What better way to blow the Monaco Yacht show out of the water than with your own private luxury submarine? The Nautilus 2020 is exactly what you need if you are a reclusive billionaire with a secret island lair and feel that the mega-yacht scene is a bit too pedestrian.
The Nautilus 2020 is inspired by the submarine in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea . Many of the features are direct references to Verne’s design but otherwise the boat is thoroughly modern and has a dash of Bond Villain thrown in. Fundamentally, it’s a proper submarine that has some of the trappings of a mega-yacht rather than vice-versa.
You can surface in a tropical lagoon and sip cocktails on the sun deck, or use the launch to explore the island, but it comes into its own below the waves. Like Verne’s Nautilus it has large port holes to wonder at the strange plants and creatures of the depths.
The most noticeable feature is that it is propelled by two rim-drive pumpjets mounted each side of the hull. These can swivel up and down, something not possible with regular shaft-driven pumpjets. Twin propulsors allows for less powerful motors in each, and a smaller blade diameter which simplifies procurement. Importantly, the rim-drive pumpjets eliminate the need for a drive shaft in the rear part of the submarine, thus freeing it up for luxury habitation with a minisub hangar hidden in the tail, where the propeller (‘screw’) would normally be.
The minisub hangar can be accessed from the master bedroom, allowing the Captain to come and go discretely. The minisub enables the Captain to explore and reconnoiter ahead of the submarine, and to perform important missions away from the boat.
At the other end of the boat in the bow, spacious diver facilities allow the internal stowage of a range of diver transports including up to two three-person high performance submersible canoes:
As we head aft on the middle decks we pass important functional space include the second officer’s quarters and a quiet control room for Sonar and underwater video monitoring. The corridor soon opens up into a spacious Salon which is modelled on Verne’s Nautilus.
There are large portholes either side, and a pipe organ against the far bulkhead. Going further aft the next room is the fine dining room which, like the control room and Salon, occupies two decks in height. This too has portholes.
The other notable room in the aft compartment is an indoor garden, possibly using hydroponics.
The aft luxury compartment is separated from the crew and engineering compartment by an access tunnel. The forward half is double-hulled with ballast tanks around the outside. The engineering space has a bank of fuel cells for Air-Independent Power (AIP), and two large diesel generators for recharging the massive lithium-ion battery.
Although the massive energy capacity can power a lavish lifestyle, it can also take the submarine on very long underwater excursions is energy consumption is managed.
A gas turbine can be fitted in place of the diesel generators but this requires some redesign.
In the bow, the crew live above the diver space which is similar to the torpedo room on a Navy submarine. There are two ocean interfaces which future Bond Villains may have re-use plans for:
Vertical Ocean Interface : A straight-through tube about 2 meters in diameter and 10 meters depth. This can carry a deep diving Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) which dives out of the bottom.
Forward ocean interface : forward facing horizontal lock-out tube similar to a very large torpedo tube. Divers and underwater scooters can leave and re-enter through this chamber.
The 70 meter version is the same length as Jules Verne’s Nautilus. The reduced size affects range on AIP due to smaller LOX (liquid oxygen) tanks, and has reduced stores and crew space. The snort mast is eliminated so the submarine has to surface to run its diesel engines. There is only one server farm, and fewer ablutions.
By HI Sutton