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Nekton boats may come back!!

Discussion in 'Liveaboards & Charter Boats' started by deepdiver4u, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. finallyfiji

    finallyfiji New

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    1
    0
    HI! I just want to say I am THRILLED that the Roraqual may be out in the water again! I WISH I had $$ to invest, and I would in a heartbeat! Meantime, you can count on me to go with you
    Deepdiver4u when uyou get up and running! And my friends will go too!
    Sincerely,
    Finallyfiji!
     
  2. Brodydog

    Brodydog Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Braselton, GA
    509
    237
    Who was your travel insurance with Brown Mermaid? Hard to believe they would not cover the difference in cost for the flight change because you "were not late enouth". How odd. As for the lost diving I am guessing this was not a diving related ins company. We used to use Dive Assure for travel ins and we missed out on diving for most of our planned dives in the Keys one time. They reimbursed us for partial payment of the motel, partial cost of flight, partial cost of the car rental, and even 2 dives we missed out on because we got seasick on the boat and couldn't dive. It was a nice reimbursement but we don't use them any more because their rates went up drastically.
     
  3. Brodydog

    Brodydog Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Braselton, GA
    509
    237
    Hi Kris. We were on the Rorqual the week of 9/28/09 to St Croix and if you are the Kris that was engineer that week we thoroughly enjoyed you as a crew member that week. My husband and I went on a couple of dives with you and thought you were a great member of the crew. That being said I wanted to answer your original question as to wether people would return to the Rorqual. Since this was the one and only trip we took on the Nekton boats and we had no previous trips to compare the previous conditions of the boat with I am not sure that we would rebook with Nekton. The boat was looking REALLY rough. Although we really liked you and Wes as crew members because you went above expected services we did not enjoy the boat at all and find that it would be really hard to change our minds on that. I would probably wait to hear reviews from others after the boat was relaunched to decide if I would rebook and I agree with this poster

    If I rebooked the price would have to fall between Blackbeard's and Explorers prices because that is how I view the boat itself. We have been on Blackbeards (would not return...not my style) and we love the Explorer boats (have done those quite a few times). We took the Nekton trip for the price only. The boat is just not equivalent to even Explorer and certainly not equivalent to Aggresor or Peter Hughes. I would not pay those prices.

    I do wish you luck though. I hope it works out for you.
     
  4. LeeParrish

    LeeParrish Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tulsa, OK
    123
    8
    While I agree on choosing a location based on diving, if you don't take into account airlines you can make some huge mistakes. If someone has $3000 for a dive trip, and the airline costs $800 of that, that leaves $2200, so that's all you are going to be getting, or they will chose something else. Also, many of the higher priced airline flight locations are already full of land based lower cost dive resorts, i.e. Roatan versus Belize. It costs more to fly to Roatan, so the resorts have to be lower cost, where Belize if a bit cheaper to fly, so the resorts are a bit more.

    On thing to consider, if you have a boat that can't actually make time between locations, then don't try to sail too far. Do like one of the boats does on the GBR in Australia, they leave their 36 meter catamaran on the reef, rotating around 18 different moorings, and then use a day boat (which also does day trips for divers and snorkelers) to transfer passengers on and off the main ship each day. This also delivers supplies, takes off trash, and transfers crew. The main ship can stay out as long as it's diesel supply lasts for the generators and leave enough to make it back to port to refuel when needed, which hopefully isn't very often, say every month or two. More of a floating hotel, dive platform in this way, but it cuts down on fuel costs, lost time between distant sites, and moving in and out of port. This also gives flexibility to allow passengers to pick how many days they want to stay, say start with base fee for a minimum 4 night trip, plus a daily add on for each additional day. Find a location you can have numerous dive sites within say 30 miles of each other that isn't more than say 30 miles from a decent port city. Station the main vessel at the dive sites, and use a smaller boat to do the transfers on and off.
     
  5. cappyjon431

    cappyjon431 Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: Carrabelle, Florida
    1,039
    35
    An interesting thought, but one of the true advantages of the Nekton boats is the ease of diving from the liveaboard itself. Your gear is always set up on the divedeck and with a few exceptions it is possible to dive whenever you want. Transferring gear to tenders and waiting on tender schedules to get to dive sites negates one of the primary advantages of diving from a Nekton boat. In many ways, your suggestion makes the diving much more similar to diving from a land based resort (scheduled boat trips, frequent breaking down and setting up of gear, etc.).

    Not necessarily a bad idea, but one that might turn off many of Nekton's past guests. Nekton used this procedure for whale watching trips off the Dominican Republic. Those trips were popular, but they catered to a very "niche" clientele.
     
  6. H2O Gal

    H2O Gal Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SW Virginia--Let's Go Hokies!
    238
    35
    Hi-I can't speak for Brown Mermaid, but our trip insurance was with the one DAN hawks.
    When we missed our trip the next week after the trip Brown Mermaid was on because the boat broke down, Nekton let us go on the trip the very next week. But the insurance would only pay us the $150 per ticket that it cost to rebook the flights, but they wouldn't pay the additional $100 per ticket more that the new tickets cost since they were last minute purchases with no discounts. We appealed the decision but they wouldn't budge. It seems like insurance people are happy to take your money but certainly don't want to pay out if you need it.
     
  7. daniel1948

    daniel1948 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spokane, WA
    439
    58
    This sounds great for the boat operator, but not so great for the diver: If it takes the better part of a day to get out to the dive boat, in a smaller transfer boat, it adds a great deal of discomfort. When I sailed on the Pilot, we boarded in the evening, settled into our rooms, and slept through the ride out to the dive area. We slept again for the night ride back to port. In the above scenario, we'd be spending daylight hours on a long, uncomfortable boat ride, rather than cozy in bed in a cabin at night. The Nekton boats are especially designed for people who are subject to seasickness, and the small boat ride would be much harder for these folks. Understanding that moving the dive boat is an expense for the operator, I'd pay more if I did NOT have to take a long bumpy ride in a transfer boat.
     
  8. kelly7552

    kelly7552 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: san francisco
    72
    11
    I have two thoughts for the OP: The first is I wonder whether the NEKTON design has an unfixable condensation problem. From my trips on both, I noticed the ceiling of both boats would be wet and actually rain inside the boat. The engineer that I met told me that the boat was supposed to have a drop ceiling, but the coast guard forced a retrofit to a steel ceiling for fire suppression. This would explain the need for body bag size dessicants in each cabin and the unique musty smell throughout the boat. Buying a boat that molds is probably a bad investment.

    Lastly, I wonder whether many of the loyal customers are addicted to low prices and uncrowded cabins. On both trips I booked 3 divers (me and my 2 kids) and I received a private room. In fact both trips I took (Belize and USVI), everyone who wanted a private room had one. This is probably what killed nekton (low prices and underbooking) in addition to bad management. So my advice to the OP is to think carefully that the customers are loyal to the conditions that helped kill the business.
     
  9. LeeParrish

    LeeParrish Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tulsa, OK
    123
    8
    Sorry, I must not have explained it correctly. The tender only brings people out and back to the main boat and is used to keep the main vessel on the dive sites 7 days a week making money, not spending 2 days a week going in and out of port. You dive from the main boat, and it rotates around on a set of moorings that each offer great diving. Finding a location may be difficult since you want enough possible dive sites that offer good diving with a reasonable distance so you can easily move every day or maybe even twice a day between sites to keep things changing up.
     
  10. LeeParrish

    LeeParrish Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tulsa, OK
    123
    8
    No argument here, just offering a different spin for a boat that has a maximum speed of 7 knots, and probably due to this low speed is also a fuel hog. And since probably one of the biggest factors that changed is the higher price of fuel, you have to look at all angles of how to remedy that problem.

    The ride out in Australia was only a couple hours, not all day. And we did a couple dives on the way out, so it really didn't seem like much of a trip at all. This is why you need to be located within a couple hours boat ride of a port city with airport. The transfer boat there was a decent size catamaran itself, but could do probably 18 to 20 knots, so it could easily cover that distance needed in no time.

    Catering mainly to clients that are concerned about being seasick may not be a big enough market, even if some as yourself are willing to pay more. The liveaboard market isn't that big, now say that you want to target those who are concerned about being on a boat that is ultra stable, at the expense of only being able to do 7 knots maximum? Sorry, but even as a person who may at times in really heavy seas not do that well, I'd rather be a bit uncomfortable on part of the trip than to pay for a trip that is hampered by not being able to move to a great locations, or has to spend a lot of time moving around.
     

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