The Uses of Inflatable Boats: Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Inflatable Dive Boat
Scuba diving was once water sports of the elite. Few men and women had the courage and resources to learn how to scuba dive. It was considered a very dangerous sports back then for so little facts but myths were told about the dangers of underwater life. The underwater world was a new frontier then.
Today, scuba diving and snorkeling are probably two of the safest water sports today. The sports are enjoyed the world over. In line with this, the realm of the scuba diving and snorkeling are not limited to men and the young for the sports has been taken up by women and children of different ages.
There are now new technologies and equipment to make scuba diving safer and more fun. New designs in air tanks, scuba suits, fins and masks made the sport less hazardous and easily accessible. In recent years, more waterfront areas and beaches have been closed to the public. Scuba diving has become a banned activity in some beaches. No problem though as points of interest for divers and snorkelers are not found in shallow waters. Great underwater scenes and life are farther out in the sea and thanks to inflatable boats, anyone can “afford” to go offshore to dive and snorkel.
Using an inflatable boat as a platform for diving and snorkeling is easier than using a small conventional boat. It is virtually impossible to use canoes, rowboats, dinghies and small motorboats as diving and snorkeling platforms as they are quite unstable. These boats have the tendency to tip, flip, capsize or swamp. True, there are rigid boats that are stable enough for swimmers to get back on without tipping it or dipping the rail but more often than not, these conventional boats are so high that you would need a ladder to board back in.
A boarding ladder is well and good at least for snorkelers and swimmers. However, a ladder would not bode well for a diver as it he would e hard put to maneuver him up a ladder wearing his gear and equipment. A better idea is a big diving platform but that would mean a big boat attached to it. An inflatable boat is best as a diver or snorkeler can just take off his gear, throw them into the boat and then climb back into the inflatable.
It is more dangerous to use a small conventional boat when swimming, diving or snorkeling. There have been a lot of untoward incidents because attempts to get into a pitching boat. An inflatable boat is quite stable even in choppy water. A pounding inflatable is better than a pounding rigid boat. There is no doubt that you would rather be bonked on the head by an inflatable than by a rigid dinghy.
Barring play boats, even the smallest inflatable boat will do as diving platform. However, you have to suit up first before getting on an inflatable as you cannot possibly do that while aboard a small inflatable craft. A bigger sport boat can readily accommodate four persons including gears, lunch and cooler full of soda. It goes without saying that the bigger an inflatable the better it is as a diving platform. However a larger RIB might not bode well as you need a ladder to get back into.
A 40-foot HIB with twin outboards at 200 HP each would do well to easily transport 20 people out in the open sea for a dive. For a company of 4 to 6 divers, a 12 to 14 footer sport boar is ideal so is a RIB carrying 25-40 HP outboard. These two inflatable boats need to be transported on a trailer though.
Most states require that divers tow a float with a diver’s flag. A small inflatable boat can serve as the “float” itself as it is light and has very low drag resistance.