Gosh, millionaires had it tough back in 2009. At that time, if they wanted to spend US$50,000 on a zippy, semi-submersible, sea creature-inspired watercraft, they were stuck with the basic dolphin-like model of Innespace's Seabreacher. Now known as the Seabreacher J, it was joined in 2010 by the faster, wider and nastier-looking shark-inspired Seabreacher X. Now, word has reached us of yet another Seabreacher creature - the orca-like Y model.
As with the other Seabreachers, the Y seats a pilot and a passenger in a watertight cockpit. From there, they can watch the above- and underwater scenery whip by through a half-inch-thick fighter jet-like acrylic canopy and (in the case of the pilot) floor-mounted view ports.
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The watercraft can plane along the surface like a boat, but is also able to make brief dives down to a maximum depth of five feet (1.5 meters), which can be followed by leaps into the air as high as 12 feet (3.6 meters). A snorkel and video camera mounted on the dorsal fin respectively provide air to the engine while the craft is underwater, and allow the pilot to see what's going on above the surface.
All three models can also perform 360-degree rolls while traveling along the surface.
As with the X, the Y has a 260-hp supercharged ROTAX 1500cc 4-stroke engine. This allows for a top surface speed of 50 mph (80.5 km/h), and a maximum of 25 mph (40 km/h) when submerged. By contrast, the original Seabreacher J's standard 155 hp engine makes top speeds of only 40 mph (65 km/h) and 20 mph (32 km/h) possible - although an optional 215 hp supercharged powerplant is available for the J.
Additionally, the Y incorporates the J's bubble canopy, which was replaced by a sleeker design for the X.
Besides its Shamu-like paint job, the Seabreacher Y's unique features include a more rounded nose, a new pectoral fin design, and a higher dorsal fin. It also has a larger tail (or flukes, if you will), designed make 180-degree back flips possible - there's no word on whether anyone has actually managed to pull one off yet, however. Foot pegs and a handlebar can be added to allow for an external human stunt rider.
While Innespace invites prospective buyers to get in touch for a price estimate, Hammacher Schlemmer is currently offering a Seabreacher Y for a measly $100,000.
The watercraft can be seen in action in the video below.