MGB 81, the Spitfire of the Seas | World War II gunboat test drive review | Motor Boat & Yachting



We have the immense privilege of getting behind the wheel (and guns) of MGB 81, the Spitfire of the seas. Editor Hugo explains how this World War II gunboat was restored…

Filmed by Paul Wyeth:

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30 comments

  1. I was in Portsmouth via U.S. Navy back in 1990. If I was going back to Europe, I would go back to Portsmouth 1st and stay longer!

  2. F7ck all billionaires and zillionares!!!! This is the most beautiful boat ever!!!! Would have liked to hear those three V12's!!!! He'll yeah!!!! Thanks to whoever restored her!!

  3. 👍👌👏 What a simply fantastic boat! I'm not a war/gun admirer, but I absolutely admire a beautiful shaped boat. But imagine having even 4500hp instead of "only" 2550hp.
    Thanks a lot for making teaching explaining recording editing uploading and sharing.
    Best regards luck and health.

  4. Brilliant review. Amazing restoration and seeing it in the operational status, brilliant job. I think it's time we humans end all war for good then we could all concentrate on slowing anthropogenic extinction down in peace, time to end the toxic age for all our future children's children's sake. Earth is for all life, one-day people may look back at this foolish time in history and say at the same time looking at this amazing war boat burning sustainable sourced bio fuel thankfully Earths humans live in peace now.

  5. I'm just reading my late headmaster's book ('Gunboat 658' by L. C. Reynolds. New English Library 1974 – F.P. 1955) of memoirs from his time as navigator and skipper of MGB 658 in the Mediterranean. Truly eye opening stuff. Great to see a seaworthy example of the boat. In the book it feels so much bigger!

  6. Green with envy mate. I'd love to jump aboard and so 31knts, I'd prefer to do the original 40knts+ with the original petrol engines.
    She lays in the water so beautifully, her lines are graceful and a restoration was well deserved for this scourge of the seas, the MGB or MTB both awesome craft.

  7. A Torquay boat company used to run a converted MTB/MGB as a ferry across the bay. I believe it went to Portsmouth for restoration to WW2 spec. Is this the same boat?
    By the way, the wartime petrol aero engines were hardly ever run at full power because reliability was badly affected and the extra oomph gave minimal additional speed.

  8. I would heartily recommend 'The Battle of the Narrow Seas' by LT. CDR. Peter Scott, first published in 1945. It's a brilliant account of M.G.B.s, M.T.B.s and M.L.s in action, with some fascinating artworks of them in action done by Peter Scott, who post-war became a famous naturalist and wildlife artist.

  9. What a lovely fast boat! Thanks for that interesting movie.👍
    A friend mine had a Revell model of a British Vosper MTB, since these days I'm in love with these sharp British MTB and MGB but as well with the Italian MAS and the German S-100 S-Boats.

  10. Unfortunate that we don’t get to listen to the song of three Packards, but the diesel conversion is an intelligent choice. Beauty of a boat !

  11. I am assuming the original Packards were 4M-2500s giving a total of 4.500 HP now that would have been a sight to see and hear especially at a top speed of 41 knots the down side would be the fuel consumption at that speed of 500 US gallons per hour.

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