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Navy renewed their investigation into the concept by requesting competitive bids for several different types of motor torpedo boats, but excluded Hickman's Sea Sled. The first class was for foot 16 m boats, and the second class was for foot 21 m boats. The resulting PT boat designs were the product of a small cadre of respected naval architects and the Navy.

On 11 July the Navy issued notices of competitions for the design of four types of boat: foot subchaser, a foot subchaser, a foot motor torpedo boat, and a foot motor torpedo boat. The larger boat was to not to exceed 80 feet and to carry at least two inch torpedoes, four depth charges, and two.

The performance specification was to achieve 40 knots and an operating radius of miles at top speed miles at cruising speed The smaller boat was to weigh no more than 20 tons so that it could be easily transported by cargo ships. Its maximum speed was also 40 knots but specified radius was miles at top speed and miles at cruising speed. Armament was less - two torpedoes and depth charges, or. By September , 24 designs for the smaller boat and 13 designs for the footer. Three designers and five designers were asked to submit detailed plans for the ft and 70ft boats respectively by 7 November George Crouch for Henry B.

Nevins, Inc. In an important note after winning the design competition for the smaller PT boat, George Crouch wrote that Hickman's Sea Sled design would be far superior "in either rough or smooth water to that of the best possible V-bottom or hard chine design".

Earlier when Sea Sleds were specifically excluded, Crouch had informed the Bureau of Ships that the Sea Sled was the best type of vessel for the job. Higgins built an additional PT-6 "Prime" redesigned by Andrew Higgins personally using his own methods.

Later that same year, Higgins was to build PT at their own expense that incorporated slight improvements over PT-6 Prime. Later, rigorous testing performed on each design as well as changes in armament revealed limitations or problems that had to be fixed before they could meet required performance specifications. As a result, the Navy ordered further investigation and refinement of the existing designs until a satisfactory working design could be obtained.

At the same time, Henry R. Sutphen of Electric Launch Company Elco and his designers Irwin Chase, Bill Fleming, and Glenville Tremaine visited the United Kingdom in February at the Navy's request to see British motor torpedo boat designs with a view to obtaining one that could be used as a check on the Navy's efforts. PT-9 was to serve as the prototype for all the early Elco PT boats. After the initial competition, in late , the Navy contracted Elco to build 11 copies of PT On 11 October , an agreement between the Navy and Huckins was finalized.

The Navy would provide engines, and Huckins would build a PT boat at their own expense, with the caveat that the boat upon completion would be offered to the Navy for a later sum. This boat designated MT was a foot 22 m boat that became PT Operating personnel reported extreme discomfort and fatigue. All boats suffered from some sort of structural failure: forward chine guards ripped away, bottom framing under bows broken, side planking cracked [indicating lack of longitudinal strength], and other weaknesses.

And, in early , the U. Navy Bureau of Ships BuShips lent Packard engines to both Huckins and Higgins, which wanted to build competitive boats at their own expense.

All PTs prior to the 77 ft 23 m Elcos had been found defective, and it was probable the extended 70 ft 21 m Elco would not be an improvement. The conference strongly recommended that no more Elco footers be ordered until the tests had shown Bass Boat Construction Plans 75 that they were indeed satisfactory. Wilcox, Jr. Each member of the Board conducted an independent inspection of every boat class, evaluating them for structural sufficiency, habitability, access, arrangement for attack control, and communication facilities.

Boats would have their tactical Pt Boat Construction Plans 72 parameters of each design determined by photographs from an airship. Lastly, there was a demonstration of seakeeping qualities and hull strength by making a run at maximum sustained speed in the open ocean. Accelerometers were installed in the pilot house of each design to record "pounding". Conducted 24 July , this open-water trial, nmi km; mi at full throttle, would forever after be referred to by PT personnel as the "Plywood Derby. At the time, only the Elco footers was loaded with armament.

The other competitors had copper ingots added topside mostly in the turrets to make up the difference. This resulted in severe conditions for several of the boats during the trial and accounted for the transverse failure in PT ' s deck and subsequent hull failure as the copper fell into the hull.

Nine boats participated in the trial, [note 1] and six boats completed the trial; PT suffered structural damage off Block Island and withdrew, PT withdrew after damaged by the ingots, and MRB developed engine trouble at the start of the run and withdrew.

By class, PT , the Elco footer, came in first with an average speed of Due to the problem with ingot loading, a nmi km; mi trial with the PTs fully fitted out was conducted on 12 August During this trial, boats faced heavier seas, as high as 16 ft 4.

All except the Huckins PT completed the run. The Huckins withdrew due to bilge stringer failure. The Higgins footer PT completed the entire run but also suffered structural failures, attachments between planking and web frames pulling loose, and deck fastenings in the neighborhood Bass Boat Construction Plans 35 of engine hatches showing extensive failures.

PT suffered minor cracks in the deck in the same location, but not to the same extent, as previously observed in PT , PT , and PT PT was assigned as a pace boat with PT-8 in order to generate a pounding comparison. The average speed results from the nmi km; mi course were: Elco footer PT , Accelerometers were again installed in the pilot house of each boat, but the readings were incomplete because the violent motion of the boats made observations extremely difficult and in some cases necessitated abandonment of the observing stations.

Further, many of those taken were beyond the normal range of the instruments and were considered inaccurate. Elco boats were found to pound heavily and confirmed previous reports of their discomfort. The Elco Footer Design Demonstrates: [13]. The Huckins Foot Design Demonstrates: [13]. The Higgins Foot Design Demonstrates: [13]. The Board arrived at the following recommendations: [13]. The Board also had the following opinion on structural sufficiency: "During the first series of tests 21�24 July the Huckins design PT , the Philadelphia design PT-8 and the Higgins design PT-6 completed the open sea endurance run without structural damage.

The Higgins 70' British boat did not complete this run because of engine trouble. The Higgins 76' PT and boats of the Elco 77' PT Class developed structural failures even under moderate weather conditions prevailing.

In the interval between the first and second test periods the PT was repaired and an effort made to eliminate the causes of the structural failures. However, during the second endurance run, which was made in a very rough sea for this size boat, structural failures again occurred in PT PT and PT experienced structural failures during the second run though these were much localized as compared with those found on PT The Board is of the opinion that certain changes in design are required to enable PT and boats of the PT Class to carry safely their military loads in rough weather.

The Board results provided very important benchmarks in the infancy of PT boat development. Those are: [13]. By war's end, more of the Elco 80 ft 24 m boats were built in all than any other type of motor torpedo boat. The foot 24 m wooden- hulled craft were classified as boats in comparison with much larger steel-hulled destroyers, but were comparable in size to many wooden sailing ships in history. Though often said to be made of plywood , they were actually made of two diagonal layered 1 in 25 mm thick mahogany planks, with a glue-impregnated layer of canvas in between.

Holding all this together were thousands of bronze screws and copper rivets. This type of construction made it possible for damage to the wooden hulls of these boats to be easily repaired at the front lines by base force personnel. Five Elco Boats were manufactured in knock-down kit form and sent to Long Beach Boatworks for assembly on the West Coast as part of an experiment and as a proof of concept.

The Higgins boats had the same beam, full load displacement, engines, generators, shaft horsepower, trial speed, armament, and crew accommodation as the 80 ft 24 m Elco boats. Many Higgins boats were sent to the Soviet Union and Great Britain at the beginning of the war, so many of the lower-numbered squadrons in the U.

Navy were made up exclusively of Elcos. The first Higgins boats for the U. They were also used during the D-Day landings on 6 June Even though only half as many Higgins boats were produced, far more survive seven hulls, three of which have been restored to their World War II configuration than the more numerous Elco boats. Of the Elco boats, only three hulls one restored were known to exist as of Frank P. Huckins and his innovative Quadraconic hull design were latecomers to PT boat design.

Not invited to participate in the original design competition, by late , Huckins had a meeting with Captain James M. Irish, Chief of Design of BuShips, and offered to build a "planing seagoing hull" PT boat, on the condition the Navy loan Huckins engines and agree to look at the Huckins boat. In early July , the Navy accepted PT After obtaining excellent testing results at the Plywood Derby, the Navy awarded Huckins Yacht Corporation a contract in for 8 boats, and later added 10 more.

The design was enlarged and modified to meet the new requirements. The first three of the new design PT through PT were initially kept in the Jacksonville area for testing, resulting in several important modifications to the overall design these boats were later assigned to Squadron 4 in Five foot 24 m boats were assigned to Squadron 14 PT through PT which was commissioned in early ; and ten boats assigned to Squadron 26 PT thru PT which was commissioned in mid Although not used in any other PT boat design, Huckins licensed the use of his patented Quadraconic hull in his PT boat construction.

He also granted permission for Elco, Higgins, and the Philadelphia Navy Yard to use his patented laminated keel, which increased hull strength, although neither Elco nor Higgins ever chose to use it on their boats. Most probably due to the lateness in joining the PT boat program and unlike Elco and Higgins, the Huckins yard was never provided any government support to construct a larger facility prior to the war.

The handcrafted Huckins PT was produced at their civilian facility at a speed of one per month. The success and ruggedness of the Huckins' foot seagoing design is demonstrated by Squadron 26's constant ready-boat operations and Fleet torpedo boat training in the oceans around Midway and Hawaii during the last two years of the war. During World War II, Vospers of Great Britain arranged for several boatyards in the United States to build British-designed 70 ft 21 m motor torpedo boats under license to help the war effort.

These boats were never used by the U. Navy, and only about 50 were used by the Royal Navy ; most were passed to other countries. With accommodation for three officers and 14 enlisted men, the crew varied from 12 to 17, depending upon the number and type of weapons installed. Full-load displacement late in the war was 56 tons. The hull shape of the Elco and Higgins PT boats were similar to the warped "planing hull" found in pleasure boats of the time and still in use today : a sharp V at the bow softening to a flat bottom at the stern.

A common characteristic of this type of warped hull is the "rooster tail" in the wake. Unlike the actual "planing hull" Huckins, which planed at knots, the Elco and Higgins PT boats were intended to plane at higher speeds PT 71 and PT classes at around 27 knots, and the PT and classes at around 23 knots.

The Elco, Higgins and Huckins companies used varying lightweight techniques of hull construction which included two layers of double diagonal mahogany planking utilizing a glue-impregnated cloth layer between inner and outer planks. These planks were held together by thousands of copper rivets and bronze screws. The overall result was an extremely light and strong hull which could be easily repaired at the front lines when battle damage was sustained.

As a testament to the strength of this type of construction, several PT boats withstood catastrophic battle damage and still remained afloat. For example, the forward half of future President John F. Kennedy 's PT Elco stayed afloat for 12 hours after she was cut in half by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. PT Elco was cut in half by a kamikaze aircraft on 10 December off Leyte , yet remained floating for several hours. PT Higgins had her stern sheared off by a collision with PT during a night mission in the Mediterranean on 9 March and yet returned to base for repairs.

PT Elco was holed through the bow off Bougainville on 5 November , by a torpedo which failed to detonate; the boat remained in action and was repaired the next day. In , an inquiry was held by the Navy to discuss planing, hull design, and fuel consumption issues.

This resulted in the November Miami test trial between two Higgins and two Elco boats, but no major additional modifications were made before the end of the war. I then started looking for an open boat, but my wife wanted something we could sleep on � so we settled on the Wee Seal. I wanted something with character, and she fits the bill. Kit includes all plywood parts and MDF moulds. Total cost will be around five times this price, for additional timber, glues, paint, fixings and rope.

Graphic designer Graham Young started building his Selway-Fisher Tideway 14 pocket cruiser three-and-a-half years ago. But I reckon three more months should see it through. Graham has just finished painting the hull and is now moving onto the rudder and rig. Kit includes all plywood parts for the boat. Total cost will be around five times this price, for all the additional timber, glues, paint, fixings, sails and rope. Gary Wallis finished his Cape Henry 21 gaffer in under a year.

Gary Wallis liked the look of the Cape Cutter and had built aeroplanes before he started his Cape Henry, which he built in just under a year. Kit includes all plywood parts. The frames, bulkheads, shelves and seats are connected to the keel and to each other by a series of precision pre-cut slots and tabs which interlock to form a rigid skeleton on a ready-made, lead-filled keel.

Chris Nunn built his Stornaway Weekender in just six months. Chris Nunn pulled out all the stops and built his 18ft 5. It all went to plan, I just threw it all together and in six months she was ready to sail. The 20ft 6. In doing so, I was able to lay out the "chine shelf" template in full as opposed to just one half on the smaller plans. I believe this is a great help as the most probable material for this build is plywood, and you now have the option to cut it out in one large piece directly from the template.

Below is a preview of the three sheets. The quality of this tiny image doesn't make it justice, but it should give you a good idea of what is included. Before you embark on this project, realize I have not built this boat and can only offer my experience from the much smaller Pt boat. Having said that, I see no reason this much bigger PT boat couldn't be built in the same fashion, only with plywood instead of balsa. Part Two: Assemble the Hull structure. Part Three: Planking the hull.

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