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July 2007    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 33, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Slow Versus Fast Boats

from the July, 2007 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

If you’re new to Cozumel, it’ll be helpful to understand the difference between “slow” and “fast” boats. Indeed, it’s a big difference.

Undercurrent reader David Sifre (Bronxville, NY) recently went on Dive Paradise’s Paradise Diver, a craft that can carry 24-plus divers (although mercifully, they usually stop at 16). He reported that: “The ‘slow’ boats literally take an hour to get to the first dive destination. On our first day, the boat did not return from the second dive until 2:15, and the afternoon dive was scheduled for 3 p.m. The second day we made it clear we did not want to get back so late, but were told, ‘Relax, its your vacation’ as if taking a dive vacation meant we ought not be concerned about missing the third dive of the day! Finally, since seven of the 14 people on the boat had a 3 p.m. dive, the crew did not go as far as they had originally intended.”

While there is no agreed-upon distinction between slow and fast boats, the latter typically get you to dive sites in much less time, take only six divers (hence the term, “six packs”), tend to depart earlier and cater to an experienced crowd. They also cost more. Some operations run “fast” boats exclusively, and there is only one price. If an operation runs both types, it assesses a surcharge for the fast one; Dive Paradise, for example, charges $7 more for a morning two-tanker in its fast boat.But for serious divers, fast boats are well worth the added charge.

- - Doc Vikingo

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