gear bag or plastic tote?

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gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Surfair72 » June 21st, 2016, 7:45 pm

I recently went on a trip on a friend of a friends boat. I have always put my gear in a plastic rubbermaid tub/tote. Having a boat it is always curious when i take out a new guy what they bring and how they bring it. Some guys have brought water proof bags others regular back packs and only one a tote.
All my gear fits inside including towels sweatshirt snacks etc then fins and bouy bungee to top. After long day I put my wetsuite in a trash bag to keep everything else dry. I bought a little water proof case at big 5 for wallet keys and spare handheld vhf. It also keeps boat ship shape.
I am interested in pros and cons and especially what other boat owners prefer.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Bill McIntyre » June 21st, 2016, 8:20 pm

I'm sure you will get a lot of different opinions, so this is just mine.

I don't like it when someone brings a hard tote, trash can, our any other thing that can't shrink after the dive gear comes out of it. After the stuff is removed, it still takes up deck space.

My preference would be for the guy to bring a soft mesh bag for the dive gear. The Gannet bag or something like it is ideal. After he removes the dive gear, the bag can crumple up and go up in the cabin. His fins, mask, and weight belt can just sit out on the deck between dives for the rest of the day.

And then he can bring a separate bag with clothes, towels, etc. that have to stay dry. t doesn't have to be waterproof. We'll stow that up in the cabin.

I realize that its different for center console or other open boats, depending on how much dry storage space they have.

Your best bet it to ask the boat owner ahead of time.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Bamz » June 21st, 2016, 8:56 pm

I agree with Bill, asking first is the best option. On a day trip to the island I would have room for your tote, but a multi day I wouldn't. Many times the boat owner has a system for gear, disrupting that system may not get you invited back...
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby dariian » June 22nd, 2016, 11:21 am

Best setup I've used is a mesh bag for dive gear and a dry bag for other stuff. You can clip the dry bag to a rail and forget about it.

I bought this bag years ago http://www.makospearguns.com/Ballistic- ... -p/mmb.htm and it's held up to everything I've thrown at it and it costs $30.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby John Hughes » June 26th, 2016, 7:48 pm

I'm with Bill Gavin. Keeping deck space open and uncluttered is key especially on small skiffs. I've always used an army duffel bag and it takes the abuse and doesn't get in the way once you take all your gear out. Also, it's cheap and doubles as a good shore dive bag that nobody is going to walk away with.

For under $30 you can't beat it.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby GavinTexas » June 29th, 2016, 9:25 am

I'm on the soft bag system.

Will bring a soft bag with all my dive gear inside and then a small backpack with an extra shirt, towel, and extra shooting line etc. that goes in the cabin. On boats with no cabin a small dry bag would be an excellent substitute.

Never seen anyone use a plastic tote and while the idea would be nice for personal organization I agree that it would take up space which is usually at a premium. Especially once bigger fish start hitting the deck.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby castronova » June 29th, 2016, 11:14 am

This is a great discussion. As a boat owner is can be annoying when people bring loads of crap that is impossible to get out of the way.

I agree that bags like the Gannet, which I think is the best bag made, are perfect. When your fins and other gear are out for the day, even if you leave spare masks, gloves, etc. in the bag it can be made very small and put into a compartment. For everything else use a dry bag or dry bag back pack. They are durable and the boat owner doesn't have to worry about your stuff getting ruined, just like you don't. Win win.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Bill McIntyre » June 29th, 2016, 2:32 pm

About 20 years ago when I was first getting into California free dive spearfishing, rectangular garbage cans were all the rage. They put plywood partitions in them to divide them into four compartments, and then stood their guns in them with all their other gear. But these guys were going to Cortes Bands and the islands on really big head boats with loads of deck space. For all I know people may still do that on the San Dollar, but it just doesn't work on smaller private boats.

I had a minor problem when one of these legends who had a world record showed up to go on my boat with his garbage can. He was accustomed to people treating him with proper respect, but I told him there was no way that thing was coming aboard my 24' Skipjack.

I did put one of those garbage cans on my swim step though. I had racks for the guns, but it was handy to be able to just drop fins and mask into the garbage can as you came aboard so as not to clutter the deck. Sometimes I think I should try that on my present boat.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Qressor » January 19th, 2017, 8:48 pm

This is a great discussion. As a boat owner is can be annoying when people bring loads of crap that is impossible to get out of the way.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Nate Baker » January 20th, 2017, 6:22 am

I'm a barrel fan. My bias runs contrary to Bill's. It seems to me that a clear deck is most important when there are people and gear on it, so I'll sacrifice a couple of square feet a barrel uses when I'm swimming around, and it doesn't matter what's happening on deck. On the other hand the barrel unclutters the deck when there's lots of gear and bodies in play, because it uses vertical space.

Also, when you bring a slimy, bleeding fish aboard, gear bags and any other gear shed by the diver when he and/or his buddies come back aboard tend to get slimy and bloody. A barrel gets everything up off the deck and keeps it clean. And a barrel is easy to wash off unlike anything made of cloth.

I'm also a fan of a gun barrel, although it looks like there are a lot of rack systems out there that seem to work equally well. The point is to get the guns off the deck. That said, I've never been a fan of a barrel full of guns in a corner in the stern. Most of my buddies do it, but I've always felt it was a horrible accident waiting to happen. Climbing over the transom, it seems too easy to lose one's balance and get a eyeful or neckful of adaptor.

But as previously stated, I always just ask the captain before leaving the house and pack accordingly.

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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Bill McIntyre » January 20th, 2017, 7:35 am

Nate Baker wrote:Also, when you bring a slimy, bleeding fish aboard, gear bags and any other gear shed by the diver when he and/or his buddies come back aboard tend to get slimy and bloody. A barrel gets everything up off the deck and keeps it clean. And a barrel is easy to wash off unlike anything made of cloth.


That's why I put the gear bag in the cabin. :)

And its also one reason I use a mesh bag like the Gannet. It rinses easily.
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby Nate Baker » January 20th, 2017, 8:51 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:That's why I put the gear bag in the cabin. :)


You have a cabin. I have cabin envy.

And its also one reason I use a mesh bag like the Gannet. It rinses easily.


I have one of those too. It's the bomb. It also fits in a barrel really well. :p
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby rhyne » January 23rd, 2017, 9:06 am

SD Freedivers have a nice lil "Boat Ho Manifesto" that's proved to be a good resource for divers new to boat diving. checking in with the captain is always the best way to ensure future invites...
http://sandiegofreedivers.com/boat-ho-manifesto/
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Re: gear bag or plastic tote?

Postby dariian » January 23rd, 2017, 9:26 am

rhyne wrote:SD Freedivers have a nice lil "Boat Ho Manifesto" that's proved to be a good resource for divers new to boat diving. checking in with the captain is always the best way to ensure future invites...
http://sandiegofreedivers.com/boat-ho-manifesto/


37) Bring beer for the ride home :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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