Shearwater Research
Key people
Bruce Partridge, founder
Productsdive computers, rebreather electronics
Number of employees
50 (December, 2017)[1]
Footnotes / references
All products meet CE, FCC and IC international standards.

Shearwater Research is a Canadian manufacturer of dive computers and rebreather electronics for technical diving.


In 2004, Shearwater Research was founded by Bruce Partridge who produced their products in a spare bedroom at his home.[1] As of 2014, Shearwater was producing thousands of dive computers per year in a manufacturing facility with twenty employees.[1] From the beginning the company sought to develop products that are simple to use and easy to read underwater.[1][2]

Shearwater Research began by building controller boards for the Innerspace Systems Corp (ISC) Megalodon rebreathers in 2004.[3] There was a problem with the configuration and by the end of 2005, ISC was no longer offering the Shearwater electronics package.[3] Since that time, the initial issues have been resolved and Shearwater electronics are again available for use on the ISC Megalodons.[4]

Shearwater decompression computers began with an implementation of the Bühlmann decompression algorithm with gradient factors into their Shearwater GF in the Spring of 2006.[5] It was available in either the partial pressure of oxygen with decompression or control versions.[clarification needed][5][6]

Predator OC/CC External
A Shearwater Predator dive computer attached to a rebreather. Image shows screen in reverse orientation that allows the diver to wear the display on the right hand side

With the release of the Predator in 2009, Shearwater moved away from the older LCD display technology to the use of newer technology OLED displays in their computers.[7][8] This was the first color OLED diving computer available in the market with a user replaceable battery.[2] Power was a major limiting factor in the development process to include the OLED technology.[2]

With the Predator, Shearwater also introduced bluetooth to allow easier syncing with their desktop software.[2][7] Their reason for the move to bluetooth was to make a computer that could be used on multiple operating systems.[2] The Predator's two button design has been called "intuitive and easy to use".[9] The top-of-the-line[clarification needed] Predator will also allow for up to five breathing gases for the rebreather and up to five bail-out gasses.[8] The user can make gas switches on the computer at any point during the dive.[9]

Shearwater received their certification for ISO 9001-2008 in 2010 and all their products are compliant with CE, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and IC international standards.[10]

In 2011, Shearwater announced that they had licensed a technique to thermally monitor the condition of rebreather carbon dioxide absorbent canisters developed by the United States Navy Experimental Diving Unit.[11][12][13] In collaboration with rEvo rebreathers, they were able to show that the thermal canister CO2 monitor would work with Shearwater's Predator dive computer.[14]

Shearwater has continued to develop new ways to calculate decompression in their equipment by releasing an implementation of the Varying Permeability Model (VPM-B/GFS) in 2011.[15] The "GFS" is for Gradient Factor Surfacing and indicates the combination where VPM and GF models are compared and the longer time utilized for the displayed profile.[15]

Petrel OC/CC Standalone

The Shearwater Petrel has been described as the "Predator with improvements".[16] The Petrel was designed to allow a user serviceable standard AA battery to supply the power it needs for calculations, and OLED display with automatic brightness changing to suit ambient lighting.[16][17] The unit is 40% smaller than the Predator.[17] The Petrel includes both the Bühlmann algorithm and their VPM-B/GFS algorithm.[16] The Petrel also extends the profile data storage that was previously available from 200 to approximately 1000 hours.[16]

With the release of the Petrel, Shearwater also improved the educational materials available to their owners.[17]

In 2013, Shearwater was presented with the International System Safety Society Award for safety in "Scientific Research & Development" at the 31st International System Safety Conference in Boston.[18]

Shearwater's NERD or Near Eye Remote Display is a head-up display that places the divers information in front of their eyes.[19] The Shearwater NERD was released at Dive 2013 in Birmingham, UK.[19]

Shearwater Perdix in compass mode

In 2015, the Perdix wrist mounted dive computer was released. The Perdix is similar to the Petrel but has a 30% longer battery life and a thinner and lower profile.[20] The computer was named after a "grey partridge".. Unlike the Petrel, the Perdix is only available in a stand-alone configuration and does not have a version that can be connected to a rebreather.

In 2016, the Perdix AI was released. It built on the success of the Perdix by adding air integration features designed to function in conjunction with Pelagic Pressure Systems wireless gas pressure transmitters. The Perdix AI allows for 2 cylinder pressures to be displayed simultaneously.[citation needed]

In 2017, Shearwater launched the NERD 2. A successor to the original NERD heads-up dive computer, the NERD 2 eliminated the brain box from the NERD system,[clarification needed] incorporating all of the electronics into the eyepiece. The NERD 2 contains a rechargeable lithium ion battery, heads-up compass, and dual air integration capability. Unlike the original NERD, the NERD 2 is available in a stand-alone model, making it practical for open circuit diving for the first time.[citation needed]

The Teric which was launched in May 2018, is Shearwater's first dive computer in a watch format.[citation needed]

This section needs expansion with: Teric specifications, Peregrine nitrox dive computer, images for NERD or NERD 2 , Teric and Peregrine. You can help by adding to it. (May 2021)

Safety outreach

In 2010, Shearwater was one of the founding manufacturers for the Rebreather Education and Safety Association.[21] Shearwater's Bruce Partridge served as Secretary for the founding board of the organization.[21]

Partridge also presented at the Rebreather Forum 3 meeting held in 2012.[22] He presented on the use of information technology with focus on human factors in equipment design.[23]

Shearwater is also a sponsor for the diving research efforts of the Rubicon Foundation.[24]

In 2016 Shearwater funded a rebreather sorb absorption research study by Harvey and colleagues.[25]

Exploration support

A Shearwater Predator was used to calculate decompression on a 2010 expedition that lead to the identification of HMS Snaefell that went down on July 5, 1941.[26]

Lance Robb utilized an ISC Megalodon rebreather with a Shearwater Predator in a 2010 expedition to explore Osprey Reef at a depth of 156 m (512 ft).[27]

Shearwater also supported research by the University of Connecticut and Ocean Opportunity to explore the Tongue of the Ocean. This project, funded by the National Geographic Society/ Waitt Grants Program to explore the mesophotic zone between 200 ft (60 m) and 500 ft (150 m) carried The Explorers Club flag number 172.[28] The Shearwater electronics were utilized to record the diver profiles.[29][30]



  1. ^ a b c d Carter, Chris (2014-03-01). "Shearwater Research scuba leaders". CBC Television. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tourish, Jeff. "Shearwater Predator CCR Computer". Advanced Diver Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  3. ^ a b Micjan, Ron (2005-12-23). "Building my very own Megalodon". Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  4. ^ Barbet, Michel (June 2011). "Eight Days at Innerspace Systems Corporation" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  5. ^ a b Bowen, Curt. "Shearwater GF". Advanced Diver Magazine. No. 24.
  6. ^ Shearwater GF Computer (PDF). Shearwater instruction manual. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  7. ^ a b Sullivan, Chris (2011-03-07). "Recreational Diving with a Shearwater Predator". Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  8. ^ a b Rawlings, John (2010-08-07). "OLED Shearwater Predator Dive Computer Review". AtlasOmega Media. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  9. ^ a b Ehrenberg, Megan (2013-03-11). "The Shearwater Predator Technical Dive Computer". John Chatterton's Website. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  10. ^ "Shearwater Research: Technology for Demanding Technical Divers". Shearwater Research. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  11. ^ Tang, Calvin (2011-07-16). "Shearwater Research to Develop Scrubber Sensor". AtlasOmega Media. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  12. ^ US 6618687  "Temperature-based estimation of remaining absorptive capacity of a gas absorber"
  13. ^ Warkander, DE (2007). "Development of a scrubber gauge for closed-circuit diving". Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-08.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  14. ^ "rEvo CO2 monitor" (PDF). X-Ray Mag. Vol. 45. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  15. ^ a b Salama, Asser (2011). "VPM-B Variations: /E, /GFS and /U". Tech Diving Mag. Vol. 5. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  16. ^ a b c d "Computer Shearwater Petrel". DIVER Magazine. March 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  17. ^ a b c Bowen, Curt. "Shearwater Petrel Dive Computer". Advanced Diver Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  18. ^ a b "31st International System Safety Conference". International System Safety Society. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  19. ^ a b Hoover, Pierce. "Shearwater Research Goes NERD". Underwater Journal. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  20. ^ "Perdix – Shearwater Research". Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  21. ^ a b "New rebreather association established" (PDF). X-Ray Mag. Vol. 42. 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  22. ^ Menduno, Michael (2012). "A view from Rebreather Forum 3: Improving Rebreather Safety" (PDF). X-Ray Mag. Vol. 49. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  23. ^ Partridge, Bruce (20 May 2012). "And Don't Get It Wet… Information Technology". Rebreather Forum 3. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  24. ^ "Sponsors". Rubicon Foundation. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-08.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  25. ^ David Harvey; Neal W Pollock; Nicholas Gant; Jason Hart; Peter Mesley; Simon Mitchell (2016). "The duration of two carbon dioxide absorbents in a closed-circuit rebreather diving system". Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. 45 (2): 92–97.
  26. ^ Matthewman, Brian. "2010 North East Wreck Week: Silent Running Mixed Gas Dive Team". Advanced Diver Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  27. ^ Isaacs, Ross. "Osprey Reef: Close to the edge". Advanced Diver Magazine. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  28. ^ "Andros expedition documents reef to 130 m using mixed-gas rebreathers". Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  29. ^ Lombardi, Michael; Godfrey, J (2011). "In-Water Strategies for Scientific Diver-Based Examinations of the Vertical Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem (vMCE) from 50 to 150 meters". In Pollock NW (ed.). Diving for Science 2011. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 30th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-08.((cite conference)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
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  31. ^ Rodgers, Liz. "Eurotek diving conference awards". Archived from the original on 2015-08-20. Retrieved 2015-05-13.