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Suggestions for bolt snap removal

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by kelemvor, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Maxime-Thierry Lavoie

    Maxime-Thierry Lavoie Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Suggestion for unclipping while removing the tanks after coming out of the water (after the dive): If you are using a butt plate system, be aware that this will tug at the tank and pull the bottom a bit "behind" you while standing.

    What I've found that helped immensely was to push my pelvis forward so that the tank would hang more vertically while standing. This makes it much easier to unclip the butt of the tank from the rails on the butt plate.

    So if you are standing straight, you are fighting gravity (tank's weight) on top of trying to unclip:


    If you push your pelvis forward, your shoulders will take all the tanks weight and the clip will be much easier to undo as you will not be wrestling with the tank's weight at the same time:

    Pevlis forward.jpg

    (Sorry for the TERRIBLE stick figures.... McCoy voice: "I'm a diver, not an arts major Jim!")

    Makes sense?

    Alternatively (if you have that luxury) find a place (a big rock, a bench, etc) to sit the tank's butt on so you can better maneuver the clip easier.
    kelemvor likes this.
  2. bada3003

    bada3003 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Indiana
    As others have noted, that's likely due to your having the bolt snaps attached to 1 inch webbing. Use thick bungee/shock cords which is the configuration I've seen used by many. The cord being stretchy makes all the difference. Clipping on/off underwater becomes a breeze. If you use nylon lines (my SMS 50 came with nylon lines), then add 2-3 inches of slack.

    But there is a trade-off. Unless you use steel tanks with good buoyancy characteristics, AL80 cylinders (and some steel tanks) will lift up resulting in bad trim as gas depletes. There seems to be no magic solution to this problem. I strap weights on my AL80 tanks, some move the bolt snap from butt plate attachment to D-rings attached to waist band during dive, or just use cylinders with near neutral buoyancy characteristics.

  3. MSargeant

    MSargeant Nassau Grouper

    Or just use some sliding d rings and adjust them during the dive?
    Johanan likes this.
  4. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    I was moving from a standard bolt snap to the butterfly at the suggestion of my instructor. The photo was of the top of the tank. I'll take a photo of the whole rigging soon and post it.

    I did five more dives in sidemount this weekend. It is indeed getting easier, albeit very slowly. Donning is very simple with the butterfly clips. Doff is a work in progress, but I did much better than previous dives. I might experiment in the pool with some different rigging configurations to see how it works out.
  5. bada3003

    bada3003 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Indiana
    Yes, that's another alternative. I liked it when I first saw it but regrettably doesn't work for me. For my SMS 50 rig, I don't wear a separate weight belt (in my case, the butt plate interferes with my weight belt, and although I can wear it, it's too uncomfortable) but add XS Scuba weight pouches on the SMS 50's waist webbing. And I have a Halcyon dive knife attached to the 2 inch webbing. And, occasionally, a pocket to hold other items when needed (SMB, backup light). So, there's not much room to move the sliding D-ring around to the extent it may be needed.

  6. theskull

    theskull Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: St. Louis, MO
    Two tips:
    1. Practice.
    2. Get into a position where the tank will be hanging loose at the connection rather than straining against the bolt snap.

  7. SWAMPY459

    SWAMPY459 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Gainesville FL
  8. ShootnStr8

    ShootnStr8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    I find that bolt snaps are best opened by putting the ring finger into the lower loop and pressing down the bolt with the thumb. Use the thumb to keep the snap bolt open until it is clipped to the D ring.

    Please do not use clips or snaps that can be opened by simply pressing against them. They have been called suicide clips. I watched a diver who used such clips back into a cable at 50 feet and inadvertently clip himself to it. His buddy had to release him. When used diving, these types of clips and snaps are an accident waiting to happen. Cables, fishing line and rope love them.

    Sidemount_Stu and Tony387 like this.
  9. Omisson

    Omisson Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Whitestone, New York, United States
  10. SWAMPY459

    SWAMPY459 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Gainesville FL
    Google "suicide clip" and sidemount and you'll find a plethora of posts showing both sides of this debate. If the clip is both within reach (just in case) and facing the correct way on the d ring there is not much opportunity for line to get inside the clip because of the circle formed by the bungee, tank, BACK of the clip, d ring, and the side of your body.

    I dive every weekend and see about half the sidemount divers out there using either these or boat clips... (boat clips are these http://www.lucianwintrich.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/S-D-139131-1_med.jpg)

    If they make you uncomfortable, don't dive with them. I've investigated the issue and decided they are ok for the dives I do. If your dives are swimming upside down and backwards without bungees through the electrical room of a deep wreck, you might want to come up with something else.
    sskasser and raftingtigger like this.

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