The LCRL could carry a maximum of ten men and it could have a varying armament depending on what the infantry in the boat had. Usually, a machine gun was placed at the front of the boat. It also had an outboard motor that could propel the boat at speeds of about 4.5 knots. The displacement of the LCRL was about 215 kilograms and the length was about 4.8 meters, the beam was 2.4 meters. The boat itself was made of synthetic rubber and had three rubber seats as a frame.
The boat could also be paddled by the men inside the boat and could travel at speeds of up to 52.1 meters per minute with a well trained team. The realistic range of the boat varied from about 3.2 km to 4.8 km. What was perhaps most useful about the LCRL was the fact that it could be transported near anywhere by a variety of craft without taking up much room. To inflate, only two hand pumps were required or preferably an air hose.
Rubber boats in general were first adopted by the US Marine Corps in 1938 for use by scouts and eventually the Marine Raiders. The LCRL was mainly used in river crossings, but it could also be used to land on beaches which would prove critical in the Pacific. The most important feature for raiding parties was that the LCRL was silent if no motor was used, creating far more stealth opportunities that otherwise would not have been possible with conventional ships or landing craft. Over 10,000 were produced throughout the war with the LCRL eventually being replaced by more modern rubber boats.
- ↑ http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/LCRL/LCRL.html
- ↑ Rottman, L. Gordon. Carlson’s Marine Raiders:Makin Island 1942. Osprey Publishing (2014), Page 12