Scuba Diving boat design and construction

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Panama Jack, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Any passenger boat is always inspected and certified plus license whatever the country. Were're talking of commercial boats...
     
  2. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: South Florida USA

    keysdisease Senior Member

    Near where I live in the Florida Keys there is just about every conceivable dive boat operating from just about everywhere.

    As you will be operating in Panama you don't have to worry about a USCG vessel, but you may want to make sure that Panama has no regulations to worry about. Some Countries in the region require USCG inspected boats just to make their lives easier when it comes to regulations.

    The most common vessel of the size and capacity you are looking for used in the keys is a Crusader 34 or a Sea Hawk 36. They are fiberglass but meet your requirements and have long track records as dive boats.

    http://www.seahawkboats.com/36/seahawkmain.htm

    There are also 2 catamaran manufacturers that make excellent dive boats here in Florida.

    http://www.corinthiancatamarans.com/

    and

    http://www.coopermarine.com/

    Can't help you with steel, but at least these may give you some ideas

    Steve
     
  3. Squidly-Diddly
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Do most of construction in TX, then ship to Panama?

    Click my handle for my Gallery for my containable all purpose cat concept (power or motorsailer).

    As shown its about 37' to allow for outboard or stern drive units and still be containable.

    Unlike some 'scissors' cats, it is a little more work to assemble and isn't meant for quick transformations, but is designed to be infinitely configurable and up&down-gradable.
     
  4. Panama Jack
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Houston Texas

    Panama Jack Junior Member

    Just right ....Within the ball park



    This sea hawk 36 look right within the ball park .....Now.....The price of this boat new is out of my range and to cut cost I am looking for a reputable marine company able to create the patterns and cuts to take them to a metal cut shop here in Houston and start the assembly of such vessel.....I have plenty of experience as a welder/ fabricator....I talk to http://www.bruceroberts.com/public/HTML/CW28.htm.........They claim to be able to do the job for about 3500.00 Dlrs.................What I am trying to do is to be able to look around for the most information about the subject ....
     
  5. Panama Jack
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    Location: Houston Texas

    Panama Jack Junior Member

    ......

    Could you give me your link....I could no find it.....Thanks....
     
  6. Panama Jack
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    Panama Jack Junior Member

    Check this out.....

    .......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28BjBr7MYPI...........My project is a paper boat if I look at what this people are building...............My project would not be bigger than 40 feet....
     
  7. Panama Jack
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    Location: Houston Texas

    Panama Jack Junior Member

  8. Panama Jack
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Houston Texas

    Panama Jack Junior Member

    ..............


    Thanks.....This is very good but not quite what I am looking for ........This is an idea .......http://www.loloata.com/Diving.html...............I plan to build the hull myself here is Texas coast we have plenty of surplus materials and parts.....
     
  9. Ilan Voyager
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Easy to make from a from a bare hull Eduardoño Expreso 380. No need of an hard top on these sizes and uses nor such a high freeboard on the the very sweet Panamean waters.

    Do no forget also that in case of hurricane, for an open boat in a third world country the sure solution is to take out the boat and to store it inland...the marinas become a mess during an hurricane, and the prices go to the sky ...So the boat must stay small and LIGHT enough. And steel is very heavy...

    I do repeat: a steel boat is a very bad idea in this size, for that use and in tropical waters. You'll become crazy with the rust and the paint maintenance. The boat will be dinged in three days and you'll have a piece of **** in the year. Keep the steel where it belongs: big boats. The deck will be only 1/8 inch thick with a lot of structure; expensive to make...think what happens if an air cylinder or 10 pounds of lead is dropped...

    On a 36-38 feet at Panama forget about diesel. You'll never get back the extra price of a diesel even with a lower consumption. The small fast diesels run at 3800-4400 RPM with turbos and intercoolers and it appears that for small diving boats working about 1000 hours year there is not a marked economical advantage. Possibly, you won't have any experienced mechanic on these engines and no spare parts available.

    A dive boat is a floating bus adapted to the local conditions. There is no place for personal sense of aesthetics, it's a tool for working not a yacht. So it must be entirely rational; when you buy a miter saw you don't care of the looks but of quality meeting yours needs, it's the same for a working boat. So look precisely about the engines found locally, level of the local mechanics, quality of the carburants (often the quality of the diesel is awful, and the gas is very medium). For example in Mexico the high tech diesels have a short life, the Mercruiser Verado last less than 2 months and the Suzuki 200 HP blow the head gaskets within 6 months because of the carburants, but the 115 HP Yamaha lasts years... The Honda die by internal corrosion in one year and the computer for diagnostics is at Merida just 250 miles...very convenient. Think about all these details, you'll be in Panama far from the consumer's paradise called USA: nautical materials are scarce and expensive. A simple switch or a breaker can put you in a deep trouble because you won't find is locally. Everything at 3 times the USA price. So keep it very but very simple.

    I'm naval engineer and I've made 13 diving boats from 28 to 42 feet. I live in Playa del Carmen, my wife is PADI instructor and cave diver. I know a little about dive boats in spite I'm a awful diver...
     

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  10. Panama Jack
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    Panama Jack Junior Member

    ....................................Thanks I really appreciate you comments about the engine life and maintenance..................Me and my wife visit Cozumel and I was considering Mexico but the Tour driver told me that Hurricanes evac the population in Cozumel twice a year during hurricane season ...
     
  11. Ilan Voyager
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Highly, very highly exaggerated. The last evacuation was for Wilma and we have been well battered. 150 mph winds, 10 feet surge, and diluvian rains during 60 hours as the hurricane stayed on us without moving. But my phone line never cut, and I had the electricity back two days later: the work of the authorities has been incredible.

    Like always the CNN and Fox announced that the towns were destroyed etc...Like always only fake news. The roads were open in the 3 hours following the end of the hurricane, the army came with food and campaign kitchens. All the electricity working in ten days max. Only one dead...

    Our boats were stored inland and put in the water 2 days later. But those in the marinas...a very big mess.
     
  12. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    I believe Panama is outside the hurricane zone,

    Steve


     
  13. Panama Jack
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    Panama Jack Junior Member

    Thanks.....

    I was fortunate enough to live in Mexico where I met my wife. we been marry for 32 years but the time have come to move USA is getting too expensive for retirement I have the chance to work in ASTILLEROS DE MARINA FOR 3 YEARS In Tampico Mexico and also with Jose Cantu Shipyards building small shrimpers......
     
  14. philSweet
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Have you seriously investigated Panama. Can you presently own property there or own and operate a business. If you have yet to establish these prerogatives, I think the cost of the boat will be negligible. You will likely need to drop close to a million bucks just to get yourself in business. If you can sub yourself out to a resort seasonally, that could get you around a lot of it. I'd get the business going with leased boats. It's not like you will ever get the chance to go out on one. Taxi cab companies don't build there own cabs. The boat is the least of your concerns. Common sense says move to the Keys for a couple of years and work in the business there for others. Boats change hands all the time. When you're ready, buy a boat, steal a couple of divemasters, and head south. Be nice to a gal named Diann. She runs the radio dive info service down there.

    The most common gambit I saw was to wait for a boat to fail USCG inspection. Some owners will be stupid and pitch a fit. This effectively guarantees the boat will never be passed by the USCG no matter what they do to fix it. This is the boat you buy and head south with (after the owner has spent a few thousand trying to get it passed). It is why most of the boats in the Bahamas and Mexico are there.

    A very large part of the snorkel business and a good amount of the scuba business comes from referrals from the hotel desk staffs. Make sure you take care of these folks well. If you don't, somebody else will. And they mostly don't want free dive trips. Plan on running you *** off 16 hours a day, seven days a week for the entire season.

    You certainly don't want a steel boat for this either.

    It also takes several full time employees on the beach to make this work, so there is a certain minimum size if you want to keep your core personnel year-round and make use of your property. Most owners never set foot on a boat. If you want to dive, become a divemaster.

    Since all these people are basically working for tips, you need to keep the customers coming in or one day you'll find you don't have any employees .
     

  15. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Exact but Panama is not very far of one of "paths" starting in front of Venezuela-Trinidad. As the isthmus is narrow storms come also from the Pacific. Panama is known for having very strong storms with torrential rains and it's also better to take any open boat out of water if possible.

    I've seen in Playa 10 inches of rain in 12 hours... That puts tons of rain water in a boat. So now I use 2 solutions: or the floor is at least 2 inches above water line, with drains (and sealed air chambers under the floor) or there are 2 12V 120 Amps batteries, 2 automatic switches set at 2 different levels and 2 1200 gallons pumps. If one fails, the other works. It's less expensive than a sunken boat, with engines full of seawater.

    Rains in Panama can be far worst with a lot of wind. Not a hurricane but largely enough to sank a boat in a marina, or breaking its mooring on a beach and sinking it also.
     
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