BC's - $200 versus $400 models

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by Skir » Tue, 15 Apr 1997 04:00:00


I am recently certified and live in So Calif.  I'll probably dive a couple
times a month, mostly beach, some boat dives.  My interests are casual,
having fun.  I'm slowing picking up equip, a combination of new/used.  

I'm now looking at BC's.  At the low end, local dive shops have the
Seaquest Spectrum 1 and Sherwood Cayman (last years model, I think).  Both
for around $200.  Which would you recommend?  Are there other good low end
BC's that you would recommend over these?  I'm willing to pay a little
more, if it gets me a lot more.  I do want something that will last and
will take me beyond novice diving.

What characteristics do you look for in a BC?  Functionally there seems to
be little difference between a $200 BC and one that costs $400.  The
higher priced model will have more buckles and pockets and will generally
be more heavy duty, but for a recreational diver is there any practical
difference?

Rental BC's are probably even lower end than the $200 ones mentioned above
- and these seemed to work for me.

Don C

 
 
 

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by fishbre.. » Tue, 15 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>I'm now looking at BC's.  At the low end, local dive shops have the
>Seaquest Spectrum 1 and Sherwood Cayman (last years model, I think).  Both
>for around $200.  Which would you recommend?  Are there other good low end
>BC's that you would recommend over these?  I'm willing to pay a little
>more, if it gets me a lot more.  I do want something that will last and
>will take me beyond novice diving.

Try them out, buy which ever suits you and the environment you dive the BEST.  Some equipment is made for warm water, other equipment can handle both warm and cold water environments.    Ask about
specs.  BUY WHAT YOU AND YOUR pocket can afford.  I doubt that there is much of a difference beyond fit.

 
 
 

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by Ombli » Tue, 15 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Just how far beyond novice do you want to go? If your looking to slap
doubles on those BC's, then you better think again.

I wouldn't worry about it being last years model (so you don't get the
map lights built into the visor <g>). Be honest about what you plan to
do and how soon you plan to do it. If your new to the sport, it is
only natural to think your going to be a Divemaster within a year.
Everyone thinks that, few do it. If you are new, take time to smell
the roses and hone your skills.

Either BC you mention will do the job for the average diver in fairly
normal conditions (ie at leat 70 degrees, wetsuit, recreationallimits)
for a number of years IF properly cared for. That means fresh water
rinse, inside and out after every day of diving; storing it hung up on
a wide hanger, etc....

A good shop can help you pick out what is appropiate for what style of
diving you will do. A bad shop will toss you whatever BC has a good
profit margin. How to tell the difference between shops. One will
listen to your questions and ask some of you. They will point out
features and shortcomings in a polite manner. The other immediately
tosses a $500 Zeagle or Transpac at you and says that will take care
of anything (which they will).

Ask to try it in the water (training pool will do) to check comfort
and workability. Not all shops will let you do this, actually very few
do. If they don't,  ask if you can fullprice exchange it within say
14-30 days for a better model (save all material that comes with it).

Ron

Quote:


>>I'm now looking at BC's.  At the low end, local dive shops have the
>>Seaquest Spectrum 1 and Sherwood Cayman (last years model, I think).  Both
>>for around $200.  Which would you recommend?  Are there other good low end
>>BC's that you would recommend over these?  I'm willing to pay a little
>>more, if it gets me a lot more.  I do want something that will last and
>>will take me beyond novice diving.
>Try them out, buy which ever suits you and the environment you dive the BEST.  Some equipment is made for warm water, other equipment can handle both warm and cold water environments.    Ask about
>specs.  BUY WHAT YOU AND YOUR pocket can afford.  I doubt that there is much of a difference beyond fit.


 
 
 

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by Art Pal » Tue, 15 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Definately good advice!  You really need to look at the environment your going
to be diving in.  If your planning on doing local diving, rent and go on a
local dive trip with a good buddy.  Joining a club can also be a good source
of information on local diving.  Provided your instructor is trustworthy, you
can always ask them.

Safe diving,
Art.

Last Dive 4/13/97, Shark River Inlet, 45ft/40 minutes, 41 degrees F,21% O2



Quote:
>Subject: Re: BC's - $200 versus $400 models
>Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 10:25:55 GMT
>Just how far beyond novice do you want to go? If your looking to slap
>doubles on those BC's, then you better think again.
>I wouldn't worry about it being last years model (so you don't get the
>map lights built into the visor <g>). Be honest about what you plan to
>do and how soon you plan to do it. If your new to the sport, it is
>only natural to think your going to be a Divemaster within a year.
>Everyone thinks that, few do it. If you are new, take time to smell
>the roses and hone your skills.
>Either BC you mention will do the job for the average diver in fairly
>normal conditions (ie at leat 70 degrees, wetsuit, recreationallimits)
>for a number of years IF properly cared for. That means fresh water
>rinse, inside and out after every day of diving; storing it hung up on
>a wide hanger, etc....
>A good shop can help you pick out what is appropiate for what style of
>diving you will do. A bad shop will toss you whatever BC has a good
>profit margin. How to tell the difference between shops. One will
>listen to your questions and ask some of you. They will point out
>features and shortcomings in a polite manner. The other immediately
>tosses a $500 Zeagle or Transpac at you and says that will take care
>of anything (which they will).
>Ask to try it in the water (training pool will do) to check comfort
>and workability. Not all shops will let you do this, actually very few
>do. If they don't,  ask if you can fullprice exchange it within say
>14-30 days for a better model (save all material that comes with it).
>Ron


>>>I'm now looking at BC's.  At the low end, local dive shops have the
>>>Seaquest Spectrum 1 and Sherwood Cayman (last years model, I think).  Both
>>>for around $200.  Which would you recommend?  Are there other good low end
>>>BC's that you would recommend over these?  I'm willing to pay a little
>>>more, if it gets me a lot more.  I do want something that will last and
>>>will take me beyond novice diving.
>>Try them out, buy which ever suits you and the environment you dive the BEST.  Some equipment is made for warm water, other equipment can handle both warm and cold water environments.    Ask about
>>specs.  BUY WHAT YOU AND YOUR pocket can afford.  I doubt that there is much of a difference beyond fit.

 
 
 

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by Lee Bel » Tue, 15 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> I wouldn't worry about it being last years model (so you don't get the
> map lights built into the visor <g>). Be honest about what you plan to
> do and how soon you plan to do it. If your new to the sport, it is
> only natural to think your going to be a Divemaster within a year.
> Everyone thinks that, few do it. If you are new, take time to smell
> the roses and hone your skills.

> Either BC you mention will do the job for the average diver in fairly
> normal conditions (ie at leat 70 degrees, wetsuit, recreationallimits)
> for a number of years IF properly cared for. That means fresh water
> rinse, inside and out after every day of diving; storing it hung up on
> a wide hanger, etc....

> Ask to try it in the water (training pool will do) to check comfort
> and workability. Not all shops will let you do this, actually very few
> do. If they don't,  ask if you can fullprice exchange it within say
> 14-30 days for a better model (save all material that comes with it).

This is really excellent advice.  Hopefully, I've got something
worthwhile to add to it.  Shops which don't have an onsite pool, which
describes most of the shops in S. Florida, sometimes have a rental
program for the BC's they carry.  If you test the BC in an onsite pool,
ask if you can try it with a full tank and with an almost empty tank,
preferably the same kind of tank you'll use most.  A standard 80 gets
quite buoyant when almost empty and tends to float off the bank and/or
move around more than a full one.  In my experience, this is where a good
verus poor fit shows the most.

--
Lee Bell
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

 
 
 

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by Carl Hein » Wed, 16 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:
>Ask to try it in the water (training pool will do) to check comfort
>and workability. Not all shops will let you do this, actually very few

*Excellent idea*...  There should be SOMEONE around with the type of BC
you want that will let you try it in the pool, maybe an instructor or a
"regular" who hangs out at a dive shop.

Quote:
>do. If they don't,  ask if you can fullprice exchange it within say
>14-30 days for a better model (save all material that comes with it).

This is IMNSHO a bad idea.  Why, well, you get store credit, but then
you have effectively lost all price negotiation power.  Now thanks a
"money back" credit shouldn't be too hard to get if they absolutely
cannot find one to let you try.

-Carl-

 
 
 

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by Skir » Thu, 17 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Thanks for the advise on BC's.  I mentioned it was last years model only
so you would not try to find it in this years catalog.   I could care less
about having this years model, latest graphics, etc.  

I'm interested ONLY in function, so if $200, or even $150 will give me
basic function, that's all I want.

Sounds like fit is one of the most important considerations.

 
 
 

BC's - $200 versus $400 models

Post by fishbre.. » Thu, 17 Apr 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>Thanks for the advise on BC's.  I mentioned it was last years model only
>so you would not try to find it in this years catalog.   I could care less
>about having this years model, latest graphics, etc.  

>I'm interested ONLY in function, so if $200, or even $150 will give me
>basic function, that's all I want.

>Sounds like fit is one of the most important considerations.

FUNCTION is what is important, well, also FIT . . .so if it functions, and it fits, go for it!  Have fun!