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Wetsuit recommendations?


busspass

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I'm in the market for a wetsuit/semi-dry wetsuit for dredging this year in Idaho. There are some places that are open year round and the water is going to be right around 35 degrees for a while. Also any info on where to find a hot water heater attachment for the dredge might be helpful. I would go for a dry suit but I've heard they're a huge pain to keep from leaking. Thanks

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Just in case ya don't know,....

You don't want the suit too tight, that'll wear ya out quicker. :zzzzz:

But you don't want any sags or creases. If you have an air pocket in your suit, it'll fill with water. As you move, the water squirts in and out of the void an makes a cold spot. And it stays cold. :yikes:

It's worth the time to have it "taylored" for you.

Ya don't want saggy arm pits, that'll freeze ya out quick. :yuk-yuk:

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I prefer to wear a one piece zip up the back suit and I think its 7mm thick. Seems to be good and my claim water is always pretty cold. I bought it online from some sight I cant remember the name of :tisk-tisk: I also have a farmer john type of suit but its a pain to put on.

As far as a heater you can buy? I always thought you just make one wioth 1/4 inch soft copper tubing that is wrapped around the exhaust muffler and connected to the hosr outlet on the pump with a evap cooler valve you can adjust the flow with. Then you put clear tubing on the other part leaving the muffler and stuff it in the back of the suit.

My friends old dredge had this setup and i was actually getting to hot in the water. Felt like i was cheating mother nature, hehe.

Jerry

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Harvey farmer johns rock my world. The newer closed cell rubbers make gettn' in and out a breeze and elbow pinch all but totally gone. When bought new simply cover all seams with wetsuit glue to eliminate any chance of unraveling and always wear knee pads and/or elbow pads too. Wetsuits and dry too are made for divers who operate in a much less abrasive world. Also they might spend a hour or two for a couple a days a year whereas we spent at leat 8-12 hours a day 6-7 days a week for months on end. I've made many 100's a heaters and the #1 need is a holding chamber that collects the water from the heater. With at least a gallon of water it stops the temperature spikes that will weld your buns shut!! Caution when slowing down the engine,stopping and restart are where the lower water flows heat up RIGHTEOUSLY and without a holding tank you become a lobster. I've used them for over 40 years but new rubber keep me cozy as a bug in a rug and haven't needed one for quite a few years now-tons a au 2 u 2 -John :eee:

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I agree with Hoser... Good fitting Farmer Johns are the only way to go. You get double coverage for your body's central core. The ones with an attached hood are also a plus Make sure you get a relief zipper so you can pee with out taking the entire suit down. A good set of dive boots ( glue on felt soles) and gloves will keep you warm for a full tank run. I also get those heavy rubber gloves to go over the dive gloves cause you can wear them out in a few hours handling rocks without them.

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I dont do much dredging but I spend many hours underwater in cold lakes. The farmer john with heavy knee pads is hard to beat. Most dive boots have good soles now days and a pair of lobster gloves are darn near indestructable. I use plenty of "shoe goo" for repairs as well as build up beads of it on the gloves for gripping.

While I have used various heaters from the hookah type compressors the reusable chemical heat packs are my favorite. They have a sodium nitrate heat pack that lasts several hours and you simply boil it to recharge it. And good old fashioned "Ben Gay" works great as long as you are very careful not to get any on sensitive areas and wear a base layer under your wetsuit.

The hood is the most important piece of thermal gear you can buy. If you look at the old Jaques Custeau films they often dove with ONLY a hood in icy water. I have a fleece lined thick hood with an apron that comes below the shoulder blades in the back and down below the colar bone in the front. Just like the farmer john it gives you some "double coverage" and eliminates the rush of water down your back and chest when you move. I sewed a pocket on the back to hold a chemical heater pack and it keeps my spine toasty.

And wet suits are not all created equal. I use the type that has slick neoprene "cuffs" as well as slick neoprene in the collar and ankles as well as the waist. This smooth rubber clings to your body and keeps water circulation to a minimum. It limits infiltration and allows your body heat to warm the inside. The hood also has slick rubber around the face to seal it off. This might not work well with water heaters as it might restrict circulation of the warm water, but it will certainly keep you a lot warmer when you are not hooked up to a heater.

Forget a dry suit. I have had a half dozen and I dont like them at all. They will leak if you work in them. They are very expensive and tough to maintain, and the amount of weight it takes to compensate for the buyancy is bizzarre. They are really difficult to get in and out of and you will damage the seals unless you powder or grease your hands and head. A recreational diver with plenty of cash might love a drysuit for a brief winter dive, but someone who must work below the surface for hours will find all but the most expensive models a real expensive PIA.

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I've dove for years and while diving or dredging I've also found a Harvys custom fitted suit the best out there. Dry suits get torn up too quick for the expence. I do want to say that I was in the water in Idaho in Lolo Creek if I remember right and my wetsuit wouldn't cut it. There they were dredging with dry suits. Didn't have a heater. The water there made you hurt when you put your hand in it. Can't remember the exact time of year altough it was summer sometime. Doug.

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