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Retirement job driving dive boats?

Discussion in 'Becoming a Captain' started by 2airishuman, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    But also in the keys, Captains are making about $75/trip
    Johnoly likes this.
  2. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    720 isn't quite accurate. :)
    It's mostly accurate, but not all the way accurate, unless some things have changed.

    If you live in an oil rig, it's less than 720 :)
  3. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    It’s still 720, but 12 hour days are counted as 1.5....
  4. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    Exactly right. So 480 days, which is how I got most of my days.
    Wookie likes this.
  5. Scraps

    Scraps ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida


    Every time I feel the urge to go down the OUPV owner-captain path, I re-read this post until the fever subsides.

    If you'd care to write a financial version of this, I think I'd be cured forever.
    Hoyden and Ghost95 like this.
  6. Tom Winters

    Tom Winters Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Boca Raton, FL
    Ah yes, getting a captain’s license and sealing with the Coast Guard.
    In the Navy, I was a Fleet Officer of the Deck and once spent a full day coordinating the surface operations of two carrier battle groups in the South China sea.
    When I decided to get a USCG license, I was going to get a Third Mate’s ticket since I had years of Navy at-sea time as the guy in charge of whatever watch I had.
    The Coast Guard wouldn’t recognize my destroyer sea time as a squid, but my time running a 15’ inflatable military dive boat got me a seat at the 100-ton table. It was absolutely surreal dealing the license office in Honolulu.
    Go figure.
    I drove commercial boats in Hawaii for a couple of renewals but the third or fourth time it was time to renew, I just let it lapse. That was about the time I retired from everything anyway since after staying awake for 25 years with the Navy and my side jobs and investments, I was dog tired.
    That was just about 20 years this month.
    Good luck with driving boats sir. I made a lot of money doing that and never killed or injured anyone.
    Johnoly likes this.
  7. Shasta_man

    Shasta_man Loggerhead Turtle

    Very interesting and candid thread we get to eavesdrop on. New perspective on how much the guy controlling the boat and needing years of experience is making to protect butts.

    Ghost95s summary was hilarious and we, the other divers on the boat, were thinking the same thing about the I know it all guy.

    Note to self: would be very interesting to talk to Tom Winters but never work for him. It's a death sentence
    Ghost95 and Lostdiver71 like this.
  8. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    Rainbow Reef Dive Shop, in Key Largo is now paying $95/trip - Tips range from $30/trip to as high as $70/trip that we were seeing over this Labor day week. I made a bit over $800 in tips in the 18 trips I ran over the holiday.
    Hoyden and Johnoly like this.
  9. Deepsea5

    Deepsea5 Former Public Safety Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maine, USA
    I'm new to ScubaBoard, but have been SCUBA diving off and on since the early 1980s.
    I'm intrigued by the possibility of captaining a dive boat, as a part-time retirement job. Still researching the steps I would need to take to achieve this. I most likely would end up taking the dreaded "Paper Tiger" route, and then training under someone who knows what they are doing, as far as captaining a dive boat is concerned.
    IMO a "newly minted" Captains License holder has demonstrated they have an academic understanding of what it takes to be a captain of a marine vessel. They merely have been granted a license to learn, if you will.
    This attitude is one that I carry over from my aviation experience (former Naval Aviator, now a pilot who flies for fun). Every license/certificate I've earned has been my license/certificate to learn how to become a better aircraft pilot.
    I wouldn't be looking to get rich as a dive boat captain. It just seems like it would be an interesting retirement job.
    Who knows what the future will hold....?
  10. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Glad you're not looking to get rich. It would help if you didn't want to dive either. Now, I know it seems glamorous and all, you know, chasing lost divers, broken engines, getting yelled at, being covered in s**t when the heads break down or get completely plugged up, but sometimes there is actual work. After a dive you might actually have to sit and have a drink with a bikini clad costumer and listen to the details of their dive or you might even have to accept accept one of the lobster pushed on you by a charter that did well on a spot you took them too. Such are the demands of the job.

    Unless you have sea time on a heavier vessel that you can use for qualifying time with the USCG, you'll probably be testing OUPV (6-pack). You can use time on your boat, a friends boat, or a family members boat to get the required minimum sea time. Yes you will be a paper tiger especially if you haven't worked as a deckhand on a charter but we all started somewhere. Remember, there is going to be a ton of knowledge, tips, and tricks, that you don't know that you don't know. I would recommend you try and find work, at least temporarily, as a deckhand and maybe a dive master to pick up on some of those tips and tricks and to learn the ropes and see if it's what you want to do.

    As a Naval Aviator the tests should be nothing that poses a real challenge and handling a dive boat is probably not as "interesting" as trying to hit the third wire but it can have it's moments. More often the interesting part comes with all the curve balls that passengers can come up with that leave you scratching your head wondering how they even made it to the boat in the morning.

    I think the course for the 6-pack can be completed in about a week or two and it's not really needed. You can find test prep courses on line that will get you the info. The 2 week class is just really a test prep and gets you used to seeing how the questions are presented and the info that is covered. To be honest, the classes are the easiest way to get the paper.

    Good luck with your endeavors. It can be a lot of fun...sometimes.
    Scraps, Deepsea5 and Johnoly like this.

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