The Story of our Boats - Aquatic Life Divers
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The Story of our Boats

Published April 29, 2019

Written By
Heather Howard

Our company was founded in March of 2017. At the time we had purchased a small boat and slip #21 at the Honokohou marina in Kailua Kona. The fishing vessel was a 24’ Seahawk that had been run as a light tackle commercial fishing charter boat. We pulled the boat out of the water, built tank racks for her, extended the bimini, built a dive ladder and put her back in the water. Aquatic Life Divers was born! By August of that year we were running dive charters! She was a fun little boat that could hold 6 passengers, but it was a tight squeeze!

As business grew, our need for a bigger boat became apparent. We started our search for a dive boat for sale in Hawaii that had a COI for more than 6 passengers. There were not a lot of options on the market. What we found is that most of the dive boats for sale needed a lot of work and weren’t worth the asking price. That is when we decided to look at the potential to have a boat built for us! We researched and visited several local boat builders and then met Justin Smith from Pacific Boats and Yachts. He had just secured the vender contract for a company called Armstrong Marine in Port Angeles, Washington. We decided that their style of boats were attractive and unique and there was nothing like them in Kona. We started working with Charlie Crane from Armstrong talking about all of our options and timing etc..

Around that same time we became interested in The Armstrong Company, the slip owner next to ours mentioned he may want to sell his boat and slip! What an amazing opportunity to have two commercial slips side by side! No one in the harbor has that! We made him an offer and purchased another larger fishing vessel named the Spearfish in November of 2017.

Now that we had two commercial slips side by side, we started looking at purchasing two custom built dive vessels from Armstrong. We started our design with them at the end of the year, working with their engineer team to create the beautiful open functional dive platform that you see today! It took us 3 months of design and planning for our two new vessels and the build started in March of 2018!

We visited Armstrong Marine many times during the build, refining and redesigning as we went to create the best dive boats possible, built by divers for divers. Finally in September of 2018 they were complete! We flew to Port Angeles and picked up Amelia and Johan in the harbor, drove to Seattle through the Sound and delivered them to a barge destined for Honolulu. Two weeks later we met them in Honolulu and with a small window of decent weather, us and our crew drove them to Kailua Kona! Our journey was amazing! We made it from Honolulu Harbor the Honokohau Harbor in just under 8 hours!!

We were so impressed with how the boats handled the big open seas between islands and how fast the twin 300 Yamahas powered us along our way!

 

We are blessed and grateful to have worked with such an amazing boat builder and to have finally parked our new custom built dive vessels in our slips side by side! It was a joy to behold! How proud we are to have worked so hard to start a dive company from scratch in Kailua Kona and to own the nicest dive boats in the state of Hawaii!

 

Our vessels Amelia and Johan were blessed on November 3rd, 2018 by a Hawaiian Elder named Kealoha.

We had 30 passengers join us for our inaugural sunset cruise that evening, setting us off in the direction of success.

 

We want to thank everyone who has supported us through this process and everyone who continues to support us!

We are forever grateful. Look forward to blowing bubbles with you all!!

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