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How much weight? Switching from jacket style to Backplate/Wing

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Lobster-Tale, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    If you are already wearing a substantial amount of weight in warm saltwater, why not get a steel plate? That will allow you to drop roughly 6 lbs from your weight belt. An aluminum will only take about 2 off your belt.
    NothingClever likes this.
  2. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    The only weight you actually lose off will be the buoyancy difference between the wing and your old BC, assuming your current BC is more buoyant. The weight of the BP only moves the weight off your belt to your back.

    The best way is a weight check of your new rig at 15', empty BC, 500# or less in your tank. Use your present weighting and hand off weight untill you are neutral. My BC was about 5# more buoyant, but it depends on material and padding, I wouldn't expect much more, most likely less.

    eleniel and KenGordon like this.
  3. W W Meixner

    W W Meixner Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ontario Canada

    Primary contributor to either ballast -...or ballast +...will have to do with cylinder choice and the back-plate you select...

    If you're going to buy a modular system...ensure you also purchase ''system compatible'' weight pockets with it...

    To me the biggest benefit of a modular system is that it is easily convertible...single/doubles...some can be used quite easily for side-mount with the right accessories...

    A couple carefully selected wings/back-plates/pockets...and you will have one system that is inter-changeable...that will last for years...and dis-assembled...packs almost unnoticed for travel...

    Brand and accessories are a personal thing...I have always used OMS...the IQ pack harness is extremely comfortable...even with monster doubles...the back-plate slips into a pocket in the back-pad...and is quickly changed without having to thread a back-plate through a harness...the IQ pack/wings/back-plates have slotted holes allowing fitting of single cylinder cam bands...

    There's lots to choose from...suggest purchasing from a shop that specializes in modular systems...the ''tec'' oriented shops...

    Once you've made your selection...perform a simple buoyancy check...in a pool or shallows...preferably with support...start with your smallest ballast first...you should be dialed in within five minutes...forget the calculations...too many variables...

    Check DGX...Dive Gear Express...probably the best modular BCD system supplier anywhere...excellent ''best price'' house brand...and other major manufacturers...along with the best customer support in the industry...

    NothingClever likes this.
  4. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    Steel plate is 6#. Take that off your belt. An STA weight is another 6#. If you use a weighted STA, take another 6# off your belt. Go dive, do a weight check. Adjust as necessary.

    Case closed. Doesn't have to be more complicated than that. If you're changing to a different type of tank, that's a whole 'nother can of worms.
  5. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    I am certainly no fan of such calculators as I find number of people being improperly weighted. Unfortunately, most instructors don't teach their students how to properly weight themselves. I don't know if this is due to lack of knowledge or concern (as when you get $50/student on the condition they are certified, you are not motivated by anything but your principles to do a proper job).
    NothingClever and W W Meixner like this.
  6. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    Just do a proper weight check, ie get it so you are neutral at 5m ish with no gas in your wing/bcd and next to no gas in your cylinder. Wet suits can complicate this.

    Probably get a SS backplate. Aluminium is for diving very negative setups.
  7. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    None. Start with what you used to use and see how it goes. You'll likely drop a couple of pounds eventually, but mostly due to getting better at your buoyancy control and not because of the gear change.
  8. lowwall

    lowwall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
    I dropped 8 pounds going from an XL jacket to a steel backplate. It's the difference between the negative buoyancy of the BP/W and the positive buoyancy of the jacket.

    Jackets vary a lot in their inherent buoyancy. If I were you, I'd get a steel plate instead of aluminum and start by taking 6 pounds off. In warm water, you can carry the remaining weight in trim pockets on your waist belt.
    NothingClever likes this.
  9. Lobster-Tale

    Lobster-Tale Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Ontario
    Thanks everyone for your feedback. Lots of excellent information here. Appreciate all the feedback
  10. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    I didn't drop anything, I swapped lead weight for steel weight. With Al one I use the same amount of lead as with jackets, +/- a pound or two.

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