Defining your ideal performance criteria allows the matching of available liveaboards to your needs. Typical considerations will include speed, fuel capacity, accommodation size, support system and equipment level. To generate a scope for requirements a useful starting point is the basics of your intended use. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
For example, if your market is American day divers into the Caribbean: The considerations might be that the Ferry carrying them arrives at 8 am, with an average of 22 divers. Minimum numbers (15 max 30 pax ) and the first dive site is a reef 10 nautical miles from your jetty, followed by lunch, de-gas, a wreck dive a further 2 kilometres from shore in the afternoon. This is followed by a 12 nautical mile trip back to meet the ferry to depart at 4.30 pm. From this scenario, we can generate an idea of what size vessel, engine power and hence fuel capacity, accommodation systems and equipment levels. It would of course be a very different solution for a 3 day liveaboard trip on the Great Barrier Reef or the Red Sea.
Reasonable care in this process is important. Under or overstating any of these criteria can lead to unnecessary capital outlay for a liveaboard or mean that you purchase a liveaboard which doesn’t meet your needs. For example, over stating engine performance criteria (an area where the components make up approximately 25 - 30 % of the vessel purchase) can be a costly unnecessary expense. If you spend more up front in any area, it means greater up front expense, higher repayments, higher break even costs, less of a return on your investment and less money in your pocket.
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