"Damm Yankee" PM-38

by Russell
(West Central Florida)

I'm probably the one and only to build this boat twice.

My first build was when I was 19 years old in 1962 and then again in 2009.

The first time I built this boat I was only a kid and lived with my parents and two younger brothers on Long Island, New York.

I didn't have much money at the time and think I spent about one hundred dollars to build this boat.

When I finished her in the early summer of 1963, we installed a used 30 hp Johnson outboard that I paid $75.00 for.

I learned to water ski with this boat and motor combination.

pm 38
Step by step instructions for building the PM 38 using modern plywood building techniques and materials.

Since I only weighed 175lbs at the time, it was strong enough to lift me up and out of the water.

My younger brother and I had a good time with this boat in the Great South Bay of Suffolk County, N.Y.

I used her all through the summer of 1963 and have many good memories.

I retired in 2009 and was looking for a project since now I had plenty of spare time.

So I decided to build the PM-38 again.

She took about 40 days to build and that included rebuilding the trailer.

Just to give you an idea of how inflation ran up the cost of building this boat, I paid over $100.00 just for silicon bronze fasteners (screws, ring nails and a few bolts).

I now live in Florida and can go boating year round.

My girlfriend and I have used the Damm Yankee many times on the rivers, lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.

It is still fun and the memories continue to grow.

Comments for "Damm Yankee" PM-38

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Mar 03, 2016
by: Brandon

Do you happen to remember what size 1 1/4" nails you used?

I can find the silicon bronze ones in #14, #12, or #10, but I have no clue if one is more favorable than another for this project.

Jan 18, 2016
Building 2 PM38's
by: Reg O'Keefe

I live in Sydney Australia and in 1960 my brother had a small runabout that we used to ski behind.

When the Popular Mechanics came out each month I would purchase it.

When I saw the PM38 issue I said to my brother that it looked interesting and to cut a long story short, he built it.

He even built the trailer and handmade disc brakes for it.
They were rare in 1963.

We used the boat for about 2 years and eventually a guy who skied with us pestered my brother to sell him the boat and it continued in good service with him for many more years.

That is not the end of the story as my brother then proceeded to build another PM38.

I do not think I ever skied behind the second boat as by then I had gone on to more powerful boats and barefooting and such things.

He still had the boat in the nineties and could still have it now as he was a hoarder.

I thought about that little boat a lot over the years and when I recently found the plans I made the decision I would build it, my excuse being that it would be for my grandsons.

I have decided to make it my winter project.


Aug 21, 2012
Pictures of the build
by: Russell

Now for the pictures

May 11, 2011
More Pictures of the "Damm Yankee"
by: Russell

Here are some more pictures of the PM-38 I built in 2009.

PM 38 Damned Yankee

PM 38 Damned Yankee

PM 38 Damned Yankee

I sold the original built PM-38 in 1964.

May 11, 2011
Mike, yes I did stray from original plans.
by: Russell

I made some minor changes to the original plans.

I used marine plywood throughout and increased the bottom 4x8 to 1/2 inch thickness.

The keelson was increased to a 2x4x10ft and the bottom battens I used a 2x4x10 cut in half.

Also doubled the transon thickness.

Also fiber glassed all the seams and bow.

I used a long shaft outboard so I had to increase the transon width to 20 inches.

Also used silicon bronze screws and ring nails throughout.

No windshield because it would increase wind resistance.

Used oak for the frames, skid rails, sheer rails and spray rails.

Used Titebond u1timate wood glue bought by the gallon and 3M 5200 marine caulk.

According to the GPS the "Damm Yankee" was clocked at 35mph with the 25hp outboard with me (220lbs) aboard.

With a lighter captain, I'm sure it would go the advertised 38mph.

May 11, 2011
Second Time
by: Mike

She looks superb, Russell.

Was there anything that you did differently the second time around (building wise)?

I know that isn't a fair question, I'm about the same age as you, I can remember my first time afloat in the first boat (canoe) I built, but I'm dammed if I can remember much about building her.

So put it another way, did you stray from the original instructions on the plans?

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