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acelockco
08-29-2007, 02:51 AM
OK, this question is directed toward the more technical and advanced divers out there.

I was wondering about diving without a BC. Actually to be more accurate, I was thinking about diving with my Dive Rite Trans Pac with an AL80 with no wing installed. I will have my dry suit to make minute adjustments as needed, but in my opinion if I am weighted perfectly I should be just fine.

I am sure there are many opinions on this one, I just want to hear what yours are. Also does anyone of you do this or have done this. I am sure some of the older divers around here remember the days of diving before BC's even existed. Then the old horse collar BC's, then to plates and wings, then to jacket bc's and now back to plates and wings again.

Tigerbeach
08-29-2007, 04:56 AM
Gotta love it, Ace.
You hit it on the head, if you are weighted properly, or can make minute adjustments, who need a BC? I never put air in it anyway.
I loved using just a backpack to hold a tank.

acelockco
08-29-2007, 05:40 AM
Ha! I was getting ready to hear the riot act, and the first response is actually in agreeance with me. Wow.

Well I am going to try it out on Thursday to see how it is. I know if I don't have perfect buoyancy, I am going to get it down perfect now.

Now I just need to get some new steel cylinders and I can get rid of some weights as well. I am already starting to feel more comfortable. I hate wearing weight.

amtrosie
08-29-2007, 03:56 PM
OK, this question is directed toward the more technical and advanced divers out there.

I was wondering about diving without a BC. Actually to be more accurate, I was thinking about diving with my Dive Rite Trans Pac with an AL80 with no wing installed. I will have my dry suit to make minute adjustments as needed, but in my opinion if I am weighted perfectly I should be just fine.

.



Several questions: 1. How deep do you propose to go? 2. In the event of a drysuit failure, what is your back-up? How are you going to compensate for buoyancy, at depth, then shallow again when the gas in your tank is depleted?

You mentioned the drysuit for minute adjustments, what about for the initial phase of the dive where more gas is required for at depth dives? Especially when the depths are deeper than 100 feet (30 m)?

Your contingency planning must be thought out completely! The drysuit failure, be it the inflator seizing up or free-flowing. The exhaust valve failing. A seal failing, dumping water into the suit. All these are very real and have all occurred. You might say that the dive is over in all these scenarios, but how do you make your way back to the surface SAFELY? Another issue is going to be your trim in the water, which is critical to proper diving. With all the additional gas in your suit, you will work far harder maintaining your posture in the water, hence consume far more gas, thus shorten your dive. And the advantage is?

A drysuit will fail, just when is the question.
DO YOU WANT TO FIND OUT WHEN?
Dollars-to-doughnuts it will be the most in-opportune moment.


A thought: In the first days of diving they had no buoyancy compensating devices, and used all manner of items to try to perform that task. So they developed a devise. Why are you trying to remake the wheel?

Trying to eliminate unnecessary gear is laudable. Simplifying equipment and placement is prudent. Diving with out essential equipment is miss-guided at best, and a death wish at its lowest common denominator.

acelockco
08-29-2007, 05:22 PM
Several questions:

Sure, depth...well I was planning on using that setup for local quarry diving to start...about 42 feet depth in the area I like to hang out in.

As far as a dry suit falure...it has already happened to me a few times (that is what you get for buying a used dry suit!!!), but it was not tragic enough to even stop the dive, but I was flooded pretty badly by the end of the dive. Even with both legs filled with water, I still had no problem getting to the surface.

Anyway, back to why I was thinking about this:

I usually only have air in my BC while at the surface and for the first 5-10 minutes of the dive depending on the depth.

If I ever needed to get to the surface because of a dry suit falure, I could just swim to the surface. If not, I could use a line (anchor line on a boat, there are lines to surface bouys over every point of intrest in the quarry, or even Jersey line...which is a line you send up on a lift bag and attach to the wreck you are on so you can go up...in case you can not locate the anchor line.) or in a total emergency, I could drop a little of my weight.

Considering the AL80 cylinder I am going to be using, I would probablly be a little positive at the end of the dive anyway.

From what I have seen on a few local dive boats, I would not be the only one doing this.

Anyway, I am not 100% sure it is going to work out well, but it is something to try (the reason for quarry diving for me is training and are my testing grounds...er waters).

seasnake
08-30-2007, 07:07 PM
I'd have to say you may have just answered the question. If at any point in the dive you need to use your BC for positive bouyancy, then you should have it, and not just depend on your drysuit. The drysuit should be inflated just enough to keep the squeeze off, no more.
Now if you didn't need a bc at all for bouyancy compensation, I'd say you might have something to look into.

acelockco
08-30-2007, 08:37 PM
That's exactly what I am saying. I rarely use the BC for anything but a pack. The wing is there, but I don't use it.

It's just a thought anyway.

BamaCaveDiver
08-30-2007, 11:05 PM
Brit sump divers make use of their dry suits for bouyancy, but then their dives are typically short and shallow (a tool to get to more remote sections of a cave, so gear is scrutinized for transport between sumps.) If you are doing longer dives to deeper depths you can see sme fairly major weight swings as you consume the gas tht you are carrying. This is exactly why early divers started carrying gas cans and clorox bottles with them until someone finally invented the BC.

acelockco
08-31-2007, 01:13 AM
At this point it does not matter anyway. I was at the dive shop today getting fills and I found a nice wing sitting there with my name on it. Well it had my name on it when I left the dive shop anyway....

Divingtoors
08-31-2007, 07:58 AM
HI

I found that by changing to a wing and backplate, It almost felt as if I didn't have a BCD on when I dived.
In my opinion, the STAB jacket BC is much more uncomrfortable and cluttered than a wing. Some people like the feeling of "security" the Stab. Jacket BC provides (by folding around them, and giving them that familiar squeeze feeling when inflated, something we grew accustomed to and learned to rely on and believe in, when we first started and learned to dive, and such things are hard to get rid off).

The "freedom" experienced when diving with a single baldder wing and backplate (if you like that freedom) is a feeling you will never again give up for a jacket style BCD, but personal milleage may vary..

Rgds

Johan

acelockco
08-31-2007, 03:00 PM
Thanks, but that is not the concern really. I was talking about just using the backplate and harness without a wing at all. Anyway it does not matter as I just bought a new wing that is the correct size for my applicaton.

hbh2oguard
09-01-2007, 04:29 PM
Ace all I can say is my dad never dove with any bc device and he just stopped diving ten years ago. So with the proper amout of weight you should be fine. You might be on the bottom at first then fighting to stay down but what the hell it sounds like your gonna go for it. So make sure to tell us how it went.

acelockco
09-01-2007, 05:56 PM
Well, I wasn't going to try it as I did find a new wing for my BC, BUT now I think I am going to need to try it out just as an experiment. I am out ocean diving this weekend, so I am not going to try it here, but when I get back home this week I will give it a whirl.

Diverdaniel
09-01-2007, 08:06 PM
good luck.

Tigerbeach
09-02-2007, 05:22 AM
I used to dive in Hawaii in 75-85 degree water with just a backpack, no wetsuit and maybe 2-4 lbs, unless I was feeling lazy and "forgot".
I loved diving with less gear...couldn't do that in California, though!

seasnake
09-03-2007, 04:54 AM
When I dive in 80F water, I don't use the BC for anything more than a tank mount, it is true . . . and I don't need any weight, either . . .

Diverdaniel
09-03-2007, 06:54 AM
have done this a few times, i do not recommend it. too many "What If's" involved.
and as was said here: why reinvent the wheel?
i would take the smallest bladder i could if it is drag i was worried about.
there have been many dives that i had not touched my inflator at all.
but i would rather have it there for when i need it.

richardsantink
09-03-2007, 01:04 PM
OK, this question is directed toward the more technical and advanced divers out there.

I was wondering about diving without a BC. Actually to be more accurate, I was thinking about diving with my Dive Rite Trans Pac with an AL80 with no wing installed. I will have my dry suit to make minute adjustments as needed, but in my opinion if I am weighted perfectly I should be just fine.

I am sure there are many opinions on this one, I just want to hear what yours are. Also does anyone of you do this or have done this. I am sure some of the older divers around here remember the days of diving before BC's even existed. Then the old horse collar BC's, then to plates and wings, then to jacket bc's and now back to plates and wings again.

You'd better have ditchable weight... otherwise you could run into trouble. Using your DS as backup for a wing is one thing, but as your main form of buoyancy? That's insane.

RAS

Tigerbeach
10-30-2007, 04:57 PM
Jacket BC provides (by folding around them, and giving them that familiar squeeze feeling when inflated, something we grew accustomed to and learned to rely on and believe in, when we first started and learned to dive, and such things are hard to get rid off).

Or maybe grew dependent on...

Steve K
10-31-2007, 07:51 AM
If the wing and drysuit fail or you don't have a wing, then just use a lift back. You can store a big one in the backplate pocket. One should be able to swim a balanced rig to the surface anyway, at least for a single.

acelockco
10-31-2007, 10:18 PM
If the wing and drysuit fail or you don't have a wing, then just use a lift back. You can store a big one in the backplate pocket. One should be able to swim a balanced rig to the surface anyway, at least for a single.


I almost always have at least one lift bag with me when diving, and a Jersey Reel, so of course that would get me to the surface. I always have ditchable weight as well if necessary.

About being able to swim a balanced rig to the surface, you hit the nail on the head. Really if your buoyancy is spot on, then you should be able to move about without much if any air in your BC or Drysuit.

I did notice a few of the old timers I have gone diving with did not use any BC. Well one guy had a wing, but it had no inflator and many tears in it. He said the only reason he had it on was to allow him to say he had a BC so he could get on the boat. LOL

Anyway, I bought a wing so it really does not matter any more.

Tigerbeach
11-01-2007, 03:50 AM
I did notice a few of the old timers I have gone diving with did not use any BC. Well one guy had a wing, but it had no inflator and many tears in it. He said the only reason he had it on was to allow him to say he had a BC so he could get on the boat. LO

I had an old Mae West type vest I used when I traveled. Of course it had no inflater, it was faded, cracked, and had a crudded up CO2 cartridge on the back. I, too, used it as a "prop" to get on boats...

Alex777
01-29-2008, 12:51 PM
My preferred rig for warm water diving:

http://angelfishphotography.com/Images/HowWeDive.png

scuba smurf
01-29-2008, 03:03 PM
can't tell by the picture but I certainly hope that you're wearing something else besides the tank hehe.

Tigerbeach
01-29-2008, 03:21 PM
Ya think he's trolling for minnows?

The Publisher
01-29-2008, 03:43 PM
If the water is cold, the guys WOULD be trolling the minnow, not "for" minnows. The Titan triggerfish were in nesting season during this photo, so you could say he went diving-Fear Factor style!

Papa Bear
01-29-2008, 04:18 PM
This is funny! Not just the minnow part, we didn't have BCs or BCDs when I learned to dive! You did it with the right weight and a good kick! I dove for three days once in Cozumel before I realized my BCD had a broken inflater valve! You shouldn't need until you need one;) They are like having Air-conditioning in your car, you can live without it, but boy sure is nice to have!

acelockco
01-29-2008, 05:17 PM
My preferred rig for warm water diving:

http://angelfishphotography.com/Images/HowWeDive.png

PERFECT! That is what I am talking about. I would definately wear some shorts though. That just seems like such a free and comfortable way to dive. Of course that is not intended for all conditions, but thats cool.

Papa Bear
01-29-2008, 06:34 PM
I still have my old Campack! They were great, just a piece plastic with a straps. You might find one on E-bay? Have fun, I think I posted on a thread about how we used to just jump in with the tank under our arm with a reg, fins, and a mask! What else do you need? That was a few pounds awhile!

scuba smurf
01-29-2008, 08:14 PM
so I gotta ask, why do you wear a bc now?:confused:

Chantelle
01-29-2008, 08:54 PM
Not sure I'd wanna do that with a set of steel doubles...:S

Papa Bear
01-30-2008, 02:26 AM
Because I like air conditioning in my car too!

mbelair
01-30-2008, 01:34 PM
even Jersey line...which is a line you send up on a lift bag and attach to the wreck you are on so you can go up...in case you can not locate the anchor line.) or in a total emergency, I could drop a little of my weight.



Are you telling us that you are considering carrying a Jersey line but not a BC because the BC is too bulky???

Help me, I don't follow the reasoning?

I dive a rebreather ie,I have a first air compartment ther. I compensate 100% with my dry suit while diving yet stll have aBC. Why? Beacause dry suits tend to leak in certain positions and situations. The neck seal tends to leak when I'm vertical.

Other aspects where exposed before, it is not necessary to repaet these points. Referrong to diving practices going back to the ice age is pointless. Safety features have changed, the way we approach safety has too. Do you militantly stand against the use of seat belts in cars, against fire detectors and for the quality of life that smoking brings to all smokers?

If your BC is too big and is combersome, change it for a more appropriate one. It may be more useful than to look for an upline when the **** its the fan at the bottom of the quarry.

Just my opinion.

Papa Bear
01-30-2008, 04:07 PM
See, another Canadian with no sense of humor about diving! If the Canadian Government had their way you would have to dive with a Mountie! Light up and take some gear and lead off! :D :p :rolleyes: I don't think where talking Quarry Diving here? He is talking about Wreck Diving, even worse! I am not sure he would really do it, just for the redundancy issue, I take this type of question with tongue in Cheek!

mbelair
01-30-2008, 04:16 PM
[quote=Papa Bear;10328]See, another Canadian with no sense of humor about diving! If the Canadian Government had their way you would have to dive with a Mountie! [quote]

We Canadians are like that. Don't we hate diving without our horse and red jacket.:D

That question just reminds me of a few buddies of mine that always find it so much more convenient to dive with less than optimal gear or taking totally unwarranted risks for no reason at all other than resisting mainstream pressure.

It's also that posting about the use of a Jersey lone of all things sounded a bit... hum... intriguing for someone who wished to minimize the gear. :confused:

Papa Bear
01-30-2008, 06:45 PM
Here is my take! If your going into an overhead environment BE TRAINED for it! And use the right gear, witch you should have learned in your training! Plan your dive and dive your plan within your training and ability! Dry suit training states you should never use your dry suit for BC! Simple! It is thermal protection not a BCD!

Chantelle
01-31-2008, 02:15 PM
If the Canadian Government had their way you would have to dive with a Mountie!


I never go anywhere without my horse...:p

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b296/Gitterdun7/Horsies/Palgrave%20Horse%20Show/0829116.jpg

Papa Bear
01-31-2008, 05:36 PM
Except diving! :p

acelockco
01-31-2008, 08:54 PM
Are you telling us that you are considering carrying a Jersey line but not a BC because the BC is too bulky???

Help me, I don't follow the reasoning?



Good point, anyway the reasoning is I noticed someone on a dive boat last summer and he was not using a BC. I just wanted to see if anyone else was doing this and to get opinions. It is not the method I dive or intend to dive, but rather an experiment.

Alex777
01-31-2008, 11:45 PM
Good point, anyway the reasoning is I noticed someone on a dive boat last summer and he was not using a BC. I just wanted to see if anyone else was doing this and to get opinions. It is not the method I dive or intend to dive, but rather an experiment.

If it was in the Cayman Is., it was probably me.

To answer your original question, I do most of my dives without a BC, wing, wetsuit, weight belt or weights. It's a wonderful feeling of freedom - kinda like freediving with no obligation to ascend (immediately). You have to experience it to appreciate it. Your maneuverability and speed through the water are greatly enhanced. I should emphasize that I am referring only to recreational diving in tropical waters - no overheads, temperatures > 80 degrees, good viz, little if any current.

Is the BC (or wing) an added measure of safety? Yes, but only (given the type of diving I am talking about) in certain specific circumstances. If there is any surface swim in the dive plan, I will add a wing to my setup. If one is a reasonable possibility, I will add a wing. If I were to go unconscious at depth, my rescuer would be assisted by my having an inflation device. That's about it.

We have to remember that people dived for 15 - 20 years without BCs and managed to survive. To me, it's worth the small additional risk to dive that way today.

acelockco
02-02-2008, 12:30 AM
Believe it or not, it was on a dive boat off of New Jersey.

Alex777
02-03-2008, 04:45 AM
Well, come on down here and we'll do some BC-less diving ...

thalassamania
02-09-2008, 04:10 AM
OK, this question is directed toward the more technical and advanced divers out there.

I was wondering about diving without a BC. Actually to be more accurate, I was thinking about diving with my Dive Rite Trans Pac with an AL80 with no wing installed. I will have my dry suit to make minute adjustments as needed, but in my opinion if I am weighted perfectly I should be just fine.

I am sure there are many opinions on this one, I just want to hear what yours are. Also does anyone of you do this or have done this. I am sure some of the older divers around here remember the days of diving before BC's even existed. Then the old horse collar BC's, then to plates and wings, then to jacket bc's and now back to plates and wings again.With a single tank I do it all the time. Your suit is should be kept at constant volume and your BC should be used to compensate for your buoyancy change as you consume gas. A single 80 has a shift on the order of 4 lbs. which most people can handle just by shifting their breathing cycle.

DrBill
03-25-2008, 03:37 PM
Dove without a BC from 1961 to 1989. Couldn't afford one. I was diving with a Cousteau team in the northern channel islands (CA) and was required to wear a BC on those dives. The darn thing kept autoinflating on me as I tried to descend. I told the dive master this and she said it couldn't be doing that. I demonstrated and she commented "Now what are we going to do?" My response? "Disconnect the darn thing and dive without it" which I proceeded to do. I didn't buy a BC of my own until the mid 90's, although now I doubt I would dive without one.

thalassamania
03-25-2008, 08:47 PM
Dr. Bill, when I was working on the Sea Otter special we didn't use no stinkin' BCs.

Anyway ... if you are diving dry the only purpose for a BC is to float your breathing gas and/or provide surface support in a crisis. If you are diving a single, rather neutral tank that reason disappears and if you don't need crisis support, then a BC becomes on of those things that you really don't need.

Papa Bear
04-13-2008, 10:38 PM
They used to get in the way when bug hunting! Didn't even have one the first year I was diving! Couldn't afford one!
http://twotankedproductions.com/images/319_Me_Tinny_on_Coral_Sea_75_with_14-5_lobster.jpg

The Publisher
04-13-2008, 11:46 PM
I never used to dive with a BC with my drysuit till I punctured by drysuit at the Boilers at San Nicholas on a solo dive with the boat 1/2 mile away as nobody else was stupid enough to want to descend into the Boilers due to the surge...of course, when I dropped down into each depression there were no legendary lobsters to be found, and as luck would have it, the weather turned REALLY nasty, the swells were in excess of 20 feet and carrying me at breakneck speed to a sure demise on the rocks where the swells were crashing over in the open ocean. With the leak in the suit, my air going from 500 psi to 100 psi from repeatedly adding air to my suit to struggle to stay at the surface & breathe surface air while swimming perpendicular to the swells taking me towards the crashing rocks faster than I could swim, I almost got my rear handed to me on a platter, so off the weight belt came after 15 minutes of futility, and a minute later the captain of the Peace in the inflatable boat plucked me from the jaws of defeat.

The moral of the story? Since then I always dive with a BC.

Papa Bear
04-14-2008, 12:43 AM
Thats a good story of what not to do! I will be on the Peace in nine days! Should I ask him if you were screaming for rescue like a? Well you get the picture! LOL glade you made it!;)

The Publisher
04-14-2008, 01:42 AM
Lol, Papa, it's hard to scream when you are swallowing salt water.... ;)

Actually it wasn't the current Captain, it was the previous owner. Had I been able to see him in the gloomy gray darkness coming towards me, I could have held off another minute from dropping my $50 weight belt....

I used to dive with a back mounted wing, and one of the things really cool about back wings is I used to crawl out of it when done diving, fill up the BC all the way, climb partially up onto it like a kickboard, and just leisurely kick away while enjoying the scenery.

Papa Bear
04-14-2008, 02:20 AM
I have ridden mine like a hobby horse in places like Cozumel waiting to be picked up! ;) With an al80 its even more buoyant! Almost empty of course!:)

divertim
11-15-2008, 12:43 PM
I dove without a BC or vest for the first time last month and it was great! Talk about feeling free.:D I started with an actual Mae-West vest then a horsecollar then a BC jacket. I just purchased a Seatec Sunfish(horsecollar), I guess I've gone full circle now!:D Tim

Nemo
11-18-2008, 12:37 AM
Full circle and 1/2 way round again!