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Sep 6, 2008

Dolphin speedboat - A Millionaire plaything

A dolphin-inspired cross between a jetski and a submarine is the latest millionaire plaything making a big splash.

The Seabreacher can glide on top or below water at high speed - and it has enough power to soar out of the water and fly through the air and perform stunts.

The two-man £30,000 craft has been designed to mimic the shape of a dolphin and self-rights whenever it splashes down.

The mini-submarine has a top speed of 45mph over the surface of the water and half that when it dives under.

The 15ft fibre-glass machine can stay under for long periods as it has a snorkel that supplies air to its 1,500cc, 215hp marine engine.

Its Californian creators custom-build up to 20 of the crafts a year, mainly for the super-rich yachting market. Its see-through polycarbonate canopy is half-an-inch thick and is the same used on F-16 fighter jets.

Rob Innes, of design company Innespace, said: "You can drive it just like a boat with the canopy open at full speed of 45mph on the surface.

"It can do 20mph below the water. If you go below snorkel depth you run out of air for the engine and you stay under for 20 seconds before the craft will automatically surface. But with the snorkel system in use you can stay under for longer."