Why concrete in a submarine yacht?


Concrete is cheap, maintainance free, has excellent pressure resitance, and most of all you could not realize 18 cm wall thickness in steel or aluminium [welding and forming impossible] nor in glassfiber. In concrete you can. As an example to illustrate that - take TRIESTE it had a passenger cabin in sphere shape of 2m diameter the only site in the world to make a steel sphere with several centimeter of wall thickness was krupps monster canon production site where those enormous cannons was made. They took a red hot steelblock and hammered it to a halfsphere with those enormous hydraulic hammers, then machined it down to exact size. But even for them a 2m sphere was to big to do it in a single process - so they had 2 halfspheres and a middle ring segment glueing them together with superglue - imagine the cost having krupps mayor fabrication site at work to form your steel hull - in concrete you could do a sphere of 2m with 20 cm wall thickness in your garage- as simple as i did my blimp shape submarine you see on photo here - no redhot steelblock - no hydraulic hammer - just make a form and pour it in. Well a concrete sphere might not go to 11000m as Trieste did - but it still will go VERY deep... It would be a similar task in aluminium, titanium, glass, acrylics, etc... also the whole line of composite materials is not useful when it comes to 20 cm thick walls. In fact the difficulties and cost in forming spheric curved shapes with thick walls as necessary for a submarine yacht has been a mayor inconvenient factor for building submarine yachts of a reasonable size and form. Concrete solves this elegant and dirt cheap - as you see here.

Why has not anybody done this before?

Well submarines are mainly a navy warship game - and those shipyards are traditionally working in steel. Anyhow there have been plans of russian navy to build a c-sub [concrete submarine] and civil engineers are building concrete structures for high water pressure resistance in submarine tunnels, oil rigs etc... so this is not really new at all - it just has not been applied to a personal sub so far - except in my prototype - but it can easyly be done as you see in main section (concrete structures in use today) -

...and by the way somebody already has done it - back in 1996 - and tested and dived sucessfully a prototype that performed perfectly. So submarine yachting is not only possible - it is even more economic than usual surface yachting due to minor hull building and maintainance cost. You also can go with a smaller engine as you do not have to run against weather, wind and wave resistance. Also travel under water is more energy economic... a submarine yacht can also be completly burglarsafe and hurricane prove which means independence from marinas - an anchor bay is all you need - and this is normally free.


Is this Ferrocement construcction ?

No this is NOT ferrocement construction. Ferrocement is a yacht construction technique where you form a a boat with dozends of layers of chicken wire and then press cement between the mashes. This produces crackling and rusting meshwire problems. Walls of a ferrocement yacht are below 3 cm thick. My prototype subs walls are between 7 and 18 cm thick so this is normal concrete construction with forming, compacting, steelbars, etc. this is as massive as a bunker - and most important it is made strictly following concrete engineers handbook. No experiment at all - this is the only way to get forseeable results and avoid unexpected failure - stay away from experimental concrete in sub construction - this is a free and livesaving advice...
see: concrete pressure hulls in marine ambient today
When i constructed my sub back in 1996 it was planed as a viability study. Hundreds of miles from the next sea port testing the hull in a lake it was clear that i could not get a lot of practical use for it. Visibility in the lake is about 1.5 m so tourism use was not in range. I also had no partners to push the thing forward and i could not find them far from saltwater.
In the meanwhile i am living in southamerica and renting a construction site with sea access is easy. Work force is cheap and permits are no problem. Street transport is not necessary
I would like to find financing partners for the construcction of a hull to get the concept at sea and go public to get more interest in this.
As tourist submarines need clasification and there is no classification rule for submarines availble for concrete submarines. I would suggest a project for which classification as a tourist sub is not necessary.
Could be a private sub for salvatage or similar or a hull that does not move like a underwater habitat, submarine bar, or similar.
The forming process can not only produce blimp shapes but spheres and similar shapes. Which are more indicated for habitats and underwater observatories. The size can go from 2,5m diameter as minimum up to almost unlimited.
I would be glad if you would contact to discuss your project with me.
Contact: Wilfried Ellmer


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