Once you have reviewed the brochure collection and have narrowed down you options or are still unsure, try these techniques:
Step 1. Look for the Lake 'n Sea sticker or metal nameplate on either or both sides of the boat near the stern. The stickers are from the 1957 Chris-Craft era (266 boats were manufactured) AND 1958 Parsons Corporation era. Also, look at the windshield bracket to make sure it is NOT a triangle shape and that the windshield lacks a strip around it (see below):
Identifying a Lake 'n Sea boat is quite easy and can be fun if you use the Brochureslink to compare your boat to the original brochures and a few other techniques.
Step 2. If those pieces are missing, which is not unusual, try the manufacturer's plate which should be located in the front cockpit, usually on the starboard side. If it is there, it will either say Parsons Corporation or Michigan Fiberglass Company (see below):
Step 3. If those techniques do not work then check out the transom. The transom on the boat is one of two designs with a cool Don Goodland designed louvered transom or not. See below:
The non-louvered transom was used by the original LakenSea Boat Corporation (1956-1957), Chris-Craft (1957) and Parsons Corporation (1958) and the 15' Biscayne model during 1959, for some reason. Maybe John Parsons could not bear to do away with the original design in his 9 boat line up. If you have a non-louvered transom then you must look for either a small plate with numbers on the inside of the transom or numbers stamped into the transom protector piece that the outboard motor rests.
If you have a louvered transom then you have either a Parsons Corporation (1959-1961) model of a Michigan Fiberlgass (1961-1963) model, for sure. Then you must look for the nameplate differences or the manufacturer's plate information. We have no idea which of the nine models built by Parsons Corporation were sold to Michigan Fiberglass. John Parsons was quoted only saying that they sold the company and the molds. Factory photographs of the Michigan Fiberglass Company plant in Holland, Michigan, look to be Caribbean and maybe Arrowhead models, but we are not sure.
Step 4. If the previous three steps do not help you in identifying your boat as a Lake 'n Sea then contact us at email@example.com and will work with you do so.
These two manufacturer's plates are actually ONE plate, just flipped! The left plate is not stamped with a hull number while the right one is! (hull #5038). Parsons Corporation must have sold extra blank plates with the molds and or finished boats. In another case (see below) the boat has BOTH plates on it. The Parsons Corporation plate is mounted on the starboard side while the stamped Michigan Fiberglass Company plate is mounted on the port side. Since Michigan Fiberglass made boats for Parsons in 1960 (the last four numbers up to 999 were made in Traverse City by Parsons and numbers 1000-on were made by Michigan Fiberlglass Company but still sold under the Parsons name).
If you are lucky enough to find a manufacturer's plate from, either company, then you should look for stamped hull numbers on the plate. I have not found one boat, yet, that had the hull numbers stamped anywhere else, except for the Biscayne model, which is stamped on the transom protector where the outboard motor would rest or inside the transom on a small metal plate. Most likely both companies opted to make the boats and then stamp them once they had been ordered or sold just in case they had to hold them over to the next model year, when they would stamp the hull with a different year number, at least that is the case with the Parsons Corporation built boats. If your boat's hull number starts with a "9" then it was built in the 1959 or the last months of 1958 for inclusion the 1959 model year, just like car manufactures do (14' Caribbean = 9475 #### or 16’ Arrowhead = 9575 ####. If it starts in a "0" then it was built in 1960 or the last part of 1959 (16' Arrowhead = 0575 ####. One instance seems to prove that they also made at least one model in 1961, a 15' Biscayne, with a Parsons Corporation manufactures plate and nameplate has been documented with the hull number 10932168. This information comes right from the Blue Book for outboard boats, 1963, which also lists, as does a boating magazine article from 1960, the four models made that year. They included: 15' Biscayne, lengthened 15' Caribbean, lengthened 17' Arrowhead and lengthened 19' Saratoga. The fishing boats must have been discontinued as was the Grand Traverse. Only one had been made and it was sold to a dealer at the 1959 New York Boat Show, never to be seen again.
No listing for Michigan Fiberglass Company was found, but the do have a numbering system you can use. It appears that they simply numbered their hulls as they were made with no particular system other than simply sequential (examples include #5038, #7015 and #7026). That makes it simple to identify, but does not give a particular year for you to date your boat. Other than they made boats, for sure, in 1961, your boat could date anywhere from 1961-1963 when they sold the business to Grand Rapids-based Molded Products Company.
If you see a Lake 'n Sea metal nameplate look for the Parsons Corporation in small letters below the logo. If you don't see that name then you have a 1961-1963 Michigan Fiberglass Company era boat since they used the same nameplate style, but deleted the corporation for obvious reasons. Also, look at the windshield bracket to make sure it is a triangle shape and that the windshield has a strip around it (see below). Factory memos from Parsons Corporation list the windshields used on their boats as N.A. Taylor Company, Inc. of Gloversville, New York (Model 272FV and later Model 7217).
Mike Fogarty's 1960 14' Caribbean was sold under the Parsons Corporation name, but made by Michigan Fiberglass Company, while they were under contract with Parsons. His hull# is 0475-1036, making it the only known Lake n' Sea to survive under this arrangement.