking forward to seeing it all come together soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maine Home & Design Midcoast Show

It might seem a bit strange for a custom boat builder to be participating in a Home & Design Show but in reality, it's just up our alley. Long recognized for our craftsmanship in yacht interiors, many of our customers have come to us requesting custom pieces for their homes as well. Over the last several years, we've created some amazing furniture pieces including hand carved beds, chairs and cabinets, plus architectural & millwork features. Our metal fabrication team and our new canvas shop have also had a big hand in helping create unique pieces. The fab shop is just now completing an amazing silicon bronze entryway arch for a luxury home in the midcoast area.

We'll have a booth at the Maine Home and Design Show at Point Lookout in Northport Maine. The show hours are Saturday, May 30 from 10-6 and Sunday, May 31 from 10-4. Our display will be in the Pavilion. The exhibit space has already sold out and they have added additional space so it promises to be a great opportunity to see some of the amazing craftsmanship Maine is known for.

We'd love to see you!

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