PRB - Plane Rearmament Boat
I am looking for ANY info on WW II US NAVY PRBs, Plane
Rearmament Boats. These were plywood boats, used to carry bombs
and torpedoes to seaplanes such as PBYs. They are approx 34 ft
in length built out of mahogany plywood over oak frames.
My PRB came with a single Gray Marine 671 diesel engine just
like the LCVP landing craft, but I have been informed by a
warboats member that the PRBs were originally equipped with 6
cylinder Chrysler Crown gasoline engines. The Crowns could run
on the avgas used in planes. My boat has unusual riveted copper
fuel tanks that still do not leak one drop. I'd like to know if
these were original. It also has some lifting rings bolted into
the keel and accessible in the bilge.
My PRB has been converted to an active commercial fishing boat
berthed at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. It was
(according to its USCG document) built in 1944 in Dark Harbor
Maine at the Norton yard. It has been a surprisingly good sea
boat even though it was not designed as such. I used it to earn
my way through school fishing salmon commercially. Even after I
got my degrees I still fished during the best parts of the
season because I liked it so much and could make good money. My
best PRB delivery was 2438 lbs of King (Chinook) salmon caught
near the Farallon Islands off SF.
I do not fish for a living today. Commercial salmon fishing was
banned in CA last year and 2009 looks the same. I am very fond
of the boat. I am restoring it and plan to fish when I retire (I
am 59 now). The quality of the original USN mahogany plywood is
extraordinary. The only wood I have had trouble with is postwar
civilian wood used for decking and cabin structure. I wish they
still made plywood as good as that which was used to build PRBs.
I can find lots of info about PBRs LCVPs PTs, etc, but very very
little on PRBs. I'd love to see some WW 2 photos of these boats
Thanks for any help you can offer.