The Drebbel

4 posts in this topic

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I've been sorting through my photos and came across this MOC I did a while back. While it's been posted at Classic Castle and MOC pages I don't think I ever posted it here so here it is... (not sure if it should be posted here or in the history forum but as it is a boat and dates from the 1600's I thought it fitted better here)

The world's first working submarine was built in 1620 by Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel, a Dutch inventor and alchemist working in England for James I. My vessel is based on descriptions of this early submarine which supposedly made underwater journeys up and down the Thames. It's propelled by oars and air is supplied via hoses attached to a float (it's also been suggested that as an alchemist he'd also discovered a way to purify the air using a simple chemical reaction). Inside the boat, and attached to holes in the bottom of the hull, are rows of "animal skin bladders" which are allowed to fill with water to make the boat sink. To surface, the water is squeezed out using wooden levers. (In the last photo you can see the bottom right lever in the down position). The boat is steered using the oars and the crew would navigate by compass. The original boat was built for the Royal Navy but the idea was scrapped when Drebbel was unable to develop a weapon to go with it!!

On the surface




Interior (think I could have come up with a better idea for the air bladders!!)


Thanks for looking (and apologies to those who've seen it before)

Comments are always welcome



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This is not only innovative but also a very well conceived design. I especially like how you have managed to integrate those to prefab dinghy-hulls into the design. They blend in nicely with all the little technical details you managed to include. Thank you for sharing!

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A highly original MOC of a piece of technological history.....great designing 'greg3' and they cancelled it because of no imagination back then eh ? these days there is the S.A.S. or Navy Seals which would use such cheeky methods to attack an enemy ! :pir-grin:

Keep on singing 'We all live in a yellow submarine' ! :pir-wink:

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I like it, and I also do think this is the best place to post it. ;)

it is nice to see the details you put in to it, the air bladders and the light inside.


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