1954 Penn Yan Captivator Preservation: Spray Rails On!

Finally! The spray rail milestone was among our most challenging in our preservation of this wonderful little 1954 Penn Yan Captivator.

John began with 8/4, air-dried, FAS grade white oak and then fabricated a pair of almost 17-foot-long spray rail blanks the cross-section of which matched her decayed, too-far-gone-for-saving original rails.

Next came the steam-bending challenge, which began with soaking the blanks by standing them in a 12 foot x 8” PVC tube standing upright for three weeks. We shared our successful initial bending and installation of the rails in an earlier clip.

We left them on the hull until our moisture meter read 10%, then came endless hand sanding and final fitting of the ever-changing angles so that the rails set tightly against the hull.

We bleached them with Klean-Strip Wood Bleach and then stained them with Sandusky Chris Craft Corina Blonde stain, which will also be applied to the half-round rub rails we have been able to save. Two coats of CPES were followed by an initial coat of varnish.

Today, bedded in 3M5200, John and RJ installed them permanently.

We will spend the balance of today installing the mid-deck seat supports and the coaming that encircles the gunwales and both cockpits.

Two coats of varnish have been applied to the decks, topsides and transom at this point. Once the coaming is installed, sealed and stained – yes, in place, we will continue varnishing until she presents a deep gloss.

She could be home in time to celebrate July 4th with her owners! Let’s hope.