personal submarine builders- AquaSub

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by packrat69, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. packrat69

    packrat69 Guest

    hello there,
    has anyone actually built the aquasub featured in the pop. mechanics book, and that are sold on this website now?
    I have the plans in hand and am starting research to build this next year(?), and i would like to talk to someone who has hands on experience with this particular unit.

    PS.I registered ,but the system wont let me log in now, so I am logged in as a guest.
  2. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    yipster designer

  3. packrat69

    packrat69 Guest

    thanks for the info

    hello, yep that was one of the first sites I wandered into, but I still havent found anyone that actually has built one of these. I understand they are not real popular as they are not a 'real' submarine, but I think it will be fun to take to the lake and play with.
    if anyone has a link or info on the aquasub, please post here so this newbee can learn a little more!
  4. kJ52
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: toronto

    kJ52 New Member


    I too have searched the net to try to find an experienced builder or built unit and yet to find any. Was this just a cool Idea and no one has ever suceeded. have started yet? yave you read through the plans?

    Where are you thinking about running this beast? Have you looked into the registration process and insurance? Some regions may require vessel registration number.

    Good luck and may be you will be the first with a working unit to give your experience to others.

  5. paulf
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    paulf New Member

    AquaSub - any update?

    Hi all,
    I have recently purchased the plans, but have not yet received them. Has anyone started on this project?

  6. SubTech
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    SubTech New Member


    I seen you were looking at building a AquaSub I have seen the plans and they seem to be stright foward if you need help understanding components of the sub send me an e-mail and I will assist you the best I can but it you are looking to find a personal sub that will allow you to fly through the water and also give you flexibility looking at the fish send me an e-mail. I am looking for investors/partnerships to help fund my design which I believe will be the fastest and most hydrodynamic designed personal submersible on the market, My background is in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, I am a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I have been in contact and have sturd up some interest from Bruce Jones of U.S. Submarines,Inc. my problem like most designers is finding help and building a prototype, I am looking for both I am looking to design and build the fastest personal submersible and market it world wide and I am looking to build a partnership with those interested in helping me. I have AutoCAD 06 with 3D rendering. Pass the info on if you know anyone interested send them my e-mail @ make sure they put on the Subject line "PSub Interested"...Thanks Chris
  7. Toot
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Toot Senior Member

    Looks really cool. It appears to have a buoyant passenger compartment with a nitrogen system for surfacing and steel ballast for emergency resurfacing.

    It seems to me it would be simpler and cheaper to have a mechanical control which raises and lowers the support frame between the outriggers and the passenger compartment. That way you wouldn't have to bother with a nitrogen bottle or ballast tanks. Just pull the outriggers closer together to submerge, separate them to rise.

    The problem with this, of course, is that the supports could get stuck in position and you could be stuck underwater. This could be fixed with ballast weights, just as on the original. This would allow you to get rid of the Nitrogen tank and the ballast tanks. Seems to me that on a sub, you'd want redundancy on everything, but otherwise, the fewer the systems, the better.

    It'd also be cool if there were a way to bank the sub so you could get a better view below you.

    Oh. And why do they use Nitrogen? Why not use Medical grade oxygen.. or whatever the SCUBA guys use. Have a T-connector on the bottle and a pressure-relief valve to the water. Then, if the worst of all possible scenarios occurs, you've at least added an hour or two to your life expectancy. Even without the pressure relief valve, you've still given yourself an extra what? 5 or 10 minutes? I can't think of a single downside to using oxygen....

    Well, you could say that the fire hazard is a reason not to use O2, but that's a moot point because your butt is in the cabin with that pressurized tank. If there's not enough oxygen to ignite a fire, you'll be suffocating anyway. So why not use oxygen in that bottle instead? Cost maybe?
  8. wellmer
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Colombia

    wellmer New Member

    build a personal submarine

    Have a look at my 9m/20 ton submarine yacht
    we migth discuss some of the topics involved in building a personal sub - sorry i have no experience in aquasub .
  9. yotie
    Joined: Nov 2006
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    yotie New Member

    Re: Aquasub by Robert q Riley

    Am in the process of constructing an aquasub, have completed the metal main frame and pontoon bulkheads,completed the fuselage form and am starting foam covering, will be starting the glasswork in the spring when weather permits.
    Have redesigned the ballast release to a much simpler system, turned out very well.Plans have been excellent with only a couple of small measurement glitches.I am having a great time doing this project and am willing to share my ideas with anyone building an aquasub or anyone that just wants to shoot the breeze about the project.
    many thanks , Yotie.
  10. Boffingham
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Boffingham New Member


    Congratulations on beginning your project, I have had the plans for years and have changed the design quite a bit from the pontoon perspective. Would you be able to share some pics of your project to date as well as any design changes you may have made. Thanks!
  11. Verytricky
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Verytricky Large Member

    1) Cost - Medical Oxygen ( for breathing, and not for wealding ) costs over 12 times the price of Nitrogen.

    2) Fire Hazard - Oxygen at atmospheric pressure and 100% will cause some items to ignite. Pressurised and the flash point for inocuous materials like oil, grease, some metals etc is as low as 20 Degrees, = explosion!

    3) Oxygen is TOXIC!! you breate 20% of it in air, at depth of say 10 meters you are breating the equivalent of 40% --> Pure oxygen 100% at 10 meters = 200% equivalent pressures = maximum safe depth, any lower you get nervouse damage

    4) Pure oxygen burns your lungs... It is an oxidiser! at high pressures ( such as at 2x atmospheric pressure ) it starts to burn your aveoli in your lungs.

    Note: Divers do not dive with oxygen!!
    They dive mostly with compressed air. Those who dive shollow long time may have NITROX or oxygen enriched air, but then adhear to O2 tanles - much like most sport divers adhear to Nitrogen tables. Deep divers usually dive with LESS oxygen, to offset the problems of toxic. I have done several deep dives ( 75 meters ) on 8% Oxygen!!!
  12. KeithK
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    KeithK New Member

    I don't know, the idea of building a personal sub would scare me. A small boat is a pretty simple concept: the basic requirement for safety is that it stay upright and not leak. Unless you sail your home-built out into open ocean, you can usually put on a lifejacket and swim back to shore in the even of a catastophic failure. A sub does just provide transportation, it provides transportation in an enviroment that can kill you pretty much instantly depending on how deep you dive; at least within minutes for a shallow dive. I remember how much I learned about how not to build a boat when I built my first dinghy. Mistakes that made my dinghy slow, harder to sail, and uncomfortable may make a sub a death-trap. It has to be right, the first time, or it will kill you.

    I don't know your background and I hate to be a nay-sayer, but unless you really know what you're doing and have access to the industrial facilities requires to make such a vessel, I wouldn't.
  13. joe_cope
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    joe_cope Junior Member

    Such a complicated system is not necessary: the hull only submerges about 4 feet (based on what I read on PM's website. If you had a catastropic failure you could flood the cabin, pop the hood, and simply stand up to breathe.

    This is true, but the only place that it'd be 100% pure would be in the tank. In the cabin, it would mostly be a mix of oxygen from the tank, carbon dioxide from the captain's breathing, and whatever remaining nitrogen didn't leak out with the displaced air.

    Keeping a safe oxygen/carbon dioxide ballance might be tricky though. Also, there's the danger of carbon monoxide buildup, and carbon monoxide is much more dangerous than carbon dioxide

    These are also both true, though I doubt that the pressure inside the hull would reach 2 bar since the cabin doesn't go down very far.

    How does carbon dioxide compare to nitrogen in cost? If you wanted to save on costs you could just get an air tank and fill it up with regular air from an air compressor.
  14. wellmer
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    wellmer New Member

    glass bottom boat at cost of a submarine ?

    Hello, Sorry Aquasub fans...

    Looks like a complicated system to me to get basicly what you get from a glass bottom boat - a view below the surface without option to dive down.

    Also what is that complicated outrigger system for ? - just to limit dive depth ?
    You can do that by far simpler rigging a peace of foam on a rope -

    I suggest a by far simpler and cheaper system that is a real submarine yacht...

    Blimp shape - as fast as aquasub
    Nice interior space like a yacht
    Low maintainance cost - just hang it on a bouy...

    You can build such a submarine yacht cheaper than a aquasub...
    Is a lot of fun...i did it !

  15. Boffingham
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Boffingham New Member


    You must remember that Aquasub was designed as a fun project to build in your garage and then escape to a quiet lake or lagoon for a few hours and relax......its not a complex design and has limitations but would needs no special tools
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