Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-01-2021, 22:18   #1
Registered User
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 7,369
Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

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?

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

Iím particularly interested on peopleís 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
__________________
On my way at last.
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2021, 22:42   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: The Pacific
Boat: 44ft mono hull
Posts: 355
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?

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

Iím particularly interested on peopleís 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
I converted to integrated a few years ago and hope never to use a weight belt again. Much more comfortable as the load is spread through the bcd and doesnt just rest on your lower back. If you struggle lifting the whole thing out the water after a dive hang a bag over the side and transfer the weights into it then lift each out separately, can work for getting it set up before a dive as well.

Or if you convert to steel tanks you might get away with no weights at all.

But how high is your freeboard? I used to drysuit dive off a pier in scotland that was three meters high at low tide with no problems. Just tuck your head forward and clear your ears as soon as you're under.
Olly75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2021, 22:44   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 314
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I use integrated BCDs, much easier on my back, especially if you're under 40-50mins a dive.

I toss inflated BCD, weights and tank over before I jump in and then put kit on. Reverse when getting out.

Agree with steel tanks, use less weight.
fivecapes is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2021, 23:03   #4
Registered User
 
dwedeking2's Avatar

Join Date: May 2014
Location: Key West, FL
Boat: Morgan Out Island 415
Posts: 868
Images: 1
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I use an integrated bcd when scuba and a weight belt when free diving.



I use my dinghy as a dive platform even when I'm diving near the boat. I found it easier to move all the gear to the dinghy on a side tie, get all set up and then drop from there. When getting out I inflate the BCD and tie it to the dinghy. Climb into the dinghy and drag all the gear in. Then I break it down to make it easy to move to the main boat.
__________________
S/V Pomaika'i Blog
dwedeking2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2021, 23:42   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Currently in Hawaii
Boat: Cooper 416
Posts: 648
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

If you have a wrap around BCD then stick with integrated weights. Most are designed in a way that would make a separate weight belt awkward and uncomfortable. In some cases, I've seen people putting on a weight belt before putting on the wrap around BCD because the BCD was so bulky. Bad practice.

I have both a wrap around and a back plate w/wing BCD & weight belt. I'm old school...I prefer this backplate w/wing in warm water and the wrap around with a dry suit. That's just my personal preference.

Stepping off from your deck should not be a problem unless you're stepping off from a supertanker. For giant stride entry keep eyes on horizon; don't look down.

Alternately, you could make a block & tackle and use your engine hoist or boom or whisker pole to lower and raise the units into and from the water. Don and remove in water. Easy-peasy.

PADI MSDT #15797 Emeritus
__________________
-----------------------------------------------
Quests Of Discovery
Discovery 15797 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2021, 23:58   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: ME, TCI, On da boat
Boat: Pearson 323, Tayana V42CC
Posts: 567
Images: 1
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Integrated BCD. Easier to balance weight if it has back pockets. Pull your weight pockets before climbing back into boat same as you would take off your weight belt. Keep a weight belt for snorkeling/free diving.

You can get neutrally buoyant aluminum 80 cu.ft tanks that let you dive with 4 lbs less weights than a S80 tank. Same dive characteristics as a steel 100 cu ft. Add a ring under the tank valve so you can winch the whole tank/bcd back onto the boat with the boom and a halyard or handy billy.

Putting your BCD on in water is easy. Just make sure it's got air in it before tossing it over. Ask me how I know this. Been doing it that way since my third back surgery (slow learner) Better if you can lower it into the water so you regulators don't free flow which they can do if you just toss it in
.
PADI DM 152886. dive shop owner, 28 years diving.
Scubaseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 02:43   #7
Registered User
 
hafa's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Saipan
Boat: Hunter Legend 40.1
Posts: 324
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

PADI DM here as well; 25 years. I prefer a weight belt. I like being able to make a single motion in order to remove all weight (right hand release). Also there is less potential confusion regarding how to remove the weights in case of an emergency.
hafa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 04:37   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 42
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Kinda just got back into diving (chasing crays in Western Aus), but I run a 50/50 integrated pocket/weight belt set up so when free diving you can easily grab your belt without having to stuff around. Always remove the integrated weight pockets when transporting BCD as it makes it much easier to handle.
Fendell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 06:15   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Grenada
Boat: Bruce Roberts 42
Posts: 48
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Hi all! Weights from integrated bcds are the most common lost and found objects in dive sites. ;-) . I prefer the belt because of simplicity and flexibility. And nowadays I'm using steel backplate and wing type bcd. And luckily I do have steel tank, so only 2 pounds of lead on belt when using 3mm wet suit. Easy to fasten a some extra weights to the back plate if diving with alu tank. This set feels like no bcd at all when underwater. This is also the lightest travel set with an optional plastic back plate.
The most important thing is to learn and train YOUR set, whatever it is. All the operations, by the boat/zodiac and underwater.
CMAS***/Rescue
4kMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 06:18   #10
UFO
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Perth
Boat: Lagoon 440
Posts: 1,018
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I like to dive in the tropics, where I only wear a 3MM shorty, of which with a compact 12L steel tank I need no weights at all


Get rid of the aluminum tank and go for the compact steel tanks - They are awesome for weight distribution, keeping it higher up on your back and you can do without or minimal weights unless diving in colder water.
__________________
https://www.thecruisingcat.com
UFO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 07:44   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Minneapolis MN
Boat: 34 ft. Mainship trawler
Posts: 3
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I have been using a Ziggler Ranger BCD for years. Has integrated weight pockets. Rip cord system to dump weights in case something goes south. You could not pay me to go back to using a weight belt. I have been scuba diving for 55 years now and love it.
Tony T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 08:45   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Boat: Custom cutter, 42'
Posts: 584
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

Ex commercial diver here. I like the weight belt because it is a single motion release point in case you need to bail out.

Both systems obviously work. With either type the important thing is to work out a system setup that's good for what you need to do.
Pauls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 09:08   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: New Jersey
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40.3
Posts: 113
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I think it depends on your BCD, where the integrated weight pockets are and how much weight you dive with. I'm overweight and like to dive heavy. My BCD's weight pockets are entirely in front. I can dive entirely with integrated weights, but I find the balance is not right and it tends to pull me onto my face. Not a big swimming about, but if I'm doing anything that requires kneeling in the sand (photography, etc.) it can be a challenge to stay upright rather than get pulled onto my face. A weight belt with weights toward the back allow me to arrange the weights better for improved balance.
Tom_F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 09:24   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 791
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

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.
toddster8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2021, 09:53   #15
Registered User
 
LeeV's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Md
Boat: Lagoon 450F
Posts: 1,147
Re: Dive setup, BCD integrated weights vs weight belt.

I use the soft bag weights; I can change how much I carry based on salinity, and I sometimes use them to hold things while Iím working/building/fixing something.
__________________
LeeV
Lagoon 450 F
Momentum
LeeV 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 20:16
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 04:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.