ABOUT DIVE ACCESSORIES
Our Advice: Use stainless steel bolt snaps. Don’t carry anything you do not need.
What to look for:
1) Good thick, refillable, plastic sheets for writing;
2) Clear display panels on front and rear for inserting cue cards and plans;
3) Bolt snap connected by short lanyard or bungee;
4) Pencil attached by lanyard or bungee (long enough to write with) and elastic pocket for storage;
5) Velcro or elastic to keep closed; and
6) Elastic pouches on inside cover for tools.
Swivel eye snaps – have a gated hook on one end for attaching and detaching and a free turning ring on the other end which will be fixed to the equipment. Also known as dog clips.
Double-eye snaps – have a gated hook on each end, both facing the same direction, can attach and detach at either end.
Butterfly swivel eye snap – a swivel eye snap with extra-large thumb action and flared hook end (good when wearing thick gloves).
|Swivel eye snaps
|75mm | 3in
||Primary rgulator (for stowing
when not in use e.g. after
a gas switch), backup lights
|90mm | 3.5in
||SPG, backup lights, accessories,
sidemount cylinder bungee
|120mm | 4.7in
|Double eye snaps
|90mm | 3.5in
|100mm | 4in
||Finger spools, main reel
|115mm | 4.5in
Stainless steel vs brass
Bolt snaps used for scuba diving must be made entirely (including the springs) from a non-corrosive material such as 316 stainless steel.
The critical factor for bolt snap performance is smooth gate action; so that you are not fighting a jammed bolt snap in a critical situation.
Even well maintained brass bolt snaps corrode and warp so that the gate action becomes stiff and more likely to jam.
How to attach a bolt snap
Bolt snaps should be firmly attached yet able to be cut off in an emergency such as a jammed clip or entanglement.
Cable ties and o-rings can be used for break-away equipment, but these break with a simple twist so should not be used for critical equipment.
One way to attach a bolt snap to an item of equipment (or hose) is as follows:
- 30cm | 1ft of braided nylon line (cave line or utility line)
- 1x 316 stainless steel swivel eye bolt snap
- Cutting device
- Cigarette lighter
- Run the cave line through the eye of the bolt snap.
- Run each end of the line in opposite directions through the attachment hole of the equipment (or around the hose if that is what you are attaching to).
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 so that the line has run through the bolt snap 3 times and around the equipment twice (in opposite directions).
- Pull the line tight until there is a 5mm | 3/16in gap between the bolt snap eye and the equipment.
- With the one end of the line sticking up through the bolt snap eye (Distance Line), wrap other end of the line 3 times around the 5 other strands of line between the bolt snap and the equipment (Wrap Line).
- Pull the Wrap Line to take out the slack.
- Pull the Distance Line to take out the slack.
- Tighten both the Wrap Line and Distance Line.
- Tie a reef knot between the two ends so that the knot sits over the steel of the bolt snap eye.
- Cut off the excess line leaving approximately 10mm | 13/32in of each end.
- Set each end alight so that it melts down to the knot, squash the melting nylon against the knot to extinguish and seal.
- Test the knot by twisting and pulling (do not be gentle).
- Be wary of cheap bolt snaps which may only be stainless steel plated. It is often best to source bolt snaps from a trusted source.
- Trigger snaps are more difficult to use blind (you will largely manage your gear by feel underwater) than bolt snaps.
- Gate clips are known as suicide clips. They can inadvertently clip you to lines, the wreck, and clip your gear together.
- Retractors add bulk and clutter to your gear. They are prone to failure and the plastic construction is easily broken.
- Plastic quick release clips are easily broken, and even when functioning perfectly may quickly release your equipment into the depths.
- Never attach bolt snaps that cannot be cut off, do not use stainless steel keyrings to attach equipment.
Recreational divers should carry a cutting device accessible with either hand (either on the belt, BCD, or low pressure inflator hose). Technical divers should carry two cutting devices with at least one accessible with each hand (either on the dive computer or harness).
The purpose of a cutting device carried for diving is to cut line and cord (e.g. to free yourself, another diver, or an animal from an entanglement), meaning you are after a protected line cutter, a blade with a knife cutter, or shears. There is no need for calf mounted broadswords (which are a snag hazard).
Marine grade stainless steel (316) is best, and 440 grade is acceptable if well maintained. Smaller grades are less susceptible to corrosion but softer.
Stainless steel blades should be greased with silicon for extra protection against salt. For Ezycut Trilobite line cutters, the plastic protector should be removed before greasing the entire razor blade, not just the edges.
Titanium blades do not suffer from corrosion but do not maintain an edge and are difficult to sharpen. Titanium blades are also brittle and snap when used for prying, levering or when twisted like a screwdriver.
D-RINGS AND QUICK RELEASE BUCKLES
These accessories should be 316 stainless steel.
BUNGEE CORD/SHOCK CORD
|3mm | 1/8in
||Secondary regulator or neck
loop, primary canister light
double eye snap, stage cylinder
|5mm | 3/16in
||Cookie, REM and arrow holder,
sidemount cylinder bungee