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How Covid affects diving

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Thought it might be a good idea to have a single Covid related discussion thread.

    How has Covid changed diving this year; closures, procedures, dive boats....
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I've only used three dive boats this year, all in the south. All three of them have Covid restrictions in place which has put the cabin out of bounds to divers and restricted the number of places available. The boat I used most this year has limited their 12 diver capacity to 6 divers. Nice to have the space, but it's not generating enough income for a viable business.

    In the summer this is acceptable, but now it's cold, even if the weather played ball it makes it a cold and unpleasant experience.

    One boat's put up next year's fees to £60/trip, others charge variable amounts and fees are definitely higher.

    I believe that a lot of boats have basically given up for the year. Would expect some to simply mothball the boat or give up altogether.

    A bleak future ahead.
     
    jps likes this.
  3. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    I think that both divers and skipper are going to have to accept increased costs/reduced profits for quite some time.

    Obviously, the skipper has to at least break even (including paying himself a wage and budgeting for repairs) so there must be a point where it's more financially sensible run rather than mothball the boat.
    OTOH, divers are going to have to accept that the day rate, while not actually doubling, will have to significantly increase if they want to dive off a boat that is running at 50% capacity. I would expect the rise to be somewhere around 75% to keep the boat viable, but that will change from boat to boat and trip to trip.
    Perhaps skippers will need to be more open with their costs in future, charging less for short runs and more for longer runs.

    It was £50/day when I last dived, so putting it up to £60 4 years later is not unreasonable but does imply that £50 in 2016 was milking it a bit...
     
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    As a commercial operation, running half full won't pay any wages.

    Some boats do a return to port between dives, so you can get two trips but with slacks 6h1 apart. This means they'll get £50/dive, so £100/day. On one boat they can charge £70 for longer distance runs which is £120/day if doing two dives.

    Obviously depends upon the tidal vagaries for that area - out of Eastbourne it's possible to go east for one slack and west for another about 4h later. This was very popular with the recreational diving clubs as it suits shorter 60 min(ish) dives rather than deeper and longer dives.

    Will get more expensive though. I start next year with four cancelled dive deposits...
     
  5. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    It will, once divers accept that they are going to have to pay more than they are used to.
     
  6. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Which is fine as long as those divers are working and feeling secure in their jobs.

    My income is about 50% of what it was last year and I work in IT, which you might expect to be immune from the worst of the impact.

    My son just lost his job in a well established, independent toy shop due to the timing of the latest lockdown killing any chance of them making money this Christmas.

    We all face a pretty bleak few years, unless you're Jeff Bezos...

    M

    Sent from my ASUS_X00PD using Tapatalk
     
  7. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    Sadly some of the charters themselves may not survive. They have lost a lot of income and many haven’t been eligible for support schemes.
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    One of my local boats has increased the day rate to just £60. It take 12 divers and was running at half that all season. Untenable.

    We need to book up and pay deposits now.
     
  9. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    As has been mentioned some boat operations may go out of business but how has the inland dive sites eg Stoney Cove and Guildenburgh been affected
     
  10. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Prices have dramatically increased for the puddles by at least 50%

    Checking out another dive boat earlier, they charge according to the distance from the marina. 30 miles out is £85. So a lot more money to go diving.
     
  11. John F

    John F Active Member

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    Hi Wibble, sorry to but in, is your boat still for sale?
     
  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    One of the minor miracles of this year: it's been sold, hence all the diving I managed at the end of the season :)

    At the beginning of the covid stuff I thought about pulling it from sale as at least it would be somewhere to go for a holiday. But a buyer beat me to it and I'm a happy rebreather owner as a result!
     

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