Neyk Submarine offers speed, comfort and maximum customisation
Construction is underway on the first luxury submarine to feature an interior from the private jet industry. The product of eight years of research & development, Ocean Submarine in the Netherlands is teaming up with leading experts from around the world such as Rolls Royce, MTU and Bosch to create the Neyk Submarine. Built in a modular construction in high-yield steel to a design optimised by NASA, the submarine will offer an unprecedented degree of luxury and customisation, speeds of up to 15 knots and can carry as many as 20 passengers.
The Neyk Submarine has a fully pressurised hull and will be exceptionally manoeuvrable. It brings together high-end technologies and components that have been proven in practice around the world in a submarine which is outfitted in bespoke, state-of-the-art facilities in the Netherlands. A compact and lightweight structure offers various options in terms of finding the right location on a superyacht while also enabling the craft to reach speeds around three times higher than conventional private subs. Customisation options include fitting landing gear so that the sub can come to rest on a beach, adding a dedicated diver lockout chamber, and transforming the nose area into a 270-degree underwater observation room.
The first Neyk Submarine will have an overall length of 19 metres (63ft), a maximum displacement of 100 tonnes and be able to take up to 12 passengers to depths of 150 metres (500ft). It will have large panoramic viewports on top and three acrylic viewports on either side, as well as comfortable seats, a bar, a library and a complete galley.
Stringent testing regime
Neyk Submarine spent two years on the test programme, developing an ultramodern teardrop body by using a range of aids from PCs right up to supercomputers. The next stage was to test ten models in a development programme.
Three models were used in manoeuvring simulators, a high-speed towing tank and deep water towing tanks. The moving dynamic forces which come into play were tested in addition to the static forces (weight and buoyancy), the dynamic forces produced by the submarine’s hull shape and action of the rudders, and the fore and aft hydroplanes, which control the submarine’s position and motion in the horizontal and vertical planes respectively.
Extensive tests were conducted for the main propulsion system to discover the optimum position for the engines outside of the pressurised hull. The virtually silent electric engines are placed in pods either side, specially designed to give the propellers up to five percent additional efficiency and provide extra cooling at low speed. The revolutionary design also provides for low drag and a very low underwater noise signature.
The submarine will be able to turn on its axis within a few seconds when the engines are running in opposite directions. Because they are positioned forward of the diving rudders the Neyk Submarine can dive very rapidly, a configuration which is ten times more effective than the conventional cruciform design.
Leveraging on experience
The start of construction of the Neyk Submarine is the highlight to date of an eight-year journey for the founder of Ocean Submarine, Martin van Eijk. His career has involved working for many renowned companies such as ASML, Phillips and EASTEC, covering everything from testing satellites in space to the most complex diving boats.
“My experiences convinced me that we could develop a unique new submarine in partnership with experts from every branch of aviation and underwater vessels,” says Van Eijk. “The project began in 2009 based on a hull that would be suitable for the Navy and coastguard services as well as the luxury market. Having built up considerable expertise in aircraft, spaceships and underwater vessels, my goal was to combine this with the wealth of know-how available in the world today. The result is a new generation of submarines featuring a single multipurpose hull, offering a unique level of luxury and experience in a submarine.”
The fact that the Neyk Submarine was developed in line with the expertise and stringent requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy means that the quality levels are exceptionally high and the system is incredibly robust. A two-year exercise search was involved in commissioning the best suppliers for every single part, firms with their own testing facilities who are able to guarantee premium quality. The Navy has also invested in a number of sophisticated applications to be used on board and this knowledge is now being deployed to enhance the quality and facilities of the luxury submarine version.
The Neyk Submarine also benefits from the giant strides made in building bespoke private jets over the last couple of decades. The hull diameter is exactly the same as private jets and the contents can be installed in a similar way in its interior, including systems such as air conditioning and all the facilities normally associated with private aircraft. The exceptionally spacious interior can be customised with furniture, ceiling panels and different types of paint which match every conceivable fire regulation.
A world of adventure
As the Ocean Submarine is based on a modular construction approach, owners can have anything from a classic to an ultra-modern interior style, including opting for the same look & feel as the motheryacht and/or its tenders. Three different models are available in 20, 22 and 24 metres respectively, with six and nine-metre tender versions also available. The teardrop shaped design adds to the aesthetic attractions for superyacht owners. It also helps facilitate the high speed and range, which will for instance allow owners to travel anonymously underwater from their berth in Monaco or St Tropez to the helipad at Nice airport.
“It’s all about the experience,” adds Van Eijk. “Now, when you cruise along the coastline in your yacht and see a beautiful geographical feature, you can head underwater to see them from an entirely different angle and perspective on the way back. Or you might go diving to look at wrecks from the Second World War or other treasures hidden in the sea. The Neyk Submarine allows people to explore the ocean world in comfort and in style. Or you could just put up the periscope and go spying!”
Innovative production process
As you would expect, major investments in money as well as time are behind this ground-breaking project. The production facilities in the Netherlands are first-class and include the largest CNC-cutting machine in the world, ensuring millimetre precision for every part of the vessel.
An innovative production method using outstanding plating machinery creates an incredibly accurate spherical shape in one piece, with all the extra parts being welded into place with equal precision by robots. The use of interior rings adds to the overall strength of the smooth hull, an essential aspect when heading down into the high-pressure depths. Maximum safety will be assured by the most stringent testing regime possible.
The first Neyk Submarine is due to be completed in January 2018. For more information see www.oceansubmarine.com/private or call +31(0)85-0656 230