The U.S. Navy spent $60 million to refurbish its last diesel-electric
submarine, the USS Dolphin, in the 1990s. Now it wants to give the boat away.
Not just to anyone. Whoever gets it has to prove they will take care of it. A
museum is preferred, but the navy is prepared to be flexible in order to find
the Dolphin a good home. The Dolphin may be a sub, but it's not a warship. It's
a 800 ton research vessel, about the size of most German World War II "U-Boat"
subs. The Dolphin is designed to dive deep (over 3,000 feet) and is configured
to quickly take on up to twelve tons of research gear. The normal crew is 21
sailors and four scientists. The sub can stay at sea for fifteen days at a
time. The Dolphin was built in 1960, and has given decades of good service. If
the navy doesn't find a good home for the boat by March, it's off to the
breakers with her.