By the Numbers

The biggest mystery surrounding the Lake-N-Sea/Lake ‘n Sea boat brand is how many boats were actually made, when, and by which of the four companies. Well, here is what I have been able to ascertain after years of collecting data from original factory records, owners, and oral history interviews with builders or their families. I guarantee that my numbers are less that accurate because it is hard to document which boats have been sold, to whom, and when unless the hull number is given to me by each owner, past and present. A boat sold on eBay might still be listed as an owner and that same boat might be now owned by a named owner. Another unfortunate fact is that many of the boats are not numbered due to the missing hull identification plate on many of the boats or transom protector piece for the 15’ Biscayne models. Nevertheless, I do have some numbers to share with you totaling 247 known boats and owners to date. The individual models are designated by the a four digit model code (e.g. 9475). To see the specific details for each year and model please check out the brochures for each year except the Michigan Fiberglass Company years as I have yet to locate one of that company’s brochures.

In late 1956, the Lakensea Boat Corporation of Boca Raton, Florida, started making boats with the Lakensea brand. The three models they made for one, year, 1957, included the L-15 runabout, U-15 utility, and I-15 inboard. As of today I have documented five boats of the following models:

1957 L-15=4

1957 U-15=1

(Image courtesy of Lee Wangstad)

In 1957, the Lakensea Boat Corporation sold the brand and molds to the Chris-Craft Corporation of Pompano Beach, Florida where it the division was known as the Lake-N-Sea Division. Chris-Craft took the L-15 runabout design and renamed it the 15′ Pleasure Runabout (LS-15). Company records documented 266 boats made. As of today I have documented only nine of these boats.

In December 1957, the Chris-Craft Corporation sold the Lake ‘n Sea brand to the Parsons Corporation of Traverse City, Michigan where the boats were made under the Lake ‘n Sea Division from 1958-1960. Parson Corporation built several models, each with a different level of upgrades. In 1963 John Parsons wrote that his company had built over 2,000 Lake ‘n Sea boats from 1958-1960. To date I have recorded 246 boats with only 159 known owners. Here are the numbers for each model that were either recorded by the company in their records or in my database from owners:

1958 12′ Fishing Utility (8150)=2

1958 14′ Custom Utility (8250)=1

1958 14′ Custom Runabout (8300)=7

1958 15′ Pleasure Runabout/Biscayne (8400)=44 (the model name changed from Pleasure Runabout to Biscayne during the summer of 1958)

1958 16′ Custom Runabout (8450)=7

1958 19′ Custom Utility (8500)=1

1959-1960 15′ Biscayne (8400, 8410)=25 (these boats do not have hull numbers and are grouped by the only two years that they were made)

1959 15′ Biscayne model (8400)=12

1959 14′ Au Sable (9200, 9225, 9250)=2 (these boats do not have hull numbers)

1959 14′ Au Sable Runabout (9250)=3

1959 14′ Caribbean Custom Sports Utility (9425)=2

1959 14′ Caribbean Runabout (9460)=2

1959-1960 14′ Caribbean=9 (these boats do not have hull numbers and are grouped by the only two years that they were made by Parsons)

1959 14′ Caribbean Custom Runabout (9475)=27

1959 16′ 16 Sports Utility (9510)=1

1959-1960 16′ Arrowhead=17 (these boats do not have hull numbers and are grouped by the only two years that they were made by Parsons)

1959-1960 16′ Arrowhead (9575)=31

1959 18′ Saratoga (9675)=2

1959 18′ Grand Traverse=2 (two were known to be made, but no current owners are listed)

(Image courtesy of the John T. Parsons collection (Ms-1987-016), Digital Library and Archives, University Libraries, Virginia Polytechnic and State University)

1960 15′ Caribbean (0475)=16 (just like the 1959 14′ Caribbean in size)

1960 17′ Arrowhead (0575)=6 (just like the 1959 16′ Arrowhead in size)

Michigan Fiberglass Company employees building Lake ‘n Sea boats.

Sometime in late 1960 Michigan Fiberglass Company (MFC) in Holland, Michigan purchased or licensed the Lake ‘n Sea brand from Parsons Corporation and started placing their hull identification plates on the boats. I have yet to find an official sales transaction between the two companies. I do know that John Parsons tried to sell some of the boat molds and the brand to another interested party in 1963 which makes me think he never really sold the company to MFC. Some the 13 documented boat owners have sales receipts listing their boat as a MFC-made boat ranging from 1960-1962. Here are the boats made or possibly made by MFC:

1960-1962 14′ Caribbean=8 (these boats do not have hull numbers, or have hull numbers that are similar to the Parsons boats and are grouped by the only two years that they were made by Michigan Fiberglass Company)

1960-1962 16′ Arrowhead=5 (these boats do not have hull numbers, or have hull numbers that are similar to the Parsons boats and are grouped by the only two years that they were made by Michigan Fiberglass Company)

1959-1962 14′ Caribbean=30 (these boats do not have hull numbers or any details that distinguish them from either Parsons Corporation or Michigan Fiberglass Company)

1959-1962 16′ Arrowhead=8 (these boats do not have hull numbers or any details that distinguish them from either Parsons Corporation or Michigan Fiberglass Company)

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