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Old 01-20-2015, 01:28 AM   #81
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Marin, other side of the Atlantic, like Europe or Africa? ... Counting a generator would be cheating.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:11 AM   #82
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Wifey B: Now that's one freaking weird boat. .... It it's not too much trouble can I ask what the heck that is?
It's the Elco 80' PT (Patrol Torpedo) boat that was used by the US Navy in WWII. Hundreds of them were produced by Elco and Higgins. The Higgins boat, while built to perform the same mission, looks somewhat different.

The boat in the Elco company builder's photo is PT117. PTs were not commissioned as individual boats but as squadrons, most of which consisted of 12 boats. They were considered expendable, throw-away weapons, sort of like rifles. Hence the squadron commissioning and no names, just numbers. The crews gave them nicknames, of course.

PT-117 was one of a batch of Elco PTs that included the most famous PT boat of WWII, PT109, the one commanded by John F. Kennedy.

The Elco boats, which arguably were the better of the two, were 80 feet long and were powered by three Packard 4M-2500 V-12 marine engines that ran on aviation fuel. They were NOT P-51 engines or any sort of engine out of an airplane although the 4M-2500 did have an aero engine heritage. Each engine developed 1100 horsepower at the start of the war, although by 1945 Packard had managed to up this to 1500 hp. They carried 3,000 gallons of fuel which was just enough to run them for one mission, which in the Pacific usually started at sunset and went until dawn.

I've done a ton of research about the boats over the last 25 years or so, including interviewing a hundred or so PT vets for the purpose of writing a book I have wanted to write for decades since hearing the story from four PT vets in Hawaii way back when. Other book projects have taken priority, but I've been working on the PT book when I can. I'm on Chapter 9 now. It's not a history book or anything, but the story of a specific mission. I guess you could call it a novel based on a true story.

I first became fascinated with the Elco boats when I read a book in the Honolulu Public Library when I was just a little kid called They Were Expendable. It's the true story of the PTs in the Philippines at the start of the war, and the mission they undertook to evacuate Gen. Douglas McArthur from Corrigedor. They made a movie of the book in 1945 starring John Wayne and Robert Montgomery.

In the course of my research I have been give permission to explore for hours the inside of the only fully restored Elco PT (the inside is normally off-limits to everyone but PT vets), my wife and I have been invited to ride on the only PT powered by it's original type engines, the Packard 4M-2500, I've heard amazing stories from some amazing guys, I've bought just about every book every published about PTs including the hard-to-find book by Vice Admiral John Bulkeley (the skipper of the PT that evacuated McArthur) called At Close Quarters, the official Navy history of the PTs in WWII. I also have the manuals the PT crews were issued when they reported to PT school and the operating instructions for the Packard 4M-2500. My real prize is a video copy of a color film made by Elco during the war illustrating the entire construction process of the boats, from laying the first plank to test runs to fire the armament.

Very, very cool boats and I would give almost anything to have one and the funds to run it. It would take a lot of money, though. At the boat's maximum sustained cruise speed at 2000 rpm, fuel consumption was 292 gallons per hour. At top speed (about 40 knots although they only went that fast when they were brand new), fuel consumption was a miserly 474 gallons per hour.

The hulls were double-diagonal mahogany planked with a layer of doped canvas between the two layers of planking for waterproofing. Basically, the hulls were great big Chris Craft runabout hulls. The decks were conventionally planked. The only plywood in the boats (plywood only bends one way) were in some of the deck structures and the the two twin-.50 caliber gun turrets.

At the end of the war, almost all the PTs-- Elcos and Higgins--- were stripped of their armament and anything else of value to the Navy, and then the boats were burned en masse where they floated in the combat theatres. The only survivors were a handful of boats that were completed right at or just after the war's end and were never sent overseas. Some were purchased surplus, re-engined, sometimes shortened, and converted into yachts. Others just ended up in the mud in a Navy base backwater where they rotted away. A very few were kept around, slowly decaying until somebody or some vets organization obtained them and restored them.

So there you go. That's a pretty simplistic descripion of the boat and its history and is probably way more than you ever wanted to know and WAY off-topic but I hope that satisfies your curiosity.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:12 AM   #83
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Marin, other side of the Atlantic, like Europe or Africa? ... Counting a generator would be cheating.
Northern Europe. Three propulsion engines.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:25 AM   #84
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A hobby/outside interest is great for mental wellness. ... No other details on your three-engined boat?
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:45 AM   #85
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Well, I guess now he's outed it himself and it's no longer a secret, I can confirm in a PM or email Marin did hint to me some time ago he had plans to one day to have a boat built which was 'fast', and had 3 engines…

Looks like he went and did it...
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:11 AM   #86
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A hobby/outside interest is great for mental wellness. ... No other details on your three-engined boat?
Mark-- No, afraid not for a number of reasons. Sorry......
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:24 AM   #87
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They cruise at 7 - 7.5 knots with a 120 Lehman. If pushed to max rpm, they might hit 9 knots. So they run just fine at what I understand their hull speed to be.

And there is no on going over heating issue that I'm aware of with 120 FL. If the engine and cooling system are in good shape they'll run near or at max rpm all day long if for some reason you wanted to do that.

OK Captbill,
Somebody finally answered the question. So the 36GB w one FL120 will make 9 knots w normal cruising weight bottom ect. I didn't think it would go that fast. That means it will cruise continuously at well over 7 knots but probably working the FL fairly hard. But hull speed is just about 8 knots so if the GB 36 was a FD hull it could do everything the real boat does except perhaps the last half a knot top speed.

So I think I'm right in that ideally the 36 would be a FD boat. But it probably came into existance because some go slow people were asking for it. The designers probably said "well that's just not enough power for that hull". But the marketing dept probably decided they could build a few so Marin was right ... marketing brought the boat about. Building a special hull for what was thought to be just a few boats (and only a few were actually made) fit every bodies requirements acceptably. I'm sure thay would have made it w an upturned stern in the FD tradition if it had been cost effective .. but of course it wasn't.

But if I had one and were a younger man I'd get out the sawsall and into an interesting project. It would cruise w about 1/3 less power and have better control in following seas. So if I had been CEO at GB I may have done the same thing. Most people probably would have cruised them close enough to the hump so as not to gain much w the FD option. So the 36 single isn't ideal but it made good marketing sense and as Marin and others have pointed out the were very successful selling boats.

Are there other imperfect boats? You bet but I got enough flack from mentioning this one that I may not dredge any others up. Not say'in I wouldn't join in if others got into it though.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:34 AM   #88
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Mark-- No, afraid not for a number of reasons. Sorry......
The internet, twitter, fakebook etc is not a good or necessarily friendly place to share all.
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:50 PM   #89
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The "original" GB36, Spray, designed by Ken Smith, was powered by a 270 hp Cat diesel. This gave the boat a cruising speed of 16 mph and a top speed of a bit over 17 mph. In this regard, she was more like a lobsterboat than a cabin cruiser. While the production boat based on Spray had a considerably different topside arrangement and configuration, the hull remained the same.

Why American Marine chose to use the much lower powered FL120 in the boat I do not know. I can speculate that it was to make the boat less expensive to buy and less expensive to operate, although in the mid-1960s I doubt the price of fuel was a consideration to the buyers of this type of boat. Perhaps the less expensive FL allowed American Marine to meet specific price and profit points in the production of the Gb36 and 42. We'll probably never know as the guys who made these decisions are all gone now.

But the GB36 hull was not originally conceived to be a slow, displacement speed boat as photos of Spray illustrate.

I, for one, wish American Marine had stayed with the 270 hp Cat in the production GB36. Preferably two of them if they would have fit in the hull. Of course the company eventually got back to this kind of power with the standard fitting of one or two 220 hp Cummins into the GB36. The people I know with Cummins-powered GB36s, particularly the twins, make use of the power to cruise at some 12-13 knots on a regular basis. It's really annoying when these folks with the same boat we have come blowing by us on their way to or from the islands.

If American Marine made a mistake, in my opinion it was in not sticking with the amount of power the hull was designed for.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:07 PM   #90
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The internet, twitter, fakebook etc is not a good or necessarily friendly place to share all.
That is correct.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:19 PM   #91
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Well, I guess now he's outed it himself and it's no longer a secret, I can confirm in a PM or email Marin did hint to me some time ago he had plans to one day to have a boat built which was 'fast', and had 3 engines…

Looks like he went and did it...
I don't think the word "have" means the same thing to everyone as the word "own". If you rent a Ferrari, you "have" it, but you do not "own" it.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:21 PM   #92
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In this case the correct word is own. With a partner. The boat was designed and built to our specifications.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:42 PM   #93
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There's a mid 70's 34' Tollycraft tri cabin twin screw needing new engines. Could be had for cheap!


Rip out the oldies and implant a couple 455 cid hopped up Buick beasts at 650 + hp with HD tranies. It too could hit into the high 40, mid 50 mph range. Probably at 75 + + gph.


The rugged Tollycraft hull will take it and with correct steering, rudder, and trim gear it will likely handle pretty good.


BUT - WHY??


I've been on Fountain boats that do the low 100's. Fun for a couple minutes, but after that - - > Again - Why!


I can see very high speed mid-sized boats for marine warfare; PT's being a great example. Can also see extremely high speed "ocean going" speed boats for hard-on excitement in races. Also can see hydrofoil racing for more hard-on type racing stuff.


After that - all I can ask myself is - WHY!!!
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:50 PM   #94
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In this case the correct word is own. With a partner. The boat was designed and built to our specifications.
How fast, how big?? Picture, if you dare!
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:21 PM   #95
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I've been on Fountain boats that do the low 100's. Fun for a couple minutes, but after that - - > Again - Why!

After that - all I can ask myself is - WHY!!!
The fact you have to ask why is the very reason you won't end up with one, but that's the way it is with all of us on boat types that don't fit for us. With Fountain being such a very small niche of the market, the indication would be the vast majority of people would say why. That's why their survival has been difficult, but ultimately you can survive with niche marketing at the high end of a market, while you can't at the low end.

There have been a lot of boat innovations and intriguing new ideas over the years that I was very attracted to, but obviously very few other people had any interest as they quickly disappeared if in fact they ever built any.
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:25 PM   #96
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How fast, how big?? Picture, if you dare!
Re-read Tom's post #88 very carefully.
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:38 PM   #97
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Re-read Tom's post #88 very carefully.
OOOOO - Top... err, Trade Secret. I like that!

I have some of that stuff too... so does Coca Cola!
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:35 PM   #98
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There's a mid 70's 34' Tollycraft tri cabin twin screw needing new engines. Could be had for cheap!


Rip out the oldies and implant a couple 455 cid hopped up Buick beasts at 650 + hp with HD tranies. It too could hit into the high 40, mid 50 mph range. Probably at 75 + + gph.


The rugged Tollycraft hull will take it and with correct steering, rudder, and trim gear it will likely handle pretty good.


BUT - WHY??


I've been on Fountain boats that do the low 100's. Fun for a couple minutes, but after that - - > Again - Why!


I can see very high speed mid-sized boats for marine warfare; PT's being a great example. Can also see extremely high speed "ocean going" speed boats for hard-on excitement in races. Also can see hydrofoil racing for more hard-on type racing stuff.


After that - all I can ask myself is - WHY!!!
Art, any Tollies out there with diesels in them? More of a curiosity, but I'll bet a pair of 210 Cummins would do a very nice job and be very fuel efficient.

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Old 01-20-2015, 07:55 PM   #99
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Marin,
You wrote,
"If American Marine made a mistake, in my opinion it was in not sticking with the amount of power the hull was designed for."

VERY VERY GOOD WORDS!

However I suspect Spray being wood and a one off build she was probably much lighter than the production 36.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:07 PM   #100
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Art, any Tollies out there with diesels in them? More of a curiosity, but I'll bet a pair of 210 Cummins would do a very nice job and be very fuel efficient.

Ted
Ted

Vas majority of Tollycraft are north of SF; Oregon/Washington... even Alaska. Tollycraft turned out over 6,500 quality boats before its owner retired and the fickle finger of monetary fate took the company's new owners down for the count.

As factory originals, I believe nearly all 48' and above came standard with diesels. 44 and 45 footers seem to be 60/40 diesel/gasoline. 37 and 40 foot seem 40/60. Unless special ordered, I think 34' and below were gas.

A few owners have fitted diesels into 34' tri cabin or sedan. Cost to do so is prohibitive unless planning to keep for long time; generally there is a relatively low sales price in that size. A few 34' with diesel refit are for sale here and there. Prices are 2 to 3 x for the same boat with gas engines.

Gas power is affordable and works well in 34' and smaller boat... as long as the Captain knows how to handle/look-after area storage, tanks, fluid transmission lines, and venting of super explosive gasoline fumes! Gas engines are simple to use and nearly care free to maintain as long as regular service intervals are met. Parts are everywhere... so are mechanics if/when needed. Properly serviced, gently used 4,000 hours is easy to reach. Beat em and 1,000 to 1,500 hours (or even less) can bite owners in the butt. Gasoline engine replacement is relatively inexpensive and easy.
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