On 10/21/09 we took the R300, my Dad’s homemade submarine, out to Medina Lake for it’s 3rd open water test. Several firsts were accomplished, including the first successful operation of the variable ballast tank with it’s new level sensor, the trim weight system with its new position sensor, the manual depth gauge, cabin overpressure valve, new hydraulic system, expanded yaw movement to shorten turning radius, new main and variable ballast tank motorized balls valves, and rebuild jet pump and motor mount to reduce vibration. The ballast systems are now working very nicely and the boat was successful set to neutral buoyancy in the water column. The noise level in the boat is much less.
There were however several areas for improvement that came out of the test. This was the first launch and retrieval off a non concrete ramp. The front trailer wheel was too small for the rocky ramp and failed. Also the ramp was too steep which caused the back of the trailer to bury itself which made it hard to get the boat out far enough to float off. Also we used a buoy on a line attached to the aft lifting lug as a safety feature. Towards the end of the day, the rope fouled the jet pump which required an in-the-field tear down and rebuild of the jet pump. After the jet pump repair was successful made, as the boat was being moved off the beach, the aluminum control arm on the rudder broke which terminated the testing. All-in-all, the dive was a great success. Hopefully it wont be long till the next open water test.