Business is a funny thing. Hopefully, you’re good enough to have clients coming to you at all hours of the day. Sometimes though, say in a crappy economy with a really small company, you’ve got to search work out. And even then, sometimes their project is more important than the money you could make.
Sure, doing charity, or near pro-bono work is something that will eventually break the bank, (if you do lots of it) but what has the bank done for you lately? Not bloody much I’d guess.
I came across this project, PT-658. Much to my surprise they’re based down by Freightliner on Swan Island in Portland. They have been rebuilding a WWII era 82′ Higgins built PT boat. Mostly wooden, packed with three Packard-built 12 cylinders, with superchargers! (@ about 1800 Hp each) They’ll burn through 500 gallons every hour at full speed. That said, I no longer consider my car a gas hog. Then again my car won’t do 30 at sea with 2 X twin .50 cals, two Oerlikons, a single Bofors 40 mm and an Olds M4 topside. Not to mention the four Mk13 torpedoes and the several depth charges.
So this wild vessel, this classicly American, super-light, super-fast, way-too-armed, little wooden boat is in the midst of being rebuilt so it can be viewed as it is, a Historic Naval Vessel. John F. Kennedy frolicked about the lower Pacific in a boat much like this, although frolic is probably not the word best suited for the depiction of his service. PT crews had little going for them except loads of guns, speed, and maneuverability. Oh that, and extraordinary intestinal fortitude.
As a tribute to those who served on PT boats, the PT-658 is becoming a museum of sorts. I made this logo for the boat, for all those who served on boats like it, and for the tireless volunteers who have helped PT-658 return to service. She is apparently the last working Higgins PT boat on the west coast. There ought to be a shirt…