Underwater Scooters (Diver Propulsion Vehicles)

Best-Selling Underwater Scooters

These underwater scooters are the bestsellers for years on Amazon, eBay and other market places:

About the Propulsion Vehicles for Divers

Diving is one of the leading activities we all would love to indulge in. Unknown to most, it is also quite a tasking activity, but one that is both fun and rewarding. Let’s talk about the underwater scooters.

Underwater scooters for divingSea scooters, or Underwater Scooters or Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DVPs) as they are also known, go a long way in making dives more fun and rewarding. Unfortunately, so little is known about them and thus the purpose of this article: to be the ultimate guide to sea scooters.

When looking for underwater scooters, some of the most common names you will come across include SeaDoo, Apollo, Seabob, and Tusa.

Apart from making your diving expeditions more fun and adventurous, sea scooters can be used for functions like cave diving and technical diving. In these uses, they are great for helping divers move bulky equipment. They also help divers make better use of time especially considering limits imposed by deep diving decompression requirements.

The Benefits of Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPV)

Owning a personal submarine has numerous advantages – more than is immediately discernible. Here are some of the most obvious advantages.

  • An underwater scooter helps you improve your time by up to 50%. You can do twice as much as you would otherwise do taking into consideration time limits imposed to avoid decompression sickness.
  • When diving with a scooter, you use less effort. Less effort means that you do not breathe as hard as you would without a scooter and your air will therefore last longer.
  • Currents have always been a real nightmare for divers. But with an underwater scooter, it becomes possible to make headway even when swimming against the current.
  • In line with reducing the time for a dive, a scooter also helps increase the range of your dive.
  • For the adventurous souls, a scooter is great for adding a challenge to your diving.

How to Choose the Underwater Scooter

Scuba scooters are not cheap and even the most affordable ones will set you back more than $200. You need to make a well-informed decision before buying one. This is not to say that the cheap models are not fun. Trust me they are. Their speeds are however on the low end and they also can’t dive too deep. Most cheap scooters are rated to go to a depth of about 15 feet making them perfect for pool diving.

Sea scooter personal submarineTop of the line personal submarines are staggeringly expensive. They can cost more than a thousand dollars and some can even go beyond $2000. If money is not an issue, by all means, get one of these. They are perfect for any diving you would ever want to do. Most of these high-end scooters can cruise at speeds exceeding 4 miles an hour and take you deeper than 130 feet. 130 feet is, however, the deepest you can go before everything turns dark as night.

For most of us however, we would never imagine getting one of these. We also do not want a low-end underwater scooters that will be struggling to keep up to our demands. For us then, the middle range is perfect – you can have a great sea scooter without hurting your bank balance. A scooter going for five or six hundred dollars is by no means cheap but is great value for your money. Scooters in this range have cruise speeds averaging 3 miles per hour and are rated to go to depths of up to 100 feet. Their batteries can also last more than an hour of normal operation when fully charged.

If you are buying a scuba scooter for additional fun in the pool, or if you are buying it for your kids (who will end up breaking it anyway), then a low-cost scooter is better suited and will do just fine. You would rarely find a pool deeper than fifteen feet anyway.

What to Look For in a Good Sea Scooter

You already know which range you want to buy from. But how do you tell if a scooter is as good on paper as it looks? Not to worry. Here are some things you should look for to get the best value for your money.

  1. Price: I am putting this first, because most of the time, this is what would influence your buying decision. Depending on your budget, you can get a scooter for a little more than $200 up to a thousand dollars and even more. You should, however, note that the cheaper a scooter is, the less it can take on. The cheapest are therefore more of pool toys than ocean expedition vehicles. More expensive ones can survive use in hostile environments quite well. They can, therefore, be used for professional diving and underwater expeditions. Also note that if you use your scooter as required and maintain it well, it will perform impeccably for a long period of time.
  2. Buoyancy: Depending on the model, most scooters have neutral to slightly positive buoyancy. A slightly positive buoyancy means that if the scooter is left unattended, it will slowly rise to the surface. The great news is that most middle and high range scooters have an adjustable buoyancy. You can, therefore, adjust to a neutral buoyancy when underwater so that it floats freely without disturbing you by pulling you up or down. If going for high-end sea scooters, you would be happy to learn that most come with attachment points or removable cavities that allow you to adjust the scooter’s buoyancy using weights. This is very convenient it you have some equipment that you need to bring with you on your dive.
  3. Depth: The rated depth of a scooter could range from a few feet for smaller, low-cost scooters to hundreds of feet for larger, higher-end, and more professional scooters. For average diving, 40 meters (130 feet) is a safe limit especially if you are using ordinary air. But even then, unless the dive was relatively short, it is important to use diving tables for decompressing. If you are a free diver, remain within your maximum diving depth.
  4. Size: The sizes vary greatly. A pool toy for kids would definitely be smaller than a fully professional deep sea diving scooter. The smaller scooters would weigh around 12 pounds and can pull one diver at a time. They also have limited endurance and slow speeds. On the other hand, larger models can weigh as much as 30 pounds and can have speeds exceeding 4 miles per hour. They can also pull several adults with additional luggage and last up to two hours.
  5. Power output: Most people assume that the power output is directly dependent on the battery pack but in reality, there are several other factors affecting it. When a scooter is pushed hard, the batteries drain a lot faster. For low-end scooters, this can mean a 10-15 minute lifecycle for every battery pack. Bigger and more expensive scooters, on the other hand, can last for hours when used for slow, unchallenging dives. If your budget allows, it is always great to have several fully charged batteries to extend your scooter’s usage. While battery capacity can vary from a few hundred watts to several kilowatts, the engine, propellers and even bearings have a significant role to play. A stronger engine also does not necessarily mean more noise because high-end scooters usually have better sound insulation, larger and more effective propellers, and better bearings. Smaller, more affordable scooters often have a high-pitched sound that is caused by smaller motors and propellers rotating at high speeds.

Tips for Using a Sea Scooter

After getting an underwater propulsion vehicle, it is key that you use it as specified and maintain it well. But apart from this, there are a number of things you should observe to always remain safe
Top on this list concerns your usage of the scooter. Safe use means not pushing you past your limits. Yes, a scooter can take you very far from shore with very little effort on your part, but never go farther from the shore than you can swim back. Be aware that there is always the risk of the scooter dying on you and you may need to swim back to shore with the scooter in tow.

Scuba diver propulsion vehicle dpvThe same is true with depth. Unless you are an experienced scuba diver, never go diving alone. Remember that the depth and duration of your dives are set by your body’s abilities and not the specifications of the scuba scooter you are using.

Additionally, most sea scooters in the mid to high-end range have adjustable buoyancy. If you are diving to great depths, this becomes a very important feature because it prevents the scooter from trying to pull you back up when you want to go deeper. It is also great in helping you maintain your current depth. To understand how to adjust your unit’s buoyancy, consult its manufacturer’s manual.

Finally, most underwater scooter models have gears just like a car. The lower gears will give you more power output but will drain your batteries faster. For increased longevity of your batteries, change between the gear as needed. This will get you a smoother ride.

Top 10 Underwater Scooters

In case you are wondering what the best sea scooters are, here is our pick of 10 of the best:

  1. SeaDoo Dolphin Sea Scooter Pool or Lake: This scooter is perfectly suited for adults and children aged 8 years and up. It is however meant for shallow diving in pools or lakes given its 15.5 feet depth limit. It can propel you to speeds of up to 2 miles an hour and its battery pack packs enough juice to last an hour and half of moderate use.
  2. SeaDoo GTI Sea Scooter: This scooter offers a perfect balance of value and performance. It is perfect for scuba divers, snorkelers, and water enthusiasts and can take you to depths of up to 100feet. Its cruise speed averages to 2.5 miles per hour and the battery can last up to 2 hours. It also has buoyancy control.
  3. Apollo AV-2 Evolution 2 U/W Diver Propulsion Vehicle: The features you get with this sea scooter justify its price tag. It features a lead acid battery, charger, and hands free saddle. The battery can last up to an hour and half and propel you at speeds of 4.5 miles an hour. It also has a progressive acceleration system that is triggered by use of the saddle and pitch propeller.
  4. Tusa SAV-7 Underwater Scooter: This underwater scooter is designed to propel up to three scuba divers at a speed of 2.6 miles per hour at depths of 230 feet. Its propellers can adjust to different angles and pitches and a progressive acceleration system allows you to make speed adjustments on the move.
  5. Hollis H-160 Sea Jet Underwater DPV Scooter: This innovative sea scooter raises the bar in scooter manufacturing. It offers up to 45 pounds of thrust and can be operated at depths of up to 656 feet. A unique feature of this scooter is that it can be operated with one hand.
  6. SeaDoo Aqua Ranger: A GoPro mount makes this scooter perfect for you if you love underwater photography. It is better suited for snorkeling than diving and is only rated for a depth of 30 feet below the surface. It also has a maximum speed of 2.5 miles per hour.
  7. Blade Fish XT Sea Scooter: If you love speed, then this scooter is perfect for you. At 14 pounds, it is remarkably portable but powerful. It features a light and fast charging 20 cell battery that can give you 4 hours of run time. The battery can be fast charged in only one hour.
  8. SeaDoo Supercharged VS “Plus”: This scooter is perfectly designed for scuba diving and snorkeling. It can propel you forward at a speed of 3 miles per hour and can go to depths of 100 feet. A fully charged battery will last you an hour and a half. You can also adjust its buoyancy.
  9. SeaDoo Underwater Scooters: The 3-speed gears can get you up to 4.35 miles per hour from this scooter. It can also last an hour and a half under moderate use and go to depths of 130 meters below the surface.
  10. New SeaDoo RS1 SeaScooter: Stabilizing glide fins make it easy to navigate in a straight line using this scooter. it also has down force spoilers that do a great job in preventing upward skidding when you are accelerating. It can propel you forward at speeds of 3.75 miles per hour for a maximum period of an hour and half.

We hope that this guide has been a source of invaluable information. Underwater expeditions will never be the same for you. If you would like some more information about the underwater scooters, please feel free to get in touch and we would be very happy to help you. If you have friends who share the same interests, please share this with them and help them have a wonderful time too.