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'Who doesn't want a submarine?': B.C. man looks for buyer online for homemade deep diver

A man from Invermere, B.C., is selling a home-built submarine for $30,000 on Facebook marketplace.

He is selling the one-person submarine for $30,000

'Who doesn't want a submarine?': B.C. man looks for buyer online for one-person deep diver

1 year ago
2:32
Hank Pronk has a unique hobby and says $30,000 is quite the deal for a fully operational submarine. 2:32

Have you ever dreamt about exploring the deep waters? Sitting back, watching the fish and floating away?

Well, the good news is that this can be your reality. A man from Invermere, B.C., is selling a home-built submarine for $30,000 on Facebook marketplace.

"Who doesn't want a submarine? There's only one other toy you could have that could be as cool as a submarine and that'd be a private helicopter," said the builder, Hank Pronk.

He says the one-person submarine weighs around 1,800 pounds and can plunge 400 feet into the water.

Pronk has a Youtube channel where he details how he builds submarines. (Harry Pronk/Youtube)

"That was my goal, was to make it super light, super portable, to get it into small lakes and tight places," he said.

Pronk says with his machines, you can use them to cruise around or to just park underwater and relax.

"You can sit there all day no problem, but if you're traveling on the battery power, you'd probably be about four or five hours out and you'd run out of battery power," he said. 

He adds that most commercially-built submarines start at over $1 million, so for what he's selling, it's a pretty good deal.

"Often I'll just sit on the bottom of the lake and watch the fish go by so it's kind of relaxing, quite comfortable too," he said.

The interesting part about the whole thing is that constructing submarines isn't something Pronk does professionally. In fact, he is actually a home mover but took up building the underwater devices as a hobby.

Pronk's submarine is able to plunge 400 feet into the water. (Harry Pronk/Youtube)

"The one that I'm selling I built it about eight years ago, and it had some balance issues … and this spring when the COVID-19 thing started, I was kind of bored at home," he said.

"So I pulled it out of storage and I completely rebuilt it and fixed the stability issues and now it's a nice working little sub."

He says he's been building and restoring submarines ever since he was a teenager and has recently sold a two-person sub to a buyer in San Francisco.

"I make everything myself, I do all the welding and machining and everything, so it's been a fun project," he said.

What else does it do?

Pronk says his submarine also has a special feature that he fully designed himself: a mechanical arm.

"You can pick up delicate things no problem without harming anything. So the way I set it up is it can swing quite far … so I can use magnets or whatever to mount some sort of a basket," he said on his Youtube channel.

The submarine also includes an emergency release, just in case the arm or any of the propellers get tangled in something underwater.

"I can just release the chassis and then the rest of the sub shoots to the surface and it has 72 hours of life support," he said.

The submarine is still up for sale, but Pronk says he has gained a lot of interest.

"I mean, people will travel a thousand miles to come and see this," he said.

With files from Reid Southwick and Monty Kruger.

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