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PTF  5,6,7,10,11 & 12 and 19

(02-15-09) A lot has changed in the last 8 years with these surviving boats. A pictorial history is shown here with some dates. Unfortunately we have to report that many were demolished and the metals sold for scrap. Fortunately some of the useful deck fitting and hardware were shared with the boats getting restored.

(08-07-08) Dan -  I am a guy who takes boat pictures. I made a visit on 7 August to the Chesapeake Marina in Great Bridge VA, hoping to shoot the PTFs there. Alas, I find that over the past year six of the seven have been broken up and demolished. Only one is left - - owned by some guy in California. I've no other information than that. The woman managing the yard that day said they didn't know which boat of the seven was the one that was left. All she said was that they were waiting for word on the guy's plans for the craft.  

I wasn't able to get on board, but did walk around - two shots are attached. Feel free to post on your excellent site. 

Do you know which boat this one is?                                     

Thanks for any info. 

Chris Cavas
Bethesda MD                                   

(11-27-07) Well, here's the update on the boats guys. One of the workers there was kind enough to let me walk around and take photos. He said that the sold boat was sold to a man in Ca. who's different from the original owner. Pics 1 thru 12 are the sold boat. Horrible condition. Hull planks separating from each other. Pushed in areas, dry rot, rusted steel on all joint areas, just a mess and its the best one left of the bunch. All the scrap is from three boats already crushed. The hardware will be sold for scrap along with the two engines in the photo. Every prop i saw had at least one bent, chipped or dinged blade.


As you can see in the ptf-18 photo you now have it identified. The guy took my card and said he would ask the boss if i could buy one of the props as scrap brass. Given the price of scrap brass I doubt I can afford now that I'm retired. We'll see. Sure would be nice to have tho! He said the man that bought the one boat has never seen it . We both agreed he is in for a surprise.

To be crushed scrap V-drives To be sold for scrap PTF 5 & 7
PTF-18 Napier Deltics Inside Scrap PTF-7 sign



I think the last boat in the pic of two is PTF-5. or that's where it was.

Seeing such great craft go to the scrap yard has really put me in a foul mood! Damn Shame.

Next trip  -  Sorry Bob, every bit of what was PTF-18 was gone when I went back Tuesday. The only things left were the shafts, struts, props. I have the wood from the starboard aft corner as u can see in the pic. They are about 30 inches long and 1 1/2 thick. That's from the 7 boat. It was interesting to note when I salvaged the wood and bits that  fiberglass was used in making up the whole thing. First question that came to my mind was "why wasn't the whole boat fiberglassed?' weird!

Another Trip - Hi Guys, I went out this morning and took my truck to the site. The owner could not identify the boat that was sold to the man in Ca. but the other guy that has my card said he would look next time he's on the boat.

All of the remaining boats have been crushed. The pic of PTF 5 and 7 shows the 7 boat on the left and the 5 on the right. as you can see in the pic, the guys who bought the 19 boat were back salvaging anything they could get. they were unbolting the Deltics to remove them when I got there.  The pic of the wooden plaque PTF-7 was found on one of the bulkheads in the hulk. I tried but they said the owner had said he wanted it and he wasn't there.  They said they opened a void or something and out fell a bag of weed. The one guy described it and it was probably in the neighborhood of a kilo. We all had a good laugh at that. I mean what good, squared away sailor would do something like that?

The owner of the place said I could take some planks but at the insistence of one of the guys stripping the hulk, I took what you see in the treasure pic. He said the 19 boat had a safe also, which they cut open but it was empty.

All those items in the pic came off the 7 boat. I could not find anything off the 5 boat worth keeping. All the wood was in very bad shape. I plan to remove, and clean up the cleat and the bitts. The bitts look like maybe the starboard aft?

I'm up for whatever you guys want to do with this stuff. As much as I'd like to keep something, I think i would get a lot of satisfaction out of letting you guys decide what to do with it. I didn't serve on any of the PTF's so I don't feel any personal attachment, just a love of warboats.  Let me know.

Paul Holloway
Norfolk, Va.

These Photos received 04-16-04 from

I was in Portsmouth today and went by to see the boats. There are 7 boats at Chesapeake Yachts but the condition have really deteriorated since I was last there. When they picked them up off the sand to load on the barges or when they landed at the boat yard the slings cut into the hulls. So there are rather large holes in many of them. There are one or 2 that are okay but the decks are rotted to the point that I was afraid to walk on the decks. I had had it in my mind to buy one to restore/convert but at this point I think they are too far gone. (My opinion.) I took a bunch of picture and will send them as soon as I download them from the camera.

[I didnt put them in any particular order. - Dan]

PTF-19 sold and moved. Details here.

The above buyer of what is now determined to be PTF-19 has the following notes that Chip Marshall brings forth:


This guy is serious. He says he has the 18 boat on a barge and is waiting for the weather to clear to make the 20 hour trip from Norfolk to Chestertown. I was on the phone with him for about 30 minutes and got quite a bit. He is forming a non-profit and want to put the Deltics back in and operate them. Apparently, he talked General Propulsion out of five engines; two operated about seven years ago from the boat on the barge, two came out of one of the boats in Norfolk and one was on the ground in Norfolk.

I also got a list of the boats he says are/were in Norfolk (the information is based on tags and labels he found on the boats):

12 (was on the barge-he is getting the engines) [Wait, wasnt that the 18?]
10 (waddaya think of this Jim)

He is getting the 18 boat. Some of the ribs are sawdust. About 20 feet of the stem has to be replaced. He was able to pick through the yard and get parts from the other boats (ventilators, ammo boxes, etc.).

My question: where is the 19 boat?


The boats are moved!

During two weeks in August, 2002 these PTFs were moved from their home on the sand for 15+ years to the new yard at Chesapeake Yachts:

Directions found here.

05-06-03  Hi Dan,

The PTF that was restored and supposed to be sold some 5 years ago has shown up at Chesapeake Yachts. The boat has been supported incorrectly while stored on the barge and the keel has suffered. George and I will try to get pictures of her soon and send them along with others that I promised. The latest addition to the collection of PTF's is the best of all of them.
But any of the PTF's acquired for restoration will require lots of work and MONEY.

Keep us informed in your effort to acquire one of the boats.


(03/08/03) Gentlemen: I want to throw a couple of ideas out for discussion and comment concerning the remaining Nastys. First, we all know what boats were purchased by the Navy and where they served up to 1970 or so (Da Nang or San Diego). We also know that the boats built in Norway and Annapolis have engineering stations that readily identify where the boat was built. So, making the possibly dangerous assumption that the engineering stations were not moved from one boat to another during refits at Subic Bay, where a boat was built would be easily determined. The next fact is the practice at Da Nang to remove the boat numbers from the deck house (and elsewhere?) making the identity of an individual boat difficult for security purposes or if the remains of the boat were to fall into the hands of the enemy. Questions: 1) was there a positive means of boat identification in place at Da Nang or Subic Bay at any time during PTF operations in Viet Nam? 2) when the PTF operations were shut down at Da Nang and the boats taken to Subic Bay, how were the boats then identified? 3) How were the boats identified when they were returned to the US for reserve duty? 

I suspect what we are going to find is that the boats were numbered based on whatever information was available to the organization responsible and accuracy was not important. If that is true, we would have to question whether or not the boats lost were actually those listed at lost. 

One other question: how much control did the "real" Navy have over the Subic Bay repair operation? Was the operative expression "parts is parts" true? Do any of you out there have any first hand knowledge or access to first hand knowledge about the administrative practices of that operation? 

Jim Thomas is right. Another trip to the Tidewater area to look at ALL the boats will be necessary to get this a little closer to right. In the meantime, all of you that are familiar with the nuts and boats of the PTFs should think real hard about the number of ways the Navy identifies vessels such as PTFs. I am up for another trip when the weather clears. 

One additional comment about PTF-13. I am the one that found the small boat cards at the Naval Historical Center. I remember some attached correspondence between BuShips and the new owner and within BuShips regarding the problems of getting the boat registered. The biggest issue was PTF-13 was considered to be a foreign built warship by the US Coast Guard and would not register the vessel. Whether or not this is factually true is not the issue, but this was the problem the new owner set before the Navy. To assist the owner of PTF-13, BuShips concocted a document saying that the construction of PTF-13 had indeed been started in Norway and COMPLETED at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Pennsylvania, USA. That document was passed to the new owner to get the USCG off of dead center. What happened after that was not found anywhere in the files. George: is there anyway to determine the number of 80 foot hulls now or previously registered? Supposedly the new owner of PTF-13 put $250K into the boat before the USCG started giving him heartburn. With an investment like that in 1972 dollars, I would think the boat would be used for something.  - Chip Marshall

Thanks for the reply, Dan. There's no question its hard to categorize the information, but I want to complement you on leaving it all as raw input and not trying to smooth it up--its still pure science so far, and if at some point we get new information, its still possible to go through all the unedited input and see how that affects the observations of the past. So I suggest not moving the Sea Scout data until more is known; Its present location portrays the uncertainty of our knowledge. Incidentally, whenever I meet a streetwise waterfronter in the Bay Area, I ask him about the PTF 13 situation, and nobody has any memory of her. Perhaps San Francisco wasn't her actual locale. But I'm trying, yway... -George

George, Maybe I can help with the Great Bridge boats! The numbers painted on the hulls are wrong because the 10 boat as numbered there is a Trumpy hull as well as the Five hull there was Four Nasty hulls and three Trumpy hulls there. The Seven Boat was there because found tags on the fuel tanks and PTF 7 stamped into the Port Generator foundation, sent Dan the Tag that I removed from a fuel tank. Also there was a hull with 18 painted on the intake screen and supposedly the 18 is setting on a barge at Newport News!! I was there in May of 2002 with Chip Marshall and others. Thanks, Jim Thomas

Dan, a friend on the East Coast recently sent me some interesting observations about the PTF's at Great Bridge. He recalls seeing 7 of them there, and I don't recall anybody reporting that many at any one time. Also, he recorded seeing PTF 5 and PTF 10 there on repeated occasions; PTF 10 is the one that was sold to UK buyers, and I don't believe she's been identified since. 

Here's what he wrote: ...... As for the PTFs at Great Bridge,Va. I have gone back to my notes and its an ugly story. On my first visit to that spot in Aug.1995 I wrote in my notes SIX patrol vessels in the weeds PTF 10 and PTF 5 readable. In May 1996 took a better look and my notes say SEVEN hulls....PTF's 5, 10 and MAYBE 11 and 3. June of 1996 I got to scope out the grounds from a tug wheelhouse and recorded SEVEN hulls. Last time I was up there was Sept .1998 and I wrote SEVEN hulls including 5 &10. I don't know what to make of this. Frequently these trips involve high speed boats, sleep deprivation and alcohol but at least a couple of the notes were clean and sober with good weather and when on the MISS LORI and CEDONIA CROSBY... good height advantage. The Newport News PTF was down there in those days so she was not in the mix. I gotta check it out this year when I get to Va. _____ 

I'm trying to follow the progress on the Sea Scout Boat, definitely PTF 19, then definitely PTF 7, now probably PTF 3. This is great! -George.

The plot sickens. I note that under the PTF 3 notes, James on 05-05-02 notes the boat marked PTF 10, but not only that he knew of her scuttling, but the boat was a Trumpy style. Any chance a Trumpy was renumbered PTF 10 to cover the escapade of the scuttling while still in government hands? An expert needs to see if there are photos of PTF 10 dated later than the scuttling incident to see if the one shown is a Trumpy. I have two photos identified as PTF 10 passed along from Ted Stone. They're unmarked for date or location, but were probably taken by Ted and therefore stateside. One shows her in service, with PTF 10 on her bridge. The other shows her ashore and out of service with that number not in evidence. Both views show starboard sides and bridgefronts. Any way to check them for details of who built them? I note that 3 of the boats at Great Bridge were identified as Trumpys. If the supposed-18 at Newport News is also visibly a Trumpy, that's more Trumpy's than there are available. Is there some chance the Navy did some other number-swapping that has caused this confusion? That would put a whole new light on the problems encountered by the purchaser of the PTF 13! -George.

Here is part of the latest General Propulsion mailer.

(These images are very large)

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I went by Chesapeake Yachts on Sunday and saw the boats. I am sending you eleven pictures. The fresh paint in my option must have been old paint when they painted it on. They have been painted but not this year. There are lots of holes and damage to all the boats none are ready for any engines to be dropped in. -  Randy Bryant (

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In Nov. I was in Virginia. and the ptf's were at a boat yard. They had been patched with plywood and a quick paint job, gray of course. Enjoy the photos. From a true ptf owner to be. Gary. Sheryl M []

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These location instructions were forwarded by Dennis Magee who travels by there regularly:

Hello again, Jim The following should lead you from your home to the Boats:

Travel North on I-95 to Emporia VA. From the 2nd exit for Emporia, VA follow RT 58 East to Suffolk, VA. Watch your speed as you leave Emporia, VA and travel to Suffolk, Va on RT 58.

At Suffolk, VA., as you continue to the East, RT58 is triple posted with RT 13 and RT 460. Follow the Suffolk Bypass signs and continue East. As you leave the Suffolk area on RT's 58/13/460 you will be traveling through a wooded swampy area. The road at that point should be 3 lanes in each direction. You should pass a truck weighing station, both sides of the road and a general aviation airport on your left. You will be approaching I-664 at Bowers Hill. Travel on I-664 East for a short distance, moving to your right to pickup I-64 West to VA Beach. You will have to look at a map of the Tidewater VA area to understand why it is I-64 West while you are traveling East. On I-64 West continue past the RT17 exit. You will be approaching the twin High Rise Draw Bridges. As you approach the bridges look to your right and you will see a beautiful sight. The 7 Boats fill over half of the left side of the Blue Water Yachts boat yard. Be Careful! Don't wreck you car !

Leaving the bridge behind continue East on I-64 West, look for the lead-off road to the I-464 North and RT104 South (Dominion Blvd) exit. Take Dominion Blvd(rt104) South through the first traffic light, over a small drawbridge to the next traffic light. This should be Cedar Road. Take a right. Travel on Cedar Road and look for Deer Crossing Road on the right, then Popular Hill Rd on the right, and then MILLVILLE ROAD. Take a right. Stay on Millville until it ends at SHIPYARD ROAD. Take a left and look for the entrance and sign for Blue Water Yachts on your right. YOU ARE THERE!  - Dennis

(10/20/02) Notes passed along to regular readers about the state of the boats.

I had a good phone conversation with Mr. Bill Norton (owner of the boats at General Propulsion, Palm Springs CA at 800-966-1212) today. The notes below are ramblings from my note pad as we talked. 

When asked what the boats weighed he said, 60 tons with engines 45 tons w/o engines. The lifting fixture weighed 15tons by itself.

They are at a new yard called Chesapeake Yachts near by. He had a 150 ton crane lift them each onto small barges 22’ wide. That was narrow enough for the travel lift to get in and pick them up. The first boat took 3 days to get on the barge, then they did 3 per day after it was figured out. He has some photos of the operation, and said he would let me put them on the web, but I never got him committed to getting them to me. 

One boat had 130 gallons of fuel in the bottom where someone had diddled with the day tank, so he had to get a commercial fuel pumping service in to pump that out. 

I guess the place was crawling with mosquitoes. He had about 100 bites, but didn’t get West Nile. 

One boat is missing shaft and prop. He has 8 props in storage. He found one extra engine somewhere, so there are 9 engines back there and 6-7 in Palm Springs. The 3 Deltics that went to Miami for the ferry boat were sold for $59K each. They are still sitting there because the guy that purchased them got sick. (After paying that much and figuring out what he got?) 

He wants $20K for boats without engines and ~ $50K+ for boats with engines. Someone from the Navy has been talking to him about the possibility of putting them back in service. They are all setting in a row at the above marina. All are painted new gray and looking good. He thought that most of the hulls were in very good shape and some rub rail wood might have to be replaced. (I remember the plywood main decks being crap.) The last issue of “Boats and Harbors” has a ˝ page ad with new photos and an ad will be in Marine News coming soon. That’s the summary. - Dan Withers

(10-17-02) Hi Dan,

I found these pictures and I think they are of the PTF's that were in Chesapeake, WA (Great Bridge area) and are now at the Chesapeake Yachts (Deep Creek Area). The Owners name (CY) is Jack Stephens @ 757-487-9100 or .

Randy Bryant

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(08-01-02) I was in the Marine Corps ( I Corp 1967 to 1969) and I really appreciated the Navy guys that ran into Qua Viet to re-supply us. I also love PT boats so once I found your web page I had to go see the boats in Great Bridge. I was there today and after a few false starts found them. The local were very helpful but there was a lot of inaccurate information. I took the attached photos and I hope that they help promote what you are doing. I didn't have alot of time on site but I took these 7 shots. The boats are in terrible shape and I would guess that in a couple years will be to far gone. One of the locals told me that a female marine (Sgt Major) had purchased one recently. I counted 7 sitting there there but couldn't remember if there were more than that there. Do you know who has the title to the boats? The locals for the most part do not know. 

I spoke to someone at the Tug operation on the opposite side of the creek and he told me the person was in California but thought that he had recently moved. I could be interested in one if the price was right but didn't have any idea on how to find the owner. If you know let me know (thanks). If you need anything else I will be happy to go back and shoot more digital photos, etc. Thanks, - Roger Henry, Charlotte, NC.

A work party went to visit the boats in May, 2002 with a goal to identify the actual boat numbers. They left with the following conclusions (confusions).

05-05-02  Dan - The facts are we are not sure as to what boats are on the beach at Great Bridge, VA,  or what boat is on the barge at Newport News, VA and what boat is in Florida. There are four Nasty class and three Trumpy boats beached. Looking at the sterns right to left Nasty Number Five, next is a Trumpy marked as the 10 boat (NO WAY is it the Nasty Class 10 boat, she was lost in Viet Nam). Next is the Nasty SIX Boat and besides on the left is PTF Nasty Class Seven Boat (found tags on the fuel tanks marked PTF Seven,) with the  Bull Nose missing, and I have one of the tags. Going out of the hole cut in the hull by the Port Generator foundation I saw the frame had been stamped PTF 7. Next boat is a Nasty Class Number unknown because we couldn't get aboard those three boats, but the other two are Trumpy class. The next to the last Trumpy painted on the air intake screen is PTF 18 but we have been told that the 18 boat is on the barge in Newport News, Va. Also I could tell Nasty from Trumpys by the Draft Marking on the Bow sections and if you know what to look for by the Pilot houses the way that they are shaped. You can check with Chip as these things were pointed out. It was a very weird and eerie feeling to actually see and lay hands on Boats and machinery that I had worked on, trained Vietnamese on and rode into Harms Way 38 years ago as a young Sailor whom at the time didn't know Fear or what to fear, but had a job to and do as I was told to do. - James

To read another opinion about these boats read George Schneiders remarks.

I visited these craft in October 2000. Checkout the complete collection of photos of PTFs at Great Bridge in the Grand Gallery.

Many of you have seen the early photos on the web of the seven PTFs sitting on the ground at Great Bridge, VA. Here is a collection of photos taken by other fans.. There are enough overhauled Deltic engines to get 4 more going.

01/30/02 - More accurate information has come to light. Documents now show that what we thought was PTF-19 in Ft Lauderdale was in fact PTF-7. So now I have to sort out this whole thing. So PTF-17 must be one of these hulls.

New View of boats---->

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jpg (47324 bytes) JPG (44075 bytes) Lost the originals, Scanned crummy copies.
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