Reviews

Waterfront Scuba Servicing Facility

When you find a really good servicing facility you should cherish it, and the guys at Waterfront do certainly deserve to be cherished!

Regular readers will know that I dive on both open circuit and closed circuit equipment and the guys at Waterfront are more than happy to competently and competitively service both styles of equipment with only cylinders leaving site to be tested by a 'nationally well known service'.

Rebreathers, regulators, BCDs, computers, watches these guys will overhaul, repair and then test your dive kit to make sure it works. It's the last part that's important, it's all very well having your computer serviced by another outfit that will replace foc if there is a problem but do you really want a problem on a deco dive? On a personal level I would rather have the kit tested and proved to be water-tight or working before I get into the water!

Having previously used another facility in North London to have my regulators serviced I vowed to simply use them until they failed and then have them repaired such was my dis-satisfaction with the service I received, I consider returning scuba-pro regulators twice to a main dealer to sort out service introduced problems unacceptable, you won't see this problem at Waterfront.

First the workshop, you might think that the facility is relatively small but what makes it different is that it is a workshop pure and simple, not a combined workshop, stock-room and cylinder/wet-suit store. The dive school equipment is stored off-premises meaning that it is easy to keep the workshop clear of 'clutter' and a suitable humidity to carry out delicate calibration processes on servicing jobs.

IMG 5839

Specialist calibration tools secured to the bench, spares in tool racks and lots and lots of light. A proper facility!

On dropping your equipment, Andy will complete a servicing form detailing what you have dropped off and what you need doing, that way there is no chance of any misunderstanding you will get what you want and in the event that there is a problem Andy will contact you before proceeding. Another novel aspect of the servicing facility is that you will get a completion date and your equipment will be ready without any song and dance or tall tales about why it is delayed, guys using another well known North London facility will be used to being told that the work was finished '2am last night'. Part and parcel of this drop off will be a very accurate quote for the work, any variance and Andy will be in touch and explain the issue and how it can be resolved, so no nasty surprise at the checkout!

Your equipment is identified with the unique number which is on each service form and stored in one of the 'pigeon boxes' located on the back wall of the facility until it is worked upon. The work area is a long clean and uncluttered bench located directly behind a large window which means that there is a huge amount of natural light to augment the facility background and spotlights. It also allows the curious and nosey to gawp in and see what is happening, this must be a double edge sword putting you off your work and encouraging a pathalogical level of tidiness.

This level of tidiness and attention to detail is probably driven by Andys rebreather diving at waaaaaay beyond recreational limits off the South Coast of the UK, in this type of diving if you get something wrong you are in serious trouble and its obvious that Andy carries this approach over to his servicing business when working on regulators that will only be used at less than a third of the depth to which he dives, now that has to be good news!

As an aside Waterfront have a very poular dive school teching everything from PADI open water to 100m tri-mix diving on rebreather, the latter is run by Andy who really does these types of dives as regularly as anyone I know, check out their website!

The completed equipment is thoroughly tested before it is returned with regulator interstage pressures checked and set with a magnehelic gauge, rebreathers are given a similar check with the function checked, verified and then both positive and negative tests conducted.

When you receive your equipment, attached to the completed service report will be a small bag of all of the bits and pieces which were replaced, a nice touch. The report also details what was done, what was replaced and why, the pressures that were set and any little niggles that Andy thinks may cause future problems. Don't worry if you aren't technically minded he will explain all of this when you pick your bits and pieces up, probably over a cup of tea.

In summary I only trust my rebreather to one man in the UK or indeed the world and that is Andy Abery of Waterfront Scuba, on deeper dives this is my life support system and if there is a fault I have big, big problems. You could say in this case I trust him with my life, I would say without hesitation that you can trust him with your servicing.

Richies rating 10/10 : Why go anywhere else?

Recommended suppliers

Latest Photographs