has been going on at Rainbow Reef Dive Center lately?
Rainbow Reef Acquires new dive Boat!
Rainbow Reef is proud to announce the acquisition of our newest diving vessel! It can handle up to 25 divers and it's located in Key Largo. Our Key Largo location was always sold out with the Tropical Explorer (our 12 pack) and we wanted to gain some more capacity so we can serve more customers. Don't worry if you love our small boats, we still have the Tropical Dream in Key Largo and we moved the Tropical Explorer down to Islamorada so we can expand the range of reefs we can take you to visit.
After a long search for the right boat, we finally found one in South Beach. She's a 40 foot Burpee, and was set up very nice, but needed some paint and a few other modifications to be all ready to take our customers diving. Before we could start painting or really do anything we had to completely empty the boat of everything on board. Believe me, there is a lot of room and a lot of things on board a 40 foot boat!
It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it!
If you are new to painting boats, the first thing you have to do is grind and sand down all of the old paint. This is a dusty, itchy, messy job on any boat, let alone a 40 footer! We decided we'd put on new bottom paint and paint the entire interior and deck of the boat. This is a good shot of the cabin with fresh paint as we are getting ready to paint the deck with awlgrip. It's great paint, but it's worth more than gold per pound! Special thanks goes out to Captain Dan, he logged the most time grinding down the deck.
Time to paint!
It sure seems like the actual painting is the easy part after you get all the grinding. We picked colors, taped everything off and then started the first coat. We did 3 coats in all and then added the no-skid while doing the 3rd coat. With all of the fresh paint, it's hard to tell the boat isn't brand new.
We had a lot of help during our stay in the boat yard. Thanks very much to:
Captain Terry, Captain Dan, Ewout, Allison, Leo, John, Captain Doug, Pete, Jesus (no, not the son of God, but the divemaster), Dave Bickell and Bill Blaine. Thanks to Sable Signs in Ft. Myers for the graphics, and Todd from Fluent Consulting for the designs.
It's never finished until the graphics are on...
We ordered some nice large graphics for the boat. Everyone got to participate in the naming of the boat as well as choosing which graphics design they liked the best. All in all, it took about 10 days after purchase to get it ready for dive trips. We still have a few kinks to work out, but we are trilled to add her to the fleet. Before launch we added a new satellite radio for maximum diver enjoyment. Enough already! Let's go diving!