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Anyone used the Dive Mate SDAS system? Thoughts/opinions?

Discussion in 'Dive Modifications' started by grey2112, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. grey2112

    grey2112 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Port Richey FL
    144
    45
    28
    Marketing materials look good as do the videos - for around $100 it seems to be something better and more mobile than what I personally could design.

    Any thoughts or opinions or real-world usage by anyone here?

    Dive Mate, LLC - Home
     
    Reck Diver likes this.
  2. Tom Winters

    Tom Winters Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Boca Raton, FL
    3,482
    329
    83
    That's an interesting idea. I wouldn't trust them rigged up while the boat is blasting along, but they would have made my gearing up the boat way easier. Sometimes I had some slow and/or semi-helpless divers who took forever to get strapped in.
     
  3. grey2112

    grey2112 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Port Richey FL
    144
    45
    28
    So, a little update. I went ahead and bought one and tried it out last week. At first I was a little miffed that instead of coming in a box it came in a bubblewrapped envelope. There were a few minor scratches on the tube, but after using it for a few hours I can tell you that the minor scratches it recieves in shipping are nothing compared to a few hours of use - LOL - no biggie, I'm not out to win beauty contests - I just want the gear to work.

    Did it work? YES - and quite well. Takes some time getting used to it, and I had one accident that caused my loaded BC with regulator, weights, etc. to pop out of the SDAS and hit the deck, busting a hose on my regulator - but I was in some pretty significant swells, didn't have the safety strap on it, and wasn't paying attention. Lesson learned.

    The other divers really liked it, and honestly my only complaints about it are this:

    1 - There are only 4 positions that the bottom of the unit can fit into a rod holder. Basically you have an "+" cut into the bottom, so it will fit into the rod holder crosspiece in the bottom, but only in 4 different ways - I would have preferred 8 cuts so you could have 8 potential positions.

    2 - Or instead, and I think this is a better idea, instead of the rows of three holes where the plastic hold brackets go in, one or two more holes need to be drilled so you have a lot more positioning options. I've got my pins set all the way to the right and I still need another 3/4"-1" offset for the tank to sit perfectly on the top of the gunnel. I may just end up drilling the holes myself to customize it exactly to my needs.

    I will make one suggestion - spend the extra $38 and get the upgraded SS pins that also have a lanyard on them - no chance of losing these important parts! I also got the welded SS rod holder and backing plate upgrade so I don't put uneccesary stress on my fiberglass gunnels.
     
  4. Tom Winters

    Tom Winters Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Boca Raton, FL
    3,482
    329
    83
    I would not leave the rig up on the gunwale while the boat is underway. You can have all the backing plates that you want, but the underlying fiberglass substrate and the covering gelcoat are going to get stress cracks in any kind of bumpy seas.
    Plus, how thrilled are you going to be to see a rig pop loose and go over the side? My stuff sinks like a rock.
    If your rig is in the cockpit and you see it in the water, well, your boat is sinking and you have other stuff to worry about.
     
  5. grey2112

    grey2112 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Port Richey FL
    144
    45
    28
    Oh trust me, Tom - there is no way I'm going to keep it loaded up while underway, even with safety strap on. I was actually anchored when this happened to my rig - but again it was some pretty long wave-lengths rocking the boat back and forth and with the weights in the BC I could see how it could happen - I think this setup will work great as a very temporary place to put your gear, put it on, pop forward, and then turn 45 degrees and go backwards over the gunnel.

    BTW - where in East Africa do you go? I was in Namibia for a few weeks about 5 years back and just loved it - if I had the money, I'd own a farm there.
     
  6. grey2112

    grey2112 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Port Richey FL
    144
    45
    28
    New update - I got the backing plate installed and it made a HUGE difference - found out that the original rod holder was installed at an angle that made the Divemate not sit properly so that it would be perpendicular to the gunnel. Now that the rod holder was installed properly, the Divemate fit like a glove, never moved, was perpendicular to the gunnel so that the tank sat just right on the gunnel - everything worked great. I'm still not keen on leaving the tank/BC unattended, but me and my dive buddy really enjoyed using the Divemate and I feel it was money well spent.
     
  7. tekkydiver

    tekkydiver Regular of the Pub

    366
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    Please allow me to chime in on this thread.

    I have a pair of the Dive Mate SDAS's. I purchased them to help lady guests and novice divers who struggled a bit donning gear. It allows anyone to gear quickly without assistance, even in choppy conditions. The Dive Mate product is great , and works as advertised. I have had tanks/BC strapped to the device and then decided to move to a different spot to drop. No problem running at speed. Very Secure. It is a great product. The quick release pins are worth the money.

    I recommend them highly. Even at the price, they are a great value and well worth it.
     
    Reck Diver likes this.
  8. grey2112

    grey2112 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Port Richey FL
    144
    45
    28
    1 year update - still working well. However, the "stainless" wire leader that keeps the pins in have rusted apart, so I re-rigged them with mono. Also the "stainless" mounting screws for the expensive rod holder I bought from them are rusting - not very good stainless hardware, but the unit itself is still working out well.
     

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