Extending shore dive range with inflatable?

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divin'dog

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Does anyone use an inflatable boat or raft to increase their range when shore diving? I don't mean using a motor and going out a few miles, but I was thinking about using an inflatable to paddle out just beyond our comfortable range to do a surface swim (1 mile+ or so) to get to other parts of a shore dive that would ordinarily be out of reach. We would pretty much be close to shore (1/4-1/2 mile) but would paddle around to parts that we do not have access to right now.

If so, what make and model of a boat do you use? Things to look out for when buying an inflatable? I'd want to carry myself and another diver, so we've been looking at an Intex Mariner 4 that has a payload of 880lbs, enough to carry everything we need for 1 or 2 dives. Advice?
 

mala

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its a shore dive or its a boat dive.Half mile offshore is a boat dive.

if its a boat dive you need a boat with a motor and a extra man onboard .

have you looked at twin tanks and a dpv?
 

divin'dog

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its a shore dive or its a boat dive.Half mile offshore is a boat dive.

if its a boat dive you need a boat with a motor and a extra man onboard .

have you looked at twin tanks and a dpv?

motor = more $$$ + maintenance
twin tanks = more $$$
dpb = more $$$

Looking to throw some gear into a cheap, but durable, inflatable from a public beach (hence no motor allowed) then paddle just beyond our comfortable surface swim distance. Looked into kayaks, but an inflatable will fit in the back of my pickup and would be easy to inflate at the beach then store at home. Kayaks would be more $$$ then would need carriers for the truck. Need to get off cheaply here. Twin tanks and a DPV... not gonna happen.
 

Twisted Bones

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Inflatables are worrisome for me. What is your backup plan if you puncture it while moving your gear to and from the boat. A reliable BIB is not going to be cheap. I use a perception kayak that cost me $450 brand new. Fabricated my own rack and loading system and added some other goodies to my kayak. I also splurged on a good cart. I have less than $900 into the whole getup. Paddling a BIB a half mile is gonna soak some energy where a kayak will leave you with plenty to spare. SOTs are almost unsinkable. Piece of mind.
 

divin'dog

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It would be more efficient and easier to use a kayak for what you are describing.

I agree... but then my buddy would have to get one... then I'd have to get 2 carriers for my truck. What we're really after is a way to dive off a beach area then paddle a little farther from the entry (not necessarily farther out) to areas that would be a long surface swim.

---------- Post added December 5th, 2013 at 01:05 PM ----------

What is your backup plan if you puncture it while moving your gear to and from the boat.

I'm gonna cross my fingers... :) Just kidding. We will probably be within easy swimming distance to land (but not from a place that we could set up our equipment and dive from if you know what I mean). Emergency exit probably would be private property or other property that doesn't allow us normal access.

Paddling a BIB a half mile is gonna soak some energy where a kayak will leave you with plenty to spare. SOTs are almost unsinkable. Piece of mind.

BIB = big inflatable boat?
SOT = sit on top?

Thought about the energy thing paddling an inflatable around... There would always be 2 of us and we would definitely take our time getting out, same as our surface swims. Just thought an inflatable would make things just a little easier?

What model kayak do you have?
 

Steve_C

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How are you going to make sure it is there when your dive is over? If the wind picks up they can pull pretty hard on an anchor. I tried fishing form an inflatable for a couple years. Paddling any distance at all was work and not so easy to do in wind. What about current?
 

divin'dog

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How are you going to make sure it is there when your dive is over? If the wind picks up they can pull pretty hard on an anchor. I tried fishing form an inflatable for a couple years. Paddling any distance at all was work and not so easy to do in wind. What about current?

Was thinking of using a good anchor for the area. Then going down anchor line setting the anchor at the beginning of our dive between some rocks so we're comfortable with it, releasing it at the end of our dive. We probably will only be in 30'-40' at most.

Good point about the wind as I know it could pull pretty hard on an inflatable. Also, if it's pulling hard with the wind and if there is a current, there will be stress on the tie off point on the boat which makes me concerned. Paddling will also be more work in a wind... not to mention a current.

Bottom of boat I'm thinking about looks like this:
Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 3.14.30 PM.png
Not much of a keel but better than an inner tube... I think. Hmmmm...

Good points Steve_C. Thanks!
 

Twisted Bones

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I have a perception sport 13.5. It will hand 600#. Up in the front it has a deep enough well to put a BCD with tank and sit flush with the sides. I drag it areound with me so when I decide to surface its right there. Even with it being a kayak it can get very spirited with waves. I have gone out when it was calm and 20 minutes later I am being pulled off the bottom due to wave action. Have never had an issue with it dragging me around in the wind though.

You are right about needing 1 kayak per person. Even with mine being 13.5 feet, once I get me gear and myself loaded there is no room for another diver and gear.

As for the rack issue. You buy the metal and I will volunteer the time to fab you a rack for your truck.


Matt
 

AfterDark

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OP a small motor is the way to go. Can't you paddle away from the beach then use the motor? Have you considered an electic motor? Some of these green winne types go gaga over electric motors and it'd be easier to get by with. It could even be left unmounted until you use it, just lay it on the floor, or tie it off to the side. It won't go fast but you wouldn't need to paddle....as much. Most inflatables have compartments so one hole will not sink you but paddling back would be tiring.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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