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I have recently started doing more wreck dives and wanted to improve my safety margin by incorporating a pony bottle. I am not doing any penetration dives, only swim thrus.
What size pony bottle would be good to use. I was thinking about using a 30 ft3 pony, but not sure if that is too big. Also, I'm not familiar with rigging a pony bottle and was thinking about running it upside down, the hose & reg would run under my arm and attach to my BC below my right arm.
I know this is a stupid question, especially on here, but....Does anyone have any suggestions or opinions?
Go with a 40 cu ft and sling it on your L side. The 40 will give you plenty of gas should you need it, and its not much bigger than a 30. Also, should you ever adavnce into tech diving, you'll be able to use it for deco/stage gas, give your self the flexibilty now.
As for the size/weight when slinging a stage or pony this way you will hardly notice its there.
I use a 40cf for a pony slung on my left side. I just did some ocean dives off of Jupiter, Fl and didn't have any problems with size. A 40cf tank is only 3" taller and costs $13 more than a 30cf tank, so I would get the 40cf tank and sling it. But on the other hand a 30cf mounted off of your tank won't kill you, I just prefer the slinging the larger tank.
I have 2 ponies, a 40 and a 30. Only have the 30 cause I got a deal on it first. Then when I wanted another got the larger one cause it wasn't much more. I use a Bottle Buddy and put it on my right side with that reg on a necklace. Most Jersey boats require either a Pony or Doubles so if you want to dive around here its good to get one but you ought to practice at Dutch first.
A pony is less than helpful during most "group close, buddy closer" kind of dives. (I admit I am a "If you feel you need a pony you need doubles" kind of guy.)
While diving in typical recreational locations a pony as a bail-out is pretty much the last thing you want in an OOA situation. You are diving in a place that needs only simple gas management and buddy reliance.
Even though people feel that a pony is "a safety margin" against Murphy I would say that that is not wise thinking in a real world application. My reasons for saying that have been bandied around for years and I will not bore you with the details.
You are diving in NJ? Boat captains tell you to bring a pony because it is the easiest way to insist you bring along a redundant air source. They are trying to keep it easy on the customer.
But, any foul situation you encounter that requires a pony would be better solved by having two first stages and two seconds attached to your body. (the aforementioned doubles)
If you are interested in extending your range with a "pony" it could be somewhat helpful in the long run but only as a placebo to deco gas. Get a 40 and rig it as a stage. Put it on your left side but understand that you will switch to the right when it is no longer the most lean gas.
Oh, and "Swim thrus" are penetration dives. You are penetrating an underwater environment. There is a ceiling.