I have been using my Sea-Doo Explorer X DPV’s for several months now and thought that it was about time for me to write a review on them to let everyone know what experience I have had with them. I wanted to wait until I had a chance to really test them out under various conditions before writing a review.
When I first received the Explorer X DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) I was skeptical as to how it would actually perform on a dive, especially the battery life. Sea-Doo claims that the batteries have a 2-hour runtime, so just in case I ordered a spare battery with mine.
I was also a little nervous after reading other reviews complaining about the seals not holding and the units flooding. Sea-Doo had apparently completely redesigned the rear end of the Explorer X and driveshaft seals to take care of this problem by incorporating a new three-stage waterproof seal.
I charged the batteries up overnight and prepped the DPV for its first voyage below the surface the next day by carefully inspecting it and installing its o-ring seal which I carefully lubricated with the supplied lubricant. Once the batteries were fully charged I installed the first one and ran a few tests on the scooters on/off switches and finger triggers to make sure that everything was working correctly. Everything appeared to be working correctly so I loaded the unit up for the days dives.
To start testing the Explorer X out I decided to do several boat dives with it, so that incase there was a problem with it I would not be stranded out in the middle of nowhere and have to swim back to shore dragging it behind me. For the next three months I dove with the Explorer X on just about every boat dive that I could as long as I wasn’t doing a training dive that would not allow its use.
I very quickly became a huge fan of the Explorer X. On land with its battery installed it only weighs 32 pounds, about the same as an empty 80cf aluminum scuba tank however in the water it is neutrally buoyant. Its hydrodynamic design allows it to glide through the water with ease and it has the strength to pull 2 divers along for the ride at up to 3.3 MPH.
Most recreational DPV’s in the same price range as the Explorer X (around $700) are very limited in the depths that they can be safely taken down to, many not even able to reach the 100 foot mark. That is one area where the newly redesigned Explorer X shines. It is depth rated to 130 feet (40 meters), and is tested to 160 feet (50 meters). I have had mine down to 125 feet so far with absolutely no troubles whatsoever.
As I mentioned earlier, I was wary of the two-hour battery runtime claimed by Sea-Doo, so I ordered a spare battery for my Explorer X yet I have never run the battery completely empty. I have used it continuously for a 90 minute dive at top speed circling the dive boat (for safety) and I ran out of air before the battery ran out of power. As a safety precaution though, I always change out batteries when I change out my cylinders on my surface interval.
Routine maintenance on the Explorer X is simple to perform. After the days dive’s I thoroughly rinse the DPV in fresh water allowing it to sit submerged for a few minutes to remove any salt deposits. I also start up the DPV while holding it in the water and let it work any salt from the driveshaft and propeller. Then I let it dry off completely before opening it up to take out the battery to recharge. While the battery is out of the unit I carefully inspect the o-ring around the battery compartment to make sure sand or other debris are not on the seal. I also make sure that there is plenty of lubricant on the o-ring before I drop in a freshly charged battery and seal it back up.
I love with the Explorer X so much that I now own two of them and have used them to show other divers how enjoyable they are when we dive together. A couple of the divers that I have allowed to use mine have loved them so much that they have now ordered their own. I actually dread shore diving without one now, thinking about how I will have to fight against currents, or make long surface swims to get out to a dive site. The Explorer X has become an invaluable tool in my dive trailer.
My Product Rating:
Today I went out with Oahu Divers to complete the in-water portion of my Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) specialty course.
This specialty course was way too easy for me since I currently own two matching SeaDoo Explorer-X DPV’s that I dive with almost every day, but I wanted to complete the specialty anyway so that when I become an instructor if I want to teach the specialty I have a better idea of how to go about teaching the class.
The in-water portion of the class comprises of 2 dives. Since we were able to complete all of the skills required for the course on the first dive, the second dive was just a fun dive. We used the second dive to tour a wide area near Kewalo boat harbor that I never get to see normally since the dive shop that I normally use does not dive at these dive locations.
Since this area was so close to Waikiki I was afraid that there wouldn’t be any good coral reefs to see, I was surprised. We started off at Kaiser Reef, and meandered our way west toward Kewalo pipe crossing under the channel just after a huge yacht named “Rising Sun” owned by Larry Ellison passed through the channel.
Mr Ellison, CEO of Oracle is currently the 3rd wealthiest man in America and the new owner of both a majority of the 141 square mile Hawaiian island of Lanai as well as Island Air, a small airline that services the island of Lanai as well as other Hawaiian islands.
Even though I have been using my DPV’s for a few months, this was the first chance I had gotten to dive with someone else using a DPV. It was a real change to not have to slow down or stop so that my dive buddy could keep up with me. I have got to find dive buddies that also have their own DPV’s, lol.
Note: Even though I completed this specialty course on April 8th, for some reason the instructors at Dive Oahu did not process it until April 22, so that is why there is a discrepancy in the certification dates.