My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

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STAB vs LSSC

Post by Podder » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:25 pm

I stand corrected. I didn't realize they fitted the LSSC hull with prop drives. This is how a SEAL team 2 member in Vietnam 1967 described the STAB... "STABs are fibreglass jobs with dual 110-horsepower Mercury outboard engines." No matter you got yourself a sweet boat. Wish I could of come across 'er first.
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ordnance
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Post by ordnance » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:56 pm

The reason this is a little confusing is because the STAB acronym was officially assigned to two completely different craft, as well as unofficially used to describe the LSSC that my boat bears a strong resemblance to.

Indeed, the first STAB boats were fiberglass hulls with twin outboards that were used exclusively by the SEALs. The official name stood for SEAL Team Assault Boat at that point. These were extensively used by the early SEAL teams in Vietnam, as described in the 1967 description above. When a more substantial boat was requested, the Navy contracted with Grafton Boat to build the LSSC, the second generation light SEAL boat.

The 16 LSSCs built by Grafton carried hull numbers 24UB681 to 24UB6816 and, as mentioned earlier, were powered by Ford 427 gasoline engines driving 12" Jacuzzi jet pumps. These boats were also exclusively used by the SEAL teams and received much hard usage in Vietnam. I have seen them referred to many times as STABs but it's unclear if that is because the nickname of the earlier boats had just "stuck" so well or people were just confused because the even later 24 foot MKII utility boats looked so much like them.

The next generation of boats was the second official STAB boat in service. But these were not expressly built for the SEALs but as a light, high speed assault boat to assist the PBRs and Swifts in other Navy brown water fleet duties. Admiral Zumwalt had envisioned a quantity of about 100 of these small boats, although it appears only 22 were actually built. They started with the LSSC hull as a basic design and attempted to make it tougher, faster, and better armed. Most of that was accomplished with certain trade-offs, such as the additional 2+ feet of draft from the prop outdrives that caused problems in shallow waters.

The resulting boat was the 24-foot Utility Boat, Mark II, with the STAB acronym now meaning Strike Assault Boat. Also built by Grafton Boat, this is the type I own. These carried hull numbers 24UB701 through 24UB7022 and though referred to as a 24-ft. boat, were actually over 26 feet with the rear floatation box. While they certainly operated in support of certain SEAL operations, the boats were operated in a seperate Naval unit called STABRON-20 with many other river patrol and water-borne guard post duties.

With the obvious similarities in hull design, it's difficult for most people to tell the difference between a late STAB and an LSSC, sometimes even for book authors and Vets captioning their photos. The STAB nickname, whether official or unofficial, seems to have stuck very well for a number of different boats. There, clear as mud now?
1934 Dodge 1/2 T PU
1937 Chev 1 1/2 T Cargo
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1942 Dodge WC-55 Gun Carriage
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1969 Grafton 24' STAB, Vietnam River Boat
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STAB clarity

Post by Podder » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:23 pm

Clear as the Mekong... just kiddin'. Thanks for the info. Keep us updated on your progress and any future finds and or sales that you might have to pass up.
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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by keystonefarm » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:51 pm

Amazing to see the 21 boat still in existence after 40 years. I was assigned to StabRon 20 from July 70 till Oct 70 and was the engineman on the 14 boat. Before that I was with Riv Div 515 on Mark 2 PBR"s . Interestingly enough I was on the 31RP68114 boat there !! If I can I''ll find the crew names for your boat back in 1970. There was nothing like hammering along at 60+ knots on the Mekong. Boats would not turn at that speed just bounce along in a straight line. While most of the boats had 427 Chevy's in them a few 14 boat included had 482 ci marine BB chevy's in them. They were rated at 375 hp. --- Ken McCorry EN3

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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by beellye » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:36 am

Which of the ROTC program for us air force or navy better? I recently interests in the ROTC program, but i dont know which if better between the air force and the navy. I also dont know how many years that you have to committed of serving the country after graduate. I also get confused of the pay too, as they didnt tell me much about it. So i ended up know nothing though seem like i do. Right now i want to know between the air force and the navy which one is better and right for me to be in, thanks.
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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by Nkdave » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:16 pm

I really enjoyed reading about your boat. I just bought a houseboat that has the commercial group III outdrive on her. It's the same outdrive that's on your Stab boat. How is your project coming along? I live in Woodalnd, Wa and noticed you are in Dumascus. I would love to stop by and take a look at your project sometime. If that would be ok please email me at nkdave@aol.com. I have found some OD parts online and if you are interested I can give that info to you. I also am thinking about selling my outdrive and updating it to a newer model, mostly so I can acquire parts easier. I hope to hear from you soon. Dave

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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by John Neuenburg » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:03 am

How is the project going? How about bringing the boat to the Camp Delta event in April 2013 near Lodi, CA? Our major showcase will be USN and USMC vehicles. We'd like to see some military watercraft in the water but restoration projects on trailers are more than welcome too. This is the largest annual MV event and swap meet in the Western half of the US and we have a river and boat ramp! The second largest is at the same venue the third week of September.
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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by keystonefarm » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:11 am

As I mentioned earlier I was assigned to Stabron 20 for a little over 3 months after serving with Riv Div 515 for 9 months. I've found the crew roster for Stabron 20 so now can fill in the crew of the 21 boat. Boat had two boat captains during it's stay in country , first was BM1 Charles R. Dickens, next was GMG2 David L. Brown, Engineman was EN3 Thomas L. Parrish, Gunnersmate was GMG 3 Chaney L. Taylor and Seaman was GMGSN Ronald L. Blain. These are the people who ran, maintained and fought on the 21 boat. Should add a more human touch to the empty now lifeless shell that was once a piece of the USN's Riverrine operations some 42 years ago. ----------- Ken McCorry Engineman 24UB7014

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ordnance
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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by ordnance » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:04 pm

Ken,

Thanks very much for your updated information on the crew. I'm actually thinking less about the 21 boat being an empty and lifeless shell these days. Although I haven't posted here lately, there is new activity on the restoration of this boat. I've taken on a partner for the project, none other than TrackIron, aka Jason Ball, another G503 regular from our Oregon MVPA chapter.

When not distracted by CA-1 tractors, Otters, Huskies, and actual work, he has been busy woking on the STAB project. The ultimate goal is to have it ready for the 2013 MVPA Convention in Portland. If not in the water, running circles around the DUKWs, at least as a presentable static display in the convention hall.

He and his father are currently restoring the original STAB boat trailer that the boat has been resting on since at least 1989 when it was released from DRMO. If I didn't mention it earlier in this thread, the trailer had been cut down and modified by the Navy for some unknown reason, perhaps to tow a smaller boat before being reunitied with boat 21 before being sold. In any case, the tongue was shortened by about 6 feet and most of the small fittings removed and discarded. That left the bow hanging out 6 feet over the lunette ring, rendering it un-towable by most trucks.

We jacked the boat up and pulled the trailer out a couple months ago. It is now nearing completion and once ready, will be slipped back under the boat so they can make the trip to Jason's shop for the serious work. Not that Jason would make the case that the trailer HASN'T been serious work.....it's amazing what 20 years of exposure to salt water does to a steel boat trailer.

We promise to add photos to this thread as work progresses on the restoration. For now, I am going to concentrate on preparing the armament related accessories while Jason gets going on the hull. Hopefully, we'll get 21 back in the water in time for the Convention and can reunite it with some of its original crewmembers at some point.

Rick
1934 Dodge 1/2 T PU
1937 Chev 1 1/2 T Cargo
1941 Bantam BRC
1941 37mm AT Gun
1941 GMC CCKW 352
1942 Dodge WC-55 Gun Carriage
1943 Borgward Sd. Kfz.302 Goliath
1944 MB
1969 Grafton 24' STAB, Vietnam River Boat
9 assorted hand carts, 1917-1944

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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by John Neuenburg » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:00 pm

Rick, hope you can bring it to Tower Park someday. Perfect place - a real delta! Plus no speed limit nearby. Would be nice to see a high speed demo. Maybe we should invite the SEALS up and we can do an old vs. new display. I've wanted to get them to demo their gear in one of the pools anyway. Pete W. might have his PBR done within the year too.

Fall 2013? Or consider our Navy and USMC MV display is planned for the April Camp Delta!!!!

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ordnance
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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by ordnance » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:41 pm

Time for a progress update.......

Jason recently completed the basic restoration of the STAB trailer and brought it back last weekend to haul the boat out. The trailer looks great and is only lacking some small fittings like lights, loading guide bars, tie-down rings, and the forward A-frame stop for the bow. Several of these features are sketched on the original Navy drawing without detailed dimensions, with the intent of final fitting at Grafton Boat.

We'll wing it as necessary, just like Grafton did, to get the best centering and balance points after the boat has its engines and other heavy parts and accessories reinstalled.

Image

After 2 months in the makeshift cradle, we jacked the boat back up and backed the trailer under it with no problems other than a little straining of the straps and chain hoist. Even without engines, transmissions, and fuel tanks, this boat is heavy! Here are a few shots of the move out. It's now about 20 miles south of here awaiting restoration work this winter.

Image

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1934 Dodge 1/2 T PU
1937 Chev 1 1/2 T Cargo
1941 Bantam BRC
1941 37mm AT Gun
1941 GMC CCKW 352
1942 Dodge WC-55 Gun Carriage
1943 Borgward Sd. Kfz.302 Goliath
1944 MB
1969 Grafton 24' STAB, Vietnam River Boat
9 assorted hand carts, 1917-1944

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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by keystonefarm » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:14 pm

Since you are the current owner of the 21 boat I thought you might be interested in this site. They have a number of StabRon 20 items available. Way back then our radio call sign was Racing Danger followed by the boat number so you would be Racing Danger 21 !!! How is the boat coming along ?
---------------------------- Ken McCorry EN 3 back then Racing Danger 14

http://www.cafepress.com/vetstuff/2658998" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by keystonefarm » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:26 pm

I'm posting a link to a interview of the CO of Stabron 20 when it was in country. Has some pictures of Stabs in action and the CO gives his views of things from 1970 !! Mr Ferguson was a good CO and quite the individual. I only served under him for 3 months but had a lot of respect for him. ------------------ Ken McCorry

http://www.riversideca.gov/videos/veter ... erside.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by keystonefarm » Fri May 31, 2013 9:00 pm

Rick wanted to let you know I was contacted by Ronald Taylor who was the brother of Chaney Taylor GMG3 who was on the 21 boat. Chaney passed away in 1983. Ronald may contact you as he has pictures of his brother on your boat. Hows the restoration coming ? -------------------------------------------------------- Ken McCorry EN3 24UB7014 Stabron 20

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ordnance
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Re: My 1969 Navy STAB Boat

Post by ordnance » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:02 pm

Ken,

Thanks for the information regarding Chaney Taylor. Please pass my email to his brother. I'd certainly like to hear from him.

The boat is progressing well, athough not as fast as we'd like. It's still more in the "tear down, clean, and rebuild" phase than the "re-assemby" phase. Jason is doing a great job working on the numerous hull issues needing attention before it can be painted and have some bits re-attached. I was just out for a visit on Thursday but didn't bring a camera with me. Will try to post some images after the next visit.
1934 Dodge 1/2 T PU
1937 Chev 1 1/2 T Cargo
1941 Bantam BRC
1941 37mm AT Gun
1941 GMC CCKW 352
1942 Dodge WC-55 Gun Carriage
1943 Borgward Sd. Kfz.302 Goliath
1944 MB
1969 Grafton 24' STAB, Vietnam River Boat
9 assorted hand carts, 1917-1944

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