This growing section shows some history and new activities based on the "Nastys" in Europe. The emails are in order of the most recent at the top.
(below added in 2002)
I posted this on a UK usenet newsgroup. I think I sent it to you, in case I didn't:
I Got an interesting reply:
03-08-02 Dan, Further to your request for photographs of the PTF/Nasty class boats please find attached some taken of ex Norwegian navy pennant # P469 (the green one). I am afraid I cannot remember the name of the vessel but it was converted by ourselves for a commercial application and these pics were taken whilst on sea trials off the Isle of Wight in UK, probably around summer '87. As you can see a permanent weather proof housing was attached to the open bridge and a small deckhouse constructed immediately aft. I am not sure how detailed the instrumentation photos will transmit but it was running at 1800 RPM with all readings as per the book. Without armament and with 50% fuel capacity this equated to approximately 44 knots. The other vessel, (gray one) was also similarly converted with a Cor-ten steel superstructure and is shown as a 'before and after'. I trust these are of interest and I will endeavour to sort out some more. Best regards, Alan
02-25-02 Hi ,The Nasty is out of the boat shed and looking a bit bare on the deck- needs a few guns!, enclosed are a couple of pics of it on the slip. It will be put in the water soon and either put on a mooring or put in the enclosed dock at Padstow until the weather is suitable for the tow to Penzance. John Lees.
02/02/02 Hi Alan,
The nasty will be brought down to Penzance in the not too distant future,
11*14*01 Dan I have photographs of Nasty's DB1/2&3. which were my boats. DB3 is now a house boat in Woolston Southampton on the river. ITCHEN, DB2 went to France as a motor yacht?. DB2 went to the East coast of England last I hear of that no engined hull. The refitted hull which was to have two Protius Gas turbines fitted was owned by a Australian mining exc but he lost his money and the job went in a hold situation. No more info on that front. The remaining complete Nasty's lying in Scotland were broken up two years ago and all I have left is Two Deltic engines complete (in deep lay-up) ex Norwegian navy. If you would like to make me an offer loaded to container for shipment to USA make me a offer. When I get some time I will sort out the photos etc and send you some copies.
John, thanks for the response. It sounds like everything is fine. I'm most pleased that the engineering is complete or restorable. Hulls and topside is easy!
Engines. Are you sure they are operable? Were they run for the new owner or was he simply assured they would operate?
I certainly don't want to sound patronizing, I have no idea what level of expertise you have at your disposal regarding operation of Deltics. So, I'll just go ahead and patronize!
The Deltics are EXTREMELY sensitive to how they are fired off. If all the precautions and procedures aren't followed there is a high risk of terminal problems resulting in catastrophic failure. Catastrophic failure of a Deltic means that a multi hundred thousand dollar engine will be sold for aluminum scrap. And there is no way any regular civilian will be replacing a failed Deltic.
No American navy person ever worked on the internals of a Deltic. We did accessory replacement, maintenance, installation and removal. If any engine had serious problems we sent it back to the Philippines for repair. I suspect they didn't work on them there either but sent them to the UK for the factory to repair them.
The usual failure aside from accessory malfunction was the engine throwing a piston out the side of the block. Those engines were written off. I don't know if you went to Dan's site and looked at the reader's pages. If not, go there and have a look at my section of his site. I have a very interesting tale to tell about the time we had a Deltic run away on it's own oil. Not something we want to have happen with this boat.
One other thing. On our boats there was a heavy asbestos blanket over the turbocharger. Whenever it was disturbed it sent thousands of fibers into the air. We didn't think much about it at the time. Seemed kind of attractive when they hit the light and sparkled, actually! We know a little more about asbestos now. Please have anyone who would be working with it wear appropriate breathing filters.
Keep us up to date as much as possible. Any pics of the engineering spaces are greatly appreciated. We have lots of hulls here, most are beyond repair, or nearly so, mechanicals are severely lacking in the US.
0 9/7/01 Sorry no more pics of the interior yet, however this will be done in the near future. Apparently the boat was taken out of the water successfully and the condition of the hull is thought to be sound ( despite the fact that it looks dreadful!. Yes the engine room is absolutely original and all of the bits and pieces work. The generator starts and runs just fine, the air tank may well be tested, unfortunately the control room instruments have been vandalized but a spare set was obtained with the boat-just a bit more work! I spent an hour last night printing your technical instructions -very useful! . Cannot imagine ever having to rebuild one -what a challenge! Will keep in touch, John Lees
I was sailing my Laser tonight! ,I have not heard how the slipping went at Padstow, Steve was not answering on his mobile phone I know that it was taken out of the water but not whether there was any damage done in the process, will update you as I find out more, visitors are welcome to the boatyard to see it in its current state, will keep in touch, John Lees.
09-06-01 Oh! It looks outstanding! Please keep in touch with those of us over here who have experience running the engines! And please, consider keeping the boat in it's original configuration. This boat is a valuable icon in it's time period. There are lots of people who would love to have the opportunity to revisit an original Nasty.
I'd be so disappointed if an operable Nasty were somehow reconfigured into a cruising boat. I'm sure you have lots of Deltic resources there, they did originate in the UK. Please let me know of any plans for this particular boat. Without it's original configuration, engines and equipment, it's just another unwanted hull. There are too many of those out there already. This boat is special. It is very demanding upon resources. Perhaps if we can join together to preserve this boat we can all enjoy it, and it's history, in a way that will honor those who served upon this unique vessel.
I've been on the water my entire 53 years of life. I'm more of a sail, rather than power, guy. I've never had a more thrilling experience on the water than being on a Nasty at speed. My advice, restore the hull and whatever equipment you can. Keep the engines and accessories in running order. Keep the boat as original as possible. Lots of people spent lots of time on Nasties doing things they probably don't want to talk about. But the experience of this boat and the sensations it passed on to it's passengers and crew are timeless. Keep in touch, Alan
PM 9/4/01 I have enjoyed your website and you may like the photo of an ex-Norwegian navy Nasty that I took on the 2nd September. It has arrived in Padstow, Cornwall, England after being towed down from Scotland. It will be slipped at Padstow where it is hoped that some work can be carried out to enable it to run under its own power. The engines seem to be in good order and are part of the reason why Steve Palk bought the boat, it is thought that they have not been run since the vessel was sold by the Norwegian government. The yard owner is enthusiastic as well as Steve but there is a lot of work to be done! Will keep you informed, John Lees, Penzance, Cornwall England.
9/9/01 - Alan, I have had a phone call from Steve the owner half an hour ago, he has removed the props ( a tale there on the web pages), they are bent on the outer edges but considered repairable. The hull from 2 feet above to all below the waterline is OK , the bow has to be repaired and as I said the wheelhouse has to be rebuilt as it is to soft under the glassfibre coat , like the Irishman's pick perhaps it can be repaired a bit at a time and it will still be the original!
I'm not so concerned with the topsides. It is kind of like a vintage race car. As long as you have the original chassis plate you have the "original" car!
He will be removing the turbocharger outer covering at least ( there is no asbestos as far as I could see) to check that the filter has not deteriorated and inspect as much as possible before any attempt is made to start the engines.
The original blanket surrounding the turbo and exhaust leading it was originally 100% asbestos. Maybe it's been replaced with something less dangerous. In any case, be careful. As you say, no civilian has probably run these engines. The last attempt failed by some Norwegians who had hoped to take it back to Norway. To think of rebuilding one of these is horrific, there are two spare engines that can be bought from the same source but even an engine change seems a bit of a challenge. Changing engines is one thing at which I have lots of experience. It isn't that bad, just lots of work. If they do get into a position where they need to change an engine just make sure the shims under the mounts are retained in their original positions. We were religious about that. The engines were made to tight specs and if you kept the original shims you didn't have to realign the engines, a daunting task. The scariest part of an engine change was that someone had to be at each mounting foot to place the shims as the new engine came in. We did it with the boats in the water so there was always some hull movement. I'm not a small guy but I crammed myself in the bilge to hold the shims in place when they dropped the engine in. Being crushed by a Deltic wasn't my idea of a good time!
It is still a way off the time when the engines will be fired , by then it is hoped that all the procedures will be followed , even the experts were only human! There is already a person who has turned up and has promised to get hold of an engine-turning handle (18 turns for one engine turn-and once only before starting) as there does not seem to be one on board. I don't remember us hand cranking the engines.
But for sure we were careful about hand oiling the engine before any attempt was made to start it. Yes , read the bit about out of control engines, one wonders whether the rings were broken before hence the need to run off the engine. It seems the Norwegians used to run them off on a regular basis and swap around to equalize the oil levels (beginning to learn a bit but far from it yet!)
10/7/01 - Hi Alan, Back to the Nasty, I saw it last weekend, it is now under cover and I enclose some photos, Steve is busy now removing damaged and rotten wood- some on the deck and some on the Aft Stbd Quarter. Had a look at the engines and there does not seem to be a method of turning them over by hand as is suggested in the manual. How was this done? He would like to turn them over gently before giving them some air .
I don't remember any time that we rolled a Deltic by hand. I reviewed the manual and it surely does recommend turning it over by hand. I DO remember that we ALWAYS spend enormous energy pumping oil through the system before the first time we would light off a newly installed engine. Isn't Napier still a going concern in the UK? I have to think that a little research locally could turn up some expert advice on your side of the pond.
Again, I advise total caution when working with these engines. They are amazing when they are working right, and they are a total nightmare when things go even a little wrong. I find it difficult to believe that any civilian could operate a Deltic more than a few times. If your friend gets his boat seaworthy you will have support from us to help operate the engines. I'm thinking that it will amount to one or two high speed thrill rides and then he will convert to a more reasonable power plant.
The Nasty's were built without consideration of cost. They were built for nations to have a high speed and highly effective multi-purpose assault boat. And they are that!
If the Nasty weren't such a special boat you certainly wouldn't have hundreds of people working for their preservation. I know boats. I'm mostly a sail guy, but I'll never forget the thrill of being on a Nasty at full tilt. Chills did actually go down my spine. I know when a boat is right. A fully functional Nasty at speed is the most "right" boat I've ever been aboard.