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PT Boats on History Channel...

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Old 10-14-2002, 06:40 PM
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Default PT Boats on History Channel...

There is a feature on the History Channel about PT boats. Only saw a portion of it but it was very interesting. Something about triple 1000 hp, 70 ft long, torpedoes, 50-mm machine gun etc. Can you say Jet Ski? If anyone has the channel lineup with times please post them, I would love to see the whole thing.

Do any of these vessels still survive?

Tim T.
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Old 10-14-2002, 06:57 PM
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I believe the last Echo type PT boat was at the Navy Mine Defense Lab in Panama City, Fl. That was when my dad was in the Navy and I was in the fifth grade (many moons ago). They used it for their crash boat. We went deep sea fishing on it once. I doubt it is still in commission. I read a book on them called the Mosquito Fleet.
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Old 10-14-2002, 09:52 PM
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Default PT Boats

The PT boats were either 77ft or 80 ft. They had three V12 Packard Supercharged engines that used aviation fuel. The top speed was around 43 knots, and they weighed about 35 + tons depending on armament. Very few have survived, there is one down in the Florida Keys I think. those thar survived had the gas engines replaced with diesels for safety considerations. The Hulls were rubber lined mahogany plywood that would seal up bullet holes.

They were loved by the crews, but a lot didn't come home

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Old 10-14-2002, 10:32 PM
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Man, there's absolutely nothing like hearing those Packard Merlins singing in harmony.
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:10 PM
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There used to be three in Wildwood NJ as sightseeing boats.
The Sightseer converted to seat people on deck with a canopy
The Pink Flamingo ,the same, only PINK, need I say more?
The PT 109, a replica of the original.
Not sure if they're still in service or not
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:10 PM
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I saw that show a year or two ago. There are a few of them still around. What got me interested was seeing one in Yacht Trader that had been converted to a pleasure cruiser with Detroit Diesel power. I am not sure of their top speed in knots but it was about 55 mph! Can you imagine that? An 80 ft boat, 20 ft beam, 20 man crew weighing 70,000 going that fast? Wow! There is some neat footage of a bunch of them running in formation on the South Pacific. What a sight! What is also interesting is that the Germans had a similiar vessel that was 110 ft long and could run down a PT boat. They were used in the Mediterenian to protect barges running cargo to Africa. The Pts were there to blow up the barges but, they had to really watch out for the German boats. Sadly, by the end of the war technology had passed the PT boats by and they were no longer of any military value. After the war hundreds of them were taken to a remote island where the engines and any useful hardware was removed. The hulls were tied together and set on fire. There is even color footage of that. What a sad day it must have been for the surviving crews of those boats.

If you can watch that show again or anything about PT boats I highly recommend it.
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Old 10-15-2002, 08:08 AM
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I remember the Sightseer well, even though I was just a really little kid. First brush with a performance boat. I remember the feeling of big power in that thing.
There are two PT boats here in TX. One (PT 309) has been restored and could be cruising Galveston Bay, but the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg sponsored it and insisted on putting it up on dry land. The group that actually did the restoration has acquired another and is going to restore that one too. This one will be staying in the water, possibly in Kemah.
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Old 10-15-2002, 09:56 AM
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One of my favorite subjects.

The more well known PT Boat manufacturers was ELCO (Electric Launch Company) the Navy Division of Electric Boat Company was based in Bayonne, New Jersey. The building still stands with the ELCO name on it.
The other manufacturers were, Higgins Industries, Huckins Yacht Corp..

The common misconception was that they were built out of plywood. No, they weren't. The hull was a double layer of mahogany planks arranged in a diagonal pattern with a layer of waterproofing material between. The deck was planked too. Some of the superstructure was plywood though. They were put together with over 400,000 wood screws, nails and rivets. Over 20,000 were used on the deck, alone.

Typical 1942 80' ELCO had a beam of 20'8", a draft of 5'3", a weight of 51 tons and 3 Packard V-12's of 1350 horse each for a top speed of 43 knots or 49.48 mph.
Some boats had 1500 hp and others had 1550 hp. The center engine was mounted direct drive and the outer two were reverse mounted and went through a V-Drive gearbox. A "Motor Mac" manually controlled the shifting of the transmissions.

Here's a pic of the Packard Marine Engine School class of ?
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Old 10-15-2002, 09:58 AM
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Here's one of the ELCO boats getting some air....
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Old 10-15-2002, 10:18 AM
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