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November Charlie

RO# 824

Posted - Sep 26 2008 :  14:33:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone have any opinions?

I have an old Poseidon Cyklon reg that works beautifully, even though it's not too many years younger than I, and I'm TERRIFIED of the 'tsunami' purge (ever see the maelstrom when you purge an old Cyklon underwater? Think it could take your head off your neck). Quite happy with that, has me convinced on the quality of the Poseidon brand.

Maybe a slight exagerration about the purge, but I've been busy enough lately to be a bit looney.

Poseidon drysuits? Any thoughts?
My signature line is cooler than your signature line.

Homeport: Northwest

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Sep 26 2008 :  18:23:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Still got your shower head huh?

What kind of Poseidon suit? Quality wise, they make good product, albeit sometimes quirky. Truth is, while there is a lot of passion around suits, what fits for you may not fit for me. If you are lucky, you can get a good fit in an off the shelf suit. A perfect fit in a ****ty suit is a lot better than an good fit in a great suit. Get my drift? In any of the decent or better brands, fit is everything. Everything else you hear is just a bunch of positioning, usually not so loosely backed by whatever the local guy sells.

Also, in a drysuit, the suit, more than any other single piece of equipment, will have more impact on your overall dive. Cause the suit controls the size of the bubble. The bubble controls everything else. Your choice of undergarment, likewise, very important. But lets talk about the bubble first, in just a little more detail.

Dive effectiveness and dive happiness are a factor of spending the least amount of energy to accomplish any task at hand. Buoyancy is the key, in fact its the whole game. You can't have good buoyancy "techniques" unless you stack the deck in your favor. You do this with your suit. The "bubble" is the air that you carry in your suit. The amount of gas that you carry in your suit, unless you are exceptionally poorly trained, quite probably by a PADI "Professional", should far exceed what you will ever carry in your BC. Bottom line is, you want to carry a small bubble. If you can do this, your going to be far far ahead of the game. Lets explore why.

Why dive a small bubble? I want you to consider two things. Frist, the amount of buoyancy change that you experience in rising 1 foot in the water. Think about the buoyancy change with a big bubble compared to a small bubble. Second, I want you to consider the proportional difference between the size of the bubble in your lungs, as compared to the bubble in your suit (or overall buoyancy). Understanding this is critical to your diving. We are about to stack the deck in your favor and were going to do it with the suit and undergarment along. No other single change will have more impact on your diving. Big bubble/small bubble. Lets say you are at 20 foot of depth, I ask you to raise one foot in the water to 19 foot. What happens with a big or small bubble in your suit? For any given volume of air, raising one foot in the water will cause the bubble to increase by a certain percentage. That means that while as a percentage the big bubble will increase in size the same as the little bubble, but as for overall volume that same 1 foot decrease in depth will cause a greater volume of change in the big bubble than the small bubble. To stay neutrally buoyant, you will need to dump more overall volume of gas with the big bubble than the smaller one. That means more work. So if you can dive a smaller bubble, anywhere in your overall system you have less buoyancy trim changes that you will need to deal with. In short, smaller is better. Next lets compare your overall bubble size as a proportion to the size of the bubble in your lungs. Lets do the PADI instructor trick and make my teaching exercise easier by overweighting you by 25 pounds. You back at 20 foot depth and I ask you to add air to your system to make yourself neutrally buoyant. To offset that extra 25 pounds, you now have a BIG bubble. Your neutral, but we already established that a small change in depth will now cause you to be out of neutral buoyancy by a bigger amount than necessary. One way to quickly add or subtract buoyancy trim is to breathe in a little deeper or exhale a little deeper. If you dive a large bubble the amount of air in your lungs from breathing in a little deeper will nearly always be too small to counter act a small change in depth and resulting size of your bubble. Now lets take of that extra 25 pounds of lead, lets also find another 5-10 pounts (sometimes more) of lead to take off, because were going to fit you with a suit that really really fits. Now proportionally, the overall bubble your are diving is not terribly larger than the bubble in your lungs. So, now I just gave you a HUGE new tool in controlling your buoyancy by simply changing how deeply you inhale/exhale and where you control the "mid" point of that exchange. Now you can ascent a few feet and have the luxury of not having to dump air from your dive bubble until you choose. You won't be glued to your inflator/dump valves every 5 seconds. Also, a small bubble does not move around from your feet to your arms, throwing off your level trim. It means that in the time it takes you to put on a new suit, I just made you a better dive and probably cut your air consumption in half.

So...you ask, is Poseidon a good suit? Well, it can be.

My all time favorite suit is actually a DUI TLS 350. For ME, nothing fit better. With the telescoping torso I have the best flexibility for reaching behind myself, bending forward and in that process not creating a lot of wrinkles to cause drag. Lots of people like the neoprene material suits better, even in the DUI, as they are more durable. But even the crush adds buoyancy and once your buoyancy is under control your not going to worry about abrading the suit anymore because you won't be resting on things all the time, hanging on to maintain buoyancy, its going to all be in your breathing and easy.

But wait.....I've left out one of the most important things. You need to stay warm. Were taking out ALL the extra air in the suit to fix your buoyancy, so what's left darn well better keep you warm. Because of what we did, a crappy undergarment won't work. Your going to need something that really really works. I've had numerous undergarments and none of them worked better than the DUI Thinsulate CF 400 suit (two layers of cf 200 boot grade thinsulate). The boot grade thinsulate does not compress to lose its insulation, and compress it is what we are going to do. Next use argon for your suit inflation. There, that's it. Secrets out. I just made you a better diver, and didn't have to teach you any new skills (which is getting harder these days). I'm not kidding. The in-water different will be striking.

So....don't buy a suit until you can afford to buy "the last suit you will ever need to own". I like DUI, a firm believer. But whatever you get, make sure you get the DUI cf400 thinsulate undergarment and make sure you get a suit that is TAILORED for your fit. Okay, so you don't believe me yet. Do this. Go get into whatever shell drysuit you like. Now, get out a roll of duct tape. Start at your ankles and wrap the tape around the suit, streamlining and taking up all the additional room that should not be in the suit to begin with. Your going to look like a mummy when you get done. Go dive that. It will work great. The only problem is that you will look like a dork and it will take you an hour to get back out of the suit. If you don't have a pee valve, you will piss yourself before you make it out of the suit. But it WILL work. Oh...and don't forget to drop a ton of weight in the process. Get in the water with a nearly empty tank and drop weight until you can just barely make it under the surface by burping your suit at the neck seal (the highest point). Get all the air out. That's perfect and you likey dropped a good 10-15 pounds over what you normally dive with.

So there. Sorry for the long post, but you see I could not really answer the question without educating you as you what you SHOULD have asked. It's not about the mfg. Some are better than others, but anybody's off the rack suit probably won't do, even if you purchase my favorit tls 350 model.

Have fun. Oh...go sell those shower heads to help pay for the reallly really nice suit. We'll get you breathing some helium and then you can get fantastic performance from even the worst reg out there. Seriously, a regulator won't make 10% difference in your diving that a good suit with a small bubble will. It's night & day.



What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

L. Keith

RO# 1615

Posted - Sep 26 2008 :  19:13:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been using Poseidon Cyklon's since 1977. I have four that have been rebuilt at least five times each, smooth breathing, but they do start to clatter past about 175'. Only complaints I've have ever heard about their dry suits is that the back zipper would weap some. Of course that's coming from commercial salvage divers and they can be kinda squirrely any way. I had one walk off a job, go staight to the local commerial dive shop, buy a new suit and be back on the barge for his next shift, all because his drawers got damp. It was winter and he was working at about 130' in the Mississippi River. A little wax on the zipper was all he needed, but he spent the cash on new suit anyway, which had a weaping back zipper also.


Homeport: N. Gulf of Mexico Go to Top of Page

November Charlie

RO# 824

Posted - Sep 27 2008 :  13:13:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's the problem with my old USIA trilaminate suit. Just doesn't fit right. Found myself doing underwater acrobatics a few times. I'm fine in the water around here in the winter in a 7mm two piece, it's getting OUT of the water into the breeze that kills me. And being such a hard fit (6'2", 185lbs. For some reason, I don't carry ANY fat unless I'm on a mid-winter dark beer and red meat bender), neoprene seems like it will meet my needs better than the trilam did/does.

And, of course, there is that 'it's what the local shop carries and recommends' factor, but it seems to be a good fit for my tall skinny frame, and can get a GREAT deal on a Jetsuit. Local shop is no 'PADI padded' shop by any stretch. If you heard what it cost me to get that 'showerhead' (never heard that one) overhauled, all new seals, rings, and both diaphragms, you'd understand why I did. Good backup for the Abyss, or for shallow dirty stuff where I don't want to put the first scratch in the pretty new Abyss my wife and kids bought me for Christmas last year. (Easier to breath through that than through the fog out of the water).

I knew- in fact, was banking on- you being first up with a good dissertation, BP. Helped confirm my suspicion that the fit was more important than just about anýthing else.


My signature line is cooler than your signature line.

Homeport: Northwest Go to Top of Page

lobsta1

RO# 1808

Posted - Sep 27 2008 :  15:26:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,
I started out almost 30 years ago in an Imperial bubble neoprene drysuit. Outgrew that & bought an almost new Poseidon
Unisuit. Used that until two years ago when I finally outgrew that suit. Made the switch last year to an almost new
DUI 50/50 flex suit. Tried to use the same Patagonia long johns I used with the Poseidon. I FROZE & that was only the end
of October. Added a fleece pullover & fleece pants & it was tolerable. I'm retired & the choice was gas for the boat or
paying $300 > 400 for the recommended undergarment. The boat won.

Differences between the two suits. I never wore a BCD with the Poseidon. (Other than a trip to Aruba a few years ago, I've
never even worn a jacket type BC) I still have my old horse collar. With the DUI I dropped 7 lbs of lead & I still have to
wear the horse collar. My sets of twin 50 tanks were condemmed so I will probably get a jacket BC this winter. The Poseidon
had soft feet attached. If you did not wear "spiders", when they filled with air, your fins could be pulled off. It really
helped wearing a skin suit when pulling on the neoprene suit. Don't know about the new Poseidons, but there was no over pressure
suit venting like with the DUI. Trying to pull up a 40 lb bag of scallops one time I had the Unisuit looking like the
Michelin man. With the DUI I am very wary of tearing the flimsy neck & wrist seals.
Al


1978 Bertram 33

Homeport: Beverly,Ma Go to Top of Page

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Sep 27 2008 :  16:47:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love guys lik you Al. You got to learn back when they actually taught diving and funny thing is that the horsecollars had better trim than the jackets ever had. A jacket is about the worst possible choice for a BC. I'd keep the 30 YO horsecollar!

Mike, keep the USIA though. If you ever get fat, it just starts to fit better. Have to patch that suit you will, but mine's on its 4th set of seals, 2nd zipper and has quite a lot of patches on the inside and still going. It's on the boat 100% of the time, for crab pot duty.

I still say that you will never get a neoprene suit of any kind to dive as well as a well fit shell suit. It's just got too much buoyancy, but then I also know that everything is a compromise.

In all seriousness, try ebay. It's amazing what you can find sometimes and do go try on a few different suits to see if you get lucky on an off the shelf size. I actually used to fit almost perfectly into an off the shelf medium (can't even get it on anymore). Lastly, never ever buy one of the DUI Polartec undergarments. I liked to freeze ny mutts in that thing. Even the freebie undergarment that comes with the USIA was better than the polartec.



What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

November Charlie

RO# 824

Posted - Sep 27 2008 :  17:27:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been keeping an eye on EBay - ordered one skinny-guy suit, but it was too short for me. Resold at a profit for the drysuit fund.

Problem with the shell suits for me is finding one that fits. Custom is just too expensive for me. The Jetsuit seems to fit quite nicely, and shouldn't need much in the way of undergarments until it gets quite chilly.

After the Station Niagara incident years ago, early 2000's, drysuits (sans valves) became mandatory wear at work when the water temp is low enough. I've replaced LOTS of seals, and learned the true value of AquaSeal since then. Neoprene gloves that I finally replaced last year, and only because I lost them, were made of AquaSeal held together with a few bits of neoprene.


Appreciate your input, though. As much faith as I have in the local guy here, impartial thoughts are invaluable. Local guy is where I learned to dive - no tropical PADI resort course, but a November-in-New-England facts of REAL life course. I've done a bit of work for him, and he's only charged me for fills two or three times, and rebuilt the Cyklon (brand new 'new-style' diaphragms and all) for less than the cost of a case of beer. Offered me a GREAT deal on the Jetsuit, and fits me better than anything else I've looked at, so November's re-enlistment bonus just might have to put me in a new drysuit.

Never had nor dove a neoprene drysuit, though, so any input helps.


My signature line is cooler than your signature line.

Homeport: Northwest Go to Top of Page

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Sep 27 2008 :  21:08:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I gotta say, I've really been missing it this year. I don't know if I could get back into it casually or not, but I really really want to get back.

What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

lobsta1

RO# 1808

Posted - Sep 27 2008 :  22:05:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,
I've only got a few dives in with the DUI. I probably did about 600 dives with a neoprene dry suit. All of my diving is from Marblehead > Rockport, Ma. I think I prefer the neoprene for the cold waters. They are more of a hassle getting on or off, especially when it is 90* out.

I understand where Ghost is coming from about bouyancy control. However when I'm in the water, I'm either at the surface changing zincs or cleaning the bottom of the boat. Or, I'm a bottom crawler meat diving for lobsta, scallops & flounder.

I have the PADI open water certification. When I did it, it was 5 open water dives that happened to start on April 1st in 35* water. Most of we newbies were in ill fitting rental wetsuits. The instructor was in a nice dry suit. The day of the 1st two dives the air temp was also 35*, it was windy & raining & the surf was really rolling in. In retrospect, there is no way we should all have been out there that day.
Al


1978 Bertram 33

Homeport: Beverly,Ma Go to Top of Page

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Sep 29 2008 :  19:30:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have some real level headed experience talking folks here. Very cool.

I just had to add one last thing, then I think I've added everything I can here. Undergarment, undergarment, undergarment!!! With the double layer boot grade thinsulate, I've done 90-100 minute total runtime in 41 degree water, twice in one day. The second dive I froze ny mutts off, but pretty much anything would at that point. Honestly two dives in those temps is reaching. I would not do it again, not for that runtime. On the follow up dive, you just can't offgas being vaso constricted that badly. Not a good idea. But then, we were up in Canada in some somewhat remote areas where the opportunity to bring along the gas, the logistics, a real boat, the right people. Very rare. Well, it just doesn't come together but once in a great while, so we fully took advantage of the situation. The dives were incredible. We were seeing huge sponges hanging off a vertical wall that I don't think anybody had ever seen before. Ever. Not like this. We don't really get big sponges in this area, usually our biggest sponge is a few inches. The things we were seeing were extending about 6 foot off of the rock face and about 4 foot in diameter. Truly awesome. It would not have been worth the risk otherwise (and probably wasn't anyway, the nearest chamber is a couple hours away by helo, and even then I wasn't smart enough to use it anyhow).

Just pointing out that I "do" know what diving in cold water is all about. :) Undergarment is everything, even if you do have a neoprene, add a good undergarment. Your extremities will thank you. Don't even try to act manly after that kind of dive. Willie is going to be so pissed at you he's not gonna even show himself long enough to take a quick peek for about a week. Your going to have to learn to pee sitting down for awhile.

bp


What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

November Charlie

RO# 824

Posted - Oct 02 2008 :  23:00:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That 'showerhead' freeflowed on me yesterday, forst scallop dive of the year.

Okay, not a 'uh-oh' freeflow, really. More of just a few bubbles when I wasn't taking a hit off it, developing into lots and lots of air blowing by. Guess I'm diving the 'good' reg for a bit.


My signature line is cooler than your signature line.

Homeport: Northwest Go to Top of Page
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