The Subskimmer is a Diver Propulsion Vehicle which is a form of RIB (inflatable boat) with an outboard petrol (gasoline) engine. It is equipped to inflate and deflate itself as it runs. When submerged it seals its engine and runs with battery-electric thrusters, which are on a rotatable cross-arm, and is deflated. Thus it transforms between a fast light surface boat and a submerged diver propulsion vehicle. The central box contains the pump to deflate and inflate the tubes, and miscellaneous kit. The batteries, being heavy, are in a thick tube along its keel. Its outboard motor has a long snorkel so the Subskimmer can run on motor just submerged to try to avoid detection. Its thrusters are on a rotatable cross-arm which contains navigation kit.
There are 3 photographs of a working Subskimmer being demonstrated in Portsmouth, in the 15 September 1983 edition of the Daily Telegraph newspaper; the caption states its range as 6 miles (9.7 km) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) underwater and 100 nautical miles (190 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h) on the surface. Submarine Products Ltd also built an orange search and rescue version of Subskimmer called Seasearcher with high intensity submersible spotlights fitted.
When Submarine Products Ltd closed down, Subskimmer (as at 1989) was made by Defence Boats Ltd, based in Hexham.
In 1993 KSA (Underwater) Ltd  in Alston in Cumbria, England   bought all rights to the Subskimmer. KSA (Underwater) Ltd gave some marketing rights to Alpha Champ Marine Products Ltd, who defaulted on payment for the rights and all agreements with them subsequently lapsed. Alpha Champ Marine Products Ltd ceased to trade in 2007 and was dissolved in 2009.
In 2009, Special Products division of Marine Specialised Technology Limited bought KSA (Underwater) Ltd along with all rights to its product range including Subtug and Subskimmer Submersible Craft, and moved all production to its manufacturing facility in Liverpool where it already designs and manufactures surface craft for military and commercial applications.
As at December 2014, Subskimmers appear to be being made in Indonesia for its armed forces
Subskimmers are used by:
Other uses of the name
- An Exocet-type anti-ship missile.
- In the image at this link (pointed to by this link and this link), a one-man diver-tug with a big propeller below and handlebars. Malaysia's and Pakistan's navies have or had examples of it. This is a diver propulsion vehicle, sometimes known as a scooter or a sled.
- As a generic to mean the Infernus ( (in Swedish)) a Subskimmer-like boat that was designed and made by students at KTH in Sweden in academic year 2003-2004. Its introduction calls it "denna subskimmer, Infernus" ("denna" means "this"),
-  (in Indonesian)
- 2 minute 10 second video of a Subskimmer underwater
- 4-minute video in Indonesian, the part about Subskimmer starts at 1 min 46 secs, shows a Subskimmer on land.
- CIPTA TARUNA SUBSKIMMER SSK96
- CIPTA TARUNA SUBSKIMMER SSK180
- Aquaviews about diver-riders including a Subskimmer
- (in Romanian)
- (in Russian)