Looking like a cross between a Buck Rogers spaceship and bubble top 1960s show car, this is what speed and luxury underwater are. This is the Super Sub, made by Dutch boat manufacturer U-Boat Worx. It is the latest addition to the ever-growing private submarine sector.
Look at the Super Sub’s panoramic acrylic pressure bubble
The Super Sub was built for a customer that wanted a submarine to keep up with speedy marine life. It will soon go into production. Since observation is about the only thing you can do with a private submarine, it had to have a panoramic acrylic pressure windshield. The giant dome mounted in front fulfills that requirement decisively.
Features start with the Super Sub’s swim ability. U-Boat says it is the most hydrodynamic private submarine on the market. Noise generated by the sub needed to be removed, so the Super Sub is powered by four 20 horsepower electric thrusters or hydrofoils. They’re fed by lithium-ion batteries. It can silently cruise at eight knots, which means nine mph.
The Super Sub is faster than a bottlenose dolphin
That may seem slow, but that number is two knots faster than a bottlenose dolphin and five knots faster than your average small submarine. Those hydrofoils make it extremely maneuverable offering sharp turns and banking.
According to the U-Boat Worx specs, the Super Sub can perform both dives and climbs of 30-degrees and is capable of depths to three meters or 1,000 feet. With typical submarine construction, the Super Sub comes in at just under 20,000 lbs. With seating for two, it can run up to eight hours on a single charge.
The Super Sub has a gang of safety features and systems
Safety is in some ways more important than performance specs. The Super Sub has a number of safety systems and features so the operator doesn’t get into trouble. If the sub goes beyond the 1,000 ft depth limit, it will automatically raise it to its certified depth.
A safety buoy can be released to indicate the sub’s location from the surface. It can also send a signal to the main vessel the sub is launched from. Life support is available for 96 hours. So if the batteries die or fail it allows plenty of time for support to locate and arrange for rescue.
CO2 scrubbers help to filter the oxygen supply, and emergency power allows for maintaining inside lighting, food and water supplies, and communications equipment. The ominous-sounding Dead Man’s Switch resurfaces the sub if the operator becomes incapacitated. Operators must respond every 10 minutes to the DMS system or surfacing functions will begin.
The powerful USBL communications system tracks many location and system information
A USBL communications system tracks the sub’s location through GPS. It also communicates with the operator with supporting text data relevant depth, speed, location, and other positioning information. A drop weight can be moved within the sub to increase buoyancy as well as aid in dives and ascents.
No price has been announced, but if that isn’t a deterrent this looks like an exciting, luxurious, carefree way to explore another world within our world.