Platypus Swordfish: This semi-submersible yacht offers amazing underwater views

New French company Platypus Craft has developed a 40ft concept that combines a planing dayboat with a semi-submersible passenger pod.

Designed by company founder François-Alexandre Bertrand and L2 Concepts, the Platypus Swordfish can house up to eight passengers in its submersible glass pod.

Both petrol-hybrid and all-electric versions are proposed with a claimed maximum speed of up to 50 knots in surface mode but no more than 12 knots with the pod submerged.

When in planing mode, the pod acts as an additional planing surface creating a stable trimaran design with a 12ft beam, but when in submerged mode the mother vessel effectively becomes a displacement catamaran. Deploying the pod is said to take just a few seconds.

The company claims it is close to signing deals with several clients from the USA and the Gulf states and hopes to start construction of the first Swordfish in early 2021.

The composite construction relies on aluminium framing and FRP and carbonfibre laminates. The pod itself is water-ballasted and air-sealed.

The build partner is a subsidiary of L2 Concepts with a factory in Antibes that builds concept cars and crucially has already worked on a couple of successful submersible projects, most notably the Aurora for American firm Seamagine.

The quoted price for turning the Swordfish concept into a fully functioning customer boat is €3.8m – steep for a 40ft sportscruiser, but priceless in terms of novelty value.