The Thunder Child, built by a company called Safehaven Marine, is meant to be nearly unsinkable. That means it’s not supposed to go down, even if it completely capsizes. And there’s only one real way to test that. You gotta flip it and see what happens.

So that’s precisely what Safehaven did. They used a crane to turn the boat upside down, and waited for it come back right-side-up:

But the Thunder Child isn’t just good at rolling over. I mean, that’s not that impressive. Some dogs can roll over. I once managed it myself, even. What’s even better is the Thunder Child fighting its way through incredibly heavy seas:

If you’re imagining what’s that like, you should probably go ahead and add more puke to your daydream.


The Thunder Child, also known as “XSV 17,” is intended as a stealthy-ish demonstrator for a design for commercial, search and rescue, and naval applications, according to the Safehaven website:

XSV has an innovative and unique hull form that allows it to operate in two distinct modes, fully planing and wavepiercing. The hull combines a deep V hull form with a 24 degree transom deadrise for her aft planning area with a wave piercing bow, which is designed to run clear of the water at high speeds reducing drag and maximising speed, but which can be bought into dynamic effect with running trim control from large hydraulic trim tabs allowing the bow to become wavepiercing and dramatically reduce slamming in head seas thereby maximising endurance for her crew when operating in rough conditions. Another unique feature is adjustable anti-submersion fins at her bow, hydraulic in operation they can be adjusted for speed and wave hight [sic] and prevent excessive submersion in large following seas in very rough conditions when speed inevitably must be reduced. The hull provides exceptionally high levels of seakeeping abilities on all courses with its twin chine arrangements providing for high levels of both static and dynamic stability. The design allows for high maximum speeds of 60kts+ with propulsion either by surface drives or hybrid waterjets, the latter allowing speeds of 50kts+. The first of class vessel ‘Thunder Child’ featured here uses surface drive propulsion supplied by Metamarine of Italy and is powered by a pair of Caterpillar C12.9 1,000hp engines and is achieving over 56kts at present with more to come, and has a 45kts+ cruise speed. Long range fuel tanks provide a range of 700nm+.

The design can carry 12 people in carbon fiber race buckets, each one mounted on its own suspension system for better absorption of huge impacts from riding big waves. And in a bit of a Bond villain move, Safehaven likes to imagine hidden machine guns – yes, machine guns – rising out of the surface of the thing whenever you feel it necessary:

The design of her large forward cabin allows a modular configuration and has been configured so that it can function in three operational roles with conversion undertaken quickly and easily between: Pursuit and interception, in which case a modular self contained weapon deployment system incorporating a 12.7mm gyroscopically stabilised, remote controlled machine gun which can be raised above decks through watertight hatches for deployment. In this way when the vessel is in engaged in surveillance or patrol, the main weapons are concealed and the vessels RCS signature is reduced. When the vessel is engaged in pursuit or apprehend modes, the weapons are raised for deployment. Another advantage being that the weapons are hidden when not in use for security, durability and covert reasons, as well as greatly reducing the vessels VCG, very beneficial, in heavy weather.


I just want to know if it can tow a jetski.

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

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