Penn Yan RC98

Ken Campbell

New Member
I'm in the middle of having my father's old Penn Yan canoe restored. His recollection, though old, is that this canoe was built circa 1933. I've communicated with Dan Miller who believes this canoe to be a 17' (as indicated by the letter C) Rainbow Guide (as indicated by the letter R) model. All this seems to fit, but his catalog of numbers would put this canoe into the post 1948 era of construction. I mentioned the loss of its original deck decal (oval shaped) during the stripping process and inquired about a replacement, which clued him into the idea that this may be a 1920's vintage canoe instead. Post 1948 era decals, according to Dan, were rectangular or square in shape. As for the numerical, 98, portion of the serial number/ID, Dan, has not as yet suggested any clues. I'm new to this forum and wondering whether there might be others here with any ideas as to the origin of this sentimental restoration project. The canvas was original and of very heavy guage, weighing in at over 30 pounds after removal. As best I can determine, looking at the various layers of paint, the original color was a pale or mint green color. My wife suggests that it is a marine green that hints at a bluish tint, but I must diplomatically disagree :eek: ! The green color is much softer than a marine green would suggest in my opinion. The canoe indeed is 17' long. Of that, I can be certain. Just trying to fill in the rest of details :) .

Thanks for any and all assistance the members may be able to supply.

Last edited:
Just to clarify a few points... I never said it was a "Rainbow Guide", it is a Rainbow model, which is distinctly different from a Guide model. 1948 marks the change in the letter coding system, not the change in decal styles. 1948 also marks the change from Number 8 canvas to 8 ounce canvas. I am not certain when they switched from oval to rectangle decals, but probably in the thirties.

As for the serial number itself, sometimes the number includes the year in it, in your case it does not, which happens as often as not. My understanding is that they started over each year, so apart from the model and length, nothing can be determined from the number.

Stock color was palm green (or blue-green), closest colors today are Kirby's No 7 C.Green ( or Epifanes number 30 teal green yacht enamel. PY also typically ran a red pinstripe under the gunwales, not sure when they started doing that.