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Scuba gear: own or rent?

Old 03-13-2019, 10:41 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
what level of certification are/were you for diving?
Am - I think I've got 9 Padi cards under my belt w/ Master Diver being my top ticket.......I Never wanted Instructor or Dive Master....to much baby sitting of green horns.

Years back I did approach Padi, Naui and ACUC, I had a complete program put together for advanced divers to take their skills to the next level. I was turned down by all three organizations because they all said my program was bordering on commercial diving practices and they wanted there certifications strictly for recreational divers.

I've owned a Kirby Morgan in the past and have stepped things back to a full face AGA in military grey w/ comms. I've got thousands of dives under my belt and I dive some of the Worst conditions imaginable and a few that I could never get anyone to be my support system top side.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:00 PM
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Our BCDs and regulators are all Scuba Pro. Pay once, cry once.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Insider View Post
someone ask why they would pay $175 or $200 for a regulator when they could get one at the pawn shop for $50 dollars (people ask that all thew time) was to ask them if their life was worth $150 dollars when they were at 90' and their crappy pawn shop regulator failed on them because ot was junk sitting and being abused at a pawn shop and that could possibly not even be serviced if they did bother to service it
That's a good point. You can actually get some decent deals on gear in the used market (pawn or otherwise), but you have to know what it is. Always factor in the cost of a service (roughly $25/stage labor). Initial tuning is usually included when you buy new at a shop.

Also, there are many regs out there that can't be serviced. The reg is older, and they no longer have kits, or the brand is done (Dacor). One of the reasons I like my Zeagles. All Zeagle regs ever produced by Zeagle use the same service kit, so there is a very high likelihood parts will be available. Technically, the very early Zeagles (made by Apeks) are no longer serviceable, but those should be out of service as Zeagle recalled them when they separated from Apeks and could no longer get service kits.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:51 PM
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Every year my dive shop has a big Black Friday sale. It's all Scuba Pro equipment that they use as rental gear. Great buys and all serviced by them.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tcpip95 View Post
Every year my dive shop has a big Black Friday sale. It's all Scuba Pro equipment that they use as rental gear. Great buys and all serviced by them.
That brings up another point. For the most part, brand does not matter. Apeks, Zeagle, Aqualung, Scubapro, Atomic, Oceanic, etc. all make great gear. A $2K Titanium regulator doesn’t breathe noticeably better than a $500 brass reg. If you buy a mid grade or better reg from a reputable manufacturer, it will serve you well. Provided you can get it serviced by a shop you trust.

That’s a large part of the reason why I won’t own any Scuba Pro gear. I absolutely hate the Scuba Pro shops near me, and refuse to set foot in them anymore. There are other reasons more directly linked to their parent company, Johnson Outdoors, and sister company Uwatec. But, I agree that they make good gear.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:55 AM
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Hello, as a minimum I would take my own suit, masks, snorkel and fins, nothing worse than any of those being ill fitting, unless I know 100% what I was hiring at the other end I would take my own, in fact thinking on it on all my dive trips I have taken my own gear, maybe im fussy, you can get travel BCs, for me it is just not worth the risk, hope this helps.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:31 AM
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Would you reuse someone’s straw they were drinking with after maybe a quick rinse? No way am I sucking off a mouthpiece that has been in 100’s of filthy mouths. Especially nasty if the person puked through it which, as you may recall from SCUBA class, is what you do if you have to puke. Same thing with a snorkel and masks are a personal fit item as well. At most I wore a shorty dive skin in warm water and a full skin when in Cabo where the water was cold (used to cold NE water) so I also brought my own skin as it was easy to pack.

Nothing wrong with a used regulator. Just have it serviced first.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:47 AM
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I bring my own BCD, reg, snorkle, mask, fins and suits. Weights and tanks I rent. It's for familiarity. So in case of a dive issue, I know exactly where to go to release weights, grab my octo, etc. If you are on a budget, buy rental gear from a reputable shop and have it serviced, or go to scubaboard and buy someone else's equipment. As long as it's serviced, you are good to go. My 2cents.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:19 AM
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I have never done scuba, but a local charity has a full set on auction if anyone is looking - not sure how the brand quality is...
https://www.auctria.com/Az/7d13833b-...301fbe37e61e))

Edited because I linked to MY log in and I don't want you crazy MFer's buying stuff in my name!
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Belzelbub View Post

That brings up another point. For the most part, brand does not matter. Apeks, Zeagle, Aqualung, Scubapro, Atomic, Oceanic, etc. all make great gear. A $2K Titanium regulator doesn’t breathe noticeably better than a $500 brass reg. If you buy a mid grade or better reg from a reputable manufacturer, it will serve you well. Provided you can get it serviced by a shop you trust
That's all fine and dandy, But, understand the $500 reg will have limitations that probably the $2,000.00 reg won't. I would NOT take the $500.00 reg diving with me unless I was cleaning the bottom of backyard pools.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
I was chartering out of Key Largo and my octopus started to free flow, I was testing on shore before the boat left. The dive shop didn't carry US Divers and only had Sherwood and nor did they have adapters for their second stage to my first stage. So I had to rent the whole reg with computer. I don't remember the name of the wreak but it was a 135ft down, the dive profile on the boat was only to dive to 100ft max. Well I dove to 135 because my gauges were saying I was only doing 87 ft. So I did safety stops for 90 ft. When I got back on board the dive master pulled me aside and said I thought we said.......... . Well I told him what was what, he recommended that I snorkel the rest of the trip....I did. Well later that day driving up through Miami I got a light case of the bends.

I don't rent gear anymore. Actually I was certified by US Divers to repair their gear and I travel with enough parts to do dive site repairs on the spot. I trust no ones gear other than my own and I certainly will not lend out my gear to anyone...including my wife (she has her own).
I'm not questioning your story, but wanted to point out - the initial failure here was your own octo. I wouldn't expect every shop to let you do it, but if you have a standard octo with a standard LP connection, it should only have taken 45 seconds with a wrench to swap yours out for theirs. I've shot myself in the foot here by having an integrated inflator/octo.

As for their computer reading the wrong depth - that's certainly concerning - but is the kind of failure which could happen to your own gear and you'd never know it. Similarly, how did your dive buddy let you exceed the dive profile by 45 feet? On deep dives I am constantly grabbing the admiral by her BC and pulling her up by 10 feet or so as she gets distracted by shiny things.

Last but not least - I use a wrist mounted computer so that a gear swap doesn't take my computer out. I've never seen a dramatic difference between my computer and a rental/backup, although I did own one which was more conservative than most.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
That's all fine and dandy, But, understand the $500 reg will have limitations that probably the $2,000.00 reg won't. I would NOT take the $500.00 reg diving with me unless I was cleaning the bottom of backyard pools.
Highly unlikely. The $2K reg is $2K because Titanium is more expensive and harder to machine than brass. The Ti reg is usually a bit lighter, and less prone to corrosion. However, a properly cared for brass regulator can last a real long time. A $500-$600 reg is not bottom of the line by any means.

I currently have 2 active Zeagles. Both are environmentally sealed balanced diaphragms with balanced second stages. The oldest is an early DS-V that I purchased in 2003. The other is a Flathead 7 that I purchased in 2014. Both get serviced every year, and both have active lifetime warranty. I pay the shop for labor, but service parts are free. I paid around $500 for the FH7 and even less for the DS-V.

Technically, a piston regulator will be able to deliver more air than a diaphragm, but in the real world, the difference does not matter. Either is capable of delivering far more air than a human, or pair of humans, can consume at depth.

What you really want in a regulator is balanced 1st and 2nd stage from a reputable manufacturer. Diaphragm or piston is personal choice. Environmental sealing is recommended if you dive in cold or dirty water, or just want to make cleaning easier. Servicing an environmentally sealed piston reg is significantly more expensive than servicing an environmentally sealed diaphragm reg. Adjustable breathing resistance and Venturi assist are also good features.

Both my reg are env sealed diaphragm with Venturi assist and breathing resistance adjustment. Both also earn high marks in non-biased testing that tends to push the regulator well beyond what I will throw at it.

Beyond that, the features are gimmicks. Fancy materials, auto-closure devices, fancy mouthpiece, etc. And the auto closure devices can actually be a problem. Several have been recalled due to the ACD restricting air to the diver.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
I'm not questioning your story, but wanted to point out - the initial failure here was your own octo. I wouldn't expect every shop to let you do it, but if you have a standard octo with a standard LP connection, it should only have taken 45 seconds with a wrench to swap yours out for theirs. I've shot myself in the foot here by having an integrated inflator/octo.

As for their computer reading the wrong depth - that's certainly concerning - but is the kind of failure which could happen to your own gear and you'd never know it. Similarly, how did your dive buddy let you exceed the dive profile by 45 feet? On deep dives I am constantly grabbing the admiral by her BC and pulling her up by 10 feet or so as she gets distracted by shiny things.

Last but not least - I use a wrist mounted computer so that a gear swap doesn't take my computer out. I've never seen a dramatic difference between my computer and a rental/backup, although I did own one which was more conservative than most.
when ever i dive i know the water depth well before i hit the water, so if i hit bottom at 135ft and was only suppose to go to 100ft, a red flag should have went off! computers and gauges are simply an aid. they should not be relied on 100%
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:05 PM
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make your won calculation how long it will take you to amortize your own dive gear instead of renting it.
Add then 50$ extra luggage fee for every flight you do with it, add at least 200$ per year for serviving by a serious technician and you will see that owning own gear is not a big bargain with less than 50 dives per year.
It is my 20 year long experience that about 3/4 of the clients with just serviced regulators will discovere when we test them before the dives that the "technician" made unexplainable mistakes and the regulator is not safe to dive.

I personally consider own dive gear (particularly BCD) for a safety factor as in a emergency situation you know where what is, and it will fit your size and that makes diving more relaxed.

For persons with non standard bodies who have always problems to find a right size rental wetsuit i suggest that they buy their own to avoid stress while gearing up with wrong size wetsuits.
People who are heavy overweight should get a weight harnes to avoid that dive operation dont have a 5xl weight belt and if so their 26+ lbs weight belt (will) slip when they decend

But, understand the $500 reg will have limitations that probably the $2,000.00 reg won't.
well ..., 75% of the dive operation i dove with had Scuabpro MK2 and cheapest 2nd stage combinations and they work well to at least 60/80ft (i dove this combiantion in Fernando Noronha (Brasil) down to 120ft and there was no difference to my MK17.
In my dive operations we rent the balanced MK11 and MK17 with mid price 2nd stages and never hady any problem with them, nor clients complaining.
Scubapro MKII EVO + R192 is actually 392$
Scubapro MK17 EVO + G260 is actually 655$
Scubapro MK25 + S600 cost actually 729$
add another 200$ for secondary airsource, a low pressure inflator hose and a pressure and depth gauge console and you have a great, long lasting regulator combination

Chris
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
That's all fine and dandy, But, understand the $500 reg will have limitations that probably the $2,000.00 reg won't. I would NOT take the $500.00 reg diving with me unless I was cleaning the bottom of backyard pools.
have to disagree! out of all the divers, what is the percentage that go over 100ft depth? maybe 15-20%. even to 150-180 foot the $500 reg is more than capable. anything over those depths is getting into serious technical diving and is few and far between. the average diver is open water cert and nitrox and would rarely go beyond 100ft.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
That's all fine and dandy, But, understand the $500 reg will have limitations that probably the $2,000.00 reg won't. I would NOT take the $500.00 reg diving with me unless I was cleaning the bottom of backyard pools.
If you're that worried about your regulator failing, then carry a redundant air supply.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:55 PM
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Brent? I got my stuff from him. Honest and fair.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by esterodiver@yahoo.com View Post
Brent? I got my stuff from him. Honest and fair.
yep. Great guy.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:02 AM
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Own all of my dive gear but diving is pretty much all I do. Between spearfishing and tech diving I have more money tied up in gear than I care to think about.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
I'm not questioning your story, but wanted to point out - the initial failure here was your own octo. I wouldn't expect every shop to let you do it, but if you have a standard octo with a standard LP connection, it should only have taken 45 seconds with a wrench to swap yours out for theirs. I've shot myself in the foot here by having an integrated inflator/octo.
At that time (I don't know about now-a-days) Sherwood would not marry up with USD...and the shop did not have an adapter.

[quote]As for their computer reading the wrong depth - that's certainly concerning - but is the kind of failure which could happen to your own gear and you'd never know it. Similarly, how did your dive buddy let you exceed the dive profile by 45 feet? On deep dives I am constantly grabbing the admiral by her BC and pulling her up by 10 feet or so as she gets distracted by shiny things.[/quote}

True, it could happen to all our gear at anytime. But in saying that, where I dive I'm not accustom to being able to see 135 ft down into the water while standing on a boat.
Since that dive I invested in a ScubaPro personal dive sonar so shit like that can not happen again.

When I did that 135 ft dive I watched my gauge like a hawk, I even said to the DM that you had to see me glued to my gauge as I dropped down the side of the wreck because I watched it like nobodies business.
In hind sight, if it happened today and I didn't scan the depth before the dive I would swim over to some other divers and compare my gauge with theirs, but that would only happen because I had learned from this screw up.
Comment after comment here talk about swapping out spit by using a rented reg, no one is questioning if the gear is safe to dive or not, so what happened to me could very well happen to you or anyone else that rents gear.

My tourist dive partner (no clue who the guy was) had no depth gauge, only a pressure gauge, so he followed my lead. Did he and the other three American divers that went to the bottom that denied going down that far (that dove the rest of the trip) get the bend too? They HAD to have because I know I certainly had the bobbles bouncing around in most of my joints.

Last but not least - I use a wrist mounted computer so that a gear swap doesn't take my computer out. I've never seen a dramatic difference between my computer and a rental/backup, although I did own one which was more conservative than most.
At this stage in my diving career I have not found the need to have redundancy in a dive computer, so I don't. Although all my dive profiles are worked out on the dive wheel before I get into the water and as I mentioned I do have the personal dive sonar.


People make mistakes everyday, and I did that day. The mistake I made was trusting my life in equipment that wasn't mine and I didn't know it's track record. In retrospect, today the only other person's gear I would trust using for dive would be my wife's....and that's because I service her gear as I do my own.
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