Construction Assistance Vehicle (CAV)

Every now and then, with all of the new technology available, it’s good to stop and take a look back at some things made in the past, not only for nostalgia, but also for possible inspiration for the present.

One of those is one that my family business’  West Palm Beach, Florida, facility produced: the Construction Assistance Vehicle (CAV). The purpose of this was to provide an underwater craft to transport personnel and materiel during underwater construction. The CAV was capable of transporting one U.S. Ton (2000 lbs.) at a speed of 2 knots. It was intended to be manufactured using ordinary materials and fabrication techniques.

Vulcan fabricated the hull for the U.S. Navy and loaded it out for shipment 29 November 1969.

Below: on the trailer, ready for transport to California.

An aft view of the CAV.

Once in California, it was fitted out with its propulsion system and prepared for testing. Below, as completed and ready.

The helm and controls of the CAV.

The CAV was tested by the Seebees at the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory (NCEL) in Port Hueneme, CA. Below: an artist’s conception of what the CAV looked like in action.

Two years later the American Iron and Steel Institute presented NCEL, Stephen Halpern, and M. Rosenblatt and Son Inc. with an award for the "Best Engineering, Transportation Equipment" for 1971.

Although the Navy didn’t pursue this craft, in looking at it for today, the recreational possibilities of this–especially with modern materials, controls and propusion systems available–are endless.

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