Boat Diving Etiquette Tips

New to boat diving and unsure of what the proper etiquette is? Looking for some tips of what to do once you get on that boat? Here I explain some simple boat diving etiquette tips that will help you feel more confident and look like a more experienced diver on that boat.

It is normal to be anxious/intimidated on the boat if you are new to boat diving. But don't worry, that is normal and all divers have gone through it. I hope to help you shorten the learning curve and get you feeling more comfortable on your next boat dive.

Boat diving etiquette tips for beginner scuba divers

Transcript: Boat Diving Etiquette Tips

So you're getting on the dive boat and you think uh oh all these other divers look like they know exactly what they're doing. So you start to feel a little intimidated and anxious because you don't want to be the quote unquote newbie on the boat and embarrass yourself in front of all these other divers. Hi, welcome back.

And if you're new this channel, my name is Dianne and I run ScubaDivingSmiles.com. And this channel is all about sharing tips, tricks and techniques for beginning divers so they can have less stress and more fun on their very next dive. So if you have ever felt intimidated or anxious getting on that dive boat, you are not alone.

I know I felt that way when I first started diving. I understand that boat diving is a cause of a lot of stress for many divers, especially newer divers, because they're unsure of what to do and what the proper etiquette is on the boat and once underwater, but don't worry. We're going to cover some of those tips right here.

Okay. So my first boat diving tip is to get to the boat or the dive shop early. If the shop says to be there at 8:00 AM, be there at 8:00 AM, preferably a little bit earlier. So that way, you're going to have time to, to check in, sign in any forms if you have to - if you haven't done it prior - get fitted for your equipment - if you're renting equipment - get your gear together and get yourself all settled in and make sure you have everything before you even step on that boat. Because if you are late, the boat will be held up and they will have to leave late and late divers inconvenience other divers and the dive shop because they are on a schedule.

So you want to make sure you get there earlier and get there on time. Now, obviously one of the benefits of getting there early is that you can get yourself together, get your thoughts collected and not be rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off if you're running late. And being early or on time will allow yourself to get set up on the boat if the dive shop allows it - you have to check with the dive shop and see what their policies are. But if you're able to get your gear set up, get everything settled in before you even leave the dock that is a great first step to having a more relaxed and fun dive. But first I do want to point out before you even get on, you want to make sure you have permission to board because the captain and crew may be getting things organized, getting things ready for the divers to get ready to come on.

So if you step on before they're ready for you might be getting in their way of getting everything in place and in order. So just make sure you have permission. If you're not sure, just ask. It's no big deal. I forget where we were diving, but I think it was Mexico and we're all sitting on board. Everyone's on board.

I wasn't sure why we weren't leaving. Well, about 10 minutes later here comes a couple strolling down the path and just like, there's not a worry in the world. Didn't even hurry when they saw this full boatload of divers getting ready to dive. I just don't understand that attitude. So please don't be that diver.

Talk about looks and talk about being mumbled about. So just be considerate, get there early, get there on time. It's going to help you and it's going to help the other divers. Now tip number two for our boat diving tips for today is to be small and compact. Yes, small and compact. You want to take up as little area as possible on that dive boat, because depending on the size of the boat, you may have just this little area.

If you know what kind of boat you are on going to be on, and it's a big boat and plenty of room for everyone to spread out, then that's fine. You want to keep all your scuba gear contained in a dive bag. Boats can become very crowded and having all your gear all over the place can be very annoying not to mention potentially dangerous.

There may not be a lot of room on the boat and having to worry about if you're sitting or tripping over someone's gear can just add to a level of frustration that you don't want to have to deal with. Having your gear contained in bag will also help protect it because you don't want someone stepping on your mask.

And there you go, dive over before it even began. So if you set up first you're going have your BC, your regulator, probably already attached to your tank, and the rest of the stuff that you're not using right now, just put it in that gear and store it under the seat. So it's in and out of the way. Now I wouldn't personally take one of those huge big dive bags because boats I tend to dive on are smaller boats. So usually what I take on is just a little mesh bag. I usually carry my BC on my shoulder, wear it to the boat and then have the rest of my gear in my mesh bag. And then once I set up whatever's left over, I just put it in the mesh bag and put it under a seat all ready and all set to go for when we reach the dive site.

So whatever type of bag works for you, a little mesh bag, doesn't have to be big. Doesn't have to be expensive. My mine is very cheap and I'm using it, I don't know, 15 years later, I think I still have the same mesh bag. So you certainly do get your money's worth out of it. In addition to storing your gear under your seat, you also want to put your weights under your seat.

You never want to put the weights on the bench, because they can obviously fall down. Eespecially if the boat's rocking, if you have a rough ride out to the dive site. So make sure that those weights are also under the seat, along with your gear and out of the way. Before we get onto tip number three, first, tell me, you can tell me in the comments below.

Have you ever felt intimidated or anxious getting the boat or have you ever run late and were all over the place before you even started your dive? You felt a little anxious and intimidated before your dive even started. Tell me in the comments below. Because I would love to hear your experience and I'm sure other newer divers would love to hear too.

And now for the third of our boat diving tips. It's to assemble your gear early and get yourself ready early. You notice a theme here early, early, early. And there's a reason for that because if you are running around, stressing out, the last thing you want to do is go in that state in the water because that's, you're just going to be breathing heavily breathing heavily, and you're going use up a lot more air before you even get underwater.

So if the dive boat allows it, obviously, like I said before, assemble your gear at the dock. That makes it a lot easier and a lot less stressful. But if they don't, once you do get that go ahead to assemble your gear. Even if you're at the dive site start right when they say and start assembling that gear and get yourself ready as soon as you can.

And what I always do, especially if I haven't been able to assemble my gear at the dock, I ask how long it is until we get to the dive site. Because that way you're going have some timeframe for when you're going to start thinking about getting ready. First, you just relax. Say it's a half hour ride. Okay.

Half hour ride. That's fine. First 15, 20 minutes you can get yourself relaxed, get yourself in the really mindset of going diving and getting yourself ready. So then when you're ready to go, and when they say, go ahead to get yourself set up, get yourself set up, right then don't waste any time don't dilly dally around the boat.

I normally even put my wetsuit on halfway if I'm wearing a wetsuit before we even get to the dive site, because then that's one thing out of the way. And the more time I have at the dive site, the more time I have to think about it and collect myself and be nice and calm and the better. If you have that extra time before you even have to get off the boat and you're all ready, all set up, then you can sit there, take a couple deep breaths, even visualize yourself going underwater and just calm yourself down.

Slow your breathing rate down a little bit if you're a little bit anxious and it really does do wonders. So just go there early. Assemble early, get yourself ready early and then sit down and relax and just get yourself into that mindset of going diving and put yourself there and visualize yourself, lower your breathing pattern.

And then once you get in the water, you're going be much more relaxed, less anxious, and you're going to use less air and that's a win-win all around. And once you do get in that water, if you want tips on how to make your air last longer, just click on this video here, where I share some air consumption tips for beginning divers. In the meantime, happy and safe diving.


I hope these boat diving etiquette tips help you on your very next dive. Follow these tips and you should feel more confident and comfortable getting on that boat. Have fun and safe diving!

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