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January 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Maiden Dive Boat Trips: Another Liveaboard Owner’s Point of View

from the January, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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In October's issue, our article "Maiden Voyage on a New Dive Boat?" carried stories from two Undercurrent readers about their experiences with the new Carib Dancer, and why divers should give brand-new or rehauled liveaboards time to settle into their itineraries before booking a cabin. Frank Wasson, captain of the Florida-based liveaboard M/V Spree, disagrees, saying our story isn't reflective of all dive boats. Here's his letter:

* * *

Vanessa Richardson's characterization of new dive boats in new dive destinations unfairly paints the industry with a broad brush. Perhaps some liveaboard operators do indeed rush vessels into service without properly shaking down the boat, but for many independent operators, our reputation is our only marketable asset. We compete against large corporations with seemingly limitless advertising budgets, and we can't afford to have a trip come back with the problems described in the article. U.S.-based liveaboards are held to strict standards of operations by the U. S. Coast Guard, and a letter so publicly transmitted as the letter by Ellen Rierson would be the death of an small operation. [Note from Ben: Ellen Rierson wrote to us about her bad experience, which we printed in our article, and also posted her back-and-forth with the Aggressor Fleet on Scuba Diving's online forums, which is what Wasson is referring to.]...

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