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PADI Open Water woes...

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by VintageGt, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I joined a BSAC club about six weeks ago after going to a club night and meeting a few people. The person in charge of training is a teacher and was away touring around Greece for the whole of the school holidays. I assume that he is back in the country, so dropped him a mail a couple of days ago - so far no response. He said that they were starting a Sports Diver course in September/October when I first contacted him, which I hope will happen.
    So, you have to be patient with BSAC as the organiser and instructors will all be volunteers and have other calls on their time.
     
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  2. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Anyone have any ball park idea how much the BSAC sports diver course is? I know it will likely vary from club to club but can't find even a ball park idea anywhere...
     
  3. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Yeah, I've dropped an email to a club local to me today. Will see what I get back. :thumbup:
     
  4. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I'll tell you when my man replies. You also need to ask about the instructor's costs - as I understand it, this is somewhat dependent on what he/she is looking for. Obviously, direct costs - entry fees, fills etc but you also need to think of travel costs and, maybe, accommodation. I was told that the one thing that you don't pay for is food. Assuming that there are a number of you on the course, these costs will be shared.
     
  5. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Active Member
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    Can't remember the course costs from when I did SD last year, but none of the instructors charged me a penny.
     
  6. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    @Tel will confirm but

    You will need to a member of BSAC - 60 per year
    You will need to be a member of a BSAC club - varies but guess on 10 per month
    You will need to buy the SD pack - 40?

    I have never been involved with a BSAC club where an instructor has been paid or claimed expenses but it is nice to maybe buy him / her some lunch or offer to drive them to the site.
     
  7. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Yeah that's about it.
    BSAC just under £60 a year, pack a smidge over £40.
    Those are the fixed costs, the rest is down to club membership fees and whatever model it uses.
    This can vary a lot anything from + £50 to + £150 or more!.

    A small club will tend to have limited kit to borrow if at all and will tend (but not always) to take longer.
    As less are being trained. Training is often done on traditional altruistic basis, so none or not a lot of expenses.
    This can be a double edged sword as while many are very good, it can also mean lack of regular courses
    causes skills to degrade and old practices become ingrained, in this case less doesn't mean more.

    Then you have the larger clubs with high numbers and turnover that do a lot of training. These will tend to
    have way more kit to lend or hire, be much faster at training, but with so much training unless it's a massive
    Instructor team the well of altruism will run dry pretty fast if expenses are not factored in as standard.

    To put this into perspective say 4 divers go to Vobster for the day with 2 Instructors. Sharing 2 cars and
    getting one Inst in free + air/gas etc. would put a +£10 on a days training per student. So an entire course
    even at a paid site would be +£20. However as the kit is supplied gratis that means no hire cost. eg: Drysuit
    for a day is usually £20, so +£40 for the course.

    What would you rather? pay £20 and call it expenses or call it £40 and call it suit hire :p
    Good clubs are honest and upfront about costs, with no hidden fees, but again you'll get others that whether
    intentionally or not hide things like weekly pool subs etc. ok you ,might not use the pool every week, but if
    you do this it can in some cases double your membership a year.

    Bottom line is that BSAC has a massive variety of clubs that work to a model that well, works for them.
    This could well though fit with what you want to do and be cheap, but then again the opposite is just as true
    and it may cost way more. So the key here is always to do your homework and ask a lot of questions.
     
  8. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Well no you don't.have to be patient.

    First off that's a massive (and inaccurate) generalisation, BSAC as a whole and the individual branch are two different entities.
    Second, being a volunteer should never be an excuse for being rubbish.
     
  9. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Tel, I have volunteered in different capacities for quite a while and my experience in each of these is that you are treated, from time to time, in a way that would be unacceptable to an employee. I agree my comment was a generalisation; I was trying to put some balance to expectations. I'm frustrated in my dealings with local BSAC clubs to date with poor or no communication., Having finally found an active club and shelled out for the BSAC and club fees, I am having to be patient as the volunteer I need was away for seven weeks and has not contacted me since his return at the end of August. Is that rubbish service? I don't know, but having a rant will not help me get my SD trainng.:whistling:
     
  10. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Interesting thread. As a branch chairman peoples views and take on BSAC and clubs particularly, interest me. The views and explanations above are all good. I try to explain fees, especially to new divers , not as course fees but this is the cost to join our club. Your paying for a years membership, pool use , access to a rib (daily costs) social and access to our instructors who will provide your training. For all courses there are BSAC pack fees of approx £40. The diver pays this, it's a payment that goes direct to HQ. So if you were asking me I'd say to join our club it'll be £235 including BSAC membership. If your looking to crossover to BSAC qualifications and continue into sports diver training we can train you , there's no additional payment to the club or instructor. You'll have the pack fee and any dive boat / dive site costs to cover. We have very little kit available for open water training , I would expect divers looking to continue into uk diving to be actively looking to purchase their own kit. We usually can help out with borrowing kit or at worst hiring stuff. The thing I really try to emphasis , well 2 actually, is we dive in the uk and we are a club, a bunch of individuals that want to go diving and if your interested in joing us to further that and help us fulfill that goal then jump in. If , however, like some, have quite rightly done a try a dive abroad and fancy a bit of diving on hols next year then we're not for you.

    Volunteer status shouldn't be a prerequisite for crap service. But we're all busy and your needs might not top someone's to do list right now. From personal experience a bit of badgering goes a long way. The thing I'd look out for is organisation. If someone can give you an idea of when where and how possible even a timetable for training that's good. If it's a , yeah we can do that in the next few months maybe think again.
     
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  11. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Great advice and very informative post. Thank you.

    I am definitely intending to dive year round in the UK and then of course the odd pleasure dive abroad when I'm on my annual jollies. I'm certainly not just learning to dive so I can dive abroad a couple times a year.

    I'm already actively amassing my own kit but it isn't something I can do overnight as the initial outlay for a full compliment of kit, including wet and dry suit, is a significant outlay for me. Having said that, I'm doing ok and have got most of the basics already.

    Definitely interested in looking into the BSAC route for furthering my training so when I get a response from a local club I'll enquire about the possibility of borrowing bits and bobs until I get my own.
     
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  12. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Why do you need a wet and a dry suit right away?
     
  13. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    I don't. I was merely making the point that to amass a full compliment of kit it would include these items. These would be required if I joined a club that couldn't loan me either as was stated previously that some clubs don't have a lot of kit to lend.

    Once my OW is complete I'd like to get some pleasure dives in to keep up my skills (in the presence of experienced divers of course) but I can't safely use a dry suit until I've completed my dry suit spec and given my experiences so far, this could take a while.

    I know that many people say that you should only use a dry suit in the UK but I'd prefer to get used to using both so will employ the wetsuit when conditions allow.
     
  14. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Wet 'n Dry can be one of those personal issues.

    Personally... I don't like wetsuits unless it's extremely warm. I hate the faff of putting them on, despise being wet and needing a shower afterwards and I hate the flushing of cold water in a wetsuit. I find a drysuit's more comfortable, easier to put on, adjustable for warmth (winter, summer), warmer when it's cold out of the water, wind-proof when on a boat, and warmer in the water, especially when not moving much. I also like the additional buoyancy which I can dial in.

    However, I know some people who like to dive both. Wet in the summer and dry for the other 3 seasons.

    Of course a drysuit's more expensive and takes a while to master. A front-loader makes donning much easier. And the ultimate luxury of a pee-valve -- as opposed to what goes on in a wetsuit...!
     
  15. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Ah, yes. That's another reason I want my own wetsuit. I'm not particularly squeamish and have a strong stomach but other people's pee isn't something I'd like to be around.

    I see the merit in all of those points Wibble, I really do. Another point for me is, I have a 10 year old who took to snorkelling like a duck to water (pun very much intended!) whilst on a recent holiday in Menorca and I'd like to introduce him gently to the sea in the UK with a bit snorkelling here in the spring/summer next year so a wetsuit will certainly not just sit in the wardrobe regardless. It's a worthwhile purchase for me. I was also very lucky to acquire a dry suit in very good nick from a colleague so saved on that and have used some of that saving to acquire a wetsuit.

    The pros and cons of both are very vaild but as I say, unless I own a wetsuit, I can't dive until I get a dry suit qualification and some experience and being keen to get in the water and get those experience dives logged, I need to suffer the chills and inconvenience for the next month and get the wetsuit on!

    I'm a geordie anyway, tough as old boots.
     
  16. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    I never did a drysuit course. I joined a BSAC club and was shown how to use a drysuit. It isn't hard and the only necessary skill to learn is recovery from floating feet. It is best to only put enough gas in the suit to take off the squeeze and use your BC for buoyancy control (the clue is in the name).

    A wetsuit is fine for sea diving at the moment (18c). A drysuit is fit for UK diving all the year round. Along with you mask your suit does need to be the correct size and is best owned.
     
  17. VintageGt

    VintageGt Member

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    Yeah, this is another reason why the BSAC route looks preferable to the PADI route of a dedicated course for absolutely everything. Just need the experience and to know the pitfalls and then build up the knowledge as I go in the company of experienced people.

    I was very lucky indeed to acquire a dry suit that fits very well purely by chance. I have tried it on in the company of those who know what they're doing and have been told it's a very good fit. I've had it checked over and all seems to be in order.
     
  18. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Reason enough:) I've dived with @Big Joe and felt a complete southern wooss.
     
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  19. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Active Member
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    I've just bought my 13 y/o a drysuit and will be taking her diving in it on Sunday - no dry-suit course, we'll just run through the basics, as I did with mine, in shallow water.
     
  20. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Recently done the same with my 13 year old. No probs , other than when he forgets his ankle weights , then he has a nightmare dive. Serves him right, flash sod.
     

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