ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

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ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby NEMES1S » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:28 pm

ZEAGLE 360

Ok so after trying a smaller capacity wing for my B/P (65lbs was a bit of over kill :lol: ) at White Island.(this was Andys Eclipse Halcyon wing)
I decided to get my hands on a Halcyon Eclipse B/P W and I am extremely happy with it and enjoy diving with it.

However this left my perfectly good S/S B/P sitting gathering dust so I had a chat again to Mark at Ocean Equipment to see if there was some way to get a smaller wing for the unit within the tiny dimensions of my budget.
At first assessment there wasnt,within a few days Mark came back to me with a price that was so good I couldnt post it as it might compromise his business ha ha ha.. :mrgreen:

Anyway this morning the Zeagle 360 tethered Donut arrived at a minimal 40lbs of lift she is pretty low profile and slimline.
I will be lending this rig out to some of the 99 crew in Wellington to give them a taste of B/P W diving and the freedom it offers,also the great bouyancy attributes that diving with a B/P W set up has.(Sfish is trying it out tomorrow. :wink: )
And also then I can get my original Zeagle TECH BCD back in one piece so I can move her on or use her for some courses it was great in Rescue Courses with 65lbs of lift it was like a small boat...ha ha ha ha...(I had cannibalised it for my B/P)

As usual I have to say I am very impressed with Zeagle equipment,the finish and quality for the cost are simply un-parralelled,fantasic value for money.
I will eventually get a single webbing unit to re-thread the Zeagle B/P to eliminate the clips on either shoulder as they are simply just not necessary.
Also will be removing some of the extra D-rings I think 8 was a bit extravagant :D

Anyway heres what she looks like semi fitted to B/P (Missing top bolt, just re-fited new ones).

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I will take a pic of it tommorow pre dive once its all rigged for Sfish's "maiden" voyage.... :lol:
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby Andy » Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:45 am

That looks quite tidy, mate!
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby NEMES1S » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:01 pm

Andy wrote:That looks quite tidy, mate!

I took off that extra "D" ring at the top and singled it out same as my Halcyon rig,Sfish dove on it today and will pass it on to Pete to see if he wants a crack or maybe Oskar.

Will let Sfish post her opinion on her dive...
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby Xman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:01 pm

Great to be able to give people a chance to try it out and decide whether BP/W is for them. There are few opportunities in NZ to test dive a particular setup unless a friend or dive buddy sorts it out. Good on you NEM. I suspect there will shortly be a few more people purchasing BP/W setups once they get the chance to dive the set up.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby NEMES1S » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:27 pm

Xman wrote:Great to be able to give people a chance to try it out and decide whether BP/W is for them. There are few opportunities in NZ to test dive a particular setup unless a friend or dive buddy sorts it out. Good on you NEM. I suspect there will shortly be a few more people purchasing BP/W setups once they get the chance to dive the set up.

Yeah but not sure on my success rate...Sfish as I said will post up how she felt but I think she had weight issues via a crap weightbelt.
And from the brief after dive talk with Pete he mentioned that he found it very restrictive on the shoulders..

Again let them do the talking though,I am also interested to see what they thought....That said I think when you get in first time with B/P you need a couple of dives to really get a feel for it...

I did the move gradually from STD BCD to Back inflation BCDs to B/P W and I can see where the "heavy on the shoulders" comments can come as we do a fair bit of walking on shorelines to dive sites,and with the thinner web straps of the B/P it can be a very focused weight opposed to the broad weight distibution of a STD BCD.

Anyway....lets hear from the testers....
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby Andy » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:40 pm

Xman wrote:There are few opportunities in NZ to test dive a particular setup unless a friend or dive buddy sorts it out.


Halcyon rigs, both single tank and twin tank setups are available to try - if anyone is interested, PM me for details.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby sfish » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:31 am

NEMES1S wrote:Yeah but not sure on my success rate...Sfish as I said will post up how she felt but I think she had weight issues via a crap weight belt.
Again let them do the talking though, I am also interested to see what they thought....That said I think when you get in first time with B/P you need a couple of dives to really get a feel for it...
Anyway....lets hear from the testers....
[/quote]

So Sfish first impression wasn't the best unfortunately.
What I found (and that was my second time in a back plate, though I would be banned from the forum if I even mentioned the brand of the first back plate I ever tried)…..Anyway… before the dive as you await at the surface just before descending you fall flat on your face, just like a duck. I tried to stay still and well that didn't work. I tried to lie on my back and failed again. I think I had to ask NEMES1S to hold me whilst I was trying to fit my gloves or something as I couldn’t keep straight without a fight. I had that issue with both back plates.
That concerns me for trips abroad off the beaten track where….how can I put this….. dive boaties may have, and have had a different approach to diving and safety and where we found ourselves floating in the water after the dive waiting for the boat to pick up for a while (tend to go back to some harbour or beach to have a drink whilst you dive), you really want to be able to seat there and relax until they can be bothered picking you up, and you also want to be able to take if off and use it as a raft etc etc etc...

At depth, the back plate was totally fine, very easy to find my buoyancy and happy with the trim....I loved all the rings and clips, found my settings real quick and everything was so easy to reach (no tight pocket like on classic BCDS).
Trouble I did have is that it was a little too big for me but I am quite convinced I would enjoy one the correct size, the element of freedom I think.

As for the weight I indeed missed the integrated weight....going back to a classic weight belt was painful. Guess the weight belt was also a little too big for me so kept trying to escape from my body…. until I found the “Inverted W position” that would stop that. And judging by the bruises all around my lower waist if you didn't know any better you'd wonder if I indeed was scuba diving in Wellington or whether I had indulged myself in something fairly twisted.

That said the troubles I seem to have experienced are not related to the donut or back plate, so I will have to find the opportunity to try one that fits to see if I can work the surface issue. NEMES1S did confirm it can certainly be used as raft; all I need is to find a comfortable one that won’t try to make me fall on my face drinking sea water….and apparently the Halcyon one could work….
Plus personally I am a great believer to try and dive in same/similar gears and set up to my buddy. I did that for a few years before moving over and that was extremely helpful, knowing each other gears inside out happened to be much more than a convenience thing. Knowing your buddy well and how they dive you can certainly feel/figure out quite quickly if something is up with them, but knowing their gear configuration inside out because it is what you dive with can prevent issues from the minute you set off, to being on the boat or in the water…And in the unlikely event of anything going wrong you’ll know what it is or what’s missing and what it may take to fix it.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby tara » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:21 am

most backplate/wing or rear inflation BCDs do tip you forward in the water - which is great for trim when you are under and off but takes a couple of goes to get your position right on the surface.
i found that talking students through it and getting them to pull their knees up and lean back as if they were on the couch works quite well.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby Andy » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:51 am

My guess, Sonia, is that you are overweighted and as such having to over-inflate the wing to compensate. Rear inflation itself doesn't cause you to tip forward, it's putting too much air into it. Ideally, at the end of a dive you should only need the slightest puff of air in the BCD (if any at all), in which case the majority of your buoyancy on the surface comes from your wetsuit.

There are weight integration options available - my wife (still getting used to saying that! 8) ) uses the Halcyon ACB pockets on her single tank setup, and they work very well:

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There are two styles, the downward pointing ones and a sideways one. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both work fine.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby NEMES1S » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:55 am

Yeah I have no problems with being pushed forward in the water with my Halcyon and Pete didnt appear or say he had any issues being pushed forward in the Zeagle (same one you tried Sfish) I would put money on the weighting as well,I think the B/P was a good fit noot too big or not too small.

With the pushing you forward in the water issue in my experience its when you are using a wing too big for the job,like using a wing designed or capable of floating a twinset,in my Zeagle "TECH" BCD I had to add trim weights as its a 65lb lift wing obviously designed for lifting a twinset and gear.
So without the extra weight of a twin set you had to add weight to counter the extremely bouyant section at tyour back by adding weight also to the back,simple balance dynamics.

The flotation of the Halcyon on the surface is perfect,no trim weights...just sit there as you would in an BCD.
Sfish you should chase up Andy and get in for a splash with a Halcyon rig.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby Andy » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:15 am

NEMES1S wrote:I would put money on the weighting as well,I think the B/P was a good fit noot too big or not too small.


As a very rough guide, all else being unchanged, you could expect to drop anywhere from 1 to 3kgs from your total weight by swapping a BCD for a BP/W....

So if you used 9kgs with a BCD, swapping to a stainless steel BP/w could bring the weight on your weightbelt down to about 4kgs. This is a rough guess, and obviously would vary from person to person.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby sfish » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:00 pm

That's a very good point. Rob did say the night before how much the plate weigthed but then I did not remember of adjusting the weight when we were building up the weight belt, went for my usual.
Under the water it was fine, except the banging my head on the donut (but that's set up not donut's issue), it's really the surface thing where you have to think about it rather than float around waiting for the others to join you that I find as an issue. It's just too important to be confortable in the water, don't want to spoil the dive for me or the others!
I just think it's NEMES1S secret strategy to get me 100% halcyon ay? :D :) :shock: :wink: well then why not. Definitely will give it a try and report back :wink:
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby Andy » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:33 pm

sfish wrote:That's a very good point. Rob did say the night before how much the plate weigthed but then I did not remember of adjusting the weight when we were building up the weight belt, went for my usual.


It's not just the weight of the plate.... which is about 3kg. After you take that 3kg off, you should normally be able to take another 1-4kgs off.

When you look at a BCD, they normally have a fairly large plastic backplate built in to them - these displace lots of water, and don't weight much... add to that all the pockets, it makes BCD buoyant in it's own right and normally you would have weight on your weightbelt that is just there to sink the BCD.


I just think it's NEMES1S secret strategy to get me 100% halcyon ay? :D :) :shock: :wink: well then why not. Definitely will give it a try and report back :wink:


There are alternatives, but Halcyon products in NZ are very competitively priced and the quality is superb. I'd also look at the Deep Sea Supply rigs - Tobin has an attention to detail with his designs, and offers something that Halcyon doesn't - which is different sized backplates to suit different people. Uness you are super tall or super short, a standard length plate is fine - but sometimes a different length may make it more comfortable. Personally, I don't like the shape of his wings but the plates are very good. By the time you pay shipping on 3+ kgs, though, it's no cheaper than buying Halcyon which is priced to compete against internet sales.

Other options, I beleive that the Dive Centre stocks Apeks BP/Ws and Global sell OMS. I'm not a huge fan of either, but you can strip off some of the extra stuff that you don't need. The OMS wing that Tara has is actually quite good, if you combined it with a simple harness then it could work. It's always worth talking to Malcolm at DC and Andrew at Global to see whether they have a product that suits you.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby sfish » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:17 pm

It's not just the weight of the plate.... which is about 3kg. After you take that 3kg off, you should normally be able to take another 1-4kgs off.:


If I do that I am going to end up needing negative weights :-)
Joking asside thanks for that, makes me think of a few adjustmenst to make it more fun.

There are alternatives, but Halcyon products in NZ are very competitively priced and the quality is superb. I'd also look at the Deep Sea Supply rigs - Tobin has an attention to detail with his designs, and offers something that Halcyon doesn't - which is different sized backplates to suit different people. Uness you are super tall or super short, a standard length plate is fine - but sometimes a different length may make it more comfortable. Personally, I don't like the shape of his wings but the plates are very good. By the time you pay shipping on 3+ kgs, though, it's no cheaper than buying Halcyon which is priced to compete against internet sales.

Other options, I beleive that the Dive Centre stocks Apeks BP/Ws and Global sell OMS. I'm not a huge fan of either, but you can strip off some of the extra stuff that you don't need. The OMS wing that Tara has is actually quite good, if you combined it with a simple harness then it could work. It's always worth talking to Malcolm at DC and Andrew at Global to see whether they have a product that suits you.


Tried Anna's OMS in the Lake a little while back. Bless her she sent Antonio driving all the way back to the shop to pick it up!). Am handing over my regs to DC later on (getting them serviced whilst I have your cold! didn't reliase could catch it over the internet, thanks mate!) I'll have a look, I spend quite a bit of time in there but did not look at the BP yet.
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Re: ZEAGLE B/P 360 Donut...

Postby Andy » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:26 pm

sfish wrote:If I do that I am going to end up needing negative weights :-)


Wouldn't that be perfect!? I can't remember what you normally have in your weight pockets, but I would hazard a guess that with a BP/W you'd not need much more than 4gs in a weight belt. If you get a longish belt, you can put all the weights forward - helps both buoyancy and brusing wise.


Am handing over my regs to DC later on (getting them serviced whilst I have your cold! didn't reliase could catch it over the internet, thanks mate!)


Have you not heard of computer viruses!?!?! :lol:
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