Beatles journeyed to Pepperland through a sea of green in
their yellow submarine in 1968 but millionaire inventor and
publisher John H. Perry's yellow submarine had already found a
hydrogen bomb on the ocean floor.
Cubmarine explored the deep Woods Hole passage in 1962, mapped
ocean reefs and, in 1966, earned international acclaim for
recovering a lost U.S. H-bomb off the Spanish coast.
launched an industry and made Perry Submarine Builders in
Riviera Beach the most successful maker of submersibles in the
like Henry Ford. He didn't invent the two-man sub, but he was
the first one to reach production status and perfect fuel-cell
technology," said Lee Dashiell, the museum's aquarium
The prototype of
the Cubmarine - the Reef Hunter - stands once again at the
South Florida Science Museum where it was the centerpiece of
an undersea exhibit 34 years ago.
repainted its original cartoon yellow, the Cubmarine will be
re-dedicated at an 11 a.m. Saturday ceremony that begins
Undersea Adventure Day at the museum. A Beatles laser concert
will help salute the Perry's two-man sub.
Perry donated it
to the museum in 1973 and for several decades after, the
submarine was a fixture on the exhibit floor. Later it was
stored outdoors and largely forgotten.
"I first saw
it five years ago, sitting under a tarp, rusted and covered
with dry rot," said museum trustee Rick Newman.
"I went on a five-year quest to restore it."
But moving the
3-ton vessel was a problem until Hedrick Brothers Construction
offered a crane to load it onto a flatbed. South Palm
Automotive in Boca Raton did the repairs to the steel frame,
aluminum hull and fiberglass coating.
"We tried to
do it as historically accurate as possible," said Newman,
who runs HighTechScience.org
and is a longtime contributor of artifacts to the museum.
"We studied photographs and talked to people."
into submarine building was inspired by a shark, one that
nearly followed him ashore.
submarine would offer protection from watery predators during
spear-fishing trips, he figured. So, he began experimenting
with building maneuverable subs in Riviera Beach in the late
"It was built
in the '60s before the first man landed on the moon when the
question was 'Can we go there? Can we do that?' "
Dashiell said. "Perry proved we could."
Perry Two-Man Cubmarine
Body: Steel frame, aluminum
hull, Fiberglas coating
Weight: 4,000 pounds (later
models weighed 6,000 pounds)
Size: 18 feet long, 3 feet wide
Diving depth: 165 feet (later
models rated for 600 feet but tested to 900)
Submersion: Up to 5 hours
Speed and range: 5 knots (3.5
mph), 20 nautical miles
Ascent/Descent speed: 2 feet
Payload: Two adults or up to
Power: Rechargeable battery
Maneuvering: Vertically or at
an angle; turns in place
Undersea Adventure Day
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: South Florida Science
Museum, 4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach (off Summit
Boulevard between Southern and Forest Hill boulevards)
What: 11 a.m. re-dedication of
Perry's two-man Cubmarine, one of the first of its kind, by
Lt. J.G. Dick Lawrence and U.S. Naval Sea Cadets. Events
include Beatles laser concert, lectures on undersea life,
touch tanks in the McGinty Aquarium, immersive videos,
make-and-take crafts, bounce house, face painting, giveaways.
Admission: $9 adults, $7.50
seniors, $6 children
For more information, visit www.sfsm.org
or call (561) 832-1988