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Your Own Luxury Submarine! 347

cheapo writes "Not exactly computer related, but fun none-the-less. Someone on my boating mailing list turned me onto this website for your own personal luxury submarine. For a mere $78 million, you can make all the other folks at the marina jealous with a 213 foot toy." That 78 million dollar price tag might seem steep until you discover that it comes with its own docking mini sub. Now thats a bargain!
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Your Own Luxury Submarine!

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  • I think not... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MarvinIsANerd ( 447357 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @07:59PM (#3293654)

    Does GPS work on board when it is submerged?
    • Re:I think not... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Maj. Kong ( 215009 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:31PM (#3293807) Homepage
      Does GPS work on board when it is submerged?

      Nope. Only ELF (extremely low frequency) signals can penetrate the murky depths.

      Subs take a GPS fix when they're surfaced or close enough to the surface to extend an antenna. In between fixes they rely on inertial navigation systems (and the quartermaster's grease pencil) to determine location.

      • While the brochure states that it can dive to 300 meters, GPS would be available to the boat on the surface and at shallow enough depths such that an antenna could be raised near the surface (deep enough to smooth out the ride during big sea states).

        4 days battery power at that depth is pretty damn cool, but with acrylic windows? Be afraid, be very afraid..

  • by tinrobot ( 314936 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:01PM (#3293662)
    Bill Gates should buy it so he can torpedo Larry Ellison's yacht.
    • A while back I caught an interesting titbit on personal submarines. Discovery, TLC, or one of thoes. Only reason I paid any notice to it was this: The manufacturer of the devices was boasting Steve Ballmer as one of their prominent clients.

      Makes sense given Microsoft employees houses monopolize most of the puget sound anyways.
    • Speaking of being torpedoed, the buyer should make the US navy aware of his purchase less the buyer be mistaken for a missile boat from a nation in the Axis of Evil.

      "Captian, we've got an unidentified contact bearing blah, blah, blah. PossibleChinese boomer"

      "Flood tubes one and two..."

    • No need. He's up against Team New Zealand.

      The australians tried it, their boat sank.

      Dennis Connor tried it, but well, he lost.

      Long live black magic.

  • by Rosonowski ( 250492 ) <rosonowski@nOsPAM.gmail.com> on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:02PM (#3293669)
    A3, F5

    You sunk my battleship!!

  • by devphil ( 51341 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:02PM (#3293670) Homepage
    Given the significant waterplane area and ample internal volume, which allows for greater battery storage, the Phoenix will out-perform smaller counterparts in surface speed, submerged speed and submerged endurance.

    I can't express how embarassing it is to be lounging around the marina, get challenged to a submarine drag-race, and lose to some other 100-foot submersible because I didn't hook up enough batteries. Finally, with the Phoenix 1000, I'll never have to endure their laughter again!

    (Okay, okay, it's not funny... I'm just bored.)

  • I seem to recall seeing this spammed everywhere in Usenet, like a year or so ago.

    Of course, the web site didn't say so in so many words, but at the time, not a single one had been built yet :)

  • About time (Score:5, Funny)

    by Foxman98 ( 37487 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:04PM (#3293686) Homepage
    I want to be the founding member of the "Mile-low club"....
    • Re:About time (Score:4, Informative)

      by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:42PM (#3293845) Homepage
      I want to be the founding member of the "Mile-low club"

      Sorry, no can do.

      You need some serious hardware to reach that depth. The pressure is over a ton per square inch at a mile down. The specs on the website state 1000 feet for the main sub and 2000 feet for the mini-sub.

      • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @09:14PM (#3293953) Journal
        I want to be the founding member of the "Mile-low club"

        Sorry, no can do.

        It figures a fellow slashdotter doesn't understand the obvious reference to sexual conquest 20,000 leagues below sea level!

        You need some serious hardware to reach that depth.

        No pun intended?
        • Re:About time (Score:2, Informative)

          by coding_ape ( 550567 )
          Dude, 20,000 leagues under the sea means that Nemo and crew traveled 60,000 miles while submerged, not that they dived that far, however impressive that would be.
      • "I want to be the founding member of the "Mile-low club"

        Sorry, no can do.

        You need some serious hardware to reach that depth. The pressure is over a ton per square inch at a mile down. The specs on the website state 1000 feet for the main sub and 2000 feet for the mini-sub.

        Okay, so it is difficult, but under this argument it is still possible to do. You just need to invent the right equipment.

        The REAL reason you can't be the founding member of the mile-low club is I already am :)
      • on the whole idea. Not to you but to the makers of this thing.

        You need some serious hardware to reach that depth. The pressure is over a ton per square inch at a mile down. The specs on the website state 1000 feet for the main sub and 2000 feet for the mini-sub.

        From the article: The significant volume, coupled with very large acrylic viewports...

        Stop right there. Any idea what the external pressure on those "large acrylic viewports" is going to be??? At 1000 ft, we are looking at about 30 atmospheres! That's 30 times the normal atmospheric pressure of 14.7 psi! At over 400 psi (that's over 30 tons per square foot!) those "large acrylic viewports" are going to pop like giant bubblewrap!
    • Hah, the thing won't dive lower than 1000 feet, anyway. Plus, it doesn't even have a deck gun. What kind of crappy submarine doesn't even have a deck gun?
    • I want to be the founding member of the "Mile-low club"....

      Yes but that would mean you would have to have sex with a human female and...well...this IS Slashdot.
  • Steve Jobs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:06PM (#3293695)
    I saw this on the discovery channel. Supposedly they are all custom made. Steve Jobs has one that will dock in his 200ft yacht, and a Japanese customer wanted one with a laser cannon mounted on it so he could shoot fish. Sounds like Dr. Evil!!
  • by fliplap ( 113705 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:07PM (#3293697) Homepage Journal
    As proposed, the submarine would constitute the single largest private undersea vehicle ever built, and arguably, the most significant personal transportation device of the 20th century.

    Besides say...oh...THE AIRPLANE?

    The problem with this statement is actually 2 fold, there's no way a personal luxury sub is the most signifigant personal trasport device of the 20th century. On top of that fact, the thing hasn't been built yet, so it should be of the 21st century. And considering the 20th century brought us the modern automobile, the airplane, and the space shuttle, I highly doubt that anyone would call anything the most signifigant anything of the century...only 2 years into it.
    • I'll bet that they thought there would be one of these [segway.com] in a bubble by the 21st century...
  • Interesting factoid. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Apuleius ( 6901 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:08PM (#3293703) Journal
    One of the measures of how dangerous a device
    is is the amount of time from the second
    you fsck up to the moment it's too late
    to save you. By that measure, subs are more
    dangerous than the space shuttles.
    Thought I'd share.
    • You might want to qualify that. Remeber Challenger? The time from "catastrophic O-ring failure" to "tragic loss of life" was pretty damn short. I'd imagine you'd have more time than that to save your ass if a submarine bulkhead failed.

      I suppose you meant that once in orbit the space shuttle crew has more time from fuckup to fucked than does the crew of a submerged ocean-going vessel.

      • Going deep is far more dangerous than going high.

        If a sub loses a bulkhead it means that the hull has failed and that you are either going to get crushed to death, suffocate because the sub will not reach the surface or freeze to death due to the lack of heat.

        Below a very shallow depth, 180ft?, you have virtually no chance of surviving the ascent to the surface without the sub. There is no option to bail out. Before the 1950s I don't beleive there was a way top exit the submarine underwater, the pressure means all the hatches could be unlocked and would never open. Nowadays they flood the exit chamber to equalise presuure.

        A fire in a sub uses all the oxygen you need to breathe, and there's no windows to let the smoke out. Plus heat will weaken the hull, not good at depth.

        The real killer is as the original poster said the lack of time to react, a hull breach at depth will usually finish the sub in seconds. No chance to radio Houston and discuss your options.

        I have always thought we rushed into space before we had explored our planet, I don't want to colonise Mars before we colonise the oceans.
      • I indeed meant once in orbit.
      • The O-ring failed on the launch pad. The shuttle didn't blow up until a couple of minutes later.
    • by Chairboy ( 88841 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @09:23PM (#3293988) Homepage
      Of note, during the initial two and a half minutes of SRB boost, there is no method of aborting the flight or taking actions to save yourself (such as bailing out, etc).

      For instance, if 30 seconds after launch or so (when the shuttle passes Max-Q) the Hydrazine tank in the nose ruptures and begins to fill the shuttle with toxic fumes or fire, the crew would not be able to do anything until two minutes later when the SRBs seperated. During this time, they could die, even as they stared at flames burning towards them over a period of a minute or two.

      Additionally, if one of the high pressure SSMEs (the main engines) ruptured explosively during boost, shearing the retaining frame that holds the orbiter to the external tank, the tank would detach improperly, potentially knocking the shuttle into the airstream where, like with the Challenger, the aerodynamic forces would tear it apart. This could happen within less then a second, so once again, your analogy is in error.
      • Hmm. So the reason they rotate into an inverted position (and that the main engines are canted in that funny angle) is so that the external tank can provide an aerodynamic dead area? That thought had never even occured to me before...

        Huh. *ponders*

  • price tag might seem steep until you discover that it comes with its own docking mini sub

    Err, actually, it comes with a place where you could dock another mini-sub. The mini-sub itself would be an after-market add-on.

    • Err, actually, it comes with a place where you could dock another mini-sub. The mini-sub itself would be an after-market add-on.
      Moot point. Someone that can afford one of these subs probably has enough in spare change to buy the mini-sub.
  • pheonix? (Score:3, Funny)

    by _ph1ux_ ( 216706 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:11PM (#3293716)
    how come its not called the nautulis (sp)?

    phoenix is a fiery bird... this is a _sub_
  • by nomadic ( 141991 )
    Oh man I am just having waves of covetousness washing over me. How can anyone have the money yet NOT buy this thing?
  • copyright 1997-2002, U.S. Submarines, Inc. All rights reserved. All wrongs revenged!

    Last update: January 9, 2002

    Why does this seem like old news? Because it is!
  • Portholes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fava ( 513118 )
    I have trouble beleiving that those large portholes (aprox 6' dia) depicted on the interior view can handle the 1000' rated depth. Total pressure is almost about 1.8 million lbs.

    Thats a lot for any transparent material, I don't have my engineering texts at work, anyone care to calculate what the stresses involved would be.
    • 450 PSI.

      I'd also like to point out that the Trieste had a porthole, and it went to the bottom of the Marianas trench... Of course, it was a lot smaller porthole.
    • It's not so bad. Figure 2e6 lbf acting on the thing, and a 6" thick window to take up the strain. That's about 1.5 kpsi overall stress inside the window, plus a bit for imperfections in the construction. Add some safety margin and you can figure on around 5 kpsi of stress.

      I'm not sure the strength of their window material but Kevlar can be made clear and has a strength of around 250 kpsi.
    • The pressure hull is constructed of cylindrical sections of transparent structural acrylic - Lucite is the tradename, I think - about 8" thick. The portholes are made where the outer hull has porthole-shaped cut-outs to expose the lucite and create a window. The outer hull is shaped to give the cylindrical pressure hull better hydrodynamics.
  • Oh great. (Score:3, Funny)

    by e1en0r ( 529063 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:16PM (#3293738) Homepage
    I have enough trouble avoiding all the rich folk in their massive SUVs and now we have to watch out for them in submarines too? All those fishermen better keep an eye out for a submarine with a "My child is Citizen of the Month" bumper sticker on it.
  • by SWroclawski ( 95770 ) <serge@@@wroclawski...org> on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:18PM (#3293748) Homepage
    That's right, for only 78 million you too can pretend to be the leader of the Discordians.

    Green apples not included.

    - Serge
  • by oo7tushar ( 311912 ) <slash.@tushar.cx> on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:18PM (#3293750) Homepage
    there's a lot of problems associated with being underwater...

    First off, there's a limited range where you could use it.

    Second: You'd have to make sure you didn't collide with anything (I'm sure you'd hire a formet sub captain or something).

    Third: it's not all that clear underwater. It's only clear in the shallow areas like tropical and what not. But in the deeper areas it's not all that clear and so you wouldn't see much.

    Fourth: the upkeep on submarines runs millions a year, so the cost is gigantic.

    Now the pros:
    First: you can bring illicit drugs into the country and nobody is gonna stop you (how do you stop a submarine without blowing it up?) and if they do stop you, then you just flush the stuff down the drain.

    Second: It's the mile deep club.

    Finally: If the submarines a rocking don't come a knocking
  • But if you read between the lines, you'll find that at least some of these submarines have never been built. I guess they don't want to keep them around the showroom.

    I first came across this site several years ago, from a pointer at www.memepool.com
  • Since the CIA keeps having problems that the coast gard keeps messing up their "drugs for guns" program, I wonder how many they will buy just to keep ahead of their competition.
  • Can it take out an LNG tanker that's set on destroying New York City?

  • it gracefully handles the slashdot effect. 15 minutes after the story was posted, the site is still responding snappily. If the sub business doesn't work, they can seek work as webmasters. Or maybe they WERE webmasters before the bust?
  • sweet! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Lag Master ( 569259 )
    hotbox the mini-sub!
  • 16 knots/hr? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by XorNand ( 517466 )

    The Phoenix is capable of making trans-Atlantic crossings at 16 knots yet can dive along the route and explore the continental margins of some of the most fascinating waters on earth.

    :: punching calculator buttons :: hmmm... Gee, anyone want to take a nice leisurely, eleven and a half day cruise, scrapping along the bottom of the ocean, in a diesel powered tin can?
    • That has to be the funniest bill I've ever read. The Kentucky legislature has quite a sense of humor!
      • That has to be the funniest bill I've ever read. The Kentucky legislature has quite a sense of humor!

        What do you mean, "sense of humor?"

        That bill is dead serious.
  • If it doesn't have a Casino and a Health Club [yachtworld.com] on board, I don't want it.

  • That's nothing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lkaos ( 187507 ) <{sw.yeknomedoc} {ta} {ynohtna}> on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:30PM (#3293805) Homepage Journal
    Just get 9 of your rich fellow executives together and you can purchase your very own DD(x) Land Attack Destroyer [dd21.com].

    Comes complete with 5-inch/62 extended range guided munitions and 155mm Howitzers, land attack missiles and of course, Tactical Tomahawk missiles.

    No need to worry about the wife catching you fishing with your buddies either as it use stealth technology to give it almost no radar signature.

    By the way, this ship has a fully robotic mini-sub to allow scouting in unfriendly water ways.

    With a price tag of $750 million, they are just as affordable as these silly luxury 'subs.' Besides, you know what they say about submarine people don't ya?
  • Am I the only one who remembers back when you could be the "proud commander of your own POLARIS SUB -- the most powerful weapon in the world!" for only $6.98 [geocities.com] ??
  • It's a Scam (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TechnoGrl ( 322690 )
    It's a scam. There are engineering and metelurgical reasons why subs have he shapes that they have. The large portal windows seals for one thing wouldn't stand the pressure at the depth the sub claims to go.

    One clue to the scam is that there is no actual sub just "artist's conceptions". Another is that for someone seling a 78 million dollar product, their website design is amateurish.

    Gotta love the internet though...the web of a million lies...
    • if you download their pdf file you will see some pics of some of their smaller subs.

      As far as the largest one it seem they have not made it yet.

      The reason they kind of hide their picuters of submarines, is because the actual boats look kind of ugly.

      They are made to look like an yacht when surfaced, but the part thats underwater looks like a tube and breaks the continuity.

      When they draw pictures they cheat, so they draw the bottom to look like the bottom of an yacht with large windows.

  • Does anyone know if there are Rules or Standards for the operation of submarines for recreational purposes. Potential hazards I can imagine...
    • Someone getting sunk in their personal sub because they were mistaken for a enemy military sub.
    • Someone surfacing into the bottom of a surface ship.
    • Getting rammed by a surface ship while surfaced becuase they have such a small above water profile that they are not seen by a ship operator.
    • etc...
    I know I won't be buying my personal sub until I know these issues are resolved! ;-)
  • I've always wondered where those arch-villains get their gear like luxury underwater bases and industrial installations in the middle of volcanoes. Well now I know. And at $78,000,000 I'm just going to have to turn to a life of crime. Maybe I'll become an accountant.
  • This thing needs a pipe organ. I can just see James Mason playing Bach's "Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor" in the gallery.

    Just need Kirk Douglas looking young again, and it'd be perfect.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:54PM (#3293882) Journal
    Some things you can't make up. From the Kentucky Legislature site.. "Encourage the purchase of a submarine to patrol the waters of the Commonwealth and search and destroy all casino riverboats".

    You can see it at the Kentucky Legislature site [state.ky.us] HR 256 Maybe they can take the casino high rollers for rides in it after destroying the casino riverboats.
  • by ckd ( 72611 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @08:56PM (#3293890) Homepage

    They have some Luxury Submarine FAQs [ussubs.com] that people may find interesting. My favorite:

    What type of people buy luxury submarines?

    Interested buyers tend to share one trait, they are all wealthy.

    My comment: well, yeah, people living paycheck to paycheck generally don't buy $78 million dollar items.

  • How about a TV reality show with 5 people trapped in a little submarine! No way to get away from those hidden cams. Imagine the ratings! :)
  • by Rui del-Negro ( 531098 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @09:10PM (#3293946) Homepage

    Apple iSub. Sink different.
  • Even if it does who is going to read it?

    ** CREAK **
    Wife: (Gathers Manual) Dear it says right here not to exceed 10,000 Feet or the...

    Captain: That's just what they say, I know this baby can take a few more thousand feet, I paid 75+ Mill for this baby, besides it's pretty down here...

    Wife: I can't see a thing...

    Captain: Look harder... Anyway not to worry... remember Crimson Tide they went like 13,000 ... ** CRUNCH SPLASH **

    The only Warning labels people listen to is Dry Cleaning Only labels...
  • ...and this is just one more example.
  • Anyone here whos a survivalist, knows that having a submarine can help you escape pretty much any situation

    nuclear war, flood, etc etc

    I'd love to have a submarine just so that if there was a situation where we were at war with say, China, I can take me and my family into the submarine.

    Think of it like a bomb shelter which can move around, not to mention submarines also allow you to travel, its like your own private jet just under water.

    Last, submarines allow you to explore the ocean,
    I'd love to have one
  • he Phoenix is capable of making trans-Atlantic crossings at 16 knots

    That is really slow. Why would anyone buy a bot that goes twice walking speed.
    • Re:Doubt it (Score:3, Informative)

      by rtaylor ( 70602 )
      I'm impressed. I don't know of anyone capable of walking nine miles in an hour -- they exist, but are pretty rare.

      That said, these boats have about the same speed as a dolphin or penguin.

    • Re:Doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <david@amazing.com> on Saturday April 06, 2002 @01:06AM (#3294593) Homepage
      Most boat buyers, as it happens.

      It costs serious bucks in fuel and maintenance costs to get a 200-odd foot object the size of a modest mansion up to, say, 30mph. There are a few that do it, but, again, costs are fantastic.

      The 143' Octopussy is one of the more famous yachts capable of this kind of speed. According to this page [largeyachts.com], she has a cruising speed (optimal efficiency) of 22knots, which is about 25mph. At this dizzying speed, she burns up 343 US gallons of diesel per hour. So if you bought your diesel at the bulk rate of around $1/gallon, each hour of operation would cost $343. If you're going to cruise at that speed for a day, we're talking about $8,232 a day. Charter cost is $90,000 per week on season.

      If you look at the picture on the link, you will note that the Octopussy is not level; it's actually moving over the surface of the water. This means a less comfortable ride, and it also means everything you own is pretty much continuously at an angle. Slower yachts glide through the water at lower speeds and are generally more comfortable.

      I know someone who chartered his 120' yacht on an informal basis for $45,000 per week with all expenses included. If my memory serves, his yacht could go about 15 knots, or about the same as the submarine. That should give you an idea of how much speed costs, and why truly fast yachts are relatively rare.

      You have to have - literally! - money to burn to run one of those things.


  • As proposed, the submarine would constitute the single largest private undersea vehicle ever built

    Does that include all the submarines built by the drug dealers that people don't know about? I remember there was once an article about a bust of a drug ring building their own submarine, I think it may have been in Russia. Several have also been sold to drug dealers around the world. $78mil could be a worthwhile investment if I can manage to shift enough 'goods' without being picked up by the coast guard.
  • From the site:
    As proposed, the submarine would constitute the single largest private undersea vehicle ever built, and arguably, the most significant personal transportation device of the 20th century.
    I think you'll find a lot of people willing to argue that. Personally, I think, oh, the aircraft was kinda good.
  • by Anne_Nonymous ( 313852 ) on Friday April 05, 2002 @09:59PM (#3294118) Homepage Journal
    I gotta quit hanging out here and/or get more sleep. The first time around, I read that headline as:

    Your Own Linux Submarine!
  • A turbine-powered helicopter is no longer the ultimate accoutrement to a superyacht.

    Damn! I just had it painted to look like Airwolf!!
  • Whether the windows would work or not, they're quite useless.

    Visibility underwater is such that you'd need to be very close to something to see it at all. Coral reefs with fish and stuff, and you'd want to be within 20 feet, more likely 10. There's simply no way you can manoever a 200 ft vessel to within an irregularly shaped reef. Not a surface ship, and certainly not a submarine.

    For deeper stuff, you're going to need some seriously powerful white lights. Water filters out the higher frequency light first, so all your reds start disappearing after about 60 feet. For wrecks and stuff, you'll need a huge bank of lateral spotlights (not shown on artists impression because artist didn't take physics), and still be unable to get close enough to see anything.

    With sufficient lighting, you may be able to go to depth and see some really nice mud.

    Me - I'd buy 7 trips to orbit instead.

  • Honestly, whoever gets this one is a single step away from James Bond villany...
  • Having worked at a Florida Marina for 4 years, I can tell you that yachts require a ridiculous amount of maintenance to keep them in working order. I am rather skeptical of this vessel, here's why.

    First, there's the issue of bottom paint. An untreated hull in saltwater will be covered in drag-producing algae in a matter of weeks. Most bottom paints slow this considerably, but they still need to be re-painted at least once a year. More permanent paints are available outside the US, as they contain several environmentally detrimental chemicals. All this leaves me to imagine that those portals are going to be one royal pain in the ass to keep clear and clean.

    Next, there's the issue of prolonged saltwater contact. Surface yachts must be sprayed down after every outing, or every week at the dock. Otherwise, the salt spray alone is enough to destroy any metalwork on the boat. As if salt spray wasn't enough, this boat will be saturated from all angles.

    Now there's maintenance. Those outside the marine industry have no idea of the amount of work needed to keep boats running smoothly. You can't just leave it tied up at a dock - there is near-daily engine maintenance (markedly higher due to saltwater contact), external cleaning, interior maintenance, etc. Now, if this much effort is required to keep a much simpler surface yacht afloat and in shape, I can't imagine what this thing requires. Furthermore, the idea of a crew of only 3 on any yacht over 200' is absurd. It takes that many just to tie the damn thing up, nevermind who's driving it.

    Finally, the price. I'm sure this will make a great novelty for some rich person, but that rich person could have bought over 1000 feet worth of brand new motoryachts or sportfishers with that kind of money.
  • Operating Depth 305 meters

    But my watch is only good to 100m. Damn you timex!

  • how much is the Captain Nemo pipe organ option ?

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!