1953 Penn Yan Swift CZT Filling & Fairing the Canvas

This 12’ 1953 Penn Yan Swift CZT, hull number CZT 251, continues to impress us with her originality and excellent condition. We have yet, and now will not, sighted any rot anywhere in the hull.

While the exterior paint could not be saved, and simply began flaking off down to the canvas as soon as we touched it with 100 grit sandpaper, her canvas is in excellent condition, is tight on both the hull and transom, and appears to be original.

We stripped the paint and filler using Jamestown’s Circa 1850 Heavy Body Paint and Varnish Remover, a process that loosened the canvas a bit as it was wetted by the stripper, but once dry, it is drum tight over the entire hull and transom.

As she is the first canvassed Penn Yan Swift we’ve preserved, I reached out to Charlie Santi, who is renowned for his preservation of Finger Lakes, NY region boats, including scores of Penn Yans, for guidance in filling and fairing the canvas Penn Yan used.

Based on his advice, we are priming the hull and its canvas with TotalBoat Topside Primer. Fairing with 3M Marine Premium Filler, followed by two to three more coats of the TotalBoat primer will complete the topcoat preparation. Her owners, who live in Seattle, WA, chose a very rich British Racing Green for her hull. As I type, George Kirby, Jr., George Kirby, Jr. Paint Company, New Bedford, MA, which is renowned for its marine paints, is custom mixing semi-gloss marine topside paint that match the owners’ choice for us. (You should think about Kirby the next time you need paint. George and his wife, Sheri, offer a wide array of modern and classic colors, and are simply fantastic to work with).

We will have her ready for topcoat painting as soon as George can get the paint to us. We will keep you in the loop as we progress toward the day we can flip her over and continue working on her decks and interior. (We have cleaned and scuff-sanded her bilge and interior hullsides, and applied the initial coats of Sikkens Cetol Marine varnish to them, but must wait until she is upright to complete these tasks.

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