Got a few extra million dollars to feed your inner Captain Nemo? In a few years, you may be able to satisfy your dreams and pleasure with a new super yacht being considered, the U-010. As seen in the video below, the concept is to build a luxury yacht that doubles as a submarine. Capable of genuine deep sea exploration, the 200+ foot long vessel will be powered by a diesel-electric system. But the U-010 is just of many new innovative yacht designs, many promoting eco-friendly, hybrid systems.
With more regulations on tap to restrict pollution in the marine industry, and more of the wealthy becoming eco-conscious, just building bigger and more opulent is passé. Designers are developing a whole new series of boats in all sizes and price ranges which will be cleaner and more energy efficient.
Take the “Green Jet”, a 175-foot sailing mega-yacht which Erik Sifrer of Mides-Design says will be able to run on both wind and hydrogen. Or why wait as you can buy yourself a DSe, a 12-meter long Diesel-Solar hybrid built by Island Pilot. At $600,000, this cruiser comes everything you need for a holiday weekend and then some.
Not ‘showy’ enough for you? Arcadia Yachts has already built it’s Arcadia 85, an 85-foot luxury yacht that also uses a diesel-solar propulsion system. Their photo-voltaic panels are translucent, providing shade to those below and even a bit of a light show. Reports are that as the sun shines on the panels, tiny flashes of electric can be seen, creating an interesting visual effect. Arcadia also plans a 75-foot and 115-foot versions.
There are, of course, cheaper ‘green’ boats available. A number of companies have been building craft that use pure solar power for several years. Most of these are pontoon boats, which can tool around a lake or river at about 5-8 knots. These typically cost $30,000 to $40,000. A conventional gasoline version would be half that in price.
Ravaged by the collapse of the housing and credit markets, the marine industry has had some rough seas the past couple years. The spikes in oil and gasoline prices did not help matters in 2007, either. But the luxury yacht business has remained quite steady despite the economy. Construction of new, innovative designs, continues to push the envelop of technology and comfort. The concept of the U-010 super yacht submarine may take another five years or so until an actual vessel is launched. Plenty of time for you dreamers of undersea adventures to start saving your money.