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Thanks for the responses!
To summarise; the running costs are trivial, especially if you're diving OC trimix. My gas bill this year's been around £1k; more than a rebreather's total running costs.
It's the initial costs which are the main barrier to entry. Not just financial either; there's that long period of going back to basics whilst you get the hours in.
I'm budgeting on around £2.5k for the course (inc accommodation, flights if doing in somewhere warm). I'd also like to tack on another week of practice.
RB purchase costs are around £7k to £11k for new, or £3k + servicing = £4k for second hand. Yes, you may find one cheaper, but a reliable current model will "need a service" and cell replacement.
There's the income from rationalising some other kit in the garage; won't need three twinsets, fewer stage cylinders needed, fewer regulators; all assuming that OC diving's replaced by CCR... On the other hand these twinsets will be useful for banking diluent / O2. Then there's the cost of 'some' spare 3 litre diluent and O2 cylinders... TBH I think it'll probably work out cost neutral.
Practice costs in all those muddy puddles, provided you can find someone similarly practice-oriented to get the hours in; there's at least one puddle where you can dive solo on a box, if you tow a blob. Horrible prospect for winter though...
In my head I've got timescales of 50 hours on a box to feel more comfortable, but will need 100 hours or more to be independent again. So it's a year of practice.
Arguably there's the MOD2 course to get back to trimix. Keeping an open mind about the usefulness and value of MOD2 given it covers a lot of existing OC trimix training.
I'm sure someone will come back and argue that you could buy a £500 classic and do a BSAC course for £50... That misses the point; Sub-Aquatic activities aren't cheap. I see them as akin to buying another motorbike. I'd much rather get something new that's not going to break down or constantly need fettling.
Your estimation of unit costs are high.
My 4 year old vision was £3.5k with all the nice to haves I wanted. Gbox, BMCL, BOV, backplate etc. It had been back to AP 12 months prior for a service. I have had no need to service it. yo ucan get a second hand JJ for not that much more these days. That might suit you more if you're not wanting to do as much kit fettling. Buying a new unit just means that you're taking a more active part in the manufacturers quality control process. I'd let someone else iron out the issues.
MOD 1 - You'll be able to do the TDI variant and carry through your helitrox / deco quals. £700 for your guru of choice. Do it in a puddle. You'll spend the week trying not to drown and hating it but there isn't that much to learn outside of the mechanics of diving it. BSAC course is cheaper (and possibly variable in quality) but you'll be "limited" to 40m on air.
Do 20 hours and then take it on a nice holiday. You'll be over the worst of the hump and you'll enjoy the time you can spend in the water with it.
Magic 50 hours... I thought MOD2 was very worthwhile. Used a decent instructor and I actually learnt a hell of a lot about diving the unit and staying on the loop when things go sideways. You're able to take a lot more in once you can actually dive the unit. Much of the course is actually just going diving so I'd do this somewhere you're guaranteed to get in the water on decent wrecks. £700 course + same again for the holiday.
There will be a lot of people thinking thats throwing a lot of money away... yet it's about £7k less than your budgeting.
You'll have a surprisingly limited amount of OC kit to sell. You'll end up with plenty of bailouts so no point selling those stages. You can slim down to the single twinset for diluent but then you'll probably want something for o2 as well.
You'll probably want a single cylinder setup at some point. I was happy to do anything with my twinset even if it was a bit of a pain. I've turned down plenty of very shallow or awkward entry dives with the CCR.
Last edited by NWdiver; 22-10-2019 at 09:02 AM.
That made me laugh. Very diplomatic!
Originally Posted by NWdiver
Also I've ended up with quite a few different bailout options and definitely agree about not selling any stages, you might even want to acquire some more. (I've got 6 that are regularly used, of varying sizes and mixes)
I've never "got" the CCR thing with hours versus dives, obviously if your guru says 50hrs then you're stuck with that, but staying at the same depth you don't learn that much (e.g very long constant depth dives), the ups and downs are a lot more ticklish.
When I started off (self taught) I tried to do 10 dives to 10m, 20 to 20, 30 to 30 .... etc. I didn't always stick to it but when I strayed outside of that and did too much too soon was when I had a couple of oh shit moments.
I know this is about running costs (££), but there are many other benefits (and costs) that are non-fiscal that you need to take into account for consideration to invest in one.
Couldn't agree more. Had a weekend's diving at 55m a few weeks back. Was the only gay in the village ^H^H^H only open circuit diver on the boat, all others on boxes. I could only do two of the three days simply due to the logistics of two twinsets, five stages, two *full* marina trolleys, £200+ on gas. That was most definitely my enough's enough point for OC.
Originally Posted by topper133
The biggest benefit of CCR IMHO is flexibility. Come prepared for a 60 metre dive and do 30 metres without problems - basically the same cost. On OC, it'll only be possible if you've another twinset - or are prepared to blow away - literally - £100+ of gas. Then there's the luxury of using a rich mix even for a shallow 40 metre dive.
BSAC rebreather training is often done regionally and is therefore more expensive than you'd imagine. The "variability" of instructors is also less than maybe at club level because they have to do a course for the training rather than having been somewhere nearby when a course was talked about.
However, if you're lucky enough to be in a club with a BSAC rebreather instructor you can get it remarkably cheaply and with good quality.
I think the hours thing is because you're keeping an eye on the scrubber life in hours (although there is a bt more to that than people realise). Of course you don't need to stay at one level you can wander about so WFO's very long constant depth dives aren't really an issue. As WFO says, it's the ascent that's the tricky bit: that said, with a little practise and remembering to do it slowly so the ppO2 can catch up its not so hard.
You'll definitely need all your stage cylinders: I tend to keep a selection for different dives. So a pair of ali 80s for deep stuff, a pair of 7s for less deep stuff but still quite deep, a 5l for shallow bimbles and a 7 or A80 for deeper bimbles. If you're careful you'll not need to refill them. Unless you inflate your suit with your stage when will need to refill so get a suit inflate (the bigger 1.5l is better than the little ones).
@NWDiver, we occasionally do group buys for sofnolime an can beat your price if you want to partake.
To the OP I can’t add anything to the running costs already sited.
@wibs your going a bit OTT on the Mod 1. Get a course done , uk’s fine , go abroad if that floats your boat. After that get your head down and just go diving with your new toy. Remember that part of the journey is all part of the fun. You’ll know when your ready to move on. Don’t pass up on Mod2 on the back of your OC qualifications. There’s plenty to learn.
Agreed, getting started on CCR can be done for less. I spent about £5k for MOD 1 (48m recreational trimix) and the Inspiration Vision I trained on.
Originally Posted by Vanny
Yep, as OC trimix diver freshly back from Malin Head I booked my mod 1 and agreed in advance the aim was trimix ticket. Assuming I took to it he had a few units available, or could get me a new one. We did the course over 6 days (just the 2 of us) with trimix dives towards the end.
I recovered some of the cost when I sold 2 twinsets (kept the one full of 21/35), a set of twinset regs, wing, BP and harness and one VR3 (I sold the other when I bought my first OSTC).
A couple of weeks later I went to Scapa and that was a helpful chance to consolidate the learning on the course and I agree that Mod2 is worth doing when you are ready.
Originally Posted by Vanny
New TDF Member
There are some ''all depends'' here...and I'm taking training costs out of the equation...the most common regular costs are for ''consumables''...absorbent/cells for both rebreather and your analyzers...
As far as service/maintenance costs...these can both be brought into ''easy control'' by taking a few courses...so you are capable/confident/qualified to perform the work yourself...
Stay away from units that have ''restrictions'' on parts...a good example is the rEvo counter-lungs...you can't buy them...only available for sale and installation through authorized service centers...the parts themselves are cheap...little more than food grade PU freezer bags...time/labour costs to have them installed...better take your bank manager along with you...
When you've gotten to know your unit...you will realize what you need to have on hand for spares/service parts...if the spares for your spares have spares...you've probably gone way over-board...
Taking a cylinder servicing course will save on annual expenses as well...self reliance is your friend...further...buy locally when you can...save all those high $$$ shipping costs...
My annual costs are in the $300./$400 range...and for the most part...that cost is primarily taken up with absorbent/cells...I keep spare lungs/DSV mushroom valves/reg service kits/hoses/SPG's/''0'' rings...and several other ''primary parts'' on hand...
I picked up my annual absorbent yesterday...and I'm awaiting delivery on recently ordered cells...current availability issues do to medical needs during Covid-19...
Choose carefully...do your homework...read everything you can get your hands on...speak with as many owners as you can...ask all the questions...buy once...happy hunting...
Last edited by Rebreather Pilot; 12-06-2020 at 12:40 PM.