The hydrosphere offers a luxurious new way to explore the underwater world


Gresham Yacht Design is a UK based company that over the years has delivered groundbreaking and exceptional marine designs. With a tradition of innovation, Gresham never hesitates to think outside the box when it comes to showing what can be done that hasn’t been done or what can be improved in the industry. Sometimes these proposals are just that, but others cover actual applications.

The hydrosphere has a future in this direction. It is an elevator-shaped bubble concept that exits through the hull of the superyacht, providing an experience comparable to operating a submersible. In other words, you can dive into the magical world beneath the ship without getting wet, getting on and off gear, or having to employ an entirely different crew or pilot to pilot your submarine.

The idea for The Hydrosphere appears to come from a year-old sketch submitted by Gresham as part of a design competition for International boat. This is where the concept was introduced, as an alternative to underwater exploration which had certain advantages over the submarine.

It is now developed by the design company in the beautiful video available at the bottom of the page. In a brief statement to the same outlet, Gresham suggests that the benefits of this purely theoretical concept (for now) could lead to real applications.

According to the description of the video, this concept was born out of a desire to continue “push[ing] the limits of what is possible above and below the waterline. “ Gresham says: “While staying firmly within the realities of engineering and the limits of manufacturing, the UK studio has developed a mind-blowing concept called Hydrosphere. This bold and exciting idea immerses an owner and his guests in their surrounding ocean environment through the hull of a ship.

The hydrosphere is a bubble of glass and metal that unfolds from a “secret” chamber in the hull of the superyacht. Protected by a thick, durable metal hatch, it deploys in “minutes,” which is considerably faster than what you would need to set up a submersible and toss it into the water.

“The only other way to get this kind of experience is to dive in a submersible. However, it takes time – to prepare a submarine for launch and water, it takes at least an hour, if not more ”. Gresham tells about Boat International.

Plus, you don’t need a pilot to operate it and you can accommodate up to seven people in the hydrosphere, in the utmost comfort and luxury.

The bubble floor is glass, as are the surrounding walls, which means a 360-degree view for everyone on board. Once you descend the spiral staircase you get a plush sofa and refreshments which, you have to admit, is the furthest from an underwater experience. This includes the largest and most luxurious variants currently on the market.

The hydrosphere is equipped with bright exterior lights, which light up when the bubble deploys. It can be used when the vessel is moored or in motion. Gresham imagines it could be operated at cruising speeds of up to 2 knots, which admittedly isn’t much, but it’s comparable to the speed of a submarine. You would always have a change of scenery. When the bubble is not in use, it retracts into the shell for safety reasons.

It goes without saying that such a bubble of exploration would involve considerable modifications to the hull, assuming that a refurbishment is even possible. Most likely, the hydrosphere would be incorporated into new ships, which means you will have to buy a superyacht to get it. And this is the least important condition for this to come true: the hull design would have to undergo drastic changes to allow it.

A sub, at this point, is certainly the cheapest alternative.




About Lucille Thompson

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