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!