Putting PT 728 Back in Action

My name is Scott Sondles and I am the Co-founder of HempStrong LLC, a hemp based consumer product company from Columbus, OH USA. We plan on specializing in hemp body care, hemp supplements and hemp clothing. I am also currently writing a book regarding the legalization of industrial hemp in America.

I am looking for a company to work with to use hemp fibers to replace the hull of a PT boat (Patrol Torpedo boat) from World War 2. My father is the head director of the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio and his non-profit has purchased one of two PT boats that are still in working condition. They are stripping the boat after discovering the wood under the deck had absorbed too much water.

Here is information and a picture of the boat, with more photos here. This boat is very unique in America and has gotten a large amount of press the past year including a blurb in USA Today.

These boats were originally made from wood, but the previous owner of PT 728 had redone the entire hull with fiberglass. This allows the owner of the boat to legally take passengers on board and make money. The only other PT boat that is functioning is still made of wood so it can’t take passengers (it’s in Oregon right now). PT 728 currently has half of its underside stripped and they are repairing the inner wooden ribs right now.

After learning that the owner is looking to use an alternative to glass fiber, I educated him on the possibility of using hemp and he is very interested. His museum likes the idea of possibly marketing the “Hemp for Victory” campaign since the museum specializes in World War 2. This could help educate American consumers about the potential of industrial hemp.

Do you know of any companies which could help with this project?

Thanks, Scott Sondles

4 responses to “Putting PT 728 Back in Action

  1. Have you tried looking in Alberta Canada, the College there has few companies,that specialize in such projects. P.S. I live in California and I am totally pro hemp. I am working hard to start my own hemp projects, interested a partnership in the future??

  2. I think these questions are becoming more and more important, in order for these states that have taken steps to make the production of hemp once again legal, there needs to a market for the crop. The best option or atleast the easiest option (to my mind) is paper, the research that I have done indacates that hemp paper is not only a superior product but is better for the enviorment on several levels. There are several other products that can be made out of hemp as well as hemp seed. To my mind the 3 most interesting products are #1 Hempcrete, a far superior building material with a crazy R value and seemingly endless envirmental advantages, but still requires some sort if framing.#2 hemp plastic , once again a better product with so many applications it’s hard to find the end if the list. #3 hemp paint/stain/ ink made from hemp seed , and once again a better version if current products and environmently friendly. (I think it would be nice if the ink for my printer wasn’t made out if unicorn tears(lol) and to boot after the paint / stain/ink has been squeezed out the seed the “cake” as it is called makes fantastic animal food.

  3. Hi Scott

    It would seem quite simple to replace the glass fabric normally used with a Hemp fabric of the same thickness and similar weave and cure it up with an epoxy that is similar but cures at a safe temperature for the fabric. You could even look up the type of epoxies that were available back then (the late 1930’s) or if you want to go back further use coal tar “Pitch” as the binder and protection for the fabric as well as the seal to prevent leakage. These are all pretty much documented in various museums or in large libraries. The process is very messy, especially with the coal tar, but it is probably less toxic than the epoxies that were in use then. Even the current epoxies can be used put they must be put on in several stages to prevent the high heat buildup. The heat is the real reason they use the glass fabric – it can take the heat. The fabric needs the strength but not of glass, the hemp would work fine and would be fully protected from the elements and any biodegradation which is its only weakness.

    It will not be a big market but it would be fun.

    Ray Berard, NAIHC Board Member

  4. Hello Scott,

    A company in Canada, Motive Industries Inc., has manufactured a car using hemp. That is, the body or shell is made from plasticized hemp. Perhaps this approach would be useful to you. Plasticized hemp will be lighter than fiberglass. Someone from that company may be able to provide other leads on how you may accomplish your objective.

    Best, Paul Mahlberg, NAIHC Board Member

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