Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Friday, May 18, 2007


Ralph Buttigieg

Sydney, NSW


If we have undersea habitats then we are going to need some way to get there. Going out by boat and SCUBA diving down is one way but it has limitations, especially if you can't swim. A better form of transportation is required. Submarines would be ideal but they tend to be costly and complicated.

Well, it looks like the Dutch are building a possible solution, there is now an affordable recreational submarine:

With a price in the region of an expensive sports car, the appropriately named Dutch company Uboatworx has begun producing the first affordable recreational submarine (U-Boat). Uboatworx currently builds a single seat version known as the C-Quester I with a two-seater due in June. Both C-Questers have a top speed of 3.5 mph, are safe to a depth of 50 metres and offer a dive time of 150 minutes. At just over 9 feet long, 6 feet tall and wide and weighing 1.1 tons, the submarine is small enough to trailer to the nearest boat ramp or launch from a yacht. Entry is jet fighter style through a canopy, steering is via a joystick and both the seating position and the experience are apparently quite similar to flight, though getting a license is much cheaper and less time-consuming than a pilot’s license - a three day course and an exam being the only obstacles, apart from the UKP65,000 price tag (more for the two-seater). The cabin is pressurized, a filtration system removes spent air, oxygen is added to maintain air quality and all the safety boxes appear ticked, so the C-Quester appears an out-of-the-box winner at such an affordable price. Motive force is supplied by three electric motors – so it’s a genuine plug-in electric boat which just happens to be able to operate below the surface too.....

At their current price its still out of my league, but hey, its helluva lot cheaper then a Collins Class submarine. The Dutch are likely to have some competition too, Spaniard Guillermo Sureda-Burgos is developing his own design.:

Those pictures sure remind me of the old Gerry Anderson TV puppet series Stingray !

Thanks to Alex Michael Bonnici for the sub links.