“What’s in the Shop?” Wednesdays – October 30

Things are very busy here in the shop.  Today we are featuring a nice little and quite rare runabout, a 1951 Penn Yan 16′ inboard.


This is a twin forward cockpit boat powered by a GrayMarine 4-75.  The most unique feature of this boat is the “safety strut”, essentially an L shaped bracket mounted to the transom that has the strut cast into it and also functions as a bracket for the rudder, which comes out of the transom on a steep angle.


The sides are double planked; inside, a four inch board fastened to steam bent ribs – outside is narrow strip plank that is nailed to the ribs.  The decks are also copper nailed to the sawn deck frames.


The boat was recently acquired by new owners.  The finish on the decks was peeling up and the boat suffered from some neglect over the years.  The sides needed varnish and some touch up.  And the new owners wanted their choice of name on the transom and New York registration numbers.

We stripped the decks with chemical stripper.  Many of the copper nails were proud or close to flush, so a nail set was used to sink them below the level of the planking.  Then the decks were lightly sanded fair with 80 grit by hand.  To help raise the grain and produce a more even stain color, the decks were then bleached with a two part bleach.

rough sand 1

rough sand 2

Once the bleach was thoroughly dry, the decks were stained.  The main decks were brown, the covering boards were blond.  We used Interlux brown mahogany stain for the decks and Sandusky Natural stain for the covering boards.  After the stain was dry, about a day later, we sprayed thinned varnish to lock the stain into the wood without disturbing it.  When the seal coat was dry, full strength varnish was applied via the roll and tip method.

We are about six coats into the refinish and the decks are starting to fill in nicely.



The sides will get varnished, waterline and bottom painted, and the proud owner’s new name will grace the transom.

Stay tuned for more…