M-Fine’s M-ighty Fine Penn Yan!


m fine portrait

We talked about a bit in previous stories, but today its all about the M -fine Penn Yan. Officially a 1976 Bicentennial Penn Yan. And for the record, the ONLY red white and blue one made. You could buy them in Red, OR Blue, but Matt Fines pop wanted Red white and blue, so guess what? He got Red white and blue.

She has a 350 and man you know it when you nail it

She has a 350 and man you know it when you nail it

The cool part is that the family kept it that way. I graduated from high school in 1976 and vividly recall the disgusting shade of blue that made no sense to me considering its not from a natural pallet of the day. Betsy Ross would NOT have chosen that shade.. Yet now, I love it, because it brings back wonderful memories…of zits, and sweating up some windows in a 1968 White beetle in Janet’s drive way.. Ok now I really love that blue. The best part of this boat is that no one cared for it, and yet, we all cared deeply for it.

Chill'n on the Spirit of 76

Chill’n on the Spirit of 76

It was certainly a conversation piece. All during th show folks would come up and ask, talk and shockingly offer to buy it. It aint for sale! And neither is the memory of Janet in her driveway..

At one point Addie asked if needed to take her shoes off to come on board.  We laughed, and said ," what, you don't want to dirty up your shoes" It was that kind of day!

At one point Addie asked if needed to take her shoes off to come on board. We laughed, and said ,” what, you don’t want to dirty up your shoes” It was that kind of day!

Our hats off to Matt Fine and his Pop for keeping the real fun of Woody Boating alive, even if it is a plastic Pen Yann with stained carpets.

M fine standing guard ready to hop to it.. No really he would kinda hop!

M fine standing guard ready to hop to it.. No really he would kinda hop!


mfine front

M fine under

Takes a lick’n and keeps on….floating!


m fine yan side

Matt Fine and Bob have I got a calendar for you Kays ready to go shoot some stuff





mfine rear splash

Off to take on the wind and rollers


mfine rear

Tunnel drive allows all sorts of cool shallow riding


mfine rich

The m-fine pen yan looks right at home at some of the finest homes in America!

Thanks again to Matt Fine for bringing the Mfine Pen Yan and allowing us all to take over!

26 replies
  1. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    I saw it in person, most of the stains on the carpet were in the shape of out fore fathers made out of bacon grease. I was speechless. Growing up in Lyman country you really never saw these but out could tell just by standing at the dock that these are soooooo over built. Yes like a tank. The dealer in Cleveland was “Crazy Jerry” I still remember his commercial left you speechless too. The TV commercial would end like this ” Located across the street from the Chevy plant on brook park road, free life jackets for most of your family.”

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      I assume “most of your family” meant everyone but your mother in-law?

      I think the stains include a good amount of trout blood, ice cream, beverages of all sorts, and motor oil along with the bacon grease.

  2. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    And now we know the rest of the story. didnt know pop bought it new. even better. and i bet it was a little drier then many on the blowy saturday.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      It is a good thing the Chris Craft was in the barn and not available. If I brought Squirt, I am not sure the bilge pumps could have kept up with the water coming over the bow and sides. With the Penn Yan we just got a light spray over the windshield every now and then, mostly when Matt was trying to change lenses.

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Thanks for the story Matt! I love how you have managed to spehl Penn Yan so many different ways in just one story!

    The Penn Yan Boat Co. was located in Penn Yan New York at the north end of Keuka lake’s East branch. It was given its unique name because the settlers were equal numbers of Pennsylvanians and Yankees. If you know how to spell either one, it will help you remember Penn has two “n’s” and Yan just one. Or you can look at the name badge on the back.

    The 50 mile trip to Skaneatles was the furthest this boat has ever been from the factory where she was made, and I think the first time she has been on water other than Keuka Lake.

    • Mike Green
      Mike Green says:

      “The 50 mile trip to Skaneatles was the furthest this boat has ever been from the factory where she was made, and I think the first time she has been on water other than Keuka Lake”. That would explain the fist part of the story that has yet to be told. The trip getting the boat there, grinding metal, smoke and a very interesting Napa store where the workers were scared of Mike M.

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        No, that is 100% Paul’s fault. She spends the winters in my barn 45 miles from Penn Yan and has never had an issue with that trip. The extra 5 miles wasn’t the issue since they didn’t get 10 miles before the curse of Paul kicked in.

  4. dreed
    dreed says:

    If I were a judge, I was most impressed with the authentic Louisville Slugger fish killing baseball bat tucked away in one of the storage compartments. A great boat filled with great people telling great stories all weekend long. Thank you M-fine for bringing her to the show and using her as the gathering place (and wind breaker).

  5. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    I just wish I had been there to see “Spirit of 76” in person, and shake M-fine’s hand for keeping her where she belongs all these years.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      My father gets most of the credit, being a 1974 model year myself, I mostly just contributed to the stains dents and scratches for the first 30+ years.

  6. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Fine story of M Fine’s Fine Penn-Yan, and of Fine’s Fine Father finding the Fine Penn-Yan in Penn Yan, NY.

    And Finally, M Fine, a Fine Thanks to the Fine Fine Family.

  7. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    We were docked two slips over and can attest to the fact this boat was WoodyBoater HQ. I did not know the boat had a black bottom till I saw these pictures. Due to the fact the boat was so over loaded with WoodyBoaters on board all weekend, and she sat so low in the water!!!
    That weekend will be remembered all winter long…

  8. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Sounds as if someone is pining for a 1968 VW Beetle in white…

    Great feature story! It’s cool to see a true survivor out being used as it was designed to be – with no apologies for the character/memory marks that have shown up over the years.

    Those pics give another perspective on my favorite saying: “When the going gets tough, the tough go boating!”

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Dick, this came about at the last minute because I didn’t bring a boat after all but had a slip that I paid for anyway. So, I called M-fine and asked if he knew anywhere that I could rent or otherwise commandeer a boat for a few days. He said he could bring the PY (or we cold come and pick her up), but that it was not anything like a show boat. I said – all the better, it is not there to be judged, it’s just to have a boat handy and have fun. So, M-fine graciously volunteered the use of it, and it worked because he was also planning to attend the show anyway.

      Everyone loves to see the nice restored stuff, but it has become clear to me through my experiences hauling my user 24′ Skiff to shows all over the place that they also like to see the real users getting used as they should. So, I was very happy to see this boat in the docks and I think everyone else was, as well. All credit to M-fine for bringing her, for making no apologies to anyone for anything and having fun – looks like this boat has been thusly used for nearly 40 years and I hope it continues for at least that many more.

  9. Chad
    Chad says:

    M-FINE, you should modify that engine to run on bacon grease.

    That’d be a game-changer in the hobby for sure.

    Just an idea…

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      It would be a lot easier to modify the diesel Benz to run on bacon grease. In fact, the guy who built the engine for my Chris Craft had an old diesel Mercedes that ran on waste cooking oil. So yes, it is very doable and has been done before.

      But, if you use the bacon grease in your car or boat, what do you fry the eggs and veggies in, and what do you dip your toast in? Seems like a waste of tasty grease to me.

  10. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Having been in a Pen Yan whose prop was the only thing in the water, I can attest to what fine, well built boats they were, when we landed back into The River. Wood lapstrake construction. Would I love to have that boat back! mfine keeping it real!

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    That boat should be called “Baconator.”

    Also, “sweating up some windows in a 1968 White beetle in Janet’s drive way..” Really? You did see “The World According To Garp,” right? The driveway scene? Scary stuff.

  12. 72hornet
    72hornet says:

    As a pround fellow Penn Yan owner, I can attest to the battle wagon construction that made them a popular boat on our lakes. I’m wondering if M Fine’s came with the Penn Tone Exhaust option? This option had the exhaust exiting through the tunnel. Not sure if that gave it any supercharging effects, but was quite innovative in the day and was quieter. Mine came with the 318. It’s a great boat for early Spring or Late fall ice breaking!

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