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Multi-Day Dive Boat Buying Suggestions

Discussion in 'Boats and Boating Equipment' started by MrBlenny, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. MrBlenny

    MrBlenny Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Washington State, USA
    83
    28
    18
    The need for a scuba compressor has occurred to me as well, but I was telling (lying to) myself that I could probably live without one. I notice you mention that your boat is wood construction, which I believe has it's own cost/maintenance considerations, but that aside, do you mind if I ask what your other annual costs runs?
     
  2. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    6,753
    3,859
    113
    Check boat trader. If you can drop the trailer requirement, your options are many. For example there's a nice looking 57 foot1971 chris craft constellation with 3 cabins for about $50k. There's also a newer 46' jefferson marlago with 2 staterooms for $100k. The marlago even has a hanging locker in case one of your passengers gets unruly.
     
    Johnoly and MrBlenny like this.
  3. OTF

    OTF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New England
    285
    412
    63
    It is entirely possible to live on a trailer-size boat for a week depending on the sacrifices you're willing to make. It will be more like camping than being in a hotel. The challenge and adventure would have to be part of the fun. If the weather is good sleeping on deck is viable. You'll want a good galley, head, water tanks, etc.

    You could also do trips with a (very?) small trailered dive boat, but plan to dock up to sleep and do other things ashore.
     
    rjack321 and MrBlenny like this.
  4. MrBlenny

    MrBlenny Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Washington State, USA
    83
    28
    18
    Thanks, I haven't checked that size range yet, so I'll take a look. This does raise the question of how old to go with a used boat, i.e. lower purchase cost vs. higher cost of ownership over the long run. Thoughts?
     
  5. soldsoul4foos

    soldsoul4foos ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, ME
    880
    406
    63
    Old boats with old diesels can get REAL EXPENSIVE real fast. I haven't had this experience, but a close buddy of mine has. Oh man...

    You haven't mentioned price yet? Once you lose the trailer, the price will really narrow down your options.
     
  6. MrBlenny

    MrBlenny Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Washington State, USA
    83
    28
    18
    Price needs to be less than 100k, preferably quiet a bit less, but I suspect the further south I go, the more issues I'm likely to inherit. Like you mention above, a 30k boat with an imminent 120k diesel rebuild isn't a real winner in the long run...
     
  7. Darnold9999

    Darnold9999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Victoria BC Canada
    2,524
    734
    113
    I figure about $10,000 a year for moorage, insurance and non running maintenance (bottom paint for example) before I even turn the engine on. That is CAD. Because it is wood I have it in a boathouse which roughly doubles the moorage, but halves the maintenance topside. Sun and weather is hard on a boat and destroys a wooden one.

    I do all my own maintenance so keep that in mind. Contrary to what most think a wood boat does not require much more maintenance than a plastic one. If it is out of the weather and you know how to take care of it. Don’t think I have done very much at all to this one that I would not have done to a similarly sized fiberglass boat. The exception is brightwork (varnish the topside wood) but in a boathouse that is a once every five year task. Outside it would be every year.

    The most expensive part of owning a boat is not the purchase price it is the ongoing expenses. I paid less than $20,000 for mine 15 years ago and $150,000 - 200,000 to park it and keep it running over that same period. A newer boat would have been much more to buy but the non running maintenance would be about the same. Then running expenses fuel, and maintenance on top of that. Metal bits that are in contact with salt water don’t last. New risers every ten years or so, raw water pumps, toilets and holding tanks and plumbing etc etc...

    Larger boats burn WAY more fuel than a smaller boat. A small planing hull is reasonably cheap to run and moves fast. Larger hulls that do not plane are not fast and burn fuel. I get roughly 3 liters a knot at 6 knots 6 liters at 8 knots and then it gets crazy. At top speed - about 15 knots it burns about 35 gallons an hour. Only used to get through passes against current and the engines are not happy to be worked that hard.

    A newer lighter fiberglass boat is better on fuel and you can get larger boats that plane so are a bit easier on fuel. Diesel is better as well but more expensive to buy and maintain.

    On the compressor issue you are just hooped. To dive every day you need a tank for every dive and diver and then either return to where you started where you have a vehicle to take to the fill station or a compressor onboard. Fill stations are not conveniently located. For a small fast boat you can run out for the day and come back and refill. A large boat is not going to work for daily diving without a compressor. You just can’t get very far away from a fill station unless you are prepared to carry tanks for multiple dives. You also have to figure out how to get tanks from the boat to the fill station. NP at your home marina, big problem just about everywhere else.

    Hope all the rambling helps
     
    rjack321, Johnoly and MrBlenny like this.
  8. luscioman

    luscioman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    629
    228
    43
    I am not sure if you posted if this is for free water , ocean or both.
     
  9. MrBlenny

    MrBlenny Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Washington State, USA
    83
    28
    18
    I'd be in the Salish Sea, so northern Washington State and up along Vancouver Island in B.C. I have a fetish for nudibranchs.
     
    Johnoly likes this.
  10. MrBlenny

    MrBlenny Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Washington State, USA
    83
    28
    18
    Thanks for all the insight, I'm doing a bit of analysis and revision now to see what makes sense moving forward. Interesting to know about the wood aspects as well, I would have thought upkeep was much more serious.

    Regarding a compressor, I would think gas is the only way to go, but CO contamination seems like a real concern, especially on a modestly sized boat. Electric would be viable in port, but CO would probably be even worse with all the engines around. So much to figure out...
     

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