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Water has an allure. Perhaps it is because, from a primordial sense, we came from water and therefore we want to return to water. Exploring the oceans, though, is no easy feat. Snorkelling and diving can only get you so far, but there is always an itch to go further, farther and deeper. To fly through the undersea currents like an oarfish or sink to the inky depths of the Mariana Trench. Well, with these five personal submarines you could try to do just that. Suit up. Let’s dive.
1. Deepflight Super Falcon Mark II
Like its cousin, the Deepflight Dragon, the Deepflight Super Falcon Mark II is probably the best way to be introduced to the dense world of underwater navigation. Part-plane, part-submersible, the Super Falcon Mark II is controlled with only a joystick, an arcade-style simplification that makes it easy to pick up. Originally designed for billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins (who keeps it on his yacht Dr. No), the upgraded Mark II is smaller, lighter and travels further for every charge of its lithium ion battery. The bullet-shaped submersible accommodates two passengers, each in their own bubble-glass compartments.
Deepflight Super Falcon Mark II
2. Seabreacher Shark
Less a submarine and more of a jetski capable of limited underwater periods, the Seabreacher Sailfish is a custom built by Innespace (founded by New Zealander Rob Innes and American Dan Piazza), a two-seat semi-submersible that can operate in fresh and salt water. The base design is patterned on the missile-like shape of speedy aquatic animals like the dolphin, but jazzed up to personal requests. The Seabreacher Sailfish design is pretty cool, an astounding mimicry of the mercurial fish complete with a full dorsal ‘sail’ fin on its back, but for sheer shock and awe, the Seabreacher Shark is the way to go. The essence of a Seabreacher is speed: propelled by 260 bhp, the submersible can plough through water, gaining velocity to glide through the air, then dive back under the water, only to build up more speed to do it all over again.
3. U-Boat Super Yacht Sub 3
From Dutch builder U-Boat comes this three-person submersible, the Super Yacht Sub 3. Surprisingly compact, the 3m x 2.4m Sub 3 is made from acrylic and steel to be exceedingly lightweight and small enough to fit into a standard shipping container, or any yacht of your choice. An intriguing feature is the variable depth potential; the standard model is rated to about 100m, but can be upgraded to two lower levels – 200m and 300m, for the adventurous among us. Leather seats and air conditioning provide comfort, while a dead man’s switch (DMS) must be pressed every 10 minutes or the sub will ascend, one of many safety features packed into the Sub 3. There even is an LX model, with a larger acrylic viewpoint summoning up greater views of the underwater world.
U-Boat Super Yacht Sub 3
4. Triton Submarine 6600/2
The U-Boat Super Yacht Sub 3 is lightweight indeed. Some may love that and some might prefer something with a bit more heft and bulk, just to feel safe. Enter the Triton Submarine 6600/2, which can dive to a claustrophobic depth of 2,000m. To endure the pressure at that depth, the 6600/2 has been reinforced, but views will not be out of a small porthole. Instead, the thickest ever transparent hull encases the pilot (and one passenger) in a comfy bubble, allowing amazing views of what lurks below at depths of more than a mile. Angler fish, maybe? Wrecks? Whale carcasses? It might be dark down there, but six banks of 20,000 lumen lights will illuminate the undersea gloom, while air conditioning ensures that comfort is not sacrificed
Triton Submarine 6600/2
5. Migaloo M2
And now for something a bit more ambitious, a bit more out there. Austria’s Migaloo Submarines is marketing a private submersible yacht that comes in several sizes, including 72m (M2), 135m (M4), 160m (M6) and 225 (M7). Capable of remaining submerged both at anchor and when cruising between destinations, Migaloo’s submarines will be entirely bespoke – all designs and requirements will be customised with the client and all configurations accommodated. In its design concepts, Migaloo envisions the M2 as a travelling underwater restaurant or conference centre, while the M5 and M6 include saloons, wine rooms, libraries and ‘rooftop’ bars, along with six living suites, outdoor pools, outdoor hot tubs and a helipad. The M7, the largest in its envisioned class, will be for those that never want to set foot on dry land ever again, taking a page from Jules Verne to create their own Nautilus and spend all their (considerably luxurious) life at sea. That’s something.