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View Full Version : dry suit?

10-07-2012, 09:01 AM
how come they dont use drysuits in the bearing sea , i use one in 35 to 45 degree , high altitude snow melt , and i dont get to cold , can stay in for 3 or 4 hours at a time, just curious to whats the differance?

10-09-2012, 07:16 AM
Wondered too. We used dry suits, US Divers Poseidons in the Gulf of Mexico during the winter months. They worked great, you just had to pace yourself and not break a sweat, or you'd get cold from the transferrence through the materials. Also avoid leaning on any frozen steel, or you stick to it. I was looking through a custom catalog the other day, and they can run upwards of $3,000 for a custom suit. As with choosing face masks over helmets, it's probably a little economics mixed with personal preferences. In "After the dredge" on TV where the under-the-ice "dredgers" got together, one guy said one of the biggest problems was the hot water suits. Seems like someone would jump on that and make a good one. Although, there are units out there that run upwards of $15k, and it's probably the poor boy operators that are whining.

james a.
10-15-2012, 11:28 AM
Hmmm.I live below not too far from nome.I use a dry suit an after awhile I do get cold from the river (4 ft).I don`t know if it is from permafrost run off or I am using the wrong clothes undernieth.
If I put too much clothes,I have to use more wieght on my belt an still get cold after a couple hours.

10-15-2012, 12:32 PM
I am told by the Nome off shore dredgers that to keep warm in a dry suit they would have to wear too much under clothes. That would make them too buoyant in the salt water and they would have to use a bunch of extra weights. Guess it is the combination of the temps, salt water and depth makes dry suits not feasible

Steve Herschbach
10-15-2012, 01:42 PM
They may have said that but it is not a valid concern. We taught diving classes for many years at AMDS and everyone dove in salt water with drysuits with lead weights. Having done both I can assure anyone the difference in weighting is negligible. And all our classes were taught mid-winter. Best diving in Whittier and Seward is in January and February when the local rivers are running clear. Anyone diving in cold water with SCUBA uses a drysuit as hot water is simply not an option unless you are tethered to a hot water source, nothing a SCUBA diver is interested in. Most commercial cold water diving is done in drysuits.


The guys in Nome use hot water systems because that is what they like to use. A good drysuit can certainly do the trick, but I would also be lying if I said there were not times I darn near froze to death in a drysuit. A lot depends on what you are doing. Lots of rock throwing and you stay warm, but just tending a nozzle can get real cold. A good hot water system is certainly an option to be considered as long as a person is well aware of the dangers involved. We have not sold hot water systems for over 20 years due to the extreme liability involved. Preofessional grade hot water systems run many thousands of dollars.

10-16-2012, 08:40 AM
Sorry for misleading info, just passing on what I was told. You should listen to Steve

10-16-2012, 09:24 AM
i appreciate all the info , nothing misleading , they are all valuable points , i am used to wearing almost 100 lbs of lead anyways , becuase of bouancy and river currents , im dredging in 10 to 14 ft. water at 7800 ft. above sea level , in 38 degree water , in the shade almost the whole day , wearing a dry suit , my hands can handle it fine with normal wetsuit gloves , full face mask , with a nice thick hood , my head needs a break at about 3 to 3.5 hrs , other than that im good , perhaps i should fab. up a heater just in case , to far away to be unprepaired , before i got my new dredge , i ran an older keene 5 inch with twin t-80s , i had to run borh compressors to 1 reserve tank to keep up my air supply , i think it was the altitude , i cant wait to get up there and run , colorado wont let me use my new one here.

10-16-2012, 09:27 AM
Whenever I felt cold wearing a drysuit I discovered it was usually because water had seeped in past the wrist seals. I never felt "wet", just cold, but upon removing the suit later found my clothing had gotten wet, so it lost most of it's insulating ability. After that discovery I always thereafter put duct-tape around my wrist seals, to prevent water seeping in...it helped. Duct-tape: the magic cure-all for any dredging problem...don't leave home without it!