Personal Submarine Buying Guide 2023

Triton Submersibles, Personal Submarine Guide 2023

A personal submarine is a submersible that is used for personal and recreational purposes. They have become incredibly popular in recent years as more people look to push the boundaries of what is possible with underwater exploration.

What is a personal submarine? 

A personal submarine is a submersible that people use for recreational purposes. From exploring the deep depths below their superyacht, to more and more philanthropists using them for research purposes, a personal submarine can be a great addition to enhance your time on (and under) the water.

Who invented the personal submarine? 

While there are numerous reports of the first archaic designs and use of submarines as far back as 332 B.C., most believe that the first use of the type of submarine still used today was that invented by Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel in 1623.  

The more modern submarine used for recreational purposes was invented by Graham Hawkes in the 1970s. 

What is the difference between a personal submarine, mini submarine, and small submarine? 

The difference between these three types of submarines is: 

  • Personal submarine – A personal submarine is usually privately funded, or bought, for use strictly by the owner and their guests.  
  • Mini submarine – A mini submarine is usually under 150 tons and will only have space for one or two crew members onboard, with very limited space for doing anything other than operating the submarine. 
  • Small submarine – A small submarine will be slightly larger than a mini one, possibly with space for up to eight or nine people to sit comfortably onboard.  

Personal submarines have come a long way since their invention, with some even offering lounges for excellent front row seating of the views you’ll encounter down below. 

How are small submarines powered? 

Diesel submarines are usually powered by a combination of diesel and electric power. The diesel power helps to submerge the vessel, while the electric powered batteries kick into use when the submarine is fully under water. Submarines are able to submerge (unlike a boat or yacht), since they have two sets of tanks (ballast and trim) to either let air in, or water (water to help the submarine submerge; air to bring it back to the surface).

Can a regular person own a personal submarine? 

Technically, yes. Plenty of “regular” people own personal submarines; however, they do carry a price tag of around $2 million so they are more of a status symbol or toy for the ultra-high-net-worth individuals and cost much more than the average person could afford. 

How deep can a one-person submarine go? 

While most one person submarines should be able to descend around 300m (985ft) below the surface, it depends on the capabilities of the submarine. What materials were made to construct the submarine? What is the technology used on board? How experienced is the operator? A number of factors will need to be confirmed before saying for sure how deep one can go in their submarine. 

Triton submersibles currently has a two-person submersible that is classed with “unlimited” depths — the first submersible ever to be given this designation. The majority of the submarines you see making expeditions to the depths of the ocean are classed all the way to 4,000m.

*Please note that Triton Submarines is not to be confused or associated with the OceanGate-owned TITAN submarine that tragically malfunctioned and perished in June 2023.

How much does a personal submarine cost? 

Most personal submarines built for at least two people will have a starting price tag of $1 million, although it can easily start closer to $2 million if you add any personalization’s or add-ons to the off the line models available.

  • Perry Submarines
  • Triton Submersibles

Personal submarines may not be for everyone, but for the superyacht set, they are becoming increasingly popular to have on board. Once you’ve made space for the two tenders, a range of jet skis, and the helicopter, isn’t a personal submarine next? Explore the personal submarines for sale on 

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