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Old 10-31-2014, 08:14 PM   #981
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Nonetheless Pete builds a good boat that can stay out in the weather year-in-year-out, and look good doing it......
I know a lobsterman out of Burnt Cove in Stonington, ME, who had a Kass boat. Quite few years back he went to a fiberglass boat. Didn't like it at all. Claimed, among other things, that the motion of it hurt his back. Got rid of that glass boat and got another Kass boat. Still fishing it hard and it still looks great. And his back is better.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:28 AM   #982
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Small interesting trawler a long way from home at Fort Loudon Marina on Fort Loudon lake Lenoir City Tennessee.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:55 AM   #983
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Tad-beautiful designs. The forward cockpit a little takeoff from Tom Fexas and the Midnight Lace? I always thought that was a pretty cool idea.
According to an interview I read with Tom Fexas he based his Midnight Lace hull on what he said was his favorite hull design of all time, the Elco 80' PT hull of WWII.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:24 AM   #984
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Think I recall his name?? Dad was on Grumman's LEM project. He helped design the first landing gears for moon landing. I often watched him design at home on that too.

Hey, my uncle worked on the LEM at Grumman. Ed Kuchlewski. Small world.
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:06 PM   #985
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According to an interview I read with Tom Fexas he based his Midnight Lace hull on what he said was his favorite hull design of all time, the Elco 80' PT hull of WWII.
While Tom was trying to recreate the aesthetic of the PT boat, technically they are very far apart. The Beam/length ratio, 4, is similar, as is the topsides flair forward, but that's about it. The Elco is a vee-bottom that tapers aft to zero deadrise at the transom. Fexas called the form he developed for the Midnight Lace series a "Penetrating" hull. With fine round sections forward and a deep round transom, it's designed to run flat with the forefoot in the water. The Elco was a planing hull intended to fly over the water while Fexas embraced the concept of semi-planing, intending his boat to run through the water with minimum fuss.

The Elco 80 body plan with the Fexas Penetrating hull below.

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Old 11-01-2014, 01:47 PM   #986
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Twin Packards for power! Now there's an economical combo, albeit a sweet song while doing it.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:05 PM   #987
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Twin Packards for power! Now there's an economical combo, albeit a sweet song while doing it.
Not just twins...(3) triples....
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:41 PM   #988
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This is a prototype Aluminum PT boat, it ls tied up behind the owners house on Charenton Canal in Louisiana near GICW mile 123. The owner bought it to restore but never got around to it. He did put a couple of big GM engines in it.
It belongs to a friend of a friend, On a trip to Houston I tied up to it for the night once when I had my Camano and got a tour. The GMs had air starters and I almost jumped out of my skin when the guy cranked one of them up while we were inside that metal hull and it was deafening!
Anyone need a project boat?
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:19 PM   #989
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Not just twins...(3) triples....
Triples are the way to go.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #990
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While Tom was trying to recreate the aesthetic of the PT boat, technically they are very far apart.
Yes, I should have included he was talking aesthetics, not functional design.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:22 PM   #991
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Triples are the way to go.
Heck yeah, because twins may break down halfway across the bay,and you need back up propulsion.





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Old 11-01-2014, 07:58 PM   #992
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Heck yeah, because twins may break down halfway across the bay,and you need back up propulsion.
So that "spare" would be the "get home" Packard V-12?

Those engines were totally awesome, called the 4M-2500, it produced 1200 HP at 2400 RPM with an emergency rating of 1350 HP at 2500. A 60 degree V-12 with four valves per cylinder, and total displacement of 2490 cubic inches. At full chat each engine would get through 120 gallons of 100-octane aviation gas per hour. Over 12,000 of these engines would be built for the war effort. Not many left today.

The Elco 70', 77', and 80' were designed by Brit Hubert Scott-Paine, at one point he told an interviewer "Thank God for Packard engines." Perhaps intimating that it takes more than good hull design to produce reliable fast boats.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:02 PM   #993
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Sure.Why not?


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Old 11-01-2014, 08:57 PM   #994
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Pura Vida-C-Dory Manufactured near Marysville Washington area. The parent company was Marben which is the manufacture of our boat in our logo. C Dorys are very popular boats in the Pacific Northwest.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #995
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In reaarcing the book I'm currently working on, my wife and I were given the opportunity a number of years ago to ride on an under-restoration PT and learn about, watch, and listen to these [Packard 4M-2500] engines. Our "teachers" were men who had crewed PTs during the war. To hear all three of the engines at full song is the most impressive man-made sound I have ever heard in my life.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:59 AM   #996
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How were the three engines geared? I guess I am assuming only two props/shafts. Were there three shafts? If only 2, how do you pslit the power of the third engine?
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:56 AM   #997
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How were the three engines geared? I guess I am assuming only two props/shafts. Were there three shafts? If only 2, how do you pslit the power of the third engine?
From www.pt-boat.com "In many of the different types of PT Boat and certainly in the Elco 80' boat the center engine faced aft and drove the center prop shaft directly but the port and starboard wing engines faced forward and needed an angled Veedrive gearbox to then drive the wing propshafts back down under these engines. The reason for this was to set the center of gravity of the boat further back and to compress the engine room into a smaller space, this allowed very large fuel tanks to be closer to the centre of the boat.

(It seems that Elco Boats after PT612 may have had all three engines facing aft and no Vee-Drive gearbox, there is some evidence for this in photo's showing the engine room configured this way and the fact that the rear torpedo's were moved much further aft, as well as a photo showing the propellers much further apart than earlier boats.)

Note that even with the VeeDrive gearbox all three propellers turned the same way, clockwise looking from aft."

And here is a photo of a 78' Higgins Boat - 3 Engines - 3 Shafts - 3 Props.


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Old 11-02-2014, 05:35 AM   #998
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How were the three engines geared? I guess I am assuming only two props/shafts. Were there three shafts? If only 2, how do you pslit the power of the third engine?
Each engine drove its own propeller. So three props, and in the case of the Elco boat, three rudders. In the case of the Higgins boat, two rudders (but still three props).

There were two types of PTs used by the American Navy in WWII. The more numerous type was designed and built by Elco in Bayonne, New Jersey. The other was built by Higgins near New Orleans.

(Higgins also built a vessel known to the Navy as the LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel) which some war historians claim was responsible for the Allies winning in both theatres. Like the PTs, the LCVP was made of wood except for the bow ramp which was steel.)

There was a handful (one squadron) of PTs built by Huckins, but these boats, while beautifully made, were deemed by the Navy to be unfit for combat missions and so were used only for training and harbor patrol duties.

The Elco and Higgins boats were quite different from each other outside of their mission and the number and type of engines that powered them. I have interviewed hundreds of PT vets in the course of my research, and while the Elco guys said their boat was the best and the Higgins guys said their boat was the best, once you got a few beers into them, the general consensus was that the Elco boat was the better boat to crew on. A good part of the reason for this was the difference in the configuration of the engines.

The 78' Higgins boat (the one my wife and I were invited to ride on, although my book takes place on an Elco) retained the same engine configuration for the duration of the war. The three Packard 4M-2500 engines were arranged side by side in a fairly spacious (long) engine room. All three engines faced forward and had direct drive to the three props. The center engine was staggered slightly from the wing engines to provide better access to each engine.

As everyone on this forum knows, every boat is a compromise and the PTs were no exceptions. The motor macs on the Higgins boats had pretty nice engine rooms to work in (at least I thought it was), but that meant the crew accommodations up forward were pretty cramped.

The engines in the 80' Elco boats were mounted differently. The center engine was mounted facing forward with a direct drive to its prop. The two wing engines were mounted backwards and drove their shafts and prop through V-drives. This made it possible to have a shorter engine room. Which in turn made it possible to have more spacious and user-friendly crew accommodations, although as mentioned in the previous post, the balance of the boat was a bigger consideration than the accomodations. So perhaps it was more a matter of the Elco crews lucking out. But I've always thought it was a very clever way to get a lot of power into a fairly small room and it's the inspiration behind a project we are currently undertaking.

As the war progressed, the PT mission gradually changed. By the end of 1943 its role as a torpedo boat was pretty much over even though they usually continued to carry a pair of the smaller aerial torpedoes that replaced the huge, heavy, and totally unreliable WWI era torpedoes the PTs and our subs started the war with. What the PTs turned into were gunboats, and by late 1944 the Elco PT was, pound for pound, the heaviest armed ship in the Navy.

Problem was, all these guns and rockets and mortars were heavy. The Packard 4M-2500 started life rated at at about 1200 hp. By the end of the war this had been boosted to about 1500 hp. But in the Elco boat, some of that power was being eaten up by the V-drives on the two wing engines. So at some point in 1945, in an effort to put the maximum power possible to the props, Elco reconfigured its engine room and mounted all three engines facing forward with direct drives to the props. The wing engines were mounted with their carburetor/supercharger ends right up close to the forward bulkhead while the center engine sat slightly aft.

Since the dayroom, officers quarters and galley, and crew compartment were unchanged, I can only assume that if Elco needed a bit more length in the engine room to do this they stole it from the lazarette. But I don't know that for sure.

The change in the Elco engine arrangement entered production right at the end of the war, and very few boats of this type were made. The restored Elco that's on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Mass. is one of these late boats; in fact I believe it was delivered just after the war ended.

The photo is from the Fall River boat and shows the starboard engine. In the majority of Elco boats, it would have faced the other way and been mounted farther aft with the V-drive forward.

In the V-drive configuration, the motor mac sat on a metal tractor seat bolted to the forward (bow) end of the inboard rocker box of the starboard engine. The long shift levers from all three transmissions were bent so that they all came up right next to him. The motor mac shifted the transmissions in response to an indicator panel in front of him. The skipper on the bridge operated the throttles, which also operated the shift indicators.

There were also sound powered phones, but the motor mac vets I talked to said you couldn't hear though them when the engines were running. Every one of them told me that after a mission--- the boats would go out at sunset and get back just before sunrise--- it took about half a day to get their hearing back. Every one of them I met said they'd been wearing hearing aids for decades. No OSHA back then......

Way more than you wanted to know, I'm sure, but I've got a whole office and two computers stuffed full of PT info and I've crawled around for hours on both types of boats, so there it is.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:06 PM   #999
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That's some seriously cool boat history.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:56 AM   #1000
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Everybody-thanks for the info. A good bit of interesting history! Marin-the research must have been fascinating. A good thing you are doing it, there can't be too many living PT vets out there.
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