Re: Wet Steel issue response to Chuck, the first place to look for a dive instructor

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Posted by Kendall Raine on September 09, 2002 at 09:09:32:

In Reply to: Re: Wet Steel issue response to Chuck posted by Chuck Tribolet on September 06, 2002 at 19:38:26:

Hi, Chuck.

Thanks for this. Your assumptions seem reasonable and, of course, the arithmetic is trivial. I prefer not to adjust the buoyancy of the tanks for salt figuring that the regulator weighs about a pound, but it doesn't make a big difference. I left out the diver buoyancy because it varies by diver, but you're right most divers have some natural buoyancy.

Really, the advantage of the AL I was trying to point out was the buoyancy differential in wing failure mode. Both our sets of assumptions bear this out. Actually, your differential is larger than mine: 7lbs v. 5. I have no doubt you can swim up -6. I'm sure you could swim up -11. The advantage is in not having to. I also recognize that by switching from an AA plate to a neutral plate, and putting the 6 lbs on the belt, the differential advantage of the AL goes away. That's really why the discussion is one of ditchable v. non.

Perhaps Slim was right and I could have written it more clearly. Sorry.

As you probably guessed, I was using AA values for a PST LP 80, not the HP. In that case, the slog down the beach is a push. Personally, I like the LP better. They're easier to fill on boats and aren't as prone to flash rust when you clean them. But that's another discussion topic. Again, I think the advantage you pointed out is valid.

At the end of the day, the wet steel debate so vigorously debated on here months ago is, to me, much ado about nothing until you get to much larger gas loads. In Florida, it is common to see people on the Wilkes Barre with double 104's and a 3mm wet suit. Some even use steel stages, too. In that case, the wet steel issue has meaning. That's the context in which the debate started. For recreational, I think it's a cause celebre frequently blown past the point of meaning.

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