Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand

2 years 1 month ago #301894 by Padi Wagon
Padi Wagon created the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand
Hi all. A quick introduction of myself.
I am 40, male, live in Melbourne. In September of last year I did my Padi OW with Easy Divers in Koh Tao, Thailand. Loved it and instantly hooked. Did 8 boat dives there with the final 4 down to 18m.
Fast forward to now, and after breaking my wrist mountain biking - my obsession - I decided to do a refresher after getting my plaster off and regaining some strength and mobility in my hand. As many said, diving in colder waters here is a fairly different beast to the tropics, and although not being completely foreign to it as I used to surf/the odd compressor dive in Tassie, it was still well worth it for the obvious time away from it and also the differences with cooler water, 7mm of neoprene, etc etc.
I went through Harbour Dive in Mornington on the recommendation of a friend, and I'm super glad I did. They are awesome, very thorough and helpful, and I ended up being awarded an SSI OW certification aswell for a small fee on top.
So now weighing up the cost of rental per dive vs buying my own gear, it is well worth investing in my own equipment. I'm not a big believer in hiring stuff for something you intend to do more than a few times, be it skis, mountain bikes (mega money pit there), and now, it seems, scuba. At this point I can't see myself going too extreme, but I am booked in to do my AOW and look forward to doing a bit more serious diving within recreational limits.
I don't really have a huge budget to sink into it, however saying that if it negates the price of hiring over the course of 15-20 dives for a new package then it's obviously worth it financially and otherwise.
My question then really is, if I were to buy second hand gear, that seems in good condition, reputable brands, not TOO old or abused, what advantages/disadvantages would there be? Obviously warranty would be invalid, is there an age where servicing becomes an issue due to superceded parts etc? Reduced costs for servicing new gear? do stores offer any special pricing to service equipment bought from them? I really have no idea on this stuff, so any help in what to look for/look away from when sourcing second hand regs, bcds etc would be great. I own the standard mask, snorkel, fins, boots, gloves, hood and just snapped up a brand new Oceanic Pioneer 7/10 wetsuit for $250 which i'm super stoked with.
Sorry for the noob questions, would really appreciate some knowledgable input before I either buy something pre loved that causes issues to the unsuspecting fool, or likewise before I rush out and put strain on the marriage by buying a new kit only to discover I could have done it for a fraction of the price completely safely for quality gear.
Keeping in mind ofcourse, I'm well aware that when the bug fully hits and you get more serious, you will probably end up buying the latest greatest gear at some point as you learn more about it and hone in on just what suits you in particular… it is this reason that I lean toward buying second hand stuff on some sort of budget now, to get diving and offset the cost of renting.
Anyway sorry for the rant, any advice most welcome and greatly appreciated. Cheers!!

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2 years 1 month ago - 2 years 1 month ago #301895 by AB
AB replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand
Padi Wagon,

There are pitfalls to buying new or second hand gear. If you intend diving semi regularly, then there are significant advantages to having your own gear. Quite apart from the costs, you will soon know your setup so well that you will not have to think to operate it well. This enhances all the other aspects of diving. Most of the gear sold nowadays is good quality, so it's really about finding a setup which suits the way you wish to dive. Don't go the bells and whistles unless you intend to use them.

BC/Wings are very durable and don't require a lot of maintenance, so buying second hand should give you a long life. Regs require regular services, and that can be expensive. In some cases it can be cheaper to buy a new reg every 4 or 5 years than pay for repairs. Consider adding a couple of hundred dollars for servicing to any second hand reg you see advertised and it puts the price closer to new anyway. Computers are very much a personal choice, and the entry level computers can do pretty much everything you will need short of tech diving. For reliability sake, don't get an air integrated computer. Two buttons are better than one, and you do get what you pay for. User replaceable batteries are a must.

Tanks are the challenge. Second hand Faber steels seem to hold their price well, so again, you have to wonder if new is simply better value. There are sometimes cheap aluminium cylinders for sale, but all the pre 1990 ali tanks require extra tests, and most shops refuse to fill them, so are not really a bargain. Post '90 ali tanks can also be found cheap as Ali is not so popular due to buoyancy characteristics, but you get used to whatever you have.

As you said, this activity has the scope to grow, so look for gear that has the ability to grow, as it may save you $$'s down the track. Don't let anyone talk you into manifolded twins unless you intend doing extreme dives. If you want twins down the track you can tackle most dives with independent regulators, or simply change the valves if required.

I am still diving the same BC I bought second hand in 1993, it has well over a thousand dives on it, can be set up quickly for singles and twins, and is perfect for a dive under a pier, or to a 55 metre wreck. I have gone through 3 (new) regulators in that time. Good luck with your purchases, the one thing that is certain is that the local diving around Port Phillip Heads is world class, and you will not be disappointed!

Alan
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by AB. Reason: bloody auto correct
The following user(s) said Thank You: Padi Wagon

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2 years 1 month ago #301896 by Padi Wagon
Padi Wagon replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand
Thanks Alan, great reply mate. I don't intend on getting all the bells and whistles, I just want to do pretty basic dives in the grand scheme of things. who know where it will take me though, but for now simple quality gear is all I want. Very good point re adding a couple hundred to the cost of a second hand reg setup, definitely makes buying new seem far better value. I was told Oceanic stuff has lifetime free parts, so servicing only costs you the labour charge for as long as you have the item. That also sounds pretty appealing.
Anyway, I'll go do some research, see what sort of packages I can find that won't tip me too far past a grand.
Oh, I also already bought a second hand scubapro Aladin g2 computer, in excellent condition. seems like a quality product, does everything I'll need. Thanks again, greatly appreciate it.

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2 years 1 month ago - 2 years 1 month ago #301897 by The Padi Police
The Padi Police replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand

I was told Oceanic stuff has lifetime free parts, so servicing only costs you the labour charge for as long as you have the item. That also sounds pretty appealing.


Oceanic gear is overpriced rubbish marketed as premium. Yes they advertise free parts for life but they hit you hard with labour. You'd be far better looking at Apeks, Zeagle or Scubapro regs.
Last Edit: 2 years 1 month ago by The Padi Police.

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2 years 1 month ago #301898 by Padi Wagon
Padi Wagon replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand
Wouldn't labour costs be determined by the servicer, not the manufacturer?

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2 years 1 month ago #301899 by The Padi Police
The Padi Police replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand

Padi Wagon wrote: Wouldn't labour costs be determined by the servicer, not the manufacturer?


You have to have it serviced by an Oceanic dealer.

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2 years 1 month ago #301900 by Padi Wagon
Padi Wagon replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand
Right. So set labour costs. So what sort of price range are you looking at for your average annual servicing on pretty standard regs? And what are some of the key points I need to look for when scouring the interwebs for information on the different makes and models? Anything particularly nasty to steer clear of?

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2 years 1 month ago #301901 by The Padi Police
The Padi Police replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand
I service my own regs, last time round I paid around $30 for a first stage kit and $20 for a second stage kit. That's for Apeks regs. How much shops charge for labour varies widely as does the quality of workmanship. Price doesn't seem to be an indicator of quality either.

IMHO Apeks are the way to go, excellent quality (Manufacturing and materials), good performance, reasonably priced and widely available parts.

Anything particularly nasty to steer clear of?


Yep, Oceanic. I was silly enough to buy three pieces of Oceanic gear over the years, a wetsuit that didn't last a year, a second stage that went brittle after four years and a pair of fins that are indestructable. I guess you can't screw up rubber fins.

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2 years 1 month ago #301949 by Padi Wagon
Padi Wagon replied the topic: Purchasing gear - new vs. second hand
Hi guys, but of a gravexig on this thread..
So I'm looking at regs and bcd. My initial question regarding regs .... From my research, a balanced first and second stage seem the go. Suitable for temperate and cold water, with venturi assist second stage. Now, the flow sensitivity dial, I understand it's supposed purpose, but in reality is it something you constantly use or is it something you tinker with for a while and then tend to just leave in a comfortable position and forget about? From my understanding in today's market potentially a pneumatically over balanced first stage and pneumatically balanced second stage with venturi assist will be more than enough to breathe comfortably in 99% of environments and situations.
I'm looking at Beuchat VRT90 first and second stage, or the VR200HF, for an extra $100. Any good/bad/indifferent opinions (based on more than nothing) or experiences with this brand? The vr200 took out editors choice in scuba lab testing , is that a credible source of product reviews,? Also am I in for an expensive Shit fight getting this stuff serviced locally?
Cheers in advance!!

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