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Old 02-10-2010, 06:07   #1
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Best Seaworthy Monohull to Dive from

Planning on cruising in a few years and have started gathering information on possible boats. One of the many criteria I am looking at is divability. I am planning on having a small dive compressor along with 4 scuba tanks and 2 sets of dive gear (and a backup) along with underwater filming equipment.

The two issues I would like to address are 1. storage: which seaworthy boat has more than usual in the 38-50' range? 2. Which boat has a large Swim platform and staging area?

I know the obvious that monohulls do not make the best dive boats but I understand that and I just want to get opinions from those who DIVE routinely and HAVE monohulls. What are your likes and dislikes?

One of the main reasons I am cruising is to dive in extremely remote locations around the world. Thanks in advance!

Jacob
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:17   #2
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I have seen custom platforms added to the back of boats to facilitate diving. In reality any boat will fundamentally work, it just might need some modifications. Or you can get a dinghy that you use as a platform.

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Old 02-10-2010, 06:23   #3
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Your dinghy is your best bet - get one suitable for diving and figure out some way to handle and store it. Most of the places you will want to dive will not be suitable or even safe for anchoring your boat over. You will be extremely restricted using your main boat as a diving platform due to either weather or unsuitable anchoring at the dive site.

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:03   #4
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The best set-up mono's I've been on for diving had been customized. Most went so far as to either have a stern extension/garage added. I was on one, a gulfstar motorsailer, center cockpit, that had the aft cabin converted to a dive locker and the stern cutout and made into a hydraulically operated platform. Plenty of tank storage, a compressor, area to hose off the gear.....etc.

Also forgot to mention that they all had a rib dinghy and 15hp ob. The center cockpit boat set it on the cabin top of the aft cabin.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:31   #5
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I would suggest for a mono-hull anything with a "sugar scoop" on the stern. I have seen folks add/build a sugar scoop onto their Roberts design and other FRG designs. But it is easiest to do on a metal boat.
- - A very active diver I know has a 40 ft. Hunter that has a very wide "sugar scoop" stern with 3 lockers across the first step up. The bottom of the "sugar scoop is almost even with the water so he can sit and suit up. Then roll forward off the boat. He has a very sturdy swim ladder installed that will take the extra weight of climbing out of the water with your scuba gear still on.
- - Of course catamarans almost always come with twin sugar scoop sterns and have considerable storage area for tanks, compressors and other gear.
- - But for mono-hulls, a boat without a very wide square high transom or a double-ender seems to be the most compatible for scuba diving. You just need to keep looking at all the many different versions of sterns out there to find the ones best for you. Even within one manufacturer there are sometimes several different stern designs available.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:37   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Your dinghy is your best bet - get one suitable for diving and figure out some way to handle and store it. Most of the places you will want to dive will not be suitable or even safe for anchoring your boat over. You will be extremely restricted using your main boat as a diving platform due to either weather or unsuitable anchoring at the dive site.
While I agree that a dink is helpful in terms of sites where you won't be able to anchor a sailboat--something like a large kelp bed--I have been able to dive right from the mother craft many times.

Best monohull design for an active diver has a walk-through, sugar-scoop transom leading to an aft cockpit. It's especially nice to have a transom shower so that you can rinse gear without ever tracking a single drop of salt water down below.

As far as storage, there's no getting around the fact that the bigger the boat the more likely it is to have adequate storage for diving. This is especially true if you're planning to install an onboard compressor. At that point you really ought to be looking for something at least 44' long if you're planning to cruise the boat as well.

There are folks who enjoy dissing modern production boats on these forums, but the beamy, sugar-scooped production boats with large aft cockpits tend to serve as a far superior dive platform to most other boats. Stay away from canoe sterns, stay away from center cockpits, and look for a boat with a huge lazarette that you'll be able to ventillate with muffin fans.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:51   #7
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I plan on getting the biggest rhib and OB motor I can safely carry as an alternative dive platform but where possible I prefer (and my dive partner) to dive from the mother ship and when I dive solo want to be relatively close to the boat as well. I would not dive solo from a dink unless near shore and pool like conditions.

Sugar scoop sounds like the way to go. I have been diving from a sugar scoop before and found it relatively easy with the exception of the giant helm in the way. Collapsable helm or folding would be nice.

What do you think of a tank storage rack external to the interior of the boat made from aluminum? Might be a bit rough on the tanks over the years but easily replaceable.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:12   #8
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@Jacob30, what ever you store external is a lure for the thieves, so if you plan to go cruising and leave the boat from time to time to go on land, you will need to carry everything inside, and it will still be visible before you go. Look for something with good storage space to the aft, or close compartments made (still vulnerable), I have also seen pictures of boats that did an outside enclosure for the compressor.
A swim platform will work just as well as a sugar scoop or even better (more space, salt water drain fast). Devits or an outboard crane can work wonders in lifting all that heavy gear out of the water.

As to the aft cockpit vs center, I can find good points for both, but with my experience with diving, you usually need a place to get the gear ready and setup, and the platform behind the cockpit on a center cockpit boat can be a very good and secure space to be doing it without making a total mess of the cockpit.

A stern washdown hose is very nice to have and will be easy to install on any boat so it is not really a consideration with what boat to get.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:07   #9
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My yacht has a very large stern platform, designed for dingy storage, but it would be ideal for your application.
Unfortunately mine is a custom designed yacht, but there are other boats that are similar.
Good luck in your search.
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