FAQ’s 

What type of diving do you offer?

We offer all types of diving, but mainly focus on wreck diving. The boat is available for any type of diving though – recreational, technical, wreck or other! We welcome groups, individuals and classes. Charters can be private, whole boat charters if desired, or you can just sign up individually.

What qualifications do I need?

You need to have appropriate certification for the type of dive you want to do. Our Polices & Procedures section of the website has more details on these requirements.

For lobstering you must have a current MA license and comply with all state requirements for line floats, numbers, size and quantity limitations, etc. For scalloping, you must also comply with all laws/requirements pertaining to scallop size, daily limits, and each diver (or dive team) must have a flag.

I don’t have a dive buddy – what should I do?

We encourage everyone to dive with a dive partner or “buddy” but we do not require it. You do not need to have a dive buddy to sign up. If you do not have a buddy at the time of the trip, and this is a concern, please contact us to discuss options and whether we can potentially assist you in arranging a buddy for the dive.

How do I sign up?

You can either call or email to reserve your spot. We require a credit card to hold your spot, but you may pay on the day of the charter however you would like. Your card will only be charged if you want us to charge it, you cancel, or you don’t show up.

We accept MasterCard, VISA or American Express.

What kind of boat is GAUNTLET and how many passengers does it carry?

GAUNTLET is a 36 foot Northern Bay design down-east style dive boat. It was custom built for diving. The boat carries a maximum of 6 passengers plus crew. The boat has a full toilet that operates just like a regular household toilet, which means you can put paper in it. The boat is heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer.

Instead of benches, there is a table in the center of the back deck – this is what divers on the boat use to suit up. GAUNTLET does not have dive “benches” like you might have seen on other boats. Instead, we stow the gear down low on the deck and out of the way, where it is most stable and protected. When you’re ready to go diving, we put your gear up on the table and help you dress. This way, you have plenty of room to sit comfortably and if you discover a problem with your equipment, we have plenty of space to get at it and fix it. This is also a good place to work on camera equipment if you need to make adjustments.

The boat has a stainless steel “christmas tree” style ladder that extends up past the swim platform so climbing back aboard is easy.

The GAUNTLET complies with USCG regulations for uninspected passenger vessels. The boat has an EPIRB, flares, ring buoy, PFDs for all passengers and crew, as well as an 8-man USCG approved life raft. We also have O2 on board and a full first aid kit. GAUNTLET also has a mast with special navigation lights to signal large ships that we are diving.

Where is the boat and what time does it leave/return?

GAUNTLET is located at Glover Wharf Marina in Beverly, MA. A map with the address to the boat are listed on our website in the “Contact” section. Departure times can also be found on the website in the “Schedule” section.

In the main season (March to early October), for local trips the boat loads at 7 am and departs at 7:30 am, returning around 1:00 pm. In the fall through spring season (mid October to early March) we offer one charter per da. The boat loads at 8:15 am and leaves at 9 am, returning around 2 pm.

Longer trips to other parts of Mass Bay or Stellwagen have custom departure and return times, which will be listed with the trip.

Plan to arrive for loading no later than stated load time prior to a planned departure. 

Can I load the boat with my gear the night before or sleep on the boat before a trip?

Loading the boat the night before a trip or sleeping on the boat prior to departure is not permitted while we are docked in home port. You may load the boat the night prior to the trip or sleep on the boat only with prior permission from the captains in advance of the charter. You may not sleep in your car in the parking lot at the marina without prior permission from the Harbormaster. For special trips such as overnighters with early morning departures, exceptions to this policy may be made on a case-by-case basis.

What if the weather is bad on the day I am planning to dive?

We will do our best to go to the planned dive site, but we cannot guarantee the weather will allow us to get there. If the weather is bad, but not bad enough to cancel, we will go to the next best site based on the conditions. We do not permit cancellations because the destination has changed. Once you sign up, you are committed to wherever we ultimately go. You can choose not to go, but you will still be responsible for payment. We do not cancel dives just because the weather is bad and we must go elsewhere. Keep this in mind when signing up during less predictable times of the season if you’re heart is set on diving a specific location.

If the weather is bad enough to cancel, you will be notified as soon as possible. In some cases, groups (such as those with more experience) may tolerate diving in more adverse conditions and in other cases not. We determine whether or not to run in poor conditions based on

  1. what is in the best interest of the boat and
  2. what is in the best interest of our passengers. The goal is to have fun and bring everyone (and the boat) home safe.

You will not be responsible for payment if we cancel due to weather. If we go out to “take a look” and have to turn back, you will not owe anything.

What about cancelling because of bad weather for technical dives?

If the weather is too poor to conduct a technical dive, we will dive the next best location, even if it is shallower. We will try to forewarn everyone if the weather forecast looks questionable so other gasses can be prepared if desired, but we will not cancel the charter entirely because we must dive elsewhere. Technical diving in New England can be very challenging from a logistical standpoint. We will do our best to please everyone, but we can’t guarantee the destination of choice.

Do you run charters in the winter?

Generally, we run on a limited schedule through the winter season if the boat is available (ie, not in the yard for maintenance).

Divers who are new to diving in the winter should read our file on Winter Diving Preparations. Winter diving is not for everyone, and it does require some additional preparation and consideration. Do not hesitate to ask if you have a question about whether or not winter diving is for you.

What if I sign up and then I can't go... do I still have to pay?

Yes, you are responsible for your spot once you sign up even if you can’t go regardless of the reason (you got sick, you got hurt, you have to work, etc). We do not permit cancellations without full payment. If the boat is already full, we will permit replacements. However, the boat must be full before your spot can be filled. Otherwise, if you cancel you must pay for your spot.

I want the “numbers” to that wreck. Can I bring my handheld GPS onboard?

You may not bring your handheld GPS aboard GAUNTLET without prior permission from the Captains. Please ask. We will probably say yes.

Can I take artifacts from a wreck?

If the wreck is not “protected” you may remove artifacts. There are certain protected shipwrecks in Massachusetts Bay. All wrecks within state waters are protected unless they appear on the “exempt” list.

When diving in Massachusetts State waters (within 3 miles of shore) some shipwrecks are classified as “exempt” from issuance of permits. What this means is divers do not need to apply for a permit to dive the shipwreck (reconnaissance permit) and that commercial operations cannot obtain a permit to conduct salvage (excavation permit). As a result, sport divers may “casually” remove artifacts from the wreck provided the site is not significantly disturbed in doing so. You can find a list of “exempt” shipwrecks at the following address: 

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/czm/buar/shipwrecks/

Some shipwrecks are fully protected, and therefore no artifacts may be removed from the site. This includes shipwrecks like government vessels (Navy, Coast Guard, etc), and wrecks belonging to foreign nations. Again, this also includes any wreck in MA state waters that is NOT on the Exempted List.

Artifacts may not be removed under any circumstance from shipwrecks in marine sanctuaries such as Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

We will inform all customers as to whether or not a particular wreck is protected and what proper conduct at that site requires prior to commencing diving operations. 

I am looking for a donation for a club, show or event. Do you donate spots for charters aboard GAUNTLET or offer discounts to clubs or shops?

At this time our official policy is that we do not donate spots for charters aboard GAUNTLET, nor do we offer individual discounts for clubs or shops.

We do offer discounts for active-status and insured instructors teaching classes. Inquire for details and requirements.