Hard Boat P5 Urchin
Hard Boat P5 Urchin
Urchin Dive Charters - B017/0108
THE URCHIN is a twin jet powered catamaran capable of speeds of up to 20 knots and cruising at around 8 knots. Jet propulsion virtually eliminates the risk of propeller injury to divers. The Urchin employs two powerful BMW engines, ensuring redundancy in the unlikely event of failure.
Managed from the bridge, THE URCHIN is equipped with GPS, radar, VHF, echo sounder and phone. Full MSA and DOT certification with independent inspection ensure full compliance with our registration and insurance for 12 divers and 4 crew. Category 3 allows the Urchin to operate up to 20 miles from safe heaven and for night operations.
For passengers comfort seating in the enclosed saloon area with ample space in the under seat wet dive lockers. All your diving equipment has a wet and dry storage area.
The "head" or toilet system is to a good standard including a shower etc in the domestic style rather than marine.
Urchin has fitted Galley providing endless supplies of tea and coffee. Time permitting, a light snack is available at the start of the day and for lunchtime a further light snack of a salad or baked potato variety is available. Divers are encouraged to bring their own supplementary or alternative food if they require extra or special diets. During some of the trips carried out by the Urchin stops can be made at various locations to enjoy the scenery.
Each Urchin skipper has a minimum qualification of RYA Coastal Skipper, Emergency First Responder, Oxygen First Aid Provider and years of diving experience as an Instructor and as a skipper. Not only do our staff have extensive knowledge of the local area but also have literally 100's of dives at each of the dive sites visited.
Crewing the Urchin are Puffin Dive Centres' professional staff. As a minimum requirement all crew on the Urchin will be certified as Oxygen First Aid Providers, Medic First Aiders, and usually Diving Instructors within a variety of diving organisations including PADI, TDI and BSAC. Unlike many other operators throughout the country all of the Urchins crew will be qualified to the highest level in all diving activities that you will undertake and are always on hand to give advice and guidance when you need it.
With the full back up from Puffin Dive Centre any eventuality or crisis, serious or not, will be handled thoroughly and efficiently. With the ongoing training our staff go through, all possibilities are covered and all resources from around the centre are combined to make the end result a success.
Boarding the Urchin is normally from its' base at Puffin Dive Centre where safe car parking space is provided for all divers at a nominal rate. Prior to departure the fully stocked shop at the dive centre will be open for all those last minute spares to avoid being disappointed later in the day. With an extensive range of top quality stock you can either compliment your equipment with additional parts or even build a complete new set of kit for yourself with the guarantee that the equipment you buy from us is the best on the market.
Most groups are eager to take advantage of dive sites without other traffic and this is usually best achieved by a departure time of 0830. Meeting at 0800 on the first day unless agreed otherwise will allow ample time for loading and travel.
Briefings consist of a pre boarding safety briefing on the fist day followed by the boat briefing for the current day. Prior to arrival at the site, a site plan and briefing is discussed, allowing divers to maximise their opportunity.
Once underway, there is plenty of time to relax with an emphasis on complete readiness at the dive site on arrival. This allows good use of the day and avoids group members waiting around unnecessarily.
The daily plan will have been agreed prior to departing and will depend on the tides and weather and abilities for the day. The only other limiting factor will be the distance to a site, which will obviously use up part of your day. Normally at least one wreck site will be visited each day unless other sites are requested. All diving is within recreational parameters of maximum 35 metres and 45 minutes duration. Suitable qualified and capable divers may request an extension prior to the dive.
After your dive, entering the boat couldn't be easier. The Urchin being a catamaran drives slowly over the top of you as you swim between the two hulls and follow the rope to the unique ladder at the moon pool on the rear deck.
The diving day is usually over by 1600 hours allowing time for gas fills and preparation for the next day. This gives a minimum of 16 hours surface interval.
Puffin can provide accommodation during your stay in our self-catering waterfront chalets or in our Oban town house. After the days diving some divers may wish to have extra dives or night dives from the Urchin. These should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment, or can be booked at the start of the day.
Full kit hire is available all the year round from Puffin Dive Centre. Weights and tanks can also be hired for the duration of your trip. Most divers prefer to fill and check their own fills however an option of having tanks filled by Puffin Dive Centre staff at the end of your day and loaded back on the Urchin ready for you to depart the next morning is available.
During the last 2 or three seasons most groups have enjoyed the plan comprising of a snack on the way to the first site and after the dive a small elevenses type break during the surface interval, followed by the second dive then lunch. PDC will continue this unless directed otherwise.
Other trips where you may stay in alternate ports such as Tobermory or Lochaline may be arranged. Diving areas such as Coll and Tiree are best based from these locations. When making your booking the staff at Puffin will give you the best advice for the diving you require.
These expeditions will be carried out on a mini Bookings for the Urchin are taken at Puffin Dive Centre where a minimum deposit of 25% of the complete booking cost is required to secure the dates you desire. The balance is then payable 8 weeks prior to the trip commencing.
Puffin Dive Centre will endeavour to deliver our divers to the site of their choice. Occasionally however weather and logistics play a part and subject to the skipper's discretion sites may not be available.
It is very rare that days are lost completely due to weather (on average 2/3 per year) , however customers are recommended to take advantage of travel insurance so that the cost of the loss of a day(s) due to weather, or other circumstances outside of the control of the customer, is covered.
The Puffin Dive Centre cannot indemnify the customer against the loss of fees due to poor weather or conditions beyond their control
THE DIVING DAY
Boat crew usually start at around 0630hrs and prep the vessel for the dive trip. Food, fuel, water etc is preloaded in the clean down period the previous day with newspapers, milk etc loaded in the morning. On the first day groups are required to be at the pier head at 0800Hrs with their kit available to load and board the Urchin after a short (2/3 minutes) loading and introduction. The loading process will be asisted by crew and a discussion of sites for the trip and boat safety follows. This usually means a departure around 0830hrs.
Arrangements dependent on the dive site will be made and announced at the end of each day for the next day with an average departure time of 0800hrs.
Most days end back at PDC pre 1600Hrs depending again on destinations. As kitting up and preparation along with surface intervals are taken while travelling an average duration can be calculated by Trip out Time (max 3hrs) + Site 1 Time (Average 1Hr) + Travel to Site 2 Time + Site 2 Time (Average 1 Hr) + Return Trip to PDC Time.
PDC try to make the first destination the furthest point of the day putting Dive 2 on the route home and back at PDC site for further shore or training dives if required. Finishing the diving day around mid afternoon allows time to R&R and prep for the evening in Oban.
Planning the dives is easy but to optimise the dives speak to the skipper on the first day and agree the plan you would like. Remember that the major factors to allow for and to take into account are the tides on the days YOU have chosen and the weather on the days YOU have chosen. Asking the skipper for the impossible will not change anything - the skipper will just explain.
Moving dates at our allowable option will attract a fee of 20%.
Non refundable deposit or payment - date move by arrangement at the option of Puffin Dive Centre.
PDC are quite flexible with regard to booking periods for the Urchin and any exceptional requirements should be discussed at the time of the booking. As a general rule PDC prefers weekends NOT to be split. Most groups use the weekdays (5 days) as a period and the weekend (2 days) as a period. Over Bank Holidays then the weekend and the Bank Holiday(s) become part of the period (3 days and 4 days) with the following (or preceeding week if applicable having the balance of the remaining days as the period.
DURATION: AS REQUIRED -Usually on consecutive days of two or more.
REQUIRED MATERIALS - Included
TANK HIRE Standard Rate less 25%
Books and DVD's available from the Puffin Dive Centre shop and Recommended for Reading in conjunction with this course -
UNDERWATER NAVIGATOR -PADI
Books and DVD's will be despatched usually on the same day with Post and packing charged at the current rates.
Related courses are generally available from Puffin Dive Centre and can be booked at the same time. Course contents are subject to constant review and course content may vary from advertised detail.
Please see Price List for up to date prices.
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