Here’s Wight Spirit, an Evolution 38S, bigger, faster and cleaner, smoke free and ready to go.

Returning to port from the western Solent

The dive boat Wight Spirit is an Evolution 38S, operating from Lymington. She is powered by an 8.3 litre, 500 horsepower turbo charged engine. Normal cruising speed when loaded is around 12-15 knots.


Underway to the dive site, diving on slack water and coming back aboard

Wight Spirit is licensed for 12 persons plus 2 crew.  She is equipped with all safety gear, from first aid kit to 6 + 8 man liferaft. She is licensed under the MCA Code of Practice category 2 (60 miles from a safe haven) and fully insured. She is well equipped with modern electronics, including 2 radar, 2 VHF radios and GMDSS, 2 colour echo sounders, DGPS and GPS, 2 colour chart plotters, 2 AIS systems, Navtex for up to the minute weather reports, magnetometer, cooler, cooker and cabin heater.

Optimum deck space is available through the provision of stainless steel benches with teak decking, upon which divers sit and kit up, with space beneath for bags and boxes. Additional storage space is on the engine cover. The bench arrangements mean that 12 divers can be fully kitted and seated all at the same time. Sitting space for passengers in shelter under a large canopy is available outside the wheelhouse, while the wheelhouse itself can sit 8 or maybe 9 at a push.  It means everyone can be in shelter on the way to and from the dive site. Dry bags are stowed in the wheelhouse or forepeak.

An electric lift is fitted on a gantry at the stern. Entry to the water is through the removable transom door – just walk through and enter the water feet first! Recovery is safe and simple even when the sea conditions are less than ideal. Just stand on the platform which will be lowered to four feet below the surface, hold on to the hand rails and you’ll be winched up to deck level. Walk into the boat and sit on one of the benches to de-kit. Usually, assistance will be given until you are seated.  In the event of lift failure, a chain block can be rigged quickly in order to recover divers from the water.

Other features include a floating lifeline which runs at water level from bow to stern – useful to guide yourself to the stern lift and a rope with stainless steel ring and clip if you want to take kit off in the water – I’ll lift it inboard. The toilet is fitted in the wheelhouse.

Wreck books are available in the wheelhouse, detailing most of the wrecks, together with photographs and their circumstances of loss.

A 15 litre cylinder of medical oxygen is kept on board and is sufficient to support a maximum of 4 divers at the same time (2 on demand valves and 2 on oxygen masks – I know it works as I’ve had 3 divers on it together). There is also a spare 15 litre cylinder filled with O2. There is no charge if it is necessary to use oxygen – if I think you may be affected by decompression sickness, it’s the best treatment I can give you.  I’ll notify the Coastguard and discuss the situation with the diving doctor, and if it’s necessary you’ll be lifted off by helicopter.  If it turns out you haven’t got decompression sickness, no harm is done.

Finally, there are ample supplies of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. I also keep a supply of lead weights, spare hoses, O rings etc, for those last minute glitches which occur from time to time.  It means the difference between getting in the water and not diving at all.

Below are photos of the previous boat…


  1. Approaching the Needles from the south east, 2. the Needles and Sun Corner.