When looking at large superyacht concepts today, you would be forgiven for thinking that submersibles have been widely adopted within the superyacht market. However, while continuing to grow organically, the world of submersibles is still only enjoyed by a relatively small portion of the superyacht market. As the superyacht market continues to evolve, owners and guests are starting to develop a greater appreciation for what is possible on board a superyacht and in a world where exclusivity is king, nothing can offer a more exclusive experience than a submersible.
“When we first introduced submersibles to the yachting market in the 1990s people thought it was crazy,” starts Charles Kohnen, president of SEAmagine the US-based submersible specialist. “In hindsight, it was similar to when people started proposing having helicopters on yachts, today it is an accepted norm when previously it was seen as outlandish. In the 1990s we were helping people to realise how intertwined the worlds of yachting and submersibles really are, but it wasn’t until the yachts began to get bigger more frequently that the market began to gain some momentum.”
SEAmagine delivered its first submersible to a superyacht in 2006 and it was around this time the wider industry began to take notice of submersibles. However, it wasn’t until 2012-2015, following the stabilisation of the market after the GFC and continued growth of superyacht sizes that the sector started to pick up speed in earnest.
“Owners started paying attention to the possibilities of submersibles and some adventurous owners started using them,” continues Kohnen. “Once their adoption had been legitimised the industry itself started to take notice and all of a sudden architects and designers were developing concepts that accommodated submersibles within the very first briefs. Unlike other toys, submersibles are technologically advanced pieces of equipment that require infrastructure and integration. Today there is far greater support from architects, engineers and shipyards as they look to continue maximising the superyacht experience.”
Over the last 20 years, the superyacht market’s messaging has changed dramatically. Previously the superyacht was seen as being the be-all and end-all of the overall experience. However, today the market is far more focussed on how the superyacht can be used as a luxury tool to help owners and guests explore their many and varied passions. In a world where the luxury experience and exclusivity has been diluted by the likes of social media, submersibles provide an opportunity to experience something truly exclusive, areas of the world and species that have never been seen before.
“The experience that you can have in a submersible is second to none and completely unique,” explains Kohnen. “That being said, it requires some planning. The submersible experience is not just owning the sub, it Is also about how you use it, how you plan and how you maximise every dive. There are a lot of details to considers, but the potential rewards astronomically outweigh the use of other toys on board a superyacht.”
Not all submersibles on the market are the same and SEAmagine’s Aurora design takes a quantum leap in elevating the underwater experience for owners and guests. The focus is on maximising the passengers’ true field of vision from inside the large sphere, ensuring a comfortable and spacious interior, providing easy boarding and disembarkation for people of all ages and giving the vessel unmatched manoeuvring capabilities.
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