Steel Fish Ltd:
Specialised In Mini Submarine Design

Driven by a Commitment to Engineering Excellence

Using my extensive experience of engineering and submersible design I am able to provide exceptional submarine solutions that cater to a wide range of underwater needs. From luxurious personal vessels to cutting-edge military and rescue submarines, my personal submarine design merges innovation, safety and performance, to ensure an unparalleled underwater experience. Following my nuclear submarine building experience in the 70's I have been involved with mini submarine design and construction since 1985.



Are You Interested in a Submarine of Your Own?

Contact me today for a consultation regarding underwater habitats or mini submarine design.
We'll discuss your ideas and see what I can create for you.

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Submarines: 1985-2000

The Marlin Submarines S101 and S102 were custom-built submarines, designed and engineered in the 1980s and 1990s. These vessels were used for various purposes, including training the Royal Swedish Navy and treasure hunting in the Philippines. The submarines' designs focused on maneuverability, safety, and performance.


US Submarines: 1994 to Present

In the late 80's, whilst hunting for Japanese Gold in the Philippines, Bruce Jones had read an article about S101 and decided that that would be a great business to get into, so he wrote to me. In 1993, Bruce Jones and Ellis Adams formed a small company, US Submarines, trading out of Anacortes, Washington state. One of their first employees was Patrick Lahey (aged just 29), whilst I provided all the mechanical design input. Commissions were thin on the ground in the early days but they survived.


Submarines: 2000 to Present

These series of submarines represent significant advancements in the use of acrylic for deep diving submersibles. The AP6 Alicia, built by Marlin Submarines and featured on the Discovery Channel, allowed passengers to experience a "floating in space" feeling, due to its mostly acrylic hull. The Triton series of acrylic submarines gained fame through the TV series Blue Planet and are highly sought after by marine scientists for their incredible views, maneuverability, and reliability.



MSubs: 2006-2012

Initially, was just a convenient email address but MSubs Ltd was incorporated in July 2006 with the purpose of building the S201 2-man submersible for an American client. At that time, it was 100% owned by my wife Gill and I as a zero-asset accounting entity. This would normally have been liquidated upon the completion of the project in July 2007. However, the client was pleased with how the project had gone, and wished to keep it open and put money in to build more submarines. I retained a 25% share and my position as managing director and principal engineer until I sold my interest and left in Dec 2012. Marlin Engineering, later Steel Fish Ltd, continued in parallel during this time renting the production equipment to MSubs Ltd. Part of the sale agreement was for me to trade under a different name in the future, hence the change-over from Marlin to Steel Fish Ltd, which had been incorporated a year after MSubs in 2007.


JFD: Jan 2013-Dec 2017

In January 2013 I re-joined old friends in Glasgow at James Fisher Defence as a senior engineer. Although based in Glasgow, I travelled far and wide, my favourite gig being Sweden for the best part of 3 years. From 1997 and the LR5 project to the present day, I have worked with JFD on a wide variety of projects. My able graduate assistant in 1997 was Ben Sharples who eventually became the MD of James Fisher Defence. Ben moved to Malin Group in 2018 and the key members of his old team joined him a few years later.


Steel Fish Ltd

Although Steel Fish Ltd has been trading since 2007, it did not come fully into its own till the winter of 2017/18, when I left my post as senior engineer at JFD to design and build the DV24 for Triton.  Having said that, the first totally Steel Fish project was the Pilotfish (2013-15), in parallel with but separate from my JFD work.

Pilotfish is a man powered submarine conceived by an oil industry engineer, Antoine Delafarge, to cross the English Channel from Plymouth to Saint-Malo. Although this 2-man pedal powered craft was completed and sea-trialled in Plymouth, it never made the trip.