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Old 04 October 2013, 00:36   #1
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Country: Australia
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Boat name: Sambowlian
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Diving from a Zodiac Futura MK2

Hi All,

I am new to this site and new to boating. As all my questions so far have bought me to this forum I thought I would join.

About me, I am a scuba diver and I have just purchased a Zodiac MK2 Futura HD.

It is tiller controlled, I opted out of the space taking console.

It is powered by a new Mercury 30hp 2 stroke. As mentioned, I have never owned a boat before so I have a lot to learn, but unfortunately I don't know any boaters.

Anyway, this weekend I am planning the first scuba dive from this boat, and if anyone could help I have a few questions.

1. How many adult divers with gear (single tanks) will the futura comfortably hold?
Is 4 unreasonable?

2. For my anchor, I have bought 2 x 30 meter lengths of rope. Is tying these 2 together sufficient or is one length to the size I want safer?

3. I have a dive flag on a float which I do not plan to tow around with me. Is this better to be tied to the boat or attached to a rope and dive weight freely?

4. I am assuming that boarding (from the water after the dive) without a ladder should be pretty easy. Am I right? (we are all reasonably fit)

5. Out of curiousity, why does the anchor rope need to be so long. In my course I was told it should be about 7:1 in relation to depth.

So if I'm diving to 30 meters, do I really need 210 meters of rope?

I am a total newbie and I am sure that I have posted some pretty stupid questions here, but if anyone could humor me and answer them I would be very grateful.

Cheers

Sam
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Old 04 October 2013, 00:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sambowlian View Post

1. How many adult divers with gear (single tanks) will the futura comfortably hold?
Is 4 unreasonable?
You didn't mention how big of a boat you have? I have a 4.2 meter and can do 4 divers, but find 3 more comfortable. My boat is specifically set up for diving, and space is a premium. FWIW we have done 4 with doubles...

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Originally Posted by Sambowlian View Post
2. For my anchor, I have bought 2 x 30 meter lengths of rope. Is tying these 2 together sufficient or is one length to the size I want safer?
I would prefer one single piece of rope, but tie a good knot and you should be okay. How much chain do you have? Also what anchor? I use a Danforth anchor with 4.5 meters of chain. I want my boat to be there when I get back. Do you have a nice sonar unit for depth soundings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sambowlian View Post
3. I have a dive flag on a float which I do not plan to tow around with me. Is this better to be tied to the boat or attached to a rope and dive weight freely?
I keep mine on a removable pole.

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Originally Posted by Sambowlian View Post
4. I am assuming that boarding (from the water after the dive) without a ladder should be pretty easy. Am I right? (we are all reasonably fit)
You need tag lines. They are lines around 2-3 meters that your scuba gear gets clipped to while you board the boat. We doff our gear in the water, dropping the weight belt either onto a tag line, or into the boat before taking our kit off. Leave your fins on and power yourself into the boat.

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Originally Posted by Sambowlian View Post
5. Out of curiousity, why does the anchor rope need to be so long. In my course I was told it should be about 7:1 in relation to depth.
I usually go with a 2:1 or a 3:1 depending on conditions. If it is that rough I don't want to be out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sambowlian View Post
So if I'm diving to 30 meters, do I really need 210 meters of rope?
See above. I carry 310 feet of rope, and have never used it all yet. Usually we anchor in 30-85 feet of water.
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Old 04 October 2013, 05:59   #3
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Country: Australia
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Hi Peter,

Thank you for your response. The boat is 4.2 meters. I would be curious to see how your boat is laid out if you have a pic?

So far mine just has one bench seat mounted towards the bow. I have another bench seat but at this stage I have decided not to mount it.

I will take a pic of my anchor set up tomorrow. I have a feeling that I may have been sold a cheap and nasty.

I do not have a sonar sounder at this point, but it's something I might look at. At the moment I am using the iphone app Navionics which lets me know the depth according to gps position on the chart.

I live near Port Phillip bay, basically the entire bay is sheltered and fairly shallow with a max depth of 30 meters / 100' to my knowledge

With the tag lines, brilliant idea. See, it's all these little things that I forget. I just worry that I am forgetting more!!
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Old 04 October 2013, 06:50   #4
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My old club had a humber 16 ft inflatable with wooden floor and a 40 mariner 2st tiller control on the back.That would handle 4 divers (dry suits, single tanks + ponies, not twins or stages) and cox in good weather but got a bit challenged in rougher seas and was never that fast. It was comfortable though as it flexed over the waves rather than crashing down over them.

As fo a flag, forget the one on the float (I assume an smb) as they are really too small. I have a "large beaver dive flag" which was about 15 over here and comes with a colapsable pole, which will give much better visibility to other boats.

Getting into a Rib/sib is fairly easy. Take your tank and stab jacket/wing off and either hand it to somone in the boat or tie/clip to the lifeline to stop it floating off. Hold the lifeline and push yourself down as far as you can then fin up fast and pull yourself into the boat. If you get it right you'll find yourself in a heap in the middle of the deck! You can then sort out your kit and help the next guy in.

Phil M
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Old 04 October 2013, 11:23   #5
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I usually go with a 2:1 or a 3:1 depending on conditions. If it is that rough I don't want to be out there.
Like you, there's often nobody aboard while we're diving and I typically use about the same 2.5:1 or so. This is partly due to having a really heavy anchor and chain for the weight of the boat. I think the boating book/store recommendations for anchors for dive RIBs are kinda skewed. They presume you are anchoring in a harbor or someplace realtively protected with a good bottom and decent swinging room.

The reality for diving is that we're anchoring in 20-30+ meters of water but almost never in particularly stormy conditions, the bottom is generally something other than a nice smooth sand with good holding power and there's never anybody nearby so swinging room is essentially irrelevant.

Hence the need for BIG anchors to make up for relatively short scopes and unknown holding conditions + really really bad consequences if the boat drags.
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Old 04 October 2013, 11:49   #6
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I would prefer one single piece of rope, but tie a good knot and you should be okay.
Better yet, splice a large eye into each line at the connection point and feed one line through the eye of the other then through itself. Can't come apart that way (unless your splices suck.)


Quote:
How much chain do you have? Also what anchor? I use a Danforth anchor with 4.5 meters of chain.
Chain is IMO more important than the amount of rode you have. Like Pete, I usually put out 2 to 3 times the depth (usually tending towards 2.) The fairly long, heavy chain ensures that the pull on the anchor is largely parallel to the seabed, which prevents the anchor working its way out and dragging.

The 7:1 scope is for large boats overnighting in possible bad weather; the all-encompassing discussions have made it the favorite figure to quote for all boating. For temporary anchorages (which is what you'll be doing while diving), 2:1 (or 3:1) with verification of set (start your dive by going down the anchor line and making sure it's hooked up) should work fine unless there's a lot of wind or swell.

How you deal with the dive flag depends on how they enforce things where you are. Where Pete and I dive (California), the diver down flag has no legal meaning (State law, as I recall suggests that when near a diver down flag to operate with caution), and is not required. Interestingly, though there is no legal requirement to fly a flag while diving, flying one while not diving is a citable offense. Go figure. In other states, as I recall, divers are required to fly a flag on the boat and remain within a radius from the flag (Hawaii; largely ignored, I think), or required to tow a flag while diving (Florida.)

I have both the diver down flag and an Alpha flag on a pole that puts them both well above the radar arch. I do not expect them to keep other boats away (though I keep hoping...)

When dropping your weight belt into the boat, do so at the mid-gunwales. Do NOT do it at the back of the boat, as everyone tends to drop the belt over the tubes behind the transom, and on to the bottom of the ocean. I've recovered one person's belt 3 times because of this (Pete: Won't mention names, but sounds a lot like "Carol".)

Other than what Pete wrote, a VHF and cell phone (assuming you have reception) in case of emergency, and you should be good to go.

And on the number, the most I got in my 14' Achilles was myself and 5 other divers. Worked, but we weren't going anywhere in a hurry. Realistically, myself and 3 was about the limit (could still get on plane, and had barely enough room to kit up and such.)


Luck and be safe;

jky
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