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Lyman-Morse: Fabricating Form and Function from Aluminum

By Brendan Riordan

Photos courtesy Lyman-Morse

The Lyman-Morse LMF 26 Survey was purpose-built for U.S. Geographical Survey researchers at Woods Hole in Massachusetts.

When the University of New Hampshire’s aquaculture researchers needed a workboat tough enough to land gear on rocky beaches and carry a 3,300-pound crane on deck, they turned to Lyman-Morse of Camden and Thomaston, whose metal fabrication shop has built and launched a number of stout aluminum vessels alongside the luxury sail and power cruisers for which the company is perhaps better known.

The LMF 33 Landing Craft was designed from the keel up by Response Marine as a commercial workhorse. With a drop-down bow, it’s able to nose up to a rocky beach so gear can be on- or off-loaded. And in tight quarters, joy-stick steering provides maneuverability around docks and piers.

The 32'9" boat features an enclosed wheelhouse aft, and with nearly a 12' beam, there is ample open deck space forward for a crew to work. Since Lyman-Morse is a custom builder, other configurations are possible as well. Power options include twin 250-hp outboards. The LMF 33 is designed to cruise at 27 knots and has a top speed of 40+ knots.

Workers at the Lyman-Morse fabrication shop can handle a range of metals including stainless steel.

This past summer, the LM fabrication shop also launched a new LMF 26 Pilothouse aluminum workboat. This vessel is also headed south, to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where it will go to work for the U.S. Geological Survey. 

Also designed by Response Marine, the new 26 weighs in at just under 9,000 pounds, draws just 17 inches, and is powered by twin 200-hp Yamaha outboards. It features an enclosed wheelhouse forward, with work space aft. The boat bound for the USGS is fitted out with a Fisher Panda generator to power air conditioning and multiple computers.

Aluminum stringers are installed in the hull before the working deck gets dropped into place on an LMF workboat.

For more than four decades, LM has partnered with yacht designers, owners, and captains representing buyers to construct, restore, and maintain a variety of vessels. While the builder is best known for its fiberglass and cold-molded wood composite yachts, they have also built a handful of aluminum craft over the years, including a 57' Chuck Paine-designed motorsailer; a 62' long-range voyager named Barbara, intended to cruise the waters from Maine to the Caribbean and the rivers of Europe; an elegant 42' Express Launch; and a 31' open jet-powered center console. In recent years LM has quietly added a portfolio of aluminum workboats configured for a range of commercial marine applications. All are built at the company’s fabrication facility in Thomaston. 

Brendan Riordan is a yacht designer at Stephens Waring in Belfast, Maine.

LMF 33 & LMF 26 Specifications

LMF 33

LOA:  32'9"
Beam:  11'10"
Displ.:  9,265 lbs.
Horsepower:  250-hp x 2
Top Speed:  40+ knots

LMF 26

LOA:  28'6"
LWL:  25'11"
Beam:  9'1"
Draft:  1'5"
Displ.:  8,750 lbs.
Power:  Twin Yamaha Outboards
Horsepower:  200-hp x 2

Response Marine

Lyman-Morse Fabrication
19 Elltee Circle
Thomaston, ME


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