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What is a good, small boat?

Discussion in 'Boats and Boating Equipment' started by Jake, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. grf88

    grf88 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Markham, Ontario
    I have a 15.5 ft Avon inflatable with a 40 HP outboard. It is cramped with 4 divers with 2 tanks each but workable. I have had 4 divers and a pilot but we only had 1 tank each on that trip. Normally we dive 2 people at a time while the other 2 gear up which makes things easier. The large tubes on the Avon make it very stable.
    Purge likes this.
  2. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    look at the big Whaly RIB style boat, tougher than inflatable, less maintenance and all the positive qualities of a RIB
  3. lowlysubaruguy

    lowlysubaruguy Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: The Gorge
    You should try and find a dive club and get on a few boats. 4 divers and gear is a challenge in some boats. 21 feet is about where I think you need to start to dive with 5 on board even if only 4 of them are divers.

    Do a little math before getting on these boats. At the end of your dives pitch in double what you think you should in cash and effort and youll soon find you are welcome aboard any Boat you get on and you may find you either dont need a boat or you have had enough boating diving experience to know exactly what you want or need to buy and youll probably also have an idea how much its really going to cost you.
    Ana likes this.
  4. Ana

    Ana Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
    That's great advice.

    I don't think is possible to find out you don't need a boat, that would be blasphemy. Like flamingos, everybody needs them. ....but it is possible to decide you don't want to deal with one of your own, or most likely to better define what you want on a boat and, just as important what you don't want.
    Nicolas Pottier likes this.
  5. DreadnoughtNH

    DreadnoughtNH Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Portsmouth, NH
    C-Dories are great less expensive boats for diving. Tough, good in a sea, easy to maintain.

    The Parker 'sport cabins' (Sport Cabin - Parker Boats) are my personal choice for similar reasons. The fact that they don't come up often (and disappear quickly) on the used market should tell you something. They have a lot of deck space, and are laid out simply.
  6. Russjstewart

    Russjstewart Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne
    As a former boat owner my standard answer to the best dive boat is “someone else’s”. If you are going down the inflatable road look seriously at one with a fibreglass or aluminium hull. The fold up ones look good on paper, the idea of folding them up to save space sounds good, but most end up on trailers or gathering dust.

    Have fun
  7. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

    In diving there is no such thing as a good small boat. If you want to dive four people you will need a 20+ foot RIB. My old boat was a 16 foot fishing boat and utterly useless as a dive boat, we tried it once and never again. The further you need to go offshore the bigger you need and the deeper you go the more space for gear you need.

    A small boat is such a pain that you will find every excuse there is not to use it. A boat that is big and roomy is such a fantastic thing to dive off you will find every excuse there is to go diving.

    From a financial aspect it is always cheaper to go out with a charter boat than to own your own boat. Here in the UK I can take a trip on a charter boat for less than the price of fuel on a boat shared between four divers. The only reason to own a boat is because there are no charter boats or because you need to dive when no charter boats are available. Either way it is an expensive luxury and you should think of it in that way. If you are spending that much to go diving why save a few bucks with a small boat? Go the whole hog and buy/operate a nice big one.
  8. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    Averaging the costs of the boat, including fuel, slip fee, maintenance, insurance, etc., our cost for a day of diving is around $200 for 2-3 divers. It's less than half of what a local charter costs and we get to dive where we want. Of course, when we were shore diving the costs were much less but we didn't get to see the animals we find offshore. You only live once, so if you can swing it, get a boat that will serve your needs now and in the future. Moving up to a bigger boat every few years is even worse than cameras!
    Ana and Esprise Me like this.
  9. chrisch

    chrisch Solo Diver

    I had to look at dive boats in your area on those prices. Wow. I found a local one - In 2 Deep

    Is that for real? $150 for a day trip? No wonder you have your own boat.

    A single dive here is about 30-40 dollars (equivalent) per person. Petrol is six dollars a gallon so you can easily spend $100 or more on fuel with a 50hp engine.

    I hope there is lots to see for 150 bucks!
  10. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    Most of the $150 boats involve 15-25 miles each way to the islands and include three dives. Some islands are six to seven hours away, which raises the price even more. Even the local six packs charge close to that for mainland diving. It's an expensive hobby in California.

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