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 Author  Topic: Elco 80ft Boats-Day Cabin windows-covers?
PT Modeler

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PT Modeler  Posted on: Oct 4, 2014 - 9:58am
Help Please.
From what I can see in some photos, there appears to have been some form of a cover for the day cabin and chart house windows to prevent light showing at night. I know what the covers for the 77 foot Higgins look like, but I can't find any clear photos of the covers for the 80 foot Elco boats. What were they made of? How were they fitted over the windows? In several photos of the chart house windows (from the bow looking aft) it is clear the windows were covered as they are the same color as the rest of the boat. However, just what they are made of is not clear. Nor could I see the day cabin windows in those photos. I found a photo of a late Elco that clearly showed the day cabin windows in the same color as the surrounding structure. The boat was in the multi color scheme. Would just painting over the windows (1/48th scale Merit kit) provide the same result as making covers-at least for that scale? Thanks.

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  David Waples


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Oct 4, 2014 - 11:15am
Good questions. First off if you would like an excellent reference for PT Boat interior photos I would suggest David Doyle's 5605 Elco 80-Foot PT Boat from the On Deck Color Series.

Let's talk about the windows from The chart house back. As a general rule the windows are covered from the interior.

Chart house: The two forward facing windows on the chart house are either painted over or the crews cover them with some exterior type of shade. The reason for that is that there is no interior cover for those windows in the Chart House. There are two other windows on the Chart house on the port and starboard side. Those windows have metal covers that fold down. At least the example of PT-617 at the PT Boat museum has covers like this. They are shown in David Doyle's book. From a modeler's point of view you from the exterior you normally will see glass

The deadlight window on the top of the Chart House has a sliding cover. Again referenced in David's book.

Day Cabin: These windows also have fold down covers on the interior. With the exception of the window behind the ladder they are single piece units. The one behind the ladder is different. On the 617 it is a bifold cover so that it can fold up behind the ladder. On the photo I'm including it's a slide up and down cover. I'm a little fuzzy here and it may be different on different boats but it appears that some of the covers might be two part. One with glass and the other a blacked out cover allowing the crew to let air in. I'm hoping that somebody will be able to help on this point. That said as a modeler from the exterior you would see glass blacked out from behind. One overlooked issue with the windows is that the one behind the ladder (forward starboard corner under the roof hatch) is the same window and frame as the two forward windows on the Chart House. Another trivia question about windows on the Day Cabin revolve around the one on the forward end of the cabin. In the older 103 class boats the window is lower than the side windows. In later ones as shown on PT-617 and in David's book it's higher. Note that earlier boats have a window on the starboard stern side of the Day Cabin and later boats like the 617 have a hatch with no glass.

By the way the deck deadlights also have sliding covers from the interior.

Here's some photos that I hope help you. Notice how the window cover is split. It looks to me like the window can be opened to let in fresh air. I just can't tell. Again I hope that others will help out. Notice how that lower window is lower than the others.

 photo Dayroominterior_zps61a25286.jpg

Here's another photo looking to the stern of the boat.
 photo dayroominterior2_zps957053bf.jpg

Have fun with your model and please share your work with us. We would love to see it.

David Waples

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  PT Modeler

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PT Modeler  Posted on: Oct 4, 2014 - 12:06pm
Hi Dave

Thank you very much for your response.You answered the questions and thank you for the photos. As I was waiting for someone to reply, I decided to see if the PT Boats Inc. site had any photos that would answer the questions. There I saw the fold down shutters in a photo of the interior of the day cabin.
Photos of PT 579, 588, 603 and 107 and a few others, in various sources, including Nav Source.Org, not just the On Deck book, were what caused the search for the answer. I have the Doyle book. However, it caused far more questions than it answered, none of the photos of the Day Cabin showed the shutters. Nor was any mention made of them in the text or captions. However, I did see the shutters for the chart house windows and the dead light. So that solved the question for that area. Even Victor Chun's fine book did not provide the answer.

Between your photos and the photos on the PT Boats INC. site, I now have my answers, at least enough to go forward on the project.
From the PT 617 photo and yours, it appears there were at least 2 different forms of the shutters for the side windows. Unless the shutters on 617 are replacements. From the close up photos of the afore mentioned boats, it appears the "outside" (the side visible from the exterior) of the shutters were painted the same color as the area around a particular window(s). So for the model, I will either paint the back of the clear acetate windows provided in the kit or insert a plug from the inside and after the boat is painted, add a coat of clear to replicate the window. The dead lights will be painted the deck color with clear dabbed onto the depressions.
I will post photos of the boat when it is done.
My email is, (Yes, I left perfectly good airplanes in mid air).I would like to discus this further with you please.
Thank you Dave and the forum in general for the help and for being there.

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