Personal Submarine Buying Guide

Shopping for personal submersibles for yourself or as a gift for Author's Day (more on that holiday in a moment)? Good call! Innespace's Bionic Dolphin is capable of 20 mph while submerged and can reach 50 on the surface. It can also leap out of the water like a dolphin, up to 18 feet. A potential bummer: If you go more than a few feet deep, it stalls. Also available in killer whale and shark (see below). At $50,000, it is, as you will see, a relative bargain.

DeepFlight's Super Falcon Mark II has a pressurized cockpit that balances out atmospheric pressure as you go deeper, as deep as 1,600 feet. It cruises at 2-6 knots—typical in this class—with room for two. But the Mariana Trenches of the world are out, with a depth limit of just 400 feet. Which is why it's only $1.7 million.

DeepFlight is also taking orders on two more models. Note: They probably will not be ready by Author's Day (in the event you don't know, it's the holiday on which readers show their appreciation for writers), but here are the pix anyway:

DeepFlight Dragon

DeepFlight Dragon

DeepFight Black Hawk

DeepFight Black Hawk

The Scubster, a French made pedal-powered sub, will be significantly cheaper than the previous models (price tbd). Things is, you have to bring your own air supply. Not sure what advantage the guy in the Scubster has over the guy out of it.

Hammacher Schlemmer's Personal Submarine. Like the DeepFlight but slower, not as cool-looking and about $300,000 more expensive. But if you are a Frequent H-S catalog customer, your order may qualify you for a free Talking Chewie (below).

The Triton 36,000/3's vertical configuration permits a high rate of descent and ascent. The deepest spot in the ocean is 35,800. With this sub, you're there in two hours. Its sticker price is $25 million…

…which makes the Triton 3300/3, a bargain at $3 million. It can take you and two friends down 3,300 feet for as long as 10 hours.

There's also an economy class Triton, the 1000/2 ($970,000).

Seamagine's Ocean Pearl and the C-Quester 3 are the Hyundais and Kia of personal subs, the former a two-person sub with a depth rating of 150m-1000m for just $900,000, the latter will get three of you down about 330 feet for only $500,000.

C-Quester 3

C-Quester 3

Both are capable and reliable, and would make awesome gifts for Author's Day (Saturday, November 1, by the way).

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