Scooters are fun. Thereâ€™s no denying this fact. But thatâ€™s no reason to make an uninformed choice about which scooter to use for the diving that you want to do. Wreck and Cave only use Gavin Scooters in our diving, as we believe that they offer the most comprehensive package for the scooter diver. Consequently, we suggest these scooters for a range of types of diving. The choice of scooter model will depend quite heavily on the intended use. Cave diving and open water/wreck diving place different requirements on the scooter probably in a way that isnâ€™t true for much of the other equipment that divers carry.
In an open water or wreck scenario, the scooter is used to cover more ground over a big wreck, or to just have more fun. Consequently, several hours of burn time, or even a precise knowledge of our burn time becomes less important. If the scooter battery runs low, we can just ascend. Also, we often dive from boats with limited deck space. We frequently have to jump into the water carrying all of our equipment, stage cylinders etc. as well as the scooter. The size and weight of the scooter starts to become a large factor in our choice.
In the cave environment, scooters are purely used to increase the penetration distance into the cave. Even with a small scooter it is possible to get significantly beyond the range of a swimming diver. This increases the exposure of the diver, so a precise knowledge of how long the scooter will run becomes critical. Also, these cave dives tend to be several hours in length, rather than a forty minute wreck dive, so our burn time needs to be considerably longer. A scooter failure deep in a cave will generally not be a situation that could be solved by simply swimming out. Gas reserves are unlikely to be sufficient. Consequently, redundancy and teamwork need to be expertly used when undertaking advanced form of diving, in addition to using reliable long range scooters.
The decision that you as a diver need to make boils down to whether you see yourself using a scooter purely for open water / wreck diving or whether you intend to take your scooter into a cave.
Gavin Scooters main workhorse scooter for use in caves is the Standard body scooter. This has a lead acid battery pack giving a burn time of around 120 mins and weighs 42kg. There is a smaller short body scooter (60 mins / 30kg) and a Magnum scooter (180 mins / 48kg). All of the motor/propeller assemblies are interchangeable with these three scooters, so you can pick and choose the battery pack for the dive you want to do. As you can see, dealing with the smallest of these scooters at 30kg can become quite a task on a pitching boat deck.
Gavin Scooters solution for the open water / wreck diver is the MiniG scooter. This is a much smaller unit, using NiMH battery technology to keep the weight down to around 22kg, with a much reduced body diameter. Burn time is around 60 mins. The reduced body size means that you canâ€™t interchange the motor / back end assemblies with the Standard body scooters. However, the ease of use of this scooter, and the fact that you can easily manage it out of the water with one hand makes it a clear winner for open water/wreck diving.
If you want to try out any of these scooters, feel free to come along to one of the try-out days, call us and arrange your own test drive, or just call for a chat about the best choice for you.