What does one do with a personal submarine, exactly? Do you load it aboard your mega yacht and explore the sapphire underwater landscape of the Yangala? Why not hook it up to your SUV and back it into the Red Sea like your jet skis and take it for a snorkel. Even better: dive into the Great Blue Hole of Belize from above.
One might think this is a ridiculous question, but for those in a certain wealth category, bolting a personal underwater dirigible to your mega boat is starting to look more feasible. And with the entry of the Nemo by U-Boat Worx into the category, you might find yourself living your own Life Aquatic.
Imagine you’ve finally got your hands on your new Nemo, and after a grueling 12-day training program in Curaçao (you poor thing), you’re ready to take the plunge into the great deep blue. Now, you’re an experienced driver of many high-end vehicles, so you perform the obligatory Circle of Safety before departing. At just 5 feet, maybe a tad taller as it sits upon its trailer, it’s short enough to walk around, “look like you know what you’re doing…” you repeat to yourself.
You scan the acrylic-sphere bubble window for any sign of wear and tear, but all looks good. No rearview mirrors or tires to check, so you move on. A quick reflection of your face in the shimmering exterior reminds you that, it is in fact, you who owns this award-winning piece of submersible technology. Again you keep your head down and continue with the Circle, ensuring you are ready to employ all that your crash course has taught you.
All looks well; into the water it goes.
The top hatch cranks open like all the submarine ports in all of the movies you’ve seen your whole life. As you and your passenger slide down the hatch, you sink into two plush leather chairs akin to something you’d see behind a high-end gamer’s desk, only this is real life. Now it’s time to fire this baby up. Picking up the Formula 1-like MANTA Controller, you explain to your co-pilot that they will get to take over at some point. “It’s fine, I’ll be right here… it’s easy” you reassure them of your, a’hem, extensive training.
Glug, glug, glug, down into the deep blue.
One hundred feet of depth flies by, then 200 (you’ve got a max of 330). As the internal air conditioning unit kicks in to regulate the Nemo temperature, you’re reminded that you’re surrounded by tens of millions of foot-pounds of pressure. Any mistake at this depth could be deadly. While many will have bought the base-priced NEMO for a cool $1.1 million, you kicked in for some upgrades to keep you safe like the Sonar ($35k) and Underwater Nav Package (another $35k), so you don’t sweat ramming the terrain you are floating over.
Now it’s time to really put the charm on. With a few clicks and twists of your controller, you hand over navigation to your passenger. Sure they’re terrified, and so are you, but these are the things we do for love. With your co-pilot nervously flicking their way through the deep dark depths, you switch on the auxiliary lighting system ($28k addition) and bring out the real crowd-pleaser: the 5-function manipulator arm ($70K), it’s time to find some long-lost treasures and grab at some sea turtles. Like a proud dad behind a barbecue with some tongs in his hand, you give your grabber hands a few “snap snaps,” and you’re ready to go.
Nearly 8 hours have passed since you launched your life aquatic with your life acquaintance, your snacks are all gone, and you haven’t been able to check Instagram since you posted your latest influencer-inspired YOLO photo from the beach. Better check-in.
As you ascend from the inky shadows of the seafloor, the ocean’s blue hombre lightens, and the sun begins to peak through the surface. It’s time to bring out the grand finale. After pressing a few buttons, you nervously set the controller down as your boat takes over, autopilot baby. As if it’s done this a million times, the Nemo gently snaps into place on your mega yacht like a life-size Mackbook Pro charger. The hatch opens, and as you step onto the deck of your boat and head towards the party platter of papaya, one quick glance over your shoulder reminds you that, yes, you own a frickin’ submarine.