1953 penn yan challenger

by Matthew Parobek
(Buffalo, NY, USA)

53 challenger

53 challenger

This is a 14 foot 1953 Penn Yan Challenger powered by a 1954 16 hp Scott Atwater Bail-O-Matic.

This boat was purchased in 1953 at a Penn Yan dealer in Buffalo NY.

It was used by a family on the Niagara river for weekend camping and so forth, always trailering it home again and parking it in the garage.
This went on for 14 years until the summer of 1968 when the boat was backed into the garage one last time.

For the next 42 years there it sat... and for no good reason never given a thought.

Until April 2010, when it was purchased by me for 500 dollars.

The boat is Penn Yan's strip tight construction with plastic core.

The hull is double planked mahogany outer and cedar inner planks on white oak ribs and trim.

There is no damage or rot to the the boat and no repairs have ever been made.

Because of an improperly adjusted trailer there is a spot on the bottom that has depressed slightly.
I have readjusted the trailer and I believe with a good soaking that this will relax a bit.

The motor needs some normal maintenance.
Shortly I will be replacing the coils and the main seal on the lower unit.
I have already replaced the impeller.

The only irreparable damage is the tip of the scedge, it's broken off.
I don't believe this will affect the performance at all but if i could find a green hornet lower unit for it I might be interested.

My plan is to run this boat for the summer, work the bugs out of it, and maybe sell it.

Don't despair I won't pawn this thing off to someone who will just let her rot in their back yard.

I feel quit a responsibility to make sure she is not miss treated.

It would be a crime punishable by at least jail time to let her slip through the cracks after she made it this far.

If any body has anything to add I would love to hear it I have only had the boat for a few weeks and have a lot to learn about it.

I am always looking for parts, maintenance tips for this hull type, or maybe what the value of something like this might be.

Anything anybody could add would be appreciated.

Comments for 1953 penn yan challenger

Click here to add your own comments

May 31, 2010
way cool
by: Craig

Looks a lot like the 1947 Larson I'm working on. Can you post more pics?

Apr 26, 2010
Classic Boat
by: Anonymous

Wow, what a find, and what a bargain!

Take her along to a few Classic Wooden Boat Shows, you’ll have the enthusiasts drooling over her.

Apr 25, 2010
Penn Yan
by: bill

I first fell in love with their flag believe it or not, that banner I would notice a mile away!! Them was the boats.
My fav run-a-bouts are Centery restorers followed by Penn Yan and Lynman coming close behind.

That's a real cutie you've got.

At 16hp you can still afford gas no matter what the price is by this summer :)

Looks pretty light, will she plane on that outboard?

If your looking for some info check out




Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Wooden Boat Projects...

Want to add more photos?

Photo Uploader

If you are having problems uploading Photos or would like to add more click on this link for the Upload Form.