PTF England

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PTF England

This growing section shows some history and new activities based on the "Nastys" in Europe. The emails are in order of the most recent at the top.

(added 07-15-2013) - Nasty/Tjeld Class Yacht Conversion

We bought her back in 1986 in the United Kingdom. There were 3 Nasty Class vessels for sale. One has been converted into a houseboat, one was dry docked for a lengthy period to dry the hull and apply a fibre glass coating over the wood (West System) before being shipped to Australia and the other one is ours. Over the years, I've actually seen the two other hulls in person on the English South Coast. Our vessel was P347 'LOM' built by Westermoen in Norway for the Royal Norwegian Navy.  See the details and photos HERE.

(below added in 2002)

I posted this on a UK usenet newsgroup.  I think I sent it to you, in case I didn't:

A message and request to my British friends.  I was once assigned to a Navy
unit that operated Norewgian PT boats, circa 1968, that had Napier Deltic
power plants.  Turbocharged diesels that put out around 3,100hp.
Spectacular! Two per 80' boat.

I'm now involved with a US non-profit agency that wishes to preserve one of
these boats, hopefully with powerplants intact, as original.

I know there is at least one  boat pretty much intact in the UK.  My
question is, are there any individuals or business entities operating any
boat or yacht with Napier Deltic power plants?  This engine was widely used
in rail locomotives, and there is lots of stuff there.  That's not my

My main ideal answer is to find someone who operates these engines in a way
that is economical for civilians.  I know they are fuel thirsty, that's not
the issue.  The main issue is operability between rebuild or overhaul.  My
direct experience with the engines was less than stellar.  We're looking to
be able to operate the engines a few hundred hours per year.

Any advice or direct experience would be hugely welcome.

Alan Sandoval

I Got an interesting reply:

Two or three years ago there were three 'Nasty' class fast attack craft,
all intact and in varying conditions, for sale on behalf of the deceased
owner's widow in a marina on the West coast of Scotland, Largs or Troon
AIR. I don't know what finally happened to them or if any of them are
still on the market.

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03-08-02   Dan, Further to your request for photographs of the PTF/Nasty class boats please find attached some taken of ex Norwegian navy pennant # P469 (the green one). I am afraid I cannot remember the name of the vessel but it was converted by ourselves for a commercial application and these pics were taken whilst on sea trials off the Isle of Wight in UK, probably around summer '87. As you can see a permanent weather proof housing was attached to the open bridge and a small deckhouse constructed immediately aft. I am not sure how detailed the instrumentation photos will transmit but it was running at 1800 RPM with all readings as per the book. Without armament and with 50% fuel capacity this equated to approximately 44 knots. The other vessel, (gray one) was also similarly converted with a Cor-ten steel superstructure and is shown as a 'before and after'. I trust these are of interest and I will endeavour to sort out some more. Best regards, Alan

 03-08-02    The Nasty PTF is now at Penzance safely tucked in a corner of the wet dock. Enclosed is a photo.  By the way Steve's phone number is 01736 365053 . His Email phone line is not working at the moment! John Lees, Penzance.

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02-25-02    Hi ,The Nasty is out of the boat shed and looking a bit bare on the deck- needs a few guns!, enclosed are a couple of pics of it on the slip. It will be put in the water soon and either put on a mooring or put in the enclosed dock at Padstow until the weather is suitable for the tow to Penzance.  John Lees.

02/02/02     Hi Alan,
Time for some more news, as you should see the hull has come on well, and so it should considering the effort that Steve Palk has put into it!. He has modified the transom slightly so that one can get aboard when on a mooring and then re-rooted the exhausts. It is as you know a big boat and a tremendous amount of wood has been used, the whole bow has been rebuilt and the deck redone. I hope that the photos come out OK, a colleague took them whilst visiting Padstow. It should not be long now before the nasty is back in the water as the yard owner wishes to have the space to construct a steel boat and is running behind on his contract.

The nasty will be brought down to Penzance in the not too distant future,

John Lees, 
Penzance England

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Dear Dan,
By chance I have just come across your website. You may be interested to know that my family's company has been specializing in the purchase of ex military fast patrol boats since the 1950's. Initially it was British Proud, Gay and Dark class. The latter, of which we purchased eleven from UK navy, were fitted with series one Napier Deltics. These were removed and scrapped prior to us selling the hulls to the Italian Customs department in 1967 for re-engining with CRM 18 cylinder diesels. The hulls were delivered to Livorno and La Spezia using two temporary GM 6-71' diesels.

However, the main point of my e-mail is to tell you that we were involved in 11 Nasty (Tjeld) class boats sold by the Norwegian government in 1981. These boats were collected by us from naval base Horten and delivered to Southampton UK. The other four were towed from Bergen Norway to my colleagues base at Troon in Scotland. I guess one of these is the one now in Cornwall England. These boats were all complete with their series 3 Deltics in good running condition when purchased. and we have extensive knowledge of the boats and machinery. I still have an official vessel handbook and most of the engine instruction manuals. Several vessels were sold to Greek operators who we believe used them for 'cargo' transport in the Mediterranean. None of them lasted very long as the inexperienced operators could not handle the Deltics. Another of the Scotland boats was towed back to Norway for restoration in a museum whilst yet another had its hull and decks totally rebuilt and was shipped to Australia for completion.

Apart from selling complete working Nasties we have also stripped out machinery for refitment in different type later hulls. Two vessels are completely stripped out and still in the Southampton area as houseboats. A third one (ex Scotland) has been fitted with two Mercedes 1800 HP diesels, although the conversion has not been completed due to, I am advised, 'lack of cash', a familiar story. A fourth hull was sold for conversion to a yacht and 
fitted with two GM 8V71's which did not give much performance. I recently saw this boat advertised in a marine journal

We were also the original owners of Stephan Bott's 'Brave' class plus three 

If Steve Palk in Cornwall wishes to contact me I may be able to give him some useful advice based on many hours spent running the 'Nasties'. I have many photographs and documents together with amusing stories! PS. The hand turning gear for the series 3 Deltic consisted of a right angled gearbox with dog that attached to one of the top crankshafts after removing a blanking plate. This was then turned by hand using a a simple 1/2 inch drive socket but it required many many essential turns. 
Keep up the good work.
Best regards,
Alan Vincent

 11*14*01 Dan I have photographs of Nasty's DB1/2&3. which were my boats. DB3 is now a house boat in Woolston Southampton on the river.  ITCHEN, DB2 went to France as a motor yacht?. DB2 went to the East coast of England last I hear of that no engined hull. The refitted hull which was to have two Protius Gas turbines fitted was owned by a Australian mining exc but he lost his money and the job went in a hold situation. No more info on that front. The remaining complete Nasty's lying in Scotland were broken up two years ago and all I have left is Two Deltic engines complete (in deep lay-up) ex Norwegian navy. If you would like to make me an offer loaded to container for shipment to USA make me a offer. When I get some time I will sort out the photos etc and send you some copies.


John, thanks for the response. It sounds like everything is fine. I'm most pleased that the engineering is complete or restorable. Hulls and topside is easy! 

Engines. Are you sure they are operable? Were they run for the new owner or was he simply assured they would operate? 

I certainly don't want to sound patronizing, I have no idea what level of expertise you have at your disposal regarding operation of Deltics. So, I'll just go ahead and patronize! 

The Deltics are EXTREMELY sensitive to how they are fired off. If all the precautions and procedures aren't followed there is a high risk of terminal problems resulting in catastrophic failure. Catastrophic failure of a Deltic means that a multi hundred thousand dollar engine will be sold for aluminum scrap. And there is no way any regular civilian will be replacing a failed Deltic. 

No American navy person ever worked on the internals of a Deltic. We did accessory replacement, maintenance, installation and removal. If any engine had serious problems we sent it back to the Philippines for repair. I suspect they didn't work on them there either but sent them to the UK for the factory to repair them. 

The usual failure aside from accessory malfunction was the engine throwing a piston out the side of the block. Those engines were written off. I don't know if you went to Dan's site and looked at the reader's pages. If not, go there and have a look at my section of his site. I have a very interesting tale to tell about the time we had a Deltic run away on it's own oil. Not something we want to have happen with this boat. 

One other thing. On our boats there was a heavy asbestos blanket over the turbocharger. Whenever it was disturbed it sent thousands of fibers into the air. We didn't think much about it at the time. Seemed kind of attractive when they hit the light and sparkled, actually! We know a little more about asbestos now. Please have anyone who would be working with it wear appropriate breathing filters. 

Keep us up to date as much as possible. Any pics of the engineering spaces are greatly appreciated. We have lots of hulls here, most are beyond repair, or nearly so, mechanicals are severely lacking in the US. 

0 9/7/01   Sorry no more pics of the interior yet, however this will be done in the near future. Apparently the boat was taken out of the water successfully and the condition of the hull is thought to be sound ( despite the fact that it looks dreadful!. Yes the engine room is absolutely original and all of the bits and pieces work. The generator starts and runs just fine, the air tank may well be tested, unfortunately the control room instruments have been vandalized but a spare set was obtained with the boat-just a bit more work! I spent an hour last night printing your technical instructions -very useful! . Cannot imagine ever having to rebuild one -what a challenge!  Will keep in touch, John Lees 

I was sailing my Laser tonight! ,I have not heard how the slipping went at Padstow, Steve was not answering on his mobile phone I know that it was   taken out of the water but not whether there was any damage done in the   process, will update you as I find out more, visitors are welcome to the boatyard to see it in its current state, will keep in touch,  John Lees.

09-06-01   Oh! It looks outstanding! Please keep in touch with those of us over here who have experience running the engines!  And please, consider keeping the boat in it's original configuration. This boat is a valuable icon in it's time period. There are lots of people who would love to have the opportunity to revisit an original Nasty. 

I'd be so disappointed if an operable Nasty were somehow reconfigured into a cruising boat. I'm sure you have lots of Deltic resources there, they did originate in the UK. Please let me know of any plans for this particular boat. Without it's original configuration, engines and equipment, it's just  another unwanted hull. There are too many of those out there already. This boat is special.  It is very demanding upon resources. Perhaps if we can join together to preserve this boat we can all enjoy it, and it's history, in a way that will honor those who served upon this unique vessel. 

I've been on the water my entire 53 years of life. I'm more of a sail, rather than power, guy. I've never had a more thrilling experience on the water than being on a Nasty at speed. My advice, restore the hull and whatever equipment you can. Keep the engines and accessories in running order. Keep the boat as original as possible. Lots of people spent lots of time on Nasties doing things they probably don't want to talk about. But the experience of this boat and the sensations it passed on to it's passengers and crew are timeless. Keep in touch,   Alan

PM 9/4/01   I have enjoyed your website and you may like the photo of an ex-Norwegian navy Nasty that I took on the 2nd September. It has arrived in Padstow, Cornwall, England after being towed down from Scotland. It will be slipped at Padstow where it is hoped that some work can be carried out to enable it to run under its own power. The engines seem to be in good order and are part of the reason why Steve Palk bought the boat, it is thought that they have not been run since the vessel was sold by the Norwegian government. The yard owner is enthusiastic as well as Steve but there is a lot of work to be done! Will keep you informed,  John Lees, Penzance, Cornwall  England.

9/9/01 - Alan,  I have had a phone call from Steve the owner half an hour ago, he has removed the props ( a tale there on the web pages), they are bent on the outer edges but considered repairable. The hull from 2 feet above to all below the waterline is OK , the bow has to be repaired and as I said the wheelhouse has to be rebuilt as it is to soft under the glassfibre coat , like the Irishman's pick perhaps it can be repaired a bit at a time and it will still be the original! 

I'm not so concerned with the topsides. It is kind of like a vintage race car. As long as you have the original chassis plate you have the "original" car! 

He will be removing the turbocharger outer covering at least ( there is no asbestos as far as I could see) to check that the filter has not deteriorated and inspect as much as possible before any attempt is made to start the engines. 

The original blanket surrounding the turbo and exhaust leading it was originally 100% asbestos. Maybe it's been replaced with something less dangerous. In any case, be careful.  As you say, no civilian has probably run these engines. The last attempt failed by some Norwegians who had hoped to take it back to Norway. To think of rebuilding one of these is horrific, there are two spare engines that can be bought from the same source but even an engine change seems a bit of a challenge. Changing engines is one thing at which I have lots of experience. It isn't that bad, just lots of work. If they do get into a position where they need to change an engine just make sure the shims under the mounts are retained in their original positions. We were religious about that. The engines were made to tight specs and if you kept the original shims you didn't have to realign the engines, a daunting task. The scariest part of an engine change was that someone had to be at each mounting foot to place the shims as the new engine came in. We did it with the boats in the water so there was always some hull movement. I'm not a small guy but I crammed myself in the bilge to hold the shims in place when they dropped the engine in. Being crushed by a Deltic wasn't my idea of a good time! 

It is still a way off the time when the engines will be fired , by then it is hoped that all the procedures will be followed , even the experts were only human! There is already a person who has turned up and has promised to get hold of an engine-turning handle (18 turns for one engine turn-and once only before starting) as there does not seem to be one on board. I don't remember us hand cranking the engines. 

But for sure we were careful about hand oiling the engine before any attempt was made to start it. Yes , read the bit about out of control engines, one wonders whether the rings were broken before hence the need to run off the engine. It seems the Norwegians used to run them off on a regular basis and swap around to equalize the oil levels (beginning to learn a bit but far from it yet!) 

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10/7/01 -  Hi Alan,  Back to the Nasty, I saw it last weekend, it is now under cover and I enclose some photos, Steve is busy now removing damaged and rotten wood- some on the deck and some on the Aft Stbd Quarter. Had a look at the engines and there does not seem to be a method of turning them over by hand as is suggested in the manual. How was this done? He would like to turn them over gently before giving them some air .

I don't remember any time that we rolled a Deltic by hand. I reviewed the manual and it surely does recommend turning it over by hand. I DO remember that we ALWAYS spend enormous energy pumping oil through the system before the first time we would light off a newly installed engine. Isn't Napier still a going concern in the UK? I have to think that a little research locally could turn up some expert advice on your side of the pond. 

Again, I advise total caution when working with these engines. They are amazing when they are working right, and they are a total nightmare when things go even a little wrong. I find it difficult to believe that any civilian could operate a Deltic more than a few times. If your friend gets his boat seaworthy you will have support from us to help operate the engines. I'm thinking that it will amount to one or two high speed thrill rides and then he will convert to a more reasonable power plant. 

The Nasty's were built without consideration of cost. They were built for nations to have a high speed and highly effective multi-purpose assault boat. And they are that! 

If the Nasty weren't such a special boat you certainly wouldn't have hundreds of people working for their preservation. I know boats. I'm mostly a sail guy, but I'll never forget the thrill of being on a Nasty at full tilt. Chills did actually go down my spine. I know when a boat is right. A fully functional Nasty at speed is the most "right" boat I've ever been aboard.