The Lightning sailboat was designed by the Naval Architectural firm of Sparkman & Stephens in response to a request from John and George Barnes, owners of Skaneateles Boats, Inc. The Barnes brothers were interested in building a one-design sailboat which could be used both for racing as well as family day sailing. The two firms collaborated closely on the design of the sailboat over a two-year period, and prototype Lightning #1 (now part of the watercraft Collection at Mystic Seaport Museum) was built in 1938. The boat received an enthusiastic response from the yachting world, and production began in earnest the following year.
Lightning #167 was one of approximately 112 Lightnings built by Skaneateles Boats, Inc. in 1939, the first year of production. Records indicate that the boat was sold to Ward’s Sporting Goods Store, a dealer in Ogdensburg, New York, who in turn sold the boat to a gentleman residing in that town. She appears to have spent much of her life sailing on the St. Lawrence River, passing through a succession of owners and eventually relocating to the Finger Lakes. In 1999, #167 was donated to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum.