What Kind of Boat Is Appropriate for Diving?


There’s nothing quite like diving. It’s your opportunity to directly experience the vast depths and endless mysteries of the ocean – and a totally new way to see reality. Underwater, everything is quiet, calm, and soothing. And if you’re lucky, you might even have a close-up encounter with marine creatures you’d never get to see on land.

Diving enthusiasts need vessels to reach dive sites that are typically unreachable by swimming alone.

But what kind of boat is appropriate for diving?

The Basics of Dive Boats

Dive boats, as they’re called, are vessels that are either specifically designed for or are particularly accommodating of recreational divers. Traditionally, these boats are powered by a combustion engine, but they can also be propelled by wind or even muscle power (with the help of oars and paddles). While some features are practically prerequisites for a dive boat to be called a dive boat, others serve as mere conveniences when present.

Many dive boats are manufactured and branded/marketed as dive boats. However, it's also possible to modify existing boats to make them more feasible for the art of diving. Whether the modifications are cost effective depends on the extent of the modifications necessary and the experience of the person doing the modifications.

In many cases, dive boats are used to carry divers and all their equipment to the site of a dive for a single day. However, it's also possible to find dive boats that can support multi-day trips.

Core Features of Dive Boats

These are some of the most important features that dive boats should have:

  • Adequate space. All boats need to have adequate space on board for all passengers, as well as diving equipment. Diving equipment can take up a lot of space; you're going to need a lot more than a scuba diving suit. When shopping around for a dive boat, take careful measurements to make sure the vessel can fit everything you need for a successful diving trip.
  • Storage options. It's also important to look at storage options on the vessel. You don't want all your diving equipment just sitting out while the boat is in motion; you want it put away both for safety and for convenience.
  • Easy exiting and boarding from the water. You're going to use this boat as the launch point for your dive, so it's important to have easy exiting and boarding from the water. There are many options to facilitate this, including the basic addition of a ladder. Whatever you choose, make sure your divers can safely and easily leave and return to the boat.
  • Diver lifts. More advanced dive boats sometimes have a diver lift, which is a specific piece of machinery designed to raise the diver out of the water or lower them into it. The size and scope of this machine depends on the dive boat to which it is attached and the purpose for which it is intended.

Diving is incredibly fun, but it can also be dangerous. Accordingly, you'll need to make sure your dive boat is stocked with essential safety equipment, including:

  • A signal flag. One piece of equipment unique to dive boats is a signal flag, which is used to indicate that there's currently a diver underwater. Obviously, good communication is critical for a successful, safe diving expedition, but a signal flag removes all ambiguity and provides a form of visual communication to add even more safety.
  • A VHF radio. Every boat should have a VHF radio onboard, so the captain and their passengers can quickly and easily call for help if necessary. This is also a great way to stay tuned to weather developments and be aware of other vessels nearby.
  • Lifejackets. While not unique to dive boats, owners of dive boats need to ensure that there are plenty of lifejackets on board for each passenger. Those lifejackets also need to fit appropriately, or else they won't be able to serve their intended purpose.
  • Fire extinguishers. It's a good idea to have a fire extinguisher onboard in case a fire breaks out. Despite being surrounded by water, a fire on a boat can be devastating.
  • First aid. It should be obvious that your boat should have a first aid kit onboard. But when it comes to dive boats, there are certain additional elements you should include in your first aid kit. For example, an emergency oxygen system can help you address specific breathing or heart-related emergencies that may arise in your divers.
  • Diving shot, line, and buoy. Diving shot, line, and buoy gives your divers a line of safety while diving.
  • A recompression chamber. If you plan on diving deeply, it’s important to have a recompression chamber to avoid decompression sickness.

Additionally, it's important to have clear security protocols for any dive boat. For example, the boat should never be operated when someone is underwater or transitioning to or from a dive.

Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Dive Boat

These are some of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a dive boat:

  • Budget. You can get a boat with all the features and amenities you could ever want, but it's probably going to cost you. How much are you realistically willing to spend on this vessel?
  • Trip length. Dive boats designed for simple day trips and short expeditions are much different than those designed for extended, week-long trips. How long is your average trip going to be?
  • Number of passengers. How many people are going to be with you? If you're a solo diver, or if you're only going to be with one or two others, you can get by with a small dive boat. If you want to take more people out, you'll need more space.
  • Other uses for the boat. Also consider whether you're going to use this vessel for purposes other than diving. For example, do you plan on spending any time fishing on this boat?

Are you ready to look for your next dive boat? We've got exactly what you're looking for. With a simple search, you can pull up a wide range of vessels that serve your needs – and get one step closer to finding the perfect fit.

If you're ready to get started come and check out our impressive collection of new and used boats for sale today!

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