Private boat or dive charter: Dive it All

  • Posted on
  • By Jim “Chiefy” Mathie
  • Posted in Scuba Tips
Private boat or dive charter: Dive it All

As the saying goes, “the best boat to own is a friend’s boat,” and I have lots of friends because I own a boat. I’m not sure they’re my buddies because of my charming personality or because I have a boat.

My boat isn’t a dive charter business; however, Andy brings the sandwiches, Chuck brings the snacks and John brings the beer. I do get asked often from divers on how to become a Chiefy crew member and the answer is “Bring Good Beer!”


Most of the Chiefy crew belong to the South Florida Spearfishing Club and about half of us own boats. We all like to hunt underwater and dive on other club members private boats to change it up. Dr Jack is near Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale; Eric is next to the Palm Beach inlet and Tom is north of the Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano. We share how to set up our boats for diving and how to safely operate our respective vessels. To be a diver on one of our boats, it helps to know how to operate a vessel. Most of us are not licensed boat captains, however, we all share in the safe operation of our vessels. I do bring good beer when I go on other private boats and you’re expected to share in the duties cleaning the boat and gear. There’s no boat crew or divemaster to help you load and unload your gear but most of our guys and gals are experienced divers and know how to help each other.


Dive it All

Even though I own a boat, I also like to dive on local dive charters for hassle free diving and I don’t have to clean the boat when I’m finished. The crew will typically load your gear and it’s nice having a knowledgeable dive crew giving you a layout of the dive site.


As my interests in diving revolve around underwater hunting of lobster and fish, it’s important to make sure it’s permissible on that charter. When the Chiefy crew goes on a dive charter, it’s to dive in different destinations in the area. Although it’s a nice change to join a dive charter., Chuck still brings the snacks and John brings the beer.


I do enjoy chatting with other divers on these different dive charters. During the winter months, we get more tourist divers but even during the summer, there’s a nice mix of locals and some visitors. I even like to see how other divers gear is set up and what equipment are they using.


The motto for our area is “dive it all,” which means most of the time on dive charters you get a mixture of divers. You may see new open water students on their check out dive, underwater photographers, hunters and even rebreather divers. Our local reefs and wrecks are abundant for everyone to enjoy the sport of diving.


As divers in this area, whether local or visitors from out of town, we have great options with plenty of excellent dive charter businesses. The advantage of booking your charter through Force E Scuba Centers is they can get you on one of the seventeen local dive charters in the area. The options are endless through Force E Scuba Centers as they can direct you to the charter that can match your needs such as diving wrecks, reefs, hunting or even technical diving.


At Force-E Scuba Centers, it’s like one-stop-shopping. If you need to rent tanks or some gear…pick it all up at the shop and book your dive aboard one of the many charters available through the three Force E dive shops. Force E Scuba Centers are known as the local’s dive shop, so they cater to your needs as a diver. Force E even has a Dive Trip Passport available where you collect 10 trips and get one free. Their professional dive staff will assist you in getting outfitted for your next dive adventure and even assist with in-water guides if needed.


If you’re a diver either living in our area or just visiting, we have plenty of options available. Having access to private boats through friends or jumping on a dive charter has benefits to both. For me, it’s about getting wet, so dive in!!!



Jim 'Chiefy' Mathie
Jim "Chiefy" Mathie is a locally-known lobster slayer for more than 30 years and author of "Catching the Bug, The Comprehensive Guide to Catching the Florida Spiny Lobster-second edition" and “Catching the Spear-it! The ABC’s of Spearfishing.”