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SCUBA-L  February 2001, Week 3

SCUBA-L February 2001, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Renting or buying? (Was: Re: FYI - Cozumel Conditions)

From:

Simon L Hartley <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 22 Feb 2001 13:39:21 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (126 lines)

At 18:29 21/02/2001 -0500, Hugh wrote:
>> ...it seems from what ive read you need diff types of
>> equipment for diff dive situations.
>
>Yes and no.   Its pretty obvious that you're going to tailor your thermal
>protection based on how cold/warm/hot the water is, but for a lot of the
>other stuff, its generally not necessary.  For example, your mask isn't
>going to change.  To break it down some:
>
>Water temperature   --> Thermal protection (drysuit, wetsuit, no suit)
>Thermal protection  --> weightbelt (thicker suit = heavier weightbelt)

To my way of thinking when diving with a wetsuit (where there is a
significant shift in buoyancy during the dive) some weight should be
retained in a ditchable form.  However, at least part of the remainder,
IMO, should be used as a tank counter weight (or equivalent) for a stable
face up surface position (for safety, obviously I'm talking about single
tank diving).  Doesn't matter what type of BC you use in this regard.  From
a comfort standpoint also I think it is good to spread the weight around so
you give your back a rest and maintain a horizontal profile in the water.

If you keep weight to a minimum in the setup (ie. use an aluminium BP,
aluminium tank) and find no additional weight (or very little) is needed,
then chances are your shift in buoyancy is small (as with a thin suit).  In
this situation ONLY there may be little point in carrying ditchable weight
as you should be able to swim the setup up easily if needed (and keep your
head above water on the surface without ditching your whole kit).

Applying this philosophy I generally dive with one of the following
combinations (I have an aluminium back plate, 27 pound Halcyon wing,
aluminium single tank adapter and aluminium tank)...

* 3mm shorty and 1mm (ish) arctic vest (sometimes 1mm undersuit too) -->
no lead carried at all.

* 5mm shorty and 1mm arctic vest (usually 1mm undersuit too)  -->  3 pound
tank weight, non-ditchable (as pictured on my web site).

* 5mm full length semi-dry, 1mm arctic vest and 1mm undersuit  -->  3 pound
tank weight and 6 pound weight belt (I was given the semi-dry BTW, not sure
of the lists (or my own for that matter) opinion of these suits (in the
past always used regular two peice wetsuits but sold or gave away all my
old suits)).

>Putting this together, the typical recreational diver doesn't go out ice
>diving, or does he go deeper than 130-150fsw.  As such, a nonspecialized
>"middle-of-the road" regulator will be just fine.  If they add freshwater
>ice diving (or very cold water), then they will benefit from a freezeproof
>regulator.  This regulator will also be fine for warmer water recreational
>diving, but because some methods of freezeproofing reduces regulator
>performance, a freezeproof regulator probably not going to be good choice if
>they also choose to take up deep (200-400fsw) technical diving, so more than
>one regulator is probably going to be needed to cover both extremes, if that
>diver is doing both (which is pretty rare).  FWIW, this is really more of an
>issue on Piston 1st stages than on Diaphragm 1st stages.

I disagree in that I'd consider one of the Apeks regs TX40 or TX50 (maybe
100) to be suitable for cold and extended range (deep) diving and equally
suitable for shallow recreational diving.  I use the T20 (X in TX is for
eXtreme, there is a heat sink to allow ambient water temperature to warm
the second stage and prevent freezing (as with all regs, with good
technique)) in combination with US4 first stages.  This combination is for
warmer water >= 10 degrees celcius as I don't plan on spending a lot of
time in really cold water.  If I decided to get into colder water diving, I
could relatively cheaply alter my first and second stages to function in
colder water (unlike many brands parts are interchangable on most first and
second stages, adding the dry seal to first stages and heat exchanger to
seconds should be easy).

The Apeks TX40 (or TX50) and DS4 combination would work fine for all of the
environments Hugh listed from what I know about them.  I don't use DS4's
(for Dry Seal) myself because there isn't the space on my H valve to mount
two of them side by side.  See...

http://wwwdev.scu.edu.au/schools/rsm/staff/pages/shartley/projects/gear/firs
t_a.jpg

>Simplistically, you could just get the biggest, baddest BC you can find, but
>big=drag, so you don't want it to be larger than it needs to be.   This is
>why they have 'tropical' BC's with very low lift capability for people who
>aren't diving up north.  These BC's are fine for when you're only diving in
>a skin in warmwater, but they should not be used in coldwater.  OTOH, having
>too big of a BC in warmwater is merely a drag penalty, so one coldwater
>capable BC can meet both needs.

The cheapest solution IMO is to use wings and harness.  I currently use a
27 pound Halcyon Wing (for single tank use).  If I felt the need for more
lift for colder water (doubtful) I could simply buy a higher capacity wing
to bolt onto my harness.  A lot cheaper than buying another BC (and your
always diving the same setup then too).  If I wanted to do extended range
(deep/penetration) diving I would change from a single tank wing to a
double tank wing (in my case my regulator setup would stay the same too
because I already use dual outlet).  That's the beauty of a modular system.

>Diving without a wetsuit in warmwater with the coldwater ankle-high booties
>looks funny so some people find a pair of warmwater fins to be more
>dignified.  There is one legit concern with wearing coldwater booties
>without a wetsuit and that is that  once they get old, the zippers can start
>to slide down, which is a problem.  Either put some rubber bands around the
>top, a Velcro wrap or buy a new pair :-).  However, I do find booties of
>some sort to be very useful on shore dives in warmwater, so if high-top
>coldwater booties aren't your thing, consider a pair of the low height
>'slipper' booties.  These don't have zippers, don't look funny and save you
>from the temptation of buying another set of fins.  Or get a thin warmwater
>wetsuit and just tuck in your booties :-)

I have the floppy bootie top syndrome, I dive in short wetsuits most of the
time.

Simon

Simon L Hartley
RSM Website Coordinator\First Year Course Coordinator
Associate Lecturer
School of Resource Science and Management
Southern Cross University
P.O. Box 157
Lismore NSW, Australia 2480
Ph: (02) 66203251 or (61 66) 203 251
Fax:(02) 66212669
E-mail: [log in to unmask]

http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/rsm/staff/pages/shartley/

http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/rsm/

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