Scubacraft, from speedboat to submersible craft Featured

An exciting new concept craft that transports 3 or 6 divers both on and under the water
by 09 December 2009

Scubacraft has utilised world-class industrial design and patented technology to introduce a new watercraft with spectacular performance. At first sight, it looks like the classic high-speed twin tunnel hull speedboat, and in fact it is capable of reaching a top speed of 50 mph on the surface. The power plant is a 4-stroke DOHC fuel injected engine, powering a jet drive unit with hydrodynamic control. The power is harnessed by a design that ensures excellent control when on the surface, with stability at low speeds, and dynamic lift at high speeds to optimise performance. Control is provided by the classic steering wheel and throttle arrangement.

But what propels Scubacraft literally into another dimension is the fact that it can be used for submersible transport up to depths of -30 metres. The pilot shuts down the main engine, which is sealed airtight. All passengers then fit and activate scuba equipment before the craft sinks down into the water, where electric thrusters provide power and hydrofoils are used to control direction. Scubacraft is designed to have a slight positive buoyancy at all times, submerging under power using the thrusters. This is a safety feature: if for some reason the craft loses power, it slowly rises to the surface. But of course, the divers may wish to "park" the vehicle underwater while they undertake whatever mission, operation or visit that they wish to perform. The park mode eliminates the positive buoyancy so that occupants can leave the craft and, for example, visit a shipwreck before returning to Scubacraft.

Its technology ensures safe and stable submerging procedure. Safety is maximised by an on-board GPS and dive computer, manually activated dive procedures, onboard air supply with back-up, automatic depth control that helps the operator maintain a constant depth and control ascent and descent, VHF radio and underwater communications, and a highly visible SMB (surface marker buoy) pod with EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon). Safety is of course the primary consideration in any underwater activities, and the Scubacrafts's emergency back-up systems ensure that whatever problem may ensue, the craft will rise safely back to the surface. Even with total failure of the main buoyancy system, the main engine can be started on the surface using a snorkel for air intake, and the power plant will propel the craft onto the surface by virtue of its speed.

Underwater propulsion is provided by four electric thrusters powered by 2 lithium manganese batteries that provide a run time of 90 minutes at a speed of 3 knots.

Two models are available. The Scubacraft SC3 can transport 3 persons, while the SC6 is large enough for 6 divers with their kit (payload 800 kg). The craft is ideal for specialist diving applications and for use by diving centres, but it is also an ideal option for the ultimate yacht tender. It is designed for easy hoisting onto the deck of a yacht.

For further details, visit the Scubacraft website.

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