FF's boat

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Scraping Paint
Oct 23, 2007
The "survey" thread prompted me to look through the "Show us your boat" thread and I have a question for FF should you happen to see this.

What was your boat originally? You say in your description it was a Navy utility boat. Was it carried on board a ship as a shore boat, Captain's launch, etc? I have always assumed the boats carried on ships tended to be in the 30 to 40 foot range, so perhaps your 50-footer was built specifically for transportation and other duties in a harbor.

I grew up in Hawaii and spent a fair amount of time either on the Pearl Harbor base (my divorced mom dated a submarine commander for awhile in the '60s) or flying over it in the '70s doing touch and goes on the Ford Island runway while earning my various pilot's certificates. So I saw a lot of "just plain boats" plying the waters of Pearl, going back and forth to moored ships, going between various docks, and so on. Would your boat have originally been used for this kind of duty?

-- Edited by Marin at 00:07, 2007-12-06
I myself spent a few years in the Navy,1968-1972. The ship I was on carried two small whale boats, double ended, 2 40 utility boats for liberty, 1 capt's gig and officers boat. I think Freds boat looks like the ones that were carried of the Carriers of that period. 50' and wide and man could they hold a lot of Sailors in the roughtest of seas. You know when they call liberty call a little weather doesn't stop them. I've seen a lot of them sold in the Boats and Harbors and we even have a fellow here in Richmond Va that gets them and resells them.
Fred said his boat is powered with a Jimmy 6-71. Do you know, Larry, if this was the original power for these boats when they were in service with the Navy or did they use a different powerplant?
Yep. Most all of the utility boats had 671. The Navy used them almost exculsively in those and their LCM's. I believe the Captians boat and the Officers boats had some kind of V8. Seems I remember some Studebaker parts in inventory on my ship.
What I meant in the LCM's is mostly Detroit Diesels. Some larger ones had 2 shafts with 4 671s 2/shaft via Faulk gear. Or 2 12v71 one per shaft.
FF's ride probably started life looking like this.* It could have been used in any number of ways.* Larger ships (think carriers or heavy cruisers) have larger boats.* The destroyer I was on had one utility that was around 40 foot.* There were numerous life rafts but only the one boat.


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Man those things could take a beating. Single engine boat with a young coxian, throw it up against the landing a unload. Not to mention stopping in the middle of the night and putting one over the side and filling it with material and sending it off into the night to meet a submarine (I guess that's where they went because they came back empty). Man some of the things we expect our young sailors and military people to do we had better give them the best. I think I read an article in PMM about Willard Marine on the West Coast building them and they used the best of everything in the hulls and running gear.
I've been waiting for FF to show up and answer some of these questions but he's AWOL for some reason.

Willard Marine did and, AFAIK, still does do Navy work, but the one FF has was built by Uniflite in Bellingham, WA.. I remember him mentioning that in another post somewhere. Between 1968 and 1972 Uniflite provided the US Navy with over 1500 fiberglass boats up to 52 feet, including the river patrol boats used in Nam. The PBR's used the same hull as the 31 foot express cruiser.

And the 6-71 was the most used engine in these utility boats.

-- Edited by gns at 19:32, 2007-12-08
Just found the thread, Yes the USN has probably hundreds of these boats with many assigned to carriers.Mine is 50 ft long 15 ft wide .

While in service it would haul 150 white hats (enlisted men) ashore , or carry up to about 20,000 lbs of cargo to & fro.

They have strong points that are pinned to a lifting cable setup and hoisted aboard a ship, dropped into a cradle with wheels , rolled to the elevator and chained below deck.

Since they are "open" boats frequently used offshore ( the carrier draws 60 ft so anchoring is outside many harbors) ) the boats have full foam flotation.
In other words there is a foam collar built into the boat that would allow the boat to float even when filled with water.

I'm sure the carrier boss would have a hard time telling 150 relatives the boat sank cause a wave flopped aboard.Also the boats are looked at as auxiliary flotation should the carrier be lost. The hull will stay together , even pushed by a bulldozer off the carrier deck, falling 70 to 90 ft.
Sure the engine would most likely continue to Davy Jones , and the fuel tanks would surely rupture , but it would STILL FLOAT , happy news for swimmers.

The boat origonally had a 6-71 with TD 1-1.5 gear and a 27x24 prop. Service speed was 10K with full 22000lb load. They go 12 or a bit better empty , but drink 12 -14 gph , OK for the USN , but not for FF.

Now she is optomized for our cruising ,
A Grey Marine 6-71 that was BRAND NEW , in the can war surplus , with1-3 graring is used with a 32x32 4 blade . The 90 injectors removed for 60's and the timing is "A" (advanced).

This optomizes the low speed range , we ran the loop at under 2.5 gal per hour for 4000+ miles, (But lots is restricted to 10kicks 900rpm,) , normal cruise is 8K , 1200 RPM and -3GPH

12K is still aviliable at our light weight , but the fuel flow is still high.

While the hull is semi plaining , no flats but a pretty straight run aft , transom immersed a few inches 8ft wide , and at light disp she draws a bit over 3ft. I have a set of flopper stoppers to install so she is less rolly in beam seas. She now has added bilge keels 8 in deep and 30ft long that slow the roll a bit , but not enough for the brides comfort.

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