3 Oct 2012
First submarine charter service launches
'Submarine charter'. Words we may be hearing more of if the latest venture from Triton Submarines (Triton) is anything to go by.
The US company has announced the launch of its first luxury submarine charter service, Triton Submarine Charters LLC (TSC), to be unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS).
TSC will be advertising two submersibles as available for charter which can be delivered to any location worldwide. But Patrick Lahey, TSC’s president says the interest is higher than this modest capacity suggests:
“We have more requests for charter than we can handle. We are going to have to add several submersibles to our charter fleet. It's a great problem to have.”
A strong launch pad for the service is the parallel announcement from TSC that Triton submarines will feature on expedition yacht Suri on her charter to Antarctica this December. The company has partnered with unique travel company, Henry Cookson’s Adventures, which combines luxury with ‘out of the box’ adventures, to provide the experience.
Triton's service is indicative of a growing interest in submarines and, in some cases, submarine charter seen elsewhere in the superyacht industry. Owners and designers who are building yachts designed to carry submarines - ‘sub carriers’ - are also designing these with charter in mind.
One is Michael Schutte CEO of Brilliant Boats, the Turkish-based yard building two aluminium catamarans equipped with Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS) to carry Triton’s 3300 three man sub, one of which will be chartered.
In The Superyacht Report (TSR) 'Submarines are Go!' subcarriers report, Schutte spoke of this as simply the logical response to an evident demand.
“Realistically, guests won’t want to spend more than a day or two exploring underwater anyway, even if you’re moving between dive sites. I see (the catamaran) as a day charter vessel alongside a superyacht with guests who might take it in turns to go down in the submarine. Do you really want to be carrying 12 people and the sub all the time? I don’t think so,” he said.
Back to Triton, launching the charter service with standalone submarines on offer could well be a sensible, gentle entry into testing new waters. Although it’s very possible submarine charter will be a success at FLIBS and thereafter, it would be a bold investment to begin building sub carriers as well.
However, the company will be well poised to develop this angle if demand requires it. In the same report from TSR, naval architect Paul Bury presented his 29m steel and aluminium monohull design commissioned for Triton’s CEO Bruce Jones, to house the Triton 3300/2. There will be a tried and tested model at its disposal therefore, if Triton chooses to go even further with its pioneering submarine charter business in future.
Brilliant Boats Profile | Brilliant Boats Website
Henry Cookson Adventures Website
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