Gear We Use For Diving From Our Sailboat
We didn’t own a lick of our own scuba or freediving gear before living aboard s/v Curiosity. It never made sense to own gear because we only found ourselves diving a couple of times a year (if we were lucky). So, we always rented from the dive operator we were going out with.
When living on a sailboat, on the ocean, it’s a no brainer to have a mini dive shop on board. Not once have we regretted the investment and there are lots of reasons why.
- Diving On Our Own Schedule
- Not Diving With Crowds
- Able To Dive Remote Areas
- Handy For Underwater Boat Repairs & Maintenance
- Convenience & Ease
- Making New Friends By Filling Their Tanks
For our fellow #UnderwaterWorld lovers, here is our full inventory of dive gear and tips.
We’re not experts on scuba diving, freediving (which we really love) or dive gear. But if it’s listed here, it means it works for us and has earned its place aboard the s/v Curiosity Dive Shop.
The Curiosity Dive Shop
Freediving / Snorkeling Gear
Nikki – I like my low profile mask and prefer a simple snorkel. But the big thing to note here is my freediving fins. Every pair of fins I tried on were way, way too big and wide for my size seven foot. The SporaSub fins were the only ones I found that fit me. I can wear them with or without socks/booties.
- Freedive Mask With Camera Mount http://amzn.to/2d5C6SB
- Freedive Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2cjh3dV
- Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIYmlf
- Atomic Mask: http://amzn.to/2uuqsZf
- Freediving Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2uxCjEb
- Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIhljK
Scuba – BC/Reg/Octopus/Dive Computer/Tanks
The AquaLung Travel Set was affordable and the perfect compact starter set for us. It comes with the BC, regulator, octopus and dive computer. We’ve been happy with the whole kit. The only thing we’ve added/upgraded is our dive computer. We prefer it on our wrist.
- AquaLung Travel Set: https://amzn.to/2GmypV0
- Tanks – Our current tanks are old used tanks that were gifted to us. When we upgrade, we’ll let you know what we go with.
This has been a big one. It’s an all around beast of a watch which has taken our freediving/scuba game to the next level.
With or without tanks, in saltwater or freshwater, breathing nitrox, trimix or freediving, the computer is made for it all. The surface GPS navigation with full-color onscreen mapping and location reference has already been seriously sweet addition for drift diving and strong current pass dives. We’re able to mark our entry and exit spots. It’s a smartwatch and dive computer combined into one…with too many features to list here.
- Garmin Descent: https://amzn.to/2Rsfjlq
Breathing Air Compressor
Bauer dominates the scuba tank fill market. They’ve been around forever and everyone we spoke to said they make the best portable breathing machines (we just call it a SCUBA air compressor). I reached out to the team at Bauer USA with a request to speak one of the engineers. I had two big questions:
- Junior or Oceanus Model? I was told for filling tanks on a boat it’s best to buy the Oceanus as it is less affected by tilt. Basically, if you’re filling tanks in choppy or seas with swell you’ll want to go for Oceanus model.
- Which is better for world travel: Gas or Electric Air Compressor? The answer surprised me; the Gas model. They claimed it will be simpler to service and maintain in small countries. Plus, I was told most dive operators purchase the gas models as well…’the gas version is just proven to work’.
And that’s how we ended up with a gas model Bauer Oceanus.
While I had them on the phone, I tried to get a discount code for you (our loyal viewer). But, they said it’s a no-go since they don’t sell direct and they recommend people purchase through a local dealer. Hey, never hurts to try right!?!
***Customer Service Note – The Oceanus compressor we purchased came with a Subaru engine and it worked fine for a year. There was a major flaw with some of those engines where the throttle cable messes up when servicing the carburetor (try googling it). We were in Tahiti and Bauer took care of us 100%. After writing the customer service department, alerting them to the issue, they sourced a new Kohler engine and shipped it to the local Bauer shop in Papeete. In less than a month we had the compressor back, new engine on and we were back to filling tanks and diving. That’s the customer service mantra we love: take care of the customer no matter what.
A few tips we’ve learned…
Make sure you have a solid anchor and plenty of rode for deep water. We love love love our Mantus dingy anchor! Mantus just makes good stuff that works well. See their anchor here: http://bit.ly/MantusWynns
A solid dinghy and reliable engine are of course ideal. Our Highfield dinghy and 25HP Yamaha engine haven’t failed us yet!
📷 Underwater Photo & Video 🎥
We have fallen in love with underwater photography as much as being underwater. Our gear is not top notch professional, but it gets the job done. Expect to see a legit rig/lighting kit added here someday soon (Dear Santa…).
Our main underwater camera is the Sony rx100v with the underwater housing. It’s hands down the best entry level setup. It’s affordable but leaps and bounds better quality over any consumer action camera.
Sony RX 100 V
Best Multipurpose Travel/Snorkel
At the time of publishing, this camera doesn’t have an underwater housing but is waterproof up to 30ft. We use it for snorkeling only to avoid an accidental flooding. The quality and rugged durability of this camera can’t be beat. See a full review here:
The Go Pro does still have its place in our arsenal. It’s a great all-around camera that gets the job done. Just don’t go down without the underwater housing. We’ve accidentally killed two cameras in the water.
Go Pro Hero7
- Buy From Amazon – https://amzn.to/2FsF7cx
- Underwater Housing – https://amzn.to/2XtOFhp
- Buy From B&H – https://bhpho.to/30jlagz
360 and Super Creative
No more wondering if I caught that shark or ray that swam by, this camera films everything! This camera is new for us but already we are super impressed with the stabilization and unique shots we can get. We’re excited to get creative with this one!
Insta 360 One X
- Buy From Amazon – https://amzn.to/2IAdGzm
- Underwater Housing: https://amzn.to/2N0JCRt
- Buy From B&H – https://bhpho.to/30iIT0p
Did We Miss Something?
If we didn’t list a piece of gear that you want to know about or we did but you still have questions, drop us a note in the comment box below and we’ll update the post. If you would like to see a video review or a deeper dive into a specific piece of gear, let us know that too.
If you have a fave piece of gear you think we need, or a DIY diving tip or trick, please tell us about it!
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We’re not encouraging buying stuff you don’t need, but any grand adventure requires some gear. We’ve been traveling full time since 2011 and have purchased a lot of gear that has stood the test of time and continues to travel with us. Each item is handpicked and we never recommend anything we don’t personally use and love.
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