Frequently Asked Questions
Sail Fish Scuba Dive Shop
Morning boat tour check-in at our dive shop.
- Morning: 7:35 AM – 7:40 AM
- Afternoon: 12:10PM – 12:15PM
There is no need to pull into our parking lot anytime before 07:30 AM for the AM tour, as NO one who works here will arrive to open the dive shop till 7:30 AM. There is NO need to arrive earlier, with this arrival time we have all the time we need to have you complete paperwork, get fitted for gear before the tour.
If you are snorkeling or a certified diver for a scuba tour please plan to pull into the parking lot right at 12:00 PM – 12:10 PM, there is NO need to arrive earlier, with this arrival time we have all the time we need to have you complete paperwork, get fitted for gear before the tour.
No. Please don’t come anytime before your scheduled check-in time. We don’t have excess sets of rental gear to assign specific gear to certain folks and just have all bundled together sitting everywhere, that would get way too confusing. All rental gear is numbered, and sorted, hung in specific order. When you arrive the day of your tour, at the assigned “check-in time” from your email booking, we have built in plenty of time to have you complete paperwork, get fitted for gear, and pay all before boarding the boat for your tour.
We leave the dock as soon as we have everyone checked-in, paperwork done, fitted for gear, and on board the boat. If this happens to be 8:00 AM, we are super happy when we can get the tour off the dock early, as then the crew gets to actually enjoy a short lunch break at the dock between am and pm tours this day. The latest we depart the dock IS 8:30 AM ~ We do not do delayed departures, so make sure you budgeted your travel time properly for your scheduled check-in time for your tour.
We leave the dock as soon as we have everyone checked-in, paperwork done, fitted for gear, and on board the boat. If this happens to be 12:30 PM, we are super happy when we can get the tour off the dock early, as then the crew gets to actually enjoy getting home a little earlier this day and maybe even catch a local Happy Hour. The latest we depart the dock IS 1:00 PM ~ We do not do delayed departures, so make sure you budgeted your travel time properly for your scheduled check-in time for your tour.
If the boat departs right at last call 8:30 AM, it is back on the dock at/around 12:30 PM, and the number of minutes we depart earlier, means that many mins back sooner.
If the boat departs right at last call 1:00 PM, it is back on the dock at/around 4:45 PM, and the number of minutes we depart earlier, means that many mins back sooner.
No! First don’t ever board any boat when the owner/crew is not already on it, this is just a Rule! Secondly, the captain must make about 30 minutes of pre-tour checks of the engines, transmissions, etc. before any crew or guests are ever allowed onto the boat. If you tend to get sea-sick and desire that back corner seat to be one of the first off the boat as soon as the captain allows this at each site, mention this at the time of booking your tour, and we will do our best to assign this on the manifest in advance for the crew.
We look at the tides twice daily based on the high/low tides and the sites we plan to visit, the travel time from dock to first site is normally 40 minutes to 55 minutes. The living coral reef does not actually start in nice water in the Key Largo area until you are about 3.5 miles off-shore.
Since nearly all sites in Key Largo, Florida Keys are no deeper than 40 feet deep, next to no time is required for a surface interval. Normally once you are back on the boat, the crew asks the guests to move forward and enjoy the free bottled water and assorted candies in the snack box while they quickly swap all scuba gear from used tank to fresh tanks. At the same time the captain is moving the boat to the second location, normally about 5 to 10 minutes boat ride away. As soon as the boat is turned off, it’s time to jump right back in the water and this helps prevent sea-sickness!
On the deep shipwreck tours, if we are doing 2 deep dives, we will sit topside and relax for 45 minutes before getting geared back up and re-entering the water 50 min into surface interval. Then till you pull yourself to the mooring to go down, it’s normally exactly a 1 hour surface interval.
NO! The crew would be being asked to do Reverse Profiles, which is dangerous! Additionally if we have students at the pool in the morning, they need shallow dives in the afternoon to go on, and if we were going deep this would not be possible.
Simply then it rained before the tour. Rain does not ever stop us from going out on a tour. Rain actually helps lay down the seas making it calmer. Wind however is BAD! Wind causes the seas to become big. Lightning is also bad, so we look at the forecastand make sure there are not big yellow/red/pink blobs in the rain clouds!
No, that’s just silly. We can’t afford to only run tours when the sky is perfectly clear, but many folks call and ask this question.
WIND is the number one reason! If the wind is blowing over 20+ knots, it make the USCG put out a small craft advisory notice. This means if you boat is less than 60 feet long, you are taking risks taking the boat out in these conditions. Here is where we check the wind speed and direction. WIND = BIG SEAS!
We are 100% true (old school Mom & Pop Dive Shop) Owner Operator. This means Chris and Jen Kerr who created, started, and have always run Sail Fish Scuba since 2011 are at work every single day the shop is open for business. Tuesday – Saturday 7:30 AM until they have it all buttoned up each night and cleaned for the next day, means they lock up around 7:00 PM every single night. Sunday’s they open the shop at 7:30 PM and the close up and head home around 3:30 PM after the morning tour. The shop is actually supposed to be closed at 1:00 PM on Sundays, but till they clean everything and make it all ready for Tuesday mornings guests, their “half day of work” on Sunday means heading home at 3:30 PM. And Monday is truly these 2 hard working business owners ONLY day off work every single week year round!
So, working 66+ hours each week Chris and Jen figure a day off to rest and not work is way more important than the money they could possibly earn by running a Sunday afternoon tour and all day Monday each week.
Yes! Jules Undersea Lodge Lagoon is right across the street and it’s open to the Ocean so we never know what all we may get to see while diving and snorkeling there. It’s 26 feet deep and home to an underwater working hotel as well, which is way cool!
NO! The Christ of the Abyss is over 4 miles off-shore on a patch reef called Key Largo Dry Rocks Reef. Only available via boat tour.
Not a good idea at all! It is way too far off shore, and this would be an extremely long and dangerous thing to do.
Yes! All our guests are required to stay with our guides while in the water. This is for guest safety and enjoyment.
We like to keep the ratio around 6 or 7 guests to each 1 of our guides. But if your family/group booking is a group of let’s say 8 and all want to stay with same guide, no worries!
YES! If you swim off on purpose, you maybe asked to sit out the balance of your tour on the boat with the captain. Following & staying within sight of your in-water guide is required. Besides we have the camera and know where all the cool stuff is to see, so why would you not want to be with us?
YES! Do you remember BWRAF from your certification course? Well, it’s your “life saving air” so why on Earth would you ever just willy-nilly trust anyone to tell you: “you have plenty of air, trust me.”
It is 100% your responsibility to put your regulator in your mouth while still sitting down in your gear before you go to get off the boat, take a few deep breaths off the regulator while looking directly at your pressure gauge. If the gauge goes right to zero, tank is turned off, needs turned open! If the gauge shows half full or less, your gear did not get changed to the fresh tank of gear. Jump out of your gear now & advise your assigned dive guide to come directly over and change it for you!
YES! All divers need be personally responsible for the air in their tanks. Remember your OW training! It is up to you to look at you pressure gauge about every 5 to 10 minutes the entire time you are diving. When you notice you are at Half a tank ( 1500psi ) it is your responsibility to inform your guide of this. The guide will ask everyone around 20 mins underwater what you each have in your tanks.
This is up to you Personally. If you like having someone else do this for you and you are not a student in a course, then we have no problem doing this for our guests ( but you need remind us before & between dives ). If it is rental gear at the end of the tour on the ride back the crew always breaks down all gear, and washes it post tour “unless you are a student diver, then you will be getting trained by the crew how best to wash scuba gear post diving each day”.
PADI use to always say if you have not been diving in the past 24 months, you must do a refresher. They are trending now towards anytime over 12 months, you should do a refresher course.
100% you must start all over if it has been over 12 months to the day that you have not been actively working on your training.
Nope, we allow non-swimmer to come as riders on the boat (must wear safety life jacket entire ride) OR if you want to snorkel, you just need pay the private 1 /1 guide fee to keep you safe in water too deep to stand up in.
And you can even sign up for PADI Discover Scuba Diving, but must add the Private 1/1 guide fee to your full day course fee.
NO! Each person who cannot swim needs have 1 /1 professional attention while in water too deep to stand in for your own safety! The additional $69 fee is nothing really when you think of it a being safe & kept alive, or possibly drowning, right?
First because we don’t like a packed / crowded cattle boat, so our boat DEEPER is USCG rated for 24, but we stop selling seats to guests when we have 18 guests max booked. So this means, more room for guests on the boat, and more customer service to our guests!
Secondly, we then break the guests down into small groups, max 7 guests to each 1 guide ratio for in water tour. Again, more customer service for the guests this way.
Third, our guides take our UW cameras along on all tours, snap fun photos of the guests and what we get to see and the guests get these photo for FREE in with their tour cost! Check out what that looks like here at our Blog.
Fourth, We provide our guests with not only drinking water on the boat, but also hard and chewy candies and packaged cookies.
And we do lot’s of other cool stuff too, check out what other past guest have said here.
Because as non-certified divers, keeping both hand free to keep you safe and alive is way more important!
Simply ask to add the Private Guide to do photos during your afternoon dives. Fee only $69
No, sorry, last minute for us to call in staff is a bit short notice. We really need know this at least 2 days before your tour.
You will have your cc on file charged for your full services you booked, because we have already contracted the staff to do this for you and we saved those seats for you. Last minute we have no time to sell those seats to anyone else.
If you follow this link, sign up & pay PADI $179 for the virtual classroom/manual & do the knowledge all at home before arrival here, you will only be training the water work $449.00 here with us for 1 full day + ½ day.
If you want to have a live instructor in our classroom here, your manual cost is $85.00 for the paperback manual & the 12 hour day in the classroom here is at a cost of $200.00, and then you will have the same $449.00 water work fee and 1 full day + ½ day.
Well, the knowledge fee is either to PADI for the virtual course of $179
To us for live human teacher teaching you a full 12 hours in our classroom + paperback manual $285.00.
Then the Water work fee, covers all the rental gear you will use for the 1 full day & ½ day (you only need a swimsuit & towel) Plus we cover the Public Pool Jacobs Aquatic Center enter fee of $15 per student, and the student will need a seat on 2 half day boat tours. Additionally the Professional PADI Scuba Instructor needs paid for working with the student 3 half day shifts of work. Pool half day, and 2 half days on the boat.
So if you break it down and think about how much money we spend per student, the profit to the dive shop ends up being very, very little at the rate we charge.
At Sail Fish Scuba when you are a student, you only need to arrive with a swimsuit and towel. Everything as far as rental gear is all included in your course fee!
On the boat ride back in they are soaking in fresh water. Then back at the dock they are soaked for a long time in the rinse bin with fresh water and Bleach. Then they are hung to dry.
No worries, we sell new mouthpieces in the shop for only a few dollars, and we will install this onto the rental snorkel or regulator for you. After the tour, just remind us to take it off and give it to you.
No, we do not sell used tanks. Dive shops use tanks until they no longer pass the inspection process which makes them condemned.
No! There is too much risk of never getting our gear and tanks back. We did rent gear off-site when we first opened, and they guy who rented it had a stolen credit card, and he left us a voice mail at midnight the night he had rented the gear stating he forgot to inflate the BCD, gear fell off the boat at the deep shipwreck Duane and sank to the bottom of the ocean. And we were out a tank, weight belt with 16#, regulator, dive computer, BCD, mask, fins, and snorkel.
So this is exactly why we don’t rent anything to anyone ever for off-site use.
Well, they are not on our payroll, so there is never a promise you will see one. We do see them quite often at Molasses Reef most frequently of all the sites we do visit.
That’s super cool and we hopefully got a photo of it before it swam away from us! Never try to chase, touch, tease or harass a shark of any variety.
The sun is super bright and squinting for 4 hours is never fun!
Probably yes, they will. Bug spray is good to apply before the tour.
We never know from person to person, but if you have any doubts, it sure is better to have taken some anti-sea-sick tabs the night before the tour and the morning of the tour (instead of hanging over the side of the boat puking for 3.5 hours wishing you would have!)
NO! There are zero refunds for sea-sickness.
NO! There are zero refunds for sea-sickness.
NO! There are zero refunds for sea-sickness.
Sort – Of! A Marine Head as they are called is sort of like a land-based toilet. However, you can never flush any toilet paper down them at all, Not ever! And lady products cannot be flushed either!
You must put these used products into a wad of more clean toilet paper, then seal them inside a zip-lock baggies (provided for our guests on the shelf next to the marine head) and then place baggie in trash can next to marine head.
It’s better to take care of all (Post Coffee sitting down toilet time before walking onto the dive boat) and then once on the boat, do in the water as the fish do.
There is a roof from bow to stern on DEEPER our dive boat. Check her out!
NO! That’s just too close to sharing underwear with others, and I don’t want to be taking that home to wash each day.
YES! Only $5 per towel rental per day & they are large beach towels.
Not for off-site rental, only for on tours on our boat.
Yes! We have large bottle of water and cups on the boat.
We also have a Hot/Cold fresh water shower for guests on the boat too!
Many ask this, but since our tours are half day tours, and not full day live-aboard tour, we do not provide cooked meals with the 4 hour half day tours.
Yes! Behind our building we have a fresh water garden shower with privacy curtain, and all products you need to take a shower.
Yes, we sure do! They are located in the bathroom in a basket above the toilet.
No Sorry. The Captain has many duties while the guests are in the water and being a free babysitter is not one of them. Please have a sitter lined up for your child before booking your tour. Additionally it is not fare to the persons sitting on the boat to have to listen to an unattended screaming baby, plus it’s super warm for the child.
No Sorry. The Captain has many duties while the guests are in the water and being a free babysitter is not one of them. Please have a sitter lined up for your child before booking your tour.
No Sorry. We are not permitted to hand out free medications.
No Sorry. No Sorry. We provide 1 full hour at each location from the time we shut off the boat engines till we turn them back on to move. We provide guests a 10 min heads-up before each site so you need be ready to enter the water as soon as the ladder goes down. The longer you take to get back in the water, the shorter your dive time will be.
No Sorry. We provide 1 full hour at each location from the time we shut off the boat engines till we turn them back on to move. We provide guests a 10 min heads-up before each site so you need be ready to enter the water as soon as the ladder goes down. If you end dives after 45 to 50 mins still having a lot of spare air, this just means you are a calm and good diver!
No Sorry, we can’t ask all the other folks who are sitting on the boat ready to go to have to wait. Best we can provide it to re-book you onto the next available tour or put your booking in our system under future re-booking. No refunds.
YES we sure do! We actually have all gear, even wetsuit rentals in up to 5XL!
No Sorry. We do charge a bit more because we go the extra mile to have gear for anyone from “little people” to the “very large folks”.
I sure wish I could predict the weather days, weeks, and months in advance. But I can’t, sorry. Best suggestion is for you to go back in our timeline of our Blog or Facebook page and check what it was like that time last year. The seasons are fairly regular here in Key Largo.
Sorry No. We personally don’t even live inside or above our scuba dive shop. We can however suggest folks call the little “mom & pop motel” across the street from our dive shop called Ed & Ellens Lodge. The have the lowest rates on our island. https://ed-ellens-lodgings.com/
Sorry No. We do not hold the TAXI license to transport paying guests.
Sorry No. We do not hold the TAXI license to transport paying guests.
Sorry No. The drive one way from Key West to Key Largo is over 2.5 hours. Best to select a dive shop located right in Key West.
Sorry No. We are located in Key Largo, and on our Boat Deeper to travel to Key West 103+ miles South, it would take us a full day.
Sorry No. The boat ride on Deeper for us to travel up the 20+ miles to Ocean Reef club would take us quite a few hours at best.
Sorry No. However, we can order these items for you, and you will get an excellent price for these new items. Once they arrive we will ship them to your home.
Sorry No. Christ of the Abyss is located at one of our Northernmost sites, and Molasses Reef at the Southernmost end. Way too long of a boat ride to do this.
- Professional experienced dive guide at a ratio of 6:1
- FREE PHOTOS
- Mask, Fins, & Snorkel
- Water & candy on the boat
- Snacks when you return back to the shop
- A tip for your crew $5 per person for fair service and $20 per person for excellent service is customary in the dive industry
- Your bathing suit & Towel
- A private guide, while we try to keep ratios as low as 6:1 divers:guide sometimes our divers want a little extra attention, this can be added on for an additional $69 at the time of booking
It is a PADI standard that if you have not been diving in 2 years you MUST complete a Scuba Tune-Up or enroll in another PADI Course.