Extra short tack between the ribs on Penn Yan

Shari Gnolek

Have dog, will paddle
I am removing the original canvas from a Penn Yan Owasco. As usual, there are two tacks holding the canvas at every rib. But then halfway between each rib there is a much shorter tack that only goes through the planking and appears to be clinched.

The photo shows examples of the longer tacks at the rib, and the smaller tacks from between the ribs (with different amounts of clinching).

Has anyone seen tacks used between the ribs before, or attached canvas that way themselves? I'm just curious why it would have been done like this and if I need to do the same when I replace the canvas.


I'm working on a Penn Yan Guide that has the same tacks in between ribs. I won't be replacing them.
Yup - I've seen the same thing. Annoying as hell as it tends to ruin the top 3/8" of planking. I could see no good reason for it, especially when you consider they must have made some sort of tool to allow them to clench in this short distance. Though I guess they could have used a screwdriver blade. Or maybe just squeezed the tack with pliers. Maybe it was done by a new guy...
Penn Yan used tautening airplane dope on many of their boats and some canoes. The smaller tacks kept the fabric from stretching too much between the rib tacks. If standard canoe filler is to be used, the small tacks are unnecessary.
Thanks! This is exactly the kind of information I was hoping for. I'll leave the small tacks off when I replace the canvas.