Posted by Glenn on August 17, 2001 at 12:33:55:
In Reply to: Alum vs Steel? posted by BadFish on August 17, 2001 at 11:43:59:
It depends on what you want out of a tank to determine what is best. I personally prefer the steel tanks and their boyancy characteristics. A Steel 95 is similar in size to a Aluminum 80. It's a little shorter but fatter. The nice thing about the steel 95 is that it doesn't turn into a cork as most Aluminum tanks tend to. Also, because the tank is shorter it "fits" better on my back as there is less tank hanging down. Since it is heavier it'll remove some weight from your belt (6 pounds for me).
The advantages of aluminum are that it is a much cheaper tank. Typically 1/3 the cost of steel tanks. Second, they don't rust. Aluminum will oxydize, but it is a self limiting process unlike rust to steel. Third, it's a lighter tank if low weight is a concern.
Check out http://www.diverlink.com/gear/gearguide.htm and scroll down near the bottom where tanks are discussed.
I'd go with the steel personally. Check with your local dive shop and see if they have some for rent (there's a shop in Ventura harbor that has steel tanks for rent IIRC). Or if you are seriously interrested in purchasing one perhaps they will let you just borrow one for the day. I made the mistake of letting my fiancee dive with my steel 95 and now she won't let me have it back! :) Unless you want to go bigger the steel 95 is a very versatile tank and is worth trying out before commiting to anything.
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