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Pony Tanks with instabuddy...Prudent or Paranoid?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by mcpowell, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Bowers

    Bowers Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio
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    happens a lot in the midwest where i dive.
    keep in mind visual inspection is not a "law" but rather a well regulated and self policed recommendation by the dive community, so some places may cheat.
     
  2. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
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    Exactly! I think sensitivity to liability is a lot higher here on the mainland than in many of the islands. That's the driver. I mean, really? You can hear air hissing but not enough to register, but you still think it needs a Vis? Nonsense.
     
    Rollin Bonz likes this.
  3. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
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    Yep, you are absolutely right - I wasn't thinking of the good old USA where $$$$$ for unnecessary service is an art form. I just never ran into it anywhere outside the USA.
     
  4. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
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    I typically fly into Fort Lauderdale with my destination being either the Keys, the Fort Lauderdale area, or sites further north.

    My standard procedure is to either ask ahead of time if the first Dive Op can fill my pony (if there will be enough time prior to the next morning's dive) and if not I'll swing by Divers Direct on the way from the airport. It's about 10 minutes away.

    The first time I brought it in they said to me "If the valve is off we're supposed to do a VIP" but they didn't enforce it. Going forward, the valve is always on and no dive store or shop has ever mentioned it. Unless of course the VIP sticker is expired.

    Whats rather interesting is that the cost to fill my 19cf pony vary considerably, not only between shops but at Divers Direct, who will charge me anywhere from $6 to $13.
     
  5. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
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    I am under the impression that you cannot fly with the valve in place. I don't travel with tanks, so it's just an impression, not something I've rigorously researched.
    Is this impression incorrect, or are you just replacing the valve prior to heading to the shop to avoid the vis rule?
     
  6. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
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    I remove the valve prior to travel. The valve goes in my carry-on with my regs, mask, computer and other smaller, more expensive and heavy dive accessories. I have carried the pony tank on airplanes in the past, but the last few trips I've been throwing it into the checked baggage.

    When I pick up the rental car I pull the pony tank out of the suitcase, get the valve from the carry on, put it all back together and head over to the dive shop for a fill.
     
    kelemvor and Kharon like this.
  7. Fastmarc

    Fastmarc Just drifting along... ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston, Jamaica
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    To the OP...

    I'm the past I was firmly in the camp of thinking that for recreational warm water diving, carrying a pony seemed like a bit of a overkill. However this was in the time that I had a good buddy with me (he was my instructor and we became good friends) on practically all my dives. He's now retired from diving and for the past few years I've been diving with insta-buddies. It was soon that I realised I am basically solo diving. Everyone basically does their own thing once they hit the water. Even if I stay with them, they hardly checked on me and would not notice if I was in any difficulty. If I paused to look at something, their gone. Add to that they are mostly (IME) inexperienced.
    With the intention to ramp up my diving locally and do some traveling, I revisited the pony idea. Since getting it, I cannot imagine myself diving without one now.
    When I next travel to dive I'll either arrange to get one or carry my own. It's not paranoia for me.
     
    Kharon, mcpowell and rsingler like this.
  8. rsingler

    rsingler Scuba Instructor, Tinkerer in Brass Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Napa, California
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    It wasn't so long ago that folks ridiculed those of us with ponies.
    Now we're criticized because we're not carrying an Al40 instead of an Al19.

    It's good to be old and bulletproof!
     
    Kharon and uncfnp like this.
  9. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
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    I have heard of this but not encountered...yet.

    In Bonaire it’s just too easy to fill the tanks ourselves with couv’s 2:50 DIY. In Cozumel 3P’s has no problems with it. Of course we put the valve back on ourselves.

    As for use, in Florida we were fanatical about both of us carrying one. We were never a very strict buddy pair and lobster diving pretty much put our feeble attempts to an end. By the time we started traveling by air I felt comfortable enough with my skills and circumstances were such that we dove almost exclusively as a loose pair so only Eric carried one. I could always use it if I did a solo dive.

    Now we even skip it completely on trips that “require” buddy diving (ie, Grand Cayman).
     

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