Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-01-2021, 11:27   #61
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I've been a cold water diver for 35+ yrs. Diving mostly in the 45 degree waters of the Pacific Northwest. I always use a drysuit here and use a 38lb belt. With this much weight many NW divers use integrated BCs to take some of the weight off their waist. As a rule I would never dive using just an integrated setup and I never recommend them to my students. IF I ever make the decision to go integrated it would be only partially I would use both a belt and integrated. The straps of a properly fitted BC will always sit above the properly adjusted weight belt so there should never be an issue of entanglement.

Diving in the tropics is a completely different animal. In the tropics I scuba dive with a 2 - 3mm wetsuit and about 4 - 6 lbs. on a belt. When skin diving I use the same belt. Less equipment to maintain, less equipment on the boat.

I try to use the mantra K.I.S.S. I know how my weight belt works, every one else knows how it works, and the kid they just hired to keep an eye on you knows how it works. I can't say the same for every integrated system. There is very little that can go wrong with a weight belt. I know the weight belt works because I just put it on. Unless I am checking that integrated mechanism before every dive I'm making an assumption that it will release if I need it to. I don't like to make assumptions.

Tanks
An aluminum 80 tank filled with 3000 PSI (200 bar) breathing gas is 1.5 pounds negatively buoyant and at 750 PSI (50 bar) that same tank is 3 pounds positively buoyant.

The steel 80 starts a dive being 13 pounds negative and at the end of the dive is 8.5 pounds negative also at 500 psi. In both cases, 4.5 pounds of gas was used.

What this means is that with an aluminum tank you will need to carry more weight so you remain negative to neutrally buoyant at the end of the dive.
With a steel tank you need to add less weight because it never becomes positive towards the end of a dive.

As far as serviceability each type of tank has its' pros and cons.
In general steels are more rugged and stay negatively buoyant but they can rust on the inside.
Aluminum forms an oxidation layer on the inside inhibiting further corrosion but are less rugged and go from negative to positively buoyant.

In the US they all require visual testing every year and hydro test every five.
I have no idea what the requirements are in other countries if they even require them. Something to keep in mind.

I always teach my students how to dawn their equipment on the surface. It is a good skill to learn. Not just when diving in your situation but also when diving from a crowded dingy.

Patrick Adams
Pat the Rat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 11:49   #62
Registered User
 
Scubaseas's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seabroook Texas or Southern Maine
Boat: Pearson 323, Tayana V42CC
Posts: 1,509
Images: 1
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Neutrally Buoyant aluminum 80 is -5.9# full, -.2# empty and around -.5# at 700 PSI. Lighter than a steel tank and won't rust. Virtually the same size as a S80 but a bit shorter. Steel tanks are good. NB80's are even better. You can take about 4lbs off your weight system versus a S80. If you are diving warm water without much neoprene and with a steel 100 what to you ditch to get buoyant?
Scubaseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 11:55   #63
Registered User
 
Amapola's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Florida
Boat: Matlack, Trawler, 48 ft
Posts: 1,072
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Ours are integrated.
__________________
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
—Jacques Yves Costeau
Amapola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 14:36   #64
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 240
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Background:
* diving Baja since the 1960s
* rex, rescue, cave

Integrated.

Why?
The buoyancy compensator wants to ascend.
The lead wants to descend.

If my belt slips off my stylishly slim hips, I am in an uncontrollable ascent.
I just might bonk my tiny brains on the boat... and that is never good for the boat.

Integrated, I could dump one pouch to initiate a semi-controlled ascent, but I cannot imagine a situation requiring such a bent-inducing maneuver.

I dive steel doubles instead of an aluminum single, so your kit might require a different approach.
LargeMarge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 15:54   #65
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Virginia
Boat: Cape Dory 28; Cape Dory 30B
Posts: 33
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I always use a weight belt. Its easy to adjust for what one is wearing. Simple with no mech to maintain, easy to recover if one has to ditch. I carry a pony bottle Mantis like rig on the boat and normally do not use a BCD given that my skin suit provides positive buoyancy once I drop my belt.

If I could get an old US Diver horse collar that would be a perfect rig.

V/r
Pete
psjanker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 16:50   #66
Registered User
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sydney Australia
Boat: Fisher pilothouse sloop 32'
Posts: 3,441
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psjanker View Post
I always use a weight belt. Its easy to adjust for what one is wearing. Simple with no mech to maintain, easy to recover if one has to ditch. I carry a pony bottle Mantis like rig on the boat and normally do not use a BCD given that my skin suit provides positive buoyancy once I drop my belt.

If I could get an old US Diver horse collar that would be a perfect rig.

V/r
Pete

I used to use a Fenzy horse collar with its own small cylinder, oh so many years ago.
__________________
Rob aka Uncle Bob Sydney Australia.

Life is 10% the cards you are dealt, 90% how you play em
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 17:04   #67
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Vancouver B.C.Canada
Boat: Century Raven 17'
Posts: 436
Images: 1
Send a message via MSN to BugzyCan
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I had a weight vest, worked fantastic. The people that put weights in their BCD kept coming back to buy more as they kept falling out. I swear the store was down at the local spot collecting them after every weekend and reselling them to the same people.
It is kind of funny to see a diver shoot out of the water though.
BugzyCan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 17:11   #68
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Virginia
Boat: Cape Dory 28; Cape Dory 30B
Posts: 33
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
I used to use a Fenzy horse collar with its own small cylinder, oh so many years ago.
I have the newer BCDs with integrated weight capability but i find wearing it a pain and too bulky especially in tropical water. The old yellow horse collar just seems more in line with my general KISS philosophy . I did upgrade it to use tank inflation. Of course I started diving when my dive partners were still using double hose regulators. My single hose regulator was a discussion topic and considered quite fancy.....I still use my ScubaPro Mark V when I was diving last month for bugs!

V/r

Pete
psjanker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 17:36   #69
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: SE USA
Boat: Hunter 38
Posts: 1,469
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeMarge View Post
Background:
* diving Baja since the 1960s
* rex, rescue, cave

Integrated.

Why?
The buoyancy compensator wants to ascend.
The lead wants to descend.

If my belt slips off my stylishly slim hips, I am in an uncontrollable ascent.
I just might bonk my tiny brains on the boat... and that is never good for the boat.

Integrated, I could dump one pouch to initiate a semi-controlled ascent, but I cannot imagine a situation requiring such a bent-inducing maneuver.

I dive steel doubles instead of an aluminum single, so your kit might require a different approach.
Deep tech, cave, trimix, rescue, master, blah blah blah lol

I find that every integrated system tends to put the diver in exactly the wrong position to dive, that is head up, feet down. Whereas a properly designed backplate/wing system with some weights as needed will put the diver horizontal. Helps prevent kicking up the bottom for one thing, and helps drysuit divers out especially.

I used to dive traditional doubles, high pressure steel 120's with a drysuit and a double inflator 45# wing on a custom 10lb steel backplate, or 3mm with a 30# wing on the same backplate and 1 AL 80. Back then I custom cast a 7lb weight that went in between my tanks and held me perfectly level, plus a couple waist mounted lumps.

I'm an old fart now and lumbering around with 2 steel 120's, 2 al 80's and 40 of O2 on is too much. believe me, staggering around in a GA August in a thick drysuit going to 38 degree water at 325' is.....challenging.

I've switched to sidemount. I can set up the tanks, hang them or park them in the water while I gear up, either drysuit or wetsuit, get in the water with zero weight on me, sling my bottles whether that's 1 or 2 al 80's for a nice tropical dive, or 5 tanks for a 20 min dive to the sand on the Oriskany, with little effort.

but I still keep my steel backplate and 30# wing. I love to do that for simple dives, even with a 65 or even a 40 for a quick shallow dive. I've never found any integrated system that worked as well for me as a backplate/wing setup or elongated backplate/wing for sidemount.

Plus, sidemount is great in the caves. I can take off my tanks and push them ahead of me. I independently weight the tanks so they are more or less neutral it works great!
flightlead404 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2021, 18:47   #70
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Kauai
Boat: 1985 Pearson 36 Sloop Western Spirit
Posts: 28
Send a message via ICQ to westernspirit
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Many more experienced divers here than me but I'm diving mostly to work on boat. Like pouches for pockets because the pockets much easier to store. DO like to use ankle weights because want to be vertical when working on boat bottom.
westernspirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2021, 06:58   #71
Registered User
 
capn_billl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Naples, FL
Boat: Leopard Catamaran
Posts: 2,573
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
I only added an integrated BCD to my gear a couple of years ago and frankly, COVID restrictions have kept me from using it much.
But... 40 years ago, they were out of favor and in training we were told NEVER to buy one of those death-traps. In fact, after that I don't recall seeing any of them on the market for a very long time. IIRC (and I might not) the issue was with the quick-release mechanism that they had then either releasing when it shouldn't or not releasing when it should.
Ny preference is a separate weight belt, but calling it a "deathtrap" is a bit much.

How much weight do you really need to shed to become positive buoyant?

2? 3? Easy enough to grab one in each hand, pull from pocket, and drop.

2nd, I don't dive often or in extreme conditions, but how often do you really need to ditch weights?

A small puff of air at depth is plenty to inflate both BCD, and lungs to surface.

If you are diving in an area of heavy vertical currents, or hole your BCD, things might be different.
capn_billl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2021, 08:11   #72
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Deltaville, VA
Boat: Voyage 500
Posts: 29
Talking Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hi all,

Question for the cruising divers out there.

Do you prefer to weight your BCD or wear a weight belt, or, perhaps, split the load between the two systems?

I’ve got a BCD with those easily releasable integrated weight pouches, and I’m trying to picture the pros and cons of having a heavier BCD to lug around vs the added complexity of a heavy weight belt.

I’m particularly interested on people’s experience of getting kitted up in the water, which I will have to do because my freeboard really rules out jumping in with the gear on.

Matt
Matt, as a long-time scuba diver and instructor I can tell you hands down that an integrated system is much more beneficial and safer than a weight belt. Especially if you may need to kit up in the water! We stopped teaching weight belts a few years ago because the BCD technology coupled with integrated pouch systems have come a long way in the last 15 years. That does not mean there are no issues. But the benefits far outweigh those of a weight belt. We only use integrated BCD's with soft weight on our sailboat. Nothing hard in case one is dropped on the deck or toes in a tossing or rolling sea.

Good Luck! Safe Diving!
__________________
Doug

s/v SERENITY
Divedoug68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2021, 12:33   #73
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I prefer weight integrated bcd, more comfortable.

But, keep in mind, be sure, if you have snap in weight pockets, that mechanics lock is really locked.

Cold be very fatal in deep water if your snap in opens and the weight pocket fall out of the bcd, you‘re going helpless up.

My bcd has on the back side (close to the tank) place for the weights.
At the side pockets (snap in lock) I put lesser weights

When I started diving, I used belts, PADI standard ;-)
I never felt comfortable with belts.

It’s also more easy to wear off the bcd with integrated weights at the surface before entering the boat. I can’t do that with heavy belts ;-)
mcric is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Westerbeke BCD 5 generator low oil pressure bfiegener Engines and Propulsion Systems 16 12-02-2019 19:16
Volvo MD2 weight vs Md6a weight. gjordan Engines and Propulsion Systems 2 05-07-2012 23:23
Describe Your Ultimate Integrated Instrument Setup s/v Jedi Navigation 120 23-09-2011 15:13

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:23.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.