In this month’s blog I think it is time to pay some attention to our amazing boats, after all, what would we do without them!
With the beginning of the season being a little slow as usual, we had plenty of time on our hands to make sure our boats look amazing, ready to take you guys out diving. So let me introduce you to our fleet and tell you a little bit more about them.
First we have our main dive boat “Sunchaser”. Build in 1987 she is our oldest girl at age 25.
She is a 39ft custom build ‘Michael Fitz’ fiberglass diesel-powered dive boat with fly bridge and sun deck especially designed to take divers out. She has a 500 HP MANN diesel engine installed in 1996 which has been completely rebuilt last year. She is equipped with a fish finder so we can see the depths below us and we have a portable GPS which can be mounted at the helm when needed.
Being our largest one she is capable of taking 25 divers including our guides on a morning trip doing two dives as she can take up to 50 dive tanks in her tank racks. These tanks will be well secured with bungees, making sure they don’t decide to wonder off… As she is our primary boat she does also carry all our dive equipment on board, so when you need something extra, it will be right there!
Our secondary, but definitely no less, dive boat is ‘Miss Lavelle’. She is Mike’s baby and called after his late mother. Miss Lavelle is a 38ft custom-built Bradley, designed by a local shipyard owner, but actually built in Belize in 2000. She has a 350 HP Cummins diesel engine installed during her build.
As she is Mike’s favorite she has all the snazzy gadgets such as GPS, depth sounder, radar, fish finder and autopilot. She has curtains all around her making her a weather tight boat!
She is able to take 13 divers and additional guides on a morning trip as she can take up to 30 dive tanks. She holds 10 tanks at the back, secured with bungees and the rest in the bow with horse shoes.
Both boats can take plenty of divers, our average trips take fewer divers than the ones mentioned above though! Even if we do have a busy boat, we can provide plenty of guides to keep the actual dive groups as small as possible. We try to keep our dive groups at maximum 6 divers per guide, and that is more a rarity than a common thing!
Both dive boats are BVI inspected vessels, which means they come with the standard life saving equipment, such as life floats, floatation rings, life jackets and flares. Being dive boats they carry first aid and oxygen on board as well! Of course we don’t use any of this equipment, but it is there just in case.
When out diving they both carry a safety line and tagline for comfort of our divers.
They do also have a marine head with holding tank.
Lastly our little work boat Ramming Speed. She might be the smallest at 19 feet in length, but she is definitely the toughest and never lets us down. She has a Ford 8 cylinder gas engine capable of towing any of the big boats in case she has to! With two comfortable seats behind the wheel and more seating area on top of the engine she takes care of pick up and deliveries close by and really makes sure we get home when we need to! We don’t use her for diving with guests, but she is definitely capable of doing so. In summer we do dare to take her out for a close by spin by ourselves and she can hold up to 10 tank racks in removable horse shoes. Different to the big boats a backwards roll entry would be required off her, where the big boats offer a giant stride entry.
Lastly we just want to say a big thank you to all last month’s divers for keeping us busy in the water and more importantly out of the office! Now it is the countdown to the holidays!
A belated happy Thanksgiving to all!