The Navy has a fleet of rugged offshore vessels that can handle the snottiest of seas. In addition to their impressive collection of nuclear-powered submarines and air-cushioned hovercraft, there are the Boomin Beavers. These 19-foot miniature tugboats may not be the most impressive of the lineup, but they are certainly the cutest, and they serve a pivotal role in protecting the Navy’s larger vessels.
There are 10 Beavers in the Navy fleet, and they essentially act as gatekeepers for larger ships, such as the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor, deploying, operating, and maintaining underwater barriers around the ships. They are operated by two to five crew members at a time.
These vessels originally came from the logging industry, where they would raft and pull floating logs, much like beavers pull sticks down a stream, which is how they got their Boomin Beaver name.