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Author Topic: Steel or Plastic BP?  (Read 5584 times)

Carcharodon Megalodon

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Re: Steel or Plastic BP?
« Reply #10 on: 28 Feb 15, 00:02 »
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  • I use SS BP + STA w/ 28lb lift.

    I don't have any camera equipments or accessories when I dive. I do have light weight fins however. I dive with a 3mm full suit.

    When I was using jacket BCD, I had to strap on about 11lbs of weights.

    Now I don't use any weights at all. The trim feels much better and the weight balanced behind my entire torso area do feel a bit more comfortable.

    But that said, I do think my current set up is a tad bit overweight - though not by much.

    I travel pretty light. Unless you plan on carrying your BP with you onto to the cabin, then SS plate is definitely more of a nuisance than AL or plastic. But if you are checking your luggage anyway, I don't find that to be too big of an issue.

    Personally, I do prefer SS plate and not having to deal with weight belt and weights. On the hindsight, I should have used a harness with quick release (like a Hollis Elite II). It definitely makes it easier and quicker to get out of your harness.

    Just my two cents.

    blurblur

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    Re: Steel or Plastic BP?
    « Reply #11 on: 28 Feb 15, 06:46 »
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  • I am currently based in angmoh country. My dive buddies here are keen contributors to scubaboard. One observation I made, comparing the dives in ang moh country and in SEA is that, they use lots of weight.

    I remember my first time diving here, and they asked me how many weights I need on my belt. I shrugged and said none. I was diving with a 3.2.2 mares wetsuit, with a 2mm lavacore hood, and a halcyon aluminium backplate. I remember the instructor's face. His jaw nearly dropped to the floor. He kept reminding me that we are doing sea diving, and not in fresh water so I definitely need 10lbs of weights! I laughed it off and ignored him and he wasn't very pleased. He brought an extra weightbelt with 10lbs of weight on him just in case he needs to pass it to me because he is certain I will not be able to descend. I remember chuckling the entire dive because he was 10lbs overweight and his buoyancy was all over the place (due to additional weight).

    Asian people generally need less weights. All the angmoh divers here, no matter how fit they are, with a 5mm wetsuit & jacket bcd will need at least 12lbs. And they all look at me in awe coz I never had to lug around a weightbelt for shore entries. Therefore, I believe the people in scubaboard a little "kua zhang".

    On the other hand, I can only tell you to try it out (both plastic and SS) and adjust accordingly. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to perfect weighting and trim. It may involve a lot of trial and error. Even if you got the perfect weighting checked, there is still an issue with perfect trim (eg: where to put the weights).

    If you are a medium build guy, I would suggest you to get an aluminium plate (not too heavy, not too light) and start playing around from there. I would also suggest you not to put your weights on the cam band (it may work for you - but i hate it because when roll around in it, I do not feel that it's very stable). If I need to use weights (when I'm using a 7mm I use 4lbs). I have 2 lbs on each side of my lower back, with the tank in between it. But this came from a lot of trial and error, and I know some people don't feel comfortable with the weights there.

    Buy what you think is right, but do not expect it to be perfect the first time you go diving in it.
    "Diving is perfectly safe as long as you remember how dangerous it is" Mark Powell.

    siaokao

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    Re: Steel or Plastic BP?
    « Reply #12 on: 28 Feb 15, 12:14 »
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  • totally agree.. once I coming out from a dive at tulamban.. found and recovered a weight belt with very nice 2x blue color 8lb leads on them. No need to try so hard also know from ang moh diver.  Same dive site.. i use 2 lb another use 16 lb!  :P :P :P
    So they call it a 'FACT' coz someone made some statements on a 'FACT SHEET'? hummm...

    cwoco

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    Re: Steel or Plastic BP?
    « Reply #13 on: 28 Feb 15, 13:56 »
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  • Just an update since this thread got revived:

    I got the steel plate in the end (mainly because they did not have my size for plastic plate - this was digging around in the bargain bin so very little choices).
    Used in Maldives with a 3mm suit - initially I used 2lbs on a weight belt as I was unsure. But after a few dives and a buoyancy check at the end of the dive, I removed the 2lbs and was fine. Still probably just slightly overweighted, like 1-2lbs, but even if using normal BCD or alu plate with a weight or 2, the amount of weight (2lb increments) wont be so precise.

    The BP is DSS brand, so no need for STA. Plus the DSS steel plate is slightly lighter than other brands' steel plates - 4.6lbs vs ~6lbs. And they use plastic cam buckles instead of steel. So I figure that in the end, my DSS steel plate with plastic cambuckles and no STA is only maybe 1-2lbs more than a regular Alu plate with STA and steel cambuckles.

    Overall my BP rig weighs around 4.5kg or so - not light, but not crazily heavy. I usually check in my gear anyway. Thanks everyone for the help! Hope this helps some other divers in future too!

    limk

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    Re: Steel or Plastic BP?
    « Reply #14 on: 02 Mar 15, 14:12 »
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  • I am currently based in angmoh country. My dive buddies here are keen contributors to scubaboard. One observation I made, comparing the dives in ang moh country and in SEA is that, they use lots of weight.

    One also quite important factor that I missed out in earlier comment is that angmoh country often use s/steel tanks which are substantially heavier. Becos water temp is low and even in summer, they often use drysuits & because of the lift from drysuit + wing they also use s/steel b/plate system.
    Shifting over to SEA now with AL tanks sure their weight belt 'requirement' will spike.

    Keep in mind heavier weight belt isn't a good thing becos of ditchable/recovery related discussions (e.g. bcd malfunc., excess buoyancy if weight belt malfunc., balancing issue with roll)
    For non-ditchable strap on tank camband to avoid the roll/slide, add a twist in between slots when u weave the weight so they stay put. Some recommend the position of above the lungs as that's where the lift is.