Buying A Rebreather: A Simple Primer

By Steve Lewis

Looking to invest in a rebreather? You can look at putting aside a cool ten grand. Photo: Russell Clark

There are few simple questions more difficult to answer than aHow much is a rebreather? a More so if the person asking advice is a rebreather newbie about to buy their first unit.

On the face of it, all thatas required is a straight dollar sum. Letas say a few thousand bucks, for the sake of argument. But quoting the amanufactureras suggested retail pricea( the ubiquitous MSRP ), is akin to telling a bald-faced lie. Especially if you want to give an answer that takes into account the medium-to long-term price. So, what does that mean, precisely?

ToA start

Well, short-term, the MSRP is an okay starting point, but there are always other expenses, many of them considerable.

The first thing to consider is that most new rebreather divers will dump the first unit they buy as soon as the new-toy-glow wears off enough for them to admit to themselves their initial buy was a mistake.

Of course, this isnat a universal truth, and probably doesnat apply to everyone buying their first rebreathera | only all the rebreather divers Iave known for the past 20 years or so and with whom I dive regularly. Thatas right, every single one of us, including me. Well, me in particular. In my peer group , nobody is diving the first division they purchased. Not one of us.

So, actually, when answering the ahow mucha question, that needs to be taken into account surely?

Then of course, there is training. Rebreather training, even educate on a recreational rebreather, falls firmly into the aprofessional instructiona category. This means such courses takes several days and is going to cost a lot more than a weekend specialty. It also means you may have the instructor all to yourself, or at most the class sizing will be two or three students. This is relevant because smaller class size translates into a higher cost for students. A per diem of $200 to $250 per student per day( CAD) is mid-range, in todayas market.A

Also worth considering is travelling and other expenses relating to training. Usually, the student travels to the instructor. This can mean air travel, hotels, meals, and so on, in addition to instructor fees. If the instructor travels to the diver, those costs are still a factor but now have to be paid to the instructor herself.

The bits and pieces of kit needed to dive a rebreather safely also have to be accounted for. At a minimum, this means a bailout bottle complete with regulator, SPG, etc. Of course, you may have a suitable cylinder kicking around, which is great, but letas just assume you want to start afresh with the perfect sized bailout set up specifically for rebreather diving.

There will be consumablesagas fills, scrubber materials, etc.abut the cost of these is negligible considering everything else. What does have to be factored in is the time a diver will expend post graduation, going back to beginner-level dives to get experience on the unit.( This of course is an option rather than a requirement, but it is a strongly indicated alternative .) For most of us, this rebreather-diver breaking-in period carries a cost which ought to be factored into the equation.

FinalA sums

And so, everything considered, a fair answer to the question, aHow much will a rebreather expense? a is to double the MSRP. So, a division with a sticker price of $5,000 is going to cost around $10,000; perhaps a little more, but ten grand is a start.A

The ratio of retail price to cost drops a little as the unit scales up in cost.( For example, the costs of a $15,000 unit would be closer to $ 25,000 but thatas not accounting for the several divisions that were bought previously .)

Hope this helps and is not too much of a shock! A

Steve Lewis is an writer, cave diver, Director Diver Training for RAID International, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

The post Buying A Rebreather: A Simple Primer appeared first on DIVER magazine.

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