For your next stunt: go overboard
BREDA ~ Moonen Shipyards’ latest is a “crossover between go-anywhere expedition vessels and classic modern yachts.” Go-anywhere on Moonen’s 42m Sofia means not just over the horizon but also below the waterline. What made the Sofia a crowd-pleaser at the 2013 Cannes International Boat Show, was that 3-seater yellow sub on the transom.
It was crafted by U-Boat Worx, a Dutch company that makes personal subs in small series at its base in Breda, Netherlands. It makes safe, innovative and luxurious underwater craft. Its signature series are the C-Quester (up to 3-persons, 100m diving depth) and the C-Explorer submersibles (up to 5 passengers, down 1,000 m).
U-Boat Worx builds them in small series. Construction may take from 4 to 12 months only. Founded in 2005, the company makes underwater craft for yachts, tourism ventures, research and offshore missions. In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin (below) was spotted aboard a U-Boat Worx C-Explorer 5 that dived on the 19th century wreck of a navy frigate in the Gulf of Finland, off St. Petersburg. After a 20-minute ride in the 5-seater sub, Putin the wreck was in “perfect condition” and lying on its right side. “The name of the ship can be clearly read.”
“All of our subs are powered by high capacity Lithium-ion batteries,” says U-Boat Worx spokeswoman Charlotte van Loo. Does it take a big yacht to accommodate a sub? “Our subs fit on yachts of 20m and up that are equipped with the required gear to lower a submersible into the water.” All the company’s subs meet the safety standards of the Hamburg-based Gerrmanischer Lloyd Classification Society. U-Boat Worx subs let you dive for up to 8 hours. In case of an emergency, there is life support system that gives you at least 96 hours below the surface.
U-Boat Worx’s C-Questers and C-Explorers subs are air conditioned and offer passengers a phenomenal view in any direction. For research ends, the subs offer a range of options: from manipulator arms to bottom samplers to HD cameras. They can accommodate up to 5 researchers and can be equipped for dives of more than 12 hours. U-Boat Worx caters to the offshore sector with subs (below) for monitoring and inspecting underwater structures.
Submersibles are great far below the surface. But once they come up and break the surface of the water they are highly dependable on a mother ship. U-Boat Worx resolved that by making “underwater boats” that can move around on the sea’s surface independently. Its C-Quester 3 features a high-grade steel and acrylic sphere. They are joined together to create the sturdy and pressure-resistant Main Pressure Hull. The C-Quester 2 and the C-Explorers are all-acrylic pressure.