Dutch firm U-Boat Worx describes the latest addition to its line of submersibles as a "subsea-Ferrari". Like many Ferraris, the company's new HP Sport Sub 2 seats two and comes in eye-catching red, but unlike most Ferraris, it can carry a pilot and passenger to a depth of 100 m (330 ft) beneath the waves for periods of up to six hours.
Designed to fit into the tender garage of superyachts 30 m (98 ft) and greater, or towed easily behind the Bentley, the HP Sport Sub 2 displaces the Super Yacht Sub 3 as the most compact U-Boat Worx model. Featuring a new acrylic-steel pressure hull design, the craft measures 285 cm (9.3 ft) long and 235 cm (7.7 ft) wide, giving it the same length and width dimensions as the Super Yacht Sub 3. However, it isn't as high, measuring 136 cm (4.5 ft) to the Super Yacht Sub 3's 174 cm (5.7 ft) and providing a more streamlined shape.
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Despite the reduced height, U-Boat Worx has positioned the access hatch high above the waterline to overcome the difficulties faced by conventional sports submersible when embarking and disembarking in the water. The company says the elevated freeboard and stability of the vehicle means there is no need for "man-rated" cranes to get people in and out. And with a weight of 2,200-kg (4,850-lb), the craft is light enough to allow existing cranes to be used for launch and recovery.
With 2 x 2.7 kW brushless electric thrusters providing horizontal propulsion and 4 x 2.7 kW thrusters providing vectored vertical propulsion, the personal sports submersible can reach speeds of 3 knots (3.5 mph, 5.6 km/h) on the surface and 2 knots (2.3 mph, 3.7 km/h) when submerged. However, upgrading the horizontal thrusters to 2 x 5.5 kW units will increase speeds to 5 knots (5.7 mph, 9.3 km/h) on the surface and 3 knots below the waves.
Total power capacity for the sub is 21.6 kWh, provided by lithium-ion batteries that take around four hours to recharge. An emergency battery is also on board that will provide power to critical systems for up to 96 hours. Control is via the dual-joystick, gamepad-style Manta fly-by-wire controller found in previous U-Boat Worx models, which can be passed to the passenger if they want to take control for a bit.
"The design is attractive, but above all, safe and functional,” says U-Boat Worx founder and Chairman, Bert Houtman. “We’ve adopted a very different look compared to traditional submersibles, but without compromising safety and ease of use - the ability to easily board the craft at the surface, for example."
As you might expect, the HP Sport Sub 2 isn’t cheap, setting your offshore account back US$1.35 million. That price includes a battery charger, training course and a DNV-GL certification. Production models are scheduled for delivery to select superyacht owners for the third quarter of 2015.
Source: U-Boat WorxView gallery - 7 images