The bottom of the sea can be a lonely place, and not just for the weird and creepy creatures that call it home. So if you’re already wealthy enough to afford a personal submarine, why descend to the murky depths alone when U-Boat Worx will build you an even more elaborate private sub with enough seating for nine occupants in total?
The term submarine usually conjures up images of long, metal, windowless tubes crammed full of sailors staring at sonar screens or looking through periscopes, but U-Boat Worx’s submarines are entirely different beasts.
They’re designed for exploration and underwater tourism, and as such they trade a metal hull for an acrylic “transparent elliptical pressure hull” which essentially puts passengers inside a giant plastic bubble that provides nearly unobstructed views of life under the sea. However, while some submarines can reach the deepest parts of the oceans at depths of almost 11,000 meters, U-Boat Worx’s new Nexus is limited to dives of 200 meters, or around 650 feet below the surface—roughly 1/20th distance to the Titanic’s wreckage.
Eight thrusters allow the Nexus to be maneuvered in any direction under water to a top speed of three knots (a little under 3.5 MPH), while power is provided by an onboard 62-kWh lithium-ion battery that can operate for up to 18 hours between charges, but that runtime might be reduced if you find yourself trying to outrun a Kraken.
Two versions are on offer, and while the larger model promises capacity for nine occupants in total, it requires one of the submarine’s seven seats to be converted to a bench for two kids “up to the age of 12" plus seven adults. But as spacious as that acrylic dome appears to be, climbing in and out of a submarine like this can still be tricky, particularly for those with mobility issues. So to ensure almost anyone can easily climb aboard, the Nexus can even be configured with an elevator-like lifting device that raises passengers in and out one at a time.
Like a fancy sports car or a private jet, the U-Boat Worx Nexus falls into the ‘if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it’ category when it comes to pricing. The company will happily build one for billionaires who want to go for a dive without getting wet, but most are destined for fancy tourist resorts where the rest of us might have a chance to climb aboard too.