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BCD or not?
MDW - 7/02/2019 5:55 PM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 5

OK, so this probably does not belong in "New Diver Q&A" for several reasons, but since all the other "... or not" threads are here:
Thoughts on using your drysuit as your primary BCD.
I have been doing this pretty consistently this year, having discovered that being perfectly weighted as I am in my configurations (vintage single tank with DH reg, LP72 doubles, or LP steel side mount), my drysuit has plenty of lift and I never put any air in the BCD (horse collar, wing, or dromedary bag, respectively). So I have started diving without these extra BC devices. I am more streamlined and need less inflator hoses running out of the regs. The lift gets more evenly distributed along my entire body, and so I am in better trim than with any style BCD.
Yes, this is not a question directed at new divers - most of whom will be massively overweighted at the direction of their misguided OW instructors. But for those of you who have figured out the right weighting for you, do you find you don’t really use the BCD that much and can use your dry suit and your lung volume to easily control your bouyancy? Would you consider leaving your BCD on shore in your current config?
BTW, I think all these "... or not" topics should be under surveys rather than new diver Q&A. That forum seems to be dying off as people are putting all their survey questions into other forums.
Eric_R - 7/02/2019 9:52 PM
I see a suit failing being a very a large problem without the BC and only a nuisance with it.?
LatitudeAdjustment - 7/03/2019 7:31 AM
That would have cost me a buddy, we had gone to Dutch Springs for a pre trip equipment check although where we were going wouldn’t require a drysuite.
Her zipper failed on entry and she went to the bottom like a rock, by the time I caught up to her she was trying to swim back up and burning thru air. Her travel BC that she was testing didn’t have enough lift for the flooded drysuit and I had to pull her up.
Back on shore I put her legs up on my shoulders to drain her out, little kids walking by were asking; Mommy, what are they doing? Quick Honey, lets get away from them!
MDW - 7/11/2019 2:10 PM
Yeah, I guess I could see that happening with a shell drysuit with the leak up high where all the air would drain as soon as you put it in. Plus it would be hard to swim with that much water sloshing around inside the flooded suit.
Luckily, my drysuit is neoprene, so if it were to flood it just becomes a loose fitting 7mm wetsuit (from a buoyancy perspective).
Rabbit-J - 7/13/2019 6:36 PM
Diving vintage gear has its place, and "way back then" it was common practice. While diving a dry suit primary buoyancy does come from the suit, I would always carry a bcd (or inflation device) should the suit fail.
Your dive, your life.... Just be sure your buddies are aware of your limitations should they have a failure and require your assistance.