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Ditchable weights

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by lowlysubaruguy, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. lowlysubaruguy

    lowlysubaruguy Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: The Gorge
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    is there a calculation or % of your weights or total weight to determine the amount of ditchable weights you should have.

    Now that I’m a BPW man I am going to incorporate as much weight into the BP as possible I’ll need three different weight combinations for the three different suits I wear. Want to make sure I have left enough weight in my pockets to float me if needed. I know there’s a lot of variables but something to start with would be good.

    Was thinking that I would make these strips out of stainless ( I have a pile of it) that bolt to the BP that I can add or subtract for a given suit that will be very compact and evenly distributed . If I make each row in halves I can then Taylor them to the top or bottom of the BP allowing me to tinker with the position of the weights as well. This allowing me to have the least amount of weight in my weight bags up front.
     
  2. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

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    The purpose of ditchable ballast is to allow you to remain buoyant on the surface with no gas in your wing and no kicking up. So there's too many factors to simply give you a percentage calculation. Every person, every rig, every exposure protection is different.

    FWIW, I have found regardless of diving with a wetsuit or swimsuit, the best set up remains the tried and true rubber belt with hard lead. There's a lot of advantages compared to integrating weights on to your rig.

    I'm curious, where are you diving? Fresh, salt, warm, cold? What kind of tanks do you use/own?
     
  3. lowlysubaruguy

    lowlysubaruguy Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: The Gorge
    163
    53
    28
    Most of my diving with this BCD will be south Florida in a 3/2 full wetsuit steel HP100 tank but on trips aluminum. I live in Washington state but go to Florida a lot, soon I wil spend the bulk of the winter there. This BCD wil stay in Florida once that happens.

    I have a shoulder issue and putting on a weight belt is one of the triggers for it. My new BP has 6 pounds in the tank adapter and just looking at it it should clearly be more negative buoyant than my old jacket so I may find a lot less weight might be needed on a belt. My thoughts are to bolt another 4 pounds to the BP would make my ditchable around 4 to 6 pounds

    I like the idea of getting rid of my weight pockets and reducing the clutter up front, it would allow me to have more space for the rest of my crap. Il try a belt and see if i can reduce the weight enough to make putting it on less of an issue. But im pretty sure its not an option.
     
  4. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

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    I don't know how big you are so I'm not sure what size wetsuit you are wearing, i.e. how much material, but if you have a stainless steel backplate or even aluminum and dive a steel HP100 you might be slightly negative in a 3/2.

    For some perspective, I dive in saltwater on the Gulf Coast of Florida and wear a size large and in a 3 mil with no metal backplate (just a nylon padded backplate) and my steel LP108, which has identical buoyancy characteristics as your HP100, I do not need any ballast, especially with a speargun. I will sometimes add a couple 2 pounders to the belt for various reasons. Like the positive buoyancy shift from fish swim bladders on my stringer or if I just want to be more stationary.

    I think you should wait until you come to Florida before you do or spend anything. Then once down here you can take a HP100 with ~500 psi and drop down to 15 feet and see if you can hold your position.

    FWIW, I started out diving too heavy and progressively ditche
     
  5. lowlysubaruguy

    lowlysubaruguy Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: The Gorge
    163
    53
    28
    I will probably tinker with it in the pool and make a few plates together me close and fine tune them next trip to Florida.

    I am short and fat not that short not that fat 210 pounds I’m big boned:wink: No one ever guesses I weight 210 pound but I am not small, seems to take 14 pounds to sink me in a Henderson 3/2 full wet suit and HP steel 100 tank. 18 in an aluminum tank My goal is to find a safe ditchable minimum weight . I can put everything on and hit the pool next week but that is only a guess given the difference in fresh and salt water but it’s possibly enough to get me there.

    My goal is to only have whats required to float me in any given situation the rest bolted out of my way in the right place on my BP which should be pretty simple. Ill leave these weights in Florida with my buddy and the gear he stores for me id like to have them built and ready for my next trip there. Keep in mind this is so I can perfect the art of being lazy there’s so much to deal with to begin with I want to free up space on my waist belt and simplify my bcd if you call that lazy. But there is a lot of gear to lobster, lionfish, spear fish taking pictures on one drift dive that often involves dragging a float from a rope and a fish bag. Getting rid of weights around my waist is a big plus. I mentioned my shoulder does not like the action of putting on a weight belt.
     

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