looking for a good 12' boat for diving

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by bigisland, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. bigisland
    Joined: Jan 2007
    Posts: 11
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    Location: hawaii

    bigisland Junior Member


    I have been looking through the boat plan sites on line and thought i would ask anyone here if they knew of a good set of plans for a 12' boat for diving in Hawaiian waters. I would like the construction to be relatively cheap and fast. Not looking for something pretty just something functional. I would like it to be light so i can put it on the back of my toyota pick up. Something with a relatively good amount of room. Something that can take punishment. I dont know. Thanks for your help...hope to hear from u.
  2. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    I would suggest that you look at an inflatable boat. There is no other boat so small that can handle the loads that all the dive equipment place on a 12' boat. Get one made from Hypalon, it is much longer lasting than PVC types.

    Avon make a good one, as do many others, but be sure of the material used and the construction methods. Many are imports from China today, and most will simply not last. You get what you pay for.

    Using an inflatable is much easier for getting on and off, the bouyancy provided by those 300mm (12" to you) tubes is quite remarkable. You actually step onto the sides of the boat when using an inflatable, just try that with any other 12 footer and you will be diving quicker than planned.

    The Hypalon boats are quite tough too, but it still pays to have a skirt made to cover the tubes at all times the boat is in use.
  3. bgeddes
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: NE PA

    bgeddes Junior Member

    RIBs are used for diving because they are easy to get in and out of when loaded with gear. My second place is a Pontoon boat and BIG ladder. Smaller boats get 'disturbed' by divers and gear.
  4. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
    Posts: 349
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    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    kenJ Senior Member

    The ocean is a very big place for a 12' boat. I second the RIB idea or a 16-18' on a trailer.

  5. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    While a hypalon inflatable (however that ends-up looking) will provide for a tough boat, it will be a whole lot more expensive to acquire than will the same boat in PVC.

    Our guy, bigisland, did say cheap and that is not one of the descriptives I would use for a Hypalon boat. Yes, I know that amortized cost over the life of the boat should be considered, but it's not on the list as presented.

    Man, a 12' boat for diving support in offshore connditions? I like what kenj said about moving up to a somewhat larger design. If you do that, then an inflatable cat would be a very good solution.

    You could order some standard tubes from several boat manufacturers, build a simple platform to create the cat and come and go as you please while anchored-out past the surfline.

    Jack's Plastic Welding has a wide assortment of standard tubes in heavy duty PVC that are reasonable. http://www.jpwinc.com/ You could build a nice center pod as your main structural element so that it just fits in your truck bed and have straps to fasten the inflatable hulls to the platform. That will give you a really stable, wide boat for what you want to do and it will be easy to deflate the tunbes and roll them up when its time to go home.

    Here are the custom tubes offered by Jack along with pricing.

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