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Scuba gear: own or rent?

Old 03-12-2019, 02:45 PM
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Default Scuba gear: own or rent?

Didn’t want to derail the other thread about the Plnellas death.

Wife (69) and I (63) are avid scuba divers. We will take cruises and use the cruise ship as our “dive boat”. We went on our honeymoon last year to Bonaire. 10 days of near constant diving. She’s been diving for about 18 years, I’ve been diving for about 10, so she was into it way before I was.

I always insisted that we purchase our own equipment. When we travel and dive we take all of our gear except for weights and tanks. I feel that if we’re trusting our life to equipment I would much prefer it to be my own gear that I know the service history. BCD, regulator, computers.

What about you other divers?
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:50 PM
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My whole family has their own gear. When we travel for diving we take our own gear. I know when it was serviced and everyone is comfortable with their BCDs, etc. We use tanks and weights from supporting shop or dive boat.
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:53 PM
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Own my own gear, rent tanks.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:04 PM
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I got certified 25 years ago and was an avid diver the first 10 years so I had all my own gear. I was diving at least one weekend a month and often two or three weekends after my wife and sons got certified too so we owned all our own gear. Lots of gear! Sons are off on their own now and over time I’ve pared down what we own to wetsuits, mask, fins and dive computer. We rent everything else now since we dive once or twice a year if we’re lucky. Still enjoy it though and have never felt as though I was more at risk from renting. Did the Galapagos last year and Bonaire the year before that. Both awesome!
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:06 PM
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:21 PM
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When I was younger and dove with buddies locally, I had all my own gear and took that travelling. That time has passed and I dive maybe 5-12x per year while on vacation. I have found the rental or resort provided equipment (BC, regulator and weight belt) to be very good. Now all I travel with is mask, fins, snorkel and computer, and on rare occasions we go where the water is under 83 degree my own wetsuit.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:07 PM
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We own our own gear and we go on week+ long liveaboard dive trips on a regular basis. We also each have UW camera rigs so our dive trips are not "traveling light".
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by gundog61 View Post
Own my own gear, rent tanks.
This...
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:40 PM
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Own all my gear including tanks, but don't bring tanks if I travel by air. If you're going to the Caribbean/Mexico/etc. you might want to invest in an analyzer and/or a CO detector. One mis-calibrated analyzer or one tank that gets polluted with CO and can be game over.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:28 PM
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I have mixed feelings about this but also wanted to stay out of the other thread.

The local south florida dive shops are pretty good with their rental gear. In fact I think one of the outfits near me resells their used gear either at the end of every season or every other season.

Have definitely been diving in other locations where that was not the case. That said, scuba gear isn't as complex as people want to make it out to be, and if you are an experienced diver you SHOULD be able to work around just about any equipment malfunction. I've had my own equipment go wrong while travelling as often as I've had bad rental gear.

The main reason I carry my own gear MOST of the time is familiarity. That's also a bit of a curse, because (for instance) I have an octo-inflator on my BC, not a seperate octo, so I'm used to grabbing my BC inflator if my primary were to fail, not reaching for an octo somewhere else.

As above - the most important thing you're doing is trusting the air someone else is providing you. That'll kill you without you even knowing it. I wouldn't want to dive on anything but air without checking the mix myself. Of course, I'm also taking the risk that the tank I get is filled with clean air.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:24 AM
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Rent tanks and weights, own the rest and replace it after maybe 5 years regardless of condition.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
I have mixed feelings about this but also wanted to stay out of the other thread.

The local south florida dive shops are pretty good with their rental gear. In fact I think one of the outfits near me resells their used gear either at the end of every season or every other season.

Have definitely been diving in other locations where that was not the case. That said, scuba gear isn't as complex as people want to make it out to be, and if you are an experienced diver you SHOULD be able to work around just about any equipment malfunction. I've had my own equipment go wrong while travelling as often as I've had bad rental gear.

The main reason I carry my own gear MOST of the time is familiarity. That's also a bit of a curse, because (for instance) I have an octo-inflator on my BC, not a seperate octo, so I'm used to grabbing my BC inflator if my primary were to fail, not reaching for an octo somewhere else.

As above - the most important thing you're doing is trusting the air someone else is providing you. That'll kill you without you even knowing it. I wouldn't want to dive on anything but air without checking the mix myself. Of course, I'm also taking the risk that the tank I get is filled with clean air.
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).
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:48 AM
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all depends on how much you dive and how on top of maintanance you are! a once a year diver, leaves his gear in a garage usually exposed to the heat and that is bad for the rubbers. rental gear is used often, and usually serviced often. so it really just depends on how much your going to use it. servicing your own reg once a year for a once a year dive trip gets to be a real pain in the ass and costly for its use.

agree with FLOT, worst case is a bad fill in another country! anything else, a diver should be able to work around!
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:49 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).
what level of certification are/were you for diving?
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:26 AM
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I've been diving for over 30 years, I'm a NAUI Instructor, and have thousands of dives.

I've traveled all over the country and the world and almost always (99% of the time) carry my own equipment. I dive a Halcyon tech rig that ordinarily has a 6# stainless back plate but when I travel I re-rig it to an aluminum plate that is only 1# to save some weight. When I was traveling around Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Micronesia, Australia and NZ, I would disassemble my regulator and carry it on the plane, almost all of those flights I was limited to 20 kilograms so I would weight myself down through security! I'd wear my foul weather jacket and stuff the pockets just to meet the weight requirement.

At the very least, I'll travel with my mask and my primary and back up dive computers and then borrow or rent gear. I'm very skeptical of any other rental regulators unless its a ScubaPro MK2 or MK25. Sherwood is also acceptable.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tcpip95 View Post
I always insisted that we purchase our own equipment. When we travel and dive we take all of our gear except for weights and tanks. I feel that if we’re trusting our life to equipment I would much prefer it to be my own gear that I know the service history. BCD, regulator, computers.

What about you other divers?
I'm with you. In fact, I've never rented dive gear apart from the use that was included as part of a certification class. I know my gear and have it serviced regularly.

My oldest daughter was certified in her own gear. Younger sister is doing the same now, but borrowing her sister's. I wanted them to learn using gear that they would be using.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:59 AM
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I used to rent scuba gear until I had a pressure gauge air hose blow out during a dive in the keys. Thankfully I was shallow at the time and no harm was done. After that I always owned my own.

Sitting in an anchored 27' boat in a 2+ foot chop while your friends are diving is no fun.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:12 AM
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I owned a dive shop for 30 years. I rented dive gear and properly maintained the equipment.
Lawyers abound in this country and you do not have to be involved in any way to be at fault in a death suit. Our dive businesses at least pay some attention to the condition and safety of rental gear. It is always the same dive gear their students use.
The rental gear department is a profit center. The cheap / budget equipment rents for the same money as the better gear you would prefer to own.
In Mexico for instance, or diving from a foreign flagged boat, you assume your own risk. Good luck if you are injured because of others negligence, like renting you dangerous ill maintained equipment.
Using a rental regulator is like borrowing a bums toothbrush, and wearing a rental wet suit is putting on a used full body diaper. Your call!

Last edited by capt.gene; 03-13-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:24 AM
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Well first off, I'd want to have all my own stuff for travel diving, save the tank. So BCD's, regs, gauges, and ancillary gear are all not difficult to travel with. One extra dive bag checked with the airline should run you an additional $50-$150 and is worth all the peace of mind in the world that your gear is top notch. Tanks, I would never want to travel with. That's where you blow through money real quick. There are obviously failure points there:

- Dirty, uncleaned tank internals
- Faulty valves
- Bad o-rings on valves

The bad o-rings are easy to circumvent and you can just make sure to check them before each dive. This can't be understated for rented tanks. o-ring failures suck underwater.

I was an avid-tech diver so I had roughly $10,000 worth of gear. Never traveled with it though.

At the bare minimum, I'd want my own personal first/second stages, hoses, and gauges. That's the critical failure point that puts people in the grave.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:25 AM
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I sold scuba gear for about a year and a half in college....I sold Scuba Pro which I liked because it was a great brand that I felt was the best or near the best and the prices were set in the catalog that was available to everyone

one of my best closing lines when 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

much less you are spending thousands to go on a vacation and dive and you want to be a cheap ass on one of the most critical pieces of equipment

pretty much closed the deal every time
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