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Frequently Asked Questions

I've not used you before, so how do I book a dive?

We try and make it as easy as possible to book a dive. You can either contact us, or register on our booking system (takes 5 minutes) and you can join a dive.

Where do we find you?

The boat leaves from the light grey pontoon off the lower boat deck on Swanage pier. Walk past the dive shop (separate business), for approx 100 metres. The lower boat deck is on the left hand side. Mary Jo is a yellow and white hardboat, Viper is a white and black hardboat. Click here for more details.

What time does the pier open?

As a general rule the pier opens at 7am on weekends and 8am midweek and closes at 5pm.

We have an early start, so how do we get on the pier?

We have keys to the pier, so someone will be down to open the pier 1 hour before your leave time. Please make sure you are on time.

We have a dive returning to the pier after it closes, so how do we get off the pier?

We will let you off. Please make sure you return your trollies and are ready to leave reasonabily promptly after we return. The skipper will put the boat back on it's mooring and meet you at the pier entrance.

What time do I need to be ready to board the boat?

Please be ready to board the boat a minimum of 15 minutes prior to departure. Do not be concerned if the boat is not at the pier as it is usually on a dive beforehand.

Who chooses the dive sites?

If you wish to book on an empty slot then you do. Click on the 'enquire' button from our booking system next to the dive you wish to book (requires you to be logged in) and select a site from the drop down menu. An enquiry will be sent to us, then providing the site is suitable we will confirm the dive for you. Most local sites can be visited with just 2 divers. You can still request more distant sites with small groups, but remember certain sites will have minimum numbers, so an alternative site may be offered should the minimum amount not be acheived. Certain sites need to be dived on either High or Low water slack. You can see more on our interactive map of wrecks.

Are there any trolleys for transporting my kit?

Yes there are free to use trolleys for your diving kit that can be found next to the Gents toilets. You may leave the trolley(s) on the pier near our pontoon whilst you are out on a dive, but please leave them neatly stacked against the railing and not scattered around the pier. There are other users of the pontton, so please be considerate and keep access free. Please return your trolley once you are finished with it.

When do I pay for the dives?

All payment details can be seen here.

Who do I make cheques payable to?

Please make all cheques payable to 'Swanage Boat Charters Ltd'. Please include the name and dive date on the reverse of the cheque and send it to: -

Larks Rise, 
279B High Street, 
BH19 2NH

or, hand the cheque to the skipper on the boat.

Should I need to cancel am I expected to pay for the dives?

Please read our booking terms and conditions. If the spaces are not filled we will expect payment, but if we do re-fill the spaces there will not be a charge.

What if the weather is looking unpredictable?

To give the weather the latest prediction, we usually wait until the evening to make a decision as to whether the dives will go ahead. If we feel circumstances are not suitable/unsafe we will notify you the evening before. If you intend to leave before this time please call us. Cancellations will be made by email, so please make sure your registered email is up to date when booking.

Do I get a refund should the diving be cancelled?

Yes, if the skipper decides to cancel you will get a full refund. The deposit may also be carried forward to another date if you so wish.

If the pier parking is full where else can I park?

There is a large car pack adjacent to the pier (approx 200 metres). We suggest you get yourself a trolley, unload your kit at the pier entrance and then park your car.

Where can I get air/nitrox?

Both are available from the dive shop. Please bring your first fill with you to avoid missing the boat because of a queue for air. If the shop is closed they usually have a telephone number for you to contact them.

I don't have a buddy, can I still dive?

We do allow solo diving, however we do ask that you are suitable qualified and are carrying a redundant air source (i.e. stage cylinder or twin set). If you are looking for a buddy then please contact us and we will try and find you one. Social media is also a great resource to find people to dive with. 

Where can I find accommodation?

There are plenty of places to stay in Swanage. We have a page dedicated to diver friendly accommodation. Click here to view the page.

Kit hire?

Kit hire is available from several sources. Please contact us for more details.

Guided dives/training dives/single divers?

Please contact us and we will try our best to accommodate you.