We’ve seen positively lunatic Chinese DIY-ers build their own helicopters and submarines. The trend seems having taken a flight to the West, where Brimson resident Dean Ackman is building a 21-foot submarine for about 350 feet deep aquatic fun. Besides fun the DIY sub, as the DIY-er himself has it, could be used to explore shipwrecks and locate underwater timber for salvage.
Ackman, a Vietnam veteran, a mechanical engineer at IBM for about 20 years (retired) and a scuba diver for over 3 decades; tested his sub at the Knife River boat launch August 20. The submarine’s rear ballast tank was found leaking in this, its third “dunk test”, which could be claimed a failure for now. The submarine’s support pod is based on the Kittredge 350 Submersible, while rest is all Ackman’s own labor.
He is still working on the main thrust motor and the sub’s electronics, while he is waiting for components, installation of which will help the vessel in reversing. Ackman feels at depths of 350 feet, journey the sub can manage, there are dangers of getting snagged on underwater debris and nets, thus he believes in keeping a scuba tank on board in case he has to bail.
The entire concept looks promising and being only the second existing personal sub in Minnesota, the $40,000 odd investment in the make could surely pay off for Ackman someday.