A PT boat is a fast attack craft armed with a torpedo used mainly by the US Navy during WWII. The goal of this boat was to attack larger ships that were on the surface. PT stands for Patrol Torpedo. They had an endearing nickname, being the mosquito fleet, but the Japanese called them devil boats. We will review the Elco PT boat in greater detail. During WWI, torpedo boats had displacement hulls. They were able to displace anything up to 300 tons and could travel at speeds of around 29 to 32 miles per hour (or 25 to 27 knots per hour in naval terms). The same type of hull were in the PT boats during WWII, but they also used one for racing boats, thereby greatly reducing size and increasing speed. The new PT boats were able to travel at around 35 to 40 knots. The boats main use was to strike large warships with a torpedo. Their size and speed meant that the boats were able to come in without being spotted and that they were able to get out very quickly. Also, they were relatively cheap to manufacture.
The PT boats played a very important role during WWII. In fact, they managed to attack a high number of enemy surface crafts, including destroyers and supply ships. They were also used to gun down small enemy crafts, including the armored barges that the Japanese used to travel from one island to another. Their role was so important, that it played a vital role in them winning, particularly since the Germans had a very impressive naval fleet. There were three main types of boats, the Elco PT boat being one of them.
The Elco PT boat was the largest of the types. They were also constructed in the highest numbers. The crafts have a wooden hull and classified as a boat even though their size was more comparable to a ship. Their construction included mahogany planks, with a layer of canvas that was glue impregnated between them. Thousands of copper rivets and bronze screws held them together. Interestingly enough, now that they are no longer used by the Navy, these boats – now classed as vintage – are now being used as a luxury motor yacht. Having an Elco PT boat converted in such a way really gives people the most unusual of all luxury motor yachts, basically living in style on a little bit of history. It is also a nice idea that the boats that served the country so well are now being treasured and loved by boating enthusiasts. They have basically been offered a chance to retire in comfort and style, which is something every veteran deserves.