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Retirement job driving dive boats?

Discussion in 'Becoming a Captain' started by 2airishuman, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    Amen to that!!
    Ghost95 likes this.
  2. Scraps

    Scraps ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida

    As someone who is also trying to carve out some sort of retirement career involving diving, boat driving, and scuba instruction, let me offer a few thoughts about starting a job when you’re older than the age at which most people retire from it.

    Although it’s pretty easy to clear the first licensing hurdle to sit for the OUPV, the only realistic way to a) accumulate the sea time to upgrade your license to allow you to drive a smal passenger vessel (>12 passengers) or to b) convince the owner of a 6-pack dive boat to trust you to captain his or her boat is to log a lot of hard time as a divemaster.

    And dive boat divemaster is a job that is specifically designed to be performed by young, agile bodies.
    No specific task is all that demanding, but there is an exhausting cumulative effect of all the gear you haul, set up, break down, wash off, put away; the sheer number of times you climb in or out of the boat from the dock or the water; rigging and unrigging lines and hauling the anchor on boats that don’t have windlasses; helping, coaxing, dragging, and encouraging divers; cleaning the boat afterward; and the other tasks a DM has to perform, many of which involve grappling with wet, heavy stuff.

    I’m pretty fit and strong for a guy my age, but I need a recovery day after working a couple days in a row on a boat.

    Once you get your OUPV and start working as a captain, you’ll find that the captain works just as hard as the DM and has the extra responsibilities of safe vessel operation, superintending every aspect of the dive operation, and doing any other work needing to be done because the DM can be in only one place in a time.

    I already have the sea time I need for the 100 ton license, and I’m still having second thoughts. I can’t imagine trying to accumulate 720 days as a boat DM at my age. Driving an excursion boat whose operation is less complex and whose passengers don’t require so much help and supervision may be a better answer, especially as I get a bit older. Then I could do a little teaching, an occasional DM gig, and an occasional milk run harbor tour. Enough variety to stay interested, enough money to pay for a vacation once in a while, not enough physical work to wear me out.

    Best wishes,
    Ghost95, Shasta_man, Hoyden and 3 others like this.
  3. Deepsea5

    Deepsea5 Former Public Safety Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maine, USA
    Ghost95 and Scraps: Thank you for your insight and words of wisdom!I

    Scraps: Your thoughts on skippering a less complex excursion boat (with less "needy" passengers) sounds more like something I would like. I'm in good physical shape for my age; but in the interest of "keeping it real", my 20s & 30s were a long time ago.

    The owner of my LDS really wants me to pursue Dive Master/Scuba Instructor certification. I plan to do that once things slow down at work (if that ever happens, LOL).
    I grew up around boats. Have owned everything from an 8 foot skip jack (55HP Evinrude, wild ride!) to a 40 foot twin screw Chris Craft.
    I currently own a 16 passenger 27 foot tri-toon, with small galley, 2 grills and a head, so I wind up doing a lot of unpaid lake tours and occasionally river/harbor tours. :)

    Hope you guys have a great New Year, and thanks once again for your insight!

    Ghost95, Hoyden and Scraps like this.
  4. tna9001

    tna9001 Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Asheville NC USA/Roatan
    Does a day as a DM on a dive boat count towards the CG requirements for sea days?
  5. UCFKnightDiver

    UCFKnightDiver ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Yes, I believe so
  6. Capt. T. Goetz

    Capt. T. Goetz Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
    @Johnoly said "Also most capts are required to do fluid changes, maintenance, haul-outs, bottom scrape & paint, etc, etc,"

    You can say that again, not to mention polishing chrome bits, securing lines/windlass at the end of the day, And then there's the responsibility. There was one just a few weeks ago where a charter boat ran over a woman, read it in the accidents/incidents thread. Florida weather can be a real hassle, not to mention the people, most of who are either drunk, or drive like their drunk. Just last week i was attacked by a pair of jetskiers just inside of lake santa barbra ICW, they nearly collided with some swimmers after they started throwing stuff at my vessel and speeding up close to it and then spraying it with the jets. 6pk is good enough to start, i got it done in 1-2 months with studying and reviewing material multiple times...<TG>
    Johnoly likes this.
  7. Capt. T. Goetz

    Capt. T. Goetz Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Fort Lauderdale Florida
    days on the Sea yes but sometimes they require specified hours at the helm, P.S it's quite hard to document and present 700 days at sea, i showed them a dive log book and photos from offshore fishing covered during a 5ish year period...<TG>
    tna9001 likes this.
  8. RogueClimber

    RogueClimber ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Honolulu
    Yes. Many of our staff have earned their Masters License using sea days from diving. There is an exception that allows dive staff to serve as deck hand and then go on the dive. The Coasties also allow a single charter to count as a full 8 hours underway.

    You do not show your dive log. But instead you turn in a Small Vessel Sea Service Form signed by the appropriate person

    Scraps likes this.
  9. tna9001

    tna9001 Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Asheville NC USA/Roatan
    That's great to know, thank you!
  10. Ghost95

    Ghost95 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida
    Good luck. Glad you found some of the insights useful.
    tna9001 likes this.

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