In response to the growing demand from the luxury yacht market for luxury submarines, SEAmagine has designed and produced a version of its manned submersibles specifically to complement luxury yachts. This 1-atmophere submersible offers comfort, safety, and an exceptional field of view to its occupants in a dry environment not affected by water depth pressure or temperature. With over 72 hours of life support, this environmentally friendly electric underwater vehicle meets all the standards of the latest scientific submersibles but with the comfort and luxury of first class seats underwater. All of SEAmagine’s submersible are classed by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and meet the regulations of the Cayman Island Shipping Registry. and have a long-standing record of excellence for over 10 years.
SEAmagine’s submersibles feature a special design from the more traditional concepts, which make them ideally suited for operation from a yacht. Submersibles tend to be neutrally buoyant vessels and need to be boarded by the occupants while on deck before being hoisted into the water to go diving. Similarly, the submersibles need to be hoisted back on deck for the occupants to disembark. This inherent need of traditional submersible design makes their operation logistically complex, difficult and time consuming. To greatly simplify the operation of a submersible from a yacht, SEAmagine’s design offers a unique patented buoyancy system that permits the small craft not only to submerge but also to float high above the water line. This allows the submersible to be operated as surface vessel and be handled or docked as a regular tender once launched. The advantages of this feature are wide-ranging and immediate:
1) the submersibles are hoisted without occupants on board. Not only is this simpler and safer, it also allows the use of simpler cranes, eliminating the burden of having the cranes “man-rated”
2) The launching operation can be performed by crewmembers only without the guests being present. Similarly, recovery of the submersible at the end of the day involves the crewmembers only, leaving the guests to revel in the day’s discoveries liberated from such technical operations.
3) Once launched, the submersible remains in the water as a surface vessel and is docked at the dive platform. Passengers simply step into the vessel when the pilot has it ready and step out when the submersible returns to the docking position. This allows multiple dives to be performed without having to struggle with crane launch and recovery operations for each dive. This greatly simplifies the logistics of operation, safety, enjoyment, and provides more dive time in a day.
Finally, a crucial aspect of manned submersible use is operator/owner support through the life-cycle management of the assets. Manned submersibles are complex machines and their safe and efficient operation for research, work or pleasure is not a one-man show. It is a team effort that involves the manufacturer, owner, operator, regulatory agency and the piloting crew. Technical support for the submersible, spare parts, equipment addition and general maintenance are essential services to an owner for maintaining the value of each vehicle and above all keeping them in use. This can very often be a problem with older or second-hand submersibles.
An important part of the product support and customer service includes the crew and submersible pilot training. Any operation requires that there be a trained pilot in the submersible and a trained surface controller at all times, that maintains communication with the underwater vessel and tracks its position. The yacht captain must be familiar with the launch and recovery process and is part of the safety protocol established during training. Companies such as SEAmagine have developed well-structured pilot training program for its submersibles, which the company initially developed in conjunction with the US Coast Guard for a tourism operation and has kept improving on the process over the years.
SEAmagine’s business is an international endeavor. Operating manned submersibles around the world requires solid technical foundations, a full understanding of certification rules and expertise with national regulatory agencies.“We have led six manned submersible deployments in five different countries.” says William Kohnen, president of SEAmagine Hydrospace Corp., in California. “Expertise counts. Ten years of experience gives us the perspective required to understand life cycle management issues thoroughly that leverages our state-of-the-
Manned submersibles always have and continue to fulfill a dream for many to explore the open oceans, for work or leisure. Today’s state of technology can bring this to reality. “Our approach focuses on people, processes, and technology. We understand people’s dreams of exploring the oceans and we share the passion”, concludes Charles Kohnen, vice-president of SEAmagine. “We utilize a variety of enabling technologies and best practices to help our clients become operational, maintain high levels of safety, and strengthen our relationships to deliver more innovative products and services.”
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SEAmagine is a world-leading manufacturer of small 2 person and 3 person acrylic submersibles for the scientific, commercial and luxury yacht markets with depth ratings ranging from 500 feet (153m) to 3000 feet (914m) deep. With 7 submersibles delivered in 6 countries to date, SEAmagine submarines have accumulated over 7000 dives with excellent track record in safety and reliability.