Using a diver propulsion vehicle for versatility

Exploring the world underneath the ocean's surface can be an exhilarating adventure. The ability to investigate marine life and natural oceanic structures is an experience few forget. But, diving has its limitations. The amount of breathing gas in your tanks can limit how far you're able to travel while submerged. Further, the dangers of decompression sickness can inhibit your movement underwater. A diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) can increase your range, allowing you to witness far more than would otherwise be possible. Below, you'll read about the benefits of using these vehicles during your dives as well as the different types available.

Benefits of using a DPV

Often, while diving, you'll want to explore further than you're able, given the amount of breathing gas in your tanks. Your legs can only take you so far. A diver propulsion vehicle allows you to cover a huge amount of territory. You're not forced to exert much effort as the DPV pulls you along. This allows you to enjoy the ride and observe everything around you. If you're diving without using a diver propulsion vehicle, your experience will always be limited by your range. A DPV allows you to see the same territory during one single dive that would normally require several dives.

Using a DPV has the added benefit of being more powerful than most of the currents you'll experience underwater. Often, even a mild current will force you to exert effort to adjust your position. A DPV is stronger than most currents and can pull you through the water effortlessly. If you're cave diving or doing other penetration dives, you'll often be carrying a significant amount of equipment with you. This equipment can be heavy. Even underwater, carrying the load can be tiring. A diver propulsion vehicle can lighten the load by pulling you and your equipment through the water.

Types of diver propulsion vehicles

There are a few different types of diver propulsion vehicles. Diver tugs (also called "scooters") allow the diver to hold onto handles protruding from the DPV and be towed through the water. The ability of the diver to ride in the DPV's slipstream increases its efficiency. Some diver tugs force the diver to rest on top, increasing the drag on the DPV and making it less efficient.

Some divers still used manned torpedo DPVs. These are considered antiquated. Typically, the diver can sit on top or even inside the torpedo-shaped vehicle. Though they offer better streamlining than many contemporary models, they're often ineffective for most experienced divers' needs. Larger DPVs like the subskimmer use a gas engine. Subskimmers can be used on the water's surface as a lightweight boats or as a diver propulsion vehicle underwater. When submerged, the motor is sealed off and the thruster propels the vehicle.

A better experience

While some divers enjoy the peace and tranquility of diving unaided by motorized vehicles, many prefer the range and versatility offered by DPVs. They're able to cover more ground, venture into the further territory and observe what would normally take several unaided dives. A diver propulsion vehicle can provide a less-stressful scuba diving experience; especially on deep penetration dives that require carrying a heavy equipment load. If you've never used a DPV, invest a little time to enjoy the experience. It may completely change your perspective of scuba diving.