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Summer 2006

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



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Article by
Angelo Colombo


There's no lack of space on big yachts for all types of tenders, though the term should be understood in its widest sense. Small sailboat, jet-ski, canoe, RIB, fisherman and rowboat are among the many now found aboard a superyacht whose guests are looking for fun holidays. With the aim of offering such people a somewhat unusual craft, the Dubai company Exomos has created a range of mini-submarines that is well suited to the needs of owners in search of excitement at sea. Exomos also builds large size submarines and fast, sophisticated surface vessels that are actually powered with aeronautical turbines, but what especially interest us here are the mini-submarines because they are highly appropriate as superyacht tenders. The range offered by this Gulf company is very wide, going from the single-seater Stingray to the two-seater Mantaray, the three-seater Goby, which can take you to a depth of 40 metres, and the Discovery which can take seven people to the same depth. The special aspect of these vessels is that they have been created by technical personnel with decades of experience in the design and production of undersea systems. An outstanding figure is Exomos founder Hervé Jaubert, known as the most expert and technologically advanced designer of this type of vessel. Jaubert is a mechanical and naval engineer, trained at the French Naval Academy and with wide experience in the undersea sector. With the Exomos project he intends to offer his skills in the service of those who love the sea and want to discover its depths in a safe and fun way, with simple but efficient craft that are easy to handle. One of the ideas motivating this French designer is the possibility of developing pleasure submarine sailing. In fact Jaubert sees the possibility of short range undersea passages as one of the possible roads for developing pleasure craft activities. The Exomos vessels are the fruit of a complex construction system that employs avant-garde structures which offer underwater enthusiasts very high safety standards and above all easy handling. The system adopted is the compensation of external pressure by pressurisation of the mini- sub cabin, which translates into a reduced mechanical load on the structure. All this is made possible by sophisticated plant that controls internal pressure and ventilation in such a way as to ensure that the occupants of the mini-sub enjoy extreme comfort, thanks also to the extraction of gases produced by breathing and the maintaining of 21% oxygen in the cabin air. There are various versions of these craft: some can go to a depth of 40 metres, others to 18 metres. In all cases a private user does not need any kind of licence unless he intends to use the craft for passenger transport or to hire it out for pleasure trips. But a period of training is required on the company's premises. There are specific courses in test tanks for familiarisation with the craft and its operational attributes and limitations. Exomos has been active in this sector for 14 years and can boast that there has never been an accident in which a passenger has been seriously hurt. To this end the company has also developed abandon-ship procedures to be implemented in the case of breakdown. The craft may be easily and safely left on the seabed while the occupants return to the surface with breathing apparatus. It should be noted that with equal pressure internally and externally the passage from one environment to the other will never be traumatic.

For further information on the various models available and their potential, as well as on safety standards tested at the company's premises and on trials carried out by technicians, visit the website, or ask for informative material from Exomos: P.O. Box 261489 Dubai, UAE; tel. +971 4 8835222.