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cartopper and other projects

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Small Craft' started by Rick L, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Rick L

    Rick L Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I went to an auction last weekend, bought some boats and wished I could have taken more.

    one is a Penn Yan Cartopper WXH 516552 - according to the Dragonfly site
    "Two or three letters followed by 3 or 5 digits is typical,"
    "Dating: Sometimes (apparently only in the second half of any given decade) the first two digits of the serial number are the year built,"
    so- is 1951 the date?

    overall, its not too bad, it has been fiberglassed, but very good ribs, a crack in an outwale and some rodent damage, its missing the oar lock sockets and one seat bracket. I did get all the part for the floor rack. over all, a good project boat. does anyone know what the waterproofing Penn Yan used on the canvas was. An old catalog refers to it as covered in "8 oz pyroxylin processed canvas".



    and also brought home a couple Keuka trout boats
    a one seater -it has also been glassed


    and longer one, a real project boat - some work was already done to stabilize it, and most of the parts that have been removed were saved. There is lots to be done, but if I can handle it, I should end up with a beautiful rowing boat out of this hull.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  2. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Pyroxylin is basically nitrocellulose, which was used in aircraft dopes. Penn Yan adopted many aircraft technologies in their boatbuilding following WW2 where they were involved with airplane manufacturing.
  3. OP
    Rick L

    Rick L Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thanks Dan, I assumed with the listed weights there wasn't a heavy filler used.
  4. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Probably a 1951. The transom appears to be plywood, which PY started about that time. The boat has a few add-ons; full length spray rails and interior backers, keelson, bilge keelson, and transom/ inwale knees. Probably lots of cracked ribs under the added bilge keelson.
  5. OP
    Rick L

    Rick L Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Gil

    I know the what the spray rails and knees are and did not see them in old catalog pictures, - educate me on "keelson, bilge keelson, " which parts are they.

    I am not concerned about replacing ribs, (or parts), in comparison, that longer trout boat needs almost all the ribs and at least 25% of the planking and all the decking replaced (the seats are good :D )

    I bought the boats because I had fun rebuilding my OT sailing canoe, and went looking for projects. And I spent about as much in gas for the 150 mile round trip to get the cartopper as I did for the boat.
  6. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    The wooden strips from the stem to the transom, and the the strip running lengthwise on the right side are not original. The strips under the seats from front to back are not original either. ( for all sailors; right is starboard on the water, but for us landlubbers, right is right!)
  7. OP
    Rick L

    Rick L Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thanks a lot Gil,

    I took another look at the old catalogs on line, I see there were no strips on the bottom originally

    the left most one is already out and the ribs are ok there, however this does mean additional screw holes through narrow ribs.

    Like I said, bought it for a project (the longer I work on this one this the longer I don't mention getting another boat to my wife :D ). I wonder if someone added all this to stiffen the boat to try and use a bigger outboard. the WXH was rated for 4 or 5 hp.

    I appreciate the help
  8. OP
    Rick L

    Rick L Curious about Wooden Canoes

    i have finally found some time to start on the first boat and have removed the incorrect add-ons and started removing the fiberglass (much of it never adhered)

    it looks like I will have just a little planking and maybe several ribs (few broken - but a lot of holes drilled for the additions) -

    BUT- here is the question

    does anyone know for a fact which type of cedar was used for the planking and for the ribs on the Penn Yan Cartoppers - 1951 vintage

    the catalogs simply say cedar planking and ribs- but not which type of cedar

    a search on the Penn Yan board gave no clear answer some say red - some white (but not which white - northern or atlantic - which are different woods)

    the trim is listed as fir - and it seems to be the consensus that it is douglas fir.


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