As an early Christmas present, thanks to a DEMA special, Juliet got herself a new set of tanks. If you’ve been on board in the past few months you might have noticed that the tanks were shinier, and that you surprisingly were able to shed a few pounds off your normal dive weighting. No, it’s not the extra density from Thanksgiving, or that fruit cake you got from Aunt Martha. No, it’s not some special extra gravity in the lower latitudes due to the earth’s rotation. And while I’m sure your scuba skills are improving with every trip you take on Juliet, that’s not the only reason why you seem to be able to dive with less weight on board lately.
Our new tanks are called Neutral 80s and they’re a new concept in tanks. They are made with a little bit of thicker aluminum but have a higher fill pressure (3300 psi instead of 3000) which allows them to behave a little better when they are empty.
I’m sure you’ve noticed at the end of your dive sometimes it feels like you’ve got a balloon strapped to your back. That aluminum tank you are diving with, once you’ve used up (almost) all the air inside of it, is positively buoyant by a little over 3 lbs. When it’s full it’s almost 2 lbs negatively buoyant. So if you were to drop two tanks, by themselves, no gear attached, into the water, the full one would sink to the bottom while the empty one would float at the top. That’s why the balloon-on-your-back feeling, because that’s kind of what’s happening.
With the Neutral 80s, when filled they are 5 lbs negative and when empty they are 0.1 lb positive (which is basically neutral). Which means that you can shed about 2 lbs from your normal diving weight since you’re no longer having to overcompensate for the 2 lbs of positive buoyancy with a regular AL 80 tank. Less weight means more streamlined trim, means more comfort in the water, means easier on your knees getting out of the water, means overall added comfort. It’s just two pounds, but over 18 dives each week, it can make a huge difference.
In addition to being neutral, these new tanks are also fitted with new convertible valves that allow for yoke regulators as well as DIN. Each valve has a spin-out insert that converts to a 230 bar DIN outlet to accommodate DIN regulators, and easily convert back to yoke to work with our fill system. These tanks, as always are prepared for our nitrox fills, and have one more feature that makes it easy to use.
The Indicator safety handwheel makes it easy for you, and your divemasters, to tell if your tank is all the way open. The red indicator tells you that the tank is off, or only partially open, while the green indicator only appears when the valve is all the way open. It is always prudent to double check, and we will always check your tank valve before we send you diving, but this feature is an added bonus!
So happy diving next time you’re on board! And let us know what you think of the new tanks!