The Jet Shark is an all new semi-submersible boat, designed and built by the co-creator of the very popular Seabreacher line of watercraft. You have probably seen viral videos of these small submersible vessels that look and perform like sharks, dolphins, whales etc.
Rob Innes, founder of the Jet Shark, has been designing and selling unique custom built watercraft for over 25 years. “The goal with the Jet Shark was to offer the unique experience of diving below the water surface but in a far more spacious, user-friendly vessel.” The Q model Jet Shark (the company’s first offering) has seating for four, full sized adults inside, a climate-controlled, watertight cockpit with large panoramic windows. The vessel can also be operated with its two large gull-wing doors fully open so it can be used like a conventional surface boat on nice sunny days.
Later models will accommodate up to 6 occupants as well as offering a number of different trim levels and power plant options. The current Q model prototype is powered by a naturally-aspirated, 420hp, Kodiak Marine engine which is a marine version of the new generation Corvette 6.2l V8 engine. Future variants will also sport 600hp supercharged engines as well as diesel engines for the commercial tourist vessels. Electric versions may follow in the future but only when a safe, reliable marine electric power package becomes available and it has been thoroughly market tested.
The Seabreacher watercraft (which has been selling throughout the world for the last 15 years) was initially geared towards the high-performance, custom-built market. However, many companies purchased them for use at commercial tourist operations offering passengers the opportunity to dive, jump, and roll like an aquatic sea creature. The largest and most successful operation (@hydroattacknz) operating out of Queenstown, New Zealand have given almost 150,000 rides to fare paying passengers.
The Jet Shark plans to expand this booming commercial market with increased passenger capacity, simpler intuitive twin pilot controls and the ability to operate safely in bigger open-ocean sea states. The Jet Shark is approximately three times the volume of the smaller, two seat Seabreachers, so electro-hydraulic controls are required to operate the large dive planes. These, along with the rear elevators, and vectored jet thrust are responsible for maneuvering the very buoyant Jet Shark under water. The Jet Shark will only dive about 6 feet deep and the snorkel/camera pod remains above the surface at all times. If the vessel loses power for any reason, it instantly returns to the surface.
Safety has been an over riding obsession during the development of the first Jet Shark prototype. The vessel reportedly contains enough static flotation that it will always remain buoyant and self right even if the entire vessel is completely flooded. A host of onboard cameras, sensors, and Lidar will also ensure the Jet Shark remains well away from other vessels and waterway users during its relatively shallow dives.
Cockpit controls and instrumentation look more like those out of a private jet than a conventional 20 foot long boat. All onboard functions can be controlled via the twin touch screen displays directly in front of the two front pilot stations.
Rob Innes, founder of The Jet Shark says “ this vessel was primarily designed from the feedback we received from our 170+ Seabreacher customers. We want to offer customers the excitement of the very agile Seabreachers but in a more comfortable, practical, and reliable vessel. However, it was still very important to me that we created a very slick, modern design that didn’t resemble an underwater minivan! I’m absolutely ecstatic with the Jet Shark’s super sexy look and I believe it’s one of its biggest selling features.”
The Jet Shark is still in its development phase and will require a lot more testing and certification before it’s market ready but the company plans on taking orders later this year. The company is seeking to raise additional investment capital and possibly partner with a high volume boat manufacturer to meet the high anticipated demand. Retail price for the Jet Shark is estimated to be somewhere between US$200,000 and $300,000.
Source: Jet Shark