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With a little practice, dry suits can provide unparalleled warmth and comfort during a dive, as well as leaving you nice and dry between and after dives.

The purpose of a drysuit is to ensure the wearer is kept dry and to provide thermal insulation or passive thermal protection to the wearer while immersed in water. Although these suits are predominantly worn by divers, other users such as boaters, water sports enthusiasts, and others who work or play in or near cold water also benefit from these suits. A dry suit normally protects the whole body except the head, hands, and possibly the feet, this is were the need for hoods, gloves and boots are greatly increased. In some configurations, however, all of these are covered as well.

The main part of the drysuit is a waterproof shell made from a membrane type material, neoprene or a commercial foam rubber.

Types of Dry Suits

Scuba drysuits are made from a few different materials.

  • Neoprene
  • Tri-Laminate
  • Vulcanized Rubber
  • And more...

Each type of suit comes with its own unique set of pluses and minuses.

Drysuit Features

A dry suits features are what turns it from a big person shaped water bag, into something that can keep you warm and dry in even the coldest water.

Multiple valves, zippers and seals all come together to form what looks to be a deceptively simple suit, but is actually a sophisticated piece of environmental survival equipment.

Fitting Drysuits

Because they are worn baggier than a wetsuit and an exact fit isn't necessary, fitting a dry suit is very easy.

But be aware: different brands can vary in their sizing.

The best thing to do is try on the suit while wearing whatever thermal under garment you plan to wear while diving.

Try squatting down to see if you can do so comfortably. Reach your hands over your head, hug yourself, bend twist and generally move around. If you feel like you have a good range of motion in all angles and directions without the suit being too baggy or tight, then the suit fits.

Make sure the boots fit, as this will be your biggest source of discomfort if not sized properly.

If you can't find something off the rack, then you'll have to get measurements done and order a custom suit.

Putting it All Together

There is no way around it, buying a drysuit is probably the most expensive piece of equipment the 'average' diver will buy. That's IF you can call anyone who is looking for a way to dive in freezing cold water and/or weather 'average'.

If you take a look at each of the above sections you'll have a good head start on picking out a great suit.

If you're lucky and have some dive buddies that own drysuits and are willing to let you try theirs, or a knowledgeable local dive shop like The SCUBA Doctor, them you'll be a lot further ahead.

Take the time to do your homework and you'll find the right suit that hopefully won't empty your bank account.

Boarfish Reef

Reef Dive Reef Dive | Boat access Boat access

Crayfish Dive Site Inside Port Phillip Open Water Rated Reef Dive Site Slack Water

Boarfish Reef
Boarfish Reef | © Phil Watson

Depth: 10 m (33 ft) to 25 m (82 ft)

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Boarfish Reef is named after the prevalence of Longsnout Boarfish. The reef can provide divers with many different dive sites in the one location. Boarfish Reef boasts prolific fish life, swim throughs, caves and rocky outcrops. It has been suggested as one of the best reef dives in Victoria.

Situated in the famous Sponge Gardens area, Boarfish Reef lies approximately halfway between Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale near Victory Bight in Port Phillip. It starts in approximately 10 metres of water and gradually increases in depth to around 25 metres in a system of interesting rock formations with caves, drop-offs, overhangs and swim throughs. It's an extension of Lonsdale Wall, running east to west.

Boarfish Reef, by Jane Headley.

The reef provides protection and homes to a multitude of colourful growth, fish, and marine life. Commonly seen are the spectacular Southern Blue Devil , Southern Rock Lobster (aka Crayfish), curious Leather Jackets, Magpie Perch, nudibranchs, mosaic sea stars, yellow sea spiders and of course Longsnout Boarfish. On occasion, Port Jackson Shark have been sighted snoozing in groups, or singularly, under rock ledges. Varied Carpetshark have also been seen.

Near the southern end of the reef, in 10 metres of water wedged upright, is a large 4 metre Admiralty anchor encrusted with marine growth. On the northern tip of the reef, a large sponge garden extends for approximately 400 metres. One of Melbourne's most popular dive sites and always enjoyable.

Dive charter boats regularly schedule dives on Boarfish Reef, heading out from Portsea and Queenscliff. Private dive boats usually launch at the Sorrento Boat Ramp or the Queenscliff Boat Ramp.

The Rip & Tides Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive within "The Rip" (aka "The Heads"). This is a dangerous stretch of water, where Bass Straight meets Port Phillip, which has claimed many ships and lives. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-the-rip before diving or snorkelling this site.

See also, Boarfish Reef Drift.

Crayfish Dive Site
Crayfish Dive Site | © Ian Scholey

Divers have the opportunity to catch Southern Rock Lobster (aka Crayfish) at this dive site. Remember your catch bag, current Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence, rock lobster measure, and cray tags. Once you get back to the dive boat, or shore, make sure you clip the tail and tag your Crayfish as per Fisheries requirements. Please abide by all current fishing regulations if you intend to catch crays. See article-catching-crayfish for practical cray hunting advice from The Scuba Doctor, plus melbourne-cray-dives for a list of other crayfish dive sites near Melbourne. For tips on cooking your Crays, please see article-cooking-crayfish.

Finding Boarfish Reef

Over the years we've been provided with many GPS marks for Boarfish Reef. The GPS marks we know of in circulation for Boarfish Reef are:

  • GPS:
    Latitude: 38° 17.111′ N   (38.285183° N / 38° 17′ 6.66″ N)
    Longitude: 144° 38.301′ E   (144.63835° E / 144° 38′ 18.06″ E)
  • Geoff Rodda 2:
    Latitude: 38° 17.064′ S   (38.2844° S / 38° 17′ 3.84″ S)
    Longitude: 144° 38.304′ E   (144.6384° E / 144° 38′ 18.24″ E)

    87 m, bearing 2°, N
  • Geoff Rodda 3:
    Latitude: 38° 17.053′ S   (38.2842167° S / 38° 17′ 3.18″ S)
    Longitude: 144° 38.450′ E   (144.6408333° E / 144° 38′ 27″ E)

    242 m, bearing 63°, ENE
  • Geoff Rodda 4:
    Latitude: 38° 16.996′ S   (38.2832667° S / 38° 16′ 59.76″ S)
    Longitude: 144° 38.223′ E   (144.63705° E / 144° 38′ 13.38″ E)

    241 m, bearing 331°, NNW
Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country
Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes the coastline of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-east, the Bellarine Peninsula, and down to Cape Otway in the south-west. We wish to acknowledge the Wathaurong as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.


Boarfish Reef Location Map

Latitude: 38° 17.111′ S   (38.285183° S / 38° 17′ 6.66″ S)
Longitude: 144° 38.301′ E   (144.63835° E / 144° 38′ 18.06″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-08 20:02:00 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: 12lb Reef, 66 m, bearing 59°, ENE
Victory Bight, Port Phillip.
Depth: 10 to 25 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE.

DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.

The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.


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