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Sea Scout program offers girls life-changing opportunity


by Nancy Flagg, published on July 22, 2013at 8:47 PM


Note: Photos by Nancy Flagg














Teenage girls have many choices for where they spend their time, but those few who join the local all-female Sea Scout program can change the course of their lives in unimagined ways. New hard skills, such as navigation and engineering can be developed, but more importantly, confidence, self-reliance, leadership and team skills grow from the experience of maintaining and piloting a powerful ship through calm and troubled waters.

Sea Scouts are a maritime education program offered by the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women. The Sacramento and Delta area hosts several Sea Scout programs, but the Liberty-Maritime Museum program is unique as the only large-boat, all-female program in the country, according to the Liberty boat’s Capt. Jim West.

The crew, currently ranging in age from 13 to 18, operates and trains on the Liberty PTF-26, a Navy coastal gunboat that was formerly stationed in DaNang, Vietnam, and was the last patrol torpedo boat made. The aluminum boat is 95 feet long, carries a gun (non-operational) on the stern and was designed to withstand torpedo blasts to two of its nine waterfront compartments.

This season, the girls spent five months swapping out a blown engine. Normally, this time of year would have been focused on ship maintenance and training. Nevertheless, the crew, whose motto is “Facta non Verba” (Deeds not Words), dug deep and made time to train for a May 2013 competition. Their effort paid off as they won eight first-place awards at the Ancient Mariners Regatta competition in Alameda, Calif., a national Sea Scouts competition. In addition, they were awarded the Navigator’s Trophy for the boat with the highest overall score in navigation challenges.

The crew has just returned from a 17-day cruise to Monterey, Calif., where they gained more experience in operating the boat in the ocean and in other live conditions. Their cruise duties were split between deck crew (steering the boat, hauling lines and standing lookout), engineering crew (starting and running the engine, and checking pressures and temperatures) and the navigation crew (plotting the course, and operating radio and radar).

Other training during the year includes drills, such as those for fire, man overboard, collision, loss of steering and abandon ship. The scouts also participate in an annual Coast Guard training at Yerba Buena Island, where they practice putting out fires and don immersion survival suits before jumping into the San Francisco Bay.

Teen girls who are interested in the Sea Scout program do not need to have any previous maritime experience. Many come to the program “knowing nothing, not even port versus starboard,” and only need to bring a good work ethic and the ability to get along with others, said West. He starts newcomers on learning knots, which “teaches them they can be perfect at something.” Capt. Jim West, Executive Officer Rebecca West, Chief Engineer Kent Dryden and other volunteers lead the girls in their skill development and boat handling.

Participating in Sea Scouts can cultivate fortitude, build new skills and even steer a course toward a new career path. After one member took her first ocean trip, she decided that she wanted a career as a marine biologist. Other paths including joining the Navy, becoming an environmental researcher, managing a hydroelectric plant, attending the Maritime Academy and serving as second mate on a ship.

Jim West is himself a former Sea Scout who became a mechanic, tugboat captain and instructor at the Maritime Academy. He volunteers countless hours to the program. “It’s an addiction,” said West, who adjusted his work life to better fit the Sea Scout program.

The Liberty’s Sea Scout program is operated out of the Liberty-Maritime Museum. The museum includes several other, smaller boats and is located on the Garden Highway in Sacramento and in Rio Vista. One goal of the program is to be able to hold an open house on the Liberty boat in Sacramento, in addition to its current annual open house on the Delta. The museum is also applying for the boat to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The program is funded by boat donations (the boats are then sold by the museum) and cash donations from groups and individuals. Donations may be made through the Liberty-Maritime Museum website. Program and contact information are also available on the website or by emailing Liberty-Maritime@msn.com








Bay & Delta Yachtsman photo taken at Mandeville, San Juaquin River. Liberty was there for the Hilton 2012 4th of July rendezvous and fireworks show.






                    Tiki Too sets sail for Fleet Week

by Samie Hartley                                       Oct 07, 2010                                           The Oakley Press  



The Tiki Too crew trains on the Vietnam-War-era vessel PTF-26, which will be featured in the Parade of Ships on Saturday.
Photos courtesy of the Liberty Maritime Museum


Some girls enjoy shopping while others like getting their nails done, but for the girls of the Sea Scout Ship Tiki Too, nothing beats sailing. The 11-member crew features eight Oakley teens who are preparing to close out their fall vacation on a high note by showcasing their skills at this weekend’s Fleet Week in San Francisco.

The crew’s vessel, PTF-26, also known as Liberty, was the last boat of its kind to serve in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and now Liberty is a training base for the Sea Scout crew. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get out on the water for some fun. This Saturday, the Tiki Too crew will help maneuver Liberty through Fleet Week’s Parade of Ships. On Sunday, the girls will be available to chat with visitors about their program and the ship they train on.

“This weekend’s Fleet Week will be really exciting,” said Sierra Baca, a Freedom High School student and crew member for a year. “Our boat, the Liberty, will be docked at Pier 45 and people can come see it and learn all about it. The Blue Angels will also be there, so it should be an exciting time. I hope to see lots of people there.”

The crew consists of Baca, Allegra Buch, Sabrina Caster, Jessica Curiel, Kayla DelaTorre, Selina Martin, Katie McCrummen, Liz Morine, Sam Morine, Cierra Stevens and Anna Subias. Mary Eldridge, Kalia Kaddoura, Britnee Panell and Alicia Turner are also members of the crew, but they’re off at college and don’t train regularly with the crew, which meets twice a week to practice.

Captain Jim West, who is both the director of the Liberty Maritime Museum and the Tiki Too skipper, said the girls have been hard at work preparing Liberty for her voyage to the Bay, cleaning, painting and managing engineering preparations for the weekend. When they’re not polishing the ship, the girls are preparing for regattas – sea scout competitions that include events such as rowing, sailing, rope climbing and knot tying.

True to Liberty’s spirit, the girls must also know historic maritime skills such as breeches buoy and hoisting the scuttlebutt. West said Tiki Too is the most successful Sea Scout group in Northern California, taking 14 first-place awards last season.

Liz Morine, a Freedom High School student, said she enjoys being a part of the crew because of all the activities she gets to participate in with the team, whether it’s cruising to the Channel Islands or preparing the ship for events such as Fleet Week. Even the regatta competitions are fun because they’re working together.

West hopes to recruit four new active members for next season. Girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who are interested in learning more about the sea scout program should call crew member Katie McCrummen at 925-978-7082. For more information about Liberty, visit www.libertymaritime.org.

Read more: thepress.net - Tiki Too sets sail for Fleet Week





SF Examiner Article 10-7-2010  - we like it except for the WWII error, our boat is most definitely a Vietnam War gun boat


Girl power flourishes aboard this boat

The Liberty PTF-26 Osprey may be a World War II gun boat, but even more notable is the fact it’s manned by a crew of all-female teenagers. The Sea Scout crew, based in Sacramento and Rio Vista, comprises nine 15-year-old girls. They will showcase their historic boat throughout Fleet Week at Pier 45 and during the Parade of Ships on

Sea Scouting began in 1912 as part of the Boy Scouts, but began letting girls participate in 1972, said Jim West, captain of the PTF-26.

“None of the girls had good boats to work on, so that became my mission,” West said. “I wanted to get a big boat for girls to operate, and now the PTF-26 is the largest girls’ boat out there.”

The girls usually join the crew around age 12 or 13 and stay on until they graduate from high school, but often come back after college to help out with training.

Kalia “KK” Kaddoura, now 21, was a crew member from the age of 12 to 18 and is now an officer on the PTF-26.

While West, Kaddoura and other officers are present, the boat is fully operated by the Sea Scouts, who do everything from maintenance to driving during summer cruises.

According to Kaddoura, the crew participates in three co-ed national competitions during the spring, where members compete in a variety of events including knot-tying, rope climbing, charting and navigation quizzes.

Year-round, the girls put on fundraisers for yacht clubs, and they also hold work parties several times a month to repair and make improvements on the boat.

“We love the boat. It’s basically our second home,” Kaddoura said. “It’s a great way to learn boating. Everyone knows how to steer and operate the engines. It’s great to see how independent the girls are.”

— Sarah Haughey







Following our May 2008 haul-out Anderson's Boat Yard used Liberty as the centerpiece for their Latitude 38 ad.






This article in Maritime Reporter and Engineering News used a photo of Liberty from our Fear Factor film day.






When we were unable to find a museum to accept USCGC Fir we placed this ad in Boats and Harbors.


We found this online. Gamers can choose a virtual Osprey as part of their available weapons.

Golden Age Weaponsmiths PTF III "Osprey" class Patrol Boat:

Golden Age Weaponsmiths concentrates mainly on refitting old Pre-Rifts designs but they do manufacture some new hardware. This is mostly trucks and jeeps although they do produce a small number of light military designs. They manufacture a number of small boats as well. Even though they do refit larger warships, they have far more customers for smaller vessels. They can operate in much shallower waters including rivers and relatively small lakes. Mercenaries as well as several small governments purchase the vessels from Golden Age Weaponsmiths. Even the Coalition has bought a small number of these boats.

The Osprey is based on a design for a patrol boat of the same name which was ancient even before the coming of the Rifts. The last of the class were retired even before the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. The blueprints were found in what is believed to have been an ancient naval library during one of their scavenging expeditions. At the same as the produce the Osprey, they produce a smaller design which they call the "Swift" and an even smaller version known as just a "PBR." Each is based on a old Pre-Rifts design. With each of the designs, Golden Age sells a stripped down version without weapon systems.

As with the LAV wheeled armored vehicle design, Northern Gun has developed a number of upgrades to the vessel including a fusion reactor replacing the conventional engines, better sensors, replacement of control systems, and upgraded weapon systems. While Northern Gun produces their own patrol boat designs, the upgraded Osprey is still far cheaper. In addition, there is a techno-wizard vessel design which is extremely similar to the Osprey class. One major difference is that the hull is made from enchanted wood instead of high tech materials.

Not much is changed with the design. The most major change is the replacement of the aluminum and other material with the high strength alloys and composites. This allows the vessel to withstand at least some abuse although is not a heavily armored design. The vessel itself is not environmental although most crews wear environmental body armor while in combat.

Engines are a second feature a bit different than the original. Instead of trying to copy the original engines, the company uses their own designs. While still diesel engines, each of the two engines produce a bit higher horsepower each and are a bit more fuel efficient. Each one produces around four thousand horsepower for a total of eight thousand horsepower. Maximum speed is around forty-three knots fully loaded. Range is around eighteen hundred nautical miles at an economical speed. Compared to Golden Age's smaller designs, the Osprey is quite effective at operating in fairly open waters although is pretty effective in shallow waters as well.

The patrol boats are designed to be operated by a crew of nineteen which is quite a bit larger than most more modern designs. The Northern Gun "Tornado" catamaran of a similar size is designed to be operated by a crew of eight. Quarters aboard the vessel are cramped although still reasonably comfortable. A few passenger can be carried although there is not real provision for them. Electronics are fairly low tech as well with a short range radar system and light amplification gear. There is no sonar fitted to the vessel which is a weakness against underwater attacks. It does have a depth meter so that it does not run aground in shallow waters.

Weapons are based mostly on Pre-Rifts designs as well. On the bow is an 81 mm mortal with a .50 caliber machine gun. While fairly short ranged, the mortar is able to fire indirectly and is a very useful bombardment weapon. A total of seventy-two rounds of ammunition are usually carried for the mortar. On the after part of the vessel is a 30 mm Bushmaster auto-cannon. While shorter ranged than the original 40 mm mount, the 30 mm round has a greater rate of fire and uses standard ammunition. The weapon is still extremely devastating.

A total payload of twelve hundred rounds is carried. Range is around two thousand yard. Optionally, the forward mortar mount can also be replaced by a second 30 mm Bushmaster auto-cannon. An additional pair of weapons can be mounted with one on either side of the vessel. Most common weaponry carried is a pair of Mk 61 20 mm Vulcan Cannons or Mk 19 Automatic Grenade Launchers. Using Wellington Ram-Jet Ammunition, the Vulcan cannons have a massive rate of fire and a greater range although they consume ammunition at a prestigious rate such that even the 2000 round per weapon is consumed rapidly. The grenade launcher has a lower payload but has the advantage of highly effective high explosive shells. A total of around five hundred rounds per weapon is carried. The crew usually carried a variety of small arms to supplement the vessel's weaponry. The vessel does not have provisions for recharging energy clips however. Optionally, the vessel can also mount a pair of mini-missile launchers. One is mounted on each side with each one has a total of sixteen mini-missiles. Controlled from the pilot house, these fire directly forward and are useful against other vessels as well as heavy bombardment.

Model Type: PTF III "Osprey" class Light Patrol Boat
Vehicle Type: Ocean & Waterway, Light Patrol Boat
Crew: Nineteen (19); 1 Officer / Chief Petty Officer, 4 Petty Officers, and 14 Enlisted
Troops / Passengers: Maximum of ten (10) - Extremely cramped.

M.D.C. by location:


Bridge / Pilot House:



[1] Spotlight (4):

20 each


81 mm Mortar Mount (Forward):



12.7 mm M2HB Heavy Machine Gun (with 81 mm Mortar):



30 mm Bushmaster II Auto-Cannons (1 - Aft or 2 - Forward and Aft):

30 each


20 mm M61 Vulcan Cannons (Optional - 2, sides):

20 each


40 mm Mk 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher (Optional - 2, sides):

30 each


Mini-Missile Launchers (Optional - 2, sides):

50 each


[2] Short Range Radar Array:



[3] Main Body:


[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a "called shot," but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[2] If radar is destroyed, all long range tracking ability is lost. There is no backup tracking system on the weapon mount themselves.
[3] Destroying the main body causes the vessel to lose structural integrity, causing the vessel to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the boat.

Surface: 49.5 mph (43 knots/ 79.7 kph)
Range: 2,072.8 miles (1,800 nautical miles / 3,335.8 kilometers.) Vessel carries about two week of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 85.30 feet (26.0 meters) at waterline / 94.49 (28.8 meters) overall
Draft: 6.89 feet (2.1 meters) fully loaded
Width: 22.97 feet (7.0 meters)
Displacement: 80 tons standard and 105 tons fully loaded
Cargo: 2 tons (1.81 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Most of the vessel's spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.
Power System: Conventional, Twin Diesel (4000 hp each)
Black Market Cost: 12 million credits. Mini-Missile Launchers add 400,000 credits to cost of vessel. Stripped version costs 2 million credits.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Forward Weapon Mount (81 mm Mortar / 12.7 mm Machine Gun): The forward weapon mount combines a M245 81 mm Mortar with a 12.7 mm M2HB Heavy Machine Gun. The machine-gun acts as a self defense mount for the gun crew. The mortar is smooth bore and barrel loaded, It is operated by a crew of three (although can be operated by one at a reduced firing rate) and is hand loaded. It is extremely useful in the short range indirect fire roll. Range is less that true artillery but is still extremely effective in indirect fire rolls. There are special guided rounds available although rare. See Battlefield Mortars for Rifts for more details on the mortar.
    Maximum Effective Range: 81 mm Mortar: 1,390 feet (425 meters) to 19,360 feet (5,900 meters) depending on number of charges used. Minimum range is 230 feet (70 meters) to 3,120 feet (950 meters) depending on charges used. M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 81 mm Mortar: By mortar round type (See mortar table for details: Fragmentation 1D6x10, High Explosive 2D4x10, Armor Piercing 2D6x10, Plasma 2D6x10, and has a vast number of other type of rounds as well). M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
    Rate of Fire: 81 mm Mortar: 20 to 30 rounds per minute depending on number of charges (5 to 7.5 per melee) for two minutes, 10 to 20 rounds per minute after two minutes of fire depending on number of charges (2.5 to 5 per melee) M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 81 mm Mortar: 96 rounds total (24 ready rounds.) M2HB Heavy Machine Gun: 1000 rounds - 25 burst (200 ready rounds - 5 bursts)

  2. 30 mm Bushmaster II Auto-Cannons (1 or 2 - Second replaces Forward Mount): Standard version mounts a single 30 mm auto-cannon on the stern of the vessel although optionally a pair can be mounted with one replacing the 81 mm mortar mount on the bow. Each mount has 1,200 rounds of ammunition. The 30 mm cannon fires heavy ramjet rounds with armor piercing warheads which inflict as much damage as most heavy rail guns.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
    Mega-Damage: A burst is 20 rounds and inflicts 2D6x10. A single round does 3D6 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 1,200 rounds (60 bursts) per mount.

  3. Side Mounted Weapon Mounts (2): These mounts are designed to carry a variety of different weapon systems depending on the user of the vessel. Standard weapon systems from Golden Age are 20 mm Vulcan Cannons and 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launchers. These are almost never mixed on the boats with one type or the other carried.

    1. Two (2) 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon: Instead of conventional ammunition, the weapon uses special Ram-Jet ammunition for greater damage and penetration. With this ammunition, the weapons are the equal of most rail guns although ammunition consumption is far greater than most rail guns.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: 1000 rounds (33 bursts) each.

    2. 40 millimeter Mk 19 Automatic Grenade Launchers: Not as advanced as the later grenade launcher designs including the Wellington weapon system. Weapon can fire single shot or short burst of ten rounds. Ammunition cans of 32 or 48 rounds can be used for weapon mount. More modern replacements usually use longer belts for a greater effective payload.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 3D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft and 5D6 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, burst of 10 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft and 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft. Other special rounds are available.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner - Single Shot or Ten round bursts.
      Payload: Usually uses a 48 round magazine (each has ten magazines standard ready to use) but can use 32 round magazines as well.

  4. Mini-Missile Launchers (2 - Optional): These do not take place of the Vulcan Cannons or Grenade Launchers. The vessel can mount a pair of large mini-missile launchers with one on either side of vessel. Both launchers are linked together and are controlled from the pilot house. The launcher is mounted to fire directly forward although can angle five degrees to each side and at an angle of up to forty-five degrees. Weapon mounts are effective against other vessels as well as a bombardment weapon. Normal missiles used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
    Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (Go to Revised bomb and missile table).
    Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16), or Thirty (32 - All.)
    Payload: Each launcher carries Sixteen (16) mini-missiles for Thirty-Two (32) missiles total.

Sensory Equipment:

  • Nightvision Optics: Range: 2,000 ft (609 meters). Uses light amplification to make a picture. Emits no light but will not work in absolute darkness. System can be dazzled by sudden bright lights but does not physically blind the pilot.

  • Thermo-Imager: Range: 2,000 feet (609 meters). Finds the infra-red radiations of things that are warm. Also enables pilot to see in smoke, shadows and darkness.

  • Radar (Medium Range): Radar system has a range of 30 miles (48 km) and can identify and track up to 48 targets.


[Golden Age Weaponsmiths, Wellington Industries, and TRIAX are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]
[ Rifts® is a registered trademark owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc.]

By Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2010, Kitsune. All rights reserved.









Text and images (c) 2003-2020 Liberty Maritime Museum unless otherwise stated.