That is a heck of a title image, eh? That is the boatyard where the Libra II is getting it’s face lift. Bienvenidos Mexico! The boatyard belongs to a local gentleman named Juan, I think, no seriously… but he asks everybody to call him Poison. Yes, seriously.

After 10 days off because of rain and Hurricane Nate, we are moving right along! <sarcasm>

Yeah, things are moving much slower than anticipated. But once Nate cleared out of the area it seemed to take most the moisture with it and the boys in the boatyard were back at work.

Libra II

The Libra II interior started like this. Most notably are the flat bench seats, required use of the boat railing as a foot-step, and no secure, dry location for electronics at the helm. Plus no sun shade for the Captain.

Libra II

Libra II, v. 2.0 Begins

In the rear of the boat are where all the tanks and gear get stored, plus of course the rear transom which has the fuel to the left and the battery to the right. Functional, all of it, but we can do better.

Libra II

First we dropped in custom made fiberglass tank holders (not in final position in above photo). Usually these are much deeper into the seat, meant to hold the tank and gear during transport. In theory is great, and many of the boats around Cozumel utilize that exact concept. However I didn’t like how deep it required the tank to sit in order to be safe for open ocean travel. Simply put it makes gearing up a pain in the rear for the diver. The tank is too deep and a pain to get out of the hole, the BCD is sitting too high on the tank because it couldn’t get any lower, and the diver has to slouch down to get into the jacket. Just awkward all around.

Libra II

So I had my tank holders built purposefully shallow so the tank doesn’t sit so deep. Especially once the bottom foam padding is added, it should be the ideal depth.

Libra II

The result will be tanks at the perfect height for you to gear up!

Libra II

The idea is the tanks with gear will sit directly in front of these tank holes in an individual rack per seat. This should give us secure gear during transit, plus the gear sitting next to each diver so they can check over their gear. Once we are near the dive location we’ll move the tanks and gear into these shallow tank holders positioned ideally for you to don your equipment. The tank holes are sized for 100 cu.ft. aluminum cylinders, which should allow our 80’s to be lifted out with ease, and yet still accommodate our divers preferring the larger cylinder.

Libra II

We’ve also added a full step to make entry and exiting the Libra II much easier.

Libra II

To the rear we’ve added an extra seat. This will serve for staff (a.k.a. ME!) to stash our equipment and prepare our gear, thus freeing up space where you and your dive buddies are seated. Also pictured is the start of our fuel tank addition. We are doubling our fuel capacity so the Libra II can reach Maracaibo and back without fuel concerns. This will also balance the Libra II in regards to weight.

Libra II

With the fiberglass nearly complete and ready for paint it was time to move the boat to the next shop. Part 4 of this series will feature on the electrical project ahead. Stay tuned…

 

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