Platypus Craft unveils semi-submersible electric boat

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French boat builder Platypus Craft has unveiled what the company says will be the world’s first electric semi-submersible vessel.

The Swordfish will allow up to eight occupants on board, to be seated in a plexiglass central hull that can either stay open for open-air sea conditions or be sealed and lowered into the water for the submersible experience.

Platypus Craft says that the semi-submersible mode can be achieved in just a few seconds. In the underwater configuration, the trimaran’s central hull is placed 2m below sea level, providing its pilot and seven passengers with a unique view. This multi-hull solution, unique for a unit of this size, will ensure smooth navigation with almost a complete lack of roll, it is claimed.

Designed by L2Concept, an established name in car design, Swordfish evokes the lines of the 1970s Citroen SM or stealth aircraft aesthetics, depending upon the viewing angle from, the boat builder said. The futuristic-looking nautical vessel also offers an outstanding level of engineering, craftsmanship and equipment, Platypus Craft added.

The electric motor and batteries are engineered to provide a silent ride without noise or vibration, benefitting underwater nature. The craft’s maximum speed is estimated at 40kts, 18kts at cruising speed, and it has 115 nautical miles of range at 7kts. These results can be achieved thanks to the two 500kW engines and 400kWh batteries.

The Swordfish will also be available in a hybrid version, featuring two onboard V8 petrol engines of 900hp, each coupled with two 80kW electric motors. This hybrid technology provides a top speed of over 50kts, a long cruising range and quiet underwater navigation.

Platypus Craft says that Swordfish is a new kind of vessel, one that is environmentally responsible and has a sporty design. The company is committed to responsible construction, with the hulls to be built in a sandwich structure with a wooden core. The builder will be the Factory Unit shipyard, an L2Concept subsidiary.

The company has reported keen interest from the USA and Gulf countries, and expects to start production in early 2021 and premiere at the Monaco Yacht Show later that year.

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