So, do the super-rich really have private subs or not?

I got an email from a MoH reader with the story I link to below. His question was whether the article is a hoax. It's about super-rich people having private submarines. We're not talking about itty-bitty things like in a James Bond movie, but BIG subs for their private use. My sense is that it's legit, since it cross-references other stories I've seen recently about Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owning a literal Yellow Submarine, but that, of course, is not proof that this is real. God knows hoaxes sometimes spawn news stories which get used to "verify" subsequent stories. If I was betting, though, I'd put my money on "real."

Luxury subs for the super-wealthy a hoax?

Posted on Fri Jul 13, 2007


If I was ultra rich of course I'd have m own submarine.

I'd also have an estate guarded by robotic hounds and a rancor pit to dispose of irritating guests. Amongst other things.
Posted by Renquist  in  Glasgow, Scotland  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  11:08 AM
It's real. We "sell" them at the dive shop where I teach.

I say "sell" because no one has actually purchased one, but they could if they have 1 million to start...
Posted by Pokey  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  11:10 AM
I vote hoax. There are a couple of companies you can buy them from:

Columbian drug smugglers are probably using custom made submarines right now:
Posted by PiltdownHacker  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  11:26 AM
The artist drawings on the linked news page are pretty funny. You'd have to be pretty dumb to fall for the power cruiser disguise.

Given the weight of pressure hulls, that cruiser would look more like a sinking boat considering how low it would ride in the water. I could imagine it causing a few emergency calls to the Coast Guard whenever it cruised by.
Posted by LDG  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  12:01 PM
I liked the comment about the dolphins reaction to people making love. All in favor of interspecies jealosy do something in support. Those opposed picket your local aquarium.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  01:45 PM
I, Raoul, Deep-Sea Explorer of The Continental Shelf of Lust, have a fine submersible that serves my needs. It is 80 feet long, very rigid, and full of sea monkeys. Ha ha ha. That is too funny, you thought Raoul would say brine shrimp, but not today! Capitan Raoul, now going down! All aboard! Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  09:22 PM
If -I- was ultra rich, there is no way I would buy my own large sub, but that's just because I don't like the prospect of getting trapped underwater for so long... plus I'm sure foreign countries LOVE unmarked subs underwater. kaboom :3

And my naval friend told a story one time about a claustrophobic guy stuck on a sub for nine months. Makes me not want to think about the walls of the sub xD
Posted by Mera  on  Sat Jul 14, 2007  at  01:53 AM
No rich people can buy their own submarines. NPR ran a segment on it a while back, they actually interviewed the CEO of a luxery submarine company.
Posted by davefromspain  on  Sun Jul 15, 2007  at  02:44 PM
It seems to be for real...
Posted by Interface  on  Sun Jul 15, 2007  at  11:34 PM
I am the one who raised the question of whether or not this is a hoax. The story and the web site for the company strain credulity. It is implausable that a company that makes multi million dollar items that can only sell a few of could simultaniously engineer 14 different models. Getting one new car, plane or ship engineered takes great time expense and resources. It would be like Boeing coming out with its new 787 and 15 simultanious planes of varying size and configuration, a 797 7 10 7, 7 11 7 and so on. a 1 year old company could not get so many models out so quickly.
Also why would Tahiti be willing to pin its future on a few high rolling visitors?
Someone needs to fact check the Bloomberg story.
It reads like the Steven Glass hoax stories from a few years back.
Small personal subs to go view a coral reef, or to take tourist out from shore are real. These probably are not.
Posted by wayne levy  on  Mon Jul 16, 2007  at  02:37 AM
Having my own small submarine was one of my childhood dreams.

I'm not a whole lot closer to being able to afford one now than I was at age 8, though.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Jul 16, 2007  at  11:13 AM
wayne, these different models may not exist except as paper plans. The situation is similar to the luxery yacht business. Lots of paper plans but all based upon existing and proven designs so that each buyer can have the unique vessel desired and there is nothing "off the shelf" so tospeak. But you may be right. The company may just be touting the designs to sucker buyers in and get their money. That, however, seems to me to be a bit much. And if it just a hoax and not a con, well all bets are off.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Mon Jul 16, 2007  at  06:01 PM
I heard about this recently. Apparently Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea, has one. I have not been able to prove if this is true though.
Posted by Scooby  on  Wed Jul 18, 2007  at  10:43 AM
The article reads like a hoax. Just because 2 different newspapers fell for it doesn't mean it is real.
Posted by Joe  on  Thu Jul 26, 2007  at  01:16 PM
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