Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tips n Tricks: Comparing ships to ships

There are numerous charters and dive boats out there ranging anywhere from a two tank carry on to multiday live aboard trips. People have asked me before about my criteria for rating a dive trip and honestly there really is no simples or clean cut system because there are numerous things to consider.  The dive destination and sites the trip is headed for, as well as the distance and time need for travel. The various amenities the boat offer and the crew including the captain who is running the ship all play a role in how enjoyable the trip is.


Let us be honest about something, the pricing point of a dive trip is the first thing everyone looks at. It is the first threshold everyone examines to determine whether they can go or not is affordability. Being a frugal diver, it is also the first thing I examine. I noticed if you break down most dive trips into the unit what a single dive cost for comparison, there seems to be a common trend in cost.

- Local dives: Around $30-35/dive
- Long distance (overnight): $40-50/dive (depending on location/distance)
- Resorts/vacation: $60-80/dive (a higher threshold exist though of getting there first)

For example, I recently went on a trip departing from San Pedro, CA to San Clemente Island, CA, we got an all-inclusive trip around $219/diver which is a very high threshold for the dive trip however, the trip was planned for overnight and seven dives. Now the cost of the trip is around $32/dive! This is a very good deal.


Most dive boats come standard with snacks and drinks however, not all provide the same quality, availability, and variety in their food. Some boats have over time developed a reputation of a really good chef on board. Those are things to consider. Remember though, if it is a short dive trip t going to a local spots, don’t expect a fancy meal because you are not on the boat long enough for them to make a fancy meal for you.

Amenities on board such as a fresh water rinse, hot water hose, or even a hot tub all deserve consideration. They keep you fresh and warm which goes a long way to make your diving experience very comfortable.

Crew plays a huge role in how well your dive trip goes. A good captain and divemaster will bring you to great dive sites. Great deck hand will make the diving experience easier. Lastly, a good crew will make sure you are safe.


A beach dive is a cheaper way to indulge in diving but remember it is NOT FREE! There are also costs associated with it as well such as your transportation cost, parking, air fills, and food just to name a few. You now have to bring your own food and water which are all cost.

I leave you this time with Captain Pirate leading a dive trip.
Written by: Wayne Lu, Apr 24, 2012

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