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Boat Diving Etiquette

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Capt Jim Wyatt, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    After reading a couple of posts on here about some boat diving issues I decided to add this thread to give folks a general idea about some boat behaviors that will help you have a better time. I am sure others will add other items and I may also. All the items on this list I have gotten from experience from a couple of decades of being a captain and carrying passengers.
    1. Be on time, better yet be early.
    2. If you need to rent gear, be early.
    3. Confirm your reservation a day or so in advance.
    4. Make sure you know where your boat is leaving from and the expected check-in time.
    5. Have your cert cards with you at check-in.
    6. Listen to the Captain's safety briefing it may save your life. This briefing is a US Coast Guard requirement for anyone holding a Captain's License.
    7. Listen to the First Mates' boat amenities briefing it will likely help you have more fun.
    8. Do not talk or set up your gear during the briefings. It is rude and distracting to those who want to hear the briefings.
    9. Do not be a jerk.
    10. Don't be a know-it-all even if you think you know more than the captain and crew.
    11. Weather cancellations are for your safety and may be last minute.
    12. Dive operators do not cancel for weather because they do not need your money.
    13. Do not get on the boat if you have had just "one beer" at lunch or a Bloody Mary at breakfast.
    14. If you get seasick take meds the NIGHT BEFORE and the morning of your trip.
    15. If you get seasick do not throw up on the boat, in the head or in the garbage can. Just feed the fish, they like a hot meal too.
    16. Don't eat a big meal before diving.
    17. Do not take anything from the cooler unless you put in in there. I have actually had a kid go into the cooler, found my Subway sandwich and eat it.
    18. If you want a beer after the dive ask the captain before you assume it is OK to have booze on the boat ahead of time.
    19. If you have 2800 psi in your AL80 for a 25 foot deep reef dive, be cool, that is enough air.
    20. If you want nitrox let the staff know the day before, don't wait until the boat is ready to leave and then decide you want nitrox.
    21. Don't spread your gear all over the boat while getting ready.
    22. If you get good service from the crew tip them. Remember they cannot control the weather, the visibility or the current. They can control their attitudes and friendliness. Same goes if you are taking a class, tip your instructor AND the crew.
    23. My suggestion and a generally accepted industry standard is to tip $10/tank provided the customer service is good.
    24. When the Captain tells you what time to be back on the boat, be on time, or a couple of minutes early. I have had people as late as 20 minutes and we have already sounded the alarm and called for help locating a missing diver.
    25. Always assume you need a buddy, in rare circumstances are divers allowed to dive solo.
    26. Pack your gear bag on the trip home, don't wait until the boat docks.
    27. Try to have fun.
    Hoyden, BgDadddy, Bierstadt and 29 others like this.
  2. KatieMac

    KatieMac Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Small town Ontario, Canada
    If you're are worried about 2800 in your tank for this dive, let me know and I will switch my 3300 psi tank with you so that the rest of us could at least get in a 30 minute dive before you are low on air :wink:

    Adding another one
    28. CHECK YOUR GEAR before you jump in the water. Other people are not responsible for fixing you back up underwater.
    Martijn likes this.
  3. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    If the captain offers you an "opt-out", don't hesitate to take it. They mostly get paid to go out and not sit around the dock, so they are having extreme reservations about something they do day in and day out and you should too. This is no time to be macho... accept the offer. Always accept the offer. No matter how grizzled you think you are, they do this for a living.
    Yeah, but try to have your first tank ready BEFORE they get to that. Plenty of time to chit-chat on the way out. Get on the boat and get your kit together before you socialize. Once underway, the boat may rock a lot, making it hard to get ready. This is especially true if Capt Jim is driving. :D :D :D
  4. Russjstewart

    Russjstewart Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne
    Thanks Jim, a nice reminder for us all, but can I add a couple as a diver and driver of private dive boats
    29. If safe to do so have your gear set up and ready to go by the time you are at the dive site
    30. If you need to do a weight check, be early and do it at the pier. Picking up a diver or trying to pass weights to a diver in the water, can be a pain
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I’d add - big hard sided rolling bags are for travel. They do NOT belong on the boat. They take up too damn much room. You need a mesh bag for the boat.
    Saboteur, The Chairman, maj2 and 8 others like this.
  6. Gareth J

    Gareth J Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    31. Pay attention to the site (dive) briefing. Particularly the entry / exit procedure and positions on the boat. If the boat is picking you up, pay particular attention to the skippers briefing on how he/she will do it.
    32. Confirm surfacing procedures and requirements, Shot? DSMB? Plus, the signals to the boat.
    33. Pay attention to any information regarding tide (or current) - direction, speed and dive window. (Reiteration of Item 24 from the original list).
    eleniel and Graeme Fraser like this.
  7. Graeme Fraser

    Graeme Fraser Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Narnia
    35. Tie your rig to the rack securely. Remember, if you can't tie a knot, tie a lot!
    Hoag, Fishyhead, RyanT and 1 other person like this.
  8. Altamira

    Altamira ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: TX
    36. Understand that nobody wants to listen to you give a speech about all the places you have been diving. If you are that person, realize you will likely be the one to screw up the dive.
    mcohen1021, wnissen, jonhall and 4 others like this.
  9. Gareth J

    Gareth J Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    36 If overseas, ask about local customs and procedures. (Re Item 22 - in some parts the world tipping is a huge insult, in others it is not a normal expectation. In others it's an expectation. - take advice.)
  10. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    Fantastic post @Capt Jim Wyatt!!! Thank you. MUCH wisdom here! If you’re new to boat diving, read-learn-follow these. If you’re an experienced boat diver, read-learn-follow these. They apply to us too!
    RyanT likes this.

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