Has anyone found actual photographs of large privately owned submarines?

There are news articles on how extremely rich people own their own submarines. Not just tiny submersibles, but large vehicles that have enough room for living quarters. Google searches show computer renderings of what some of these vehicles look like, but I have not been able to find an actual photograph, anywhere, of an actual vehicle. Do these things really exist? How do their internal systems work, and what kind of range do they have?

The existence of such vehicles made me wonder : suppose a mega-rich person were caught for committing some serious white-collar crime. Perhaps tax evasion or hiding assets offshore or investment fraud, the usual stuff. How would the lawful authorities bring them in if they decided to submerge and sneak away? It’s not like they could use depth charges for an escaping fraudster, right?

I don’t believe it. There really isn’t anything one can do on a sub that you can’t do on a surface yacht infinitely cheaper. Their range would be limited by their fuel supply, it would be preposterous to think that a private citizen, no matter how rich, could either build a nuclear reactor or get fuel for it. Thus they’d need diesel fuel and have to come to port every so often for it and and for food, at which point they’d risk arrest.

If they’re evading taxes, they probably stiffed the submarine builder as well.

Maybe they built in a repossession circuit, that they can trigger by satellite the first time they surface, which will bring the sub back to dock via autopilot. That’s what I would do if I were making submarines for sleazy rich people who might stiff me.

Quite the reverse in my case: this little chap swore to me that he could build the finest craft with all the accessories for a mere $150 million; based on the Russian Kilo class — but with some of the armaments removed.
No complaints, it was a fine work; however he disappeared before saying that a 2500 ton submarine cannot be moved by helicopter to the ocean as I had assumed and he had led me to believe, and so it sits at the bottom of the lake. My lady wife gives tea-parties in it.

Unless they operated a small fuel tanker/supply vessel and refuelled/provisioned the sub at sea (or anywhere out of sight).

Not to doubt you, but I couldn’t find such a story with a quick Google News search, so can you provide links? :wink:

Not quite what you’re looking for, but I imagine the people who own these are pretty rich.

Please provide a link to any of these articles you claim you have come across.

All I see are Cameron’s submersible and some very basic “party submarine” semi-submersibles used for tourists and mega yachts. Which articles where claim the rich have these full bore “residential submarines”.

This is my thinking. I’m sure even a modern nuclear sub starts to feel a bit claustrophobic after a while. A large yacht would be infinitely nicer to live on.

I saw a fairly large one just outside the Monaco harbor. I have no idea who owns it or for what purpose, but it was impressive.

Think James Bond, they are actually inside the big mega yacht. You won’t see it , as they are escaping.


There’s simply no reason such a thing would ever exist. The only recreational use for a submarine would be sightseeing in clear, warm, reasonably shallow water (go deeper and it’s too dark). So it would require many (or at least one) very large transparent viewing domes and/or windows. As such there would be absolutely no need for it to have any kind of amenities like a kitchen, bunks, living space etc. the way a luxury yacht does, not to mention that this would increase the building cost ten-fold! Add to this the fact that even making a modest, private one of these is ***phenomenally ***expensive. And even with a billionaire’s budget it’s still a huge technical challenge to make one even remotely practical and reasonably safe.

True submarines only have one, or rather two, purposes: Military defense and drug smuggling. And the majority of the narco-built ones aren’t true submarines, they’re just powerboats that ride extremely low in the water.

Paul Allen’s yacht Octopus carries a 10-man sub and its own pen.

Diesel subs are still in existence - the US promised somebody Taiwan? 2 such subs.
Problem: no US boat builder has a modern diesel (which run on batteries when submerged, for those unaware) so they were going to license a Dutch or German design.

If the rich can buy a spaceship, why couldn’t they buy a sub? It’s just another type of boat.

Wow, that thing is nice! Strange that there aren’t any close-up pics of the sub though. It would be an example of what the OP is looking for (and an exception to my post!) And couldn’t Paul Allen have come up with a better name than Octopus?! Maybe he’s gone senile and thinks he’s a Bond supervillain… :smiley:

I’m pretty sure these sorts of things only exist as design concepts. Which typically are created by someone with a lot of experience in making cool-looking renderings but no practical knowledge about submarines. (Product designers are always coming up with nifty ideas that are unencumbered by the harsh limits of reality.) For example, there’s this one, which looks like a typical military sub with some windows. My guess is that all of these fanciful design concepts are just advertising for the much more pedestrian work of designing cosmetic details of actual yachts.