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scubabear47
December 14th, 2009, 06:40 PM
I just bought a 18 foot center console. I am so excited but this is my first boat and was just asking for any tips about setting it up for diving. I will be using it for mostly diving on the jersey shore and up in lake George. But I will often be using it for other things any suggestions.

Lee Taylor
December 14th, 2009, 06:57 PM
You need a way to get out of the water and back into the boat with all your heavy gear on. In other words a very well designed, strong ladder. This can turn into a big project.

Or you can take off your gear prior to getting into the boat (pain in the butt).

You need a way to secure the tanks.

You need a long anchor line and anchor, of course.

You need a dive flag (this is more important than people think)

That's about it

alheng
December 28th, 2009, 10:56 AM
If you are diving with a buddy, you will need to organize the boat really well so you have some space.

Have a good single post ladder.

Have everything that is not used during the actual dive up front so that the rear deck is clear of clutter when you get back on. Last thing you want to do is trip on something when you have all the gear on.

I have a large rectangular tub on board so there is a place to put all the gear into and not have it rolling around when motoring along in less then ideal conditions.

Set up a mermaid line that doubles as you dock line. I have 6 cleats on either side of the boat. The line is tied with a bowline knot to one of the rear cleats, then passed thru the forward cleat on the same side, across to the other side and to the back, all slack is taken up in the bow. This way, I can come along side on either side of the dock. When used as a mermaid line, I just leave it tied to one of the rear cleats and tie a float at the other end.

I have a short line hanging over the side with a couple of clips on it from the middle. When I start or return from the dive the catch bag and tickle stick or speargun gets clipped to it, so I have my hands free. Just remember to pull it up before you head off! If it's not too long and if you hang it from the middle cleat, it won't foul the prop if you forget.

My tank holders are closer to the rear of the boat. That is where I suit up roll into the drink. This way, when I have to change tanks, I don't have far to carry them. You might say the boat is just 18ft, but you will find it hard to move around carrying something heavy when rocking and rolling in heavy seas.

Have a proper place to store your dive flag. A PVC tube works great.

If you carry extra weights on board have then in a small bucket, easier to carry and less damage to the deck. The food grade buckets are usually super heavy duty and will last a long time.

Have a routine with your deckie/buddy, so that each person knows exactly what needs to be done and when to do it.

Nemrod
December 28th, 2009, 03:40 PM
You need a way to get out of the water and back into the boat with all your heavy gear on. In other words a very well designed, strong ladder. This can turn into a big project.

Or you can take off your gear prior to getting into the boat (pain in the butt).

You need a way to secure the tanks.

You need a long anchor line and anchor, of course.

You need a dive flag (this is more important than people think)

That's about it

Excellent list, you also need a:

VHF
Sonar
first aid kits

I would go to East Coast Plastic web page and order a set fo Roll Control tank brackets:

East Coast Plastics - Double B Tool & Die (http://eastcoastplastics.com/)

To prevent deck damage you need Dri-Dek:

Dri-Dek | Interlocking Tiles, Sheets & Rolls (http://www.dri-dek.com/)

DIR gods included, nobody brings hard weights or tanks without boots onto my boat--period. I am the captain, it is my boat, I am paying the way, I make the rules. No exceptions. Anyone who cannot live within these rules can dive from shore.

You might look into soft weights and weight integration BCs

I like the Garlick ladders but there are several other similar types:

Garelick EEz-In (http://www.garelick.com/prodcat.php?subid=AB02)

N

Chuck Tribolet
December 30th, 2009, 12:11 AM
Or you can take off your gear prior to getting into the boat (pain in the butt).

It's no hassle at all to take your gear off prior to getting in the
boat. Two things that make it easier:

1. Your BC+tank should be negative (with an empty BC) at the end
of that dive. That way when you take of your BC, YOU are positive.

2. Take off you BC with the bag empty. This makes it a lot easier
to get off.


With Dri-Dek, hard weights are not a problem.


You need GPS and depth finder to find the dive sites.

rrweather
December 30th, 2009, 12:55 AM
When you start looking into GPS units and VHF radios, I suggest getting a GPS and VHF that both support DSC. Basically, my VHF radio and GPS "talk" to one another. My VHF is always getting my position from the GPS. My VHF has a guarded button that, once pressed, sends my boat's info and current location over VHF frequencies. Any boat with the same setup will receive my transmission and my location will pop up on their GPS. Additionally, and more importantly, the Coast Guard will get my transmission and will hopefully be able to respond. For any non-boaters or people unfamiliar with VHF radios, it is simpler to explain "if something bad happens, push this button," as opposed to "tune to channel 16, find our location, etc." The DSC is more common than not; you just have to make sure both components are compatible. Once you get it, you register with the CG and get a number assigned to your boat. Then this number is programmed into your radio so that when the message is sent, your unique number is also sent. It allows the CG to know "who" they are receiving a signal from. My gear was purchased 3 years ago so the technology should be better and cheaper. My boat isn't built for big ocean by any means. That being said, if something happens to me, my fiance can push the button and hopefully help is not far away.

Nemrod
December 30th, 2009, 01:47 PM
The DSC is a good idea. I have that also and it is nice to know that pushing the red button transmits an ID and GPS location. We also carry a waterproof handheld vhf.

I might would add a PLB for further offshore expeditions. Kind off expensive but if you need it----.

Dri-Dek stops most damage to the deck but does not do much for the gunwales, seats, sides, transom well, swim platform, console and other exposed beauty areas.

N

scubaskipper
December 30th, 2009, 03:13 PM
O2 kit

bkotheimer
December 30th, 2009, 03:24 PM
When I decided to christen my boat as a dive boat, I brought along some helpful buddies on the first trip and we made adjustments as we went along. By the time we went out on a second trip, it was dialed in.

We found that on a smaller boat, with a small ladder and a high transom, that taking your BCD off in the water and clipping it to a line was the way to go.

You certainly don't need "sonar" as one poster suggested, nor do you need radar for near-shore daytime trips on an 18' boat. VHF and GPS for sure, though.

Nemrod
December 30th, 2009, 03:58 PM
You certainly don't need "sonar" as one poster suggested, nor do you need radar for near-shore daytime trips on an 18' boat. VHF and GPS for sure, though.

Depends where you dive, many places you do in fact need "sonar" or what is more commonly called a fish finder. Wrecks often move around, sometimes quite a bit. Many a time I have arrived over the published numbers only to discover a sand bottom. A quick scan of the area with the sonar will put you on the feature.

But each to their own, don't want sonar, don't buy it. Most combo units now come with a sonar/chart plotter, if you get one look for one that can accept higher detail mapping cartridges (usually a SD card) or has them pre-loaded. Blue Chart and Navionics are two I have used.

Oh, one of the reasons sonar units are referred to as "fish finders" is that they are very, very good at that little task. Something like this or similar units from Garmin, Lowrance etc:

http://store.humminbird.com/products/271383/597ci_Combo

N

SwimJim
December 30th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Here on the Great Lakes sonar is essential for just the reasons Nemrod said. I splurged and bought a Humminbird 1197 last year to get A. a big screen that even my old eyes can easily read and B. side scan capability. Maybe a bit over the top for most guys, but if you see where I operate it makes sense. Even with all the fancy electronic gizmos though, I have a regular compass by the steering wheel and I keep a engineers compass in the junk drawer as back up.

rrweather
December 30th, 2009, 06:47 PM
I've got a Garmin GPS/Fishfinder combo. It has the detailed maps for every lake in the U.S. and then I also purchased the detailed map for all of the coastal NW region. The lakes are preloaded and the coastal region is on a small memory card. When I use the boat in the lake, I get detailed maps. If I go in the Delta around my house, I throw the card in and get detailed maps as well. I think mine even has aerial photos of certain harbors.

Mine works very well for "seeing" fish. If I could only get it to catch them for me, I'd consider it a successful investment.

Another thing to do is to ENSURE you have whatever safety equipment is required for the area you're going. Most people assume that life jackets are all that is needed. In reality, the equipment list is quite long. Certain boats require a fire extinguisher. I think all boats require a noise making device like a whistle. Depending on where you are diving or fishing, you may be required to carry flares. Just double check you have what is needed in case you are stopped and boarded. I look at it from the position of there must be a reason it is required. Also, if it saves my ass one day, it was worth having. One thing that is not required (unless it's changed) is a first aid kit. Obviously it would be a good thing to have no matter what the boat is used for.

bkotheimer
December 30th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Fishfinder. Yeah, my bad. Brain fart. For some reason I thought Nemrod meant something more elaborate.

Yes, very true that a simple depth-finder/fishfinder is a great thing to have. Warns you if you're getting in too shallow water as well. And what the depth right under the boat is where you'll be dropping down. Lets you know how much anchor rode to let out too to keep a good scope of anchor line to depth.

If you don't have a through-hull fitting that you can utilize for this, there are some transducers that can attach to the transom at the waterline for easy installation.

Chuck Tribolet
January 5th, 2010, 06:38 PM
The best way to make sure you have all the required safety gear is to get
a Coutesy examination by the USCG Aux or the US Power Squadron.

Chilkie
January 13th, 2010, 05:40 PM
Congrats on the new boat. I'm looking at purchasing the same type of craft so this thread will help me out as well. Good luck!

SkipperJohn
January 13th, 2010, 06:25 PM
The best way to make sure you have all the required safety gear is to get
a Courtesy examination by the USCG Aux or the US Power Squadron.
You should seriously consider this. In fact, you should start by preparing yourself.
Take the USCG aux safety course or one from your local power squadron. Seriously, this is a fun couple of evenings and the information is invaluable. Learn how to run your boat and respect the responsibilities that come with it. A boat has no breaks and no hard contact with the ground. This takes getting used to.
Also, learn how to rig your boat for safety and how to use all your safety gear. A cell phone is no substitute for a VHF radio. Get a radio and learn how to use it. If it allows integrate it with your GPS for emergency calls. Learn how to don your life jackets. Learn how to rig your anchor and how to use it. Again, take the class!

WickedGoodOutdoors
February 2nd, 2010, 08:09 PM
Hang a line overboard off both stern cleats. Your dock lines will do.

braid in a large SS caribiner or two to hang your wieghtbelt, BC Bug Bag, Spear and whatever ele you may have.

then just climb in the boat and haul it in.

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