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Boat diving questions

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by caliko, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. caliko

    caliko New

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: phoenix, az
    My wife and I are new to diving but have been loving it. So far we have only done lake dives and some shore dives but we're interested in doing some boat diving. We've got out own gear and each have a tank. I've been looking at some boat diving operations and they're all different. Some offer free tanks and weights, free air fills, food, whatever. Which options do you like to have when you take a dive boat? Would the free air fills cover us each taking one tank and then having it refilled when we surfaced or would we have to rent another one? FYI this is for California diving. Thanks for the input!
  2. Akimbo

    Akimbo Just a diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    The vast majority of dive boats from San Diego to Monterey offer standard weights, tanks, and air fills included in the charter price. My priority is based on the reduction of weigtht I have to carry! Lunch is nice, tanks are better.
  3. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Are you driving? Flying with a tank is too complicated for a weekend trip since you have to remove the valve for the TSA.

    In San Diego, Marissa, Humboldt or Lois Ann provide everything including (re)fills for your tanks. They also provide them onboard. Hydro Diver doesn't do fills but will have tanks onboard. Food is limited to snacks with HD also - it's a smaller boat.

    Farther north, Sand Dollar in San Pedro provides everything also. I think Bottom Scratcher does as well.

    If you dive Nitrox, some can fill it, others provide it via tanks so check with them if you need it.

    This will give you a good idea of who provides what: http://californiadiveboats.com/
  4. fisheater

    fisheater Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    For local Calif. diving, I prefer a boat with a compressor that can give me a high pressure fill during the surface interval. That way, I only have to haul one tank. Otherwise, I have to haul two or three tanks. If the destination is deep, I would prefer Nitrox (banked) available on board.

    I always ask well before the trip, so I can plan accordingly.
  5. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    Most, but not, dive boats provide tanks and change them out between dives, of fill if they are equipped with a compressor. I have only dove by boat in So Cal once, and hundreds of times elsewhere in the world. On every occasion, tanks and weights were part of the price. Be sure to get a mesh bag for your gear to take it on the boat. Leave you big gear bag or hard case on shore. For more tips on boat diving you did not learn in your certification class, and for some good laughs, check out both of the Scuba Snobs books. Each has a chapter on day boat diving.
  6. FM1520

    FM1520 Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Fallbrook, CA
    Check out Marissa Dive Charters (my favorite) in San Diego, they have tanks or you can bring your own. They also have a compressor and fill your tank during the SI. No worries about the big gear bag, I bring my Stanley tool box and they just put it on top with all the others. They are pretty friendly.
    wedivebc likes this.
  7. AH_Matt

    AH_Matt Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: United States
    It really depends on where you are diving. Caribbean operators seem to include the tanks and weights in the cost of the dive, and BCs are maybe $10 for the day. This is because nobody, but nobody, is going to fly with tanks and weights, and most people do not like to pack their BC. I should also point out that the operator will schlepp the tanks to the boat. They also have a box of hard candy to chew on during the SI.

    However, diving in the Great Lakes is vastly different. Nothing is included, and the boat may only have a couple of soft weights on board for emergencies. Plan on carrying your own tanks down to the boat. We had 18 people and were planning 4 dives on one day; even with carts it took us forever to load 72 tanks. I will say that the snacks have been better in the lakes, homemade cookies and brownies are the norm.

    This isn't to say that one style is better than the other, they are just different. Please don't forget to tip for this service! I like to tip the boat crew $10/dive in both warm and cold climes - perhaps a bit more if the service is excellent or if they BBQ lunch.

    Finally, remember to hydrate! Don't count on the boat to bring enough water for everyone, especially if the day is hot. I usually stuff 2-1L bottles in my bag.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  8. diverrex

    diverrex Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: LA - North Hollywood
    Actually I would say most boats in the Los Angeles area do not provide tanks or weights, primarily because most of the divers are locals with their own.

    Also on our bigger boats there is plenty of room on the sides and bow to store a large roller bag.
  9. LowDrag

    LowDrag Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, Oregon
    Hopefully it is not one of the airports where they steal passengers belongings!!! :no: :rofl3:
  10. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Try California Dive Boats : The Official Page.

    My personal favorite is Peace out of Ventura, I've dove off of a number of others and all have been good, but I have stayed with boats that do air fills.

    Once you have it narrowed down see their schedule, email and/and call and sort out the details.

    I may be old, but I’m not dead yet.

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