Deep dive: The best superyacht submarines
by Zoe Dickens
Snorkelling and scuba diving may be fine for top dive spots at the shallower end of the pool but if you want to get really up close and personal with the bottom of the ocean you're going to need a personal submarine. Built to cater from one to six guests and all specially tailored to fit the weight and height restrictions of superyacht tender garages, adventure further this season with our edit of the best submarines for superyachts.
Announced at the Monaco Yacht Show 2017, Project Neptune is the result of a collaboration between submarine specialist Triton and famed British car marque Aston Martin. The project takes the Triton Low Profile three-person submarine as its basis and has been developed by Aston Martin Consulting and chief creative officer Marek Reichman to feature the elegant, timeless design signatures for which Aston Martin is known. Intended to be a strictly limited edition model, Project Neptune offers a bulbous cabin for panoramic views and a sleek, compact multihull silhouette for optimal speed and style under the waves.
The Neyk Submarine, the latest model from Dutch builder Ocean Submarine, aims to bright together the luxury of private jets and superyachts with the latest submersible technology to create what it claims is the world's first truly high-end personal submarine. Ocean Submarine has teamed up with the likes of Rolls-Royce, Bosch and NASA on the new sub, which boasts space for 20 passengers, a top speed of 15 knots and a maximum dive depth of 500 metres. Although the first model, which is due for launch in January 2018, will be 19 metres, once the Neyk goes into full production five version ranging from six to 24 metres will be available with the larger versions featuring a bar, lounge, library and full galley. As the submarine's interiors are based on a modular design, owners will also have the option to completely customise them to match the mothership.
U-Boat Worx C-Researcher 3 - 1100
Not only is there space for a pilot and two passengers but a whole host of scientific equipment can also fit into this luxury submarine that can dive to depths of up to 1,100 metres. It can cruise at speeds of three knots and remain submerged for up to 18 hours with its 62kWh battery. Thanks to that acrylic sphere, visibility should not be an issue. Plus, the 130 degree sonar with a range of 100 metres means you can spot obstacles before they even come into view. Finally, auto depth and auto heading make piloting the 1100 relatively simple.
DeepFlight Super Falcon 3S
The follow-up to the popular DeepFlight Super Falcon Mk II, the first of which was built for billionaire Tom Perkins, the DeepFlight Super Falcon 3S made its debut at the Monaco Yacht Show 2016. Developed with the burgeoning underwater tourism market in mind, the Super Falcon 3S has room for one pilot and two passengers and can dive up to 120 metres below the surface at a max speed of six knots making it capable of exhilarating flight with inside-out loops and ocean breaching on the menu. Weighing in at 375kg with a length of 7.8 metres, she's not as compact as her predecessor but with an eight-hour battery life and 360-degree views you'll be glad of the extra room while the 40V system and low electric signature are safe to use around swimmers and marine animals.
GSE Trieste VAS 525/60
The dream of living beneath the waves in your very own yellow submarine can be a reality with the VAS 525/60. Not brand new, but enviably proven, the adventure-ready sub is built by Italy’s GSE Trieste to military standards and has been extensively tested on commercial vessels. Five passengers can gaze out of the large forward and side portholes, while HD video cameras mounted on the exterior capture the scene, and forward-facing 3,200 lumen underwater lights illuminate the depths or the inky night as the VAS descends to 160 metres for up to eight hours.
Created to give guests a completely immersive experience in the watery world below, SEAmagine’s Aurora series of submersibles features a massive glass bulb for unparalleled views as she dives up to 1,000 metres at a max speed of three knots for eight hours. The Californian company’s second-largest luxury sub, the Aurora-5, seats four passengers and one pilot. A single-point hoist makes for uncomplicated launching, while an ergonomically designed aft section and telescopic handrails ease boarding. The entire set-up is ideal for deep-sea exploration with the family in tow. The Aurora-5’s weight and size can be customised to suit the mothership, as can the colour.
U-Boat Worx Super Yacht Sub 3 - 500 LX
Known for their reliable, workhorse subs used for scientific exploration like the C-Researcher 2 (above), Dutch builder U-Boat Worx has a sub specifically for superyachts. An upgrade to the popular Super Yacht Sub 3, the Super Yacht Sub 3 - 500 LX is so easy to operate that the pilot can hand over the Manta joystick controller to passengers to experience the sub’s boat-like handling while full training is offered for potential owner-operators. With a length of less than 73.2 metres and weighing 4,100kg, the pint-sized sub is easy to fit on board, and owners can dive to an impressive 500 metres. A retractable freeboard extender makes on-the-water boarding a breeze while the interior is kitted in out plush leather seats for comfortable cruising.
From €1.5m (including training), uboatworx.com