October 28, 2002
7:46 PM   Subscribe

At age 15, it didnt occur to Karl Stanley that there was any reason he couldn't build his own personal submarine -- so he transformed a ten-foot steel pipe into one of the most innovative subs in the world. You too can build your own submarine out of an empty propone tank. Or from an industrial buoy. Or this one for $400. Or this one in the garage. More DIY submarine ideas and discussions at psubs.org
posted by stbalbach (18 comments total)
Of course, for the high rollers among us, there are always the Personal Luxury Submarines of ussubs.com.

Their Phoenix 1000 lists for $78 million, is 65 meters long, and features a docking mini-sub.
posted by nicething at 8:24 PM on October 28, 2002

Riding in a submarine ranks just above spelunking and just below base jumping on my "things that scare the living shit out of me" list. Nonetheless, anyone who can build his own submarine and then have the guts to actually try it out is OK in my book.

Just as long as he doesn't invite me on a three-hour tour.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:28 PM on October 28, 2002

This reminds me of the Junkyard Wars episode where they built submarines.

I was amazed that people could actually build a working sub (though, not sealed) from parts in a junkyard, in a single day. While they did take basic safety precautions when building, I thought building working subs was a lot more difficult and dangerous.
posted by mathowie at 8:28 PM on October 28, 2002

BASE jumping would scare the shit out of me. Spelunking doesn't, at all. Hell, I've spelunked with nothing more than a couple flashlights and some good luck.

A home-made sub would, the first time, freak me out. The second time I'd be comfortable, having proven that the first time didn't kill me... sort of like paragliding, I suppose: first time is the doozy, then it's easy.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:51 PM on October 28, 2002

Wow. Makes me want to go out and build a submarine. Great post!
posted by RylandDotNet at 9:12 PM on October 28, 2002

There have been accidents
posted by stbalbach at 9:39 PM on October 28, 2002

Yes yes, great post!

even if it did make me feel woefully inadequate!
posted by The God Complex at 9:40 PM on October 28, 2002


Someday ... someday ...
posted by yhbc at 10:15 PM on October 28, 2002

There is (was?) a research sub on Grand Cayman which gives rides down to 850 ft. to visit a wreck. Not cheap, but a way to experience the deep for a few hours in a cozy bubble-front can. Bring a camera.
posted by HTuttle at 10:48 PM on October 28, 2002

Now this is the ultimate sub.
"dive to 35,800 feet into the Challenger Deep, the deepest recorded dive in submarine history."
posted by jeblis at 12:38 AM on October 29, 2002

at age 15 it never occurred to Karl Stanley that chasing nookie was better than building submarines out of old pipe?
posted by quonsar at 5:20 AM on October 29, 2002

Weren't DIY submarines targeted as possible tools of terrorism by the Feds this past year? Just a tip, beware of people who aren't interested in learning how to resurface the submarine.
posted by uftheory at 7:14 AM on October 29, 2002

Sigh. It's people like you who make me despair, quonsar.

LOL uftheory!
posted by rushmc at 7:50 AM on October 29, 2002

A homemade sub (and plenty of gorgeous Canadien scenery) figures heavily into the plot hijinks of the very Newfoundland film Rare Birds, starring well-known Canuck actor Molly Parker (of the controversial film Kissed) and Wm Hurt (from the book by Edward Riche).
posted by Shane at 7:52 AM on October 29, 2002

I think this is what I want my coffin to look likeā€”and after this post, it may well come to be... Oh, what wonderful links, stbalbach, thankyouthankyouthankyou. Now I just have to scrape together $18000.
posted by dilettanti at 9:03 AM on October 29, 2002

Fun stuff stbalbach - I had no idea that this was even a hobby, let alone so prevalent. But I am with mr_crash_davis in putting this high on my list of things to take a pass on... being in a confined space under water in something an amateur built in a garage? I get facial tics just thinking on it.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:03 AM on October 29, 2002

Unbelievable! I went to High School with this guy, and let me tell you, he was (and apparently still is) completely nuts. One night he stole the "No Parking" signs off an entire adjacent street of the HS and painted yellow parking lines on the street. He broke into the police department (using a grapling hook to get to the roof) and ripped up parking tickets for the town. He even had fireworks set up to go off during the Mayor's speech on July 4th. When they caught him for this, they used it as an excuse to search his house, where they found 20 No Parking signs stashed in his bedroom. It's great to see that genius and madness are so closely linked, and that he's doing so well now.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:06 PM on October 29, 2002

Thats cool Civil_Disobedient.. you should contact him and head down to Belize!
posted by stbalbach at 5:15 PM on October 29, 2002

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