How to Choose a Dive Boat
Before you think about laying down money for a diving boat, make sure the boat is safe and suitable for diving. Don’t over look how much you will want a few luxuries after a long day spent diving. Buying a boat is like buying a house, it’s unlikely to have every feature you have on your wish list. Boats that are only going to take ten minute hops from the beach to the dive site don’t need the same capabilities as an ocean going vessel.
Your safety always comes first. That being said the safety requirements for a short trip inside of a reef are different from trying to explore the wrecks off of the coast of Florida. Anytime you go out in deep water you need some basic safety gear. Safety gear is an integral part of how to choose a dive boat.
- Life jackets, radio and fire extinguishers
- Coast Guard certification – Any boat that carries more than six people and coming out of a US port, needs to be certified by the Coast Guard every year. Be aware that the inspections are thorough and covers every aspect of the boat.
- Other safety certificates – If you’re going into foreign waters then you need to be aware of whatever safety regulations applicable there. Check before you head out on your trip to save yourself some aggravation.
- Licensed captain and enough crew – If you plan on starting a diving business then your boat will need to have a Coast Guard licensed captain, be that you or someone else. This brings up the next point the number of crew members, you will need at least one deckhand.
- Your boat will need non skid decks with handholds.
Here are some more safety tips you should consider before buying a diving boat
Maintenance and Repair
Boats are just like houses or cars and they need regular maintenance. Check and see if there is a maintenance log and if it has been kept up to date. If you plan on running a diving business you will have to make sure you’re prepared to keep up with regular maintenance, like oil changes and winterizing.
Casual boat users say that they use roughly 50 gallons of gas per year, that’s the same as filling up your SUV twice…not bad. If you’re not a casual boater be prepared to pay, especially if you’re out every day running a diving business, you can check here to see the average fuel burn for different size boats. It will help you figure out a budget along with the right pricing. Bear in mind that when you reach the dive site you’re boat won’t likely be running.
Whether you plan on diving as a career or just enjoy it as a casual thing, how to choose a dive boat can save you money on fuel and maintenance costs down the road.