Forget yachts, this mini-submarine can be towed behind your truck like a jet ski

2022-06-11 0 By

In the world of small but exclusive personal submarines, there are two brands: the U-Boat Worx and Triton.The two companies work one-on-one in most cases, offering a range of alternative services for different tasks, passenger numbers and seat layouts.Both brands have their fans, unique selling points and recognizable looks.They also all have a James Bond cool factor, taking you below the surface and experiencing things previously only experienced by professional submariners.But the price, size and weight of the underwater yacht put most potential buyers off.You have to be a billionaire and own a superyacht.Until now.U-boat Worx’s new Nemo is creating a new market, first by designing a small submarine to be operated by its owner, and second by bringing the price down to just over $1 million — or at least half the price of any other personal submersible on the water.Nemo made its debut last week in Curacao, where the Dutch manufacturer provides training and service facilities for the Caribbean.This will be the first series production of the submersible, the first 10 of which have already been sold.The builder is ramping up production to meet its expected health needs, and Nemo will offer one – or two-seat models.The Nemo will be compact, with an area roughly the size of two jet skis.The lower price and smaller size make it not just suitable for the “rich and famous,” as it can fit on smaller yachts, say 100 feet or more long, and its 5,500-pound weight can be towed away, though of course you’ll need a heavy-duty truck.U-boat Worx came up with the concept of building a subcompact submarine 15 years ago to “give everyone access to the ocean,” but Heijdra said the world wasn’t ready for the idea.”Yacht owners wanted submarines that could go deeper than anything on the market at the time,” he says.”But now we have progressed to the point where we can make a relatively affordable submersible for a wider audience.””Relatively affordable” is the key word here.The single-seat Nemo retails for about $1.02 million, while the two-seat Nemo sells for nearly $1.1 million.It’s certainly not cheap.The standard exterior is white, but owners can customize the color of their submarine for about $35,000.Other options include sonar, robotic arms and a navigation package that provides GPS coordinates to the steering console.Standard sets include two spotlights and floodlights, but you can add extra light sources to cut dark waters.The owner of the ship that bought the first Nimmos will operate the submersible itself, rather than having the yacht’s crew act as drivers.Curacao’s Nemo looks cute on the outside, with a giant acrylic sphere and two seats.It can dive to a depth of 330 feet and is controlled by four electric thrusters — two vertical and two horizontal — at an average speed of three knots.It’s not terribly fast, but who wants to rush when you’re exploring a shipwreck or coral reef?While U-Boat Worx simplified Nemo to keep costs down, the interior retains its luxurious look, with black trim and leather seats, as well as a small LCD screen for navigation.”We simplified the engineering and made it super easy to operate,” Heijdra said.”On the maintenance side, we use helicopter technology to send digital logs directly to the server so we know when it’s time to repair the submarine.”Nemo will have eight hours of driving time, or stay underwater during a normal day of diving.This design is not as technical as some of the larger, deeper diving research submarines of the U-Boat Worx.But one option is an external camera so that Marine life can be recorded for study.For those worried about claustrophobia, the transparent dome should ease the fear.Nemo is also equipped with air conditioning and heating systems to keep the interior comfortable in different water environments.It can dive in tropical and Arctic waters.