1928 Penn Yan Ceestepper, looking for guidance in restoration

I picked up an early racing step hydro built by Penn Yan. It was framed out in spruce (I think) with cedar planking and then covered in canvas.

The canvas is long gone and some planking is broken and/or missing, but structurally, it’s mostly there.

What’s not there is the support structure for the bow. It looks to me that someone removed the bow covering and built in a seat, maybe after this boat’s racing days were over?

I’m looking for guidance in rebuilding the bow cover support.

The Ceestepper was a famous boat in its day, winning the Albany to NYC race on the Hudson and other races around the world.

Despite their prominence, there aren’t many of them left. The Finger Lakes Boating Museum has two restored examples. I’ve tried contacting them to see if I could get info but no response. I’d love to go there and take some “upskirt” photos from underneath the deck but it’s quite a ride from my home in Maine.

I’m wondering if anyone from the Woody Boater community might know someone who knows someone who knows something about these boats and can guide me in reconstructing the bow? I’m also interested in seeing other examples or learning more about these boats in general. Thanks for any Woody Boater intel.

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David: I am reaching out to a friend in that area who has some knowledge of Penn Yan.

More contact information may be helpful.

David I wish I could help you out but its out of my wheelhouse. However I will say that it is an awesome project and I hope you get some help here…good luck.

FLBM is closed for the season now, and I doubt Ed Wightman, who, with his wife are the driving forces of this incredible museum.
Suggestion: Become a member. It is inexpensive, $35/year, I believe and you will gain all manner of access and friendship,
I’ve seen both boats and they are all you need to get the requisite lines and related details.
I am certain Ed, who bleeds preserving antique and classic wooden power and sailboats, will be happy to help you.
URL: https://www.flbm.org/ - The home page includes membership material.
Email: collections@flbm.org.

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Thanks for the suggestions and for the interest. I wish I could track down the people who restored those boats at the FLBM.

Michael, I looked at the FLBM website and it suggests the museum is open daily, 10;00 to 4:00. I sent an inquiry to the email you provided. Thanks, -David


Ed very likely knows who restored them. My wife and I recently donated a 1951 Penn Yan President “Stern-Engine-Drive” runabout to FLBM that we had fully restored. Ed and I spent a long conversation going over all the details of our work.

Even more, it is possible FLBM restored one or more of them. Edd’s email address begins with “collections” for a very good reason. He gets elbows-deep in most, if not all of FLBM’s restoration activity.



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I heard back from Ed this afternoon. He seems eager to help. Thanks for the lead, Michael.