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Old 18-05-2010, 08:54   #1
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Hello from the Oily Side of FL - Newbie Question

I am VERY new to sailing. I just took the ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing class and enjoyed it thoroughly. As you may have guessed from my name, I am a diver. In the next year or two, I'd like to buy a used sailboat (I have never owned a boat, and like most sailors I am very frugal). The main purpose I'd like to use this boat for is weekend dive trips around the Gulf and eventually island hopping around the Caribbean. I am looking for any advice anyone might have regarding outfitting a sailboat as a dive boat, including the type of sailboat easiest to use in this manner. I have just ordered John Vigor's "20 Small Sailboats To Take You Anywhere". Any other titles that would be good reads?

Sorry if this is not the right place for this kind of question, I looked through the site and couldn't find an ideal section for it...

Thanks!
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Old 18-05-2010, 09:01   #2
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I don't know what your budget is, but I would look for something with an open transom. Later model Catalinas, Hunters, etc. You will most likely want a shoal draft as well. I don't know if it is within the budget you have in mind, but a 1991 or later Catalina 34 or 36 with a fin keel may work.
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Old 18-05-2010, 09:32   #3
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Agree with Creedence. Entries and exits will be much easier. Catamaran might be a good choice. You also have an option of entry with mask, snorkel, fins and don you gear in the water (and accordingly on the exit). It is always nice to have somebody in the boat monitoring you activities and help with gear.
It would nice to own a compressor and tanks for remote areas. Of course space will be needed for all of the gear. I had a 4 tank pelican rack secured on the deck while diving but stowed tanks in lockers while underway.
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Old 18-05-2010, 09:41   #4
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Thanks guys. I don't think entry is as big a problem as exit. You can always toss your rig in with an inflated BC and jump after it. Getting back on the boat would be a bigger problem, though...

I am looking for a boat <$20K, which pretty much rules out the newer stuff and anything multi-hulled. I have looked into a compressor onboard, which looks like it will run around $5K and I could add later.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba-Geek View Post
Thanks guys. I don't think entry is as big a problem as exit. You can always toss your rig in with an inflated BC and jump after it. Getting back on the boat would be a bigger problem, though...
Getting back to the boat (exit) is similar to entry. You remove your scuba unit in the water (you are right - it should be inflated ), secure it to the line attached to the boat and haul it after you exit the water.
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Old 18-05-2010, 10:47   #6
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All the boats I've owned had boarding ladders. To enter, giant stride off the side or stern. To board, take off the fins and climb up the ladder. Even done it with doubles and deco tanks strapped on, seas running 3-5'. Much more than that do you want to be diving anyway?
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Old 18-05-2010, 11:25   #7
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If the boarding area is fairly clear it is probably the quickest way to enter/exit. However cruising boats have often number of obstacles to negotiate. On my boat I would have to go around split backstay and clear some pieces mounted on the stern rail. Much easier without gear.
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Old 18-05-2010, 11:59   #8
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I have a dedicated Dive/Swim/Boarding platform built on the stern of my boat...some think it is hideous looking...me thinks some guys wife's are as well....so to each his own...

Anyway you could copy it or make something similar for just about any non sugar scooped equipped boat in your price range for less then 500.00...Mine is all aluminum and teak with a section of removable neoprene as non skid and rump skid protection.

The teak slats are spaced apart so water will flow through it so if needed you can even lower it past horizontal in a more vertical position greatly reducing the danger of getting hit or injured by it in a seaway for use as a ladder or even a crane to assist in MOB situation's.

In the horizontal it is 6" off the water..a bit lower say 3" would have been perfect.

I have reriged it to use blocks further forward of the ones shown in this picture off the dingy davits so it Stowe's near vertical up against the transom..thereby still making the dingy davits useful for there intended purpose...I intend to electrify both operations as well so a 5 year old can raise or deploy either dingy or platform if needed.

Another use I intend to incorporate into the design is for it to function as my cassette holder for my emergency rudder...I plan on running the control cables right through the transom so they can hook directly to the steering quadrant, maintaining wheel/auto pilot steering capabilities of the emergency rudder.....WAY down the project list right now .

OH...In case your wondering...yes that is a hot/cold pressure shower head plumbed out the Stern...so I guess its an outdoor shower stall as well...nice fish cleaning station or a dangle your toseys in the water privet get-a-way spot on the boat too.....Sometimes my dog house..
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Old 18-05-2010, 12:13   #9
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It looks solid and safe. Just like you signature. Also good looking

Hideous? No. BTW do you know my fifth wife?
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Old 18-05-2010, 13:32   #10
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Stillraining, thanks! That is about the most awesome thing I've ever seen on a sailboat. I appreciate the idea, and will definitely keep it in mind when I acquire/outfit a boat! Especially the outdoor shower. I love it.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:33   #11
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
Stillraining has quite a rig there. Very handy. Hard to get a windvane selfsteering system in there but really great for diving and returning to your mooring.
regards,
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