Sub fascination

Submersibles are creating waves in superyacht circles, more popular than ever before at international boat shows. Here, Louise Harrison of Triton Subs shares with Ocean what subs add to the on-water (and underwater) experience and what's driving global growth.

Written by Jeni Bone
Photography by Triton

10 May 2017


What is driving the rise in interest and investment in submersibles?

Several factors. First and foremost, the new generation of yacht owners are far more orientated towards experiences rather than pure ownership. No longer content to sit on the back of their yacht taking in a Mediterranean port, they are more driven towards adventure and cruising to locations that are further off the beaten track. This is clearly reflected in the number of expedition yachts that are coming up for launch in the next year or two (more than 50 currently in the global order book, and an additional 13 expedition cruise liners) – and of course the perfect addition for an expedition yacht is a submersible, taking exploration into an extra dimension – downwards!

Additionally, submersible technology has advanced a great deal in recent years. The submersibles of today have transparent pressure hulls that can descend to 1,000 meters, 2,000 meters and beyond, and yet are safe, simple to operate and easy to maintain, putting this mode of exploration into the hands of many more owners.

Finally, the increasing interest in our oceans and its conservation is I think increasing the interest in submersibles and ocean exploration.


What do they add to the superyacht and charter experience?

Instead of remaining on the surface, submersibles open up the entire sub-sea world for exploration. Submersibles allow passengers to explore without any need for SCUBA equipment, decompession issues or needing to delay travelling after diving. Anyone from the young to the elderly can experience the ocean safely and effortlessly.

Additionally, as over 90 percent of the ocean floor has never been explored, modern submersibles allow the users to become real life trailblazers – there is always the chance to see something new that no one has ever seen before – wrecks, undersea mountains and cliffs, hydrothermal vents, and all manner of aquatic animals and fish.

Finally, having a submersible on board increases the attractiveness of a vessel for charter.

How long has Triton been in business?

Triton has been around in its present entity since 2007, but the senior members of the company have been building submersibles for over 30 years. We have the greatest concentration of civil submersible professionals and pilots in the world, working both in house and around the world supporting our customers.

The team has over 350 years of dedicated submersible experience, plus operational experience with over 80 different submersibles all over the world.

What is the model range?

We have more than a dozen different models, ranging from one to seven passenger models in transparent pressure hull submersibles, and up to 66 passengers in more traditional tourist submersible models. Our flagship model is the Triton 3300/3, which can take the pilot and two passengers to 1000m/3300ft. Triton has already delivered 13 submersibles, eight of which are 1000m-rated, with a ninth in build, which is unprecedented in the industry. And of course, every single submersible we have built was constructed in, and remains in class.

What are the brand values and features that make Triton unique?

Triton has a leader the field of submersible design for quite sometime, and constantly strives to produce new models to meet our customers ever-changing needs.
Apart from our solid reputation for safety and quality, our generous payload capabilities, equipment choices and depth ratings mean that our submersibles can be used for a multitude of different uses – science, filming, archeology, salvage, and of course the simple pleasure of exploration.

In addition to the ‘Swiss-Army knife’ nature of our subs, our transparent acrylic pressure hulls are made using a completely different process than the rest of the market, which means we can deliver a better class of quality and visibility underwater.

Last but not least, we pride ourselves on our after-sales service – our pilots and engineers fly to literally every corner of the globe to support our customers, and we work hard to keep our customers independent, with submersibles that are easy to maintain and operate in the field.


How do you promote subs and Triton internationally?

We run promotion through many different channels and types of media. Obviously our website is a strong information and brand base, but we communicate to our markets using all manner of social media, broadcast media, and both international and regional printed media, which is still a very valuable in terms of making our brand visible.

We feel it is important to understand both our global and regional markets, their differences and challenges.

Have you been to Australia previously?

Yes indeed! In terms of exploring the Australian market, we made our first visit to Sanctuary Cove and ASMEX last year after being kindly invited to visit there.

Additionally, our submersibles were here diving 300m into the Great Barrier Reef when Sir David Attenborough filmed his recent BBC series there.

Do you see it as a growth market? Why?

Again, expedition yachting and the desire the modern yacht owner has to move away from the traditional yachting of the Mediterranean is exactly why Triton sees Australia as a growth market.

Australia’s onshore and underwater beauty, sterling infrastructure and all the advances being made by entities such as AIMEX are really starting to put Australia firmly on the map for superyacht cruising, and hence submersible use.  Additionally, Triton’s submersibles are ideal for Australian waters, being a benign and respectful way to explore Australia’s undersea environment, as they are electrically powered, non-polluting and non-invasive.

What will you be covering as speaker at ASMEX?

We will be covering submersible myths versus reality – giving participants an overview of what modern submersibles can do, where they can go and how easy they are to operate and maintain.

We will also talk about some of the exploration and amazing discoveries that have been made using these versatile vessels.



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