Aluminum vs steel tanks

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spatman
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by spatman » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:22 am

av8tor wrote:Newly certified and slowly collecting my own gear. The next purchase will be tanks. What would be the best option for the PNW area, ie salt water durability, temperature, depth, size, weight, etc. Steel or Aluminum? I intend to progress to AOW when I gain more experience and want to purchase equipment that I can utilize for deeper dives including possibly nitrox.



My 2psi, which echoes a lot of what has been said already:

Aluminum tanks will get you out diving, which we all can agree is the point. Depending on your consumption rate, 77cf may not give you enough gas to do deeper dives while still maintaining a decent margin of reserve for you and your buddy to ascend safely should the need to share air/gas arise. As others said, you'll need to pack on a lot more lead to compensate for the buoyancy characteristics of the aluminum. A plus to aluminum tanks is that they are much cheaper than steel, and that can be a major factor if you are on a tight budget.

Steel tanks come in many shapes and capacities, which can make it easier to fit the tank to not only your consumption rate and dive profile, but also to your body shape. e.g., a Worthington hp119 is considerably shorter but a bit wider than a PST hp120. Basically the same capacity, but one may fit your height better and help your trim from becoming too head or foot heavy. You'll also need a lot less lead on your belt/BCD than you would with an aluminum tank.

If you can make it work, I would encourage taking folks up on their offers to test out tanks, and make your decision based on comfort, capacity relating to the dive profiles you eventually want to be doing, and price.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide.
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by av8tor » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:17 am

I appreciate the responses, there is a wealth of experience and knowledge among this group. I think the idea presented above of demonstrating equipment at the next club dive is an excellant idea. Work schedule permitting, I am planning on attending the dive scheduled on 3/31 in Mukilteo.

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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by Nwcid » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:30 am

Just went though this myself this fall. Had the chance to buy 4 new AL-80's for $450 out the door. Man that seemed like a good deal. They were new, that gave us (GF and I) 2 tanks each. What was there not to like.

After beating ourselves up back and forth about what to do we went with HP-100's and couldn't be happier. In class we we used a couple different LP tanks (not sure what they were). After class we did 2 dives on our own and used AL-80's. They did work but we really had to add weight. The steel tanks will keep their value if you decide to sell them later.

My initial thought on the AL-80's was we could keep them for back up or sell them later if we didnt use them. Well to use them means changing weighting, while not a big deal can suck. For resale there is very little. So to us it seemed like would be a real waste and cost more money in the long run since we knew we would be going to steel.


Just some thoughts from another new guy based on the great info I got here and on scubaboard. While there is lots of stuff people buy for "style points" steel tanks are not one. Steel tanks are a functional product and a definitive place in diving especially in the PNW.
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Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by mancub » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:17 pm

Av8tor

Unfortunately I cannot make the Muk club dive on the 31st. I would still be down to meetup for a dive and let you see what a HP100 or HP119 feels like underwater. Shoot me a PM if you ever want to go. I am usually free after 7:30pm weekdays or most of the time on weekends.

I would highly recommend diving an AL80 and HP100 before you buy. If the 80s work go for it. They are cheaper. Just wanted to offer the chance to "test drive". Personally, for single tank diving in the NW I will only ever dive HP100s. My body size and air consumption line up perfectly. As mentioned, steel comes in different shapes and sizes to fit each person. Al80s are not bad tanks, just a different use. I dive them all the time in warm water ;), and I'm sure the tech guys use them as bailout.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:54 pm

Jake, yeah maybe your right but I was sending that with some sarcasim but also as a new diver and newer person to this board this is alot of the time what some of the people sound like here and on dive sites and they may not realize it...

I had a incident where a GUE guy was kinda laughing at me and telling me I didnt know what I was talking about and that a BP/W IS better then a BCD... Well that is great that he felt that way, but on this particular day I had already tried one in the past, and I was a few dives in and didnt like it as it was just another new thing and I was having a hard enough time jsut trying to remeber how to put my gear together still so i dont go out and kill myself because i didnt tighten up this or that, or forget my proper weighting and get stuck floating at the top (COUGH COUGH) and so forth. I am happy he had his opinion but you know what they say opinions are like assholes, everyone has em and they all stink unless its yours lol.

In retrospec I am now looking to finally switch over to a BP/W, why? Not cuz I think its better then a BCD or some other form of device, but in my opinion its the proper gear for me in my view for the type of diving I am going to be wanting to do in the future (cave/tech/wreck).

And spatman sometimes :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: is all you can hear when higher and more mightier diver :rawlings: is talking about comsumption rate, Cf's, margins of saftey, buoyancy characteristics, dive profiles, and all the PST< LDS< CF< BP/W< and other abreviations people use...

I still dont know what the hell people are talking about half the time when they speak "diver" on this board or in person sometimes. Not to mention the forum terms people use who have frequented these boards for a large portion of time. I just figured out what OP meant the other day haha.. :rofl:

Sometimes as a new diver I just want to get peoples opinions and the reasons why "they" choose to go with what peice of equiptment they use and thats all I need to hear, preferably in english :queenliz: . As I mentioned earlier in this post, that is not how it always seems when the diver gods speak and your a new diver looking for information...

I hope when I become a god of the dive sites i remember what it was like to be a scubnewb so i dont find myself doing the same thing...

Anyhow time to go take my medicine... :arsespank:

Oh and OP (Original Poster) I do hope my first post of my experience and reason I bought 2 AL 80's helped... I will say i am going to go to the 100's now that money isnt so tight in case I didnt mention so earlier... :supz:

Nwbrewer wrote:
Just some friendly advice from someone who isnt all hung up on the YOU MUST HAVE THIS CUZ I DO AND THIS IS WHAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS attitude... :stir:


I don't think this is really fair to the above posters. I saw a lot of people with very valid reasons for recommending steel tanks. If your budget is super tight, grab some 80's and go diving, that's what i first started with, but I very rapidly discovered that there were good reasons why people here use steel tanks primarily.

As for SM diving al80's, while using super light tanks is fun, adding 10LBS of lead when going from a single 119 to double al80's kind of sucks.... I want some HP 100's.

To the OP, try a few different kinds of tanks and see what works for you. If you can make it up to MMM or something I'll loan you my 119 to try out.
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Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by spatman » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:01 pm

scubnewb wrote: And spatman sometimes :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: is all you can hear when higher and more mightier diver :rawlings: is talking about comsumption rate, Cf's, margins of saftey, buoyancy characteristics, dive profiles, and all the PST< LDS< CF< BP/W< and other abreviations people use...

I still dont know what the hell people are talking about half the time when they speak "diver" on this board or in person sometimes. Not to mention the forum terms people use who have frequented these boards for a large portion of time. I just figured out what OP meant the other day haha..


These are all learning opportunities. All you have to do is ask, and folks will help you figure out what it is you are missing.
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:23 pm

:dj: ok then why is this avaiable as a Icon... and why is it not called the scubnewb icon! lol




spatman wrote:
scubnewb wrote: And spatman sometimes :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: is all you can hear when higher and more mightier diver :rawlings: is talking about comsumption rate, Cf's, margins of saftey, buoyancy characteristics, dive profiles, and all the PST< LDS< CF< BP/W< and other abreviations people use...

I still dont know what the hell people are talking about half the time when they speak "diver" on this board or in person sometimes. Not to mention the forum terms people use who have frequented these boards for a large portion of time. I just figured out what OP meant the other day haha..


These are all learning opportunities. All you have to do is ask, and folks will help you figure out what it is you are missing.
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Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by spatman » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:14 pm

You have to earn your icon, amigo. And I could think of a few better option for you than that one... ;)
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by mancub » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:06 pm

Scubnewb

Totally hear you. I also do not like it when people "talk down" to others whether it be about diving or not...just because they think they are right or know more. I'll say this, my reason for using HP100s is because my instructor and now good friend uses them exclusively while diving around here. He has ~7500 dives so it seemed logical to borrow his and see how I liked them. I love them! However, he also dives a BCD and I dive a bp/w. His experience is infinitely more, but we have our preferences. The best way is to try as much gear as possible, and talk to as many different folks too! No right or wrong way, as long as you are having fun imo. Tech or recreational, cold or warm water, we are all seeing the same things and trying to have fun, right?!

kk, lets hold hands and do trust falls now...

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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:17 pm

Lol not if you knew what I did for a living, who I was, and who I worked with :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj:


spatman wrote:You have to earn your icon, amigo. And I could think of a few better option for you than that one... ;)
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:20 pm

Trust falls... Ha I did that once.... Hit my head on the coffee table :axe:

mancub wrote:Scubnewb

Totally hear you. I also do not like it when people "talk down" to others whether it be about diving or not...just because they think they are right or know more. I'll say this, my reason for using HP100s is because my instructor and now good friend uses them exclusively while diving around here. He has ~7500 dives so it seemed logical to borrow his and see how I liked them. I love them! However, he also dives a BCD and I dive a bp/w. His experience is infinitely more, but we have our preferences. The best way is to try as much gear as possible, and talk to as many different folks too! No right or wrong way, as long as you are having fun imo. Tech or recreational, cold or warm water, we are all seeing the same things and trying to have fun, right?!

kk, lets hold hands and do trust falls now...

Jacob
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Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by spatman » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:22 pm

I meant earn them here on the forum, not IRL.

scubnewb wrote:Lol not if you knew what I did for a living, who I was, and who I worked with :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj:


spatman wrote:You have to earn your icon, amigo. And I could think of a few better option for you than that one... ;)
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:23 pm

what is IRL????


spatman wrote:I meant earn them here on the forum, not IRL.

scubnewb wrote:Lol not if you knew what I did for a living, who I was, and who I worked with :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj:


spatman wrote:You have to earn your icon, amigo. And I could think of a few better option for you than that one... ;)
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."
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Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by spatman » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:29 pm

In Real Life

scubnewb wrote:what is IRL????


spatman wrote:I meant earn them here on the forum, not IRL.

scubnewb wrote:Lol not if you knew what I did for a living, who I was, and who I worked with :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj:


spatman wrote:You have to earn your icon, amigo. And I could think of a few better option for you than that one... ;)
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:45 pm

Oh, well I dont have a none real life... Im the same guy here as I am there... where ever there is at the time. Why would I want to be anyone else... I love my life. :bootyshake: :la: :norris: :jason: :partyman: :supz: :breakdance: :dj:

spatman wrote:In Real Life

scubnewb wrote:what is IRL????


spatman wrote:I meant earn them here on the forum, not IRL.

scubnewb wrote:Lol not if you knew what I did for a living, who I was, and who I worked with :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj: :dj:


spatman wrote:You have to earn your icon, amigo. And I could think of a few better option for you than that one... ;)
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by Mateo1147 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:21 am

It's ok Scubnewb. I know where you were coming from in your initial post in this thread. Every time I have read a thread on this board where someone of much experience and training has implied or stated that it's not safe to dive an AL80 in puget sound I just nod my head and keep reading. Without risking sanction by mentioning any particular style or discipline of diving you too can nod your head and just let them do it "their way" while continuing to have a fun and safe time diving.

Now, to stay on topic.
Aluminum tanks can be had for cheap and let you start enjoying having tanks handy when a buddy calls. Because of their smallish capacity they can actually promote working hard on lowering your SAC rate. They will limit your potential safe dive profiles when and if your training advances beyond OW. I didn't need to add the word safe did I? You are a certified diver after all.
Steel tanks are great for taking lead off your rig and increasing the amount of gas you can carry for whatever style and type of diving you end up doing. They cost more initially new or used but also have a lot longer potential life span than aluminum.
What do I have? 1 AL19, 2 AL80's, 2 LP85's and one HP130. Those cover all the dives I have the training for and then some.

Have fun with your new sport and I hope to meet up and dive sometime! :partyman:
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by Nwbrewer » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:40 am

Ok, seriously, someone please point me to where in this thread ANYONE said it's unsafe to dive an al80 in cold water. I couldn't find it.
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:11 am

Nwbrewer wrote:Ok, seriously, someone please point me to where in this thread ANYONE said it's unsafe to dive an al80 in cold water. I couldn't find it.


Oh course its not here. Its one of those things like the mean DIR guy I met at Cove2 once. Long on nepharious world domination conspiracy, short on reality.
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by Norris » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:25 am

CaptnJack wrote:
Nwbrewer wrote:Ok, seriously, someone please point me to where in this thread ANYONE said it's unsafe to dive an al80 in cold water. I couldn't find it.


Oh course its not here. Its one of those things like the mean DIR guy I met at Cove2 once. Long on nepharious world domination conspiracy, short on reality.


2 wrongs ≠ right
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by spatman » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:53 am

Are we really turning this into another DIR thread? Give it a rest, guys.
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by Tom Nic » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:12 am

Ah the interwebs.... #-o :tomnic:

It is hard enough to communicate in person.

When we throw in the internet, written communication, emoticons, insecurity, learning about a new activity with it's own language and history, people's past history with each other on and off the board, general cranky pissed offedness, neurosis, mental illness, controlled substances, mother-in-laws, politics, oh, and varying diving philosophies, people misunderstand, get their knickers and Weezles in a wad, etc etc etc and the virtual ink starts flying.

That's why I LOVE being a MOD! :) :rjack:

Deep breaths, backing away from the computer occasionally, not taking ourselves or others too seriously, yoga (or your exercise of choice), and the actual occasional dive go a long ways towards surviving this crazy medium.

Peace, People! :rawlings: :angelblue:
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by Joshua Smith » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:26 am

Tom Nic wrote:Ah the interwebs.... #-o :tomnic:

It is hard enough to communicate in person.

When we throw in the internet, written communication, emoticons, insecurity, learning about a new activity with it's own language and history, people's past history with each other on and off the board, general cranky pissed offedness, neurosis, mental illness, controlled substances, mother-in-laws, politics, oh, and varying diving philosophies, people misunderstand, get their knickers and Weezles in a wad, etc etc etc and the virtual ink starts flying.

That's why I LOVE being a MOD! :) :rjack:

Deep breaths, backing away from the computer occasionally, not taking ourselves or others too seriously, yoga (or your exercise of choice), and the actual occasional dive go a long ways towards surviving this crazy medium.

Peace, People! :rawlings: :angelblue:

Shut up, jerk.
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by spatman » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:28 am

Joshua Smith wrote:
Tom Nic wrote:Ah the interwebs.... #-o :tomnic:

It is hard enough to communicate in person.

When we throw in the internet, written communication, emoticons, insecurity, learning about a new activity with it's own language and history, people's past history with each other on and off the board, general cranky pissed offedness, neurosis, mental illness, controlled substances, mother-in-laws, politics, oh, and varying diving philosophies, people misunderstand, get their knickers and Weezles in a wad, etc etc etc and the virtual ink starts flying.

That's why I LOVE being a MOD! :) :rjack:

Deep breaths, backing away from the computer occasionally, not taking ourselves or others too seriously, yoga (or your exercise of choice), and the actual occasional dive go a long ways towards surviving this crazy medium.

Peace, People! :rawlings: :angelblue:

Shut up, jerk.


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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by Tom Nic » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:43 am

Joshua Smith wrote:
Tom Nic wrote:Ah the interwebs.... #-o :tomnic:

It is hard enough to communicate in person.

When we throw in the internet, written communication, emoticons, insecurity, learning about a new activity with it's own language and history, people's past history with each other on and off the board, general cranky pissed offedness, neurosis, mental illness, controlled substances, mother-in-laws, politics, oh, and varying diving philosophies, people misunderstand, get their knickers and Weezles in a wad, etc etc etc and the virtual ink starts flying.

That's why I LOVE being a MOD! :) :rjack:

Deep breaths, backing away from the computer occasionally, not taking ourselves or others too seriously, yoga (or your exercise of choice), and the actual occasional dive go a long ways towards surviving this crazy medium.

Peace, People! :rawlings: :angelblue:

Shut up, jerk.


Oh yeah, and I forgot. Thanks for reminding me. Sometimes people are just jerks. :tomnic:
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Re: Aluminum vs steel tanks

Post by BASSMAN » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:35 am

:rofl: Now the mods are calling each other Jerks! :queenliz:
What oh what is this board coming too? :rofl:

Joshua Smith wrote:
Tom Nic wrote:Ah the interwebs.... #-o :tomnic:

It is hard enough to communicate in person.

When we throw in the internet, written communication, emoticons, insecurity, learning about a new activity with it's own language and history, people's past history with each other on and off the board, general cranky pissed offedness, neurosis, mental illness, controlled substances, mother-in-laws, politics, oh, and varying diving philosophies, people misunderstand, get their knickers and Weezles in a wad, etc etc etc and the virtual ink starts flying.

That's why I LOVE being a MOD! :) :rjack:

Deep breaths, backing away from the computer occasionally, not taking ourselves or others too seriously, yoga (or your exercise of choice), and the actual occasional dive go a long ways towards surviving this crazy medium.

Peace, People! :rawlings: :angelblue:

Shut up, jerk.
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