Unemployed Man Builds $31,000 Submarines in His Basement

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In a world where Internet and Smartphone app startup companies are a dime-a-dozen, it’s not every day that you see a startup that makes submarines. And definitely not one that is run by one man, from his basement. Yet, that’s exactly what 37-year-old Zhang Wuyi has been doing after he was laid off from his job in a textile machine factory.

Wuyi, from China’s Hubei province, builds mini submarines in a makeshift workspace in the basement of a disused building. When he started off, he worked alone. Today, he has three orders under his belt and also employs ten workers. His submarine models are capable of diving up to 30 meters under sea level and travel at 20 kmph for 10 hours. They can seat two people and also contain oxygen tanks and video cameras. The walls are made of wrought iron. It takes Wuyi up to a month to build a submarine, and each one sells for about $31,000.

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Submarine Enthusiast Converts Small Barge into U-Boat Replica

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Richard Williams may be 51 years old, but he still has the dreams of a young boy. Sure, he’s not the only one, but unlike others he set out to fulfill them. I guess it’s true what they say, better late than never.

As a child, Richard was a big Star Trek fan, but never got the chance to be on the bridge of the Enterprise, so ten years ago he converted one of the rooms in his apartment into the bridge of the iconic spaceship. It wasn’t the best Star Trek replica ever created, but it made our man happy. “Every boy wants a spaceship, but I got to 40 before I could have mine”, he says, but that’s not the only childhood dream he managed to fulfill. The idea for his U-boat replica, came around his 50th birthday, when his father bought him a barge, so he could enjoy life at a more relaxed pace. But as soon as he laid eyes on it, the former mobility scooter salesman began devising a plan to turn it into something more exciting.

At first, he wanted to transform his barge into The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, but after he finished converting the hull, he learned the specialist yellow paint would cost him £4,000 ($6,500), so he settled for black, which was considerably cheaper. When it was finished, his wife Laurel said it looked a lot like a German U-boat, and since he had always been interested in naval history, he decided to take it to the next level. With the help of a company that supplies props for the Star Wars and James Bond movies, Richard Williams decided to turn his U-boat into a floating museum.

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