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Anytime you want to dive you can go.
You know the bouyancy characteristics every time.
You don't have to spend extra to rent tanks for multiple days.
Fills are cheaper than renting.
costs of initial purchase.
Cost of VIP/hydro inspection
You still have to go to the shop to have it filled
They take up space
If y forget to fill them, you still have to rent.
If I were you, I would continue to rent till you can find someone selling tanks. Find some that have been taken care of. If they are out of VIP and hydro, take that cost into consideration and have the inspections done before all the money is paid. I would also recommend steel tanks. The weight allows you to not have to put as much weight on.
-I put DiveRite valves on all my cylinders.. you can pair & manifold them, and all my valves use the same parts
- I love steel hp100 as singles or with drysuit, you can't always rent these, and I have a manifold so I can double, or sidemount with opposed valves
-al80, have a few o2 cleaned, so I can have whatever I want put into them.
-I only dive din, and I know the shape of my tanks, valves, rings etc.. I trust them
-If I take a trip I always throw an al40 in the back for my sons asthma nebulizer, filling tires/floats, whatever.. its nice to have air.
Thanks folks- I am thinking of getting a few tanks- still not sure about steel vs. aluminum as I am a heavy breather and I used as much air on steel tank 80 rental this weekend as I did with aluminum tanks. To save on initial cost as a newbie diver, I may get 2-3 aluminum tanks and later get steel tanks when I dive in dry suit.
If I don't need to switch out my regulator configuration to use DIN versus YOKE than will go with HP steel tanks. My regulator setup right now uses YOKE versus DIN.
Equip whatever tanks you use with Thermo Pro valves, and you can switch between yoke and DIN. Regardless, even if you use single purpose valves, it is just the valve you need to change, buy whatever tank you want.
Ben, for cold water, I'd go with steel, even if you have to hunt around to buy some used ones. You carry at least six extra pounds of lead to dive an aluminum tank, and we already carry a lot of ballast to dive on the West Coast!
An 80 cf tank is an 80 cf tank, no matter what it's made of (yes, Al80s are 77 cf tanks, but that's a minimal difference). If 80 cf of gas is not enough, buy a bigger tank. We have found the HP130s to be utterly delightful tanks for Monterey, allowing you to get out to some of the interesting structures beyond the mouth of Whaler's Cove and still maintain gas reserves. Of course, they're also beastly things to manage on land . . . but some things are worth it!