GETTING DRESSED


One of my students (in a sidemount clinic) suggested this might be helpful if more widely circulated. I see many sidemount divers — newbies and “experienced” — working ad-hoc when it comes to kitting up. If that works for you, great. I seem to have better luck, and seem to get the job done faster, following a set procedure. Here is the one I use.

Sidemount rigging… the easy way to get all that gear on without forgetting anything!

This is essentially an “assembly checklist” for diving two primary bottles configured correctly with opposing handwheels and rigged for sidemount diving.

  1. If gas in both cylinders has not been analysed, do so and mark MOD of mix on duct tape applied to neck of primary cylinder making sure it conforms to dive plan and is OK to surface breathe.
  2. If gas has already been analysed and MOD marked, check it conforms to dive plan and is OK to surface breathe.
    1. MOD for both cylinders should be the same give or take one metre or less
  3. Connect regulator with long hose to right-hand cylinder.
  4. Inspect hoses, crimps, exterior of first and second stages, and house the long hose in tank bands.
  5. Pressurize (turn handwheel on), confirm starting pressure / volume is correct according to dive plan.
  6. Turn handwheel off. Watch SPG for any fall in pressure.
  7. Repeat procedure for connecting left-hand regulator (necklace) to left-hand cylinder noting that starting pressure in both cylinders should be approximately equal.
  8. Position cylinders in the most convenient spot for you to stand, sit, kneel or squat between them.
  9. Don SM harness and tighten shoulder straps, chest and crotch straps.
  10. Get between cylinders and get ready to put them on.

BEGIN WITH LEFT-HAND CYLINDER

  1. Clip nose bolt snap to top D-ring
  2. Clip anchor bolt or butterfly snap to butt plate rail
  3. Put loop bungee over handwheel
  4. Connect LP inflator to wing and test
  5. Route regulator hose up left side and around neck passing necklace bungee over head
  6. Inspect mouthpiece for holes, cable tie in place and tight, and no foreign objects
  7. Begin to wet-breathe regulator
  8. Watch for SPG pressure drop and turn handwheel until valve is fully open

 

MOVE TO RIGHT HAND CYLINDER

  1. Clip nose bolt snap to top D-ring
  2. Clip anchor bolt or butterfly snap to butt plate rail
  3. Connect LP inflator to drysuit routing hose under harness and over chest strap… test
  4. Put loop bungee over handwheel
  5. Pull sufficient length of long hose from retainers (two “clicks”), and route regulator hose across chest, and around neck
  6. Inspect mouthpiece for holes, cable tie in place and tight, and no foreign objects
  7. Begin to wet-breathe regulator
  8. Watch for SPG pressure drop and turn handwheel until valve is fully open
  9. Clip regulator off to bottom D-ring on right shoulder.

 

Finish pre-dive checks and go diving.

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One thought on “GETTING DRESSED

  1. Nice write up Steve. It is essentially the same rountine I follow, accept when diving from a rib boat. I tank-up in-water & find it’s easier to attach the anchor bolt first, then the Top D ring, with dry gloves on.

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