Newspaper article on the
Submarine Restoration Project

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The following appeared April 7, 2008 in the

"Seaworthy Again"

By Dale M. King

Boca Raton News City Editor

ublished April 7, 2008

   Rick Newman of Boca Raton has involved himself with projects that touched earth and sky.

   He has a couple of electric cars, secured the robots from the 1950s film, “Forbidden Planet” and the TV show, “Lost in Space,” for a display at the South Florida Science Museum and has amassed a major collection of “flown space artifacts.”

   Newman recently turned his attention to the ocean, specifically, the restoration of a two-person miniature submarine that has been sitting at the South Florida Science Museum since 1973.

   “I’m on the board of trustees of the museum,” he said. “I saw it laying outside the museum, covered with a tarp, about five years ago.”

   Under the tarp, the tiny sub was rusting away, and the paint was seriously chipping.

   “Six or seven years ago, there was an effort by the museum to restore it,” he said. “But the cost and logistics – the sub weights 6,000 pounds – prevented it.”

   Not long ago, Dale Hedrick of Hedrick Brothers Construction joined the board. And he provided the crane that lifted the old sub onto a flatbed truck and took it to Palm Beach Automotive in Boca Raton.

   In that garage, Newman repaired “the submarine’s undercarriage, metal superstructure and the fiberglass shell.”

Original Colors

   The sub is scheduled to be painted today in its original colors – mainly yellow, with hints of blue – and will then return to its spot in front of the South Florida Science Museum.

   Newman said he did extensive research on the sub.  But he could not determine whether it ever saw service in the ocean.

   He said Perry Cubmarine of Riviera Beach donated the undersea craft. It’s a model of the company’s PC5C, the two-man mini-sub designed by John H. Perry, Jr.

   Newman said he believes the sub was a prototype for other Perry-designed vessels that came later. He said one of Perry’s subs found an H-bomb off the coast of Spain in the 1960s.

   Perry designed this sub at his Palm Beach home and it was manufactured in Riviera Beach.

   “With an operational depth of about 600 feet (and tested for 900 feet), Cubmarines have given scientists easy access to the Continental Shelf, enabling them to study sea life and phenomena as never before,” said Newman.

Analog Clock

   Vitals on the sub? Instrumentation consisted of a gyrocompass, analog clock, speed sensor, depth gauge and up- and down- looking fathometer. Steering is straightforward through an airplane type wheel post. Speed of ascent and descent is two feet a second.

   Main propulsion was via a rechargeable battery-operated system.
The sub could stay submerged for up to five hours at a time and had a range of about 20 miles. Its original name when built was the "Reef Hunter".

   “Cubmarines have been used to study whales; observe the effects of repellents on sharks; find missile nose cones, spent torpedoes, and crashed aircraft; search for wrecked treasure ships; and inspect offshore oil drilling rigs and undersea telephone cables.”

   “The Perry Cubmarine is a part of the world’s maritime history,” he noted. “And an integral part of Palm Beach County’s historical heritage.”

Dale M. King can be reached at 561-549-0832 or

   Click Here for more info on the Sub Restoration Project

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