|Photographed in Birkenhead Docks in late April 2013 was LARC XV-67 a modern amphibious vehicle to all intents and purposes a modern interpretation of the WWII DUKW. DUKWs have been in the public eye on Merseyside since one of the passenger carrying DUKWs sank in the Albert Dock earlier in the spring. |
This vessel, according to Wikipedia is an LARC-XV (Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo, 15 ton), is an aluminium hulled amphibious cargo vehicle. It measures 45 by 15 feet and is powered by a 600 hp engine. It was carrying a sticker indicating it had been imported on ACL's ATLANTIC COMPANION. It is not know as to what use this vessel is to be put to.
Some additional notes from Noel Shelley on the LARC-XV: "It was I believe imported from Belgium, one of about a dozen purchased from the French military by a dealer and subsequently no 67 was bought and imported into the UK by someone in the Wirral area.
Where as the wartime DUKW was very much a truck that floated, the Larcs are boats with wheels, and though more modern are now nearly 50 years old. A DUKW has very poor manoeuvrability in the water whilst a LARC will turn almost in it's own length(45ft). The engines (there are 2) are in fact Cummins V8-300 B1s of 300hp each. I have responsibility with a colleague for the repair and maintenance of two of these machines. One is registered as a 60 seater passenger vessel. The other after a 14 month rebuild/overhaul is now registered for 12 people or 1ton cargo."
In a film clip on YouTube "Rocket belt-jfk demo you will see a pilot fly from a LARC XV on a lake and land on shore using the Bell Jet Pack. This is dated September 1961. This machine must be one of the 5 pre production units as we have hulls 16 and 74, both made in 1966/7, there were I believe 105 built in total. There are 2 other models, the LARC C, a neat little 5 tonner, one engine and four wheels, fixed bow. Then there's the LARC LX, this is capable of taking 100 tons, a monster twin screw four wheeler with four engines and a drop down bow. Google will provide details and pictures."