When it comes to boats, if you know much about them then chances are quite good that you know what the letters PT stand for. For those who do not know, this is the naval classification that signifies ‘patrol torpedo’ and it refers to motor torpedo boats which were designed to be fast moving boats that would be capable of attacking larger ships out at sea. The was one of these and during World War II, these boats were quite a menace to the ships that they would attack. The Japanese Imperial Navy referred to these types of boats as ‘devil boats’ because they could swarm on a ship and do serious damage due to how quickly they were able to move through the water. What is perhaps most impressive is that the Elco PT boat was capable of moving at around 27 knots (roughly 30 miles per hour) and, at the same time, that it was made from wood. These boats based their design off of racing boats that were popular during those days so they could move at high speeds to get in close to large ships or barges and hit them with devastating torpedo attacks that would put a quick, watery end to those crafts. This is a large part of why they were so feared.
During World War II, the Navy had a strong need for very cheap and easy to make boats that would be highly effective. Elco’s Naval Division designed the to provide exactly that kind of product for the Navy. Their boats were easy to assemble and they could even be repaired right on the front lines if the need for this arose. More than any other brand of motor torpedo boat used in WWII, Elco’s were the most numerous, especially their 80 foot long variants. Of this kind of Elco PT boat there were well over 300 produced and many say they were vital to the success of the Allied forces in the Pacific. Since the Japanese made such heavy use of their navy, it was crucial to have such a craft available. Today these boats are loved by collectors because of the mahogany used to make them and the copper and brass rivets that make for such an interesting looking design that is truly visually appealing for collectors. Elco also has a number of other boats collectors love.
If you are looking for a craft for personal use then a PT boat might not be the cheapest. Today, are more favored by those who simply want a pleasure craft. However, if you are a collector then nothing less than an Elco will do and you can find these online now.