Penn Yan Boat Company

Years in Business
circa 1925 - circa 1990s

The Penn Yan Boat Company of Penn Yan, New York, was founded in the mid-1920s. Perhaps more well known for the outboard boats they built, the company built a variety of canvas covered canoes, and a fair number survive today. The company ceased building wood boats and canoes in the early 1960s, switching instead to all fiberglass production. No records are known to survive.

Identifying Features
  • Unique deck profiles
  • Presence of Reed & Prince screws fastening the seats and thwarts are usually indicative of Penn Yan canoes.
Serial Numbering

Serial Number Format: Two or three letters followed by 3 or 5 digits is typical, there are variations. In some cases the first two letters indicate the model, in other cases the first letter indicates model and the second indicates length. The third letter, if present, indicates trim (S=Spruce, M=Mahogany). See the Penn Yan identification table below for letter codes.

Dating: Sometimes (apparently only in the second half of any given decade) the first two digits of the serial number are the year built, and the remainder the presumed order of construction. In the case of Owasco, Rainbow Guide and Kingfisher model canoes, three letters in the serial number indicates 1947 or earlier, 2 letters is 1948-1960. An exception is that some pre-1933 16’ Rainbows and 16’ Owascos may be marked RC and OC, respectively.

Models Offered
Penn Yan Canoe Models
Code Model Dimensions Construction Trim Notes Years Offered*
CA Auto Canoe 10 x 34½ x 13   Spruce   1926-1940
CAS Auto Canoe 10 x 34½ x 13   Spruce Sailing Model 1926
CL Hunter 15 x 35 x 12½   Spruce   1933-1960
CM Fisherman 12½ x 34½ x 12½   Spruce   1933-1940
CM Hunter 12½ x 34½ x 12½   Spruce   1942-1947
FX Carry Canoe 15 x 33 x 11½   Spruce   1940-1949
GC Camper 17 x 35 x 12   Spruce   1948-1952
GE Guide 18 x 35½ x 12   Spruce   1948-1955
GES Guide 18 x 36 x 13½   Spruce   1939-1947
GEM Guide 18 x 36 x 13½   Mahogany   1939-1947
GN Scout 16 x 34½ x 12   Spruce   1948-1960
MC Kingfisher 14 x 37 x 13   Spruce   1948-1960
MCS Kingfisher 14 x 37 x 13   Spruce   1939-1947
MCM Kingfisher 14 x 37 x 13   Mahogany   1939-1947
OC or OCS Owasco 17 x 35 x 13   Spruce   1926-1955
OCM Owasco 17 x 35 x 13   Mahogany   1926-1947
OE Owasco 18 x 35½ x 12   Spruce   1948-1955
OES Owasco 18 x 36 x 13½   Spruce   1933-1947
OEM Owasco 18 x 36 x 13½   Mahogany   1933-1947
ON Owasco 16 x 34½ x 12   Spruce   1948-1955
ONS Owasco 16 x 34 x 12½   Spruce   1933-1947
ONM Owasco 16 x 34 x 12½   Mahogany   1933-1947
RC or RCS Rainbow 17 x 35 x 13   Spruce   1926-1960
RCM Rainbow 17 x 35 x 13   Mahogany   1926-1947
RE Rainbow 18 x 35½ x 12   Spruce   1948-1955
RES Rainbow 18 x 36 x 13½   Spruce   1933-1947
REM Rainbow 18 x 36 x 13½   Mahogany   1933-1947
RN Rainbow 16 x 34½ x 12   Spruce   1948-1960
RNS Rainbow 16 x 34 x 12½   Spruce   1933-1947
RNM Rainbow 16 x 34 x 12½   Mahogany   1933-1947
 
* Production timespan based on the following catalogs: ca1926, 1933, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1960.
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