The dive boat Wight Spirit is a Starfish 34, 10.2 metres in length, operating from Lymington. She is powered by a 6.7 litre, 350 horsepower turbo charged engine. Normal cruising speed when loaded is around 12 knots.
boat is licensed for 10 persons and is equipped with all safety gear, from first
aid kit to 14 man liferaft. She is licensed under the MCA Code of Practice category
2 (60 miles from a safe haven) and fully insured. The vessel has radar, VHF radio
as well as the new GMDSS system, 2 echo sounders, DGPS and GPS plotter, magnetometer,
TV and video. There are ample supplies of tea and coffee.
Optimum deck space is available through the provision of oak side benches, upon which divers sit and kit up, with space beneath for bags and boxes. Additional storage space and benches are fitted on the engine cover. The bench arrangements mean that 10 divers can be fully kitted and seated all at the same time. Sitting space for at least 5 persons under cover is available outside the wheelhouse, while the wheelhouse itself can sit 8. Dry bags are stowed in the wheelhouse or forepeak.
An electric lift is fitted on a gantry at the stern. Entry to the water is through the removable transom door - just walk through enter the water feet first! Recovery is safe and simple even when the sea conditions are less than ideal. Just stand on the platform which will be lowered to four feet below the surface, hold on to the hand rails and you'll be winched up to deck level. Walk into the boat and sit on one of the benches to de-kit.
Other features include - a mask bucket, a trough to stow weightbelts, a stern fitted heaving line to pull you when conditions demand, a floating lifeline which runs at water level from bow to stern - useful to guide youself to the stern lift and a rope with stainless steel ring and clip if you want to take kit off in the water - I'll lift it inboard. The toilet is fitted outside the wheelhouse.
A folder is openly available in the wheelhouse, detailing most of the wrecks, together with photographs and their circumstances of loss.
Last, and by no means least, there is a 24 litre cylinder of medical oxygen on board equipped to support a maximum of 4 divers at the same time (2 on demand valves and 2 on oxygen masks).