While we mere mortals dream simple with thoughts of owning sailboats or yachts, billionaires of late are setting their sights even higher — to owning submarines for the latest thrill-seeking adventure.
The cost? $1.5 million to $4.2 million, depending on how high end you want to go.
U-Boat Worx, Triton Submarines LLC and Seamagine Hydrospace Corporation, along with Hawkes Ocean Technologies are betting the superrich will want to go beyond cruising on luxury boats worth tens of millions of dollars. They see annual sales of private, small luxury submarines going double-digit over the coming decade from a few now.
“There is a change in attitude of super-yacht owners,” says Bert Houtman to Bloomberg. Houstman is founder and chairman of the Netherlands-based U-Boat Worx, which is touting the submarine models in Monaco. “They’re fed up with drinking white wine and riding jet skis so they’re looking for another thrill.”
Houtman estimates there are a couple dozen subs personally owned — including by Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen and Virgin Group Ltd. founder Richard Branson.
U-Boat’s five models equipped with bubble-shaped acrylic windows can hold between two and five people and sink to between 100 meters and 1,000 meters underwater. Rival Triton, which is based at Vero Beach in Florida, is pushing the depth limit to 1,650 meters for similar battery-powered technology.
Of course, most billionaires seem to need a yacht already to store the underwater vessels, and makers tell owners to have their boats designed by carry or transport the subs.