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Broke even CCR vs OC fills costs!

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by northernone, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    The original story was posted by Dr. Mike on Decostop Sep 4, 2005. I don't know if he posted it here.

    As for the what and why, it's always easy to be an armchair quarterback. The story is what it is, as is the incident. My hat's off to Dr. Mike for staying calm in a bad situation and getting out.
    shoredivr and northernone like this.
  2. northernone

    northernone Great White Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    Mine is simple: First a homebuild followed by a second hand rebreather, a generous instructor for trainings and a good sorb source got me on the loop for less than the ballpark often discussed. I've made a life which allows for much diving. The rebreathers have allowed me bottom times which were exorbitantly expensive prior, so the break even was quite quick to hit. Keeping the numbers vague publicly, but I'm fairly good at math privately.

    I still need to keep my OC equipment and fleet of tanks up and running so it's not a pure switch to ccr.

    This summer has been filled with the dive therapy program so I've only got a few CCR dives in and my o2 cells are bleeding dollars signs. Can't wait for Cozumel this winter.

    It takes a fair amount of diving as some have carefully broken down in estimates in this thread. Not as few as some salesmen claim.

    All in all, having fish less shy for the camera is worth the hypothetical added cost... even if it had turned out CCR wasn't a cheaper option for the diving I love.

    RainPilot likes this.
  3. Meivi

    Meivi Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stockholm
    Interesting topic.

    As I am a Hollis Prism 2 diver and a main divebuddy is an OC diver.
    Me who have started the theory to do the IANTD mod 2+ (70m) course and he who are about to do his first tech course soon.

    Ofc im trying to make him buy a ccr aswell, since even if we would never get brake even the costs I really do enjoy diving alot more using the CCR then when I occasionally go OC.

    I did do some math calculating some easier dives to see how long it would take for him to get brake even if he would switch from OC to CCR.

    While using the numbers based on what his actual gas used during dives to 40 and 50m and just having to top off the bottles for a similar dive.
    And if he sells off his twin tanks, but a RB and do the same courses as me it would take him about 220 dives mixing dives between 100-165feet.

    This based on the gasprices in sweden wich ofc would differ from other countries but still.

    In this calculations I counted for oxy, trimix diluent and scrubber use. I didnt not account for the sensor renewal every year and ofc i did not calc prices for service on regulators, bottles and such since u have to pay for those services on both OC and CCR.

    But sure if i would add the money for new sensors every year the number of dives would sure differ somewhat but not alot. Maybe just a few dives.

    For gases in sweden doing dives about 60mins of bottomtimes.

    CCR / OC

    0-100feet 8,8usd / 11,2usd
    100-165feet 13,2usd / 70,2usd
    165-210feet 14,4usd / 96,6usd

    While using GUE standard gases.

    Now these are not exact prices, but pretty close. And calculated the oc doing top offs from about 25% full bottles, not completly empty ones.

    So im quite confident that soon enough all money I spend buying the CCR, training, gases and scrubber will brake even the prices my dear friend are spending on gases if he stayes OC.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  4. Michael Guerrero

    Michael Guerrero Solo Diver

    Add in deco gasses to increase cost, but still should be less than 100 dives.

    Factor in the consumables for the RB, namely scrubber material, that adds cost during the payback dives. On top of that, add in 3 classes to get you to trimix (if you actually decide to take them) at $1500 each, adding another $4500 to the cost of the RB. There could also be travel and accomodation costs for you and your instructor depending on where you live.

    When I price out RBs, even the one I want, which is less thank $7K for the unit, I expect to spend $15K. Won't pull the trigger until I'm somewhere where it makes sense to have that tool.

    Jupiter anyone?
  5. lermontov

    lermontov Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: christchurch
    Ive come down to the 'do i want one' more than 'do I need one decision'
  6. Michael Guerrero

    Michael Guerrero Solo Diver

    I think "need" is worth consideration. If you're not doing the sub-200ft dives on a routine basis that would probably steer your toward this option, then adding in all the cons of RBs may not be worth it. I dive air above 200ft, and if that's all I have access to as far as dives go, I wouldn't bother with an RB. Back gas and deco gas is cheaper than an RB.

    If I'm diving below 200ft routinely, or am worried about bubbles, then it makes more sense. You just need to be able to keep up this pattern of diving.

    Maybe when I'm retired.
    PfcAJ likes this.
  7. lermontov

    lermontov Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: christchurch
    The biggest draw card for me is dive time, If I account :
    time off work
    hotel costs
    boat fees
    dive op costs
    these are fixed price costs - my variables are the consumables which are miniscule compared with my fixed costs so the $ per minute underwater is a much better return with a rebreather - my last trip overseas was $5000 about 16 dives @ lets say 45 min each is approx $7 per minute If i used a rebreather and made those dives 70 minutes ( or longer) im reducing my $ per minute to $4.46 which by percentage is pretty significant

    The biggest draw back to diving in my own area is
    a) OC and dive boat op twiddling their thumbs waiting for me
    b) cold water 12 -15 degree water isn't that great after 90 minutes even in dry suit

    maybe just make a list and see what votes wins

    regular deep dives - yes
    Photography - yes
    shallow rec dives -no
    deep penetration dives regardless of depth -yes
    hunter gatherer = no
    $$ available -yes

    thats 4-2 :)
  8. Michael Guerrero

    Michael Guerrero Solo Diver

    As you said, you need to remove all the fixed costs. Once done, you need to determine whether a few more minutes underwater are worth the substantial extra upfront cost of an RB, combined with the dangers relative to an OC rig. Please understand that I'm not someone who shuns risk in the face of reward. But you must recognize the additional risk associated with a RB over OC. There have been a few folks who have died on shallow dives using RBs, taking photos or whatever, with lots of time on their rigs, because something went wrong. OC doesn't suffer from the same types of risks.

    Let me know how you cost that out.

  9. lermontov

    lermontov Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: christchurch
    Well were talking about $ costs but if we factor in risk/reward then OC have different risks one of which is limited time - Having lots of time to sort issues out is a pretty significant factor
  10. Patoux01

    Patoux01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Geneva
    How many classes to get to trimix on OC?
    Not sure why you'd consider travelling and accomodation for ccr but not for oc.
    It's also obvious that when you practice deep air, ie you don't use what makes OC safe but expensive, you're not gonna get the costs equal as fast.

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