• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Solo with no BCD?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by northcave, Jul 11, 2021.

  1. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    3,057
    1,791
    I have a 1970s BSAC Diving Manual upstairs. It was a great resource.

    SeaRat
     
    Wibble likes this.
  2. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Same ocean as you!
    2,465
    1,710
    Here are the 66 and 68 covers, they didn't print one in 67

    I've included text from the 1966 lifejacket section which describes the

    CVBA constant volume buoyancy aid

    In the 1968 manual the lifejacket text is identical except that they have changed the name
    of the constant volume buoyancy aid CVBA to

    ABLJ adjustable buoyancy lifejacket

    full.jpg

    full.jpg

    full.jpg

    full.jpg

    full.jpg

    full.jpg

    full.jpg


    Get some in youse!
     
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,280
    982
    Thanks so much for that. I recognise the 1968 cover.

    Really interesting to see the development of diving techniques and equipment.

    Amazing that a CO2 cartridge was 12s 6d = 62.5 pence (90c) which is more than I pay for DSMB cartridges today!
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  4. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Same ocean as you!
    2,465
    1,710
    That's perfect I'd hoped you would

    I might do a couple more of these to see how they progressed with their thinking on lifejackets

    I know, I'll do their free and emergency ascent instructions
     
    Wibble likes this.
  5. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    3,628
    3,890
    If you have a catastrophic drysuit failure can you swim up your rig, even if you ditch all of your lead? Once on the surface, can you stay their? With a steel tank and backplate, could you swim to safety? Doing it as part of a team versus on a solo dive? That is making a lot of compromises.

    It seems like a Darwin Award waiting to happen.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,280
    982
    If diving as per the OP's question, without a BCD, where the drysuit flooded (e.g. the dump fell off), then it would mean deploying the SMB (which must be sufficiently sized) to climb up the line, e.g. winch yourself up using the reel.

    Rule one of solo diving: if it's important take two. Buoyancy is important, so you need two forms of buoyancy; the SMB can be that.

    Personally I would never dive with only one SMB; those are easily lost and can jam up such that you have to let go. The point of the SMB, aside from alerting people on the surface, is it's your reserve buoyancy.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  7. AfterDark

    AfterDark Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    10,945
    7,919
    Back in 1980's I used a dry suit no BCD with all ditchable weights
    I'd drive my car without seat belts and air bags and love it! I did it without more years than with.
    I like freedom of choice myself wear a 5 point harness fine with me but I'd like to left to my own devices. It's one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of charter boat diving too many rules for my liking.

    I still dive solo sans BCD with my double hose but not in a dry suit.
     
    Bob DBF likes this.
  8. Subcooled

    Subcooled ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    1,357
    481
    Only if resurfacing can be guaranteed.

    Note that wearing a drysuit usually means lots of undergarments and therefore buoyancy. I would say that you need 7 kg or 16 lbs of lead. You cannot swim that to the surface.

    It is extremely unlikely that your drysuit would get catastrophically flooded and loose its buoyancy... but I do know one person, who had exactly that problem. Another diver I know had a neck seal come loose and the +4C water get in the suit. I have been diving for a decade and I know a lot of divers, so the probability is small. A small probability offers little comfort though if it is your drysuit that takes in ice water and makes you sink.

    OK... there are some setups that allow you to jettison weights. That might help a bit. Floating on the surface in cold water with a flooded drysuit (hence unable to climb ladders or leave the water) might rapidly develop into a situation where a little bit of extra buoyancy would be a pretty nice thing unless you have some strong friends to rescue you.

    I do dive without a BCD when I have a line tender holding my rope and ready to haul me back. Another situation, albeit rare, is when I can actually crawl back on dry land (gently sloping beach, no walls).

    If you loose buoyancy, then what role would depth play? On the surface or not, down you go.

    You need to do your risk analysis, and do it properly.
     
  9. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    3,057
    1,791
    A couple of points here. First, the BSAC was writing for the equipment being used at the time. At that time (pre-1970) the dry suits had no power inflators, no dump valves, and no zippers. Entry was either front entry, with a tie; neck entry with a neck seal or ring for a hood; or a back entry with a tie. There was also a waist entry, where the waist section of the pants were rolled with the waist section of the jacket, and a hard rubber ring used to create a water-tight seal (some simply rolled the edges together too). The dry suit was flexible rubber.

    In the 1970s they started with the UniSuit, which incorporated neoprene as the material, and a zipper entry through the crotch. That zipper was developed for NASA’s Space Program in their space suits, and incorporated into diving dry suits.

    The tanks were usually neutrally buoyant (in the USA, twin or single steel 72s with a working pressure of 2250 psig. We did not have heavy back plates, extremely heavy high pressure cylinders, etc. The buoyancy compensation device had yet to be developed, and in my opinion as a “vintage” diver, push-button divers of today are entirely too dependent upon them.

    So swimming a flooded dry suit up would not be a problem, and in fact was done quite a lot as these suits had seal problem all the time (my Aquala dry suit rarely was leak-free). I usually dived my Aquala dry suit with 16 to 18 pounds of weight, but I had a farmer-John bottoms from my wet suit under it. But even with these small leaks, they were warmer than wetsuits at depth. Below is a photo of me using an Aquala Dry Suit in Clear Lake, Oregon in about 1973 (photo by Bruce Higgins).

    I had added a oral inflator onto the back of the suit. The original Aquala had an attached hood, and air was added by putting the face mask seal (without a purge valve) under the hood's seal, and simply snorting air back into the hood for equalization of the suit due to incleasing water pressure. That's how we kept from having a suit squeeze in the early days.

    You cannot compare today’s suits/scuba units, etc., with those in the 1960s, as there was an entirely different style of diving and different equipment too.

    SeaRat
     

    Attached Files:

    jale, Subcooled, rx7diver and 4 others like this.
  10. ginti

    ginti Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    777
    460
    The fact that you like it and do it doesn't mean that it's a good idea.
     
    CT-Rich likes this.

Share This Page