1959 Penn Yan Magellen Restoration Questions

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by gillam77, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. gillam77
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Maine

    gillam77 Junior Member

    Project Status
    I have sourced the above mentioned boat and have mainly dismantled and determined in some sense what will be needed structurally to restore this boat. Let it be know that I have some experience in almost all non-mechanical boat maintenance though I certainly consider myself an amateur.

    Boat Construction
    Lap strake plywood on oak frames. A 1 1/2" mahogany gunwale that is screwed through each rib (at the gunwale) into a 3 3/16" X 1 5/8" spruce.

    Question 1
    The spruce gunwales have rotted at the forward end. What type of wood should I use? (Dimensions above) I intend to epoxy ¼” mahogany or ¼” teak and mahogany on top.

    Question 2
    The previous owner butchered the transom so as to put a short shaft motor onto the boat. I intend to repair to its original height. The transom consists of two layers of ¾” mahogany plywood. I have cut back one layer of plywood around the entire butchered area by about 4” enable to overlay the joints. Using West System, I plan on laminating the two layers of the same material with the 4” overlap. I also plan on drilling for hardwood dowels also using West System. The question being… are the dowels necessary or will their be sufficient strength? There will be a 90hp outboard.

    Question 3
    There are three adjacent oak ribs that appear to have dry rot. They have cracks that appear like extremely gone bad, to weather wood. Is putting in sister ribs a good solution? What are the best bonding mechanisms and other resources for learning how to render such a repair?

    Question 4
    The plywood in the bilge has rot, likely though the at least the first laminate. What is the best way to revert further damage? Should I remove all soft wood and then epoxy, or “seal” the wood in some other manner?

    Question 5
    What are some sources to identify and source original or knock off hardware? I also may have identified part of the serial number from the transom and want to try and confirm it.

    Thanks everyone in advance. This is my first post.

    Matt
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Without pulling out any books, Penn Yan continuously changed building processes, throughout their life span. We'll go with your description for now.

    1 - Spruce is fairly available in your area. White pine would also be a fair substitute. Scarf in a repair.

    2 - I would strongly recommend you redo the transom, rather then patch it as you've described. The torque and strain a transom must tolerate will test your joints, every time you throttle up and it would have me sweating each time. Transoms aren't that tough. Though with a lapped boat, there's plenty of angles to pick up, but much of this could be handled with epoxy if desired.

    On a boat like this I wouldn't recommend epoxy, except as a localized glue. Between the transom layers is fine, but not to attach the transom to the planking. The idea being, you want to be able to remove the transom for renewal and rebedding. If it's epoxied in, then you have to destroy stuff just to get it out.

    3 - The cracks you're seeing are common on this type of build method and it's caused by changes in moisture content. You can sister them, but this usually just results in breaking up more of the old ribs as you attempt to drive screws into them. The better repair is a scarfed in or laminated repair (see attached).

    4 - Plywood rot can be deceiving, dig at the outer veneer and see how bad it is. Usually it's worse then it appears. Epoxy can help, but the bad wood need to be replaced.

    5 - Thee are a few "groups" for these boats and some books too. A search should reveal several options. Record keeping on these old boats is a crap shoot. You might have luck, but more often then not you'll find just the basics.

    6 - Welcome aboard . . .
     

    Attached Files:

  3. gillam77
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Maine

    gillam77 Junior Member

    Thank You PAR.

    New problem. Removal of the last floor panel has revealed a former repair that was not thought out well...

    It appears that on the starboard quarter there was some sort of damage to plywood floor. Someone had put oak ribs in between each existing rib, put all kinds of rubber like substance then bridge the entire area with a peace of plywood. They had screwed down and up through the hull. The hull also seems to have resin or epoxy in this area. Perhaps needless to say. After removing the patch, this section of plywood has rotted all the way throught to the epoxy.

    I understand that this plank or peice of plywood should be replaced. I am afraid the boat may not be worth the expense of farming it out and/or such a project is beyond the ability of a novice at me. Is this boat still viable for restoration or am I now over my head?

    Are there other alternatives that may make sense? I hate the idea but maybe figerglass the bottom of the boat, or laminate another piece of plywood over the bottom?

    Feeling a bit defeated, though I suppose that is the fun of these things too.

    Thanks in advance for anyones suggestions.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Without pictures of your "issues" it's difficult to understand what is going on.

    Penn Yan's are valued and loved around the country, having quite a following. Restored versions of your boat sell for thousands.

    Most of the time, thee will be several repairs and other sins bestowed on the old gal during her life. The best thing you can do it sort out the issues and repair them properly.

    This often means rib replacement, plank replacement, etc. Trying to save worn out elements is usually a worthless endeavor, so don't try. Planking is a consumable item, just like a car's oil filter. It wears out and needs to be replaced. Forcing it to stay on the boat longer then it should just causes leaks, broken frames, etc.

    In your area there are hundreds of small boat shops and restoration businesses. They'll instantly recognize what she is and the likely issues she has.

    Get some photos posted so we can have a look at what ill's she has.
     
  5. gillam77
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Maine

    gillam77 Junior Member

    Pictures Attached

    I've attached a photo of my transom repair. Perhaps it should be replaced if a plank must be.

    The pictures with the plywood repairs to the hull were pulled of toward the starboard, forward end. In that spot you can see where I've dug down looking for anything solid. Nothing until you get down to the exterior epoxy.

    A have also posted a picture of the rotted gunawale.

    Recommendations? How much would it likely cost to replace a plank in a lap strack boat. I'm assuming thousands even if I do everything I can to prepare and put thing back and coatings and all.

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, pretty much what I expected. In simple terms, she needs to be rebuilt.

    The turn of the bilge aft, will likely have 70% or so frame breakage. This is common in powerboats shaped like this.

    I see foam in a can under that piece of plywood, which will have trapped moisture against the planking (read rot). There are also some things I don't understand, likely previous efforts to repair her.

    In short, you need to pull the garboards, the turn of the bilge plank(s) and the sheer strakes. This will offer access to the ribs, the side deck under pinnings, sheer clamp/shelf, frame heads, frame heels, etc. Then start making molds to bend or laminate repairs or full ribs.

    Of course this assumes you can wedge, brace and cuss the hull back into reasonable shape, so that templates of frame locations are accurate and not depicting broken frame distortions.

    I've seen very few novices able to perform these tasks, but this isn't to say it can't be done.

    Your transom repair would rip right out unless you put a 5 HP outboard back there. You might have had a chance if you'd scrafed in the repair pieces, but those butt joints will just not do, regardless of adhesive employed.

    Lapstrake repairs are fairly specialized. This is because of the way the planks are shaped and attached. It's not especially hard work, but it does require some familiarity with the techniques. How to get these skills? Well, you pay attention to an old fart while he does several boats (that's how I learned). I don't know of a single book that covers these types of repairs. Now, I'm the old fart and I do have a few paying attention to some of my projects, but I'm not going to Maine, so forget it. Hell, I get upset when it drops into the 50's down here. I'd die pretty quickly up there.

    For what it's worth a guy that's got some lap experience can sort out your boat's ills in a month or two. You're probably looking at all new bottom planks, rib repairs/replacement, sheer clamp replacement, rub rail replacement, side deck repairs and a few other assorted "tasks", not to mention new finishes.
     
  7. gillam77
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Maine

    gillam77 Junior Member

    Thanks again PAR. The subject of your response was expected. While this has become more of an undertaking than I originally expected, I suspect trying to source another similiar boat will only reveal similiar issues of size and scope.

    The repair in the bilge appears to be from an impact such as going up on the rocks. Just inches from the repair, the ribs and plywood are in pretty good condition. (See attached picture) The repair appears to have at least done well at transfering the load as there are very few broken ribs. Clearly removing the the rest of the repair will reveal rotten ribs and planking. A short sighted repair.

    Being in Maine throught the network, I know of people I can talk to interms of finding someone with lapstrake experience, that may be hard up for work. I really hope I can find a future for this boat, though its a real tight budget.

    Thanks for all of your help,
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It's not hard work and you can probably do it, but you will need guidance.
     
  9. gillam77
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Maine

    gillam77 Junior Member

    Status Update

    We hired a local unemployed boat builder to work on the project three days a week.

    The gross repair, that trapped the moisture turns out could not have been there long. The wood had minimal rot under the repair as well as the enite bilge. The top laminate of the plywood was scraped away. Buns were placed in all of the previous screw holes. A vaneer has been epoxyed were the original repair had been.

    The hull is sanded below the waterline and ready to be filled and faired. Ribs are being steamed this week. Probably 15 ribs will be replaced.

    Thought you might like to hear that an other old wooden boat is being saved.
     

  10. GG
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: MICH

    GG offshore artie

    Funny thing many years ago my parents would ship off to my aunt & uncles place where i would sweep floors at the Penn Yan Boat Co for the summer .
     
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