Farallon USA, the recognized leader in Diver Propulsion Technology, is introducing two new models for 2003. The Mk2-X and the Mk2-XE are both tow-behind DPVs, similar to the earliest models produced by the company in the 1970s.
"We’re responding to a market demand," said Farallon president Tom Deardorff. "Although our ride-on models, the Mk7, the Mk7-E and the Mk8 have been extremely popular over the last six years, there are a lot of divers who want a dependable, reasonably priced tow-behind vehicle with technical capabilities.
The Mk2-X was designed by Darren Tedder, Farallon’s Director of Product Development."We’re very fortunate to have Darren on our team," said Deardorff. "He probably knows more about DPVs, and Farallons in particular, than anyone else in the world."
The Mk2-X, a single-speed vehicle, and the Mk2-XE, with a variable pitch clutched prop, are based on the design of the Mk II and Mk III which were produced in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The body of the new model is made of aircraft-type aluminum. The units are wet pressure tested at the factory to a depth of 400 feet of sea water.
"It’s a bit like Volkswagen did when they introduced the ‘New Beetle’," Deardorff said. "It’s got a retro look about it, but the technology is 21st century."
The Mk2-X is the ideal DPV for dive operators, liveaboards, and resorts to put into rental. It’s easy to learn, gives the diver a real sense of excitement and adventure and is reasonably priced.
"By building the Mk2-X out of aluminum, we’ve stuck with our policy of making very robust machines that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Yet, the unit is lightweight and easy to handle out of the water. It’s neutral in salt water," said Deardorff.
Both the Mk2-X and the Mk2-XE are capable of speeds up to 2.7 mph (4.4 Km/hr). The typical burn time is one hour. The Mk2-XE can achieve an even longer burn time through easily-made adjustments to the variable pitch prop. Both units operate on a 24V battery pack and come with a fast charger which will recharge the pack in less than four hours.
Tedder, who is an experienced cave and technical diver, has been a Farallon user for more than twenty years. He has restored several of the older Farallon models and has hundreds of hours of diving on them. "I like the ride-on DPVs for a lot of the diving I do," he said. "But there are certain kinds of dives where a tow-behind just suits my purposes better.
Many of my friends in the technical and cave diving community have said the same. After doing some market research, we discovered that there was an unmet need for a really robust, moderately priced, lightweight tow-behind. That was the driving factor in designing this new DPV. In the 70’s and 80’s the Farallon tow-behinds were considered the best, so we started with that basic design and brought it current in terms of the technology."
Farallon USA will introduce the new models at the DEMA fall show in late October in Las Vegas and begin shipping in January of 2003. The Farallon brand has been well regarded in the dive industry for more than thirty years. The company, based in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, supplies DPVs to recreational, military, commercial, and technical divers around the world.