“If it’s old it’s new!” could be the theme of this year’s Progressive Cedar Point Boat Show with the announcement of a special “Lymans Coming Home” marking the 90th anniversary celebration of Lyman Boats that were built within sight of the show in Sandusky.

The special look back at boating history will be just one of the big changes slated for the late August in-water show as the long-standing event undergoes a major overhaul with new features and more visitor experiences.  

“Lyman Boats, Sandusky and Lake Erie are forever interwoven,” says Michelle Burke, president of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association. “It was 90 years ago that the first Lyman was finished in the Sandusky plant with hundreds following and so many still plying the lake today.

“But we’ll showcase even more,” she continued. “The popular annual Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show will also be held in the boat show this year. Combined with the Lyman celebration, this trip into our nautical past will really create a unique show within the show.”

Among unique displays will be artifacts from the original Lyman Boat Works provided by Tom Koroknay, aka Doc Lyman, the preeminent Lyman historian. In addition, the exhibits will boast a Lyman built in each decade, along with more Lymans shown on land and in the water. Indeed, some will even be offering show visitors a rare opportunity to ride in a Lyman on Sandusky Bay.

The dual historical shows are a cooperative effort of the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat group, Lyman Boats LLC, Ramsey Brothers Restorations, the Lake Erie Lyman Group, Lyman Boat Beer Works and Lyman Life clothing and accessories.

Further, Burke, who’s in her first year heading up LEMTA, explains: “This year we wiped the slate clean and started out with one premise – that the old show is over and we intend to stage a well-rounded boating event that includes new ideas and exciting features to give everyone more reasons to attend. The Lymans, along with the Toledo Antique and Classic Boats are just the beginning of the changes.”

All the nostalgia will be surrounded by “new” improvements in many other ways. For example, the old food service is gone, replaced by selected food trucks to provide a much bigger variety for show visitors. A first-ever schedule of on-stage seminars covering topics like important winterizing tips, the latest smartphone boating apps and more will be included in the big marine accessories tent. It’s being relocated so all visitors will enter and exit the show through it this year.

Also a first-ever “Parking Lot Sale” in which dealers will display a variety of new and pre-owned trailerable fishing, runabout and water sports models at clearance prices will be featured. And, an expanded variety of live musical entertainment is slated for the show daily.

The special features will be surrounded by up to 400 new boats ranging from inflatables to motor yachts, most on display dockside, and many will be 2020 models getting their first public showing. Literally every major brand will be represented by dealers from around Ohio and one of the most popular features of this show is that many of the boats are available for demo rides.

More than 12,000 boaters from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania annually attend this show slated for August 22-25 this year. New expanded hours to make the show more convenient for visitors have also been announced. They are: Opening Thursday (Aug. 22) 12 Noon to 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday (Aug. 23-24) 10:00 am to 7:30 pm; and Sunday, (Aug. 25)  10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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