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.

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25 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.

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