Nekton boats after hurricane Michael

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kelemvor

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Someone's on board checking things out at least.

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JohnnyC

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What’s the story with these Nekton boats? I don’t know the history behind them, and they look kinda strange.
 

Wookie

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SWATH. John Dixon was a pretty accomplished marine architect. He designed them to be stable. He did not design them to be easy to maintain. He ran a lot of the crew with volunteers out of Pro-Dive in FLL. The maintenance was lacking. In-law family money ran out (purse strings were pulled) and John didn't raise prices fast enough during the 2008 downturn. I didn't either, but I was able to recover, but it cost me 2 houses and a million in retirement.

But I had a relatively maintenance free boat built of aluminum. Steel boats just take constant care, which you don't get with a volunteer (or tips-only) crew.
 

diverdoug1

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They were very stable dive platforms because they had "SWATH" (Small Waterplane-area Twin Hull) design. They were run out of Florida (and Belize, Cayman, St. Croix). They had dive deck that lowered to the water level. The first one, the Nekton Pilot was a very good boat, and a good vacation value. They were frequently a Rodales reader's choice winner. After a number of years,the second one, Nekton Rorqual" was put into service. It was not as well built as the Pilot. About the same time the Rorqual was put into service, there seemed to be a seachange in how the Nekton company was run. Decreasing food budgets, poor maintenance, financial abuse of the crews, cheating the crew out of tips, high crew turn over rates. It seemed like Jon Dixon, the owner and CEO, just seemed to stop caring about the guests and crew. The company went steadily went from great to terrible. Both boats were pulled from service within a few month of onw another due to maintenance issues and mechanical failures. Guests were not informed that the company was shut down, and some showed up for their trips to find empty docks. Guests were cheated out of trips they had paid for, and the company kept taking deposits even after they knew they were shutting down.
 

KathyV

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We did some Nekton LOB, 2 (?) trips in the Bahamas, a Belize trip, and our last trip was to St. Croix on the Pilot shortly before the company shut down.

They looked like floating buildings. We had great times and good diving and no complaints but we did notice that the Pilot was getting a little run down during our St. Croix trip near the end of the company.

They were roomy, stable boats, nice staterooms, good food, good crews, nice big dive deck - and good diving! They used to advertise "no seasickness" because of the stable swath design, but I once got very seasick during a deep water crossing to the Bahamas.

While we were on the Belize trip I asked the Captain about the famous incident when the movable dive deck fell off and was lost in deep water. He said that it was rough weather (and I think he said that a crew member screwed up when he raised the dive deck and it jammed? Or he didn't lock it?But I am not sure that I am remembering that correctly.) Anyway, it broke off and plunged into deep water, taking a lot of the boat's equipment, tanks, and all of passengers' dive gear to the bottom of the sea. I think that hurt the company financially and it may have hurt their reputation, too?

The Nektons were great LOB trips, they were midway in price between the bargain boats like Blackbeards and the high-end boats like the Aggressors and Dancers. They carried more divers than most LOBs but they were big and spacious. We have many good memories of our Nekton trips and we were sorry to see them go away.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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