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  #1  
Old 07-08-2012
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Diving from a PSC 34?

Hi, I'm in the market for a 32-35' sailboat. I like the offshore features of the PSC; however, I'm a diver and would really like a walk through transom, but I'm not enthused with the Hunter and Beneteau. Has anyone done any diving off their PSC? How is it set up? Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2012
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Re: Diving from a PSC 34?

For all of the wonderful cruising features PSC 34 has, supporting scuba diving is not one of them. Its high freeboard, small cockpit and lack of large volume storage for tanks are hard to work around.

Likely the best course of action for diving from a PSC 34 is to mount tanks on your lifeline and use an inflatable for your entry and exits.

I'm a marine biologist with 52 years of scuba diving experience - I own PSC 34 and have thought about this a lot. This isn't the boat I'd use for doing lots of diving.

Bob Steneck
PSC 34 Alaria
Christmas Cove, Maine
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Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Diving from a PSC 34?

I have made few hundred dives from my Crealock 37 Crazy Fish, both in Southern California and Pacific Mexico.

I have always anchored or moored the boat in a safe anchorage and then used my inflatable to access the dive sites. Most of the dive sites I have dived are sites where I probably would not want to anchor and/or anchor and leave the boat unattended. The inflatable is another story, I have left it anchored and unattended in some interesting spots with good diving over the side.

So in looking at a new boat I would not factor in the ease of diving off of it, I simply would not do that, preferring to dive off an inflatable.

In the past I have carried a few tanks on the boat, I believe up to 8 on one 2 week trip to Santa Cruz Island. I now have a Bauer Junior compressor which on trips where I would use it lives in teak/fiberglass box mounted just forward of the mast. Vision forward from the cockpit is impacted but after evaulating the options seemed to be the best location. When not in use the box and compressor come off the boat. On most trips I carry just 2 low pressure steel tanks. The compressor is run by 5.5 HP Honda 4 stroke gasoline motor. For the compressor intake I have about 20 feet of corrugated plastic hose which I haul up the mast with halyard. Normally fill the tanks when there is a breeze blowing so that the Honda exhaust is carried away from the compressor intake.

The inflatable used to be an 11 foot Avon Roll-up with a floor consisting of interlocking plastic slats which worked fairly well but after 14-15 years the boat just seemed to keep developing leaks so once recently replaced with a 12 foot Achilies with a Hypalon inflatable floor. Both boats are powered by the same 15 HP 2stroke Mercury outboard which has performed well. The boat/engine combination can easily get 2 divers with tanks and gear up on a plane. The Achilles perhaps works a little bit better with the addintional length. Both can be unrolled on the forward deck, partially inflated and then layed across the lifelines and fully inflated and then dumped into the ocean.
On the inside of the bow of each boat I added tow rings and use them to lash down the tanks using wraps on the valves so that the tanks stay in place forward while underway.

Regards

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish, Crealock 37, Hull 207
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Diving from a PSC 34?

Hey, Bob and Marc, thanks so much for these suggestions! They are really helpful to getting my mind around this. The compressor info is particularly good to know, too. I currently dive off a trailerable RIB so I understand the concept once gear is in the boat, but was curious about how to load the boat. I read in another post about installing a sturdy ladder on the gunwale or side and being able to climb in/out with gear on. Is this reasonable? How would tanks be mounted on the lifelines? Thanks again.
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Old 07-14-2012
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Re: Diving from a PSC 34?

I take Marc's point that you can dive from PSC (that holds for all boats I think).

Just to clarify, of the four boats I've lived on since 1973, the PSC is most challenging due to low large-space storage and high freeboard. I'm as interested as you are to learn how to store the tanks. It is intriguing to consider arrangements on the lifeline but with spare fuel and other things taking space there, that's limited too.

Inflatables are the easiest tending dingy for diving. I'd get into the zodiac and hand the tanks up. I'm sure you realize what dropping a tank can do to your deck so be careful with that.

Good luck with this.

Bob
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Old 12-13-2012
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Re: Diving from a PSC 34?

This is a long delay in sending a reply, but I wanted to post a follow up. After much thought, I put an offer on a 38 Freedom today with a sugar scoop, which will be easier to get on and off a dinghy. It's not quite as sturdy as a PSC (and some other boats that I looked at) but I also want to be able to have something that's race worthy for the bay and to be able to single hand it for longer, offshore races. I am hoping it will do all that and be comfy for longer onboard living. Thanks for the feedback. It was very helpful.
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