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Boat Diving Etiquette

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

  1. Gareth J

    Gareth J Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    Made worse if they are a photographer :gas:

    (Says a photographer - happy snapper)
    Catito likes this.
  2. Bratface

    Bratface Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Florida
    Respect the dry area which means keep your wet stuff out of there. I was on a boat once where Bozo had his mesh bag in the dry area (why?) and brought all of his freshly rinsed gear to the dry area to pack it up. He got my stuff sopping wet so I threw a fit and threw his gear back on the deck.
  3. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    Hard bottom roller bags are not so bad if they still easily fit under the seats. Anything that not fit under the seat can be a real nuisance. I have been on boats where I have had to step over these bags for the whole trip. I use a mesh backpack, folds very small under my seat.
  4. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    That’s the problem. They don’t fit. Or if they fit, they really stick out. Grrrr. I’ve tripped over more than one.
    maj2, eleniel and DogDiver like this.
  5. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Use the Head. Boats: HAVE a head.
  6. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Quit overrepresenting your experience. If you've only done 10 open water dives it doesn't matter if you've been certified for 15 years. Regardless of what you think you're not ready to dive the Titanic.

    Double check your gear at home, the night before the trip. 5 mins before the boat is scheduled to depart is not the time to find out that you don't have two good fin straps or that your wetsuit shrunk.

    Get to the dock an hour before departure. Get your gear squared away. Get your car parked. Get an idea of what's going on. You'll see who has their sh!t together and who might be an accident waiting for a buddy.

    If you have any special needs let the crew know early. Bobbing around the stern in 6 ft swells is not the time for them to find out you can't climb a ladder with your gear on because of a bad knee or shoulder. Good crews have dealt with those issues before and have ways to help but they need to know ahead of time.

    Don't board the vessel before your invited. The crew has this routine down and you jumping onboard will screw it up. Remember, it's not your boat it's a ride.

    Try and poop before you arrive. Boat heads are notoriously small and very seasickness inducing.

    If you don't understand the site brief ask for clarification. If you still don't understand, wait until the brief is finished for the rest of the passengers and then pull a divemaster of deckhand aside for clarification. Remember this in the tip later.

    You're responsible for your own safety. Check your gear yourself. Verify your air is all the way on and your tank is full yourself just prior to getting in the water.

    Step away from the boat if you're doing a giant stride. It's not a bunny hop to get into the water. If you're doing a back roll make sure all your gauges and seconds are close to your body and not flopping around waiting to be snagged. Hold your mask strap too.

    Get away from the boat once you're in the water. Tons of fiberglass and steel will win 100% of the time when it comes to a competition with your head.

    Don't approach the boarding ladder until the crew signals it's safe. 300 lbs of diver and gear falling into your face will ruin your day.

    Don't put your mask on your forehead before climbing the ladder back into the boat. Don't put it on backwards either, that's dir/gue/mouse craziness on a boat. Just leave it on your face until you get to your seat. And unless you need to yell, keep your reg in your mouth until you're onboard as well.

    Be respectful of the boat and the crews feet by not unbuckling your weight belt while standing in the middle of the deck. Look close and you'll see the spider cracks from the last diver that did. Get to your seat, sit down, and get stable, then start unbuckling gear.

    If the captain or deckhand tries to help you move around the deck, let them help. They are probably trying to save you from falling in other passengers. It's not that they don't think you can walk.

    Just because you paid your $75 doesn't mean your enjoyment or safety is any more or less important than anyone else's in the boat. Be respectful of the others around you. Most people aren't interested in your business, how many classic cars you own, or how much money you spent to go on your vacation. Just be a considerate human being and enjoy the trip.

    Having kids along doesn't entitle you to any special treatment. If they're old enough to dive and have the appropriate experience to get certified then let them do it. If they don't have the experience to safely make the trip, reevaluate the dives you're trying to do.

    Captains and deckhands aren't there to babysit your non-certified children. Make other arrangements or only one of you dives at a time.

    If your wife, kid, or husband is not comfortable making the dive, DO NOT TRY AND FORCE THEM TO DIVE. Doing that can be dangerous and it makes you look like an @sshole.

    Take your motion sickness medication the day before AND the morning of the trip. The boat isn't turning around because you're feeding the fish your bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and no one wants to listen to you cry all day.

    Don't ask questions that you already know the answer to just to get validation of how smart you are. "Oh, there are grouper here? Aren't those the fish that are born male but turn female as they age?" Yeah, we all know what you're doing. Don't be that guy...

    Try and have a good time. Ask if you can help if you see someone having trouble but don't assume they want you to. Be courteous to the other passengers. Like you they probably don't spend every day crammed into a small constantly moving space with strangers all trying to get dressed and into the water. The crew has a system for making things go smoothly. Follow their instructions and things will be easy... Easier anyway.

    Don't be one of those people who expects everyone to "Just deal with me".

    And if it hasn't been said enough... Listen to both briefs. The safety brief and the dive brief. The life you save might be your own:wink:.
    wnissen, mc42, umhlangan and 13 others like this.
  7. bmorescuba

    bmorescuba Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
    My grandfather was a working waterman on the Chesapeake Bay and my uncle was a Navy submariner and avid sailor. They taught me two things when I was very young - you ask permission to come aboard and there's only one rule on a boat: the captain is always right. Some people joke about the captain rule but i follow it whenever I boat dive. I also still ask permission to come aboard, but I sometimes get funny looks.
    Sue Sue, Hoag, scuba5150 and 4 others like this.
  8. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    All good stuff. See my post above about the head. I've not been on a boat in SC, TX, or the FL panhandle that charged less than $90-100 or more for a two tank dive-- dating back to 2006....
  9. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    @Ghost95 -- right on with your additions, and all others.
    Ghost95 likes this.
  10. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    I realize this is about chartered boats, but for those of you who also dive on private boats...

    Help clean the boat after the day of diving. Don’t just disappear once the boat arrives at the dock/ramp.

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