1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

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jpfieber
Posts: 46
11

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by jpfieber »

bonz_d wrote:jp, where about are you located? I'm down near Lake Geneva, border of Walworth and Kenosha Co. .
I'm in Mequon, just north of Milwaukee, south of Port Washington and Grafton (where the boat was made).
1954 12' The Lifetime Aluminum Boat
1954 Mercury Mark 20
1982 Mercury 7.5

bonz_d
Posts: 216
6
Location: S.E. Wisconsin

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by bonz_d »

I know that area a bit, pleased to meet you neighbor!
1988 Alumacraft Classic 16, 50hp Johnson on a Shoreland'r trailer.
1984 Sea Nymph Pike Attacker, 30hp Johnson on old Gator tilt trailer

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Androsyn
Posts: 41
4

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by Androsyn »

I'm digging that bullet nose bow. Sweet looking boat and an awesome story.


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thumpism
Posts: 6
Joined: 02 Dec 2019, 22:20

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by thumpism »

Hello,
I just found this forum and I might be able to help you folks with this particular craft.

My dad worked for Reynolds Metals for about 25 years, retiring from the company in the mid-'70s. He began with the company in Louisville KY and moved to Richmond VA in '58 when the company moved its corporate HQ at that time. We had one of those boats for as far back as I could remember and he sold it to an acquaintance of mine many years ago when he had to give up his beloved outdoor pursuits. Marty may still have the boat. I'll ask. I know I have some photos so will try to dig them out.

Dad's was the same hull as the ones already posted but his did not have the front deck (nacelle? cover? forecastle?) and he had installed a third seat so there would be more usable space for serious fishin'. That's what he liked to do. He alternately used a 5- or a 25-horse Johnson outboard on his during the time he owned it from the early '50s to the mid-'80s.

He worked in Product Development for the company and was pretty handy. I don't think he did the actual stamping but was probably involved with the preliminary testing and setup of the stamping process. His department did a lot of prototyping and he was always bringing home stuff they did. He did build a trailer for his boat, using an inverted (for lift) and widened (for stability) Crosley front axle. He also made the frame-mounted hitches to fit the '50 Hudson, the '52 Studebaker, the '57 Ford and the '65 Mustang he used for towing.

Back in the Louisville days the company had for its employees a private recreation area known as Reynolds Meadows, east of Louisville as I recall. There was a pavilion and a lake and there was a small fleet of the boats, all with the front decks that I thought were really cool. Maybe a dozen boats or so?

I hope this will be of interest to you all. I'll work on finding the photos but it might take me a while to dig them out of storage. Good to see the OP's boat and I'm glad to know they've acquired a little collector following. Dad would be pleased. I've never seen another since moving to Virginia but once thought I spotted one being trailered in the opposite direction on I-40 in North Carolina.

Thanks for the memories.

rcgrunt448
Posts: 4
1
Location: Wood Dale, IL

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by rcgrunt448 »

New member - first post!!
Thanks for more pieces to fill the puzzle. I have a 1950 'Reynolds' boat I bought last December. It had the wood strakes on the bottom. I took it completely apart because it had been "redone" a few times in the past and EVERY nut, bolt, washer, and screw were just standard steel!! The transom had been reinforced with beautifully engineered pieces of standard steel. Worse corrosion occurred on the bottom bolts for the strakes. I fill brazed the bottom holes and used 1x2 PVC trim set in 3M 5200 to replace the wood strakes.
Can't wait to see your pictures!! I'll post pics of my boat when I figure out how to do it. :LOL2:

rcgrunt448
Posts: 4
1
Location: Wood Dale, IL

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by rcgrunt448 »

jpfieber wrote:
19 Nov 2015, 21:40
ScouterJames wrote:Try contacting the company? Looks like they're still around - maybe have some info or brochures in their old archives.... Looks like the same company - says they made boats briefly.....
Thanks to the lead that James gave me, I contacted the company and was initially told that they didn't have any info on the boat, and that the original owner had retired 5 years ago. Then this morning, my inbox lit up with 10 emails of pictures that the previous owner sent them for me. You have to read the newspaper article in the first photo, just awesome stuff. Even a picture of them making the boat in the factory. I'm hoping I can talk more with the previous owner, it's really intriguing learning about this 60+ year old boat!

Boat 1.jpg
Boat 2.jpg
Boat 3.jpg
Boat 4.jpg
Boat 5.jpg
Boat 6.jpg
Boat 7.jpg
Boat 8.jpg
Boat 9.jpg
Boat 10.jpg
Love the old pics!! Which of the original owners, Neuenfeldt or Dickmann, send you the emails?
I bought a 'Reynolds" boat last December. Mine was camoed and had the wood strakes on the bottom. Had to take it completely apart because every nut, bolt, washer, and screw was standard steel. I replaced all with stainless steel. Bottom holes were pretty corroded. I aluminum fill-brazed them. A few pics attached including the worse bottom hole.
when I got it home
when I got it home
restored
restored
in the water Sept. '19
in the water Sept. '19
worst bottom strake hole
worst bottom strake hole

thumpism
Posts: 6
Joined: 02 Dec 2019, 22:20

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by thumpism »

I contacted my friend Marty and he told me he sold the boat, the motor and trailer in separate transactions a couple of years ago and lost track of the buyers. I'd hoped to get more photos of it but that won't be possible unless he finds some of his to send me.

thumpism
Posts: 6
Joined: 02 Dec 2019, 22:20

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by thumpism »

Dug out a box of pix today and this one was on top of the messy pile. Very first photo! I'll look for more.

Pic of our Reynolds boat in service with my sister and her friend in front, Dad at the helm. This was probably taken at Gwynn's Island VA.
IMG_6279.JPG

*a little later, after going through the box of pix*

This is the photo I best remember of our boat, with my dad at the helm, his work and fishin' buddy Walt at center, and yours truly at the bow. Snazzy headgear was a thing in our fishing photos.
IMG_6285.JPG

rcgrunt448
Posts: 4
1
Location: Wood Dale, IL

Re: 1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by rcgrunt448 »

Great pics. Interesting look without the front deck.

rcgrunt448
Posts: 4
1
Location: Wood Dale, IL

1954 12' Lifetime Aluminum Boat build

Post by rcgrunt448 »

This past Saturday I picked up another Lifetime/Reynolds boat. Got it in a small town north of Kalamazoo, MI. Boat was built by Miller Boat Co. in Charlevoix, MI. Relatively decent shape but some of the rivets along the 3 hull strakes are loose and leaking. Another project. Just a few pictures of the boat. All the details seem to match the Neuenfeldt & Dickmann of Grafton, WI boat. Kind of confirms for me that Reynolds made the pieces and sold them to small boat builders to assemble and market.
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