OC Dive Boat FAQ Database (Frequently Asked Questions)



Medical Statement

Diving can be strenuous, you should not be extremely overweight or out of condition. Your respiratory and circulatory systems must be in good health. All body air spaces must be normal and healthy. A person with coronary disease, a current cold or congestion, epilepsy, a severe medical problem or who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not dive. If you have asthma, heart disease, other chronic medical conditions or you are taking medications on a regular basis, you should consult your doctor before participating in diving.

What can you see diving in Ocean City, MD?

Maryland is home to many military and civilian ship wrecks as well as many artificial reef sites. Each site is blooming with various species of life and growth formations. On any dive you may run across Flounder, Sea Bass, Tautog (aka Black Fish), Striped Bass, Spade Fish, Sheepshead, Sea Trout, Seahorses, Stargazers, Pufferfish, Amberjack, Black Drum, Colorful Butterfly Fish, Atlantic Triggerfish, Northern (Clawed) Lobster, Dolphin, Sea Turtles, Leatherback Turtles, Whales, Rays, Sharks and you can even find lost antique artifacts.

How is the visibility?

The visibility off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland can vary from excellent to low and can range from 100 ft to 4 ft or less. The visibility has many factors including weather, currents, and time of year.

We use a network of granny lines for your descents and ascents to ensure no matter what the visibly is, you will have a safe and enjoyable dive adventure.

Make sure you bring a quality wreck reel and a powerful dive light.

Will the water be cold?

The water temperature like the visibility off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland can vary depending on the currents and time of year. We suggest that all divers wear at least a 7mm wetsuit with hood and gloves to ensure a comfortable dive for Zones 2 or deeper.

There are some wrecks however that will only require a full 3mil suit such as Fenwick Shoals and Winter Quarter Shoals during the summer months.

Are there any prerequisites?

Diving off the Mid-Atlantic is not for everyone. New divers or divers who have only dove in tropical environments (OR) have not dove in the last few months should get some additional experience / tune up in local quarries prior to diving on any of our trips. This additional training will get you accustom to cold water and low visibility diving.

Fenwick & Winter Quarter Shoals:
Advanced Certification w/20 logged dives (2 within the last 30 days), cold water & low viz experience required (OR) Open Water Certification w/previous Ocean City diving experience within the last 12 months and 2 dives within the last 30 days. No shakedown dives.

Zone 1:
Advanced Certification w/30 logged dives (2 within the last 30 days), cold water, open ocean & low viz experience required (OR) Advanced Certification w/previous Ocean City diving experience within the last 12 months and 2 dives within the last 30 days. No shakedown dives.

Zone 2:
Advanced Certification w/30 logged dives (2 within the last 30 days), cold water, open ocean & low viz experience required (OR) Advanced Certification w/previous Ocean City diving experience within the last 12 months and 2 dives within the last 30 days. No shakedown dives.

Zone 3:
Advanced Certification w/50 logged dives (2 within the last 30 days), cold water, open ocean & low viz experience required (OR) Advanced Certification w/30 logged dives AND previous Ocean City diving experience within the last 12 months and 2 dives within the last 30 days. No shakedown dives.

Zone 4 & Screw Wreck:
Advanced Certification w/60 logged dives (2 within the last 30 days), deep water AND previous Ocean City diving experience required. No shakedown dives.

Zone 5: (USS Arthur Radford & Marine Electric)
Advanced Certification w/60 logged dives (2 within the last 30 days), deep water AND previous Ocean City diving experience required. No shakedown dives.

If you do not meet the required prerequisites, you may elect to hire a Private Divemaster Guide. Private Divemaster guides are available for hire with advanced notice. If you would like to hire a private Divemaster guide, please contact info@ocdiveboat.com

We do not provide any equipment including tanks on our charters. You must bring all your own dive gear in good working order when you come to dive.

Anybody who arrives at the boat the morning of a trip without the proper certification will not be permitted to dive and will not be offered a refund.

If you are under 18 years old, please read our policy regarding divers under 18.

I cant find my certification card?

You MUST have your certification card OR a printed copy of your certification card AND your log book to dive. We can not offer refunds to divers who show up to dive without the proper certification verification.

I am not 18 years old, can I dive?

If you are under 18 years old, you AND your parent must sign the release forms and be present at the dock with you as you board the vessel. Any diver who is under 18, must be under the direct supervision of a private licensed dive professional as well as a dive certified parent and provide the Capt with copies of the proper signed paperwork between the diver and the licensed dive professional.

Divers under 18 must have Full Advanced Open Water Certification (No Jr Divers) with at least 20 logged dives in addition to cold water, low visibility, and boat diving experience and can only dive on wrecks 30ft or less.

What does No Shakedown Dives mean?

No shakedown dives - this means we do not allow people who have not dove in a while come out with us to "get refreshed" or "see if their gear still works" or "hope my wet suit still fits" kind of thing.. Divers signing up for our trips must be regular divers who use and service their gear often, who are fit, properly training and not a risk to themselves, other divers or our crew.

How are the sites selected?

All of our wrecks are grouped in "Zones". Each Zone is different. Zone 1 is closest to shore and the wrecks in Zone 1 are the shallowest that we dive. As you go up in Zones, you go further offshore and the wrecks are deeper, requiring more experience to dive them. To see the different wrecks in each Zone, please go to out Dive Sites Page. We determine what wreck we go to within a Zone when we get to the Zone area. Sometimes we plan to dive a specific wreck, but upon arriving someone else is already fishing on it. If this happens we will go to another wreck within the same Zone.

Can we charter the whole boat?

Yes! We allow private groups and we do offer group rates. Please call us @ 443-333-1011 to discuss how we can accommodate your shop or group.

Do trips get cancelled because of weather?

If the Captain or Crew feel that they can't deliver you a safe, fun, and enjoyable day of diving because of the weather conditions, we will cancel the dive trip and you will get a full refund. As often as possible we will try to give you as much advanced notice as possible. Occasionally the decision has to be made at the dock the morning of the trip.

Where/When do we meet?

The boat is docked at Pines Point Marina - Slip C7 in Ocean Pines MD.
869 Yacht Club Dr, Berlin, MD 21811

Street / Dock Map

Meet Times are listed on the online schedule for each trip.

The dive site location and boat departure time may change based on actual sea conditions, weather or other unpredictable events. We can not guarantee a specific dive site location or departure / return time. Please keep your schedule for the day of your dive open and flexible.

Please have all your gear and paperwork in hand ready to go.

The boat Captain can be reached at 443-333-1011 if you need assistance.

Are the dives guided?

Our dives are NOT guided by our crew. We supervise divers from the boat on the surface. You must dive with a buddy when diving off our boat and you must also follow all common recreational dive standards as you learned in your SCUBA certification class.

Is spearfishing allowed?

Yes spearfishing is allowed on any of our trips as long as you practice safe spearfishing standards and adhere to the local and federal fishing regulations. Please do not shoot fish that are obviously undersized; all undersized fish will be thrown back into the water.

Spearfishing Rules

Is their a descent line down to the wreck?

OC Dive Boat uses a Granny Line System to easily and safely get you from the surface to the wreck. Please use this line system for both your descent and your ascent. Please keep your hands on a line the whole time to and from the wreck and on the tag line at the surface. NO FREE ASCENTS OR DESCENTS! (Unless in an emergency.) Please control your ascent so you do not pull the whole line up with you.

I would like to cancel at the last minute.. can I get a refund?

In the event that the Captain of the dive boat cancels the trip due to conditions, all divers will receive a 100% refund. In all other scenarios, cancellations are subject to a 25% cancellation fee and reschedules are subject to a $25 reschedule fee. No cancellations or reschedules are permitted within 7 days of your scheduled trip. If you don't show up or show up without proper gear and/or certification you will NOT receive a refund.

For Learn To Dive & Other Courses:

For Learn To Dive sign-ups, the E-Learning online course price is non-refundable. All reschedules or cancellation requests within 7 days prior to the course date are subject to a 25% reschedule/cancellation fee. Refunds or reschedules will not be offered to students who don't show up for their course date or for students who show up without properly signed forms. You must read the course forms prior to signing up and if you answer "yes" to any of the medical questions you MUST have a doctors signiture before participating in the course.

Is gear provided?

Gear is not provided. There is no extra gear at the dock or on the boat. Please have all your gear with you and in good working order when you show up to dive.

Refunds will not be offered to divers who show up at the dock missing gear they need to dive safely or with gear that does not work. Please check to make sure all your gear is in good working order before you arrive at the dock.

What safety equipment should I dive with?

All divers are required to carry a safety sausage, cutting tool, and a wreck wheel/line. Along with this, you should get the proper training from a qualified and experienced instructor. Pony bottles and a powerful dive light are highly suggested.

Can I bring my doubles setup?

Yes. We will make every possible accommodation to ensure every diver is as comfortable as possible with the gear setup they are most accustomed to diving with.

Is the boat rebreather friendly?

Yes, CCR divers are welcome to dive with us. The focus of these trips is not technical but we will make accommodations for longer dives for CCR divers, provided those dives stay within the limits of the individual divers' CCR training.

A few notes on CCR diving:

1) We are CCR friendly, but not CCR divers...so you must come prepared for all your needs.
2) O2 fills are not available onsite - so you need to come filled.
3) Boat is small but comfortable, so please set up your unit & test PRIOR to loading on the boat. There is not a lot of dry space & canister must be packed before boarding.
4) CCR divers cannot be solo

Is gear available for rent at the dock?

Gear is not provided. There is no extra gear at the dock or on the boat. Please have all your gear with you and in good working order when you show up to dive.

Refunds will not be offered to divers who show up at the dock missing gear they need to dive safely or with gear that does not work. Please check to make sure all your gear is in good working order before you arrive at the dock.

Do I have to sign the release forms?

Yes, you must have your release forms signed and dated with the date of the dive ready to give to the Capt before you get on board the vessel. Please read these forms prior to showing up at the dock. The forms can be found here.

If you are under 18 years old, please read our policy regarding divers under 18.