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Hyper-Sub: powerboat meets submarine


April 19, 2010

The Hyper-Sub is at home both above and below the waves

The Hyper-Sub is at home both above and below the waves

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If you’re still a little strapped for cash and can’t afford a powerboat and a submarine, then you might want to consider this cross between the two - the Hyper-Sub. On top of the water it boasts speeds of 40 knots with a range of 500 surface miles thanks to twin 440 horsepower inboard Yanmar diesel engines and a 525-gallon fuel tank, while underwater it can dive to depths of 250 feet using an electric over hydraulic self-recharging dive system.

The Hyper-Sub measures 31 foot long with seating for up to five people, including the pilot, and was specifically designed to be a “general use” submarine, with a purpose-configurable design that allows for both recreational and industrial use. And unlike the Scubacraft, the Hyper-Sub is a fully enclosed craft that lets users explore the ocean depths and stay dry.

To be built by Florida-based Marion Hyper-Submersible Powerboat Design, LLC, the Hyper-Sub will come in three models designed to meet a variety of uses from recreational to industrial. All three models incorporate the same patented ballasting, air, and hull technology that enables the flexibility of the design. The primary differences between the “sport” recreational model and the “industrial” models is in how they are configured when customized.

Underwater performance of the craft will depend on usage. Based on a standard battery load four AGN-type battery banks storing 26kWh the Hyper-Sub will be able to cruise at a speed of 3.7 knots for a period of one hour. However, taking the speed down to 1.4 knots will extend the craft’s endurance to around 20 hours. The battery bank can go from full discharge to 100 percent charge in 90 minutes, or from full discharge to 80 percent charge in 60 minutes.

Hyper-Sub Models

The HS-250 Sport is designed with individual owners and charter operators in mind for recreational and tourism use as evidenced by its all-acrylic canopy offering 180-degree views. It can dive to depths of up to 250 feet and both surface and submerged performance can be enhanced and extra capabilities added through the addition of optional components. The HS-250 also has more luxurious seating and recreational decks than its stablemates.

The HS-600 and HS-1200 models offer a more rugged design intended for industrial, salvage, or government operations. The HS-600 can dive to depths of 600 feet with a safety factor of 7, while the HS-1200 is configured for users requiring deeper dive applications with the ability to dive to depths of 1200 feet. The HS-600 and HS-1200 boast an underwater lifting capacity of 12 tons.

Both models have rugged hull materials that can be welded on site, with hard points to mount manipulators and tools, and storage space for payload. All share the same safety systems and the pressure hulls are largely identical. The HS-250 is actually built to withstand the pressure of much greater depths but the company recommends a maximum diving depth of 250 feet to ensure a greater margin of safety. And, although the Hyper-Sub is still in the prototype stage, all production models will be built to ABS standards and certified.

A prototype Hyper-Sub, the Fathom, has been constructed and subjected to a number of tests since its initial launch and test in July, 2007. In January, 2008 the prototype completed two successful months of in-water testing in which it was subjected to battery of tests on all vessel systems. The successful completion of these tests marked the end of the “proof of concept” portion of the Hyper-Sub’s development, but it hasn't yet made it to market.

Marion Hyper-Submersible Powerboat Design are now refining the Hyper-Sub prototype design to produce a production-quality vessel. Because the company has not yet determined the costs of production it has not yet announced a price for the craft. But we wouldn’t be surprised if it had the price tag of a powerboat and a submarine combined.

Via uncrate.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Nice! I like the multi-purpose design- use as a boat or as a sub.... good thing because my budget does not allow for both.

Facebook User

I wonder if it has an emergency buoy beacon/radio antenna that can be released in the event of an underwater entanglement emergency? It would also be nice to have a releasable water dye marker or strobe to aid in search and rescue efforts for underwater emergencies.


Also useful for navigating through the body to the brain before cutting the brain tumor out of important political figures from the inside.


It can go 500 miles? Where is the bathroom?


Not bad. Now if they could make it fly...


This is cool!

Facebook User

I'd like to see the company that builds a cruise ship side Submarine for vacation purposes, not military. Fit at least 500 comfortably with a gym, restaurant, internet access, jet skis, jogging path around the ship and can submerge to the ocean floor and be able to see the sea life outside. Being able to go underwater is nice, but being stuck in your chair the whole sucks..

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