You’ve no doubt seen them at the beach – people hooning about with Jet Blade and X-Jet Packs on their backs or Flyboards strapped to their feet, levitating above the seawater as high pressure jets of the wet stuff are shot downwards. But if you thought that was as James Bond as it gets in the water these days, it’s time to think again.
The Seabreacher is here in the UAE and it’s quite possibly the ultimate executive toy right now – a submersible craft that looks like a cross between a jet fighter and a dolphin (or killer whale or shark, depending on which model you go for) but drives like a high-powered jet ski.
But this executive toy comes with an executive price tag, starting at around $80,000 (Dh293,775)
It’s not a personal submarine as such, although it can dive to depths of up to five metres, travelling at up to 32 kph under the surface. That speed more than doubles once it’s actually on the water, with 72 kph on tap if you really want to scare yourself silly. It’s when this amazing machine does what it says on the tin, though, that the Seabreacher really impresses.
Its power is supplied by a supercharged 1,500cc, 215hp marine engine, giving it enough power to soar out of the water, fly through the air and even perform 360-degree barrel rolls, but is able to right itself upon splash down.
Constructed from a fibreglass hull and a polycarbonate canopy, it dives using its forward momentum, rather than ballast, meaning that, should something go wrong during a dive, the Seabreacher always pops to the surface and self-rights. It also utilises a “snorkel” system to supply oxygen to the engine, which allows the boat to dive lower for up to 20 seconds.
It’s made by a US company called Innespace Productions, which was founded in 1997 by Rob Innes, an experienced New Zealand boat designer and builder, and Dan Piazza, a certified machinist whose background includes working on race boats, hot rods and off-road vehicles. Each one takes approximately 90 days to build.
Off-roading is a national pastime in the UAE for weekend stress-busting and the Seabreacher stretches the genre beyond breaking point – it’s the ultimate vehicle for thrill junkies wanting something totally unique.
Rob Innes of Innespace – builders of the Seabreacher – answers Kevin Hackett’s queries about the water toy:
You’ve been in business for nearly 20 years – is Seabreacher still drawing the crowds?
Even after several years in the spotlight, public interest in these unique vessels is at record levels. We’re expanding our production capacity to meet the increased demands of the recreational market, as well as initiating racing and demonstration events for their watercraft.
We love a bit of personalisation when it comes to vehicles in the UAE, so can you accommodate requests?
Absolutely. In fact each Seabreacher is a unique creation where customers can select from a vast array of individualised options. The organic lines of its sculpted body make it an unforgettable sight, so anywhere you go, be prepared to draw a crowd.
How long does it take to get used to operating a Seabreacher?
It is surprisingly quick to pick up the basic operation and learn to navigate on the surface. Prolonged dives and other tricks take a little longer to master, but most pilots are proficient in a couple of days.
OK, we’re interested. How do we get into one?
We have a UAE distributor [Deep Blue Sea Diving, based in Dubai] and each one is unique so there are no set prices, although prices start at around $80,000 (Dh293,775). If you just want to ‘have a go’, Water Adventure operates from three locations in Dubai and they’ll rent you one for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour at a time [rates start at Dh500].
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