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The Value of Tanks

Discussion in 'General Scuba Equipment Discussions' started by Kayforscuba, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Kayforscuba

    Kayforscuba Guest

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kingston Ontario
    Just looking for some advice here.
    I have been contemplating getting my own tanks for a little while, and was wondering if It's worth it to have your own tanks? I know tanks can go for about $500, but if I'm diving 10-15 times a year at an average of $15 a rental, is it financally worth it? I know there is up keep etc on tanks that has to be done etc. Just looking for some advice!
    Kristie .
  2. dannobee

    dannobee Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: SF Bay Area
    Would you dive more if you had two tanks in the garage, just in case you get the urge to dive?

    Have you looked for used tanks instead? You could save at least half the cost if you're patient.

    GLENFWB Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
    For me, the value of owning your own tanks is not simply in saving money. I find I am able to dive more often, because I don't have to worry about finding tanks to rent, or worry about returning them. Freedom is the greatest value in owning my own tanks.

  4. bevansmw

    bevansmw Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hawaii
    You can use a formula to figure out if it is worth it for you, that is what I did. Here is how I calculated it.

    Let w = Tank cost
    Let x = Tank VIP cost
    Let y = Tank Hydro cost
    Let z = Tank fill cost

    5vips($x/vip) + 1hydros($y/hydro) + (15fills)(5yrs)($z/fill) + 1tank($w/tank) = Cost to own 1 tank over 5 years


    (15tanks/yr)($15/tank)(5yrs) = $1125

    cost to rent 1 tank 15 times for 5 years (given the price to rent doesn't change)

    We tend to do 2 dives each time that my dive buddy and I go diving, so I bought two tanks, here is how it worked out for me.

    2 tanks at $50 each (Used PST LP 72's w/ US Divers valves)
    $75/yr to join a dive club where I get free air fills
    $20/VIP + Hydro

    If my tanks last for 5 years here is how much they cost me to own. Given prices do not change. I also regularly get my tanks overfilled to usually around 2750psi after cooling down, the service pressure on them is 2250 and they are 65cf at 2250 so I get around 80cf at 2750.

    2tanks($50/tank) + 8vips($9/vip) + 2hydros+vips($20/hydro+vip) + 5yrs($75/yr) = $560 over 5 years

    Cost to rent 2 AL 80's at the cheapest I've found here without joining a dive club is $6/tank and I've already logged about 25 dives since getting qualified 6 months ago if I keep it up that makes about 50 dives/yr. So to calculate I'm going to multiply...

    ($6/tank)(50 tanks/yr)(5yrs) = $1500 over 5 years to rent

    I get some additional bennies being in the dive club, discounts on equipment and classes (10% off), bi-weekly shore dives where I can rent two AL 80's for $1 each or I could just get my tanks filled and use them and discounted boat dives, I think $55 for a two tank boat dive.

    Some things are assumed, like my tanks passing their hydro which is due Sep-2010. Their born on date is older than I am as first hydro is 1980. They're pretty old so I'm hoping they'll still hold up for another hydro next year. They've been used regularly as I bought them from a dive instructor and they have about 4 or 5 hydros done on them previously. The VIP is due sooner and given I get a discount if I do Hydro + VIP at the same time I probably will do the Hydro ahead of the due date when I do the next VIP. Even if my tanks fail I can still salvage the K-valves for use on another tank. New K-valves are about $50 each, you can get older ones like the US Divers ones cheaper though. I've also excluded any cost to have the valves serviced, I think K-valve service runs around $20 or so, I have a bunch of extra o-rings. Since they're steel I regularly wash them down after diving with fresh water and store them with about 300psi inside standing upright. The cost to have them tumbled if I get flash inside is like $40 or $50 I think but with good maintenance practice I'm hoping to avoid that.

    Tanks well maintained can last a very long time. Mine are proof of that as they have about 29 years of use and still work great and are free of pits and corrosion. The longer you use the same tanks the more you'll save.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  5. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)

    Is diving financially worth it?

    A very nice above average cylinder like a HP 100 "only" costs about $350. For about $200 you can get into a HP80. Aluminum and LP even less. Used cylinders are also out there.

    If your outings are 1 tank days them one will do. If you tend to go make a pair of dives that doubles the investment.

    You can run the math a lot of ways but the real bling is the freedom to dive at will. The latitude to visit the dive shop on your schedule is also a huge advantage in terms of personal time management and travel costs.

    The annual VIP equates to one rental fee. The 5 year hydrostatic test gets amortized out to less than a fast food meal per year.

    As you are asking this question with 50-99 dives I would say the hook is set and it's time to buy.

  6. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    It's already been said, but I'll reiterate -- the big thing about having your own tanks is freedom and convenience. And nothing in this sport makes financial sense :) so if having the tanks comes close to your cost to rent, it's well worth it. Used tanks are a very reasonable purchase, as well, and like cars, tanks seem to lose about half their value when they leave the dive shop the first time . . .
  7. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastopol, CA
    If you're just going to make the decision based upon finances, you'd better take into account the extra mileage of having to do to the LDS twice each time you go diving, once to rent the tanks and again to return them, as opposed to simply getting them filled afterwards.

    Also, you've got to take into account the extra time that you're spending because of the tank rental. That time could be better spent.
  8. BobbyT22

    BobbyT22 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach VA
    Amen. Once you reconcile yourself with that fact, it all gets much easier!:D
  9. walke121

    walke121 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Jersey/Alabama
    Everyone is right. I dont like to look at any of my hobbies on how much financial sense it makes or that would make me the worst businessman ever. If YOU think you can benefit by owning your own tanks then give it a shot, if not then rent. I personally like owning my own tanks because I simply hate diving AL 80's but thats just me.
  10. Stu S.

    Stu S. Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Unless abused, a tank can be sold for close to what you pay for it. No other diving item holds value like a tank. I had a LP-95 tank and used it 3 years. Sold it for $30 less than I paid. That makes the purchase price of that thing $30, so to speak.

    Compared to renting tanks, ownership is a bargain.

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