From "Torpedo Tars Must be Tough," by Leonard Owczarzak
"A PT boat had only a small crew, usually an officer and eight men, but each man had to know something of the other's job. Officers were expected to be specialists in everything.
Navigation seamanship with communications, able to read charts, pilot books, use of dividers, parallel rules, handling a sextant and chronometer, were all crucial to the successful operation of the P.T. boat and the safe return from any assigned mission.
During the war PT boats operated out of Subic Bay, Cebu, and Negros Islands in the Philippines and Tassafaronga, Savo, and Rendova Islands in the Solomons. As the war moved forward, PT bases followed to guard convoys and patrol enemy waters. Because radio silence had to be observed, crew members had to be proficient in visual signaling, semaphore blinking, and the colored bunting of the international flag code.
Some of the first boats were 70 feet long with 20 foot beams. They drew 4 feet, and weighed about 32 tons. Later models were slightly larger. Three 12 cylinder engines drove triple screws. The boats had a radius of 1,500 miles at 12 knots, but could go 2000 miles at 9 knots on one engine. They could reach a top speed of about 70 knots, 50 knots in rough seas. The Japanese called them 'Devil Boats.'"