When diving in the open sea or flow it is always a good idea to carry at least one buoy with you at all times. Of course, two or three would be even better because the larger the “glow”, the easier it will be seen in the case of drifting away from the boat. Small buoys can still be easily stored in the pocket of the dry suit. In the case of larger buoys or lifting bags it is more difficult.
For this, a number of vendors offer a so called storage pack. The pack is mounted on the back plate and is intended to store larger buoys. In today’s article I would like to explain to you, how such a storage pack is attached, and what should be considered.
Mounting of the storage pack on the back plate
In addition to the two holes in the fold, with whose help the bottles are attached, many back plates have other holes too. Here in the picture for example you can clearly see the holes on the sides of the plate. The storage pack is secured in these eight holes, with the help of the supplied screws.
Note: The back plate shown here is made by Halcyon. The holes in other plates can of course, differ. That’s what you should look out for, before the purchase of a storage pack!
The supplied bolts are made up of a screw with a screwdriver with slot, for the nut, with a flattened side (on the image on the right).
A question asked here from time to time is which way you should install the screws? The screw with slot to the front or to the rear? The idea is that the screw with slot may cause friction the dry suit at the point of contact.
Personally, I manage it so that I screw the slotted screw to the rear of the back plate. So that the flattened nut is on the front.
So far I could not discover any scuff marks on the wing or on the dry suit discover where a screw had scuffed it!
From that point of view, there is no right or wrong solution here.
The two bottom bolts
As you probably saw in the first two pictures, there are eight bolts as well as eight holes to secure the Storage Pack. Three holes are located on both sides of the back plate. The other two holes are located on the bottom.
And here the question now arises: Do you screw the Storage Pack here on too, or not?
Background is the following: As you clearly can see on the picture, above the two mounting holes in the fold for mounting of the bottles. Screws the Storage Pack on down here, it is very difficult to screw the wing nut under the Storage Pack onto the bolt of the bottle clasps and thus fixate the bottles.
Simply leave the two bottom screws. As you can see in the picture above the lower part of the Storage Packs can be lifted slightly and then you have access to the lower hole in the fold.
You use two pieces of rubber leash to flexible secure the Storage Pack. For this purpose, the so called fisherman’ s bend lends itself for this. This way the Storage Pack while attached, but can still be lifted in order to reach the fitting of the bottle.
I have with me the two lower bolts simply omitted. It doesn’t bother anyone, nor is the buoy in the Storage Pack more difficult to reach.
Why a Storage Pack?
Like I already mentioned in the introduction: When it comes to store away a large buoy or a lifting back the Storage Packs is perfect. Through the large opening in the bottom the packs can be easily packed. And if the buoy is needed, this can be simply pulled out from the pack. I will explain in a later article how exactly the buoy should be folded.
Note: Before you pick up a Storage Pack, compare a few manufacturers. It is not always about the price. I recently read about a Storage Pack, which is significantly more closely tailored in the lower area, than another. This made pulling the buoy under water a lot harder!
The rear D-ring on the crotch belt
If you put a buoy or a lifting bag into the Storage Pack, you should make sure that the D-ring located not too far on the back plate.
The buoys Boltsnap Carabiner is attached to this D-ring to secure it. If the D-ring is located too far upwards, in the direction of back plate it may be that you can not release your bolt snap, since the bottles in that area are still laid up. You should know that beforehand!