Is your private Batcave looking a little dated these days? Sure, you’ve got your gravity jetpack, a stable of flying cars, and a bevy of other personal craft to get you where you need to go. But those are so last month. What you don’t have is a personal, Navy-approved speedboat submarine. We’re not talking about a speedboat and a submarine. We’re talking about an all-in-one, fully submersible, Bond villain-style powerboat. Meet Hyper-Sub.
Topside, the Hyper-Sub looks like a futuristic speedboat. Only the curved, fully-enclosed cockpit, racecar-esque silhouette, and exaggerated spoiler hint at something more. As a boat, it’s capable of launching from most typical docks, beaches, and marinas. Twin 480-horsepower Yanmar 6LY3-ETP diesel engines push the vessel to a cruising speed of 26 knots (30 miles per hour) with a 6,000-pound hauling capacity. By the numbers, it’s as versatile, functional, and economical as most other 900-horse speedboats.
Below the surface is where things get a lot more interesting. In “submarine mode,” Hyper-Sub is capable of on-demand diving up to 1,200 feet. Twin electric-powered thrusters propel it to a top speed of six miles per hour. The state-of-the-art design allows the vessel to submerge and resurface almost indefinitely, recharging its batteries and oxygen supply along the way. With the help of a snorkel, it can even sail semi-submerged. If necessary, onboard emergency systems ensure the Hyper-Sub can surface rapidly even if the cabin is completely flooded. If inverted in extreme weather, it also has the capability of automatically righting itself.
The modular design consists of two parts: the Sea-Frame (including the pontoons and propulsion system) and the Dry Chamber (the cockpit and passenger cabin). Separating these components allows the vessel’s owner to use a single Sea-Frame with an infinite number of uniquely configured cabins. One Dry Chamber could be customized for pleasure cruising; one could be outfitted with research equipment; while a third could be armored and armed for storming the lair of your archnemesis (note: we couldn’t find this option anywhere in their marketing literature, but a boy can dream, right?). The sky — er, the ocean — and your wallet are the limit.
The Hyper-Sub is nothing new. In fact, news stories of the vessel’s production date back more than a decade, and the research project itself is years older than that. Similar concepts like the Migaloo submersible superyacht have been bandied about for almost as long. However, Hyper-Sub appears to be among the first to make it beyond the concept phase — so much so that it has the U.S. military very excited indeed.
With the right discretionary income (best guesses put the price tag north of $3.5 million) or if your name happens to be “U.S. Marine Corps,” you might be able to score a Hyper-Sub of your very own. If not, you’ll just have to settle for a boat garage with a speedboat or a submarine. Lame.