Time for a new dive boat!

3 years 2 months ago - 3 years 2 months ago #300431 by AB
AB created the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Since 2001, my boat Freediver has provided a comfortable and safe diving platform and I am at the point of replacing it with a new boat. I'm not getting any younger, and my dive buddies are generally in the 50 to 70 yo bracket, so we need a boat which is easy to get out of and back in, so a decent transom door, and is easy to kit up on. I don't want to be panicked if someone bangs tank on the boat, and, as most of our buddies have large camera systems, we need lots of space.

Freediver ticks all of these boxes, and I don't want to go backwards but all the boat manufacturers have squarely aimed their designs at fishermen, so what I have currently seen available is less than I have already got. For the knock ability, I want to stick with aluminium, need 2.5 metres beam and 6.5 to 7 metres length with a capacity for 6 divers with around 15 tanks . Strong preference for a mono hull and not a rib or ali pontoon boat. My budget won't go beyond $80K.

So far the only way I can do this seems to be with a kit boat like this www.platealloy.com/68CUDDY.pdf but I want to see if there are any options I have missed. At this stage in my life this will probably be my last boat, so I want to get it right. As Freediver is still going well, I have a bit of time to search out the best options for my next boat.

Alan

Our current boat Freediver has a layout we are very happy with so the next boat has to be better!
Last Edit: 3 years 2 months ago by AB.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300460 by currentlyoffline
currentlyoffline replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Alan,
What model is freediver ? If it has been a good boat for the best part of 15 years why aren't you looking at a re-power/refit or replacement with a very similar hull ?
Is it because they are now made elsewhere ?

Regards,
Aaron

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300462 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Aaron,
Freediver is a 610 Trailblazer, and it has been doing a stellar job for up to 6 divers. The layout is superb, easy to gear up, and get in and out of the water, and with the 2.5 m beam, room to move even with a full load of tanks and kits. On average we do 30 days per year on the water, and no matter which hull, it takes it's toll. I could do a major refit on it and re power it but I will have paid out nearly the difference to what a new boat costs, and I will still have a 2001 vessel. I prefer to have a complete new rig so I am not having those niggly little repairs which creep into older boats, but, having said that, if I can't find a boat which is at least as good, I may opt for a refit.

Trailcraft are now being built in China in large scale production, and their new designs are heavily slanted towards fishermen. The transoms are not as strong, and they only have one hand rail. When I bought my boat, Trailcraft were so eager to get the sale, they said OK to all my requests, shifting the cabin forward 300mm so I would have similar deck space to the larger models, chequer plate floor instead of marine carpet, and two dive ladders. I could not get those mods now.

So now I'm on the hunt for a boat builder who can deliver an equivalent or better boat at a reasonable price. I have found a couple of builders who will custom build, but at nearly twice the price of current production boats, and I simply can't afford it.

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300469 by max
max replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Once you go "Cat" you never ever go back..

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300470 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Max,
Cats don't fit the bill as they are much harder to beach launch at the Prom. They haven't really been popular down here (although 3 of the smaller local dive charters are cats) and have been disproportionally represented in capsizes in the RIP. I drive a 9 metre Kevlacat for work and I'm certainly not hooked on them.

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300471 by jdz
jdz replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Hi Alan, pm sent...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300473 by max
max replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Alan
My 6 metre Marlin Broadbill was my 4th boat in 35 years. I owed 3 monohulls before, and I've had this one seventeen years. While NO boat is perfect, this boat is as close to it. The ride, the stability and the ease of anchoring, getting out of the water and getting from A to B in comfort, none of the mono hulls came close. The best thing I've ever brought.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300478 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Max,
I have no doubt the Broadbill is a great boat, but launching them over the gently sloping beach at Wilson's Prom is a pain. Cats can also be a bit scary traversing Port Phillip Heads on days when there is sizeable swell from two different directions, and you have no choice but to take a wave on the side every now and again, and this is the main reason cats aren't popular in Melbourne. Our friends who flipped theirs in the RIP said there was absolutely no warning and in a split second they were over. Now they will only traverse the heads in my boat!

We love our current boat, as do many of our dive club members, especially the older ones. We just wish we were all a bit younger (the boat and us!)

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300479 by max
max replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Alan.
Yes point taken. What is wrong with the "kit boat" and what price are they asking for it?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300480 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
The kit boat looks good, they actually have an earlier design which is better, but I have a couple of concerns. (1) I'd like to actually water test one before I commit lot's of $$ (2) If I build it myself (saving heaps ) or get a welder to whack it together, who carries the warranty? (3) They will build the boat but I have yet to work out a price.

And before I went too far down that track I thought I would canvass some ideas from the considerable experience on this forum! I'd hate to commit to a new boat only to have someone say "Oh you should've gone to XXXXX as they have a boat that is perfect for you!" (which I know is guaranteed to happen). I'm not desperate as my boat is still going well, so I figured it was worth looking at every option.

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300481 by max
max replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
There is no way I would buy it without riding in it. In 1991 I brought a new 5.7 sport fish. They were "the " mono plate boat at the time. I never took it for a test run, the way it looked it had to be a good riding boat. It was a good looking boat, safe as any, an excellent dive boat, but christ it rode like a covered wagon. Your teeth almost fell out with every wave it hit. It was the main reason I went to my present boat.

WA, seems to be the place that builds some good Plate mono hulls?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 2 months ago #300482 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
You are dead right Max! I flew to Adelaide to test drive a Trailcraft before I bought one. While it doesn't have the best ride around, I can spend all day on the water with no aches at the end, and we have been comfortable enough to run 50k offshore. One of the guys in my club built a kit boat from this supplier, and he is happy with the way it performs, but it is the smaller model so I can't take anything from it.

I am very fortunate to live barely a couple of kilometre from great dive sites, but I do like to do some exploratory diving where nobody else goes, so I need a decent boat. It would be horrible to have a good boat and replace it with a pig.

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 1 month ago #300568 by Turtle1974
Turtle1974 replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Try some of the NZ boat builders might get a good deal

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 1 month ago #300569 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Turtle,
I have looked at some of the NZ boats and they look good, but are even more focused on fishing boats. They don't have the beam to allow the setup I want, and transom access is not so good. One of the divers on my boat last week commented on how easy it was to get off and back on, and our group are all older divers so it is important I get it right. The last couple of charter boats I dived off in Fiji were made in NZ and were excellent dive boats, but not so much their smaller boats. I reckon I could get a custom build from NZ which would tick all the boxes, but I can get that here. I have a quote from a local builder for everything I want, but it's a bit over my budget! I have other options to consider, like never being able to retire!

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 1 month ago #300570 by Turtle1974
Turtle1974 replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Alan I know what your saying, there are a lot of small boat builders in NZ that build a good product, but as you say it would be custom and you can get that in Vic have a look on www.trademe

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 1 month ago #300571 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Thanks for the link Turtle, interesting site, sort of an e bay cum trade a boat hybrid. Lots of Stabis and similar boats and plenty of others, but, as I said, very focused on fishermen with narrow beams, and half or no transom door, though there are a few Trailcrafts advertised, but I already have one!

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 1 week ago #300728 by watsea
watsea replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Alan,
I see your after an alli boat. (Mine is a little RHIB).
I see Bar Crusher's factory is in Melbourne. Are they too many dollars for your budget? You may get a test drive being relatively local for you.
Once I dived from a friend's mid size Bar Crusher fishing boat and found the boat's performance very good.
Obviously need some diver friendly setup if you were going for one as a regular dive boat.
Good luck with your search

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 1 week ago - 3 years 6 days ago #300730 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Thanks Watsea,
We've looked at Barcrusher boats as they have a great rep for ride, but they are too narrow for the layout we like, and the transom door is only half a door. We are realising more and more what a great boat we have as we cannot find another as good. I priced having one made and it went over my budget, so we are still looking.

Alan
Last Edit: 3 years 6 days ago by AB.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 years 6 days ago #300764 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
This is what I mean by desired layout, and why we are still looking!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 9 months ago #301227 by goferrin99
goferrin99 replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Alan,

What did you end up getting?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 9 months ago #301228 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
goferrin,
We almost bought another Trailcraft , but just couldn't seal a deal. A custom boat is out of our budget, and I don't really want to pay $$ for compromise on our current boat. As our Trailcraft is still going well, we decided to give ourselves more time to look for the best option, but the prospect of a major refit of our boat is looking more likely!

What I have learned is that used boats seem to take a long time to sell, I have seen the same boats for sale for over a year, and the prices don't really come down. I don't really want to get stuck in a situation where I have two boats for a long time, and the dealers only offer half their value as they need to make a profit. So he plan is to wait until after the Melbourne Boat Show, and if nothing comes up, start the refit on mine over winter.

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 9 months ago - 2 years 9 months ago #301230 by goferrin99
goferrin99 replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Thanks for that Alan. Good luck with your refit or new purchase
Last Edit: 2 years 9 months ago by goferrin99.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
8 months 1 week ago #303300 by peter6956
peter6956 replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Alan,

Did you end up updating your boat? If so what did you get and how did you fit it out?

I have to organise tank holders on mine and still working on ideas as to the best setup

Peter

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
8 months 5 days ago #303307 by AB
AB replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Peter,
I took the time to look around and weigh everything up. I was keen on a kit boat, but the finished price was going to top $100K. One of our club members is building the next size up kit boat, and we have 4 other boats in our club, so I felt I didn't need to spend lots of money a couple of years before retirement. We are going to refit our boat, a new aluminium hardtop and paint this winter, and then run it until the Jonno has an expensive failure, then replace the donk. It is the best layout for the sort of diving we do.

Alan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
8 months 5 days ago #303309 by peter6956
peter6956 replied the topic: Time for a new dive boat!
Thanks Alan, I was just curious after seeing your boat on the site.

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately for me I have had to buy a boat just before retirement and chose to buy a new one after much looking and thinking. The main thing being reliability and knowing one is starting afresh and not buying problems.

Thanks for the response

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
  • Not Allowed: to create new topic.
  • Not Allowed: to reply.
  • Not Allowed: to add attachements.
  • Not Allowed: to edit your message.