Wednesday, June 12, 2024


The Netherlands: Personal submersibles for the ultimate underwater experience

In 2005, Bert Houtman realized his dream when he founded U-Boat Worx, a Dutch company that builds submarines for personal use.

In an interview with U-Boats Marketing and Sales Manager, Erik Hasselman, I dive into the world of mini personal submersibles and explore this fascinating underwater perspective.


What an adventure! These fantastic machines allow you to leave the scuba-diving equipment at home and discover the last frontier of the underwater world from the comfort of your own mini submarine.

The original one-seater personal submarine concept was based on a Canadian submersible and taken to the next level when the C-QUESTER 3 was built by U-Boat Worx.
“Our company engineers the entire submarine and five mechanical and electrical engineers work on different projects”, Mr Hasselman explains.



U-Boat takes the safety of its submersibles, operators and clients very seriously. All the models are classed by Germanischer Lloyd, which means they receive a 5-year classification after successfully completing a number of technical tests and trials.
Equally, the support equipment for transporting and lifting the submersibles must pass safety tests.
In order to operate these amazing machines, U-Boat sends its trainers out to the new owners for a three-week thorough course, which encompasses theory, navigation, weather systems, currents, stability and of course, how to use the different systems and controls in the boat. Once successfully completed, the life of an official submersible pilot begins!


There are two types of submersibles, the C-QUESTER range, which resemble small bubble-like space crafts, and the C-QUESTER Explorers, which look like a bubble on catamaran-type base.
“The C-QUESTER 3 is our most popular selling model, probably because it has been on the market the longest, and people are attracted to its shape and functionality”, Mr Hasselman confirms.

C-QUESTER submersible

C-QUESTER submersible

Some of the models can reach depths of up to 1000 metres, for up to 12 hours. This enjoyable and safe underwater experience lets passengers explore the colourful world of coral reefs and marine life or even run across a shipwreck!
Whilst the two submersibles come with a certain amount of standard equipment, clients can also choose additional features and accessories, as well as personalized paintworks and tailored interiors, which means owning a two-seater submersible, for example, starts from EUR 730’000.

The company has sent its submersibles to a number of destinations including the Maldives, Seychelles, South Africa, France, Spain, Aruba, St Maarten, the United States and of course, the Netherlands.
Speaking about client satisfaction and feedback, Mr Hasselman says, “People love to dive in the submarine. The freedom it gives to move around and hover weightlessly in the water is really neat and depending on the dive sites, people also get excited when they see the marine life or discover a wreck!”.

As the most advanced private submarine ever built, the C-Quester has set the standards for 21st century underwater exploration.
The new generation submersibles are compact, light and relatively low in height, which means they are easy to store, transport and launch, and offer unmatched performance and manoeuvring capacity.Inside a submersible
Two’s company and three is not a crowd in the C-QUESTER 2 or 3 versions, which offer efficient designs, excellent views and reach a maximum diving depth of 100 metres. The version 5 takes four passengers and one pilot.

So what does the future hold for personal submersibles?
“This year we are excited to launch the first C-Explorer 5 that could go to a depth of 300 metres. We are also developing some smaller yacht-based submarines”.

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