The Catalog
Nautilus Designs

When I first established this page, I had only a small collection of designs to feature. Since then, the list has grown and grown, as has the popularity of the page.  Examination of the many designs reveals relationships between them. Cross-pollination has occurred when designers who viewed the page produced new boats incorporating features they saw here.  What began as a passive collection has become an active inspiration.  (Ken Anslow records some interesting thoughts about creative cross-pollination and differing visions evoked by a writer's words.  Read them on his blog.)

Originally, the catalog was limited to versions of the Nautilus that I considered compatible or consistent at least in part with Jules Verne's description.  As the collection has grown I've expanded the criteria for inclusion.  Sometimes a Nautilus is here because it has a prominent feature similar to a design already included, sometimes because it is true to Verne's spirit if not his words, sometimes because it purports to be Verne's Nautilus, and sometimes simply because I find it cool.  The result is a much more diverse collection.  Although interesting in their own way, the versions from the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel and the movie's very different "Sword of the Sea" design, are still excluded because these are not the Nautilus of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, or even Mysterious Island, but a new generation. I have included a representation of the first generation Nautilus from Alan Moore's Extraordinary Gentlemen sequel, The Black Dossier.  I’ve organized the designs in roughly but not strict chronological order to provide something of an historical perspective.  Most illustrations are approximately the same scale for comparison.
     Some of the designers identify their creations as the Nautilus, some as other submarines inspired by the Nautilus or from the same era, and at least one as not related to the Nautilus at all.  I invite you to look for the relationships among them all.

In 1999 I conducted an extensive survey of illustrated editions of 20,000 Leagues and added the interesting designs I found, dated from 1932 to 1992.  These are usually identified with the word "illustrated" and are mostly 2D CorelDraw recreations.  At least one of these was originally published many years earlier than the edition I saw and the same may be true of others.  Because of the unavailability of these illustrations, I've taken the liberty of including small copies of some copyrighted images.  I will remove any of these if the copyright holder has a problem with this. 

Note that many of the elevation graphics were done from images from several angles so positioning and proportion of details may be inaccurate.

I've presented some of these designs in 3D form using MetaStream technology.  These are simplified gray scale models constructed in RayDream Studio without frills, but by examining them from all sides in the MetaStream window you can get a good impression of the models' appearance.  To view them in 3D, you will need JavaScript enabled and a MetaStream 2 plug-in, unfortunately now only available here, for PCs and Macs.  Please e-mail me if you have any problems downloading the plug-in or viewing the models, or to comment on the models.

 Click the small knot logo (example left) associated with an individual design below to view the model in a new window.   Some models have a 360° animation created in Carrara accessed by clicking the Carrara logo (example right). 

Click the wire frame image at right for general information about the 3D models.

Note: If these special pop-up windows are opening empty (just a white box) please click here for a possible fix.   

The earliest depictions of the Nautilus are Hildibrand’s many engravings (of Alphonse de Neuville's and Edouard Riou's drawings) that graced the pages of the original publications. The full submarine as shown submerged matches Verne's words although details are lacking in the long-range views. The deck views show more detail, although they are not strictly consistent. Generally, the pilothouse and lantern are very small, not "medium height", and the mounted longboat rather high.

The submarine in the 1916 silent movie in the surface views seems partly based on original illustrations with a small pilothouse forward.  The deck is narrower and there seems to be a prow, not unlike submarines of the time.  The underwater views of the Nautilus are less accurate. Although cigar shaped, the hull is much shorter than it should be in proportion to the width. There are two sets of diving planes, one somewhat forward and one somewhat aft.  The ram has been replaced with torpedo tubes. (See my 20,000 Leagues page for information on a video of this film).

~ c. 1920 ~

Milo Winter illustrated the 1954 Rand McNally Windermere Readers edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  His design features large hull plates, overlapping fore to aft.  The paintings of Illinois watercolorist Winter (1888-1956) first appeared in a 1922 juvenile edition published by Rand McNally & Company.  You can see the color plates in Zvi Har'El virtual library - F. P. Walter's translation.  The pilothouse and lantern appear very similar, suggesting fore and aft windowed structures with lanterns set on top.  All of Winter's paintings show the Nautilus on the surface and I've made no attempt to extrapolate such hidden features as salon windows, prop, or diving planes.  As with all the illustrator collections, proportions and feature locations and shapes vary from illustration to illustration, so the recreation is approximate at best.

~ c. 1930 ~

Anton Otto Fischer (1882-1962) illustrated the John C. Winston  Company 20,000 Leagues edition published about 1932.  This design features a low, eight-windowed cabin at each end of a flat deck.  There is what is likely a dinghy running a good length of the deck between the cabins.  A drawing of the Nautilus breaching gives a view of the spar and a dive plane far forward.  Another drawing shows a rather small, rectangular window in the side of the hull.  I've placed the window arbitrarily, but not speculated on any other un-pictured features.  See Fischer's 20,000 Leagues illustrations on Mr. Door Tree's "Golden Age" blog here.


Czech painter and illustrator Zdeněk Burian (1905-1981) is well known around the world for his paintings of dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, but he also illustrated novels, including a Czech translation of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Dvacet tisíc mil pod mořem, published in 1937 by Jos. R. Vilimek.  There are near a dozen illustrations that show the Nautilus, including several beautifully executed gouache plates.  Details vary from illustration to illustration, but my graphic is true to most of them.  The hull is spindle-shaped with a rather small pointed ram.  Both the wheelhouse and lantern housing appear retractable.  I've depicted them fairly large, but one or two of the illustrations show them smaller and at least one closely matches an original Hetzel illustration's appearance.  There is a fairly long deck with a slightly raised, wide center portion.  It's not clear where the boat is stored, but there is a large rectangular hatch with a sliding cover in the center of the deck.  The hull has a spindle-shaped swelling on each side of the deck.  There is no dive plane amidships, but on the upper aft hull, arrays of three fins with a tab control surface at the aft end of each.  The submarine has a small four-bladed propeller mounted below the centerline in a notched-out section in the stern.  The rudder is shown with somewhat different appearance among the illustrations.  One is smaller than I've shown it here, but several show this large, rather fragile looking mechanism.  The windows are the most interesting features of Burian's design.  There are three on each side, all with external sliding protective covers.  One of the large ones is in the location of the salon, but there is a second identically sized one in the same position on the aft hull.  Some years ago I saw an drawing with a similar arrangement; that egalitarian artist placed a large window in the crew quarters so that they could have the same view of the oceans as Nemo.  Burian's design adds a third, smaller window even further aft, in the location of the engine room.
    This Czech page shows a a portion of Burian's plate of the Nautilus in the Maelstrom, used as cover art for a recent Czech edition of
Dvacet tisíc mil pod mořem published by Albatros.  The new edition, in Czech, is not a translation Verne's text - the story is retold by Ondřej Neff - but it reproduces Burian's illustrations.  I got my copy from Knihkupectví Papyrus in the Czech Republic.  This page, again in Czech, shows many more of Burian's 20,000 Leagues artwork.

~ c. 1940 ~

Kurt Wiese (1887-1974) illustrated the 1946 Rainbow Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  His design features similar large, flat, streamlined cabins at each end of the deck.  One illustration shows what may be the dinghy midway between these structures and looking very much like them.  An underwater view shows a square salon window that I've placed approximately but no features other than the ram are pictured.  I've made no attempt to recreate un-pictured details.  Wiese's Nautilus resembles Fischer's, most obvious in his drawing of the submarine breaching.  There is some difference in detail, but this drawing is nearly identical to that by the earlier artist, so there can be little doubt Fischer was a source for Wiese's concept.

Henry C. Kiefer (1890-1957) drew this Nautilus for the Classics Illustrated 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (No. 47), first published in 1948.  The illustrations are not 100% consistent, but the forward part of the hull is tapered to a point.  There are two large port holes on the each side of the hull.  There also appears to be a port on the top forward hull for the wheelhouse.  the boat is mounted forward of the small, oval railing surrounded deck situated around the hatch.  One graphic shows a diving hatch on the bottom, but another shows one on the side.  There are unfortunately no images that show the stern.  A new printing of this classic publication with the original graphics at amazon.  Some pages from a 1952 reprint are viewable here.

~ c. 1950 ~

Harper Goff began working out the design of the Nautilus in a series of drawings.  The one captured here (courtesy of the folks at Disney Sub and NautilusSubmarine) is very different from the the eventual cinematic version.  It has a more or less spindle shaped hull with bulges at the sides for salon windows and on the lower aft portion where the keel expands to accommodate the diving room with side hatch.  There is a large, tapered ram that flares into the hull.  The wheelhouse is a complex structure with three large windows and a set of lantern ports on the upper part.  The superstructure changes to a large deck aft with a circular hatch at the aft end.  A boat is mounted in the aft end of the deck.  There are two pairs of dive planes, but no side fairings or protective rakers.  Knowing what the design would become, it's possible to see similarities, but otherwise they might not be noticed.
     Josef Keller has realized this design as a beautiful three-foot long illuminated model.  See photos at NautilusSubmarine (free membership required).  Josef has posted photos of all his models on this page of his Airbrush Artwork web site.

Before the Disney Nautilus took its final cinematic form it went through several variations.  The story is that the Disneys wanted a simple cigar-tube hull rather as described in the novel (perhaps like that at the top of the page or possibly like that shown just above) and not unlike contemporary submarines.  Harper Goff preferred an intricate Victorian appearance but could not convince the studio heads.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a physical model worth?  Goff scratch-built this concept model over a long holiday weekend.  Walt Disney was taken by the model and Goff's concept prevailed.  The original model that Goff built is unfortunately lost but documented in a number of photos (many of which can be found at NautilusSubmarine, membership needed).  My recreation is based partly on these photos, but mostly on Tom Scherman's later reconstruction.

Harper Goff's design for the Disney film is his own successful elaboration on Verne's design. Rather than the stark utilitarian exterior that Verne described and Neuville and Riou drew, Goff (1911-1993) extended the ornate Victorian interior decoration to the hull and deck. He enhanced the monster impression by adding reptilian fins and protuberances and gave the pilothouse a crocodilian look. I think he wanted movie viewers to come away with an impression equivalent to that of Verne's readers in the previous century. People used to the sailing and steam ships of the mid-1800s and unfamiliar with submarines would see and remember a low sleek hull as monster-like. Moviegoers in the 1950s knew what a submarine looked like, but they had never seen anything like this Nautilus. The basic hull, exclusive of the additions, seems to have Verne's width but a somewhat shorter length. Two sets of diving planes are incorporated in the structures along the side of the hull. The round salon window is placed much farther aft than Verne's interior description allows, but then the salon, dining room and library seem to have been combined into one room. Incidentally, some details of the submarine and some scenes in the film pay clear homage to the 1916 film. (My 20,000 Leagues page has information on videos of both classic films.)
     Look at the Nautilus designs that precede this, excepting Goff's prototype, and then those that followed.  Thanks to the Disney film Goff's design became the iconic representation of the Nautilus.  Where a closely derivative design differs subtly from Goff's, and the illustration or other source provides sufficient information, I've included it in the catalog.  There are unfortunately, many book, album, and other package covers that meet the subtle difference criterion but lack the detail needed for me to illustrate them here.

Phil Cormier pointed out this version of the Nautilus, from a 1954 three-reel set View-Master 20,000 Leagues under the SeaView-Master took pains not to resemble the Disney movie version that was released at about the same time.  Not strictly following the text, the sub is roughly cigar-shaped with the hull top considerably flattened to form a deck.  A row of vicious rakers is set on each side of the deck, which has what appears to be a raised hatch amidships.  Wayne Orlicki informed me that the hatch conceals a retractable conning tower, not shown in my image.  The pilot house in this concept has two parts, one mounted on either side of the hull.  The salon window is approximately amidships and a single set of dive planes is set on the stern.  The lower stern with rudder and prop (as well as the whole lower hull) is not visible in the images I've seen so the rudder on my recreation is speculative.

In 1955 Robert Maynard created this working, rubber-band-powered, "hurry-up, make-it-fast" model of Goff's Nautilus using little more than sketches scribbled in a dark theatre while watching the movie.  As he described it in the 10 Nov 1955 issue of Model Engineer, the 30-inch-long model could dive using only dive planes and forward motion, staying under water for 35 feet of a 100-foot-long run.  Maynard, who built the model for his 6-year-old son, actually received photos and plans from Disney Enterprises in response to an air-mail request, but he'd already started the build and used these only for detailing.  Some differences, the large rudder for example, were practical considerations for a working boat.  Some were simplifications for the quick build cycle.  Considering, the lengths aficionados go to to achieve accuracy today, I think Maynard did a remarkable job.  There were even Nemo, Aronnax, and Ned Land figures visible behind the salon window.  (Thanks to Jim Alves for telling me about this model.)

This Nautilus, designed by Jack McCoy, appeared in a July 1987 Scale Ship Modeler article by Tom Hershey. It has a large fish tail, reminiscent of Goff's, but distinctive. Although the article describes a centerline propeller, the drawings place it below the hull.  There is no launch and no deck railing. Like Jeff Phillip's boat below, the lantern is taller than the wheelhouse to light the sea in front of the Nautilus.  The salon window seems to be correctly placed within the salon area, but rather high for the tall-ceilinged room described by Verne.  The most distinctive feature of the design is the large, wing-like diving plane. The article had only elevation and section views, so I may not have got the shape right, but there was no mistaking the size. When I first posted this design I added this: "According to the article Tom based his design on Verne's novel, but I suspect he read an abridged version and, in part because he specified colors for the components of the boat, may have been influenced by accompanying illustrations".  Since then David Merriman and Rory McLeod have independently pointed out that this design actually first appeared in the 1955 Book of Submarines by Jack McCoy (reprinted in 1966), and is in fact McCoy's design. I found a copy in my local library.  Unfortunately it had been rebound and only half of the Nautilus frontispiece illustration remained, but it was enough to confirm my comment on the colors.

Henry Pitz (1895-1976) illustrated the 1956 Doubleday Junior Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues.  Pitz shows a flat deck with a single structure forward that includes a cabin-like pilot house and what appears to be the lantern.  The only other feature visible is a long triangular ram.  As with other illustrator recreations, I've left out un-pictured features.

Edward A. Wilson (1886-1970) illustrated the 1956 Easton Press 20,000 Leagues edition.  Wilson's concept combines some contemporary submarine features with those described by Verne.  His Nautilus includes an extremely long, triangular ram with a flat, cookie-cutter end.  The hull is somewhat spindle-shaped the the rudder-propeller arrangement and fore and aft diving planes are modern.  The diving planes are actually fin-shaped as shown at right, so the overall hull has an organic look, especially with the lethal spar.  The pilothouse looks very much like a modern conning tower.  The two goose-necked structures appear to be lanterns and may be retractable.  I don't know what the cylindrical object just aft of the pilothouse is.  The salon window is hinted in only one exterior views but its size and approximate shape are clear in an interior view.

I don't known the date for this Nautilus, found on the Look and Learn History Picture Library, but because of its simplicity, I think it's early.  The web site does not identify the artist.  The design uses the cylinder with tapered ends approach, but otherwise mostly ignores Verne's description.  A domed wheelhouse is located where the cylindrical hull begins.  No other details of the upper hull are visible.  Four large searchlight lanterns are mounted on the forward hull, two facing forward, two down.  Uniformly sized ports are positioned along the side of the hull, fore and aft of the large rectangular, slab-like dive plane.  The rudder is just discernable aft of the screw.  See the original illustration here.

Vynález zkázy (titled The Fabulous World of Jules Verne in English), the masterpiece of filmmaker and animator Karel Zeman (1910-1989), features several slightly different versions of the Nautilus along with other vehicles from Verne's novels.  The film is particularly notable for its visual style, with live actors in sets that resemble Victorian engravings.  The Nautilus in the film has a sharply pointed ram, a rounded hull with a large tapered keel, and several variations of a more contemporary conning tower with small deck (one variation has two large lights or possibly ports on the forward side).  Some scenes show a large oval salon window and slightly smaller ports farther astern.  One scene shows a large anchor on the hull just aft of the ram.  This Nautilus has a rectangular airlock port in the lower hull for excursions on the sea bed.  You can see the film online here or find the DVD at amazon.

~ c. 1960 ~

This design appeared on the cover of the Regent Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, published by the Thames Publishing Company in London about 1960.  Hugh Marchant has provided the possible artist's name Glanville from the cover art.  The hull has a tapered shape with mid-hull dive planes, as described in the novel.  There is no ram.  The cover art view, from above, hides the keel location.  There is a vertical fin on the tail and no horizontal fins.  I've chosen to extend the tail below the hull in my graphic to accommodate the rudder, but this area is also out of view in the artwork.  There are two short and wide rectangular windows forward of the plane and another aft.  The long deck has a large conning-tower-like wheelhouse forward and a similar but smaller lantern housing aft.  Both of these may be retractable as in the novel.  There appears to be a hatch or possibly an inset boat on the deck.  I've included a small copy of the dust jacket image for reference.  The same Nautilus appears in slightly different jacket art for a Purnell edition, published about the same time.  This illustration clearly has a boat set in the deck amidships.  (Thanks to John Smeathers for providing a publication date and confirming the artist name.)

The 1961 film Mysterious Island featured Ray Harryhausen's Nautilus.  My reconstruction graphic is based on a few images I've been able to see.  It's seen only above the waterline and the stern section is not visible in these images.  However Arthur Strubelt provided me a production sketch of the Nautilus sinking that shows the stern as I've illustrated it.  It may be that Harryhausen began with Goff's concept and made so many changes that there's almost no resemblance in the finished design.  Not obvious in my side view, there are two barbed raker flying arches.  Two lower arches connect to the trapezoidal profile wheelhouse.  The wheelhouse has a single large window facing forward and incorporates an upper-level deck with ornate railings on a rectangular extension.  Four lighted view ports are visible in the upper hull, one far forward and three aft.  The design has rather stubby side fins on the stern, ending in short dive planes.  A similar vertical fin, probably incorporating a rudder, is visible on the bottom. I've assumed a corresponding fin atop the tail.  There are two small propellers, one mounted on either side of the tail below the horizontal fins.

This simple Nautilus graces the cover of the LP recording of an RCA Edizioni Letterarie Italian radio play adaptation, Ventimila leghe sotto i mari.  The design has a spindle-shaped hull decorated with some some essentially gratuitous graceful fins that complement the narrow ram.  The large salon window is well forward, consistent with the novel, but a row of smaller ports is added.  The cruciform tail incorporates the dive planes and a double rudder. The  The somewhat elevated deck has the wheelhouse forward and a similar lantern housing aft.  See the cover illustrations and some associated, similar, or derivative graphics at Mobilis in Mobile.

A Japanese artist who signed this series of drawings "Kyo - 62", apparently produced this original Nautilus art for a 20,000 Leagues story book.  This simpler design, which appears in one drawing, has a narrow spar and a cruciform arrangement of saw-tooth fins on the forward hull.  A structure that could be a retracted wheelhouse or possibly just a large hatch is located amidships on the upper hull.  The round salon window is on the centerline.  Another structure located on the lower hull might also be a large hatch.  The stern has cruciform tail with integrated rudders and dive planes.  The original artwork, acquired by Creature Features from a collector in Osaka, Japan, is  for sale on ebay.  Kyo's second design is feature just below.

Kyo's series for a 20,000 Leagues storybook features this more complex Nautilus in in three drawings.  The design has similar small spar but the serrated vertical fairing on the bow is is more intricate.  The larger upper fairing protects a possibly retractable wheelhouse with four forward-facing circular ports.  A deck extends aft.  A second structure with rectangular windows and retractable vertical booms is located on the deck amidships.  Aft of the deck there is a hatch on the top of the hull.  The salon window housing recalls Goff's design as does the notch in the keel.  The cruciform tail is more elegantly shaped than Kyo's simpler design just above.   The original artwork, acquired by Creature Features from a collector in Osaka, Japan, is for sale on ebay.

This Nautilus appeared on the cover of the 1963 Airmont Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  The artist is not identified.  The stepped arch is a clear reference to Goff.  The keel and some of the lines show a more subtle influence.  The ram is a collared spike on the prow of a gracefully tapered hull.  There are three smaller ports forward of the large salon window and no visible dive planes.  The notched keel hints at a dive port.  The large, somewhat blocky wheelhouse has three rectangular ports on the side but none forward.  The tall lantern tower functionality is clear; the use of rest of the superstructure is less clear but may be a deck and possibly a reference to Goff's skiff.  The stern is not shown.

Although similar to that on the cover the Nautilus illustrated on the introduction page of the 1963 Airmont Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea differs considerably.  The ram has a triple collar and the keel fairing has a forward-facing barb.  The keel notch clearly accommodates a dive hatch.  The wheelhouse is more like Goff's with large forward-facing oval windows with lights mounted above.  There appears to be a large oblong side window as well.  The superstructure atop the hull is more graceful; the vertical striations may indicate a deck rail.  Like the cover Nautilus, this one has a large salon window and three other ports, but they are spaced differently and one appears to be forward-facing.  There are still no dive planes on the hull, but the large tail fin may be canted to the side.  If so, it might serve as both a dive plane and rudder.

Scottish illustrator and Francophile William McLaren (1923-1987) did drawings and paintings for the 1966 J.M.Dent & Sons Illustrated Classics edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.  McLaren's drawings are not consistent, but I've tried to capture the essence of his concept in my recreation.  The hull is spindle-shaped but shown with rounded ends in some drawings.  A four-bladed prop is mounted on the stern.  One drawing shows a noticeable keel, but the rudder isn't obvious.  That same view shows a blunt ram.  A pair of large dive planes is located amidships and a small rectangular salon window forward.  The deck, which is clearly reversed in some illustrations, has what appears to be a glass-paneled pilothouse forward and a tall, tower-mounted lantern just aft.  An oval-ended deck with a round hatch extends from the aft side of the pilothouse.  Since the tower allows the lantern to shine over the pilothouse, I've chosen that orientation rather than the tower-forward depiction.

Pierre Garcin sent me photos of this model, which may be from a 1960s ORTF (Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française) production of Mysterious Island.  The model has an interesting history.  Fabrice Mestrot (president of TOYMANIA and a collector of toy boats and subs) found it in 2002 at the Paris Arsenal antique show.  The antiquarian at the show had gotten it in a small navy craft shop in the old harbor of St-Malo, Brittany.  The owner of that shop bought it from a retired sailor and fan of Jules Verne, who told him he found the sub through a special effects specialist associated with ORTF before its restructuring at the end of 70s.  (The photo from which my image was made is © 2007-P.Fautrat/Envie d'Image.) 

Vaughn Bodé illustrated a number of classics rewritten for “reading challenged” children in the 1960s.  20,000 Leagues under the Sea was published for schools by Frank E. Richards in 1967.  Bodé took a simple approach to his Nautilus.  The ram consists of the saw-tooth ends of extended horizontal and vertical fairing.  There is a long deck with the wheelhouse far aft.  This structure has an arch and large circular windows but little in common with Harper Goff's.  The hull is cylindrical with what may be an octagonal cross-section.  There are large almost Goff-like salon windows on the lower hull amidships, but no obvious dive planes.  The propeller is protected by the aft extensions of the fairings.  You can see many of  Bodé's illustrations on the Atomic Surgery blog.

Don Irwing illustrated the 1968 Classic Press, Inc. (Santa Rosa, California) edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  The simple design is a slightly modified spindle with a plain, needle-shaped ram.  The only features visible are large: wheel house, dive planes, and salon window.  The tail isn't visible in the images I have, so I've left it off my illustration here.  Thanks to Jürgen Guerrero Kommritz for telling me about this Nautilus.  

In 1969 comic illustrator Gino D'Antonio did the art for a Look and Learn Ltd publication of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  There is no spar but the rakers on the upper forward hull, minus an arch, are a nod to Goff.  There are circular hatches just forward of the wheelhouse on either side of a cutwater.  The wheelhouse with angled sides and hemispherical windows resembles the 1956 version but is much simpler.  The large structure just aft looks like it could house a boat, but the illustrations don't show that it actually does.  The deck extends aft to a large rectangular hatch much like in the Hetzel illustrations.  D'Antonio's hull is fish shaped  with pectoral fins forward and a large fishtail at the stern.  There are two forward looking lanterns set in the upper hull and large circular salon windows.  The propeller is hidden in a large cylindrical shroud.  See the entire set of comic panels on the Bear Alley blog.

~ c. 1970 ~

Years before their 20,000 Leagues animated film, Hanna-Barbera featured a Nautilus in the first TV episode of Josie and the Pussy Cats, "The Nemo's a No No Affair", broadcast in September 1970.  The design is fishlike with the large glowing red salon/control room windows serving as the eyes and large pectoral pr pelvic fins that may serve as dive planes.  (These appear to  be rigged for flapping but never move in the animation.).  Similarly large tail fins complete the fishlike appearance.  There is an incongruously small propeller and Goff-like rudder.  The design has a rotating screw ram at the bow and Goff-inspired serrated rakers including a supported flying arch. 
Industrial designer and Imagineer George McGinnis was tasked with adapting Goff's iconic Nautilus for a Disney World 20,000 Leagues under the Sea ride.  Although differing in detail, above the waterline the ride Nautilus looked very much like the film version.  Ride patrons would certainly feel like they were boarding the real thing.  The deck was much shorter and the missing skiff hinted at by a depression in the rear deck.  There were large hatches at the bow and stern for embarking and debarking.  Below the waterline the ride Nautilus differed greatly from the film submarine.  There was no ram and the lower hull was designed for ride functionality and to accommodate a row of patrons on each side, each seated at an individual circular porthole.  As the ride was run on tracks and the separate vehicles were linked, the small propeller at the stern was likely to create a wake rather than propel the boat.
Rankin-Bass NautilusThe Nautilus from the Rankin Bass Festival of Family Classics animated 20,000 Leagues under the Sea owes a lot to Harper Goff's iconic design but has a unique cartoony look.  The hull has a shape similar to Goff's but shortened.  The barbs are fewer, more scroll-like and heavier (in most views - the submarine differs slightly in some scenes).  The large wheelhouse has an open bridge on top and backward leaning barb/fin.  The deck extends to the stern and a tail very different from the classic. The large salon window is well aft and there are three smaller ports forward.  The salon window is hooded by a side fairing that runs the length of the hull, flaring to horizontal fins aft.  You can view the animated film on YouTube (link is to part 1).
(Thanks to Vincente Nieto Martin for pointing out this design.)

The 1973 Pendulum Press edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, (a black and white Weekly Reader edition, later published as a Now Age Illustrated Series Paperback, and finally in color but with somewhat muddier graphics and some illustrations deleted, as Marvel Classic Comics number 4) was illustrated by Romy Gamboa (pen) and Ernie Patricio (ink).  Details of the design vary among the many illustrations, but it has a  very large barbed ram and a somewhat fish-like shape.  The wheelhouse is distinguished by forward-looking window "eyes", and just under them, twin nozzles for the water jets described in the novel.  There is a small deck and  hatch atop the wheelhouse.  The hull has dorsal and side fins and a vertical tail.  There is a double set of salon windows under the side fins and a dive hatch on the side.  A large rudder is mounted aft of the propeller.  You can find copies of the Pendulum edition at amazon, among other places.  A large image of the original cover is viewable in the Comic Book Database.

David Grove's beautiful gouache illustrations for the 1973 Fearon/Janus/Quercus edition show a broad, rather modern, organic-shaped hull.  There is a large rectangular salon window and a number of small ports aft.  The pilothouse, with short rectangular ports, is integral with a solid, open-topped deck enclosure.  The boat is recessed in the hull aft of enclosure.  The hull flares out to narrow side fins.  At the tail these become horizontal fins with dive planes.  There is a tall vertical fin above the ring-enclosed four-bladed propeller.  The lower hull has large cylindrical structure, perhaps a ballast tank, below the side flare on either side.

Hanna-Barbera produced an animated film of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea featuring this Nautilus.  The design has a slightly fish-shaped lower hull with a long flat deck.  The retractable narrow ram affixed to the bow appears only the attack scenes.  (Interestingly, the submarine looks like a motorboat when making its attack passes.)  The large superstructure has a rectangular forward-facing window beneath a searchlight, and an open bridge on top.  There's a row of smaller round ports along the sides although some views show two large ports instead.  The lower hull has large rectangular observation windows forward with three good-sized round ports amidships.  The lower deck has a dive hatch on the side.  There's a small propeller on the lower hull but no dive planes are evident.  You can view the German version of the animated film on YouTube.
(Thanks to Vincente Nieto Martin for pointing out this design.)

Dan Thompson scratch-built a Nautilus model in the 1970s.  He based it on photos of Harper Goff's Disney creation, but adhered to the dimensions stated in Jules Verne's text.  Dan captured most of the Goff details, remarkable considering the minimal references he had, but stretched the hull to Verne's full proportional length.  You can see photos of his model here and here.


This Nautilus appeared in the Air Programs International animated classic Mysterious Island broadcast in 1975.  First seen in the cavern under Lincoln Island, only the upper half is visible, although the reflection in the water gives the impression of a full view.  Close-up views when the castaways come alongside conflict in detail; my graphic is a combination of the two views.  The design has a spindle-shaped hull with a serrated fin on the bow.  There are ports or lights on the hull and large slanted fins on the aft hull.  The wheelhouse is located at the forward end of the long superstructure.  The deck atop the superstructure includes what could be a skylight and a conning tower with periscope.  The castaways gain access via a long ladder on the side of the hull leading to a hatch in the side of the superstructure.  The Nautilus appears in part 3, viewable on YouTube.
(Thanks to Vincente Nieto Martin for pointing out this design.)

The cover of an audio book recording of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea read by James Mason and published by Caedmon in 1977 featured this very un-Disney Nautilus.  Still, this fishlike design features a Goff-inspired raker arch.  There is a double-cone spar at the tip of the spindle hull.  The short deck is dominated by a conical conning tower topped with a tall lantern tower.  There is a large circular salon window forward on the hull, forming the fish's eye and at least nine fins to complement the appearance.  The design includes a small hatch on the deck and what is probably a large diving hatch on the hull bottom.  The propeller is large and many bladed.  A high-resolution image of both sides of the album cover posted at Nautilus Submarine .com reveals his signature and gives Star Trek artist Rick Sternbach credit.  


The Return of Captain Nemo, a 1978 television series, featured this NautilusThe design has a set of large windows in the bow, with a row of smaller windows set high on the hull along the sides.  A pair of large diving plane fins are located forward of amidships with smaller fins much further aft.  The design has two small propellers mounted under the aircraft-boom-like stern, which features something like a horizontal stabilizer.  No rudder in apparent in the production model photos I've seen, but one may have been fitted to the aft end of the keel.  The lower hull includes large bay doors below in the single-window section.  This Nautilus has a large wheelhouse/conning tower dominating the deck with large bridge windows forward and a cannon on top.  The sloped after section of this structure is the only part that comes close to resembling Harper Goff's Nautilus.  The three parts of the series were released as a movie, The Amazing Captain Nemo, available at amazon.

Scale Model Ships Unlimited produced this Goff-derivative Nautilus as a fiberglass kit with a detailed plan.  The most noticeable deviation from the original is the heavy, oddly barbed ram, as if Goff's spar were dipped in molten metal and stretched and hammered as it cooled.  Goff's elegant rakers are more crudely realized, in some places merely as steps in the hull.  The basic shape of the wheelhouse is retained but the two large globular ports are replaced by four smaller, flat ports.  The dorsal fin has no rakers and sweeps up instead of down giving this Nautilus, along with the ram, a very different profile.  There is no propeller guard and, less noticeable in the standard view, the aft side rakers flare out to wide horizontal fins.  The last major difference is in the salon widows.  The signature Goff assembly is replaced by a geometric pyramid with smaller ports on each flat face.  Lights or four more ports are set in the hull side around the pyramid.  (The design image is from a photo of Ed Sutton's nicely finished version of the model.)

~ c. 1980 ~

Science fiction illustrator Vincent Di Fate created this 1980 Nautilus design for Di Fate's Catalog of Science Fiction Hardware.  See this and other artwork on his web siteMonsters in Motion sells a replica 20,000 Leagues under the Sea Nautilus Aurora plastic model kit box featuring Di Fate's art on the cover.  Although there was never such a kit, the box represents the kit model builders would like to have seen.  The sub's hull is more or less spindle shaped with a faceted cross section not unlike Goff's.  The massive wheelhouse, with oddly back-facing ports making it resemble a nautilus-like sea creature, dominates the deck.  Rather than a single window, a row of smaller ports provide outside views.  
     In 2007 Pierre-Yves Garcin commissioned Bernard Brimeur to build the Nautilus shown on the box for his Mobilis in Mobile on-line museum.  The illustration at right pictures Brimeur's realization next to the commemorative box.  See large photos of the box (box-art section) and the model (science fiction anthologies section) on the museum web site.  The museum is viewable both in French and in English.

Bob Farrell found a small picture of this Nautilus version on the City of Nantes web site. My various attempts to learn more about this image were unsuccessful, but I found the source serendipitously in a French journal article I received from Jean-Michel Margot.  Jean Gagneux constructed the detailed model, which has a complete interior based on the Hetzel edition engravings, and used it to illustrate the article. In the article Gagneux discusses the features of the Nautilus and offers a critical engineering evaluation. He criticizes some of the same features mentioned here, including the diving planes amidships and the location of ram. He concludes Verne did produce a workable submarine design, but alas, it could not have achieved the performance described in the novel. The model itself is simple and true to Verne’s description. The relatively unadorned, cigar-shaped hull has a small keel projection amidships and some reinforcement of the bow for a ram. There is a flat, elevated deck platform. The pilothouse faces forward and, like the lantern, has four somewhat convex windows.  Jean Gagneux heard about this web site and contacted me.  Thanks to his generosity you can see much more of his Nautilus model here.  My illustration and MetaStream model adhere to Gagneux's plan, which differs slightly from his model. I’ve placed Gagneux’s Nautilus plan on "The Author’s Desk" at the top of my 20,000 Leagues page.   

In 2011 Stuart Wier posted his 1982 treatise on the design of the Nautilus including a detailed plan, interpreted in my graphic at left.  The design, consistent with Wier's paper is very true to Jules Verne's text.  A relatively small cast iron ram is affixed to the bow of the spindle hull.  There is an oval salon window positioned to match Nemo's presentation of the dimensions to Aronnax, relatively small dive planes amidships, and a large four-bladed prop.  Wier shows two possible rudder configurations in his plan and a more elaborate one in the model, but I've shown the basic one from plan.  The deck includes a retractable wheelhouse at the forward end, a boat under a protective cover, a large hatch resembling the original illustrations from the novel, and a tall, narrow retractable lantern.  See the plan, images of a similar scale model, and read the interesting 45-page paper here
This abstractly fishlike Nautilus was featured on a stamp issued in the Central African Republic in 1985 to commemorate International Youth Year.  A set of large rakers comprise most of the bow, which is also fitted with two large eye-like ports.  From there the hull slopes gently back, to a large triangular dorsal fin.  The hull ends with a similarly angular tail.  There's no indication of a deck, launch, dive planes, or horizontal fins of any kind.  No salon window is visible although it could be located on the lower hull.  Actually this Nautilus resembles nothing so much as a stealth aircraft.  See an image of the stamp on Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne Collection web site.

Burbank NautilusThe Burbank Films Australia made-for-TV animated production of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea featured a unique Nautilus designed by Michael Lodge.  Angular barbs on the top and sides of the bow and what could be torpedo tubes give it the appearance of a mohawked fish.  (One of the barbs atop the forward hull is replaced by a canon near the end of the film.)  A large articulated dive plane assembly, aft fins, and a similarly articulated rudder tail contribute to the mechanical fish design motif.  Propulsion is provided by dual propellers near the aft end of the hull.  The large superstructure has a periscope and viewports at the forward end.  A hatch at the aft end opens onto a narrow deck, which has another hatch.  The center section of the superstructure is drawn open by chains to reveal a dock for the boat.  The diving hatch is located on the lower hull just forward of the aft fins.  You can view the animated film on YouTube.
(Thanks to Vincente Nieto Martin for pointing out this design.)

Film producer Dino DiLaurentiis wanted to remake 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and went to far as to get a script, faithful to the novel, from George MacDonald Fraser.  The movie was never made, but Ron Miller shared some of his production drawings for the Nautilus.  The submarine, conceived rather like an underwater airship, was rather less faithful, but interesting.  The deck had an integral wheelhouse at the forward end with a hatch just aft.  The boat was set just below the center of the deck but athwartships so that it could be easily launched to the side.  Rather than a single lantern on the deck, lights were set on the upper and lower hull.  All the control surfaces were large.  Dive planes were attached to the after ends of horizontal fins extending from the spur with a  second set mounted on the tail.  The ram looked something like a mace attached to the prow.  There were four-bladed props below the centerline protected by rings on either side keel.  Most interesting, the salon was attached to forward lower hull like an airship air car, with large windows on either side of the organ.  Perhaps the oddest concept was an enclosed fireplace at the aft end of salon with a brass N on its glass door.  

About the same time Gagneux was building his model, Jean-Pierre Bouvet was drawing a very detailed set of plans for this Nautilus.   Although it isn't as streamlined as the other designs featured here, it is far and away the most complete design of any I've seen.  It is completely true to Verne’s description but expands on elements the text only touches, or like a device for measuring speed, mentioned only indirectly in describing something else.  The simple, cylindrical hull includes exterior sliding panels to cover the salon windows and a pilot house and lantern that are hydraulically elevated or withdrawn.  Jean-Pierre has generously permitted me to feature much of detail of his Nautilus plans here.  The illustration and MetaStream model here omit some detail but depict the major features.  You can now also view J-P's many Jules Verne drawings on this French-language web site.

This interesting variation on the iconic Harper Goff design was built as paper-over-balsawood 1:48 scale model by Niels Wilhelm.  In addition to the look of the hull that results from the construction technique, and subtle differences in shape, Wilhelm has made some interesting changes.  The side fairing ends just aft of the salon windows, which features six frame struts instead of Goff's three.  In place of the aft fairing there are side fins on the stern and an additional lateral prop guard strut.  There are two four-petal-bladed propellers inline instead of the single five-shovel-blade prop on the classic.  See photos of this Nautilus at Nautilus (free membership required to view).

Jim Humphries' design for his rubber-band powered Nautilus model was published in the December 1987 Scale Ship Modeler, but he actually designed it in the early 1980s. Jim used the novel's engravings as his main source and his lantern and platform are especially faithful to de Neuville's renditions of these structures. The wheelhouse has Verne's four windows and an original organic look. The large front windows facing off at an angle are reminiscent of Goff's, a very reasonable reference to that memorable boat. Jim's is a working model with the two sets of planes needed for proper operation. He started without a vertical fin, but found lateral stability required it and incorporated the fish-like tail with another nod to Goff. The model lacks a launch and the salon window is too far aft. The propeller is three bladed, an oversight that Jim intends to fix.
    For those with a well-equipped woodshop, Jim sells a very detailed set of instructions and plans for constructing this versatile model. It dives and surfaces and can even be made to breach like a whale, just as the Nautilus does in "The Sargasso Sea" chapter, all on rubber-band power. Contact Jim directly via e-mail ( for information.  See Björn Lundberg's construction from Jim's plans here.

One of the most carefully executed depictions of the Nautilus I've seen is Ron Miller's design in all his Unicorn editions.  The hull has a fully tapered cigar shape and the salon windows are rectangular, which may well have been Verne's intent. The platform is slightly elevated with the longboat in the center and structures placed as Verne described them.  There are a few embellishments, some I think reminiscent of Goff's Nautilus, but none in conflict with the novel. In general this Nautilus, with its retractable pilothouse, is truer to Verne than mine.  

Since the publication of Ron Miller's several Unicorn volumes he's incorporated some improvements to his design.  This version is a little sleeker, the planes are longer, the salon window repositioned, and notice the placement of the rudder out of the propeller wake. offers a very nice 1:100 scale paper model kit of the design.


The Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (German Maritime Museum) has offered this Nautilus paper model kit for many years.  Drawn by Rainer Braunschweig, the design is clearly influenced by Goff.  Although narrower than the Disney version, this Nautilus has a similar cross-section, however the similarities end with the serrated raker arch and fin.  Much of the rest of the design follows the novel.  The pilothouse, which may be retractable, has three oval ports.  A flat deck with at least on hatch, in the Goff position aft of the fin, has a recess for the boat, which is accessed via a hatch in the recess at the top of an interior ladder.  The bottom of the ladder is at the dive hatch in the keel. There's no obvious ram, but the forward end of the keel might serve this purpose. The large oval salon windows are positioned according to the text although fins that might be the dive planes are well aft. The four-bladed propeller is smaller than in the novel.  You can purchase the cutaway paper model kit, which has a full interior, from the museum about halfway down this page or from  


~ c. 1990 ~

This spindle-hulled Nautilus with its distinctive barbed spur was created by illustrator Joseph Ciardiello for a Reader's Digest Association edition published around 1990.  Except for the relatively small, two-bladed prop, it appears to follow Verne's text well.  The position of the long boat was not obvious in the drawings so I omitted it from the model. 

Pat Regan's Nautilus Minisub is a two-place, pressure hull type submarine boat, handcrafted in steel by one man working alone in a modest backyard shop circa 1985.  Launched in 1991 and acknowledged by Disney in 1992, Regan's minisub proved the Goff Nautilus design's feasibility as a free-roving manned submersible. Specifications: 18' LOA, 1.25 tons, double hull construction, electric motor propulsion, manual guidance controls, and the world's first "hydrobatic" ballast system.  My image, based on early photos, reflects the original mini-Nautilus.  See photos of Pat's construction here on his Vulcania web site.
     As of 2016, the Nautilus Minisub is in Hawaii being refurbished for a video documentary featuring Regan's functional replicas of the esoteric vintage 20,000 Leagues diving apparatus. For more info:

When Greg Sharpe saw Jim Humphries rubber-band model he had to have one and Jim's design became the basis for Deep Sea Designs' first Nautilus, published several times in the early 1990s. This model can be built from detailed plans available from Deep Sea Designs. It has a non-elevated deck with a hidden launch. The wheelhouse, taken almost directly from the Humphries boat and like many of the other designs shown here, has a diamond shape with two large, canted, forward-facing windows, somewhat reminiscent of Goff’s design. The ram is a cylindrical cone rather than Verne’s triangular shape and the fish-like stern is clearly based on Goff's. There is a diving hatch in the keel near the stern very like Goff's. The round salon window is positioned too far astern for the novel’s interior description. In appearance the model resembles Goff’s but, especially with its prominent fin-like diving planes, looks more fishlike and less reptilian. Greg has a working version of this design.

Another Nautilus design available from Greg Sharpe's Deep Sea Designs is closer to Verne’s description than the first. The deck is raised slightly to provide some additional space for retracting the pilothouse and lantern. Two hatches are recessed into the deck. The launch is also recessed and stowed upside-down. This permits entry from the Nautilus through a hatch in the launch’s deck rather than its hull. Of course it must roll over on its trip to the surface, causing the occupants some discomfit. There is a davit to handle it on the surface. The salon window is too far astern, although it is consistent with the interior arrangement on the plan. This is a working design with two sets of diving planes, one near the stern and the other in the fin structure at the bow.

This Nautilus, from the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea "Climb aboard the Nautilus" CD-ROM published by Media School House, was realized by "Heleenie" as a Sketchup 3D model.  The simple design retains Harper Goff's ram but carries the arch the full length of the hull.  The ports of Goff's wheelhouse are kept but the rest is abbreviated or left out.  The large dive planes include small lights on the forward edge and there is a similarly large fin on the lower hull.  The narrow hull tapers to a small tail with a small rudder and small propeller on each side.  Get the Sketchup model here.



Graphic designer Lyle Simoneaux sent me this image of a Nautilus design he first conceived in the 90s or earlier.  He's made it a bit more streamlined than the original sketches, but the general appearance remains the same.  He changed the classic Harper Goff look for a more cuttlefish-like shape.  Also influencing the shape were his thoughts of kit-bashing a GI Joe helicopter toy to realize the design as a model.  The pilot house, which can be withdrawn below the protective stylistic nautilus tentacles just forward, provides a panoramic view through large windows.  The ram is purposely drill-like, a theme continued in the hull side rakers conceived to deflect debris away from the sub.  Two midship arches, a tribute to Harryhausen's Mysterious Island Nautilus, were not in Lyle's original sketches but serve two practical purposes.  Like the side rakers they protect the hull from ramming debris and add strength to the structure.  There are two lanterns at the aft end of the arches, shown retracted, can be extended above the deck.  The deeply recessed salon windows are also protected by sliding panels.  Lastly, the tail fins retract when ramming.  Overall this Nautilus is designed to have a sleek nautical creature look with practical  considerations to handle the violence of a ram attack.

In 1995 New Zealand Television broadcast an Atlantis Films Ltd and Tasman Film and Television Ltd Production of Mysterious Island as a 22-epsode miniseries.  This is the Nautilus from that production, which also aired in Canada.  The design has a circular cross-section and is vaguely shark-like in shape with a symmetrical set of vertical and horizontal tail fins.  The single propeller is protected by a circular shroud.  There is a deck with a boat aft of a long tapered conning tower that has a recessed open bridge at the forward end.  As in a normal submarine, this could be used only on the surface.  There appear to be a line of small ports on the sides of the hull at the vertical centerline and a set of rakers forward of these on the same line.  These might support ramming, but the three similar rakers atop the hull aft of the deck don't appear to have a function.  More puzzling is the lattice frame construction on the forward hull that tapers to the bow.  Resembling fortification breastworks, these seem too fragile to survive a ramming attack.  Nemo's library/control room in the lower hull includes four large forward-looking windows.  Much of the series is viewable on YouTube.  I'm sure there must be other places in the many hours of film, but the Nautilus is visible about 38 minutes into the last episode(Thanks to Wayne Orlicki for the screenshots used to reconstruct the design and to Lyle Simoneaux whose interior screenshot led to my corrected understanding of the hull shape.)

Bjorn Lundberg sent me an interesting article from a 1996 issue of Model Ship Builder.  Using numerous citations from the novel, the author, Jeff Phillips, discusses details of the Nautilus design, and raises some technical issues also mentioned elsewhere on these pages.  He carefully evaluates some conflicts in the text and describes a particularly true design. Like Ian Williams and for the same reason, he places the ram above the centerline.  He attempts to solve some of the problems with the lantern by making it taller than the wheelhouse.  That structure still casts a large shadow forward, and Jeff suggests Nemo's design would be improved by several better positioned lights rather than one.  His design has a very large salon window, filling, as he says, "most of the area of the salon".  Although he scrutinized the description of the structure, he neglected the contents.  Nemo's art collection requires a good deal of wall space, limiting the window size.

Stan Sanders has built a Nautilus model with some noticeable differences. The most significant feature is the stern with its low mounted screw. I originally thought Stan had placed the lantern between the deck and the pilothouse, but closer examination of the pictures revealed a second lantern astern. The illustration of the Nautilus in the cavern in the Hetzel Mysterious Island has lanterns rather like these.  The lanterns and the pilothouse appear retractable and the launch is at least partially recessed into the deck. There are a couple of features clearly derived from Goff's design. I've reconstructed the design from a set of small black and white pictures so some proportions and details are speculative. The aft diving planes, typical of the working models, are prominent in the pictures, but the location of a forward set is my best guess.

The 1997 Hallmark TV movie Nautilus by Production Designer Brian Ackland-Snow is true to Jules Verne in some ways and different in others.  It has a triangular, cookie cutter like ram with an extendable center.  The ram is faired with three saw-tooth fins, reminiscent of Harper Goff.  The main salon windows are set into the hull and look forward, although there are also side looking ports.  The lantern is set forward on the upper hull and the retractable wheelhouse sits nearly amidships, just forward of the main hatch.  A pair of large downward tilted dive planes or fins amidships is augmented by apparent planes on the horizontal tail.  The vertical tail ends in a tall fin-shaped rudder aft of the three-bladed prop.  Both tail fins have a serrated edge, again a likely nod to Goff.  The hull is rather bulbous with a squat cross-section, the beam dimension greater than the height.  This Nautilus is more organic in shape than most and appears to be smaller.  See pictures of the Nautilus in the movie on this Mobilis in Mobile page.

The Village Roadshow Pictures production of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea aired in 1997 on the ABC television network.  I liked the Nautilus, designed by Stewart Burnside and Jim Millett of the Model Smiths, immediately, but for a long time thought it looked more like a space ship, or maybe a deep sea exploration platform, than Nemo's weapon of revenge.  However it does in fact resemble a sea creature, the horseshoe crab.  The designers actually had a Balmain bug (butterfly fan lobster) in mind.  Coincidentally or not, it also reminds me of the Nautilus from Captain Nemo and the Underwater City.  There is a reference to the Disney/Goff design with a row of rakers running up the forward hull.  The wheelhouse is integral with the hull and has three rectangular windows facing more or less forward.  There is a deck set into the aft portion of the upper hull.  The lower part of the hull is more open and spindly than the top.  It has what appears to be a hidden, perhaps extendable ram below the front of the armored carapace.  Just aft, two large circular salon windows face forward.  The aft part of the hull narrows and then flares into a wide tail with dual propeller mechanisms.  All in all this Nautilus resembles a giant prehistoric crustacean, but also has a Victorian look.  See this ReoCities page for photos of the movie model and this Mobilis in Mobile page for pictures of the Nautilus from the movie.

Screenwriter and actor Rick Overton designed this unique Nautilus for the unrealized second season of the Canadian TV series The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne.  Rick applied early advice from Harper Goff to explore beyond the author's words, to move past the expected and go for the visually startling.  He succeeds here.  The hull of this Nautilus is articulated so that it moves like a giant four-flippered sea monster as well as looking like one.  The "head" of the monster contains the pilothouse with four "eye" windows and a central lantern.  The "beak" could serve as a ram, but this Nautilus has other weapons.  Barbed hooks can extend from the back and sides of the monster's head; spikes and claws are embedded in the flipper fins.  Although the main reference to the novel is its monster-like appearance, the design doesn't ignore Verne.  There is a launch midway along the plated back.  More mobile than Nemo's partly submersible canot, this is a true mini-sub with six deployable wheels to make it amphibious as well.  The launch has triangular barbs, reminiscent of Goff's Nautilus, four ports like those of the pilothouse and a row of ports around the lower bow, useful for undersea exploration.  Just below the launch the hull side has large, not quite Goff-like salon windows, and just below these on the lower hull, similar large downward looking ports.  Of all the Nautilus designs I've seen, this is the most monster-like, truly a terror of the seas.  I find it easier to think of it as a living creature than a submarine.

Paul Wright's version in the new Eyewitness Classics children's book is based on Miller's but he has taken some liberties inconsistent with the novel. There is a horizontal tail rather like a modern submarine with, apparently, a second set of planes. The triangular ram has been replaced with a cruciform one. The rectangular salon window is now round. The most glaring revision is the raising of the platform into a sort of conning tower, perhaps to better resemble a modern sub. The deck hatch no longer opens on the platform, but on the hull. There are several other cosmetic, non-conflicting embellishments.

This Nautilus, drawn by John Benson in 1998, resembles a giant prehistoric alligator.  The basic profile resembles Goff's classic design but takes it in another extreme direction.  The rakers along the top, bottom and sides of Goff's bow are re-imagined as massive armor plates over the entire hull. The arch remains but folded down into the hull.  Instead of large spherical ports the wheelhouse has horizontal slits.  The salon window remains, Nemo's one compromise for exploration, but appears almost inset and protected by the armor.  This Nautilus is truly a sea monster and a war machine.  My graphic doesn't do justice to Benson's artwork and I wanted to include a link to his original pen and ink drawing but the .cs web site is unsafe, so I've included a very small copy at right.

John Dutton has modified his working Nautilus model sub, originally built from a Deep Sea Designs plan published in R/C Ship Modeling (Vol. 1, No.1).  He's incorporated numerous new ideas, including a feature or two from my design.  The wheelhouse now has a forward-facing window with a headlight mounted on top.  He has retained two sets of diving planes along the side of the hull, a practical consideration for any working model.  Diving planes at the "center of floatation" where Verne positions them, provide less control than the fore and aft planes found on modern subs.  John has told me the circular salon window is stronger and less likely to leak than other shapes.  John's web site has disappeared from the Internet, but with John's permission, Didier Jaffrédo is now hosting many of the pictures of the new sub in action .

Greg Rico drew this Nautilus in the mid 1990s.  It has more classic lines than his later armored, steam punk designs, featured below.  The deck is in a smoothly faired superstructure marked only by the deck scuppers along the sides and the recessed wheelhouse windows.  This gives the boat an overall clean appearance.  The lantern is mounted just aft of the deck atop the superstructure.  There are two sets of horizontal fins, the forward fins incorporating small diving planes.  The salon windows are recessed in the hull just below the forward fins. 



The hole punched in the Scotia's hull is described as two and a half meters below her waterline, but Nemo says he was traveling two meters below the surface when the collision occurred.  This would place the Nautilus's centerline more than six meters deep.  Ian Williams' design, illustrated here, addresses this problem by raising the ram to match the hole.  The ram in this position also addresses a similar issue.  During the trip to the South Pole, Aronnax describes the Nautilus using its ram as an icebreaker as it crosses the Antarctic ice shelf on the surface.  Perhaps this could be done with a centerline ram but it seems to me the force would tend to drive the submarine beneath the ice.  Ian has given the salon a much larger window than the other designs and two rudders.  The rudders, meant to evoke Goff's embedded diving planes, may seem strange, but a plan of Nordenfelt's first submarine, built in 1885, shows two rudders in a similar arrangement.  I found a sketch of Ian's Nautilus on his web page.  He has since updated both.  Visit his site for the sketch and a detailed plan and then look around a bit to enjoy the examples of his art (opens in a new window).

I have talked about my design elsewhere but here is a little more background and an illustration for comparison. I used a true cylinder with tapered ends for hull, based in part on fitting the very large salon within it. Some illustrations of the cigar ships from the mid-1800s show a more tapered cigar shape. I placed the platform directly on the hull because the text places it 80 centimeters out of the water. This corresponds exactly with Nemo's statement that one tenth of the hull is exposed on the surface.


Leo Arnold sent me his plans and a short description of this design.  The most interesting detail is the sideways mounted longboat, facilitating its launch and retrieval.  The wheelhouse and lantern, spaced far apart, have upper flanges that close the deck openings when retracted. The lantern is slightly taller than the wheelhouse, partially addressing the problem of the wheelhouse shadow.  The design positions the triangular spur above the centerline.  The hull cross-section includes somewhat flat sides and bottom, perhaps to improve interior space utilization. 

3D artist Jon A. Bell designed this streamlined Nautilus for a Sega CD adventure game.  Unfortunately Sega discontinued the CD platform before production could be completed.  Eric Quackenbush was the primary designer for the game, but Jon, with Eric's input, designed and built the 3D model.  They were considerably influenced by the Naval Institute Press annotated edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (see more about this excellent version on my Twenty Thousand Leagues page).  Although the actual game design never got past the demo stage, Jon completed various proof-of-concept animations showing the exterior of the submarine and the interior rooms.  His design, notable for its odd, fan-shaped propeller, includes two forward lanterns near the pilothouse in addition to the one at the end of the platform.   You can see a rendering and some plans of this Nautilus here.

I found an image of Jérôme Comblat's Nautilus during a periodic web search for Nautilus designs.  Clearly based on the novel, it has similarly shaped pilot house and lantern structures at either end of a subtle deck.  There is a dinghy approximately amidships and a hatch just aft.  The hull has no obvious ram but there is an elaborate structure with a salon window forward of a large trapezoidal dive plane. A gracefully shaped vertical fin encloses the prop and probably incorporates the rudder.  There may also be a small horizontal fin component, perhaps serving as a partial prop guard. The image shows a hint of a keel structure on the forward part of the cylindrical section of the hull.  A large bulge on the lower hull aft might be associated with a diving hatch.  You can see Comblat's original image on his web page here.

Graphic designer Gary M Burley has taken on the imposing task of illustrating every page of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, changing nothing except the Nautilus to add his "own stamp to its look".   Based on the remarkable drawings he's completed, he is true to his word and remarkably consistent in his depictions of the Nautilus.  His submarine has a unique Gothic appearance with perhaps a touch of Giger.  From the somewhat organic ram, following the vicious raker teeth along the upper hull to the reptilian eyes of the mid-deck pilot house, this is truly a frightening sea monster.  The illustrations show at least two hatches, one on the sloping back of the pilothouse.  Burley also depicts a small "elevated hydraulic" pilot's cage just forward of the vertical fin (not shown in the graphic here).  There are many view ports including one on the lower hull with a frame resembling an eye.  The design has two three-bladed propellers.  The long structure below the stern may also have a propulsion function.  See many of Burley's drawings and possibly purchase a print at Saatchi Art.

~ c. 2000 ~

Anthony Testa's Nautilus uses an exaggerated version of Goff's rakers to distinguish itself with a vicious and organic look.  The hull is spindle-shaped and the wheelhouse and lantern appear retractable.  Anthony has placed the launch at the end of the platform and protected the five-bladed propeller within a cylindrical guard.  I produced the image and 3D model from two 3/4 forward views, so my interpretation is missing some details and probably has some errors.

Nobumitsu Kobayashi's dramatic design has a raised vertical ram, like an axe blade.  The wheelhouse and lantern are at least partially retractable into the cylindrical hull. The rectangular salon windows, which are placed a little far aft, are fitted with a protective grid.  Nobumitsu has added what may be a set of forward-facing windows in the hull, although these may be lights to augment the lantern.  The prop appears to have three blades.  Unfortunately, the renderings of this Nautilus appears to be no longer available on the Internet.  Thanks to Mark Dee who told me about this design.

Michael Bianco based his design on de Neuville and Riou illustrations, with additional inspiration from these pages.  The flattened upper surface of the hull is notable.  Most designs add a raised platform, or leave the deck surface rounded.  Michael uses a five-sided lantern, like Jim Humphries, but turns it around to keep the light from shining directly into the wheelhouse.  Note the window atop the wheelhouse that provides a sternward view when the structure is rotated into the hull for streamlining.

Artist and illustrator Brüno Thielleux created this Nautilus for a series of comic books based on chapters from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and drawn in his distinctive style.  The space ship-like cylindrical design, which only loosely follows Verne's description, is twice the size of Verne's, but it would work at the standard size.  Instead of a ram, this Nautilus has a pair of blades on the bow, the upper with a saw-tooth edge, that form a vicious pincer, mimicking the beak of a giant mechanical squid.  (There are also retractable mechanical tentacles that featured unsuccessfully in one sequence in the fourth comic.)  There is a more Verne-like retractable compartment at the forward end of the deck, just aft of the saw tooth, and a captain's yacht that can be launched from a mid-deck recess.  Instead of a salon, the submarine has a large library amidships with very large circular view ports.  These appear to be protected by large panels with the single letter N, visible in some of the illustrations.  Propulsion is by three large conical “reactors” at the stern.  You can see drawings from the comics at Brüno's French-language web site.  Navigate to "Albums", then to "Nemo" to see images from four issues. 

Illustrator Didier Graffet's Nautilus is showcased in  the richly illustrated Gründ full French text Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mers, published in 2003.  Although not strictly following the text, his design is reasonably true to Verne while incorporating elements from Goff and many other sources.  Notable features are a partially retractable control room forward of the small wheelhouse, a folding exterior ladder in the aft keel below the dive hatch, a downward looking window at the bottom of the main, spiral stairway, and additional lights fore and aft on the lower hull.  The very large fins are distinctly fishlike.  One of the more interesting details of the design is his overlapping the hull plates top-to-bottom, rather than bow-to-stern as others have done.  The images here are of my model based on the plan and drawings in the book.  Now you can see Didier's plans, other images, and photos of the electrified wood and cardboard model of his Nautilus on his official Mondes & Voyages website.  

This is Jesper Kurt-Nielsen's original spindle-hulled Nautilus concept.   The deck details reflect the Hetzel edition illustrations, like many of the designs.  The stern features an asymmetric rudder.  His original art included Aronnax standing on the deck in the classic Riou drawing that, according to Walter James Miller in The Annotated 20,000 Leagues, Verne posed for himself. 

Jesper Kurt-Nielsen added ornamentation to his second Nautilus and changed to a symmetrical stern.   You can see his color renditions of both designs including the Aronnax figure on his Danish Virtual Verne web site.   (See Riou’s Aronnax on Zvi Har’El’s Illustrated Jules Verne pages.)

H.R. SantaColoma created this Nautilus for Virtual Sailor. He says he "based my version of the Nautilus on the Disney Studios interpretation, Campbell Grant's adaptation for the 1963 Golden Press book, and my own ideas about what Verne intended.  For instance, I did not create a spike strip on the underside of the craft, feeling it would not make sense in practice."  Except for the missing lower rakers and main deck, the forward part of the design follows the classic Goff look.  The rest of the hull narrows to be more fishlike, so that the deck slopes downward.  The salon window is farther forward and the tail is enlarged to better resemble a fish tail.  You can download this Nautilus from the submarine page at Virtual Sailor. (The download is a zip archive in exe from that can be opened by any archive program like 7z or WinZip.  The submarine components are in Direct X format, which can be imported by many 3D modeling programs.) 

This Nautilus appears in the introductory title sequence of a series of animated films called "Jules Verne's Amazing Journeys" from Tele Images International.  The design has a modified spindle hull and a somewhat fishlike appearance.  There is a simple spar ram on the prow, and very large observation windows on the upper bow with smaller oblong ports just aft.  A large arch, a nod to Harper Goff's iconic Nautilus, rises on the upper hull, protecting the superstructure amidships that has many round ports.  The animation image is not clear, but there may be a propeller or rudder just aft of the lower fin on the stern.  A cruciform tail is located at the very stern. You can see this Nautilus at the very beginning of this Mysterious Island animated film, La Isla Misteriosa de Julio Verne (the Nautilus in the film itself is very different).
(Thanks to Vincente Nieto Martin for pointing out this design.)

The Nautilus in the animated film La Isla Misteriosa de Julio Verne from Tele Images International has a rather odd design.  Reasonably organic I'm afraid it looks like a bloated fish, perhaps appropriate for the Nautilus that has been dormant in a cave for years.  (Lyle Simoneaux suggests resemblance to  the humpback anglerfish.)  There is a small pointed ram on the lower bow below an enormous observation window.  The upper hull has a row of pointed barbs running up to an open bridge at the very top.  The balloon-like hull tapers to a narrow waist and then expands to a second smaller section that finishes with a set of small, backward-facing barbs before transitioning to a fish-like tail.  The hull has three upward-shining lights on each side and another atop the aft section.  Recall the original illustration in Verne's novel showing two light beams lighting up the cavern.  Just aft of the salon window there is an intake on the side of the hull that might be associated with the power system but this Nautilus has a standard propeller.  The bottom of the forward hull appears flat but the after section is never shown.  You can see this Nautilus in the main Mysterious Island animated film, La Isla Misteriosa de Julio Verne (the Nautilus in the introduction, above, is very different).
(Thanks to Vincente Nieto Martin for pointing out this design.)

Clive Cussler's umpteenth novel Valhalla Rising included the rediscovery of the Nautilus in the Hudson Valley.  The cover artist was Lawrence Ratzkin, but I have not been able to identify the illustrator responsible for the drawings in the book.  The design features a spindle hull offset toward the bow.  A set of relatively small dive planes is located just below the center line and about halfway from the bow to midships.  A large round port is placed on the centerline amidships.  The hull tapers back to a fair-sized four-bladed propeller protected by vertical and horizontal fins.  The horizontal fins appear to function as dive planes and the vertical fins hold a large rudder.  A good-sized, hexagonal wheelhouse with six round windows is set forward of a simple deck at about the widest part of the hull.  There's no indication of a launch or lantern. 

Frank Chase has conceived a Nautilus that calls Goff's design to mind but is very different.  Frank began from Verne's text but has taken a few liberties.  The result is a graceful but powerful appearance.  His 3D model has a full interior laid out very much as Verne described.  I find the appointments and machinery somewhat modern, but the detail is incredible and the result impressive.

Frank Chase's web site also features interior views of his second Nautilus.   Although resembling his original design, Frank went back to the text for this version.  The Goff influence is gone.  The deck is clearly Verne but the ram is set high like Ian Williams.  The salon window is rectangular like Ron Miller's.  See much more of this Nautilus, including the interior, on Frank's web page (also linked from my Nautilus page).

Design Wheel, a company that designs film, television, and interior spaces created this Nautilus concept as a study for a 2002 film of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.   To quote their website, "The 'Nautalis' is reborn in this new version of the famous Jules Verne novel".  The concept draws on the classic Harper Goff design but reverses some elements for a very different appearance and includes the movie scene of the Nautilus held by the giant squid by adding a tentacle motif to the hull.  See the Design Wheel concept drawing as well as some interior sketches on the Design Wheel website.


The DiC Entertainment 2002 animated 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea featured this fishlike Nautilus.   There's not much of Jules Verne in the design, but the propeller shaft mounted below the tail is interesting.  I'm sure it's only a coincidence but it reminds me of some of the experimental propellers tried out on the Walter S. Winans cigar boat.  The movie, which I have not seen, is available at amazon as a DVD and also on iTunes.
(Thanks to Mark Young, who pointed out this design.) 


Corsican artist Serge Micheli created this Nautilus for Voyage sous les eaux, a graphic novel about Jules Verne and Captain Nemo, published in 2002.  The design has an organic, but also jerry-rigged appearance.  The only part that might be traced to Harper Goff is the large and vicious saw-tooth affixed to the forward hull.  The pilothouse, with two large, irregular windows, just aft of saw, is otherwise the highest point on the hull.  There are small lanterns mounted atop the forward hull on each side of the saw, and possibly two more atop the hull just aft of the pilothouse, although these may be portholes.  Two large, roughly rectangular view ports extend from each side, the forward pair from the library, and a slightly larger set from the salon.  Just aft of these the hull is adorned with some complex structures that merge into curling tentacles.  The book has an epilogue in which the author, François Rivière, discusses Jules Verne, and which includes what is perhaps Micheli's concept art of the Nautilus.  It has most of the features of the version described here, but is flatter and more elongated, with a more prehistoric sea creature appearance.
    You can buy the English version of this richly illustrated book, Voyage Into the Deep, at

Robert Kelley misses a few details of Verne's description in this version of the Nautilus, but I like the  rough and tough look.   The sinister wheelhouse and light, shown in their retracted positions, remind me of pill box gun emplacements.  Kelley's lethal blade-shaped ram, inspired in part by Ron Miller's design,  might have caused Nemo to say "like a knife through butter" instead of "a needle through sailcloth".  The renderings I’ve seen, now available on Kelley’s web site, give an impression of toughness and violence.  This sub could have easily terrorized 19th century seas.  See Robert's images here and here.

Sculptor Bruce Bowman has designed a simple, clean looking Nautilus, based on Jules Verne's text.  In his description Bruce acknowledges the only obvious error - five blades on the prop instead of four.  My graphic doesn't do justice to the classic appearance of the spindle hull and almost stiletto-like triangular cross-section, three-bladed ram.  The small wheelhouse has five or six sides with one facing forward.  The lantern is a little taller than the wheelhouse with two lights facing forward.  The deck between the wheelhouse and the lantern is integral with the hull - there is no platform - and protected by a low railing, part of which appears to be a chain that can be lowered to launch the boat, located mid-deck.  The oval salon window is sized to match the interior view of some of the original engravings.  The dive planes, located amidships, are short fore and aft but project noticeably to the sides to provide a large control surface.  The rudder, mounted on the hull bottom forward of the prop, is similarly large.  You can see some nice graphics of this Nautilus on the Bowman Arts website.   

The Adventure Company game Return to Mysterious Island features a Nautilus surprisingly true to the novel.   The design is clearly inspired by an illustration in the original Hetzel edition with details suggested by other sources.  The image at right, produced from a published screenshot, shows two searchlights imbedded in the deck, matching the Hetzel illustration shown as an inset.  (Close examination of the original drawing shows the lights are imbedded in the superstructure, but no matter.)  The design has two dinghies, one on each side of the deck, a nice improvement on my own original Nautilus.  The pilot house and a pilot house and lantern are similar to several designs in the catalog.  The nicely detailed hull uses overlapping plates just like those of my new Nautilus, except that they are much smaller.  My recreation image of this design at left speculates on parts such as the salon window and dive plane not visible in the published screenshot graphics.  The published interior screenshots show a recurring chambered nautilus design motif similar to the raised emblem on the bow.  Such decoration might extend to the outside portion of the window.
     Additional information and screen shots can be found at this game web site or by a web search of the game title.   You can buy the game at but check out some reviews first to know what you are getting.  The submarine does have passages from the deck to the complete salon but unfortunately no other interior rooms to explore.

According to a capsule history provided by John McEwan, his Victorian Science Fiction Submarine Narwal was built by the French in 1889 using information that Aronnax, actually a French secret agent, collected during his sojourn aboard the Nautilus.  It has many of the features described in the novel and improvements similar to other designs featured in the Catalog.  John acknowledges Ian William's Nautilus as an inspiration.  The lantern is mounted atop the wheel house.  In addition to the helmsman's windows, the extended wheelhouse includes a set of portholes on the sides of what might be a full control room.  A launch is located in the center of the deck forward of the main hatch.  There are aft dive planes in a set of horizontal fins and the expected hull-mounted planes planes are moved forward of the large salon windows.  A double rudder is set in the vertical fins very similar to the Williams Nautilus and the triangular cross-section ram is set high.  The four bladed prop is protected by an annular shroud attached to aft fins.  McEwan's Reviresco war gaming company features some other images and a paper card model of the Narwal on its web site.

Jean-Marc DeschampsNautilus includes all the details described in the novel.  The hull is asymmetrically cigar-shaped with a rounded stern and a pointed bow.   The ram has two fins that, combined with the extended keel, would make a triangular cut in the hull of an attacked ship.   The pilothouse and lantern have the same shape and appearance.   You can see photos of Deschamps’ model and a detailed plan on the NemoTechnik web site.

The Nautilus - 1st version - of Hugues Rouleux ("BatNemo") has many influences, including the novel.  The profile is reminiscent of Harper Goff's but there are two side-by-side raker arches, like Ray Harryhausen's Mysterious Island Nautilus.   Only part of the railing is visible in my graphic, but the top of the wheelhouse somewhat resembles a fleet boat submarine conning tower.  There is a rather beak-like triangular ram and an eye-like salon window.  This RC design has four dive planes, two small ones just forward of the salon window and two aft in a set of large horizontal fins.  The deck includes a boat amidships and a large forward-facing lantern at the aft end.  You can see photos of this nicely finished model here.  See his newer in-work Nautilus version below.

The Nautilus seen in the 2005 Hallmark Channel production of Mysterious Island with Patrick Stewart as Captain Nemo, has a clockwork look.  We only see the submarine at its cavern dock with a row of bright ports or lights just below the surface, so I've rendered a view with the part below the waterline ghosted out except for those lights.  The views we do get however are memorable.  The clockwork arch, with its intricate oriental look, might even be articulated, moving during an attack to inflict maximum damage.  The wheelhouse, below the aft base of the arch, has two eyelike ports, enhancing a Chinese dragon look.  There are two hatches, one just aft of the arch and one aft of the triangular fin atop the mid-deck structure.  The designer might have had a purpose for the simpler reverse arch aft of that but it's a mystery to me.  A seemingly separate structure in the water further after must be part of the Nautilus, a tail fin or possibly another dorsal fin farther astern.  There are not many scenes with the Nautilus, but you can view the film on YouTube.

Christian Zaber’s Nautilus has a sinister, organic look.  It's not only Victorian era seamen who might mistake this lethal ramming machine for a sea monster.  The design is less true to the novel than most in the catalog.   It has a long boat set in the hull a little aft of amidships.  The hull, composed of several intersecting and cut-off ellipsoids, is not topped with a deck, but there is a small promenade just forward of the wheel house and a larger one aft of the long boat.  Both are reached by hatches.  Instead of a lantern there are a pair of searchlights on the lower forward hull.  The salon window amidships, the raker arch, and the two large wheel house windows are reminiscent of Goff, but there is no real resemblance.  See many images of both the exterior and interior of this Nautilus on Christian's Ultra Mondes web site.

Illustrator Max Hierro created this Nautilus for the Anaya illustrated juvenile edition Veinte mil leguas de viaje submarino (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea).  Its most striking features are the large barbed and rakered ram and the unusual keel, resembling an inverted arch.  A four-sided wheelhouse is located atop the hull where the forward taper ends.  There is no obvious deck, just a clean hull extending almost to the large perforated vertical tail fin where there is a small lantern structure.  A large, oddly canted centerline propeller is located at the stern and a fair-sized rudder in the lower tail fin.  No dive planes are evident.  The sweeping window arrangement on the hull side (including an element like a nautilus shell) lends to the organic appearance.  See Max's illustration at DeviantArt.  You can purchase the illustrated Anya edition (in Spanish) at amazon.

In 2005 the German printing firm Lingoli published a combined children's edition of 80 Tagen um die Welt and 20.000 Meilen unter dem Meer in their Entdecker (Discovery) series, cleverly illustrated by Tony WolfThe design has a triangular ram composed of a full-width horizontal plate with a half-height vertical plate placed atop it.  The vertical component transitions to two large raker fins atop the forward hull.  The deck and superstructure are unique.  A large, but not unusual wheel house at the forward end has two canted circular windows.  There is a similarly large lantern hosing at the aft end with four circular windows.  But in the center, the boat is not set into the deck but enclosed in a boat house between these two elements.  Hinged panels are raised like a garage door to launch the boat.  Large circular salon windows are approximately where expected, but Wolf has placed the dive planes at the aft end of horizontal fins that protrude slightly from a fairing running almost the full length of the hull.  Two similar vertical fins extend from the aft hull with the rudder set at the end of the lower one.  The aft hull terminates in a cone with a large, free-standing, four-bladed prop.  The book, available internationally (in German) from booksellers in Germany,  includes a cutaway view of the Nautilus, more or less true to Verne's description.  Verne's characters are all there, but are animals in this children's version.  Thanks again to Jürgen Guerrero Kommritz for bringing this Nautilus to my attention.

This Nautilus was created by digital painter "Tauceti" as a commissioned piece.  He did research to make the design true to Verne and it shows.  The hull is spindle shaped.  Both the wheelhouse, far forward on the hull, and lantern housing are retractable.  There is a deck area with a rectangular hatch a little forward of amidships.  The boat is mounted at the aft end of the deck.  The ram is integral with the hull at the bow.  The oval salon window is set on the hull side forward of wheelhouse.  They aren't easy to see in my graphic, but there are three sets of dive planes, the first pair just aft of the wheelhouse and the other two pairs about a third of the way aft.  The large four-bladed prop is at the stern end of the hull.  It isn't clear in the original art, but the rudder may be on the hull bottom just forward of the prop.  See the original image at DeviantArt.

Mike McGregor created this Nautilus for a CGSociety challenge. You can follow his development of the design here.  The shape is organic with a roughly spindle-shaped hull, but the bow is unlike anything else.  The lower hull, like the undershot jaw of some sea creature serves as a ram.  We might find some reference to Goff's classic wheelhouse in the rest of the bow.  The raker arch has be flattened into the upper hull, which then appears to be notched out.  The space under the arch is now a hole completed through the hull, with the two globe windows set into opening.  The salon window is bigger with a more elaborate grill than the classic. There are four small ports running along the  hull and another looking up near the wheelhouse.  A low conning tower sail mounts small dive plans.  None of Mike's images show a prop but a small cruciform tail is visible.  The image here doesn't do justice to McGregor's detail.  See the final render here.

This is Philip Heinrich's interesting fishlike Nautilus.  Inspired some by Dave Warren's design, but based largely on calculations from the novel, Philip's Nautilus has the look of some prehistoric fish with overlapping scales.  He admits his unique positioning of the propeller forward of the large, flat tail, while looking very good, might not work.  It calls the original cigar steamer's midships propeller to my mind.  That boat had a frame that held the forward and aft hulls together.  Missing that, Philip's design requires a hollow propeller shaft surrounding a central, non-rotating structural shaft to keep the tail stationary, as well as rudder controls.  It would be complex and difficult engineering, but perhaps not beyond Nemo's genius.  Philip created his Nautilus in Carrara and kindly provided all the images that appear here.  You can see hi-res renderings of this Nautilus on Philip's art page on his web site.
Leelan LampkinsNautilus combines features of Greg Sharpe’s first design with Ian Williams’ ram.  He’s added a cutwater forward of the pilothouse and incorporated a tall lantern in a dorsal fin for protection during ramming.  He's moved the salon windows forward in keeping with the internal dimensions of the novel.

William Burningham's Nautilus echoes many of the designs shown here but particularly resembles Jim Humphries' boat.  His design includes rotating davits that operate like those I've planned for my new Nautilus and animated on my dinghy page, with the dinghy stored inverted, but flipped during launch.  These look very much like those on the Return to Mysterious Island Nautilus but those are not positioned to operate the same way.  Burningham markets 3D models under his KuroKuma professional name.  Unfortunately, the Nautilus is no longer available but you can see some illustrations on the Poser Content site(My Carrara animation was made after importing the Poser model with TransPoser.)

Greg deSantis started with the idea of recreating Nemo’s Nautilus but decided he didn't want to be limited by the novel, opting for the freedom to create his own ultimate Nautilus.  The result, an imposing Victorian submarine, includes large, ornate salon windows, a deck-mounted launch, and an elevated cable-braced spar.  The two-sided pilot house with center lantern is unique, but an interesting frog-head extension of Goff's big windows.   The design owes more to Goff as well, with its flat-plate, polygonal cross-sectioned hull, fish-like tail and horizontal hull extensions, but in the end it is all Greg's.   Perhaps most interesting is the attention to detail he's put into the model.  It looks as good close up as from a distance.  See a some images of Greg's "Improbable" Nautilus at this “Wayback Machine” capture of his Museum of the Improbable website (the original site is lamentably gone).  Except for the standard side view here, which Greg provided, the images were shaded and rendered in Carrara.  A very nice plastic 1:144 scale model of this Nautilus is now available.  I got my kit from CultTVman's Hobby Shop.

Lee Krystek built this Nautilus for an on-line graphic novel version of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. The design is unique, with a deck that runs nearly the full length of the hull and a cigar shaped hull with a truncated stern.  A cruciform vertical and horizontal fin structure is attached to the stern and the long spar appears to have a diamond cross-section for most of its length.  The two diving planes are mounted somewhat forward forward of the hull center.   There are three windows on each side of the hull although only one appears to be in the salon.  (Actually, the salon apparently combines the salon, library, and dining room.)  The retractable wheelhouse with a searchlight lantern mounted on either side and a large hatch amidships are the only noticeable features on the deck.  The boat is stored in a deck compartment forward of the wheelhouse, and doesn't appear to be lauchable underwater.  The blunt end of the hull combined with the fin structure that encloses the prop neatly protects it during a ram attack.  You can see more of this Nautilus in the 20,000 Leagues graphic novel (made using figures from an earlier version of Poser) on Lee's "Museum of Unnatural History" web site.

When I first saw this BCI Nautilus model I found it interesting, but certainly not based on the novel  as described in the advertising.  I assume this description was actually to account for the fact that it had no resemblance to Harper Goff's Disney version.  The design is clearly fish- or even shark-like, although the shape, except for the sturdy ram, set above the centerline, the hull reminds me of a salmon in spawning season.  There are a number of sharp fins that migrate into a unique pair of counter-rotating annular propellers.  There's no specific salon window but a number of similar portholes on the upper hull, and no obvious wheelhouse or lantern.  The upper hull forms into what might be a very squat conning tower with perhaps periscopes and other submarine equipment not mentioned by Verne.  Two pairs of side fins are pre probably dive planes.  The feature amidships where Verne places the dive controls is a bulkier structure that appears to be immobile.  Also unique to this model are the four pairs of pipes on the upper hull, possibly to account for the jets of water described in the novel.  See images of the BCI Nautilus model here.

Jiri Chytil sent me images of his Nautilus.  He has been very faithful to the text.  His design features guards in front of the dive planes, rather like the Hunley, to protect them during a ram attack.    The salon windows have external covers, again for protection and his ram is the most massive of those pictured here.  The boat is designed as a weapon.  Jiri didn't include a description, but the dinghy appears to be mounted to the side similar to my original design and probably for the same reason.


Didier Jaffrédo sent me a copy of the April 2005 issue of the French boat modeling magazine MRB that features André Laisney's article "Le vrai Nautilus de Jules Verne".  The two-part article, inspired by Jean Gagneux's earlier work, includes a comprehensive analysis of the text of 20,000 Leagues not unlike that on these pages and detailed illustrations of a powered model built by the author.  It includes a full plan (including interior) that I used to create the 3D model for the images shown here.  Laisney began with Gagneux's design and added salon window covers, diving plane guards, and a longer keel.  He modified the ram and the rudder, and used a slightly elevated wood deck to account for the curvature of the hull.  Other small differences are apparent on examination, but the Gagneux pedigree is clear.

Didier also sent me a page from the February/March 2005 issue of Bateau modèle showing this Nautilus.   M. Claude Martinet built his model based on Michel Métivier's "Monographie du Nautilus".   The design used the the shape of the 1863 French submarine Le Plongeur, often cited as an inspiration the Nautilus, for the hull.  Martinet added the features described by Verne in the novel, including the salon window, wheelhouse, lantern, and deck.  Le Plongeur had a torpedo spar but this Nautilus has a ram that is integral to the somewhat triangular bow.  I have unfortunately not seen Métivier's monograph, but the magazine article indicates the large number of port holes in this design are true to it.  Read about Le Plongeur and see some images for comparison on

John Whitesel says of his Nautilus that he tried to keep away from Jules Verne's design, but staying in the technology of that time period it's hard to come up with anything that doesn't look like the Nautilus.  With Whitesel's disclaimer I won't comment on the design, which I like.  It looks like it could sit on the bottom as Verne's often does in the novel.  I do see elements of real and proposed 19th century submarines.  Note the keel construction resemblance to the Zédé model below.  John has created 3D models and animations for various projects and historical documentaries as can be seen on his web page here

John Ott sent me his impressive Nautilus.  Sacrificing some authenticity, he designed it for "looks".  The bow, with a lethal ram and massive rakers reminiscent of Goff, makes this clearly a "ship killer".  Ott cites real 19th century submarines Gymote, Peral's Spanish boat, and others as inspiration for details of the stern.  The slightly raised deck casing accommodates retraction of the wheel house and the lantern without penetrating the inner hull and provides room for an 8-meter catboat that could serve as a lifeboat for the entire crew.  The design includes a full interior with a cigar-shaped inner hull and more cylindrical out hull.

Adam Eli Clem took the deep sea Goblin Shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) as inspiration for his Nautilus.  The hull is more or less spindle shaped with the salon window, with a possible sliding cover, approximately amidships.  The ram is elevated well above the centerline and more complex than it appears in my graphic (it is diamond-shaped when viewed from above), looking very much like the inspiration's rostrum or snout.  The pilot house is set into the forward end of the deck, at the end of the ram.  There are two forward-looking, canted rectangular windows, hidden by the deck sides in my graphic.  The wheel house may be retractable.  There is another structure further aft on the deck that may be a possibly retractable lantern, or perhaps a boat.  The deck extends well beyond the aft end of the hull in emulation of the goblin shark's very long tail.  Clem's sketches show a propeller at the end of the hull proper and a complex fin structure probably intended to emulate the shark's fins.  If this shark were Nemo's inspiration, this might combine the functions of dive planes and rudder.  Sightings of this "sea monster" would have surely amazed and puzzled 19th century naturalists.  This entry is based on Clem's original 2006 sketch posted on his blog.  His more recent sketches elaborate and update the design.

Looking for a Victorianesque appearance while matching Verne's description, Randolph Hess created this Nautilus.  The wheelhouse and tall lantern are completely retractable and in attack configuration the salon windows are protected by sliding external panels.  The large and lethal blade-like ram is triangular in that it widens from a knife-sharp leading edge to the width of the wheelhouse where it fairs into the deck.  The lantern top is pentagonal with three lights facing forward and two aft.  There is a large hatch in the deck forward of the lantern tower and the canot is set into the deck just aft.  A large rudder is mounted in the keel extension mirroring the ram profile.  Randolph positioned the large dive planes forward of the salon window in his original desing.  The interlocking hull plates were purposefully designed with a far-eastern motif consistent the “Indian” ethnicity given to Nemo in Mysterious Island but also lend a reptilian appearance.  This is further emphasized by  vertical frame elements in the salon window "eye".  See Randolph's updated design below.

This Nautilus - the 2nd version - of Hugues Rouleux ("BatNemo") is still in work, so some of the details illustrated here may change.  The beak-like ram of the first version has grown much more elaborate while the hull has assumed a more rounded, organic shape.  BatNemo's rough line drawing shows a barbed raker arch similar to the first, but it is not yet on the model.  Hugues informs me this will be a double arch, as with his first boat, above.  I've ghosted it in my graphic.  There is a two level deck.  The upper level, built into a rounded structure atop the hull, has a classic four-sided wheel house near the forward end and a large boat aft.  The lower deck has a small dorsal fin forward and a lantern with forward facing light aft.  Again, Hugues tells me that the wheelhouse and the lantern will withdraw into the hull, as in the novel, giving a clean profile for ram attacks.  The tail is similar to the first version and still somewhat Goff-like.  The hull is flared at the center line extending into what may be dive planes amidships and then again into horizontal tail fins aft.  The hull plates overlap bow to stern.  The salon windows are set in recesses in the lower hull and face partly forward.  The hull includes a smoothly fared keel.  

Greg Rico began from the perspective of Civil War ironclads when he conceived his Nautilus.  The ironclads were built to take a pounding and give it back.  That succinctly describes this very "steam punk" design.  Greg has designed an upper attack deck as a superstructure set on top of a normally submerged secondary, utility deck.  Both the pilothouse and lantern housing are retractable more for the practical purpose of protecting them during an attack then to streamline the submarine.  The ram is more brutal and functional then in most designs.  The large, round salon window is positioned just forward of the nearly amidships dive plane.  The dive hatch is placed in the keel, rather Goff-style.  The prop and rudder are well protected by a beefy set of guards.  Click here to see more of Greg's Nautilus drawings.  


Pierre-Yves Garcin conceived the design of this Nautilus, extrapolated from the original Hetzel illustrations, evident in the wheelhouse, lamp, and deck details, but with some deliberate differences.  His version has a six-bladed propeller, several small portholes, and no spur.  Pierre's intent was to bring Verne's vision closer to the reality of such early submarines as Zédé's.  Pierre had his vision realized in a one-of-a-kind 60-cm model, built for him by Bernard Brimeur, who works for Disney, MGM, and various other film companies.  (The photo of the model at right is © 2007-P.Fautrat/Envie d'Image.)  See more photos of this model on the Mobilis in Mobile museum website.

Leelan Lampkins is in the process of refining his Nautilus.  The obvious difference is the redesigned tail.  Noting that Aronnax thought the monster might be a giant narwhale, Leelan was looking for a surface profile more like a whale than a shark.  The new tail fin is normally below the waterline and in any case not obvious even when rolling seas expose the propeller.

Feature film Concept artist and Digital Matte Painter Meinert Hansen sent me his interesting, somewhat organic Nautilus design. The spiral screw propeller isn't from Verne but was in fact conceived and patented as a propulsion device for vessels in the late 18th century.  It is technology that Nemo might have considered when he designed the Nautilus.  This propeller is consistent with the flowing, fluid, fishlike appearance of the forward part of this design.  The shape of the hull and the propeller call to mind a Paleozoic nautiloid ancestor of the modern chambered nautilus, the namesake of Nemo's submarine.  Nautiloids, predators like the Nautilus, propel themselves backwards, their tentacles trailing.  The fin-like ventral rudder and dive planes evoke the body of a squid, and the spiral prop might be its fins.  The giant squid attack is Disney, not Verne, but the association is fixed in popular perception, and Meinert captures it nicely.  See Meinert's images of this Nautilus on his Concept Art Blog.  See another Hansen design below.

3D modeler Helmut Schaub's Nautilus calls to mind a number of other designs.  The basic hull shape and appearance remind me of the Greg deSantis Improbable Nautilus.  It shares external anchor chains, a three-part salon window, and the basic deck structure with that Nautilus.  The tall conning tower wheelhouse, which resembles Gino d'Achille's illustrations for the 1983 Random House Step into Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues, the signature ornate tail (characteristic of other Schaub creations), and tiered centerline ram give it a distinct appearance.  Upper and lower rakers on the bow continue the ram tiers but also recall the classic Goff design.  My facsimile drawing doesn't do justice to the details of the original, hinted in the render at right.  See more of the model on the Cornucopia3D web site (follow the links near the bottom of the Cornucopia page for other images). 

Starting with the hull of a Japanese model and adding bits and pieces of designs found on this page, Jim Smith  created a simple, but recognizable Nautilus consistent with a story he conceived.  Jim features his Nautilus in the diorama pictured here.  He provided this narrative to explain it:  "On June 25, 1961 while on a routine test dive at 900 feet near an exploded volcano in the Pacific, the USS Nautilus finds what the crew thought was something that was only from the pages of a book. Chills went up their spines, yet there she lay, still intact, and stranger still, fully operational: Captain Nemo's Nautilus!" 


Every  once in while a strikingly different Nautilus appears.   Film Production Designer Hugh Marchant has created such a design.  Jules Verne described a nearly featureless vessel that appeared suddenly, attacked, and disappeared as quickly.  Its monstrosity was in the impression it left behind.  So different from ships of the time, it could only have been a sea monster.  Most of the designs on this page are simple interpretations of the novel's text, imaginative elaborations on Victorian Age motifs, variations on a sea creature of great size, or some combination of these.  Although there are hints of all these in Marchant's Nautilus, it is unique.  To me this design is skeletal, sinister, a very different kind of monster

Greg Rico sent me a second version of his Nautilus.   Although similar to his first this one has cleaner lines - a little less steam punk and, I think, a little more art deco.  The attack deck is much less pronounced and the deck housings have more of what I'll call the Jim Humphries form.  The ram is unchanged from Greg's first but the design of the forward hull, with fewer rakers, is much less brutal.  This Nautilus is less a warship and more a luxury yacht.

zak”'s Nautilus is a classic spindle-hulled design, modeled in SketchUp.  The short, centerline ram has a cruciform cross-section.  A small forward-shining lantern that appears to be retractable is located low on the forward end of the deck. The retractable, circular cross-section wheelhouse is just aft of the lantern.  It has one-forward looking port and one on each side.  The long, flat deck has a large hatch amidships and a launch is mounted at the aft end, inset as in Harper Goff's Nautilus.  Circular salon windows are situated below the centerline on the forward part of the hull. There appears to be a circular diving hatch on the hull bottom beneath the salon.  A fairly small, centerline, four-bladed propeller is mounted at the aft end of the hull.  There are small vertical and horizontal fins just forward of the prop, but there are no obvious diving planes or rudder.  You can view and download this Nautilus, which has an incomplete but detailed interior, from the Google 3D Warehouse.

Artist Malin Hedström created pencil drawings of the Nautilus under construction in a cave as a an art class exercise.  The drawings show only the upper hull so my graphic may be inaccurate.  The design is a straightforward tapered cylinder with a small spar but a strong fairing on the forward hull, providing protection for the two-windowed wheelhouse that strikes me as looking alive in one drawing.  There is a smaller lantern housing set far aft on the hull.  Most noticeable is the open frame vertical fin.  I've duplicated the form below, but the lower fin might incorporate the rudder.  A large centerline seven-bladed propeller is fitted to the stern.  See Malin's drawings at DeviantArt here and here.

I found this interesting Nautilus in paintings by artist "PixeeDust" on DeviantArt.  The design features a long, deck-level spar.  It's not apparent in my graphic, but the spar fairs into the wide deck that then tapers into a mirrored structure aft that supports the rudder.  There is a five-windowed wheelhouse at the deck's forward end and a similarly sized and shaped lantern near the aft end.  The spindle-shaped hull has a very large oval salon window, large trapozoidal, batwing-like dive planes and a unique centrifugal impeller/propeller.  See PixeeDust's original images here and here.

This Nautilus appeared on the public blog of La Legion Fantastique, a theater group whose shows bring the worlds of Jules Verne to life.  You can read the posting and see photos of the Nautilus model o the No.7 Saville Road blog.  I created my image from those photos so it is somewhat distorted.  The submarine has a lethal-looking ram, backed up by four large fins with rakers, slightly reminiscent of the Harper Goff Nautilus.  There is no doubt that this Nautilus is a warship.  The only other element that might be traced to Goff is the long wheel house with its goggle-eye windows.  There is a rectangular salon window with what may be a smaller circular window just forward and what appears to be a hull-mounted light just aft.  There is no deck-mounted lantern and no obvious boat.  The tale has a ventral fin and two horizontal fins and an elaborate fin-mounted rudder.  Like the bow fins, the upper part of the tail is fitted with rakers.

Phil Benson based his design on late 19th century submarines in addition to the text from the novel.  He began with an approximately square cross-section hull that tapers to rounded ends.  Protrusions on each side give it an almost conventional submarine appearance.  Phil placed the lantern on the hull forward of the deck and mounted four additional lamps below the centerline on each side of the hull for underwater illumination.  He's placed a second deck house aft, defining a narrow promenade deck between the houses.  The boat is recessed in the deck extension aft of the second house.  Covered by panels, it is launched and retrieved on extendable rails.  The tall structure near the middle of the deck is a telescoping air vent.  The ram, inspired by the narwhale's horn, is mounted just a bit above the centerline.  Phil supplied the photo of his small prototype model at right.  He's planning a larger scale version. 

The Nautilus in the 1954 Disney film was realized as miniatures of different sizes as well as a number of life size sets.  It shouldn't be a surprise to find that these did not match up.  The sets would not fit in a full-sized version of the 11-foot "hero" prop seen in many of the underwater sequences.  Artist David McCamant found that if he lengthened the hull from a nominal 178 feet to 200 feet and made adjustments here and there, he could fit all the interior rooms used in the film in a 200-foot hull.  The beauty of his design is you can only notice the differences by a side-by-side comparison (recognizing the the various scale models available vary in accuracy to the movie hero Nautilus) yet it could be built full scale and would match interior sets.  You can see some of Dave's Nautilus artwork or purchase some of his beautiful plans at Vulcania Volunteers. (Click the ART WORK and PLANS widgets on the welcome page.)

William Wardrop also drew his inspiration from early submarines as well as Verne's text.  Except for the distinctive Confederate Pioneer hull shape, most everything in this design traces to Aronnax's description and other information in the novel, down to the undersea excursion hatch and ladder in the lower aft hull.  See a photo of William's Nautilus model and take a look at some of his other creations on his Steam Noir web site.  His work, modeled in cardboard and the result of years of research, presents innovative and eccentric vehicles of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

Alan Moore's graphic novel, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, features a giant, double-hulled Nautilus.  This original concept, with one hull in the form of a giant squid attached to a second whale-shaped hull, has little to do with Verne, but the sequel, The Black Dossier, includes a small image of the first Nautilus with illustrator Kevin O'Neill's cut-away drawing of the second.  O'Neill's spindle-hulled design has a massive ram backed up by large raker fins.  It appears he has moved the lantern just forward of the wheelhouse and placed a large porthole in the lower aft hull, but most everything else matches the description in the novel.
    JIHS has realized O'Neill's Nautilus as a 3D model and made it available at TurboSquid.  The page has many 3D renderings of the design.

Didier Jaffrédo has completed his N. ANNULATUS Radio-Controlled submarine.  As described on his web site, in addition to carefully reading the text of novel, Didier began with Ian Williams' design and modified it some per John McEwan’s Victorian Science Fiction Submarine Narwal and other sources.  Jaffrédo's design differs from Williams' in a number of particulars.  He re-envisioned the ram to resemble the Whitemargin Unicorn Fish (naso annulatus) "nose" and named his submarine accordingly.  To improve control, he moved the dive planes far forward and added a second set aft within the horizontal fins, similar to the rudders in the vertical fins.  He replaced the single propeller with two smaller shrouded props at the aft end of the fins to improve stability. The deck details differ, especially with the addition of two large ventilators to facilitate Nemo's replenishment of air when on the surface.  Lastly, Didier has eliminated the salon windows.  He justifies the changes with speculation that Nemo continued to improve the Nautilus in the years after the events of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  See much more about the ANNULATUS at Didier's Reve de Sous-Marin site.  Click the small button labeled ANNULATUS on the upper left.  The pages are in French but with many pictures most things are readily understandable.  Click around a little because the links to some sub-pages, such as the details of construction (including many photos), are not obvious.

I found an image of this Second Life Nautilus posted by "radiolake", during a periodic sweep. I know nothing about radiolake, and there were only two images, one of which is a mostly obscured, very distant  view, but the design is interesting.  It bears a superficial resemblance to Goff's, as so may do, especially with the double arches.  The forward part of the wheelhouse is glass paneled and there is a glass dome on top.  The highest section of the multi-tiered deck has a large rectangular hatch.  There is no indication of a boat, but the aft-most tier mounts a cannon.  The design appears to include a Goff-like fishtail, but it's out of the image, so I haven't depicted it here.  There is a large circular salon window in upper forward hull and a mid-hull horizontal fairing interrupted by dive plane amidships and running the length of the hull.  The image hints at what might be a diving hatch bulge on the hull bottom.  My rendering is an approximation; see the original image on flickr.

Fascinated with steam power, human-computer interaction researcher Nathan Prestopnik conceived this steam-powered Nautilus in early 2008.  The design features a relatively small spar mounted high on the bow.  The cutwater ends in a protective arch for a large steamship-like bridge.  The small structure on top, just forward of a railed upper deck, is probably a lantern but could be a flying bridge/wheelhouse.  Aft of the bridge there is a large, recessed deck with an elevated bulwark.  The two stacks and several ventilators on this deck are clearly surface ship features.  Although Prestopnik expresses some doubt, we can assume Nemo would have been technically astute enough to equip these for submerged running.  A narrow deck with railing extends aft above the hull to a lantern housing  The hull has a rounded spindle shape (the classic cigar), with two sets of large dive planes, one forward and one aft.  There are Goff-like salon windows located fore and aft of the forward planes.  This Nautilus features a long, elaborate tail culminating in a large rudder.  The interesting arrangement of two four-bladed props on a single shaft reminds me of the experimental propellers tested on the modified Walter S. Winans cigar ship.  See Nate's rendering of this Nautilus as a desk model, perhaps with the paint still wet, on his Imperial Solutions web site.

The International Maritime Museum - Hamburg features Felix Lühning's large Nautilus model representing "The Fabulous" on its Deck 7 exhibit floor.  The hull is spindle shaped with a beefy conical ram forming the bow.  The wheelhouse, with three round ports, is recessed into the hull so that only the pyramidal port structure projects above hull lines.  The deck begins immediately aft with a circular hatch at its forward end.  The boat is set into the deck and the hull amidships.  The lantern, with six round lenses, is located just aft of the deck.  The wheelhouse is not retractable but the lantern might be.  The stern features a vertical tail that protects a large six-bladed propeller and ends in a large rudder.  The rudder is operated with a rather vulnerable looking external chain drive.  The hull is constructed with almost full length longitudinal plates in two layers, one overlapping the the other.  The construction is obvious; the model features a cutout to show part of the interior.  A small rounded-end, rectangular salon window is situated on the lower forward hull.  Small dive planes are located just forward of amidships.  See some photos taken by Kai Brüninghaus here.  

Clyde Childress sent me a photo of this scratch-built Nautilus model.  The design demonstrates how you might take elements of Goff's Nautilus and finish with something that looks nothing like it.  The hill is more angular with flat sides.  There is no separate ram, but the bow appears reinforced to provide a ram.  Several triangular fins, large rakers, on the upper hull serve to protect the super structure during an attack.  The wheelhouse, with perhaps a forward-mounted lamp, resembles no other.  There are two deck hatches and a dorsal fin that might be a nod to Goff or maybe just a counter-point to the fins at the bow.  There are horizontal fins high on the hull and on a line with the plate-covered salon window that probably include dive planes.  There is a single prop in a somewhat stylized vertical tail fin.  The only part of the design that resembles Goff's in any way is the keel structure.  The dive hatch aft of the salon window is very like Goff's but the corkscrew mechanism is a dead giveaway.

Mathieu Frossard ("matic") posted this Nautilus on the 3DVF Le Magazine Online de la 3d Francophone web site for a "Jules Verne's Universe" challenge.  The hull is spindle-shaped, with a somewhat heavy superstructure that seems inconsistent with the lattice-like centerline ram.  There is a huge circular salon window, no obvious dive planes or rudder and a frail looking propeller.  The long wheelhouse located amidships, is shaped vaguely like Goff's and tapers into the deck as his does.  See the original image on

Artist and illustrator Gary Gianni designed this Nautilus for his graphic novel version of Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea published by Flex.  This Nautilus has a more or less spindle shaped hull embedded in an oval cross-section cylinder that forms the deck.  Most noticeable are the large shell-like fins on the bow and stern.  The bow fin narrows into a corkscrew ram.  There's no noticeable wheelhouse but the deck features a raised platform at the aft end.  The platform includes a large circular hatch, an elaborate railing, and a short stairway down to the main deck.  There are fin-like dive planes resembling the vertical fins on the forward hull and three large windows spaced along the upper hull.  You can see example illustrations that include the Nautilus in Gary's gallery and on his news page.   You can read about the book and purchase it at amazon.

I found this design in one of my regular sweeps.  I'm not sure of the designer's name, possibly Ancel Alexandre or Alexandre Ancel.  His Nautilus was created to participate in the "Jules Verne's Universe" challenge on, for which he reread the novel.  He chose the cigar-form  hull because he felt it was the only way to achieve the great speed Nemo claims and made it sturdy to absorb the shock of ram attacks and the escape from beneath the Antarctic ice described in the novel. The design closely follows the text.  There is a sharp, triangular spar, an oval window for the salon, and large dive planes amidships.  The deck is very much as Verne described it with a rectangular structure at each end with a rather novel rail.  The launch is visible near the aft end of the deck.  Alexandre has placed a number of small lights along the top and bottom of the hull and a ventral fin aft.  There appears to be a large rudder and possibly a horizontal propeller guard.  If you follow the 3dvf link above, you'll find Alexandre's comments in French, and links to some large images of his Nautilus

Eric Gasper took inspiration from Confederate ironclad rams, especially the Virginia, in designing his Nautilus.  The upper part of the hull is configured for attack, with a unique pike-ram, nearly as long as the hull, mounted above the deck on tall blades.  In an attack with the deck awash, only the pike and the dorsal blade aft would be visible on the surface.  The large propeller is protected by a long cylindrical shroud and the rudder includes a lock to prevent damage from attack debris.  There is a full bridge forward beneath the conical observation wheelhouse, the top of which would just clear the surface when attacking.  The lower part of this Nautilus is configured for undersea exploration and treasure hunting, the source of Nemo's wealth.  There is a large oval window with a cluster of smaller observation ports amidships.  Eight hull-mounted rectangular searchlights illuminate the sea below the boat.  Eric has included a racing-sailboat-like keel ballast tank extension to the hull.  This structure protects the rest of the lower hull when the Nautilus rests on the bottom for seafloor excursions.  The keel mount provides an observation deck with portholes all around that look out on the sea bottom.

In 2008, when the Czech publisher Albatros put out a new edition of Dvacet tisíc mil pod mořem featuring the beautiful illustrations of Zdeněk Burian, they had Ladislav Badalec create a set of Nautilus interior plans for the back cover end papers.  (Badalec had earlier done a similar set of plans for Jules Verne a jeho svět, Jules Verne and his World, with Ondřej Neff, who rewrote the text for the Albatros edition.)  Badalec kept some features of Burian's 1937 Nautilus, featured above, for the end papers but did make the overall design his own. This Nautilus retains Burina's triple dive plane arrangement on the stern hull, and the rest of the stern is similar, although the spiral propeller is very different.  There is a large, vicious-looking ram.  A detail on the drawing shows a Mecedes-emblem-like triangular cross-section, but the plans have the cruciform shape I've reproduced in my graphic.  The forward hull features short rakers top and bottom and on the sides, a feature found on so many designs.  Badalec returns to the standard single window at the salon location instead of Burian's set of three and places a set of wide dive planes amidships.  He shows a diving hatch on the lower hull.  There is a long deck between the wheelhouse forward and the similar lantern housing aft.  These structures are fixed.  The boat is recessed into the hull and deck just forward of the hatch.  Finally, he retains and exaggerates the cylindrical humps on Burian's upper hull, using them as ballast tanks.

Artist Myke Amend created this Nautilus for an engraving that depicts giant squid, actually in Myke's words "a rather Lovecraftian creature of the deep embracing" the submarine.   This fishlike Nautilus might well be considered prey but I suspect all but the very largest predators would regret an attack.  Sharp rakers run along the entire length of the upper hull and on the sides of the fish tail.  With this design I think Nemo's submarine is primarily for exploration - notice the many large windows - and not for exacting revenge.  The barbed fins look more defensive than aggressive.  There is a set of horizontal control fins on the conning tower and pectoral fins on the lower hull.  The lower fins each have a small four-bladed propeller, with a third propeller on on the stern.  Instead of a rudder, there is a helicopter-like fan in the vertical tail.  I suspect this Nautilus is extremely maneuverable, an advantage in exploring and defense.  See Myke's beautiful black-on-white engraving on his web site.

Ishmael, a student at Anshun University, sent me this Nautilus he drew while in middle school.  The design, with its nicely decorated hull, has a lethal looking, barbed, raised ram and features a retractable wheelhouse and lantern.  There is a large central viewport, more elaborate than Goff's, with adjoining ports for the library and dining room, plus arrays of ports in other rooms, including Nemo's cabin.  The dive planes are just forward of the large viewport and Ishmael has added torpedo tubes on the lower hull just forward of the planes.   Ishmael drew on many sources when designing this Nautilus: "The deck was from the book but the general shape, especially the bow, came from the Nautilus from the Japanese classic anime Nadia, the Secret of Blue Water. The layout was somewhat from Goff and the large junk-like rudder was from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie version Sword of the Ocean."  The shape of the main deck lanterns was from a mistaken impression that the statues on the LXG Nautilus "aft castle" were lanterns like those on sailing ships.  Note the art deco chambered nautilus just below wheelhouse and the ship name and "Captain Nemo 1865" can be seen a little further aft.  Ishmael sized this Nautilus 90 meters long, twenty more than the novel.  See his original drawing, including an interior elevation, (and his other Nautilus, Jules Verne, and related drawings) at this link (the page and drawing annotations are in Chinese).

Meinert Hansen has updated his original design (seen above).  This version, although very much like the first, has a few obvious differences.  The old semi-spherical wheelhouse and its protective arch set forward has been replaced by a spire-topped cylindrical structure near the aft end of the deck.  The deck itself is longer, starting further forward, and more obvious than before.  Although especially from some vantage points, the design is still very organic and even shark-like, I think it has a nice retro-mechanical look, not unlike something from a space opera serial in the 1930s and 40s.  See Meinert's images of this Nautilus on Utamo's Blog.



Illustrator and designer David Herfel, walking the line between Jules Verne's text and his own artistic vision, has produced this wonderfully detailed Nautilus.  The spindle-shaped hull flares slightly on the sides to smoothly accommodate the amidships dive planes and horizontal tail fins, which together with the vertical fins, support a shroud to protect the large, five-bladed propeller.  The narrow but deep keel is similarly faired to the hull.  A ladder on the keel provides access to the airlock hatch on the lower hull, aft.  A streamlined superstructure permits a raised deck so that no part of the hull is visible during surface running.  A boat, inspired by Robert Fulton's Nautilus is mounted in the deck just aft of midships.  The submarine is fitted with anchors, one forward, port side and one aft and starboard.  In addition to the lantern housing that mimics the wheelhouse at the other end of the deck, David's design includes lights around the salon windows and the diver hatch, four lights each around the hull at the bow and stern, and a small lantern on the superstructure just forward of the deck.  This lantern and the two housings withdraw into the deck for attack,  panels close over the salon windows, and the classically positioned ram is extended forward.  The bow is fitted with serrated rakers for lethality. David has dated his drawing 2000, but I've placed it here because he has constantly tweaked it over the years and this represents today's design.

Richard Svensson built his Nautilus model from parts from an old Revell Hindenburg zepellin and other kits.  He wanted a submarine that resembled the original illustrations in the novel and not something fish or monster like.  The three-piece saw-tooth ram almost dominates the forward part of the hull, but is overwhelmed by the large, bulbous view ports in the same area.  A row of smaller port holes run along the upper aft hull that terminates in a relatively small centerline propeller.  There is a small, complex deck area amidships.  A single ventral fin aft mounts the rudder.  The only other major hull feature is a large, keel-mounted searchlight.  Read Richard's account of the construction, "The Sword of the Oceans", and see some nice photos and other illustrations on his blog, "The Lone Animator".

Ron Strickler's Nautilus has some of Goff's design with its large arched raker but the overall appearance is more like a retro-style rocket.  The arch structure incorporates the wheelhouse, whose windows create the open arch impression.  A deck extends aft from the wheelhouse structure to a small hatch aft.  There is a short ram on the bow and the hull terminates with a small rudder.  A set of searchlights is mounted in the bow just aft of the ram and the large view port is circled with lights just aft of amidships.  You can see Ron's final drawing but also follow the changes he made as he drew it on the "Rate my Drawings" website under his site moniker.

"Techromancer" makes no claim to Nemo's Nautilus in his short description, but his Victorian Submarine surely could be.  His angular design has a polygon-cross-section hull with the forward section re-inforced for ramming (making the long spar seem almost fragile by comparison).  The pilot house reminds me of an armored train that, further protected by a hefty wedge just forward, appears strong enough to support ram attacks.  It has two large ports on its sides and a small one forward.  The small roundhouse that tops it might even be retractable.  The fair-sized, wedge-shaped dive planes are forward of a set of four circular ports positioned just forward of amidships. The two vertical fins aft end in a large double rudder.  The propulsion mechanism isn't clear but could be a small prop protected by a polygonal shroud.

C.J. Leigh's Nautilus, modeled in SketchUp, has a long, somewhat Victorian-looking spar, mounted at deck height.  A narrow web stretching to the hull supports the spar over most of its length and extends protectively over the wheelhouse.  The hexagonal wheelhouse located at the forward end of the deck has a round window on five sides, oriented so that one looks forward.  There is a small set of lights atop the structure and the aft side has a hatch with some stairs ascending to the deck.  Squat cylinders on either side just aft of the wheelhouse may account for the water jets associated with the “sea monster” in the novel. The deck itself is inset in the hull and has a solid bulwark over much of its length.  There is another hatch slight to the side at the aft end next to a stair that ascends to a scuppered platform at the very end.  The lantern, similar to but smaller than the wheelhouse, is located on the platform.  The launch is inset in the very aft end, Goff-style.  The Victorian appearance of the hull is enhanced by low fairings on the sides of the hull that increase in height to accommodate large oval salon windows, situated at the wheelhouse position, and then narrow again but transform into horizontal fins near the stern.  Large, rectangular dive planes with an airfoil cross-section are located on the fairings amidships.  There are diving hatches low on the hull sides approximately amidships.  A small four-bladed propeller is mounted below the stern at the end of a vertical fairing extended from the keel.  A semicircular rudder is situated just aft of the prop.  You can view and download Leigh's Nautilus from the Google 3D Warehouse.

VFX Art Director/Designer Mark Dubeau created this Goff-echoing Nautilus in 2009.  The raker arch is flared into a simpler but larger saw-tooth flange that is more-or-less mirrored on the lower hull with the combination incorporating the ram.  The saw-tooth and hull are vertically asymmetric with the upper hull taller than the lower and the side fins set below the centerline.  There is a large salon port and three smaller ports aft.  The main hull is somewhat spindle-shaped but the stern, nearly a quarter of the length, is a narrow grooved cylinder, with saw-tooth fins and openings similar to the bow structure.  The tail and rudder are very Goff-like but more symmetrical.  The wheelhouse is dwarfed by the towering saw-tooth arch and extends aft with a long beam over the deck that merges into the smooth stern liens of the superstructure.  Of the present Catalog designs, only Eric Gasper's has a similar structure, although Tom Martin's second design extends upper raker aft as a solid structure. While retaining a Goof look, the lower hull evokes the upper superstructure.  Ishmael at Anshun University thinks that features like the tall overhanging saw-tooth are inspired by the 1961 Mysterious Island film Harryhausen Nautilus. He speculates that the small structures in saw-tooth fin holes might be lights to instill fear during a ramming run.
     You can see the full size Nautilus image on Mark Dubeua's web site.  Take a look at some of his other art while you're there.  
(Thanks to Ishmael for pointing out this design.) 

After reading 20,000 Leagues under the Sea in 2009 a young Alec Griffiths created this Nautilus.  Although it departs from Verne's text in many ways, it remains recognizable and provides a distinct alternative among the non-Goff designs.  The hull,  inspired by one of de Neuville's illustrations, transitions smoothly from the large ram to a cylindrical middle section.  There are no ports or windows in the hull.  The platform atop the hull has two hatches, the center one serving as the dive hatch.  The small boat is set in the hull just aft of the platform.  There are two small lanterns on the hull just forward of the glass-domed wheelhouse.  From there the hull tapers quickly to a small two-bladed propeller at the stern.  Large dive planes are located on either side of the aft hull and a small rudder is situated just forward of the prop.  

The clean lines of Elías Enmanuel Castillo Rivera's spindle-hulled Nautilus make me think of it as a more Jules Verne-like "Sword of the Sea" than that in the Extraordinary Gentlemen film.  His raised, dagger-like ram extends to fairing running to the forward end of the deck.  A narrow vertical fin extends the length of the hull aft of the deck.  The keel begins just aft of the salon window and extends into a similar lower fin.  The vertical fins culminate in a large rudder aft of the prop.  These planes make the Nautilus resemble a prehistoric marine reptile from a top view.  There are four large diving planes centered amidships, two just aft of the salon window and two a corresponding distance aft of mid-hull. The small deck is very much as Verne described it with a low wheelhouse forward, a boat amidships and a lantern aft.  The lantern is mounted on a high tower as the only exception to the text.  Both deck structures can be withdrawn into the hull for a streamlined attack configuration.  With the tall ventral fin Elías has placed just aft of the deck, his Nautilus the appearance of a monstrous killer whale when running rigged for attack. 

Elías Enmanuel Castillo Rivera continued to refine his Nautilus and provided me this update.  Truer to the novel, this version replaces the quad diving planes and ventral fin with a pair of midship-mounted planes.  The hull is very much the same although he's added a scale-like plating.  The salon window is now rectangular and protected by a sliding exterior cover.  The ram is unchanged but the keel and fins have been refined for a more fishlike silhouette, and Elías reduced the rudder height while extending it aft.  With smaller pilot house and lantern and the new railing all retracted into the hull for attacks and the cleaner fins structure aft, this Nautilus has a more natural sea creature appearance.  This new effort is much more classic in appearance but at the cost of the quad planes.

Illustrator Emilio Amade features this Nautilus in the poster El Submarino del Futuro from his Jules Verne cutaway series.  The design closely follows Jules Verne's text.  There is a three-bladed center-line ram at the stem of the cylindrical hull.  The deck is only a little more elevated than other novel-consistent designs and has three low fairing blades at the forward end, perhaps to protect the deck during a ram attack.  My image of the poster is too small to read, but the pilot house and lantern appear retractable.  The large fin-like rudder is controlled by a chain running from the aft hull.  The poster itself appears quite interesting with considerable background information on period submarine technology, features of the Nautilus and on the novel.  See an image of the poster here.

Artists are faced with the problem of presenting something different  when doing covers for new editions of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  Freelance illustrator Nitzan Klamer (kipizki) created this Nautilus for a art project cover.  Klamer has retained his own distinctive style while evoking Verne in a way that doesn't repeat elements of the well-known Goff version, and doesn't look too much like a modern submarine.  The simplified image here is missing the artist's details and the context of the cover art.  See the full cover illustration here.   

This Nautilus by Eddi Haskell wasn't shown as a submarine at all but as the oversized gondola of an airship in an image titled "Steampunk Airship over Caledon Rothesay".  Still the image looked to me enough like a submarine being transferred by airship that I've included it in the catalog.  There is a definite ram at the bow and overlapping arches leading up to an unprotected glass bridge (wheelhouse).  A railed deck extends over the center hull with a pair of what may be mortars at the aft end.  The tail or stern is certainly airship-like but still not outlandish compared to some Nautilus designs here.  There appear to be glassed-in observation platforms on either side of the lower hull.  See Haskell's original image here.

Justin Oaksford's Nautilus has an industrial look and a streamlined shape unlike any of the others featured here.  Per his words, Justin "tried to make it cool, but still within the descriptions of the book". His Nautilus has a flat, possibly two-level upper hull and a gracefully tapered lower hull, narrower at the bow and thicker at the stern.  There is more a sloping raker structure a short distance further aft on top of the hull.  As Wayne O. pointed out to me, the raker appears to slide forward and down to form a beaklike ram.  The upper hull sweeps straight back more than half the boat's length to the second level section that starts with a large hemispherical globe on each side.  These are likely pilothouse windows.  Further aft a small superstructure rises from the deck and then slopes back to the hull that curves down to the stern.  On the lower hull there is a small lantern attached to the hull bottom a short distance back from the bow.  About a third of the way sternward several large cylindrical structures are attached to the hull bottom and what may be a large rectangular window or perhaps just a lighted panel is situated higher up.  There is a more conventional circular port low on the hull about two thirds of the way back.  A large scoop is apparent on the hull side just forward of the unconventional propulsion section.  A rudder is mounted on the bottom of the upper hull near the stern. See Justin Oaksford's finely detailed illustration of his Nautilus at DeviantArt.

This sleek, modern Nautilus by senior digital modeler Michael Meyers pays homage to Harper Goff, but is clearly designed as a giant shark.  Goff's ram has been smoothed down to a spike and the long, sweeping raker arch is now almost half the length of the boat and studded with shark's teeth.  The Victorian wheelhouse is faired into the shark's body hull, with organically shaped windows forward.  The circular side windows recall the original wheelhouse but also Goff's salon windows.  The dorsal and tail fins are there, perhaps a little less streamlined than Goff's.  Meyers has opened up the bow with a set of monster-eye windows. Is this Nemo's salon?  Further aft, the large gills must be intakes for some advanced propulsion system, evidenced by the un-shark-like cylinders on the tail.  Otherwise the giant shark appearance is enhanced by three pairs of fins from the largest, well forward of amidships, to the tail.  The dorsal fin is complemented by a smaller ventral fin below.  There are three relatively small circular windows on the hull where one might expect the salon and a larger one slightly farther aft on the lower hull.  Overall, the appearance is less threatening than graceful but powerful, a beautiful sea monster.  See Meyers' original concept art here.

Here's another Nautilus design by Michael Meyers.  Clearly in the form of a shark, this Nautilus might be the lower-tech predecessor of his sleek design above.  It has three eight-bladed propellers, a large one in the tail and a smaller side-by-side pair below the aft hull.  There appears to be a circular window (not visible in the graphic) at the forward end of the superstructure where we'd expect the wheelhouse.  I'm not sure of my interpretation but there may be a round port in the hull above the pectoral fins and three smaller ports farther aft.  There's not much of Verne in this design, but it is surely a monster of the deep.

I found Ruby White's partial Nautilus during a periodic sweep for new designs.  Ruby White Enterprises produced the image, which can be seen on their web site, as an example illustration for 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, hoping to interest a publisher.  The image doesn't show the bow, nor is the salon window area visible, but what is there is interesting.  The hull is more or less spindle shaped and constructed of overlapping plates, not unlike my design.  Large dive planes appear to be mounted a little aft of amidships.  The rudder isn't visible but the large propeller breaks the surface, as described in the novel.  The deck details are most interesting.  Instead of a wheelhouse there are four small observation domes set in a line fore and aft.  These appear to be retractable, the openings covered by half shell sliding plates on either side.  There is a small deck and hatch amidships.  The launch is set into the hull nearby, on the port side.

Oceanology: The True Account of the Voyage of the Nautilus includes this unique design.  Some elements are reminiscent of Harper Goff's but the overall impression is very different.  The large perforated raker arch extends will past the midpoint to the large hexagonal wheelhouse.  The external platform atop the wheelhouse has several rail-mounted searchlights and a periscope.  The deck extends all the way aft and includes a hatch and launch.  The hull has a large salon window amidships but also several smaller portholes.  An interior drawing included in the book shows four in the library, two in Nemo's cabin and one in his study, and six in the diving chamber.  That chamber is not for divers but for a spherical miniature submarine called the Nautosphere.  The divers exit via the deck hatch, which has its own airlock.  There appear to be two small lights on the bottom forward hull in addition to large forward looking searchlights faired into the hull alongside the massive and intricate ram.  Incidentally, in this account Nemo tells the main character, a young boy, that the ram is intended for defense.  The lethal silhouette of this Nautilus belies that statement.  The submarine is equipped with a single propeller mounted under the hull and a set of large dive planes mounted well aft of amidships.

Peter Findley, a television production designer who understands that a sleek, simple submarine will look dull on screen, created this Nautilus that is anything but dull.  His organic design has many flat planes, unexpected curves, and odd geometric shapes.  The long sharp and strong nose (let's think of this as a monster) but complex, detailed stern give the impression of a vessel with a purpose.  It's brutish and lethal in some ways, but, noticing the large windows on its bottom, capable of benign observation and research as well, not unlike Captain Nemo himself.  The spar has a spiral form that looks like razor wire and merges cleanly into an amorphous hull.  There is no wheelhouse, but large forward-looking windows at the waterline - the eyes of the beast.  There is a small circular deck near amidships, forward of a large unexplained superstructure.  Much of this submarine defies explanation.  The propulsion mechanism isn't clear, but the large vertical and horizontal fins imply its motion is controlled with strength.  The large observation windows on the lower forward hull - the grinning mouth of the beast - provide a panoramic view.  Further aft, there are three small dome ports on the side and a large downward-looking dome on the bottom.  See more of Peter's creation here.

"Reitsuki Kojima" has created this faithful Nautilus in the Vernian Sea of Second Life.  His design has a long, barbed, triangular ram.  Except for the slightly angled bow, the hull is spindle-shaped.  The salon windows are inset behind protective sliding exterior panels.  There a a pair of airfoil shaped diving planes amidships.  The tail consists of thick vertical and horizontal fins that support a protective ring around the large four-bladed propeller and a large rudder aft of the prop.  The deck has identical retractable four-sided structures for the wheelhouse and lantern.  Each has a larger plate at the top to compensate for the tapered shape and a circular glass on each side.  There is a launch in the deck just forward of amidships.  Reitsuki has included an interior  that resembles that of my original design, with slanting upper walls covered with classical paintings.  Thanks very much to Hajime Nishimura who brought this Nautilus to my attention.

3D modeler/illustrator Peter Pohle created this design.  Although not explicitly identified as the Nautilus, I include it here because it looks like the Nautilus.  The design has only a small pointed ram, but a large, Goff-like raker arch extends from the bow to the forward edge of the raised deck.  The hull has a long dive plane on the side of the bow and a large circular window amidships, flanked by two large but narrow ports.  Small vertical and horizontal fins frame a five-bladed propeller and support a large rudder at the stern. A fairly large keel is visible on the bottom of the hull.  The deck includes a low conning tower aft of what are probably a non-Vernian periscope and snorkel.  There appears to be a small boat at the aft end, very like Goff's.
     You can see the original illustrations on Peter Pohle's web site.  This is a Flash site so some clicking is necessary to get to the images.  Select 3D Art, Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Technology and scroll through the Flash images.  There is also a short animation of the Nautilus in the Flash Animations section of the web site, accessible by similar clicking.

The 2009 Library of Wonder edition of Jules Verne Extraordinary Voyages, published by Falls Press includes Nate Pride's illustrations of the Nautilus.  This design has a sleek spindle hull with double salon windows.  The ram is set high on the bow, and faired into a forward fin.  This fairing extends at the stern into streamlined vertical and horizontal fins.  The low wheelhouse sits just forward of a retractable lantern. 

John Martinez created this classic Nautilus.  The hull is a cylinder, tapered at the ends, with a brutal and massive triangular ram positioned above the centerline.  A rectangular window is set into the lower hull in the approximate salon location per the novel's text and dive planes at the centerline amidships.  There are horizontal fins on the after part of the hull and a large four-bladed prop at the end of the hull.  A rudder is set below the hull aft, although its details are not visible in Martinez' image.  A long, low deck atop the hull amidships has a modest pilothouse with a large circular port forward and two smaller ports on the sides.  In one image its profile is triangular but in another appears trapezoidal.  The launch is located at the center and a forward shining lantern at the aft end.  See a complete image of this Nautilus and another on the surface in John's gallery (as dragonpyper) at DeviantArt.

I don't know who designed this somewhat whimsical Nautilus, exhibited as a working, steam-powered, surface-running, radio-controlled model at the Cabin Fever Expo in York, Pennsylvania in January 2010.  The fishlike design features a spindle hull with fins galore.  There is a small organic, possibly spiral ram at the bow.  A small wheelhouse with two windows is set on the upper hull a good ways forward of the recessed deck.  The deck features a beefy periscope (actually the model's smokestack), railings on each side, and a circular hatch.  The tail fin terminates in the rudder, and there are two pairs of dive planes, one well forward of the circular salon window and the other pair well aft.  A small prop is mounted on the trailing edge of the aft-most ventral fin.  You can see several photos of the model at Vilseskogen's Cabin Fever Expo photo set on .

Mike Gonzales (AlphaRed6) posted his concept Nemo's second Nautilus at  He thinks it would have been a research vessel rather than a war machine, for as "Nemo aged his temper cooled, his thirst for revenge was sated".  Mike says the new Nautilus would be several times larger, but I've rendered his image at Verne's length.  The design is clearly recognizable as Harper Goff's classic concept even with the significant changes.  The ram is gone with a light mounted at the prow in its place.  The characteristic arch and rakers are all gone.  this Nautilus would suffer damage in a collision.  the original alligator eyes atop the wheel house now comprise Verne's lantern.  The barbed dorsal fin is gone from the longer deck, now adorned with railings.  the submarine now has two anchors to handle the longer hull, and finally the salon is much larger, with two pairs of windows.  Or perhaps the reformed Nemo has provided a lounge for his crew with the same outside view.

~ c. 2010 ~

Chuck Messer sent me photos of his Nautilus model "inspired by the Verne novel and the look of several 19th century submarines, including the Hunley and the USS Alligator".  Chuck's design has a spindle hull with a long tapered ram strengthened  by three ribs to form a triangular cross-section.  There are large dive planes mounted a little forward of amidships, a circular salon window just aft, and long, narrow vertical and horizontal tail fins that end in a double rudder and additional planes.  A large four-bladed propeller is set at the very end of the hull.  The large wheelhouse has four small ports, the forward one between a double cutwater not unlike some of the early, inaccurate depictions of the Hunley.  The lantern structure is smaller, with two forward facing lights on each side of a single, more accurately Hunley-like cutwater.  The Hunley cutwaters were intended to prevent the hatch towers form hanging up on defensive cables.  here they provide protection in a ram attack.  The low deck between these structures has a launch set deep into the center.

This is graphic designer Tarek Shamas' impression of the Nautilus, drawing after reading the novel.  I think he let his imagination run free because there's little of Verne's description apparent.  He has started with a conventional submarine form, adding considerable ornamentation.  There is a large observation window on the lower bow and what may be spiral-iris-protected ports higher on the forward hull.  The wheelhouse is realized as a conning tower with an observation deck, ports on each side, and possibly a forward-facing searchlight.  Either a rounded bump on the forward deck or another on the upper aft hull might be the canot.  There is a tall tail fin but no obvious dive planes.  This Nautilus has a large spiral screw propeller and large scoops on the sides of the lower hull, hinting at an innovative propulsion system.  See Tarek's original art on his web site here

Designer Tim Delaney of Walt Disney Imagineering created this updated version of Harper Goff's original Nautilus.  It appears to be closer in length to Verne  and otherwise moves the Nautilus technology into the next century.  Tim has retained the spar and raker arches almost unchanged but added vents to the lower forward hull.  The wheelhouse is much more streamlined and faired to a much larger dorsal fin giving a more organic appearance than the original.  The aft hatch may still be there but if so its construction is very different.  The lower diving hatch, if retained, is also very different.  The salon window frame is elongated and the tail fins longer and more streamlined.  The biggest change is in the propulsion technology.  Tim has replaced the prop with a jet system, including a smaller version on the keel and there may be maneuvering fans in the keel and lower fin.  See Delaney's full illustration on his web site(Thanks to Wade Watson on

Jaime Campbell based this Nautilus design on some early drawings and his own ideas.  He sees the pilothouse as an integral part of the deck, sticking up just 4 or 5 feet above the actual deck level.  He locates the lantern and the boat on the deck as a single platform; the boat simply launches from the structure while submerged.  He places an additional 4-foot porthole in Nemo’s cabin.  Jaime keeps much of the the look of Harper Goff's bow except for the fore-mentioned changes and more barbing on the spar.  The salon window is closer to Verne's description, there is a single dive plane amidships, and the hull is longer, but otherwise retains a number of Goff's features. 

If Nemo had used steam power, Peter Pohle's steam-powered Steampunk Submarine could have been the Nautilus.  The spindle hull, made of distinctly non-Vernian wood, is very like Monturiol's Ictineo II.  It is reinforced with a steel frame and has a blunt but heavy-looking metal ram on the forward end.  There are dive planes located in the side frame a short distance aft of the prow and a second set is set in horizontal fins at the stern.  The large centerline nine-bladed propeller is protected by these fins and a vertical set that supports a large rudder.  In addition to the a large salon window approximately amidships, there are small observation domes near the bow and two rows of ports along the hull side. The forward end of the deck is decorated with an ornate Hippocampus figurehead.  A graceful raker arch, perhaps a nod to Harper Goff, protects the figurehead and a small observation dome.  The deck extends to an elaborate conning tower that incorporates a ship's-bridge-like wheelhouse at deck level and the steam plant with three capped smoke stacks, tall enough that the submarine could run submerged near the surface with operating boilers.  The stacks would be vulnerable in a full ram attack (as would be much of the superstructure) but could perhaps be retracted into the hull.  Peter's conception of the launch as a mini-submarine set into the deck aft of the power plant is only a minor extension of Verne's.  Peter has realized it as a small explorer submarine that very much reminds me of the excursion pods of 2001A Space Odyssey's Discovery.  Like Nemo's canot, it can be entered from within the main submarine via a hatch in its lower hull.  See more of this fascinating submarine on the Cornucopia3D web site.
     This design is available as a 3D model in both Vue and OBJ format (standard distribution) at Cornucopia-3D.

"Balsavor" (Aaron Godwin) posted this organic Nautilus at DeviantArt as a work-in-progress.  I see superficial similarity to Christian Zaber's above, but at the next level it is very different.  Rather than Goff's legacy sawtooth rakers, it has rows of small dorsal fins (although there may be rakers along the side), slightly reminiscent of the Michael Caine TV film version.  At least two large windows are visible.  The lower one surely is in the salon for underwater viewing.  If the upper one is for surface running it would be dramatically near the waterline and would place the lethal ram far above it.  The conical ribbon impeller screw, a little like Hansen's much larger versions, nicely complements the lines and interruptions of the design.  Overall the impression is dangerous but graceful.  See Godwin's full size image at DeviantArt.

Stinson L., who has his own design in the Catalog, modeled this variation on Ron Miller's Nautilus based on Ron's cutaway drawing.  Stinson started with his own design and changed the proportions and a few of the features to match Ron's.  The ram and prop are Stinson's and the salon window and wheelhouse retain his unique design.  The lantern is Miller's but larger.  You can download this Nautilus from the 3D Warehouse.


 s available as a 3D model at TurboSquid.  Described as "the old book version of Jules Verne's Nautilus", the design is mostly true to the novel with a few embellishments for visual interest.  The flat deck sits atop the hull amidships.  A four-sided wheelhouse with a viewport on each side is set at a 45-degree angle at the forward end.  The boat is set into the deck amidships with a circular hatch just aft.  The lantern housing at the aft end of the deck is slightly larger than the wheelhouse and has a large lens facing forward.  Large oval salon ports are placed slightly above the centerline just forward of rounded dive planes amidships.  There appears to be a diving hatch on the hull bottom.  The four-bladed prop is mounted at the afted end of the hull with the rudder affixed to a vertical ventral fin extending from the keel.  The hull appears to be a modified spindle with constant cross-section in the middle section and tapering end sections.  The cross-section is not circular, but has flattened sides.  The pointed ram slightly larger than and affixed to the prow, looks strong enough for a ram attack.  See some nice images of this Nautilus at TurboSquid.

This Nautilus by "Chrisz3D" is available as a 3D model at TurboSquid.  Described as "the old book version of Jules Verne's Nautilus", the design is mostly true to the novel with a few embellishments for visual interest.  The flat deck sits atop the hull amidships.  A four-sided wheelhouse with a viewport on each side is set at a 45-degree angle at the forward end.  The boat is set into the deck amidships with a circular hatch just aft.  The lantern housing at the aft end of the deck is slightly larger than the wheelhouse and has a large lens facing forward.  Large oval salon ports are placed slightly above the centerline just forward of rounded dive planes amidships.  There appears to be a diving hatch on the hull bottom.  The four-bladed prop is mounted at the afted end of the hull with the rudder affixed to a vertical ventral fin extending from the keel.  The hull appears to be a modified spindle with constant cross-section in the middle section and tapering end sections.  The cross-section is not circular, but has flattened sides.  The pointed ram slightly larger than and affixed to the prow, looks strong enough for a ram attack.  See some nice images of this Nautilus at TurboSquid.

The 7th Voyage Productions Nautilus doesn't actually appear in the downloadable movie, Nautilus: The Next Generation, but only in the publicity material.  The interesting hull has a possibly dolphin- or whale-like shape, with the salon window as the eye.  A row of smaller ports along the hull side is just noticeable.  A heavy cogged arch extends from a very low-mounted ram up over the bow to join an elevated bridge-like deck.  This much of the design looks robust enough to handle a ramming attack, but the deck railing and antenna mast likely wouldn't survive.  Rather than a wheelhouse, this Nautilus has a conning tower/sail topped with another tower.  The sail sweeps down to an odd stern. A heavy horizontal fin appears to extend from the hull top far to the sides. About a third of the way from the end of this fin, a lighter vertical component sweeps down and then inward to connect with a large vertical fin extending from the keel. You can see the design image (displayed at half size) at amazon.  (Note that this Nautilus doesn't appear in the film.  Read the reviews before purchasing the download.)

Chuck Pfaff created a drawing of this true-to-the-novel Nautilus design.  There is a sturdy ram at the bow of the spindle hull and a large four-bladed propeller at the stern.  A double rudder is set in vertical tail fins.  The dive plane amidships is somewhat smaller than most.  A flat deck is centered atop the hull with a rectangular pilothouse with four large ports forward and a similar lantern structure aft.  Both are retractable.  The boat is set into the deck amidships.  There's an odd feature on lower hull that may be a dive hatch.  Chuck places two large oval windows in the forward hull.  One is shown with protective shutters closed.  See the original drawing on DeviantArt

Video game concept artist and illustrator Roberto Robert posted this Nautilus on his Robots blog.  It's a pleasingly sleek design.  Some details such as propulsion or steering are unclear or perhaps missing, but only noticeable on analysis.  There is no ram but the lower hull has a snaggle-tooth array of rakers. The archless wheelhouse is reminiscent of Goff's as is the salon window set high on the side.  Another snaggled construction farther astern on the upper hull recall Goff's dorsal fin.  The lower hull has an interesting large opening amidships, clearly associated with diving.  See Roberto's original artwork here

The graphic novel 20 000 siècles sous les mers (20,000 Centuries beneath the Sea), by Richard Nolane and Patrick Dumas, tells the story of Nemo battling an ancient undersea horror in a new, larger version of the Nautilus.  Part 1 includes images of the original Nautilus in a flashback sequence.  The original design has a cylindrical cigar-shaped hull with a deck running the full length of the cylindrical section.  There is a pilothouse with a very large circular port on each side and an outside platform in the top, such as on a typical submarine’s conning tower, at the forward end of the deck.  A second, identical, unexplained structure is located at the aft end.  There are two large round ports in the side of the hull.  The larger aft window has a four-leaf diaphragm protective shutter.  This Nautilus has a three-bladed prop in a simple fishtail.

Commercial artist, designer, and illustrator Brandon Steele includes this Nautilus design in his online portfolio.  The hull has two parts.  The larger diameter forward part has a cruciform flange of which the vertical set is larger and extends over the smaller diameter aft hull, the upper portion becoming an arch.  There are four large forward-facing lamps at the bow.  Steele's artwork hints at a wheelhouse where I've guessed at it, but the perspective of the graphic hides any detail.  The aft hull has two large windows on either side that open on the salon, which Steel calls the lounge.  (His separate Lounge illustration indicates a double hull construction with a flattened oval inner hull.)  There are four smaller ports along the lower hull.  The design has a large tail with a large rudder in the lower part.  A prop isn't visible and bubbles coming from the conical stern as well as the three circular features possibly hint at an exotic propulsion system.  See the original artwork in the portfolio.  (Clicking the graphic opens a high-resolution version.)  See several 20,000 Leagues illustrations, including the salon interior here.

Deniz Mutlu ("stabbedwithacarrot) designed this and the next Nautilus for a school project.  Both are part of the same multi-view drawing; this one is not colored in on the same drawing and I've interpreted it as a preliminary design.  The fish-shaped, oval cross-section hull has a small ram and a row of raker teeth along the upper forward hull culminating in a tall fin just forward of a small deck.  There's what appears to be a very large window under the center part of the rakers.  Large side fins flare out at the section that resembles gills.  I included this preliminary version because instead of dive planes these fins carry possibly movable cylindrical ducts with four-bladed fans, a feature used on deep-sea submersibles and, in slightly different form, on the 1886 Ottoman submarine Abdül Hamid.  The hull ends with a cruciform tail with double rudder and four-bladed propeller.  See Mutlu's drawing with multiple views of both designs at DeviantArt.

The Nautilus that is the focus of Deniz Mutlu's ("stabbedwithacarrot) drawing is less organic, more mechanical than the previous design.  The ram has been enlarged and integrated into a sharpened fin system protecting the forward hull.  The line of rakers is more stylized and now a full arch over the reverse tapered bow.  There is a two-level deck just aft of the tall forward leaning fin that completes the row of rakers.  The large windows of the preliminary version now have a more procatical multi-paned frame.  The "gills" remain but dive/surface fans are gone, replaced by horizontal cylinders that may be some sort of intakes, possibly associated with the gills.  The more or less triangular cross-section hull is stepped to resemble a sort of prehistoric armored and segmented sea creature, especially in the top and bottom views.  This look is carried to the tail, which incorporates dive planes and rudder around a four-bladed propeller.  See Mutlu's drawing with multiple views of both this and the previous design at DeviantArt.

This Nautilus, called "The Streamliner" by UK modeler Alan Taylor ("unbuiltnautilus") is what I'd call a quick-&-dirty design, based on the hull of an Akula-class submarine.  It has the classic Goff silhouette with a much cleaner - streamlined - appearance.  There are no rakers on the arch or keel, and the side fins flare gracefully up to and away from the accurately positioned salon window.  The deck is designed from the novel with an angle-sided pilothouse somewhat aft of the arch, the boat set in the deck about halfway aft to to the forward-looking lantern housing.  There's a hatch just forward of the lantern.  The oval cutout in the keel is a style element shared with other Taylor designs.  The position of the dive control surfaces isn't obvious from the drawing, but because this was conceived as a working model, they would be functional.  See a drawing of this Nautilus beside the original Akula in this post by Alan on the Model Boat Mayhem web site (1st post).

~ 2011 ~

Randolph Hess updated his original Nautilus (above) to better conform to the novel.  There are some minor changes, but the only significant one is the repositioning of the dive planes amidships.  As before, the wheelhouse and lantern retract for attack configuration as illustrated in the animation.

Described by "JIHS" as a steampunk Nautilus, the design is conceived as a giant squid, with the squid's tail to the left forming the bow, and the tentacles, eight tubes that appear to be part of the propulsion system, to the right, so that it actually sails "backwards", as a squid does when using its jet.  The tip of the tail forms a massive ram.  The tail fins just aft on the body appear to be for show only as control is achieved by several sets of fans set both horizontally in the body and and vertically as visible in the illustration.  There is a long, conning tower-like pilothouse on the deck, and large circular ports in the hull side.  This Nautilus is not so true to Verne's text, but I think true to its spirit.  You can no longer download JIHS's SketchUp model at Google 3D Warehouse but there are images and a version for sale in several formats at TurboSquid.

K2 Pictures designed this Nautilus for their television production of The Mysterious Island.  The overall design is like no other, resembling perhaps some prehistoric undersea creature.  The snout, if that's what it is, of this creature translates into overlapping serrated rams.  These together with a massive set of angled fins below and just forward of the pilothouse, protect the rest of the hull, which is only slightly less armored and much more detailed than illustrated in my rendering.  The pilothouse itself has an angled round port on each side and one, protected by a triangular hood, facing straight ahead.  The top of the pilothouse supports a deck.  The finlike object aft of the deck is actually a wide structure with a circular cross-section.  The hull sides feature a large round port and three slightly smaller ones.  The triangular tail has a horizontal element that may include dive planes.  The five-bladed propeller is enclosed in a protective cage.  You can see a six-view drawing of the mis-named "HMS" Nautilus and some unfortunately murky film shots on K2's Facebook photos page.

This Nautilus by Georgi Grigorov is available as a small resin model kit. The design is essentially the classic version.  The hull is a modified spindle with cylindrical midsection.  The four-sided wheelhouse is aligned so the ports face forward and back and to the sides.  The shape is slightly more complex than the standard pyramidal form.  The flat deck immediately aft of the wheelhouse has a rectangular hatchway followed by the boat.  There are several unexplained features probably added for interest.  The prism-shaped lantern is set in the hull just aft of the deck.  The images I've seen don't show a propeller but it would be situated at the very end of the hull, aft of the double triangle rudder.  The rudder is mounted at the end of a pair of vertical fins.  Trapezoidal dive planes are mounted amidships and there is a small circular salon window.  Grigorov has added a number of smaller portholes along the hull side.  See more about the kit, including some images here.

"Youngblood88" created this Nautilus as a school project.  It owns more to modern submarine design and recent science fiction than Jules Verne, but it does stand out as a unique design. The final drawing has annotation but it isn't legible and is likely written in Turkish, so all my comments are my own interpretation.  The bow of this Nautilus is unlike any other, featuring what appears to be a dropped ram.  There is an intricate structure just aft of the ram that appears to be duplicated on each side.  The hull itself looks to be semi-cylindrical, rounded on top and flat on the bottom.  I won't speculate on the finlike structure below the conning tower, but I'd guess that the large structure on the stern, which may be rounded is also duplicated port and starboard.  The screw or other propulsion system might be between these and the tabs top and bottom may be rudders. There is a fair-sized porthole forward of amidships, a very large, armored port corresponding to the salon, and a row of small ports aft.  The superstructure is almost a conventional conning tower with periscope, but there are two ports on the side, which are more Verne/sci-fi. Lastly there's an interesting structure at the base of the tower that I might interpret as part of a recessed boat.  See youngblood88's original image at DeviantArt.

Artist Walter Plitt Quintin has posted several very nice illustrations of Jules Verne's Nautilus on his Illustrated Man blog.  Each of these is a little different so I've selected features from several for my graphic here.  The hull is more or less spindle-shaped although one version is more of a cylinder with tapered ends.  The elevated deck extends all the way to the bow and includes a set of rakers at the prow.  There is no spur or ram but the bow looks beefy enough for ramming.  Most versions include a cylindrical wheelhouse.  Two versions have the salon window located amidships but two place it further forward.  There is no sign of dive planes either amidships or forward, so they must be in the stern horizontal fins.  Finally the propeller has four blades.  None of the illustrations shows a clear rudder.  You can view Quintin's original art here, here, here, and here.  In 2012 he posted a new image showing side, top, and bottom views here.  This, again slightly different, design has a spindle-shaped hull and shows the rudder in the vertical tail fins and dive planes in the horizontal fins. 

You can find several images of Tomasz Niedzinski's classic Nautilus on DeviantArt.  The design, which is highly faithful to the novel, has a tapered spindle hull with a narrow spar.  There are large offset dive planes just forward of amidships and a gracefully sculptured fishtail fin.  The small spherical pilot house with three circular windows is set into the hull at the forward end of a raised deck.  A small lantern is located on the deck just aft of the pilothouse.  The boat is in the center of the deck forward of amidships.  The circular salon window is located on the lower hull just a bit forward of the pilothouse and there is a diving hatch in the keel about a third way aft of amidships.  The rudder, set in the tail aft of the five-bladed prop, resembles Goff's.  See images of this Nautilus on DeviantArt here, here, here, and here.  
Digital artist Zacharias Vaught began with the View-Master Nautilus above but his own design is very different.  The hull shape is similar, but the raker configuration is very different.  The sawtooth set atop the hull is interrupted by a deck as in the novel with a low wheelhouse forward, a lantern aft, and a boat and hatch between them.  The rectangular, panel-covered salon window is accurately placed.  Vaught has located diving hatches on the hull bottom between the exaggerated fins and hidden lights in the fins.  I like this fishlike design better than the View-Master original.  See the full-size drawing at DeviantArt.

Papercrafter "RocketmanTan" created this paper model version of the Nautilus.  He based his design on the original Hetzel-edition illustrations and Verne's text.  In his words, "the hull retains the 4:35 ratio as described, the ram is in the shape of an isosceles triangle, the salon window is towards the bow, the diving plane is amidships, and the pilothouse and light retract into the hull during ramming attacks. ... The hull proportions refer to the hull only" so that the ram and rudder are extra.  The rudder assembly is from the French submarine Plongeur, often mentioned as Verne's inspiration. You can download the paper model at Deviant Art.

UK modeler Alan Taylor ("unbuiltnautilus") has been tinkering with a working model Nautilus he calls "The Beast".  This is one version of that steampunky design.  The basic spindle hull is richly adorned with functional and perhaps decorative elements.  Starting with the narrow centerline ram we move aft to a nicely-conceived reversed raker arch linked to the keel.  The keel is fitted with a row of large rakers.  The  bow structure has a double row that continues along the upper hull to the slant-sided bridge.  It's not obvious from the drawing here, but the appearance of this Nautilus just awash on the surface would very much resemble the head of a monstrous crocodile - The Beast!  Just aft of the bridge is a more standard raker arch, intended to protect the open deck platform atop the aft superstructure.  Another arch protects the vertical tail.  Armor plates along the side of the hull protect the large salon window and a row of lights along the hull.  The three "tentacles" are exhaust pipes, the source of the spray streams described in the novel.  There are dive planes forward and aft of the armor structure.  Aft of the Taylor signature oval notch in the keel is a practical reversed lantern tower for under water viewing.  See drawings of this and other Nautilus designs by Alan, and a photo of a prototype model, posted on the Model Boat Mayhem web site (posts 40 & 43 toward the bottom of the page). 

"stince" (Stinson L.) modeled this somewhat elongated spindle-hulled Nautilus in SketchUp.  The ram appears to be an integral part of the hull.  A raised deck is located forward of amidships, with a complex wheelhouse at the forward end and a tall tower-mounted lantern at the aft end.  Neither appears to be retractable.  There is a large rectangular hatch near the center, but no sign of a boat.  Large dive planes are set on the hull just aft of the wheelhouse.  The rudder is located below the stern, supported by a narrow fin on the hull bottom.  A four-bladed propeller is attached to the very stern.  There is a diving hatch on the bottom below the center of the deck.  The design includes angled, elaborately grilled rectangular windows, shown in the detail at right.  The detail also shows the round, layered (possibly fresnel) glass ports and the paned window arrangement on the sides and top.  You can download stince's SketchUp model at Google 3D Warehouse.  The model includes a partial interior.

Game designer and illustrator "Omega2064" created this spindle-shaped Nautilus based some old notes on the novel.  The design follows the the text with a large oval salon window, diving plane amidships, and large four-bladed propeller.  The wheelhouse and lantern are stationary, with the lantern tower tall enough to illuminate the area ahead of the submarine.  The captain's boat is recessed into the hull between them.  Omega264 used a Giger-like pattern to simulate a monster's skin.  My graphic tones the skin pattern down; see the original artwork and read Omega2064's explanation on DeviantArt.

This Nautilus by Chris3D more standard submarine-like than most but does have Vernian elements.  It mounts a sturdy spar mounted high on the bow, with a nod to Harper Goff in the raker ridge immediately aft.  There is a hatch in the deck just aft of the ridge.  The almost full-length deck is fitted atop the hull with large scupper vents fore and aft.  The wheelhouse is placed amidships, rather like a conning tower.  The stern has a centerline four-bladed propeller and vertical and horizontal fins with a split rudder on the former and dive planes on the latter.  The large salon window is located high on the hull amidships.  See images of this Nautilus at TurboSquid, where it is for sale.      

Alexander Sokornov (MsToft) has a very nice video of his Nautilus that you can view on here on .  His spindle-shaped design is true to Verne's text, although he has added a few embellishments.  The spar is similar to Humphries' or Dutton's and others but more graceful. The circular, slightly recessed salon window is correctly placed.  There are large diving planes placed amidships and horizontal fins at the stern that appear to be control surfaces.  They are mounted in an identical frame to that used for the double rudder.   The large, four-bladed propeller is set at the very end of the hull.  There is a large diving hatch on the hull bottom directly below the wheelhouse.  Most of the embellishments are to the details of the centrally located deck.  The deck arrangement is basically  as described in the novel, with the wheelhouse forward, the boat in the center, and the lantern aft, with a rail running most of the length.  Sokornov has constructed the lantern tower similarly to the wheelhouse, with view ports and placed the actual lantern atop the tower.  A second, larger lantern is mounted atop the wheelhouse.  A row of what might be ports or deadlights runs along each side of the hull along the edge of the deck.  The boat has a very interesting construction, looking almost like a small submarine and consistent with Nemo's description of its use.  MsToft has kindly allowed me to post some of his images here.

CG arts and animation student Daniel Rolph posted his Nautilus design on his DR Designs blog.  The bow of this Nautilus with its keel mounted ram reminds me some of a Roman galley.  There's not much of Jules Verne here but hints of Goff in the raker arch, anchor, and large wheelhouse window that resembles the 1956 salon window.  There are large rectangular ports in the forward hull that probably place the salon there.  Otherwise the design draws on more modern submarines.  There are forward and aft dive planes, two propellers low on the hull and tandem rudders at the stern.  The midships wheelhouse is more of a conning tower.  It even appears to have a periscope.  Not visible in my graphic, the large deck has a hatch at its aft end.  The forward end extends under the arch and includes a hatch there as well, another reference to Goff.  See Daniel's original art on his blog.

Prolific artist Walter Pitt Quintin has drawn a number of variations of the Nautilus.  This one, more fishlike that his earlier set, features a crest-like barbed fin at the bow.  There are hatches in the deck forward and aft of the organic wheelhouse with three large viewports.  The eye-like salon window is placed well forward.  There is a dive plane just aft of the window, still well forward of amidships and a cruciform tail that may include additional planes and a double rudder.  The design has a large, four-bladed prop at the stern.  See Walter's original art on his Illustrated Man blog.

Although not conceived as the Nautilus, Mara Aum's Argo, a vehicle from her C.O.G. Chronicles graphic novel, fits comfortably in the catalog.  While designed using motifs that reappear in many of the Chronicles' graphics, we can see elements that evoke the Nautilus of Verne.  The Argo has a fishlike shape with a narwhal spar.  There are two observation dome/wheelhouse possibilities, one on the upper bow with smaller flat ports just aft, and one atop the hull.  Two sets of semicircular ports located on the hull side might indicate large rooms, either of which could be serve as the Nautilus' salon.  Rows of smaller ports indicate at least three decks in the Argo.  The hull has overlapping, backward facing barbs, pointed along the sides and on the tail mount, rounded at the top.  The lower hull features a very large forward facing hook introducing a design element continued farther aft and in the ornate tail.  There's a slot in the hull for a complex set of large cogs, the motif that recurs appropriately throughout the Cog Chronicles.  See Mara Aum's original artwork here

~ 2012 ~

Artist Miles Teves has created more than half a dozen interesting Nautilus designs.  I especially like this one for its cross-references.  The shape is very much like Meinert Hansen's spiral screw designs (above) but Teves has reversed the concept, making the screw a rotating ram.  The flying raker arch emulates Ray Harryhausen's Mysterious Island Nautilus but with the wheelhouse integrated with the arch.  The salon window on the hull side is very large, but there is also a gondola on the hull bottom for underwater viewing.  The raker motif begins as a saw-tooth edge on the ram, continues along the arch, runs along the top and sides of the aft hull, the bottom of the gondola, and ends on the trailing edge of the extra large rudder.  
     The particular design pictured here is one of a closely related set of four.  One of these has a clearly separate spiral ram, leading me to believe it is intended to rotate.  It lacks the flying arch but has a graceful, almost filigreed framework on the hull.  Another is sturdier looking than the first two
and the spiral ram is obviously fixed to the hull.  The flying arch is more subdued than that featured here and is partly mirrored by a barbed keel extension.  There are two or even four propellers.  The last of the four has reshaped the ram, integrating it more closely with the hull.  The deck is located farther aft and may include a boat.  The salon window of each is sized, positioned and configured differently.  None show obvious dive planes.  See Teves' original large drawing of this set and other Nautilus designs (and his other art) on his web site.  I plan to feature more of these.

Perhaps before her armored fish Nautilus just below, freelance illustrator Cindy de Andrade Avelino conceived this similar, if simpler, design.  It has narwhal tusk ram, but in this case the tooth is still within the fish's mouth.  The large salon window serves as the creature's eye, and there are three smaller arched windows along the side of the hull, the peaked arches perhaps meant to suggest Captain Nemo's Indian heritage, revealed in The Mysterious Island.  The smaller window high on the hull appears to be a light. The overlapping armor plates are less spiky than the later Nautilus but still obvious, especially covering the forward section.  There are no noticeable dive planes, but this Nautilus does have a fairing along the side of the hull running from the salon window all the way to the intricately shaped tail.  The artwork doesn't show a propeller, but a bubble vortex hints at one.  A simple,  streamlined wheelhouse sits atop the hull.  See the original image at DeviantArt.  In her comments Cindy indicates the idea for the illustration, which shows a giant octopus coming up behind the comparatively small fish-like Nautilus, was a group effort, although she was the illustrator.

This Nautilus is imagined by freelance illustrator Cindy de Andrade Avelino as a heavily armored fish. The ram is the curved tusk of a narwhal, suggested by Professor Aronnax in the novel as a possible explanation for the "monster".  (Not visible in the much reduced graphic here but detailed in her original art, the artist has placed an asymmetrically tusked creature as a figurehead, appropriate because the narwhal's tusk is actually one of its canine teeth, grown enormous.)  The entire hull is covered with overlapping spiny plates.  The large, near spherical salon windows serve as eyes of the beast.  There is a searchlight embedded in a plate atop the hull, just forward of the wheelhouse, and two arched windows, smaller than the salon window, amidships.  Several smaller ports are set into the sides of the hull aft.  A small boat, approximately the same size as the wheelhouse, is set atop the hull about two-thirds of the way aft.  Two structures of uncertain purpose, possibly associated with the propulsion system, are located atop the hull just forward of the spiky tail.  There are two propellers in the tail, one on the hull centerline and a smaller one mounted in the crook of the upper tail.  There are no obvious dive planes, but some of the side plates may function of these.  See the intricate original artwork at DeviantArt.  Although posted to DeviantArt in 2013, the commentary dates the image 2012.

Ricardo Garcia ("Coscomomo") based his submarine Rendezvous on Goff's iconic design, first enlarging the the wheelhouse to match a diorama he made of its interior and then removing, adding, and changing elements to create this new version.  Although slightly longer, the spar remains but the arch and rakers are gone, replaced by a set of fins.  The enlarged wheelhouse has a forward-facing port, a smaller one on each side of the helm and two more at the aft end.  Two other additions are observation chambers with several ports, one on the aft deck, and one on the lower hull.  The lower tail fin is greatly lengthened and something that looks like a hatch is added to the hull side in the fairing just below the wheelhouse ports.  Overall this is a robust, steampunky version of the classic Nautilus.  See Garcia's original art, which includes a cutaway, here and examine his wheelhouse diorama at DeviantArt.

The MM Nautilus by "Mausel" and "Mike2010" starts with the classic Goff design and morphs it into something new. The arch, the rakers, dorsal fin, the salon window bulge are all there, but different.  The spar is heavier and incorporates its own rakers.  In fact the entire hull is wider and heavier looking.  The wheelhouse, now more like a ship's bridge, is incorporated into the hull rather than attached to the deck.   The deck itself is divided into three parts, the main deck aft of the wheelhouse hatch and a lower level on each side.  The salon window is very like Goff's but the ring of lights is replaced by three lights that are miniatures of the window.  M & M have moved the dive hatch from the center of the keel to the lower hull starboard side.  The stern itself has its own look, with a large rudder aft of a Verne-true, four-bladed prop.  I don't see any dive planes (this is not the only design without them).  This is a Poser 3-D model with a complete interior.  You can see some images of this Nautilus and purchase the model at Renderosity

My rendition doesn't do justice to artist Martin Reimann's unique Nautilus.  Granted, the design owes little to Verne, but even less to any other designer.  This submarine is brand new from the half-swallowed modern cathedral in the bow to the graceful hill of a conning tower - identified as the bridge - that dominates the deck.  The tall church windows in the bow and an array of smaller round windows in the prow itself look out from a large room he calls the observatory.  A chamber on the lower hull with smaller windows must serve some less formal purpose.  Reimann's experimental development drawings indicate that the clamshell structure on the forward lower hull is designed to open to reveal a futuristic weapon.  The lower hull has diving lights, one below the prow and one on each side amidships.  This Nautilus is more massive than most, more like a second generation boat, and has a large rudder and large dive planes, angled downward, but a surprisingly small prop.  See Martin's original drawing here and the concept under development here.  See more of his creative art at his website, the Imaginarium.

This is  Jean-Paul Denis's design for the Nautilus that Nemo first built.  After his escape he wished to live a peaceful, isolated life, exploring the sea.  The spindle-hull design features a cutwater at the bow, to ease travel on the surface through ice or other impediments.  There is a low wheelhouse at the forward end of the deck with the lantern mounted atop it just aft of the windows.  There is a hatch aft of the wheelhouse with the boat in the deck approximately amidships.  A large eight-bladed propeller is located at the stern.  The rudder is mounted on the hull bottom just forward of the prop.  The dive hatch is on the hull bottom about half way to amidships.  Triangular dive planes located just aft of amidships are small, but there are much larger surfaces on each side of the stern.  The large circular salon windows are protected by a light framework.  There is a covered anchor port and cooling water intakes for the electric equipment forward of the window.

Jean-Paul Denis suggests that Nemo, now being hunted by the "hated nation", modified the Nautilus while making repairs for damage suffered in the Maelstrom.  The basic functional design is unchanged, but he reinforced and armored the cutwater to make it a much more effective ram.  Dorsal and ventral "barbs" were added to the hull to protect fittings and to cause more target damage during a ramming attack.  The salon window guards are now heavy-duty and the stern has been significantly modified both to protect the propeller and to provide better stabilization.  The result is a much more aggressive, warlike appearance.

Dr. Grymm (Joey Marsocci) built this fish-like Nautilus for 5 Wits Attractions.  In his own words, "I wanted to keep with a more organic and streamlined shape though with a bit more grounded in reality design for a submarine. In the original story Verne's description of the sub was more like a Narwhal whale, as such I had always envisioned it to be more like a whale shark. I believed this design would be able to better camouflage into the ocean, while being a perfect design for ramming ships with it's dorsal fin".  The bow, rather than a ram, has a glowing grill where the shark's mouth would be.  This  might be a wide window or might be associated with the unusual propulsion system.  There is a dome at each end of superstructure with the tall fin amidships.  Three rows of port holes run along the hull, those on the bottom looking down.  There are three downward-pointing lights along the keel and what appears to be an observation gondola with small ports about a third of the way aft.  Control is provided by pivot-mounted ventral fins and a shark-like tail, all scaled to match the dorsal fin.  The propulsion system has components mounted on each side at the shark's pelvic fin location and one in the tail.  See photos of this interesting Nautilus on Flickr.

Gerard Duffy (Taranis) more or less followed the novel, retaining a version of the arch and much of the wheelhouse from Harper Goff's classic design.  As for so many of us, the Disney film was his introduction to Jules Verne.  Duffy's Nautilus is near-cylindrical - the cross-section is a polygon, similar to Goff's - with tapered ends.  Although an early version lacked one, the final sub has a cruciform spar. The vertical and horizontal fairings of Goff's design are retained, minus the rakers, and further modified.  The horizontal fairing flairs out forward of the salon window to contain large dive planes.  The window has external panels that slide together for protection, as described in the novel.  A narrow fairing resumes after the window and then flairs out again near the stern to accommodate a second set of planes.  The large four-bladed propeller is protected by a short cylindrical shroud with a large rudder astern.  The notch in the keel fairing, like Goff's, contains the diving hatch.  The forward arch is cantilevered over the wheelhouse, rather than attached, and Goff's alligator-eye lights are relocated to the deck well forward of the wheelhouse.  The deck runs straight back from the main hatch just aft of the wheelhouse, but flairs out to a circular platform amidships, resuming its narrow shape along the stern and ending at what appears to be a small lantern located on the forward edge of the blunt vertical fin.  The boat is set in the aft part of the flared-out deck.  See some very nice renderings of Duffy's Nautilus on his blog here.  (And see his second Nautilus below.)

~ 2013 ~

Robert Blanda (Cybertenko) conceived this Nautilus  from the inside out.  The complete submarine appears only as an orientation drawing for richly detailed interior models of the salon and the library, and as a whimsical inkwell on Nemo's desk.  I've rendered it here using these examples.  The hull is a tapered cylinder with large oval salon windows approximately amidships.  A multi-bladed propeller is mounted on the centerline in a cruciform finned tail protected by a large propeller guard.  There is a large D-shaped rudder at the stern and likely dive planes in the horizontal fins.  Both the wheelhouse and lamp are realized as large frame-protected domes at either end of a narrow deck.  No other details are visible, but I'm sure Robert will add them as appropriate if he extends the interior.  You can see, and if you are a Poser user, purchase Cybertenkos's very detailed Nautilus Salon and Library at Renderosity.  


Le Regard Sonore Productions designed this fish-like Nautilus for their app and eBook edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. The shark-like prow lacks a toothy mouth, but uses shark's teeth for a chainsaw line of rakers along the top of the bow.  The salon window serves as the shark's eye and the dive planes are set forward as rather small ventral fins.  The small portholes aft of the salon window call to mind a shark's gills.  The fish imagery extends to the tailfin shape of the stern and rudder.  There is a relatively small propeller located below the hull.  The wheelhouse and lantern rise very little from the hull top and are likely depicted withdrawn.  Watch a short video of this Nautilus on (Thanks to MsToft for telling me about this design.)  

The 0one Games Nautilus, designed by Guido Barbati, is described as very different from Verne's description, being small, more modern, and armed.  Fifty meters long, the hull has an aquatic animal appearance with a fishlike stern, not very different from Harper Goff's, a dorsal fin aft, and what may be ventral fins forward. A nautilus shell motif amidships provides a frame for the pilothouse control room.  The dive planes are incorporated in horizontal fins on the aft hull forward of the tail and aft of the dorsal fin.  Although armed with missiles and torpedoes, this design retains a ram below the bow, and rows of hooked rakers on the hull top and bottom and along the sides. There are very large round windows on each side of the dining room. In this Nautilus the captain and crew appear to have near equal status, using the same dining room.  Each of the ten crew cabins has a large porthole while the captain's and guest cabins do not.  The control room in the hull-top pilothouse has a very large triple view port forward and the design includes a second manual piloting room in the bow with its own bulbous view port.  There may also be large rectangular windows in the lower aft hull below the crew cabins.
     This Nautilus is depicted in detail, including interior plans, in a booklet intended for use in role playing games.  A bonus PDF file has a very nice, large printable poster of the design. The downloadable files are available at a very modest price on the 0one Games-Deep Blues website.

Once more reworking his Nautilus, Frank Chase has added a 19th century look.  He's returned the ram to the hull centerline and restored the small saw-tooth rakers of his original design, above.  A small Goff-honoring arch protects the wheelhouse, enlarged from the previous design.  Frank has moved the lantern forward of the boat.  The boat itself is set inverted into the deck slightly to port, and mounted to a frame that rotates it to the water, similarly to the arrangement at the bottom of my Dinghy page.  The deck hatches are next to the boat on the starboard side of the deck.  Frank has completely reworked the stern, making it more graceful and fish-like.  You can see details of the new deck on Frank's evolving Virtual Nautilus page using the "5-Sytem schematics and exterior views" link.

Illustrator Aleksa Gajic conceived this Nautilus for the Makondo 2013 Serbian edition of 20 000 миља под морем The Nautilus appears with slight variations in half of the dozen illustrations.  I based my graphic on parts of an interior plan in one illustration but incorporated features from others.  The design has an interesting double arch ram that extends in front of the hull.  One illustration appears to show a wheelhouse but most show an empty deck.  There is a large salon window approximately amidships and some bulges and fairings on the aft hull one of which looks like an intake.  There appear to be two small ventral fins on the forward lower hull and a large fin aft.  The plan shows a system of at least five propellers in one view and a single prop in another.  Perhaps the others are located in ducts.  The drawing show an oval cross-section wider than it is high.  Click the cover graphic at right to go to the publisher's page, which includes a gallery (galerija) of high-resolution illustrations, or click here for Aleksa Gajic's blog entry that features additional illustrations.

Imagining how Nemo might have changed the Nautilus if he and it had survived the destruction of his Vulcania base at the end of the 1954 movie, Tom Martin (vismus) came up with this variation on Harper Goff's iconic design.  Tom has lowered the profile of the wheelhouse and continued the raker arch over its top.  He's moved the "alligator eye" lights from the top of the wheelhouse to the deck aft of the forward hatch and just forward of the large ports.  The dorsal fin just forward of the deck hatch is gone and a new set of deck rails, not unlike those in Goff's original concept model is added. He's replaced the bulb-nosed ram with a simple triangular cross-section spar as Verne described it in the novel. Tom also made a few less obvious changes such as adding dive lights to the lower hull.  I think Harper would like it.  Tommie has kindly allowed me to post some of his images here.  See a some more Martin re-thought designs just below and here.

Here is a second reimagining of the Nautilus by Tom Martin.  Following the same rationale as his design above, he made a few small changes, perhaps only noticeable by comparing the two images.  The extended raker arch is different and the wheelhouse is smaller, with a different shape.  The "alligator eye" lights are repositioned farther aft.  He's placed a dome viewport just aft of the wheelhouse on a lowered and lengthened breather structure and removed some of the railing to accommodate this.  The ram is more like Goff's but slimmer.  Less visible at this scale is a ring of diving lights around the lower hatch, but the larger prop guard is easy to see.  See a larger image of this design here.

"diasparys" has given this Nautilus a wide, graceful ray shape.  The design features a very long barbed spar.  A nod to Goff incorporates an arch with sharp rakers protecting the large wheelhouse.  These continue as a barbed spine running the length of the hull, reminding me a little of ABC Nautilus.  A sparser set of spines are set in the edges of the ray wing sides of the hull, a little like Goff's.  The bulbous  wheelhouse windows are very large, as compared to the single hatch and ladder just aft on the side of the structure.  There are no other features on the hull top and the three images available show only part of one of at least two propeller housings.  There are no views from below, so except for the propeller, the lower hull in my render is purely speculative.  See images of this very nice design at DeviantArt here, here, and here.

Joseph Bennecelli NautilusThis Nautilus by Joseph Bennecelli is clearly derived from Goff's classic but not as graceful in appearnce.  The upper hull is similar but the diving hatch is located well forward and the lower hull appears bloated.  His print (available here) includes a matching interior view that main explain some of the distortion as needed to accommodate the interior as it is featured in the Disney movie.  (Thanks to Mikel Sauve for finding this Nautilus.)


JC Carbonel  built this Nautilus by kit-bashing a Glencoe Mars Liner model (the Glencoe kit is a reproduction of an earlier Strombecker Disneyland TWA Moonliner kit).  Carbonel used the fuselage to create a sleek hull, filling in three of the landing leg recesses and extending the stern with part of a different Glencoe rocket kit.  The cockpit canopy was modified to become a low wheelhouse with a single port forward.  The salon observation window is far forward and the small port just above it perhaps a window in Nemo's cabin.  The large organic dive planes (not obvious in my graphic) are set low on the hull just aft of the salon windows.  Carbonel intended the fins and the windows to call to mind an ichthyosaur.  Rather than a deck-mounted lantern this design has a ring of lights on the hull amidships.  There is a long deck atop the hull.  Again not visible, the aft part of the deck has two doors covering a large recess for the boat.  The simple tail includes chains on top to operate the rudder, a large propeller, and the rudder at the very stern.  See detailed photos of the construction at Model Stories(Thanks to Ishmael for bringing this Nautilus to my attention.)

Here's another design by artist Walter Pitt Quintin , in this case to illustrate the Nautilus beneath the Antarctic ice.  This robust-looking version has a hefty ram integrated with the bow and topped with a row of raker barbs.  There are two rows of additional barbs along the side of the hull forward and aft of the salon window positioned amidships.  The dive planes are placed well forward.  The cruciform tail is smaller and much less fishlike than Quintin's last design.  This Nautilus looks like it could easily smash an enemy ship.  See Walter's original art and a preliminary drawing on his Illustrated Man blog.

Prolific Sketchup modeler “JAZ” describes this as his own, “non-canon”, Great White Shark-like version of the Nautilus. Evaluating it on those criteria, the appearance is definitely shark-like, although the dorsal fine is a bit too big and would be better positioned a little farther toward the tail. The salon windows serve well as overlarge eyes and the pivoting dive hatch/ramp is a fair shark jaw. Evaluating it in general as a Nautilus submarine design, there is a large deck atop the hull but no wheelhouse. The control room located under the dorsal fin has a large screen in front of the wheel. The smaller windows on the upper hull look out from a corridor on one side and the galley on the other. There are forward-facing lamps in the very thick pectoral fins that have control surfaces on the trailing edge. The design has a ring-protected main prop in the tail and two smaller props mounted at the base of the pelvic fins. There is no obvious ram. Figures included in JAZ's 3D model indicate this Nautilus is about 135 feet long compared to Verne's 230 feet.
    My only criticism of the design is the overly large dorsal fin and hatch, lifted almost directly from Goff. The image at right shows these components reduced to better match the overall scale of the submarine. The human figure provides a reference.
    You can see and download this model, which has an extensive interior, from the Trimble (formally Google) 3D Warehouse.

Illustrator Andrea Pucci designed this elaborate Nautilus for the 2013 LuxVide animated Italian TV series Le straordinarie avventure di Jules Verne.  The various concepts he considered in arriving at this design (shown on his blog), feature characteristics of a squid, fish, nautilus, or other marine life motif.  The final design combines elements from these, retaining the nautilus form just discernable in the central hull around the salon window.  Thanks very much to Ishmael who offered that the overall shape of this Nautilus is that of a magic lamp.  Even more insightful  is his suggestion that the barbed spar represents the trident of Shiva, an appropriate weapon considering Nemo's Indian origin as revealed in Mysterious Island.  The large barbed claw-like spar and the large N-emblem tail stand out, but it's easy to get lost in the extensive detail.  An interior plan shows a second salon/observation room in the lowest part of the hull.  This room has a planetarium and orrery, and a platform for Nemo's organ in the center.   There are bays for mini-subs of two sizes.  See a trailer for the Nautilus episode (Ventimila leghe sotto i mari) here(Thanks to Lyle Simoneaux for bringing this Nautilus to my attention.)

Tom Martin went even farther re-imagining Harper Goff's classic design with this version of Nemo's rebuild of the Nautilus.   The raised deck and wheelhouse are completely gone, replaced by a mirror replication of the keel profile incorporating the forward deck hatch in the first opening and a new wheelhouse under a rail-protected dome, mimicking the salon window, in the gap.  The mirror keel then continues aft, replacing the Goff's dorsal fin, ending at the aft deck hatch.  From here aft the deck with the pinnace and tail are very like Goff's original.  Tom has made less obvious changes to the forward hull, placing the "alligator eye" lights from the old wheelhouse here, adding breather vents and, with a touch of whimsy, Nemo's crest.  This sinister looking beast is by far my favorite variation on Goff.  See more images of this intriguing Nautilus here.  Tom's earlier reconception is above.

~ 2014 ~

This elaborate Nautilus from the Campeones de Verne game, drawn by professional illustrator José David Lanza definitely owns something to Harper Goff and probably to a few others but the design is unique.  The upper rakers on the bow are straight from the Goff version, but here the arch is integrated with the bug-eye pilothouse.  The design has a raised deck amidships, under a possible dual, scary looking, cantilevered, reversed raker arch that merges into the aft bridge superstructure.  The rakers transform from Goff's shape to sharp insectile barbs that run along the extension that overhangs the stern. The lower rakers on the bow just aft of the barbed ram are more ragged than those above and also insectile. They end forward of amidships where there is an unusual transition in the hull, almost as if the bow can separate from the stern.  There are three small portholes on the lower hull and several odd black circular structures.  There is a complex mechanical structure here but I can only imagine its function.  The aft hull has a large Goff-like salon window with two smaller ports just aft.  Other mechanics are attached to the lower hull and a version of the reverse arch is affixed to the keel, but continuing the sharp insect barb motif.  The only clearly recognizable features are a large anchor and the propeller, although some of the rods might be controls  for the large batwing shaped rudder at the stern. Overall this is a distinct, recognizable design.  See the full size artwork on the Campeones de Verne web site.

Not obvious in my standard side view, "Atesta" used a stylized squid shape for this Nautilus.  The tapered hull ends in a flared horizontal tail and giving the design a clearly squid-like appearance from a top or bottom view.  We might consider the vertically symmetrical lattice structure extending from the narrow ram and blended into the hull as representing the squid's arms.  The circular salon window is located far aft as the squid's eye.  There appears to be a short deck atop the hull here with a round lantern just aft.  Farther aft, the design has a complex vaned propeller system forward of the wide tail.  Atesta has posted renders of this Nautilus at (membership is necessary to view these).

Gerard Duffy (Taranis) has created a second, I think more graceful Nautilus version.  As he says, "I wanted to move away from the Harper Goff look as much as I could, and stay as close as I can to most of the descriptions from the book."  This new design has a circular cross-section, smoothly tapered-end, cylindrical hull.  He's retained the raker arch ("I debated for a while about ... the 'Raker', but I feel that it would be useful for protecting the pilot house a little when ramming ships"), but this version is finer than his early design and slopes back smoothly into the wheelhouse structure.  Duffy's moved the launch back a little to the end of the deck.  The vertical and horizontal fins at the stern that support the propeller guard are smaller, complimenting the hull taper.  Compared to the earlier version, the entire design is more unified.  The tapered ram has an octagonal cross-section that transforms naturally into the forward hull fairings.  The upper one joins the raker arch, the next lower pair end at the hull-mounted lamps, the middle pair run along the hull all the way to the recessed salon window wells, the set below this mirror those running to the lamps, and the lower one merges with the keel.  Except for the arch, the fairings have a horizontal saw-tooth design, less brutal than Goff's vertical raker teeth, but still subtly lethal.  See some very nice renderings of this Nautilus on Gerard's blog.  There's a beautiful old-style cutaway plan of this Nautilus in the 3 Oct 14 blog entry, currently on the main blog page.  (See Gerard's earlier design above in the Catalog.)

Artist Josef Keller realized this Nautilus by kit-bashing a model of the USS Abraham Lincoln nuclear submarine and adding elements true to the novel.  The slim cigar-shaped hull has a formidable four-bladed ram and oval salon windows positioned per Nemo's description in the text.  The design has large trapezoidal dive planes amidships and a diving hatch on the lower hull.  It features a unique propeller with four T-shaped blades.  The wheelhouse at the forward end of the deck has a large port forward and smaller ports on each side.  The boat is set into the deck amidships with a hatch just aft.  The lantern housing, with is large forward-facing lens, is located at the aft end of the deck.  See a photo of Josef's scratch-built model at natuilussubmarine (membership required).  See many examples of his creative artwork on his website Southwind Airbrush and his Nautilus model photos here.

Bob Farrell and I exchanged lots of ideas about the Nautilus when I began my Nautilus pages.  Now I'm happy to include Bob's own design.   Although more cylindrical, the hull shape has the rounded stern of Deschamp's design above, and the rectangular salon windows or Ron Miller's.  Both the pilothouse and lantern can be withdrawn into the hull.  Bob has recessed both the main deck between the pilothouse and the lantern, and the fishing deck aft of the lantern, into the hull, to provide level surfaces without protruding from the hull.  The forward deck includes the main hatch and boat.  There are two hatches and lots of space for handling and stowing the catch described in the novel.  The dive planes are configured to fold up into a recess in the hull side for surface running.  See much more and read Bob's thoughts on this Nautilus on his Design Perspective web site.  (I found that even with my browser at full screen I couldn't access the "Details by Location" subpages.  Don't miss these interesting discussions - I've posted direct links here.)

Ian O'Toole's Nautilus is realized in the second edition of the solitaire board game Nemo's War, by Chris Taylor.  Its only obvious design reference is the second generation Nautilus as drawn by Kevin O'Neill in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel series, although the overhead arch resembles a number of other designs.  This Nautilus has an intricately stepped pyramidal ram.  The side tentacle structures wrap around and possibly protect dual salon windows positioned at different levels, suggesting an interesting interior layout.  There's no apparent wheelhouse but the portholes in the superstructure below the raised deck hint at a possible surface control purpose.  There are dive planes on the aft hull and a vertical tail that may serve as a rudder.  The design uses a "hydro drive" rather than a propeller.  The game, which is expected to include a small sculpted game piece of the Nautilus, is scheduled for release by Victory Point Games in December 2015.

This design by artist Walter Pitt Quintin is a little more fishlike than his earlier design featured above.  There is a large window on the upper bow just aft of a hefty ram.  This may be a forward salon or an underwater bridge.  Dive planes are located just below this window.  There's a large dorsal fin at the forward end of the deck and a slope-sided wheelhouse with large oval ports at mid-deck.  The windows on the hull side amidships, the usual position of the salon are smaller than the forward ports and no larger than those on the wheelhouse.  The hull tapers to a cruciform tail with a fishlike appearance from the side.   The horizontal fins probably incorporate aft dive planes.  See Walter's original drawing on his Illustrated Man blog.

~ 2015 ~

Grigory Smirnov's Nautilus seems small and lacks the proportions described in the novel but is easily recognizable as Verne's classic submarine.  The main characteristic of the design is the extent of elaborate decoration, only some of which I've mimicked in my graphic.  This Nautilus has a simple cigar-shaped hull with a small ram at the bow and a small propeller at the stern.  The very large salon window, the focus of the design, contrasts with three smaller ports located along the side trim nearer the stern.  There are three much smaller ports on the lower hull.  When compared to the deck railing these small ports are seen to be proportionally large and the salon window becomes enormous.  The large wheelhouse has large canted ports facing forward and one on each side.  There is a large hatch amidships in the deck that stretches far aft over the rudder.  Two-thirds of the way along the deck another structure, with aft-facing ports, appears to be something other than a lantern housing.  See Smirnov's Nautilus stock image at Dreamstime.

Wayne Orlicki designed this Nautilus with the intention of staying true to Nemo's killer ramming submarine concept while avoiding copying Goff's classic elements.  Well, there's still a little Goff there, especially in the reverse arch at the stern,  but it's camouflage  mimicry.  The Nautilus admirer sees a sleeker, cleaner version of the Nautilus with a beefy arch, but wait a minute ... it's going the other way!  "He didn't miss me; he's attacking!"  The lethal ram on this boat is not at the bow, but above the extended wheelhouse near the stern in the form of a massive keel-breaking hook.  The entire submarine is a weapon, from the reinforced bow to the shielding arch that runs nearly the whole length of the submarine, designed to bring the target's keel to that murderous hook.  There is a small boat, identical to Goff's, mounted in the aft end of the deck, on the port side of the arch.  The salon windows, located almost amidships, are recessed into the hull side for protection.  The diving hatch, below the wheelhouse on the lower port-side hull, has sliding doors (shown open in the graphic).  The dive planes are combined with the rudders in a V-tail "ruddervator" arrangement just aft of the twin propellers.  See larger images of Wayne's Nautilus and read his commentary at (registration required for access).

The fourth reimagining of Goff's classic by master Nautilus kit basher Tom Martin resembles his previous version (here) but extends Nemo's arsenal with high-powered armor-piercing harpoon launchers.  The bow of this design resembles the last.  The ram is still there as are the rakers, augmented by a second larger set on the aft end of arch, inspired by Wayne O's vicious hook, above.  The harpoon launch tubes, two on the port side, one starboard, are mounted on the upper hull.  The forward hatch under the arch and the aft hatch at the end of the hatch are retained from the previous version but the glass helmsman's dome amidships is gone.  This Nautilus has periscopes, a fixed one used on the surface by the helmsman and a second raisable one for Nemo's scouting  use submerged.  Tom has relocated Goff's breather vents to the aft deck, just forward of the skiff.  The stern is unchanged.  See larger images of this Nautilus here.

Artist Bin Li designed this Nautilus as part of a sculpture depicting a giant squid attacking the submarine.  His concept drawings show he tried various more-or-less fishlike shapes for the Nautilus reaching this armored, less-organic design.  There is a slight resemblance to Goff's classic in the spar, the lower raker barbs, the salon window, and the superstructure, although this is moved farther aft and has no viewports.  Instead the the pilothouse is in the bow with three round ports on each side.  The salon window mount is more angular, with fewer lights.  There appears to be a row of three smaller ports on the side of the upper hull aft of the superstructure.  There are two fin-like control or stabilization surfaces on the side of the hull forward of the salon window.  The less fishlike tail with its dual in-line propellers bears little resemblance to Goff.  See images of the concept art, the sculpture, and even download a file to print it yourself at the Thingiverse.

Australian artist Wild Bill Flowers (Snake-Artist) uses this Nautilus in several of his 20,000 Leagues under the Sea illustrations.  His fish-shaped design owes a little to Goff in the saw tooth vertical fins but is mostly original.   It has a long sharp spar, sharper than I've shown, that smoothly transitions into the finned keel and upper fairing.  The pilot house, with large circular ports on its front and sides, resembles the conning tower of a 20th century submarine, including masts.  There's a deck area just aft of this structure with a saw-tooth finned bulwark on either side.  The hull sides have an organic ornamentation motif from bow to stern, resembling a tentacled sea creature.  The ornamentation incorporates the large free-form salon window.  The propeller, if that's the propulsion mechanism, is hidden in a cylindrical duct at the stern.  No dive planes are evident, but dual ventral fins probably provide control.  See one of Snake-Artist's illustrations at DeviantArt.

Author/illustrator William O'Connor created this Nautilus for the Sterling Illustrated Classics 2015 edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.  The design has a cylindrical hull with conical ends and an internal layout that follows Verne's description in the novel.  The sturdy, harpoon point-like ram is backed by fluted cone structure to carry the force of a ram attack into the hull structure.  This and other details give this Nautilus a steampunk appearance.   The forward deck is protected by a bulwark that becomes a railing about a third of the way aft.  The cylindrical wheelhouse with four ports is retractable so that its cap is flush with the deck behind the bulwark.  The boat is set into the deck just aft of the circular main hatch.  The lantern, with a structure similar to wheelhouse, is also partly retractable.  The lantern cylinder is capped with a tapered extension so that the light itself, which may be rotatable, is raised to project above the wheelhouse.  Circular salon windows are located fairly forward on the hull at the forward conic transition and the large dive planes are mounted forward of amidships.  There are smaller stabilizing fins on the aft hull conic section.  The dive hatch is recessed in the hull bottom, and not visible in my side view.  The aft hull ends with symmetric vertical fins with a large two-part rudder.  The medium-sized four-bladed propeller is located at the very stern.  O'Connor has embellished this Nautilus with many details such as ballast and steam vents, as well as the waterspout vents mentioned in the novel.
The richly illustrated and beautifully printed book has only one unfortunate flaw: the text is Lewis Mercier's incomplete and error-filled public domain translation.  If the publisher had stepped up to one of the vastly superior modern translations it would be perfect, if a bit more expensive.  But as it is I still heartily recommend it for O'Connor's beautiful illustrations, which are true to Jules Verne's novel.  My simple side view doesn't do justice to this Nautilus. You can preview some of the pages and purchase the book on
(Thanks to Dean Peteet for bringing this Nautilus to my attention.)


This elegant Nautilus by H I Sutton modifies or replaces some of the features but retains the basic concept described by Nemo in the novel.  The design features double-hull construction not obvious in this side view but apparent in the cutaway on Sutton's Nautilus web page.  There is a sharp ramming spar on the conical bow.  The circular salon windows are inset in the outer hull and further protected by triangular fins.  A curved arch protects the cylindrical pilothouse that is mounted atop the hull.  Two large pilothouse ports are projected by grid work.  Decking is attached to the hull beginning just forward of the pilothouse and extending to a conning tower-like structure that serves as a station for the surface watch crew.  This structure has a rather fragile looking filigree arch, that if wide enough might protect the air intake and extendable searchlight.  The boat is set in the deck forward of this arch and the main hatch is located in the center of the deck.  There is a diving hatch on the side of the lower hull below the main hatch.  The dive planes are located at about the pilothouse position below the centerline and protected by fairings.  There are small twin propellers and a large double rudder that forms a fish-like tail.  Read about more about this Nautilus and see some beautiful high-resolution images of both the exterior and interior design on Sutton's Nautilus page.

"PHoD" Nautilus"Plush Hyena of Doom" (PHoD) created Nautilus for a content challenge on the BioWare game forum.  It derives from Goff's Disney design as so many do, but diverges in a more organic direction.  The ram is very long but the hull itself is foreshortened.  The dive hatch is located farther forward and the aft keel like the dorsal fin is more fish fin-like.  Similarly, the tail is more symmetrical, enclosing a relatively small two-bladed propeller.


Rather than imitate or reference Goff's iconic design several folk have modified it so it's still recognizable as Goff's but different.  This is "Chris2009"'s reimagining of Goff's Nautilus. Most obvious in the small elevation view here is the triangular dart-like ram.  There is a deck rail and a new hatch atop the wheelhouse.  The tail looks different from the original, but less obvious in the side view, the hull has a circular cross-section and, more importantly, this design has dual propellers.  The image at right shows the propellers, which Chris based on a period patent, and the articulated rudder.  See high-resolution images of Chris's Rhino model work-in-progress and read some commentary in this Nautilus thread (free membership required). 

"TheCeladon" has subtly re-imagined Harper Goff's classic Nautilus.  At first look it's a faithful reproduction, but as you examine the details, most of which aren't visible in my small image, differences emerge.  Most noticeable, Goff's bulb-ended spur has been replaced by a longer, chisel-like spike that emulates the polygonal cross-section of the hull.  The wheelhouse windows now resemble the faceted salon window frames, which also differ from Goff's.  These and the matching light assemblies are inspired by the International Space Station Cupola module.  Not so obvious in the side view, the tail differs significantly.  This Nautilus has a more conventional four-bladed propeller enclosed in a nicely integrated cylindrical shroud assembly.  Goff's simple if functional prop guard looks like an afterthought by comparison.  The rudder is the entire vertical tail and TheCeladon has replaced the small side-strake-mounted dive planes with large fin-like planes just forward of the tail, visible in the image at right.  The images here don't do justice to the the intricate details of this Nautilus, modeled in Sketchup.  You can see high-res images and read some of the designer's thoughts in this Nautilus thread (free membership required).  The nameplate is a nice touch, and look for the mermaid sculpture on the hull.  TheCeleadon has made his SketchUp 3D Nautilus available at the 3D Warehouse.

This Nautilus by Malcolm Brown starts with a few features of Goff's design and finishes with something new.  The bulb-tipped spar is transformed into a barbed harpoon.  The forward rakers remain but the open arch and forward deck are gone and the entire wheelhouse, with large bug-eye windows, is integrated with the rakers atop the bow.  Goff's curved dorsal fin is transformed to a large straight-edged triangle.  The large hemispherical structure at the end of the deck may be a large hatch, or something else.  The tubes running aft on the upper hull may have a specific purpose or, like odd-shaped plates bolted to the hull side, may be more decorative than functional.  The keel, nicely modified from Goff, has a gap for a large dive hatch and more rakers on the stern.  Brown has relocated the anchors from Goff's forward position.  In addition to the large salon window, there are three smaller ports forward and two rows of even smaller ports, implying three decks for this Nautilus.  Ishmael, who brought this design to my attention, believes it is much smaller than most, with only two decks.  He thinks the dorsal fin may have a dual v-shaped configuration.  The tail has a straight trailing edge and is therefore similar to and different from Goff's.  This Nautilus is somewhat shorter and more fish-shaped than the classic.  See the nicely rendered original artwork by Brown (Ravenscar45) at DeviantArt.

mikedp's NautilusThis is "mikedp"'s take on Goff's iconic Nautilus.  He's kept the general appearance but replaced the vertical rakers with what appears to be a cable-stabilized set of heavy cogs.  The wheelhouse is similar to Goff's but has a third globular viewport on top and narrow spines replace the breather panels.  The oval salon windows are proportionally larger compared to a shorter total length.  The stylized tail, fancier that the classic one, ends with a small propeller.  Overall this is a heftier if slightly smaller Nautilus than in the film, but I'd have some concerns about its integrity in a ram attack.  Mikedp's Nautilus is available for Sketchup here.

Concept artist Grant Regan wanted his Nautilus to show the sleek cigar shape described in the novel but have features consistent with real late 19th century submarine development.  From the side the design appears spindle-shaped, but the hull cross-section is more of a flattened diamond with triangular fairing running its full length, interrupted only by the salon windows.  This fairing constitutes an outer hull and contains the ballast tanks.  The narrow bow features a slender spar, a ram not unlike that of Greg DeSantis' design, seen aboveLarge dive planes are located far forward on the bow.  Just aft of the planes, one of three hatches is positioned atop the hull.  A wide deck rises aft of the hatch.  Situated in the middle of the deck, the retractable wheelhouse has two large ports looking forward and one aft.  Just aft is the main hatch and then the dingy, set in the deck athwartships, above the salon.  Deviating from the novel, Regan has located Nemo's cabin recessed into the deck aft of the boat.  Not visible in my side view, the cabin has small ports on its sides.  The large three-part salon window is set into the main hull where the wide outer hull fairing is interrupted amidships.  The fairing flares out into horizontal fins at the tail, mimicking the Goff-like vertical fins.  The tail has a four-bladed propeller just forward of a cylindrical prop guard and a small rudder.  The dive hatch is located in the lower hull just aft of the salon.  See Grant's beautiful illustration of the Nautilus attacked by a kraken on his web site.

When the Abyss Observatory museum in Second Life moved, it lost Reitsuki Kojima’s Nautilus.  Unable to restore that Nautilus, Hajime Nishimura and members of Abyss designed this replacement following Jules Verne's description.  The new design features a spindle-shaped hull with a triangular cross-section ram at the bow and a four-bladed propeller at the stern.  The keel extends aft providing a mounting surface for the rudder.  The large oval salon windows are inset in the hull just forward of the dive planes, which are forward of amidships.  A low deck is centered on the hull with the wheelhouse at the forward end and a smaller lantern housing at the aft end.  Both of these can be withdrawn into the hull.  The design has two dinghies, one on either side of the main hatch.  The Abyss Nautilus has a complete interior, detailed with careful attention to Verne's text.  See high resolution images of the exterior and interior of this Nautilus, interior layout drawings, and some background on the design on the Abyss Observatory website.

~ 2016 ~

The on-line nautical art shop Naut'Line that features this Nautilus doesn't directly identify the artist but it may be Jérôme Delaunay.  The hull is spindle shaped and features a sturdy blunt ram and a heavy keel.  The wheelhouse, situated at the forward end of the deck, has a large port on each side.  The structure at the aft end of the deck has a lens or glass facing aft.  The poster actually shows light shining from the wheelhouse forward port.  The large oval salon is located about as described in the novel and dive planes are approximately amidships.  A second, smaller set of places are located farther aft.  A relatively small propeller is set in the sleek vertical tail.  See this Nautilus at Naut'Line.

Harry Duksch conceived this graceful new and different Nautilus.  The profile shows some obvious allusions to Goff but the overall appearance is graceful while retaining some lethality in the saw-tooth prow.  The larger vertical arches of this ram would apply the major force in and attack, the smaller horizontal pair serving to protect the submarine's side fins and salon window housings.  The hull is more or less spindle shaped with the maximum diameter appearing to be well aft.  The retractable wheelhouse, except for the forward arch with its two lights, resembling Goff's only slightly, has two larger forward-facing ports and two smaller ports on each side, one of which is in a hatch.  The salon window similarly resembles Goff's from a distance, but is mechanically distinct when examined up close.  The hull has a large keel, again reminiscent of Goff, but there are two dive hatches, the aft one significantly larger.  There is a row of lights on the lower hull alongside the keel, a practical consideration on this Nautilus, which is obviously designed with underwater activity in mind.  The stern differs very much from Goff and from most of the other designs in the catalog.  A lower vertical fin incorporates a long rudder.  Two other similarly shaped fins attached to the upper hull 120 degrees from the lower one emphasize the grace of the overall shape.  The wavy blades of the large propeller assembly remind me of flowing kelp or perhaps a jellyfish.  Combined with the fins these give this design an organic look.
     In the novel Nemo mentions to Aronnax that he could have generated his electrical power directly from seawater but chose what he thought was the simpler approach of processing coal that he mined underwater.  Duksch's design takes that step beyond Verne, using a blue energy osmosis process to extract power from the sea itself.

Of concept designer/illustrator Simon Murton's two Nautilus designs, I prefer this one.  The sleek hull has a fishlike shape, the long observation window on the lower bow, evoking a squinting shark eye.  Looking aft past the stylized gill slits, large dive planes extend from the keel, resembling pectoral fins.  A line of three round ports on the centerline amidships would be the salon windows.  Just below and aft two-stage vaned propellers provide propulsion.  The hull, with smaller shark-like fins tapers and ends with a large tail.  Horizontal fins might have additional dive planes and winglets at their ends might include rudders.  The long arch and small barbs on it and along the leading edge of the keel are a nod to Harper Goff.  The superstructure at the end of the arch has a round port on either side and a forward-facing lantern on top.  My graphic doesn't do justice to the original artwork.   See it on Murton's Concept Design/Illustration page.  (Scroll about a third of the way down and click on the blue Nautilus image for the full size view.)

This second Nautilus by Simon Murton resembles a prehistoric, armored fish.  The lower hull forms a low ram like an undershot jaw.  Just above that large observation windows could be a set of eyes.  The lower hull flares out with a set of three ports at the widest part.  Farther aft, there is a non-traditional propulsion system with large vaned rotating parts on either side of the base of the segmented tail.  The large finlike superstructure atop the hull is a wheelhouse/conning tower with the ports forming another set of eyes. The tower has a set of dive planes on the sides and a row of spikes near is aft end.  Fins on the lower tail might also act as planes. I do find the upper hull a little jarring, looking like a car that might roll off the lower hull onto a beach.  A front view included in the illustration on Murton's web site reveal that the large view ports at the bow are angled, looking much less like wheels.  (As above, scroll about a third of the way down Murton's Concept Design/Illustration page and click on the grayscale Nautilus image for the full size view.)

Not typical of her style, art student LumenGlace (Christy) included this Nautilus in an assignment she did for a perspective class.  The hull is spindle shaped with a sharp ram.  There are five large windows of different sizes, one of which has an iris shutter not unlike the Disney salon window.  This closed window has a ring of lights, giving it additional significance the largest window doesn't have.  There is a ring of other lights around the stem that appear to point forward.  There's a rounded wheelhouse with what looks like a forward canopy window and a line of ports on the side.  No dive planes are obvious.  There are two fins or fairings along the keel, with a small propeller mounted at the end of the aft-most of these.  The design has an elaborate fish-like tail with with what looks like a beacon at the tip of the upper fin.  There appears to be a sort of ring structure where the tail joins the hull, but it's almost completely hidden by a tentacle of the truly giant squid in the artwork, so I've made no attempt to render it here.  See Christy's original artwork at DeviantArt

Mike Gosda created this armored Nautilus design as a scratch-built model.  The angular flat-plate hull, inspired perhaps by Greg deSantis' Improbable Nautilus (the tail is a near copy), has many features of an earlier steampunk submarine waterline model built by Gosda.  The wheelhouse, with a large globular port on each side, forms the forward end of the deck.  There are two hatches on the deck, one forward and one aft.  There is a narrow side fairing running the length of the hull, broken only by the salon window located amidships.  There is no sign of dive planes.  The aft hull narrows to the sweeping fish tail and a three-bladed prop protected by a circular ring.  Except possibly for the tail and the small, fragile-looking ram, the overall form of this design is brutal and tank-like.  I think the impression from the deck of a target ship if this Nautilus were bearing down on it, would be of a frightening armored fish monster.  See photos of Gosda's nicely detailed model in the Starship Modeler Facebook Group 

The Nautilus in the ad for the Living a Book publication El Capitán Nemo y el Nautilus by JL Knight appears to be derived from the "Sword of the Sea" from the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but brings that design in line with Jules Verne's text.  There is a tall sharp prow with elaborate scrollwork decoration.  The cylindrical hull lacks large salon windows, substituting long rows of small ports.  There is a lower deck under the bow with more widely separated ports that might house the salon.  A decorated section on the hull bottom just aft of this deck might include a dive hatch.  The narrow prow disappears into a separate upper hull segment with dive planes at the forward end and a tail pilothouse/bridge at the aft end.  The scrollwork-decorated stern narrows to a cylindrical section with vertical fins that appears to protect a propeller.  A second set of planes is positioned at the narrow transition to this section.  

Josef Keller's MI NautilusThis is Josef Keller's take on the Harrayhausen Nautilus in the 1961 Mysterious Island.  In the film, we only see it above the waterline, so Joe was free to imagine the rest of the submarine.  Compare Joe's design to my interpretation of the film original, above.  He's added a elegantly turned ram and divided the hull into three discrete parts.  Following the Goff classic the flying double arch here begins at the bow and is placed outside the lower arch.  Again like Goff, there is a complimentary set of rakers on the lower hull and a unique abstract sea turtle silhouette salon window.  There's a dive hatch within a double set of fins on the lower hull, mirroring the sets of double arches above the waterline.  Joe has added a large four-bladed propeller in a nicely shaped tail.  The superstructure differs in some details from the film version, but otherwise is true to it.  See photos of this impressive scratch built model in this thread at nautilussubmarine (membership required); the first photos of this model are in the 7th entry near the end of the page.  There are more photos on the second page.   Josef has posted photos of all his models on this page of his Airbrush Artwork web site.

This Nautilus by Josef Keller has a double, v-form saw-tooth arch, like Harryhausen's. The design features an ornate ram with colored running lights on either side.  The bow is a hexagonal cross-section frame with flat glowing panels.  Let's assume that Nemo has rigged the hull plates to glow during an attack.  The bow frame has a serrated fairing on either side. The main hull has a polygonal cross-section and protruding salon window housings located above the centerline, protected by serrated cutwaters.  The nicely turned stern tapers to the the large four-bladed prop set in a gracefully finned tail.  There are similarly curved fins at the centerline on the aft portion of the main hull.  The bow arches rise to protect a rectangular wheelhouse with a sloped front.  There is a large forward-looking port and one on on each side.  The deck has a Goff-like serrated dorsal fin just forward of the deck hatch.  See photos of this found-object, scratch-built model in this thread at nautilussubmarine (membership required).  He has posted photos of all his models on this page of his Airbrush Artwork web site.

This Nautilus, seen on the ABC TV series Once Upon a Time, is almost Harper Goff's design but examination reveals small and larger differences.  The raker teeth are smaller and shaped differently and the arch is thinner than Goff's.  The wheelhouse alligator-eye lights are gone and there's a platform with railings atop it.  There are deck railings along the aft section of the wheelhouse and on the aft deck starting at the hatch.  Goff's dorsal fin is gone.  Although the skiff appears to be there it seems it's more of fixed poop deck.  The salon window with its ring of lights is almost the same but there are two large ports just aft.  The symmetrical tail differs from Goff's; it includes horizontal fins and a sort of prop guard cage, but no propeller is visible.  (My graphic is an approximation based on some screenshots from the program.)  See screenshots at nautilussubmarine (membership required).  

Anthony Testa took the sperm whale as inspiration for this Nautilus, an appropriate monster when we refer to Verne's text.  In the chapter "Cachalots and Whales" Nemo says of sperm whales (cachalots), "terrible animals ... they are cruel, mischievous creatures".  Like Moby Dick ramming the Pequod, the whale's head, lined with a row of rakers, rather than a spar, is the weapon of destruction of this Nautilus.  There are two sets of dive planes, one set on the lower surface of the bow, pectoral fins, and the other on the horizontal tail, the whale's flukes.  The rudder is set on the bottom of the stern.  The design has a double annular propeller just forward of tail.  There are two hatches, the main hatch in the whale's spine in the aft section of the hull, just forward of the boat.  The dive hatch is in the keel, almost directly below the deck hatch.  The only window, situated amidships, is that for the salon.   There is no protruding wheelhouse; outside vision for navigation is via a system of sensors and mirrors atop the hull.  The lantern is located on the tall pole rising from the tail.   

Prolific modeler Josef Keller built this steam-powered Nautilus model, once again taking advantage of various mechanical parts.  The design has a cylindrical hull with a large keel that turns up into the rudder mount aft of the large multi-vaned fan propeller.  The large salon window is set deep in the side within a stylized plate that might represent a fish going after a bait ball, the smaller port just aft.  Thick curved fin dive planes are located amidships.  Two stiff braided cables form a double arch to the ornate superstructure that's topped with a substantial lantern.  The oval deck has a hatch just aft of the superstructure and a curved smokestack that can be closed for running underwater.  By my count this is the fourth explicitly steam-powered Nautilus in the catalog.  See photos of this scratch-built model in this thread at nautilussubmarine (membership required).  Josef has posted photos of all his models on this page of his Airbrush Artwork web site.

Clearly inspired by Goff's classic, professional designer and illustrator Tony Campagna's Nautilus differs in many ways.  The hull is longer and much more organic, even bulbous, than the Disney submarine and the ram, encompassing the whole bow, is more substantial.  The rakers are somewhat clunkier, with the lower set replaced by two rows placed at an angle on the lower hull.  The side fairing continues aft of the rakers past the salon window where it continues aft as the hull narrows considerably.  There are no obvious dive planes but room for a set at the end of these fairings.  A six-bladed propeller is located within a protective ring attached to a very Goff-like tail.  The wheelhouse, aft of the raker arch that looks less substantial than the other rakers, has large globular ports on its angled sides and a smaller one on its front face.  There are two small and one large hatch on the long deck.  See Tony's original artwork at DeviantArt and download a printable 3D model from TinkerCAD.
(Thanks to Mikel Sauve who brought this design to my attention.)

This sleek Nautilus built by Josef Keller began life as a Zeppelin model.  Clearly inspired by the Goff classic, this design, intended for exploration and not battle, lacks the imposing raker teeth of the original.  The upper vertical fairing forms a graceful flying arch, perhaps intended for breaking through ice in the polar regions.  The horizontal fairing curves gently into the hull just forward of the round salon window.  The lower, nicely curved fairing is interrupted for the divers' hatch before continuing to the Goff-like tail.  The eight-bladed propeller has no guard.  The wheelhouse has oval ports on the canted forward sides, flatter than the classic, and is simpler overall.  There is a low, sail-like fin at the end of the deck, just aft of the hatch, similar to horizontal fins on the stern.  See a photo of Joe's model at nautilussubmarine (free membership needed).  Josef has posted photos of all his models on this page of his Airbrush Artwork web site.

Bob Martin's NAutilusBob Martin started with Greg Sharpe's original Nautilus (1990 above) and while more or less keeping to Jules Verne's description he added some new elements and incorporated some of Harper Goff's concepts.  This Nautilus has an elevated deck with two searchlights at its forward end.  The wheelhouse is similar to Goff's but has a large forward looking viewport and a smaller one on each side.  Bob has adopted Goff's skiff position at the aft end of the deck but replaced the skiff with an electric minisub that can be entered from within the Nautilus, like Verne's sail-powered canot.  The minisub can be configured for surface running.  Like the wheelhouse ports, the salon windows are spherical for strength and protected during ram attacks by protruding shields.  See illustrations of Bob's digital and physical prototypes at nautilussubmarine (free membership required).

Artist Ana Sofia Chi depicted this very whale-like "undersea expeditions" Nautilus in a drawing surrounded by whales.  Verne's Nautilus was mistaken for a sea monster by eye witnesses who have never seen anything like it; this Nautilus looks like a whale in order to explore their habitat.  But for its fin-like dive pane located amidships it has little to do with Verne.  There are are ports of different sizes on the forward hull, perhaps two hatches on the upper hull and a diving hatch on the side.  There may be a light on the aft tip of the dorsal fin.  Unless the whale's tail is articulated there's no indication of the propulsion system.  Not too much Verne, but interesting nonetheless.  See Ana Sofia's original artwork at DeviantArt.

Josef Keller NautilusJosef Keller built this ornate Nautilus starting again from a Zeppelin model.  What looks like the wheelhouse at the forward end of the deck is actually the searchlight housing.  The wheelhouse, with its large trapezoidal side windows, is inset in the forward hull below the circular sawtooth arch.  The deck features a raised bulwark aft of the searchlight housing.  The main hatch, not visible behind the bulwark, is located at the end of the deck aft of the sawtooth dorsal fin.  The design features elaborate ornamentation from the nicely turned ram to the curvy tail with its multi-bladed propeller.  Like many of Keller's scratch built models, this Nautilus is rigged so that the many portholes and and lights illuminate and continue to glow when power is removed.  See a photo of Joe's model at nautilussubmarine (free membership needed).  He has posted photos of all his models on this page of his Airbrush Artwork web site.

~ 2017 ~

In the text accompanying his art work, multimedia artist Dani Lebeaux (Raining Crow) laments the fact that so many depictions of the Nautilus resemble the Disney version, and sets about to create one that's true to the spirit of the novel and doesn't draw on Harper Goff for inspiration.  Looks like he succeeded.  "Designed to resemble an aquatic animal", Lebeaux's Nautilus has a cigar-shaped hull that is narrower than it is high (of course not noticeable in my side view - in fact, from the top the shape might be a squid).  He's moved the salon window forward to resemble an eye and the design has both a dorsal and anal fin.  A pair of triangular dive planes are forward, just beneath the salon windows.  There's a pair of much larger, trapezoidal fins aft that may be a second set of dive planes. The sword-like ram is set high, almost at deck level, with a triangular shield to protect the windows of the wheelhouse.  There's a surface bridge atop the tower just aft of the wheelhouse and a smaller structure at the aft end of deck.  This design either has two propellers on the same shaft or some exotic propulsion system.  I've left out many details in my graphic of Lebeaux's design, including the hull seams resulting from its manufacture in different factories for secret assembly by Nemo and his crew.  See the original artwork at DeviantArt.

After rereading 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Josef Keller decided to scratch build a Nautilus that followed the description in the novel.  Joe's latest effort has a spindle-shaped hull with a heavy, pointed ram bolted to the bow.  There's a large circular salon window approximately amidships, with a smaller port or light a little aft, just forward of the dive plane.  A large five-bladed propeller is mounted on the stern. A heavy keel begins just aft of amidships and provides mounting for the large rudder.  Joe has placed a narrow deck atop the hull with a hatch at its forward end, just forward of the diamond shaped wheelhouse that pays homage to Harper Goff.  It has two large canted viewports forward and two smaller ports on the aft sides, true to Verne's description of four ports.  The structure has a subtle extension aft with a hatch, again referencing Goff.  Following the text, the boat is mounted in the deck just aft of the hatch and forward of the lantern structure that has a large forward-facing light.  Joe has located small anchors on the forward hull and placed a dive hatch on the lower port-side hull.  There's a small port or light next to this hatch. See photos of this model at nautilussubmarine (free membership needed) or on this page of Joe's Airbrush Artwork web site with photos of all his models.


Do you know of a Nautilus design not featured here?  Please e-mail me.



This is very much disputed, but according to Jerry Pavano, Gustav Zédé constructed this interesting model "in collaboration with Jules Verne" in 1868.  Maybe not, but if the date, a year before Verne wrote 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, is accurate, this model could have have been a forerunner to the Nautilus.  Although considerably smaller, it has the cigar shape, the central diving planes, longboat, wheelhouse, lantern, and deck platform of the Nautilus.  The boat is at the aft end of the platform and the lantern is located on a tower just behind the wheelhouse, an arrangement I find especially interesting.  The model also has two metal rings on the deck, apparently on the hatch. Aronnax and his companion castaways clung to just such a ring when the Nautilus deck when it got underway early in the novel.  There are no side windows or ram and the keel is very large relative to the hull. Jerry has written an article about this model for the Subcommittee Report.  
See photos of my scratch-built replica and other views of my 3D
Zédé model here.



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Updated 21 Apr 17