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Sidemount and Boat Operations

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by 73diver, May 5, 2020.

  1. 73diver

    73diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    107
    56
    28
    I dive sidemount off boats. Some boats have walk-through transoms, some have step-over transoms, some have narrow stairs or ladders with railings. I usually find a way to wear both sidemount tanks and get into the water. When getting out of the water, I usually “hand-up” or hang the right tank (and any stage bottles). As yet, I have not had to drop the left tank to manage narrow stairs or ladders with handrails.

    I have heard of boat-diving sidemount divers who routinely hang tanks in the water on entry and exit. I was wondering what others do or have seen. Regards
     
    Paul M likes this.
  2. JBFG

    JBFG Manta Ray

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    1,114
    578
    113
    My limited experience in sidemount boat diving saw me just jumping in with both tanks attached and climbing up the ladder the same way. I hard connect the top with a double ender instead of the bungee. I never had any issues so far.
     
    Rollin Bonz likes this.
  3. Paul M

    Paul M Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Waterloo, ONT
    138
    105
    43
    I'm the same as both posts above. I do prefer that the crew take my properly stowed right tank before I climb out, just as they would help out any other type of diver with stages, cameras etc..
    I have never had an issue with any operators being helpful. My experience is only in Canada, Mx, DR, Aus and GB
     
    JBFG likes this.
  4. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,641
    3,875
    113
    My rig, is configured specifically for boat. I use ring bungees on the top mount which reduces faff

    I can (and do) either giant stride, or back roll, often with a dpv as well for good measure. So far zero set up and water entry issues, and I'm more often than not, faster in my gear than normal BM rec divers

    For exit - I tidy up the rig on my SS, then depending on the boat, ladder, sea state, I can either hand up my cylinders, or ascend the ladder with both (al 80) attached. At the surface, I generally un clip both rear attachments even if I'm climbing aboard with my cylinders to make it easier to fully release once onboard

    I always have fresh cylinders for a dive, so I have cambelts on the tanks for fast changing, again I can switch both my tanks in the same time it takes for most people to swap their BCD over

    Some of the resistance to SM has been caused by SM divers being ill prepared and faffing about causing delays to others.

    I spent a lot of time tuning my gear, for instance the slings are customised to ensure they not only slip onto tanks quickly but that they repeatably sit in the correct position each time. Similarly all my releases are setup to ensure that I can easily self fix the cylinders either seated or standing with zero need for assistance (although I'll never refuse help), while ensuring they are properly in trim underwater.

    If the majority on my SM diving was say, at an inland site, with steps in and out and easily ability to kit up in shallow water, then I might reconfigure my kit accordingly if there was some benefit

    Sometimes people blame the system, when really it's the user not having not thought things through, nor perhaps tuned their gear to their way of diving and needs
     
  5. mac64

    mac64 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ireland
    596
    386
    63
    I’ve just split my twin sets for sidemount because of weight issues. I routinely dress in the water from my own boat but not yet in side mount. Has anyone got a link to see how the tanks are hung from the boat for donning in sidemount? I was going to hang the left tank at the surface and the right tank deeper on a single rope. Donn the left tank and drop down to donn the right one.
     
  6. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    6,684
    3,808
    113
    I've returned to backmount but the 30 or so sidemount boat dives that I did went just as you describe. Actually now that I think about it, I just wore both tanks up the ladder on several occasions. I was sidemounting Worthington lp108's and they're heavy. It's difficult to manage such a tank once it's unclipped.

    The reason I was sidemounting from a boat was that I needed sidemount for a cave class and was gaining experience. Boat entry/exit was for me not a significant factor beyond those practice dives.
     
  7. Paul M

    Paul M Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Waterloo, ONT
    138
    105
    43
    Tomasz Michura has some nice demonstration videos. None for exactly what you described but I think still very helpful, never the less.
    Steve Martin (sidemounting dot com) is also excellent but its a paid subscription and worth every penny IMO.

     
    mac64 likes this.
  8. mac64

    mac64 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ireland
    596
    386
    63
    Great job thanks
     
  9. Carl_F

    Carl_F Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seneca, SC
    304
    156
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    If the boat is really small and doesn't have room for me to get to the entry point with a tank, I'll having the tanks with a prussic loop on a line (it's ok to have both tanks on the same prussic loop.) For exit, if there is no crew to help, I'll attach the prussic loop to a hang line and then hang the tank(s) & pull them up after exit. But the majority of dive boats I've been on don't need this. Though if I'm doing the giant stride entry, I'll often have my left tank in place and the top of the tank clipped to the shoulder d-ring and then jump in holding the right hand tank in my right hand. That way I'm only moving about the boat with one tank hanging from me.
     
    mac64 and Mike1967 like this.

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