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Dolphin Inspired Mini-sub 181

What do you get the millionaire in your life who has everything? How about the Seabreacher mini-sub. Described as a dolphin-inspired cross between a jet ski and a submarine, the Seabreacher has a top speed of 45mph above the waves and 20mph below them. The two-man £30,000 craft is 15' long and its design makes it self-righting. Strangely, this doesn't come with a laser package.


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Dolphin Inspired Mini-sub

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  • Ergonomic? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bob Gelumph ( 715872 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:59AM (#24871847)
    The words: "Ouch, my spine." come to mind, though the follow up of "Don't worry, it doesn't hurt any more" are probably more worrying.
    • ...on a waverunner.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Grashnak ( 1003791 )

      As I always say, "That looks like it hurt... but only for a second."

    • Dr. Evil: You know, I have one simple request. And that is to have sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! Now evidently my cycloptic colleague informs me that that cannot be done. Ah, would you remind me what I pay you people for, honestly? Throw me a bone here! What do we have? Number Two: Sea Bass. Dr. Evil: [pause] Right. Number Two: They're mutated sea bass. Dr. Evil: Are they ill tempered? Number Two: Absolutely. Dr. Evil: Oh well, that's a start.
  • by Lars T. ( 470328 ) <Lars.Traeger@goog l e m a> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:00AM (#24871853) Journal
    I thought dolphins came with explosive charges?
    • by zotz ( 3951 )

      "Strangely, this doesn't come with a laser package."

      "I thought dolphins came with explosive charges?"

      I don't know about either of these...

      The sharks inspired model comes with lasers, this one would need to come with a laser defense system. (System to defend against lasers, not necessarily defense system consisting of lasers folks.)


      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by perlchild ( 582235 )

        There is also the ex-military dolphin version that comes with a full on drug-addict and unreasonable computer-hacking ability. (The novella was much better than the film, nuff said).

      • "Strangely, this doesn't come with a laser package."

        "I thought dolphins came with explosive charges?"

        I don't know about either of these...

        Oh, what a cute dolphin ..... BOOM!

    • I thought dolphins came with explosive charges?

      Nope; they're armed with hollow needles and CO2 bottles, and with toxic dart guns.

      Rumors have persisted since the mid-seventies that the U.S. Navy used dolphins to kill enemy divers during the Vietnam war. Allegedly, when an approaching diver was detected by a patrolling dolphin, it would swim back to an equipment barge where it would arm itself with a large hollow needle and compressed CO2 bottle, both integrated into a cup which fitted snugly over the dolphin

  • sea bass? (Score:5, Funny)

    by piggywig ( 780829 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:04AM (#24871871)
    I'm waiting for the budget 'sea bass' version to come out. I think £30,000 is a bit steep for me.
    • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 )

      A lot of people think that.. and then they are off to buy a house and/or car.

      But seriously, obviously it's a lot of money. But if I ever get my own island off the coast of Dubai, count me in.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Personally, if I had the time to justify an expense like this, I'd get SCUBA certified and buy one of those underwater scooter things. I'd have money left over to take some pretty awesome diving trips too.

      Come to think of it, it's probably good for divers that these things are and will remain rare.

    • Are they ill-tempered?

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Strangely, this doesn't come with a laser package.

      Well, duh. It's shaped like a dolphin,not a frickin' shark.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Or, you could just lock a whiz-kid in a room until he designs you your own made out of PCV and duct tape, just like SeaQuest's Stinger []
  • It might have had a lasers package if it's design was inspired by a shark...
  • engine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stranger_to_himself ( 1132241 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:07AM (#24871893) Journal
    Seems odd that they don't use an electric motor to avoid the problem of having to get air into the engine.
    • Re:engine (Score:5, Funny)

      by kobaz ( 107760 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:29AM (#24872091)

      or nuclear

    • Re:engine (Score:5, Insightful)

      by raynet ( 51803 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:29AM (#24872095) Homepage

      Gasoline is much lighter than the equivalent amount of batteries.

    • Yeah, those crazy whales and dolphins, what will they be doing next?

    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      If they'd do that they would soon run out of rich idi^H^H^Hclients for new versions, right after current owners decide it's exciting to dive close to crush depth.

    • Apparently you missed the "45 MPH", which is faster than an average speedboat can go. I'll bet someone could water-ski behind this thing. Most electric scooters max out around 25-35MPH, and something like this would require even more power.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brad1138 ( 590148 ) *
      Couldn't they use an air tank to supply air to the motor? Maybe you could stay down for 10 minutes or so.
    • Well, it's based on a dolphin, presumably it has a blowhole.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zippthorne ( 748122 )

      Not really. They also avoid the problem of having to get air into the *occupants*. It's a sealed, atmospheric pressure submersible (but it is not a submarine in the traditional sense, those are actually more analogous to blimps than airplanes, and the watercraft is more like an airplane.). So they have to either have a tricky method of maintaining that pressure during a dive (doable, but adds cost) or just keep underwater jaunts brief and exchange the air frequently, avoiding the need for rebreathers, ac

  • That looks like fun...
  • by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@fredsho[ ]org ['me.' in gap]> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:09AM (#24871911) Homepage

    How exciting...

    Much closer to a jet ski than to a sub... Another expensive and useless toy.
    Those guys [] supposedly make proper mini subs (or real ones, although apparently nobody has taken them up on it).

    • Why useless? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Viol8 ( 599362 )

      Sure its for recreation but you could travel in it and you wouldn't get as wet as a jetski which seem to be pretty popular even though they're little more than a leisure vehicle. And unless that mini sub can do 20mph under the water (year right) it won't anything like as much of a buzz as this machine.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fred_A ( 10934 )

        The mini sub may only do 2 knots underwater but does dive to 300m [] with a 6 hour capacity which makes it an actual submarine. In my eyes it's much more exciting than something that just goes around on the surface.

        The dolphin thing, while possibly technically interesting, remains a leisure surface craft. It's also probably quite a bit cheaper.

        • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

          I can't see a mini sub being anything other than a leisure craft either. Its not like you can mount a trident missile on the back or torpedo shipping with it.

          • What about research or education? Inspecting bridges? Salvage operations? There are other useful purposes for a submarine besides killing people.
    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      Exciting is right.

      I've had idiots at the lake almost hit me because they didn't see me on an 11ft long BRIGHT RED waverunner sitting on top of the water. Running something like this thing mostly submerged is just asking to be killed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:10AM (#24871915)

    So the snorkel provides air for the engine... what about the two people in the seats? Ahh... engine exhaust has some oxygen in it right?

  • Nothing like this. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BitterOldGUy ( 1330491 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:10AM (#24871923)

    What do you get the millionaire in your life who has everything?

    Nothing like this. They would play with it a couple of times and then, I don't know.

    It just so happens I have a couple of millionaires (self made) in my family. They're not into these very expensive luxury toys. They don't spend money on shit - especially over priced shit: cars, boats, Rolex Watches , etc...

    One of them is really into bicycling and he does buy high quality equipment - used.

    The other, she does spurge on here horses, but she actually competes in her retirement.

    These types of toys are for the high salaried folks who still end up living paycheck to paycheck because they're spending all of their money on crap like this (doctors, lawyers, corporate business execs, star athletes etc...). "The Millionaire Next Door" explains much better. And yeah, those family members of mine, at lest one, are right out of that book.

    • by Splab ( 574204 )

      You sound like it is a bad thing to use your money.

      If I had a million bucks I would sure as hell make sure I had the most fun possible with the money.

      • by zoefff ( 61970 )

        Millionairs can only become so by NOT spending at least a million in whatever currency.

      • A million dollars isn't what it used to be. It's easy to be a "millionaire," but for most people who get there, it takes many years - often decades. Frittering away 6% of your net worth on something like this doesn't really seem like a good expenditure. Now, if you happen to have a 7 or 8 figure annual salary and the likelihood of that continuing for the foreseeable future, this might come in handy when you visit your house on the island your own in the carribean.

      • Then in short order, you wouldn't have a million bucks, and a lot of used toys for sale.

    • by apt142 ( 574425 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:22AM (#24872041) Homepage Journal
      When I first saw this, I thought to myself, you know who would really want this?

      Drug Runners!

      IThey already go through a lot of trouble to make cheap subs to get around customs. Well, this couldn't be too much more expensive and it's reusable and safe. And if they got picked up on radar... Well, they could brush up on dolphin mating calls.
    • Go find out what russian oligarchs spend their money on.

    • by rtechie ( 244489 ) *

      The other, she does spurge on here horses, but she actually competes in her retirement.

      Pet horses are the very definition of "expensive toys". I have a pretty good idea what stabling, vet, etc. costs and she spends a lot more on horses than her cars. Probably as much as her house(s).

      I'm sure you could hold "competitions" for these dolphin things too. Horseriding competitions are an even bigger waste of time and money than pet horses.

      "The Millionaire Next Door" explains much better.

      The term "millionaire" dates back to the time when if you had a million dollars in ASSETS you were considered obscenely rich. Nowadays that's the cost of one nice

  • by jep77 ( 1357465 )
    Air is provided for the engine through a snorkel... and what about air for the people up front? Ahhh... exhaust gasses might work...
  • by hellop2 ( 1271166 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:17AM (#24871989)
    Oh please oh please oh please... I promise I will clean my room and go to bed on time every day!
  • Fun toy, with lots of power (Must be great for racing with real dolphins :-) More details: [] [] (With movie...)
  • by jcr ( 53032 )

    Not much of a sub, it sounds like. TFA doesn't mention anything about how deep it can go.


    • "TFA doesn't mention anything about how deep it can go."

      Well, if it can go max 20mph underwater and can only last 20 sec "below snorkel depth" before the engine cuts out and it starts to float back up, it can't have a dive depth over 600 ft. Actually, I'm sure it's much less than that because you probably can't go 20 mph straight down, working against the craft's buoyancy.

      And BTW, why don't my <quote> and <p> tags work the same way anymore?

    • by bubbl07 ( 777082 )

      TFA doesn't mention anything about how deep it can go.

      That's what she said.

  • Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Awptimus Prime ( 695459 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:24AM (#24872051)

    Millionaire? This thing cost less than most modern Bass boats, decently equipped pontoons, and less than half what a common cruiser will run you. More than your average Seadoo PWC, but most people who buy them get at least two if not three or four (depending on wealth and the number of kids they have).

    Then again, perhaps the millionaire aspect comes into play when it comes time to find someone to repair the craft, as anyone who spends a few hours on the water every week will tell you, anything boat/pwc related has a tendency to demonstrate it's willingness to break down in the worst possible ways at the worst possible times. It's almost as powerful enough of a force, I am beginning to suspect Murphy has a whole set of laws being enforced upon anyone who takes up marine recreation. Anyway, even the millionaires I've met who are into marine craft already know all this and still try to shop for designs which have been around for a few years and closer to the "proven technology" badge instead of pissing away money on completely new designs bound to have many flaws-- that's why they are millionaires and not scratching lottery tickets.

    I'd also not really want to run that thing in most US waterways. More than once, I've cracked gel coats on thick fiberglass hulls ramming into surface debris at speeds below 50mph. The last thing I would want is to be sitting behind some plastic windshield and have a pointy chunk of tree collide with it at any speed. Not to mention the stump mazes just a few feet under many managed waterways. It'd be cool in some place like the Bahamas, though.

    • by Huntr ( 951770 )

      That's a really good point. Millionaires don't buy $50k Tritons and Rangers. I've seen plenty of guys with a glitter boat and a 350 Super Duty parked in the driveway in front of a trailer, i.e. a mobile home.

      • These types are all about investments. For all who aren't familiar with new boats, a $50k bass boat will be worth about $20k in a couple of years. Even if you buy it and lock it in a garage the whole time.

        I recall looking at Tritons once, which were proudly displayed outside. Brand new boats. Simply sitting on display for a couple of weeks on nice weather days already caused most to have slightly degraded vibrancy in the gel coats.

    • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by WillAdams ( 45638 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:49AM (#24872261) Homepage

      Boat: A hole in the water into which one throws money.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Zzesers92 ( 819281 )
        Two happiest days in a boat owners life... the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it.
  • by mmu_man ( 107529 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:26AM (#24872071)

    Tintin had this decades ago! ;)
    Once again Herge was visionary :)

  • At least I could install the frickin' laser myself.

  • The SEALs are always looking for new ways of infiltrating by sea. I wonder if a suped up version of this wouldn't be able to make a fast approach but also mimic the motion of a dolphin (or whale) enough to throw off a countries' various defenses. A two-person sub should be able to carry one SEAL and his gear, without having to worry about the freezing water temp, dive weights, oxygen tanks, etc. And, of course, they would have to mount fricken lasers.
  • Eh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Smivs ( 1197859 ) <> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:41AM (#24872209) Homepage Journal

    My boring mate thinks this is a dull-fing...he can't see any porpoise to it at all!

  • So what's so new and revolutionary about this? The Wesley (Lucas Wolenczak) on seaQuest DSV made one just like this. Old news....
  • This has been seen on Discovery channel repeats for at least two years. Still cool though.
  • Maybe this will show up in the next James Bond movie?

  • So long and thanks for all the fish...
  • This reminds me of the show SeaQuest on SciFi. The only thing that's really different is that the mini-subs they had were much faster and the initial ones were single seaters. It's closer to the one that they competition to Lucas has than the one he was making however.
  • The Seabreacher has a top speed of 39.1 knots above the waves and 17.4 knots below them. There fixed that for ya.
  • by hoofinasia ( 1234460 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:26AM (#24872581)
    Because we can all think of how to spend a million, but the rich ones only think of how to make a million.
  • by samcan ( 1349105 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:29AM (#24872607)
    But can you make a Beowulf cluster?
  • I saw this thing in a Hammacher Schlemmer catalog like 10 years ago! Surely there is more impressive tech to cover, even in Idle, than this.

  • We're gonna need a bigger dolphin.

  • This thing is no more a "submarine" than the ones at Disneyland. It's just a boat that can get itself partially underwater (the snorkel has to remain exposed) by maneuvering with its fins. It is always positively buoyant -- no ballast tanks -- and if it loses speed it simply bobs to the surface.


  • by meist3r ( 1061628 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:55AM (#24872909)
    This is so old the dolphin has died of arthritis: []

    Why not show a few newer pictures: [] []

    Jeez, compared to the news this part of Slashdot is even more outrageous.
  • Bullshit
    How come in the photo there are no ripples from where it has breached?
  • also lacks opposable thumbs.

  • Beyond 2000? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fitten ( 521191 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @12:33PM (#24875485)

    I remember something like this shown on "Beyond 2000", back in the late 1990s.

  • Making out? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bryansix ( 761547 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @12:50PM (#24875761) Homepage
    If you look at the photo closely I think you can see the couple in the craft actually making out.
  • There's demo video at youtube []. It looks to me like a cross between a jetski and a hydrofoil, with control surfaces. In either case, I'm sort of surprised the pilotes are not wearing beefy life preservers. Probably helmets would be a good idea as well. And I'm not keen on the idea of tooling around with the canopy open as seen in the video, because the low gunwales looks like an accidental swamping about to happen with an accidental twitch of the controls. If you can avoid baking in the greenhouse, i

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.