Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Little Old Penn Yan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Little Old Penn Yan

    Hello all! I just picked up a 1948 Penn Yan fourteen footer and I have some questions for the experts! First off, here is the rig:






    And the motor: (which you could eat out of)




    I have grown up with wooden boats, including an 18' 1960 Thompson Sea Lancer and a wooden rowboat salvaged from the bottom of a northern Maine lake, but this little Penn Yan is throwing me for a loop!

    The wood itself is in remarkably great shape. The boat lived most of its life indoors, suspended from the ceiling between two fire hoses in a garage. It did spend its last few winters outside, tarped and sheltered under a deck, so it didn't have direct contact with the elements. The varnish is good, but the red paint on the bottom half of the hull needed a refresher, so we hauled it in the garage. Well, it didn't like being out of the weather and promptly dried out, and suddenly you could see garage floor through the bottom planks! After removing my heart from my throat, we put it outside to see if would swell up again in a little rain, which it did, and soon we were pumping water out of it. We pulled the windshield off and with some neighbor's help, flipped it and brought it back inside after a very good sanding.

    We didn't strip the boat, but took whatever red paint that wanted to go, off, and left the rest alone. It's been in the garage now a little over two weeks and already its drying back out and you can see some of the seams separating again. I know wooden boats are dynamic, but I've never seen anything swell/contract like this! We put a little boat-life in the seams and let it dry up for about 10 days before giving it another good sanding. There is a lot of raw wood exposed, so a little internet research led me to the product Old Salem, which said was good to use as a sealer of raw wood (and equally good as a primer). I've always used Pettit EasyPoxy for painting my little rowboat, so I ordered a can of red/white and sure enough right on the can it also suggests priming/sealing with this Pettit Old Salem.

    So we cleaned the boat real well after its last sanding and put a coat of the old Salem on. The boat looked wonderful, but boy is that wood thirsty! It sucked that product right up. We gave it a few days to properly dry, another light sanding to rough it up, and my husband took a day off from work to paint the red. We used the EasyPoxy Topside Red on it since this boat won't live in the water, and I really didn't see the need to go with a heavy duty bottom paint. I've used the white for years on my rowboat, both topside and under the water line, with no issues whatsoever.

    Well I get home the next day after he painted it to put what I thought was going to be the second (and last) red coat of paint, and to my horror the paint didn't seem to be sticking in places! There were big air bubbles in the paint. I took a razor blade and cut into one thinking maybe the paint hadn't fully cured, but it was dry as a bone under the bubble, it just didn't stick. I opened the can of red paint and found it to be extremely watery. I compared it to the other cans of Easypoxy I had (a white and a brown) and the texture of the red wasn't even close to the other two. They were like very warm molasses, still liquid but with a little resistance. The red is literally like water.

    I called the company I purchased it from and they're sending me a different can of red from a different batch to see if it's any different. Is it possible there is something wrong with the paint? Does anyone have any suggestions about priming the boat? Did I mess something up during the prep?

    I'd really like to get this thing in the water by July! And I REALLY don't want to strip the whole thing down to the bare wood if I don't have to. Does anyone have any ideas on helping keep the 65 year old wood hydrated and expanded (and therefor, watertight?) I am investing in a battery operated bilge pump in addition to my hand pump, just in case (not that this thing has a bilge). The gentleman I purchased it from said he used it all last summer with no issues!

    Thanks for any tips/tricks you all might have!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    I am not sure about the sticking problems (sounds like an amine blush issue:http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedL...romPage=GetDoc) but I would be reluctant to paint a traditional wooden boat with easypoxy.
    the poly urethane paints are hard wearing but not as flexible as enamels, and may check given the wood movement that is inevitable with wetting/drying.

    Very nice looking boat, good luck
    I live in penn yan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    northeast Ohio
    Posts
    943

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    That boat looks to be in exceptional condition. Congrats on scoring that one.
    Is there any chance there was any silicone on the bottom there? Paint won't want to stick to silicone.
    Or maybe your paint was frozen previously?
    "That's a fine looking pair of oars you got there, Sir"

    " 'em aint 'ores --- that's me wife and me daughter! "


    http://stickupsharpie.wordpress.com/

    http://gunningdory.wordpress.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountian lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    5,222

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Beautiful boat!. To find one in that condition is amazing. I'm using the exact same products on the glued-lapstrake boat I'm now building. It's marine occume ply, so different from your wood, which is probably cedar. I think a lot of those boats were covered with canvas. I'm not having any problems, but I do notice that the easypoxy is very watery. Much more than other paints I've used. Every thin coats are recommended. Good luck with it and welcome to the Forum.
    Last edited by Rich Jones; 06-22-2013 at 07:07 AM.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountian lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    5,222

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Thinking about it some more and I'm wondering if the original red paint was water or oil based. If water based, that might/might not be a problem. I had an old PennYan and wooded the entire hull. Lot's of work but worth it. If it's really old paint, use a good respirator in case of lead. Edited to add: by original red paint, I mean what's on the boat now. It certainly isn't original to 1948!
    Last edited by Rich Jones; 06-22-2013 at 07:23 AM.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    Posts
    1,230

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    If you are interested in doing an authentic resto of your boat, learn the name of that particular model, etc. I recommend this site
    http://www.pennyanbbs.org/index.php
    There is also an excellent book available on the Penn Yan boats giving the construction methods of each model. Penn Yan experimented with a variety of methods over the years, some quite innovative. Before I did much with the boat I would learn all I could about it, how it was built and so on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    The boat is a 1948 "Seatback Challenger." I consider myself super lucky to have found it in the shape it's in! The gentleman I purchased it from knew it's whole history (it spent it's entire life in one place it seems!). He even had a picture of his wife and her best friend in the boat when they were around 4 years old!

    We gave it another good sanding last week and primed it this time with Interlux Pre-Kote. Boy did that help a ton! I don't want to put down the Old Salem that was recommended on the Pettit can, but I don't think that stuff helped at all. I put a little of it on the bare wood spots then primed over that. The first cote of Easypoxy went on great, although that red is really watery. I wouldn't suggest anyone use it, honestly, but I had already forked over the money for it so I didn't want to buy another can of a different brand. We gave that light sand and gave it a final coat of red. Interestingly, the second coat got some bubbles in spots, but at this rate, I want to use the boat, so I'm going to let them slide. I read that sometimes big temperature swings can cause the paint to bubble, and we painted at 7am in the morning Sunday when it was still in the upper 60s, but by the end of the day it was probably 100 degrees in the garage.

    We got the old impeller out of the motor this weekend and replaced with a new one. That engine continues to amaze me, it was so well taken care of. The 6 volt battery it needs, however, is ridiculous! That thing weighs a TON. Got a new one this weekend as well so there's a CHANCE (fingers crossed) the boat might be able to see some water this weekend!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    13,434

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Get a friend in a chase boat for photos, as you can't get much from the dock. Looking great!
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    Posts
    1,230

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    I am wondering if your boat is a Challenger. Here is a page from a catalog showing the Challenger models and none have the center deck like yours.
    http://slawecki.com/Penn%20Yan/1949%...hallengers.jpg
    On the transom knee there should be a serial number stamped into the top edge. It should begin with HLS or WLS for Challenger models.
    I acquired an old Penn Yan Aristocrat that was billed as a Swift, a check of the serial number told a different story.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Actually if you look at pg 24 in that catalog ( http://slawecki.com/Penn%20Yan/1949%...challenger.jpg ) in the lower right of the page with the Aristocrats you'll see the Challenger listed, models CHS and CHL. I was incorrect with the name seatback, I confused it with "Center Deck Challenger." I'm going to fire off an email to Penn Yan with that number in the stern to be sure, but I'm almost positive that's what this boat it. The colors are correct (the white and red) as are the handles. Also, in the stern, the decking doesn't wrap around like what's pictured on the Aristocrat. It stops where it meets the gunwales, just like in Challenger model pictured! I'll have to re-check that number when I get home from work, I never snapped a picture of it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountian lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    5,222

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    My old PennYan's motor also amazed me. It was a 1959 35hp Gale. The boat hadn't been used in years and it started right up. A total stinkpot gas-guzzler, but it always ran. After restoring the boat, I stored it for eight years, never using or starting it. Upon selling the boat, I had to start it up for the buyer. That old workhorse started like it had been running yesterday.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    Posts
    1,230

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Quote Originally Posted by PennYan48 View Post
    Actually if you look at pg 24 in that catalog ( http://slawecki.com/Penn%20Yan/1949%...challenger.jpg ) in the lower right of the page with the Aristocrats you'll see the Challenger listed, models CHS and CHL. I was incorrect with the name seatback, I confused it with "Center Deck Challenger." I'm going to fire off an email to Penn Yan with that number in the stern to be sure, but I'm almost positive that's what this boat it. The colors are correct (the white and red) as are the handles. Also, in the stern, the decking doesn't wrap around like what's pictured on the Aristocrat. It stops where it meets the gunwales, just like in Challenger model pictured! I'll have to re-check that number when I get home from work, I never snapped a picture of it.
    Ah, there it is, hiding under my Aristocrat. Do you suppose the windshield was an option? If so that was a nice catch. The catalog shows grab handles on the transom of the Aristocrat but mine has none and there are no holes either where handle might have been removed. I don't believe I will ever restore mine mainly because I cannot imagine using it what with five other boats mostly sitting waiting while i use the two I like best.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    It says in the description of the Aristocrat that the bow/stern lifting handles were standard equipment, so that's odd yours doesn't have them! I have the handles in the stern but none on the bow, with no holes suggesting its prior existence. I'm not sure about the windshield but I do think it's original to the boat, as I noticed the hardware is all bronze (screws included)! I work at a precision metal shop and was thinking about taking all the hardware in and throwing it in our tumbler to take off the flaking chrome and expose the bronze. I could always get it re-chromed but I like how the bronze looks. I'm not sure if the light on the bow is original though (although its hardware was also bronze). When we took it off to flip the boat upside down I was disappointed to find that its only for show. The cable was coiled up inside the fixture and there was no hole through the decking so it's not able to connect to a power source to light. Not that I have any plans on taking it out at night, but it would be fun to have the light illuminated. I may, MAY work up the nerve to drill the hole so I can connect it, but we'll see. If it's a terrible idea, please let me know!

    We actually just recruited our very helpful and understanding neighbors to flip it back on its belly and get it back on the trailer! I just need a coat of white topside and to update the registration numbers and it's good to go! It shrunk up a bit in the garage so I was thinking of putting some damp towels in it the next few days to help swell it up again. If anyone has any better suggestions on how to achieve this, they would be greatly appreciated!

    And I really don't know where "seatback" Challenger came from LOL. My mind is making stuff up again! I guess that's what I get for posting at 8am without having had my coffee!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    Posts
    1,230

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    I think that there was no bow handle on the Challenger in the pic in the catalog. I am pretty sure that Penn Yan was pretty flexible with options. If you plan to use the boat on waters patrolled by the Coast Guard or similar organization you will need to comply with regs like nav lights, fire ext. PFDs etc. I understand your desire to enjoy the bronze but if you want an authentic resto you might want to rechrome. All of the metal on my Aristocrat wsa chrom plated too. If you are fixing it up with no intention of showing it (as is the case for most folks) then bronze by all means. I wish I could get excited about restoring mine.
    Where are you BTW?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    I'm not too worried about a 100% Authentic restoration, and I doubt I'll ever show it. Re-chroming is also expensive lol! The hardware would have to be tumbled and cleaned prior anyway, so I'm thinking about just trying and see how it looks. If it looks awful then I'll re-chrome.

    I'm in Connecticut. The boat only needs functional nav lights if I'm to use it after hours. I already have a small mountain of PFDs and a fire extinguisher which we're making a nice mahogany bracket to mount it too. I still need to pick up a horn (doesn't have to be an air horn). We had to take a safe boating class here in CT in order to get a license so they talk about all that stuff you need. 99.99999% is all common sense :-)

    We stuffed the boat with big beach towels this morning and poured a little water on them to try and swell it up over the next few days. There was a little water dripping out of a seam we watched open a bit when it was upside down in the garage. I'm going to be ordering a battery operated bilge pump today in addition to the hand pump we already have LOL. I'm hoping they have bilge pumps that can run off a 6V battery. It did this before though when we first got it, and a few weeks outside in the rain swelled it right back up.

    I remember the first run of the season in my father's old 1960 Thompson and watching the water practically pour in the boat! It was always so alarming, but it was always back to normal after a day or two.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    NH, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Quote Originally Posted by PennYan48 View Post
    We got the old impeller out of the motor this weekend and replaced with a new one. That engine continues to amaze me, it was so well taken care of. The 6 volt battery it needs, however, is ridiculous! That thing weighs a TON. Got a new one this weekend as well so there's a CHANCE (fingers crossed) the boat might be able to see some water this weekend!
    My grandfather had this same motor in a 5 1/2 horse size. We believed it to be a 1952 as I recall. It was very impressive; Always started and ran, and we could turn her so slow you could watch the prop turn. We spent countless hours trolling for white perch in Lake Winnisquam. It eventually came to me and my brother. It still runs great today having never been rebuilt in the 40+ years that we have used it. I hope you're as happy with yours.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,011

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Wonderful!!! Congratulations!!

    Andreas is the man for this kind of boat...he'll no doubt be along shortly. Good luck!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,011

    Default Re: Little Old Penn Yan

    Quote Originally Posted by chohm View Post
    I am not sure about the sticking problems (sounds like an amine blush issue:http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedL...romPage=GetDoc) but I would be reluctant to paint a traditional wooden boat with easypoxy.
    What! Easypoxy is fine on traditional boats.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •