PT 728, World War II Patrol Torpedo Boat, for Sale in Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog

Hammacher Schlemmer’s catalog is subtitled: “Offering the Best, the Only and the Unexpected for 164 years.” One item for sale certainly qualifies as “unique.”  They currently list for sale the World War II PT-728, the only PT boat in existence licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard for carrying passengers.  They are asking $1,000,000 for the refurbished boat.

The Genuine PT Boat 

This is PT-728, a 66 1/2 year-old restored Patrol Torpedo Boat from World War II. With a keel laid on August 10, 1945, she is one of 12 remaining PT boats in the world. She is “armed” (all weapons are deactivated) with a single .50- and two twin .50-caliber Browning machine gun stations, an aft 20mm Oerlikon cannon, four tubes that each housed a Mark VIII torpedo, and two depth charge launchers. Built in the Annapolis Yacht Yard using a 72′ British Vosper design, her hard-chined, triple-ply mahogany hull is nearly flat at the stern, allowing her to “plane” on top of the water at speeds up to 42 knots, a necessity for quick getaways after a torpedo run. So compelling was a PT boat’s performance that Nelson Rockefeller converted one into a high-speed yacht for commutes between Albany and New York City. Updated with modern electronics, radar, and two turbo-charged diesel engines providing 1,100 total horsepower, she is the only PT boat in existence licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard for carrying passengers. Special conditions and guarantee limitations apply. Please call 1-800-227-3528 for details. 72′ L x 18′ W x 7′ 4″ H.

This entry was posted in Current, History, Lore of the Sea, Ships and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to PT 728, World War II Patrol Torpedo Boat, for Sale in Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog

  1. BobK says:

    Sounds like a real power house with 2 diesels putting out 1,100 combined horsepower, until you consider that an original 80′ Elco PT boat sported three 1,200 HP Packard turbocharged engines that were so powerful the hulls needed special strengthening. Elco boats sported six mufflers on the transom, one for each bank of six cylinders. When it was time to be stealthy, you muffled the engines. When it was time to go to flank, you un-muffled a 4″ straight pipe right off the exhaust manifolds. The sound un-muffled and at full blower must have been amazing.

    They built many of those hulls in a special jig that enabled the workmen to roll the whole hull over for planking, and I understand it required over 1 million screws to plank an Elco hull. Tremendously strong boats without any carbon fiber, fiberglass or high tech epoxy resin.

    This one is very nice, but nothing tops an 80′ Elco with 3,600 Horsepower worth of howling Packard V-12 engines at full throttle coming at ya….

  2. Phil says:

    Don’t waste your money!
    They were all made out of plywood!
    There are not that many left as claimed, if at any..
    Most were BURNED after WW-II, but one did survive and it was owned by Ernest Borgnine from McHale’s Navy fame.

  3. Phil says:

    The National PT Boat Museum at Battleship Cove
    P.T. Boats were powered by three 4M-2500 Packard Marine Engines developed by the Packard Motor Car Company specifically for the United States Motor Torpedo Boat program. The Packard Marine is a powerful high-speed supercharged, lightweight engine of the aviation type.

    Basic characteristics

    60 degree Vee-type twelve-cylinder
    Liquid cooled
    4 stroke cycle
    Fuel – 100 octane aviation gasoline

    Horse power

    1200 hp – 1940
    1350 hp – 1943
    1500 hp – 1945

    Increases in horsepower were made to compensate for the constant additions of heavier armament put on the boats during WWII. P.T. Boats achieved 45 knots top speed during shakedown testing but averaged about 40 knots under normal combat conditions.

    The forces of nature had profound effects on the PT boat’s speed. Warm sea temperatures would hinder the engine’s cooling systems and sea growth on the bottom of the boats would also reduce speed performance. The height of sea swells would not only affect speed but could damage the boat and possibly injure the crew if a PT Boat tried to run head-on into a 12-foot sea at high speeds.
    http://www.battleshipcove.com/pt-power-plant.htm

  4. will says:

    hmmm . . . i thought this one lived for some years on the rondout in kingston owned, i thought, by rob ianucci. i wonder how Hammacher Schlemmer got ahold of it . . .

  5. Bill says:

    If I am not mistaken, this boat was operated out of Key West, Fl recently as a tourist attraction. When they cranked those diesels it was loud but what a chance to ride a piece of history!

  6. Bob H says:

    This boat is a “replica” of an Elco 80′ vessel. It was built in Annapolis, MD originally under license from Vosper (British Company) which would explain the claim it was used in the TV show McHale’s Navy. The TV show boat was a British MTB replica, not an American PT. Almost all of the war time PT’s were built by two major builders. Electric Boat Company, Connecticut (some built in their NJ plant) and Higgins Boat Company of New Orleans, LA. The Higgins boats also used the Packard engines, but were 8 feet shorter than their ELCO counterparts. Due to the shortness in length, the Higgins models had to mount the older, longer torpedo tubes in a staggered overlapping configuration already angled outward for firing. The ELCO boats had to have their tubes cranked outward to avoid running over the torpedo as it was being fired. Later in the war they were just dropped over the side, eliminating the need for firing tubes.

  7. Pingback: Update: PT-728, World War II Patrol Torpedo Boat, Bound for New Home in Port Clinton, Ohio | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

  8. Capt kelly says:

    Capt kelly in key west was the captain onboard pt728 for eight years and did two major refits on pt728…he can tell the complete history.

  9. Hawk McCain says:

    @BobK

    True that the triple Packards would’ve been a helluva lot more HP on the waves, but one needs to keep in mind that those were carbuerated, and designed to run off of leaded 100 octane gasoline, and that’s pretty darn expensive these days. Twin turbo diesels oughta get the job done for civilian life plenty well, and the diesels will be a lot more fuel efficient and less costly. Spend a mil on the boat itself….you really wanna spend 4 to 5 bucks a gallon minimum to fuel it when you could pay a lot less on the diesel?

  10. Dr. Stephen D. Sawruk says:

    For many years the Sea Scouts in Kearney, NJ had one just like this. I took a tour. It had two(2) diesel engines, I believe were turbo-charged mercedes. Scouts closed down, I tried to find out where boat went but to no avail. Wonder if this is it?

  11. Chris says:

    Strange. I could have sworn I saw dozens of these boats lining the banks along the Inner coastal waterway south of Norfolk back in 2001. Pretty certain there were quite a few of them. But when I went back in 2002, they didn’t seem to be there anymore. Would have loved to have had one to restore. What a beautiful hull and nice lines these had!!!

  12. Wow, what a great gift idea for Christmas. think of the speed; think of the sound. Think of the fun, I could play McHale’s Navy all the time. . . I would have to capture a Japanese Sailor to be the cook. . .LOL I live in the desert so this really makes sense to me. I can dream can’t I. . .Cheers

  13. Dave Woelper says:

    These boats are awesome and I would like to own one someday. Has anyone out there ever considered building one?

  14. Al Bond says:

    Building 3 in Australia as we speak all fitted all combat ready replicas unvaling of the boats will mid 2014. 2 may or may not be sold…

  15. dale kompik says:

    My father retired out of continetal motor works in muskegon mi. They built 12cylinder motors for u.s. tanks until we went turbine. It is my understanding they also built engines for the PTs…(?) maybe under Packerd TM

  16. Larry says:

    Dave, I been looking for a boatyard that will build a “large” Pt boat. One that will go transatlantic. I have a ladyfriend in England I’d like to see again. LOL

  17. Peter Hutson says:

    Always been a fan of Pt Boats ,ever since as a boy Sea Cadet (in the UK) I provided a guard of honour for the premier of the film PT 109 back in the 50,s . Went on to serve 28 years in the Royal Navy some on British MTB.s , but nothing like the glamour or adventure those old PT Boats must have been.
    Long may old timers like myself strive to find/restore and keep this part of the Navy History alive. Good Luck all you old sea dogs, it must be TOT time, grog to you or rum time like we used to have in the real old navy. Pete Signalman 1st class

  18. Robert.E.Smith says:

    All these remarks about the P.T. Boats powerful engines remind me of our machinist on our P.T. Boat 532 on patrol during WW 2 in the phillipines. He was prone to sea sickness and the fumes from the three Pakards always aggravated the situation. Once we were underway on a patrol he would wedge himself under an aft torpedo, spill his lunch, and then he would be alright the rest of the night. He could have been transferred out of P.T’s but beloved those engines!!!

  19. Jim Petersom says:

    I worked for almost 7 years on the RV Inland Seas in SF Bay the boat was an old ARV made in WW2. They had taken out the gas motors and put in two Grey Marine diesels. The boat hauled children on two trips a day for almost 20+ years until she was retired. The .50 cal mounts were still able to be seen when below deck. A very well made wood boat.

  20. John Parks says:

    Always been a fan of the PT Boats. It took a lot of guts for those old Sailers to go out on missions in the fast but a non-armored boat to engage the enemy. One of the best ideas we had in the Pacific, fast and powerful, cheap to build and destructive but effective. May the PT live on… if only in pictures… not many left.

  21. Jack Vansworth says:

    My Uncle, George Kempfe, was a Motor Mac on an Elco during the last few years of the war in the Pacific. The comment about blowing lunch over the side gave me a laugh. “Unc” said he always had a large tin can tied around his neck when down below, so he didn’t puke all over the engine deck! I think I have a photo! He’s 94 and still bowls twice a week. I flew Helo’s in Viet Nam……’ah to be young and crazy again! My hats off to these guys and my Dad and his Brother, one on a Tin Can in the North Atlantic and my Dad on a LCM in the Pacific. Anyone out there know my Uncle George??

  22. Leo Canavan says:

    While flying out of the Philippines for Air Phil. I saw a WWII PT boat at Subic Bay it had 3 Packard Merlins and looked great. This was in 1994..
    Leo

  23. Chris McBurnie says:

    The family story is that my great uncle bought a PT boat in San Diego, way back when, with another fellow with plans to pilot it to Alaska. The second man backed out of the trip and my Great Uncle took it up by himself.
    Not sure how possible that is but it helped keep up an image of psudo-certifiable ancestral insanity.

  24. Kurt B says:

    I found this site because Im very interested in buying one, and did not and do not expect to find an original. If I did I would donate it to the Chicago Museum of science and Industry as a working PT to be displayed some where near the captured U505 which rests permanently indoors in Chicago. I’m from a navy family. I also enjoyed the comments about the power plants in these bad boys and your rite guys it must have sounded awesome (goose bumps on a rock!) Last but not at all least…a retort to the comment about Gas Vs Diesel costs….if you worry about that…you can’t afford one of these BAD BOYS!!!! Luv, Boating and Beer (safely) Kurt

  25. Kurt B says:

    My dad was one of the last anti aircraft gunners on the USS TEXAS, number 2 turret, blowing the “divine wind” out of the sky!! God bless all VETS! until next time guys …be well.

  26. ROBERT E LEWIS says:

    served on the uss salisbury sound av13 from dec 1954 to feb 1957 i usedto watch the pt converted crash boats go out at sangley point in the phillipines . they hard the most wonderful sound of any machine ever put together by man . there were three pt boats assigned as crash boats tocover saNGLEY POINT NAS AIRCRAFT NEEDS.

  27. julio luis marani says:

    tripule estos lanchas torpederas en la Armada Argentina,que eran resagos de la WW2,compradas a EEUU,fueron lo mejor que conoci a pesar de navegar aguas australes Argentinas(Canal de Beagle)que hermosa sensación,inolvidable,siempre la recuerdo con cariño y ya pasado 42 Años y ahora la he visto recuperadan la Ciudad de Ushuaia,en un parque tematico.

  28. It has been a long time dream to own a WWII PT Boat. History has always been sorta my thing, To own a piece of History would be the ultament.(sp). my love for Historic Weapons,(pt boats,rifles,handguns,and fullyautomatic ones) will be with me till the day I’m gone.

  29. So, PT Boats are Made of PLYWOOD, They are a part of American History; Even if I was in the Army (1-72/12-84) History is a part of who we are.

  30. Rick Spilman says:

    Well, yes and no. What was called plywood in WWII would not be called plywood today.

    From “Plywood Battleships

    For those of you chomping at the bit to take issue with the word “plywood,” consider this; words often take on different meanings for succeeding generations…. Today’s plywood is composed of thin sheets of wood (of various dimensions), joined together by the generous use of glue. PT boat hulls were composed of double planked 1″ mahogany fastened with monel (brass- aircraft type) screws. Sandwiched between the layers of mahogany planks was a layer (or ply) of canvas.

  31. John Defoe says:

    Impressive, I wonder if 20mm Oerlikon cannons still work as they used to. Would like to try them for fun on open sea. :)

  32. Al Atkins says:

    all the pt boats were gas

  33. Rick Spilman says:

    Right. I think they all had Packard 4M-2500 engines, if I am not mistaken. Most surviving boats appear to have been re-engined with turbo-diesels.

  34. Sutphen runner says:

    If anyone wants to get a feel for what it’s like to run a PT boat, just call Richie sutphen in Florida. His relatives designed the PT boats and he builds 30 to 40 ft boats that very much resemble a PT boat. I’ve owned several and can tell you they are one hell of a rough water boat. I can’t even imagine an 80 footer.

    They are plywood core, with fiberglass but it’s the closest your probably going to get to a PT boat today for reasonable money.

  35. Gerie Clemente says:

    Sutphen runner, how can richie sutphen be contacted, interested to know more of their work

  36. lawrence fluehr says:

    I REBILT PT 515 FROM STEM TO STERN IT WAS CLARK GABLE BOAT ONE TIME NO ELCO WAS BUILT OF PLY WOOD THEY WERE DOUBLE PLANK CRIS CROSS MOGHANY OF DIFERENT SIZES MY FATHER ASK IF WE WERE EATING THE WOOD THE BOAT IS IN NEW YORK SEA PORT WHEN GOT IT THE KEEL WAS FULL OF TAR AND THE BOAT WAS CALLED TAR BABY IN PHILA WE CHANGED THE NAME TO FLAGSHIP III LARRY FLUEHR

  37. Brian J Henry says:

    I have always regarded the PT Boat the ultimate to own.I could do with living by a boat yard,an 80foot boat will not fit at home.Nice to Dream.

  38. Jim Reed says:

    You have to have a PT Boat with the three Packard V-12 engines, because they’re an incredible ride. Packard but terrific engines. The big downside to the Packard engine were their gas consumption, which was horrible. The Navy didn’t care during military operations during the war. But after the war, the gas consumption was not tolerable, and they couldn’t be sold to anyone either. That’s why they rounded them up and burned them. Only a small amount survived. Its a shame that the Navy send some to museums around the country, but they didn’t.

  39. Marc Schultz says:

    I just came from the Deland, Fl NAS museum and got the honor of seeing the restoration they doing on PTF3. The gentleman that showed us everything was a fantastic and very intelligent man. We got to inside and up on the deck. This boat has the Napier Deltic 18 cylinder turbodiesels, which they have on site. You can’t get much closer to a piece of history than this. Plus they have an F14 Tomcat and a TBM Avenger they are working on. Go see it and throw a few dollars in the box. You won’t be disapointed!

  40. Dave says:

    Vietnam War – Coast Guard was assigned Patrol Duties using left over PT Boats during the conflict. When the US pulled out the PT’s that were still useable were left with the South Vietnamese however, if not sunk the couple that remained working after the War were sold, converted and used to transport material up and down the Mekong River. I remember reading a long time ago that one was still in use in the late 70’s early 80’s. I’m sure somewhere along the Mekong River remnants can be found of these magnificent vessels. Regarding everyone’s comments about the fuel usage by these ships, first if you can afford the light sum of $1Million for PT728, fuel costing $5-$12 per gallon is really an insignificant amount…! I’m not sure the fuel capacity but let’s say it’s a thousand gallons of 100 Octane fuel @$7 per/gal, that’s only $7k! A drop in the bucket compared to the maintenance and docking fees for an 80 footer on a monthly basis and even that is not outrageous for a Million dollar boat which is a part of our American history. This was not available when I had commissioned a replica to be built to as exacting a standard as could possibly be with of course modern navigational equipment on board for the long journeys we have planned for her……………… :) It was a short time after my deposit that PT728 came on the market, too late to pull out of our commissioned vessel. After much planning, scheduling matters, and other obstacles FINALLY She is Close to being completed. Delivery is scheduled for May-’15 and we are in the process of getting a PT designation for her through the proper channels. It’s the # I have chosen for her that seems to be the sticking point with the proper people involved but I’m hopeful soon we’ll be shoving off……..

  41. Jeff Kelly says:

    I was one of the many Key West captains who skippered PT 728 during her years docked in front of the Schooler Wharf Bar. She was a blast to drive and we took tourists out and made faux torpedo runs at schooners full of other sun-baked tourists. She was powered by two Detroit Deisels and did maybe 15 knots, no where near the 38 kts. with her original Packard gas engines. I stumbled on this site and am glad the old girl is still afloat. She belongs in a museum.
    re: Vietnam PBRs – patrol boat river: I saw them in action on the Cua Viet River in northern I Corps ( as a Marine grunt from shore) and they we much smaller than PT boat. I’m pretty sure there were no PT boats in Nam.

  42. robert minor says:

    Picture of PT 658 underway on US Navy website, listed in all photoes section.

    060610-N-0975R-002 Portland Ore. (June 10, 2006) – Patrol Torpedo Boat (PT) 658 transit past U.S. Navy ships at the Portland Rose Festival. PT 658 was saved by volunteers and veterans from the Oregon area. The group successfully restored the 50-Ton World War II Motor Boat to full operational condition including the full armament and three original Packard V-12 engines. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ralph Radford (RELEASED
    Download High ResMore Info
    Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on print

  43. Jean Knowles says:

    The P.T. boats were not made out of plywood. They were made out of mahogany and sealed with a special glue. The only one left is up in Portland, Oregon which was brought there from California. It has been restored by some of the men who manned them. They will never be forgotten. God Bless them all !!

  44. Russ says:

    Not all U.S. PT boats were made of wood. There were four boats made that were aluminum, Thet were designated as the Osprey class and numbered by the U.S. Navy as PTF. I believe that the assigned numbers were 23, 24, 25, with 26 bring the one that I am familiar with.They were powered by two (2) Napier Deltic high speed diesel engines @ 3300 HP each, swinging two (2) 50×52 over square props. The boats were 95′ in length and weighed in at 115 tons wet. There is not al lot of known history involved with them, but they were active during the Viet Nam era. Back in the States the 23 and 25 boats went to the East coast and the 24 and 26 boats remained on the West coast. The PTF-26 is the most notorious of the four and although involved in numerous law suits in the late 1980’s, she was active working under contract to the Navy, with a civilian crew out of Port Hueneme Ca. I’ve tried to track the 26 boat and the last place she was known to be was beached somewhere in the San Francisco bay area after being re-engined and run by Sea Scouts or some other such group.

  45. Rick Spilman says:

    What gets confusing is that the PT boats were not made of what we would call plywood today. However, because they were built using glue and laminated planking, the construction was referred to as “plywood” during World War II. So no, PT were not built of modern plywood but they were built of what was called plywood in the 1940s.

  46. H Mckee says:

    I can say I have been on this PT several times the years it was in Key West, and knew its captain and crew that did a very acurate sunset tour in WWII uniform. It even made attack runs on the other vessels at full speed.
    Because of the mostly flat but bow and front quarter, it could do hard port or starbord turns at full speed and hardly list let alone capsize. It was a real hoot to go out on.
    I was really sorry to see it go, but the person that bought it was a real jerk, who just wanted a toy, took it to New York and sort of neglegently trashed it.
    Glad to see its still around though. Have several video of those sunset patrol cruises, to remeber it by though.

  47. Max Cohen says:

    I was an Aviation Radioman flying Amphibious Grumman J2F5&6 with Utility Squadron VJ13 stationed on Guadalcanal in 1944. One of our jobs was to rendezvous with PT boats off the island as an air/sea rescue drill. We would throttle the plane down and drop very low into formation just behind two of these PT oats. They had to be doing better than 42 knots because we needed 80 knots to stay airborne. I figure that a headwind helped keep us flying but even so, they had to be faster than the numbers I read here. We never kept the formation for more than a minute, but I recall matching their speed.

  48. Max Cohen says:

    As I think back on the very minimum speed of the J2F6 it was about 62 knots. That was the speed we needed to lift off water.

  49. Clarence says:

    The one the sea scouts had ,was powered by 2 8v71 Detroits

  50. Doug Rentsch says:

    The only thing plywood on a PT was the deck. The hulls were 2 layers of 3/8″ mahogany

  51. Rick Spilman says:

    The problem is one of terminology. The layers of mahogany were termed “plywood” in the 1940s.

  52. vinny says:

    there are 4 hulls of PT boats in Kingston NY . up on blocks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *