2 Comments on “Small RIB / Boat Entry and Exits – 18.5 min”

  1. Cheryl Mitchell

    This has a lot of great information. I have been diving almost exclusively SM and from my own very small boat for the last 3 years. I still learned a few tricks, but want to share some of my own.

    My boat is 12.5 feet (3.8M) long, and holds a maximum of 3 divers. 2 is even better. While in many places this small a boat is impractical, where I dive (Monterey Bay, CA, USA) it is a very practical boat. Here the standard practice (>90% of non-commercial dive boats) the entire boat load is in the water at the same time. Yes, I know that will cause some heartburn, but it isn’t going to change here. I could go into why, but that isn’t my point.

    Almost all of my buddies dive BM, so the procedure is: I help them don their backmount by balancing their tank on the gunwale until they have their shoulder straps on. It is better if they can don their system in the water, but most of my buddies can’t. They either splash with a backroll or wait until I’m ready and then splash just before I do.

    Once I have my buddy set, I then don my fins, butt pouch, lights (on D-rings) and then the left and right cylinders. I have a verbal checklist I call out so both my buddy and I know LPs are connected and good, and tanks are on and breathed. Sitting back far enough to hang the bottom of the tank over the gunwale is key (but is one of the things that I hadn’t codified until watching the video). Until now, I would then backroll while holding one hand on dangling gear and the other over mask and regulator. Twice now, one fin has loosened and drifted to the bottom, necessitating a quick search and retrieval dive. A procedure I have down pat and am willing to share. The second time was because the loop I had on the fin strap (so I can get it off) caught on something as I rolled back.

    I can see the straddle and roll technique will likely be a better one, especially since the fins have better clearance. I use this technique also when diving off a buddy’s larger and higher gunwaled boat.

    Since I am the last off the boat, and usually the first on, I can’t have my tank(s) handed to me or hand them off to anyone. I use downlines with both SS rings and SS boat clips hanging from the side and de-kit both tanks (double clipped – see S&R recovery ‘practice’ above) and my camera(s). To aid in handling my tanks, both at boat side and above water, I have a web strap that loops around the tank valve base and bolt snaps to a hose-clamped loop at the base of the tank. Fins are removed and clipped in the water by the ladder before I climb in. Tanks stay in the water until we are ready to raise anchor – this keeps the boat clutter free as we de-kit and take our SI.

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