Liberty Aviation Museum's WWII Vosper Pt-728 Thomcat
Project Status Update, March 2018
During late Summer of 2016, Pt-728 Thomcat was launched for sea trials, after undergoing extensive repairs and a rebuild of the vessel. The vessel's performance looked promising, and a top speed of 52 miles per hour was achieved, even though the vessel’s hull never got up on plane.
Shortly after launch; however, a multitude of significant deficiencies became apparent with the vessel. After haul-out in the Fall of 2016, and a subsequent thorough examination of the vessel through March of 2017, it was apparent there were serious issues with the work performed on the boat, especially structural. At this time, a decision was made to begin deconstruction of the vessel to determine the extent of the issues. By April, it was decided that a complete reconstruction had to be undertaken to correct the problems.
Since that time, a great deal of progress has been made on the Pt-728 Thomcat. This includes:
- Removal of most major equipment on the boat including engines, and underwater gear.
- Removal of all hull exterior planking from the deck/gunnel, down to the keel.
- Removal of the Stem, Keel, Chine, and Gunnel.
- Most of the deck and superstructure has been left intact.
Moving forward from this point the following has been accomplished: Frames and frame gussets are being fabricated and replaced where needed. A brand-new Stem has been built and it is now installed on the boat. (The Stem runs from the top of the bow at the deck down to the Keel). A new Keel is on its way to being completely fabricated and re-installed on the boat. The Gunnel (top edge framing all around the boat) is in the process of being re-fabricated and replaced. The replacement of the Chine will be next (mid support frame that runs around the vessel where the bottom meets the sides). Once these major internal structures have been replaced re-planking of the hull will commence using 2 layers of mahogany planking.
As progress continues we will keep everyone up to date. We do not yet have a projected date of completion for the vessel considering the extent of the work needed. We will try to give project updates as they become available.
As always, we welcome volunteers to assist us in getting our WWII Vosper Pt-728 Thomcat back in the water again. If anyone is interested in volunteering, please contact us at email@example.com or call 419.732.0234.
You can also help us preserve history for future generations by donating to us. The Liberty Aviation Museum is a 501c3 non-profit organization, receiving no government funding to operate or fund any portion of our facility and restorations.
(Click on photos below to enlarge.)