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First of all, I should say hi to all the board members. This will be my first post here :) And yes, I am a fairly new diver - I think most of you will spot that right away ;p
I've got an Original Manta custom, and so far, I love it. I'm looking for opinions.. There was a thread on this BCD a while back, in 2000, but I'm wondering what people say about it today.
Does anyone still dive this BCD? What do you think about it if you do, and if you've abandoned it, what did you find that it lacked?
Has anyone ever attached the rare, but available band extensions and fitted doubles? Opinions on this ? (I am expecting to hear "EUW!" considering there is NO backplate whatsoever).
Also, one other question. I know the cons to CO2 detonators. fast, uncontrolled ascent and all (especially on busy waterways with boaters who don't know what a f'n dive flag means!), but does anyone still feel safer having that pullcord at their side, despite that? Do you do anything special to keep that cord from getting snagged?
Anyhow, this seems like a nice place, with alot of knowledgeable divers. I know I've learned alot already in my short time lurking, and will certainly learn more.
Hello, Sustyk. I have an old Seatek "wings" back inflator BC that I've never had a problem with. If you have no problems with your Manta, just dive it and enjoy it. Don't worry when someone else starts insisting (and they will) that his H.U.B., or Halcyon, or Super Wazoo Tekkie is a better BC.
But I have a jacket BC called the "Original Manta" I bought in 1987, and it's still in great shape. Just put a Scubapro Air2 on it this summer. Just used it in July in Cancun.
My instructor removed my CO2 cartridge back in 1987 when I bought it and plugged the opening for it with a bolt. If you're neutral at depth, then coming up with any sort of wetsuit, even a shorty, and with any air in your BC at all, you'll start to accelerate as you go up anyway. Also, even in a low on air situation, your inflator should work. There's no regulator to make you "pull" the air, the hose is just plugged into a low pressure port, and you can't pull a tank down so low it's internal pressure isn't at least a little higher than ambient (unless you've cut a hose).
I've not heard anyone mention liking those CO2 things in a long time. Do they even put them on newer BCs? I don't know, but I don't think so. I don't qualify as an expert for sure, and I'd like to hear instructrors and other frequent divers chime in, but I don't think I want that cartridge back in my Manta.
The CO2 inflator cartridge has only enough volume to inflate the BC at the surface. If you pulled it at 60-feet down, the BC would inflate slowly and partially. Then you just pull your dump valve. There is not enough gas in that little cylinder to cause you to have a rapid runaway ascent. It's not a big safety hazard, and its not a big safety asset (in my opinion). It might be kind of neat to keep on the BC as a novelty. If you keep it and dive in salt water, then make sure that you unscrew the CO2 cartridge every now and then and rinse it and the mechanism off and make sure that everything hasn't corroded and become un-moveable.
If you dive in caverns, caves, or wrecks, then its another story. You are crawling over things that might snag and pull the CO2 inflator cord and you might be in a position that makes it difficult to vent the BC. In that setting the CO2 cartridge would be more of a liability and you would be might be better off with the CO2 cartridge removed and a port plug installed in its place.
Last edited by ew1usnr; August 22nd, 2003 at 08:18 AM.
JohnCollins once bubbled... I don't know what a Manta "Custom" is ...
It is an Original Manta - but was a custom order I believe..
This one bears a small gold label stating "Seatec Custom", and has a few features I've not before seen on any other Manta's. It has hose management clips all along the shoulders, and on the pockets. Dual CO2 detonators - one in each pocket - something I believe the military manta had. The pockets are also different than other Manta's I've seen - hard to explain. But at the end of the day, it's still an Original Manta.
One thing I do know though, is that I don't like the hose clips - it's too finicky to re-attach after checking a guage or using the manual inflator.. the hose clips along the shoulder also snag the reg hose once in a while.. they are a good idea in theory, but bad in practice.
Speaking of Air2's Incidentally, I just tossed the Air2 off of my manta, and put the stock inflator back on.. I just feel better with an octopus I can donate instead of handing over my main reg..