I had an idea that the new Super Sub from U-Boat Worx was going to be a little different than the personal submersibles that are currently being carried by some of the world’s biggest and most expensive superyachts (and their shadow vessels, too, of course).
But I honestly wasn’t prepared for just how panoramic the view from each of the sub’s three racing seats was going to be. And I sure wasn’t expecting it to look like a Ferrari-red, underwater rocket ship. Or to be able to reach underwater speeds that the current fleet of personal submersibles simply can’t.
And, oh yeah, I was also the first member of the press who was invited to actually step down into this high-performance submersible to see just how cool it is. Take it from me. As you can see from my expression in the parking lot at the Monaco Yacht Show, it was very, very cool. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to draw some serious attention when it’s launched later this year.
Apart from its sports-car good looks, what sets the Super Sub apart is its 100 kW of thrust that allows it to reach speeds of up to 10 knots underwater. It can also ascend and descend to up to 300 meters smoothly at inclines of up to 45 degrees while carving rapid banking turns. Is this the world’s first “Sport Submersible?” Um, yes.
“The Super Sub’s speed of 10 knots is 3-4 knots faster than the top cruising speed of a bottlenose dolphin and 7 knots faster than the average submersible,” says U-Boat Worx Marketing Manager Roy Heijdra. “Owners can glide behind a group of sea turtles, cruise alongside a school of sharks, dive and turn with a pod of dolphins, or swiftly navigate through the undercurrents with a powerful barracuda. The Super Sub is more than a ticket to an underwater theater. It’s a backstage VIP pass that immerses guests in the heart of the action.”
Sounds pretty good, right?
According to Heijdra, higher speed capability enables the Super Sub to match the pace of larger marine creatures, and its substantial thrust capacity equips the Super Sub to contend with powerful underwater currents.
But what really blew me away on land at the show was the crystal-clear acrylic pressure hull positioned at the front of the submersible. Simply put, to allows for a virtually unobstructed view in every direction. In fact, since it was so clear and extended so far under the two forward-facing seats that it was hard to distinguish between the thick acrylic and the outside world even at on land at the yacht show. I can only imagine how amazing the view will be when it’s actually underwater.
Meanwhile, I learned that the submersible’s control system ensures that the hydrofoils operate in unison with the thruster systems to be highly maneuverable and easy to manipulate. The hydrofoils on the back of the submarine allow it to direct the thrust flow more effectively, enabling sharp turns and banking maneuvers and offering a long list of programable features to ease operation.
Like all U-Boat Worx submersibles, the Super Sub is also DNV-certified (a respected global standard of safety certification used on naval submarines) and equipped with state-of-the-art safety systems. For example, the “maximum depth protection” feature prevents the pilot from descending beyond the submarine’s maximum operating depth of 300 meters. It’s also equipped with the company’s Safety Buoy technology, which marks the submarine’s position on the surface. A large drop weight can be manually released from within the vessel to increase buoyancy and assist in returning to the surface in case of an emergency as well.
“Our team has poured their hearts and expertise into crafting the Super Sub, and we are beyond excited to reveal it to the world at the Monaco Yacht Show,” concluded Heijdra. “The Super Sub represents the pinnacle of underwater luxury and performance, and we can’t wait for everyone to experience the thrill of exploring the depths with this extraordinary submersible.”
The Super Sub I toured will be delivered to its owner later this year. The next one launches in October 2024 and is currently listed for sale starting at 5.2 million euros.