That’s not a lot, since it translates to sales of some 15 to 25 submarines, but it’s still remarkable progress over 2019. Moreover, it is believed that sales will double in the upcoming year, because more millionaires are eager to transform their superyachts into proper research vessels.
And this is exactly where one such submarine comes into play. The rich are no longer using their superyachts solely for fun and relaxation, but are adding a new component: research. It still serves for their entertainment, but it’s a more educational type of entertainment, if you will.
Early buyers of personal submarines include Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the emir of Abu Dhabi, as well as the late Microsoft founder Paul Allen. The practice has spread.
“My owners are typically heroes to their families and friends because you can present an experience that you can't get anywhere else,” Bruce Jones, chief executive of Triton in Florida, says. He hopes to sell four submarines each quarter in 2021. His DSV Limiting Factor broke the record for deepest sea dive in 2019.
Meanwhile, Nemo from U-Boat Worx has earned the title of the world’s lightest submarine, so lightweight and convenient that it can be towed by an SUV. Seamagine, a company founded in 1995 and the third big player on the market, takes the crown in the number of passengers (eight) that it can carry to depths of up to 3,000 feet (914.4 meters).