Frequently Asked Questions



Why is SeaBird considered a new paradigm in submersible?

What happens if you need/want or are forced to stay under water for longer?

What makes SeaBird so much fun to operate?

How much will SeaBird cost?

Is SeaBird expensive to operate?

How many people can ride in a SeaBird?

Is there a single seat version?

What if I want to take 3 people? What if I want to go faster, deeper, sit on leather and satin seats, etc., etc.? What if I want a custom SeaBird?

Are special abilities/skills required to pilot a SeaBird?

Do I need to be SCUBA certified to pilot a SeaBird?

I am disabled. Will I be able to pilot a SeaBird?

How deep will SeaBird go?

Why the 150 feet limit?

What if I want to go deeper?

How fast does SeaBird go?

Why is SeaBird SO much less than its competitors?

Is SeaBird safe?

What kind of safety features are built into SeaBird?

Can anyone ride in a SeaBird?

What about SeaBird's certification?

What documentation or registration is required of SeaBird?

Is financing available?

Where can I get a ride in a SeaBird?

What kind of boat do I need to tow a SeaBird?

What kind of support can you offer for someone interested in starting a tour operation employing SeaBird submersibles?


Why is SeaBird considered a new paradigm in submersible?
SeaBird takes a radically different approach from previously designed submersibles. The first thing we did is free SeaBird from a propulsion system. You'll notice the vessel has no prop or screw of any kind. There is no engine or motor, so there is no complex battery bank or propulsion system. By using a surface-going tow vessel with an air-breathing engine to propel SeaBird, we can achieve heretofore unprecedented performance, remarkably at a cost far less than any previously sold submersible. And since most submersibles require some sort of surface vessel support vehicle anyway, using a tow vessel is a modification that brings incredible benefit with little additional cost!
Since we were already saving all of this money, we thought we might be able to save more-So we invented a new paradigm for life support. Rather than employing large amounts of compressed gas and carbon dioxide scrubbers, SeaBird operates more like a sea mammal, submerging with a cabin-full of air for a relatively short period (generally at least 10 minutes) and then surfacing. A relatively simple system of ports and fans automatically purge the used air and quickly replenish the cabin with fresh air. The system warns you when you need to surface, and there are numerous alarms and redundancies to ensure that you are always breathing healthy air. If it's ever needed, SeaBird carries enough reserve life support for approximately 75 hours of submergence - but under most diving profiles, you'll never need to service or pay for life support!

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What happens if you need/want or are forced to stay under water for longer?
In meeting ABS requirements, SeaBird carries conventional scrubbers and oxygen tanks, sufficient to permit approximately 75 hours of submergence.

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What makes SeaBird so much fun to operate?
SeaBird's sleek, revolutionary design, certainly attracts attention everywhere it's seen. It's new, it's radical and it's entirely safe. SeaBird's main control stick operates similarly to that of a jet fighter. Move the stick over to the left or right and the vessel will do aileron rolls, turning about its longitudinal axis. With incredible performance comes extraordinary capabilities. See something cool on the ocean floor? Roll SeaBird upside down and you can watch the ocean floor swim by above your head! See some dolphins or a shark swim by, tell your tow operator to open up the throttle and swim alongside them, underwater, as no person has ever done before. Before SeaBird, that is!

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How much will SeaBird cost?
Similarly performing personal submersibles offered by competitors cost $1.2 million to over $2 million. We are in the process of finalizing costs for the various SeaBird models, but we are anticipating a retail price of $225,000 for the base model; $290,000 for the LuxurySport, and $335,000 for the SeaBird3. Those who are new to submarines tend to wonder what goes into this cost. If you've gotten this far in our website, you probably have a good idea of how we can be so inexpensive, so here is a bit of an explanation about why a sub costs much more than, say, a similarly sized boat:
The high-pressure, salt water environment that SeaBird operates in is very challenging. Only a few manufacturers in the world make many of our components. The two canopy/hatches, for instance, are highly specialized. They are each carved from a single block of specialized acrylic, and the two of them alone cost us about $30,000 per sub. The steel structure which encompasses the vessel's pressure section is an even more expensive, critical component. Made from a specialized steel alloy, it must be perfectly round. That precision comes with a hefty price tag. Then there are sophisticated electronics and life support components, and pretty soon, it all starts adding up to real money. But astonishingly, our proprietary technology means that you can own a better sub now for a small fraction of the cost of our competitors! And it will be less expensive to operate!!

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Is SeaBird expensive to operate?
Apart from the operating costs of the towing vessel, per dive costs are very low. For some profiles, the life support system has per dive costs that total less than a dollar. The onboard battery requires charging after a day of operations, and there are routine maintenance procedures which may be accomplished safely, quickly, and easily by owners.

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How many people can ride in a SeaBird?
Two for all models except the SeaBird3. The SeaBird3, currently in design development will carry 3 (a pilot and two passengers).

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Is there a single seat version?
AquaVenture WaterCrafts plans to market a single seat version following the successful introduction of our two and three seat submersibles.

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What if I want to carry 4 people? What if I want to go faster, deeper, sit on leather and satin seats, etc., etc.? What if I want a custom SeaBird?
AquaVenture WaterCrafts plans on a custom design division, just for you. We will design and build a SeaBird to meet your specifications. The cost may be far below what you might expect, and construction time is reasonable. Just contact us for further details.

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Are special abilities/skills required to pilot a SeaBird?
No special abilities are required; however, the existing industry standard requires the completion of a manufacturer's training course prior to operating any personal sub. A trained pilot is required to be aboard for each dive. Eventually, AquaVenture WaterCrafts hopes to be able to certify qualified operators to offer their own optional certification course for their customers that would permit unsupervised dives (i.e., two customers could dive without an instructor aboard). Piloting SeaBird is fairly intuitive; training courses will concentrate on emergency procedures and can ordinarily be completed in two days.

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Do I need to be SCUBA certified to pilot a SeaBird?
Absolutely not! In SeaBird, you will ride in dry one atmospheric comfort. There are no pressure changes inside the sub, and nearly anyone will be able to ride in SeaBird (as a passenger) after just a 5 minute briefing. Nonetheless, SCUBA training teaches a great deal about the underwater environment, and it's fun! AquaVenture WaterCrafts encourages physically capable SeaBird owners to become SCUBA certified if they are not already, but it is certainly not a requirement.

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I am disabled. Will I be able to pilot a SeaBird?
Accessibility is a major goal of the company. AquaVenture WaterCrafts hopes to work with the Veterans' groups to offer SeaBirds for disabled vets' therapy. SeaBird can be piloted by either hand and requires no leg inputs. If there is any question, we recommend you contact the company to determine if SeaBird is accessible to any particular individual.

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How deep will SeaBird go?
SeaBird is operationally limited to a depth of 150 feet; however certain customers, depending upon their dive profiles, will be able to expand this envelope up to 300 feet. Even greater depths can be available on a custom construction basis.

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Why the 150 feet limit?
Numerous submersibles are capable of greater depths. Some submersibles are limited to less than 50 feet. It all depends upon the submersible's mission. SeaBirds can be modified to travel to greater depths, but ask yourself, first, why do you want to go deeper?? Experienced SCUBA divers know that below 100 feet, it becomes darker, colors are muted, and the quantity and diversity of sea life diminishes rapidly. Limiting the operating depth to 150 feet facilitates a simpler, less expensive, and safer design with minimal compromise to functionality. Ordinary safety margins for subs are 200 percent, meaning that a SeaBird would have to be capable of withstanding 300 feet of pressure. Because of the extreme maneuvering capabilities, SeaBirds are actually designed to withstand as much as 600 feet of water pressure.

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What if I want to go deeper?
If you want a sub that will travel thousands of feet below the surface, SeaBird is not for you. If you are a professional underwater operator and you plan to dive using acceptable profiles, you can be certified to dive your SeaBird down to 300 feet. If the SeaBird concept suits you, you have professional underwater requirements, and your max depth requisite is between 300 to 1000 feet, please contact us and we will speak with you about a custom SeaBird.

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How fast does SeaBird go?
That depends, partly, on the power of the towing vessel. A towing vessel with a 200 hp engine should be able to pull SeaBird approximately 16 m.p.h. at Wide Open Throttle, depending upon a number of variables. A towing vessel with 400 -500 horsepower should be able to pull SeaBird at its maximum submerged design speed of 25 m.p.h. SeaBird3 will have a maximum design speed of 15-17 m.p.h.

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Why is SeaBird SO much less than its competitors?
SeaBird's patent pending design and conceptual framework was built upon offering a superior product at a price that opens up the underwater experience to virtually anyone who is interested. Eliminating the need for motor or drive batteries eliminates a huge percentage of overall cost and facilitates a revolutionary, less expensive new life support system. Limiting dive depth further reduces costs. And the phenomenal result is that most of SeaBird's capabilities exceed that of all existing subs.

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Is SeaBird safe?
We expect SeaBird to be the safest sub in existence. It has been designed to the standards of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and we expect to attain ABS certification. ABS certified submersibles have a perfect safety record of no fatalities in the history of their operations. In addition, the SeaBird training and certification program goes above and beyond ABS standards to educate its owners and operators in all aspects of operations, contingencies, and routine maintenance. Even more significantly, SeaBird's streamlined profile inhibits underwater tangling, and as it is always tethered, it is always in a position to be pulled out of danger. So not only does being towable make it cheaper and better performing-It also makes it safer!

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What kind of safety features are built into SeaBird?
AquaVenture WaterCrafts has incorporated numerous safety features unavailable in any other submersible and nearly all of which are standard with each SeaBird model. An entire section of our website is dedicated to the portrayal of SeaBird's safety features.

From the proprietary energy absorbing forward section to the integrated electronic alarm system, SeaBird is designed to keep its driver and crew out of harm's way.

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Can anyone ride in a SeaBird?
In short it depends. Certain people by height and/or weight will simply be too large to sit comfortably inside our standard models. In these cases, we can custom build a SeaBird to the comfort of nearly any individual. Persons with heart problems, breathing problems, or back problems should consult a doctor: Short trips below the surface may be safe in your particular situation. Feel free to contact us with further inquiries.

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What about SeaBird's certification?
The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is the only American based certifier of submersible vessels. Certification is ordinarily required to obtain various types of insurance on your vessel. It is also helpful in the management of maintenance and other ownership functions. ABS maintains a vigorous certification process for which AquaVenture WaterCrafts will eventually certify SeaBird as a 'novel' vessel. Rest assured that we are committed to maintaining and in many cases exceeding the rigorous standards of quality of design and construction demanded by the certification process. We will update owners and this website with new information as the certification process unfolds.

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What documentation or registration is required of SeaBird?
Being an unpowered vessel under 5 net tons, the US Coast Guard does not require documentation to operate SeaBird in Federal or international waters. States and other nations may impose unknown restrictions. Being a novel vessel, you can expect SeaBird to garner a fair amount of attention, and it's not inconceivable that some of this attention will come from regulatory authorities. In our testing to date, we have dealt with a number of state and federal regulatory authorities, none of whom required documentation of any kind. We are working with government and other agencies to facilitate unfettered operations by our owners. Please contact us immediately with problems or concerns.

As common sense would dictate, do your best to follow all known maritime rules and regulations for the area(s) in which you operate, and obey the instructions of all regulatory authorities and their designees.

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Is financing available?
AquaVenture WaterCrafts is currently developing a program with the assistance of the US export-import bank that would make convenient financing available to international customers. We have no comparable program for domestic customers; however, we are working to develop relationships with lending institutions that will ease the complexity of the financing process. Being ABS certified makes SeaBird easily insurable, which should facilitate financing. Please contact us with your specific financing questions.

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Where can I get a ride in a SeaBird?
Following completion of the first production model, demonstration rides will be available at our sales center in Southern Florida for a modest fee, fully applicable to purchase price. AquaVenture WaterCrafts is working with potential partners to offer additional locations for both demonstration rides as well as underwater tours in idyllic locales.

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What kind of boat do I need to tow a SeaBird?
It depends. If you just want to dive SeaBird below the surface, nearly any boat, including sailboats with as little as a 25 horsepower motor should be capable of taking your submersible for a slow dive. Our mathematical models estimate a 20 foot 200 hp boat will be able to pull a SeaBird Two at 15-17 mph in steady state (calm, waveless) conditions (actual results will vary depending upon exact boat and choice of prop and other specific conditions). Most boats over about 500 hp should be able to pull SeaBird at its maximum limited speed (though some boat/engine and prop configurations will require less horsepower). Of course, any boat choice would be predicated upon the conditions where you would choose to operate.

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What kind of support can you offer for someone interested in starting a tour operation employing SeaBird submersibles?
Please contact the company and we will be happy to speak with you regarding a turn-key operation. We can help you develop a business plan around the unique requirements and considerations of your location. We can develop profiles and instruct you in all procedures necessary to operate your SeaBird tours safely and assist in maximizing your profitably.

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