1951 Penn Yan 18′ Traveler Transport Deconstruction Update

According to Bob Speltz, The Real Runabouts, Vol. 6, pages 213, 214, “Four eighteen-foot models were offered in 1951, Traveler-Transport ($2,511), Traveler-Challenger ($2,578) Traveler-President ($2,892) and Traveler-Aristocraft ($2,927). All are stern-engined inboards.

“Penn Yan inboards with the front seat loaded to capacity and the stern seat empty, and ignition switched off at full speed to drag the propeller, will instantly lift its nose and settle into the water like a duck. A Penn Yan takes a wide-open throttle from a standing start. It lifts its nose instantly and “gets up and out of the wet” in a hurry. Penn Yans were also easy to steer; with the engine and rudder mounted so far aft, the constant fight of the rudder just disappeared.

“…The stern engine arrangement used by Penn Yan was used ever since 1932… Each Penn Yan inboard came equipped with a safety strut which was one-piece bronze casting attached to the transom carrying both the prop shaft and rudder stock … (The stern engine arrangement) has the effect of (adding) boat length behind the motor without hull buoyancy in that position, and that produced running characteristics that were hard to believe.

“… 1951 model Penn Yan inboard … (bottoms) were painted Chinese red to waterline… and upholstered in Chinese red Russaloid…Transports had cushions on driver’s seat only, with other cushions and backs offered as optional equipment.”

George Kirby Jr. Paint Co. Inc.’s Web site offers custom mixed “Penn Yan Chinese Red”, which I ordered. What!!!! Imagine my shock when it arrived. The paint was quite orange.

George was perplexed, “It must be I mixed the wrong color, or the card I received from some owner is wrong. Send me a piece of your color card and we will make it right.”

The surely dead-on Chinese Red paint arrived yesterday. Today I stripped the transom, hoping her owners simply applied new bottom paint over old, including the original coating. They did.

I reached for the Circa 1850 Heavy Body Paint and Varnish Remover and went to work. Yep the original bottom paint way down against the wood remained and rolled off.

ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What I found matches George’s “Penn Yan Chinese Red” exactly.

George graciously enjoyed a light moment. I will keep the PANTONE Chinese Red, such a beautiful color it is, and George’s Penn Yan Chinese Red will be applied to the bottom.

My challenge now is finding a source of Penn Yan Chinese Red Russialoid upholstery fabrics for the cushions and seat backs!

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