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CYLINDERS TANKS


Using the correct scuba diving cylinder is just as important to a diver's success and safety as how they configure their gear. A diver may go to an enormous effort to insure every hose, reel and accessory is exactly right only to 'drop the ball' by making the wrong cylinder choice.

The Scuba Doctor dive shop brings you scuba cylinders from the leading cylinder manufacturers in the world — Faber and Catalina — so you can not only get it done, but can get it done right.

No cylinder is perfect for every diver, or every diving situation. The Scuba Doctor offers the most complete selection of cylinders in the industry, allowing you to choose what is best for your unique needs.

All cylinders from The Scuba Doctor are suitable for nitrox service (i.e. up to 40% oxygen), visually inspected and shipped with a current hydrostatic date (except where indicated).

Australian Standards

In Australia, scuba Tanks must be tested every year (12 months). We always ship cylinders with a current hydro test date. Due to manufacturing and import cycles, the popular sizes of cylinders typically have a factory hydro date less than 12 months old. However less popular sizes of cylinders may have a factory hydro date up to 24 months old as these are manufactured and imported less frequently.

As per the Australian Standards, the cylinders and valves we sell are for Imperial 0.750-14 NPSM (3/4 NPS) neck threads, NOT Metric M25 neck threads, and the valves have overpressure relief devices (burst discs). (Cylinders with Metric M25 neck threads do not comply with Australian Standards.)

The Faber steel cylinders have ISO 9809-1 markings. The Catalina aluminium cylinders have DOT-3AL2957 markings. All of these cyliners comply with Australian Standrads and are suitable for use in Australia. They may, or may not, meet the standards applicable in other coutries.

Choosing Your Scuba Cylinder/Tank

Scuba diving cylinders (USA: tanks, UK: bottles) are awkward and heavy, and if you fall down with one on you'll be lying on your back flailing your arms and legs in the air like a turtle flipped on it's shell.

Without scuba cylinders you can never be like that same turtle 'flying' gracefully through the water, experiencing a world that almost defies explanation.

Like all scuba gear, choosing a scuba diving cylinder/tank/bottle takes more thought and planning than just walking into a dive shop and grabbing the first thing you see.

There are a few different kinds of cylinders, each with their own pros and cons. Plus, not all diving cylinders can be used for all types of diving. The video below may help you to chose which dive cylinder is best for your needs.

Types of Scuba Diving Cylinders

Steel Scuba Cylinders

Steel scuba cylinders have been around since the start of scuba diving, while aluminium diving cylinders came into use in the 1970s. Steel scuba cylinders are typically more expensive than the same capacity aluminium cylinders.

A steel diving cylinder is a lot tougher than an aluminium one, making it less likely to pit or dent. If properly cared for it will last longer than an aluminium cylinder. However, steel rusts with exposure to moisture and thus needs more careful care.

Because steel is stronger it can be handle higher pressures with a thinner wall thickness, making a steel cylinder smaller and lighter than an aluminium one of similar capacity.

Also If you want to use higher pressures (e.g. 300 bar), you will need to use a DIN valve which may make it hard to get refills depending on where you're diving.

Most technical divers use steel scuba cylinders, but they can be a good cylinder for regular recreational scuba diving too. The most common size is a 232 bar, standard 12.2 litre steel cylinder, but many women and those who use less air often prefer a lighter and smaller 10.5 litre cylinder.

Steel cylinders are more negatively buoyant than equivalent aluminium cylinders and only become less negatively buoyant as they are emptied. Thus they are popular in cold/temperate water areas where thick wetsuits and drysuits are used, because a steel cylinder means you can carry less weight on your weight belt.

Aluminium Scuba Cylinders

Aluminium scuba cylinders came into use in the 1970s and are the most common scuba cylinders you'll find in tropical waters for recreational diving. Many dive shop, boat and resort operations use them worldwide.

The most common size used for diving is the aluminium 80 cubic foot (11.1 litre), but they can be smaller or larger depending on what they're meant to be used for.

For example, a bail out or pony bottle is much smaller than a standard size aluminium 80.

Aluminium cylinders being made of a softer, lighter material have thicker walls, making them larger and heavier than steel cylinders of the same capacity. Aluminium cylinders are relatively inexpensive and thus a good choice for most recreational scuba divers.

One downside of the aluminium scuba diving cylinders is that most go from being negatively buoyant to positively buoyant as they empty during the dive, so most divers wear a few extra kilograms (or pounds) of weight to compensate for this. There are a few models of aluminium cylinders that are built specifically to eliminate this problem, but like everything else, the more features it has, the more expensive it is.

Typically aluminium cylinders are certified for use at a working pressure of 200 to 210 bar. But some newer ones are available rated to nearly 230 bar. Again, these cylinders are more expensive and heavier.

Things To Consider When Buying Scuba Diving Cylinders

Here are a few other things to consider before buying.

  • Length/height of the cylinder. Is it so long it bumps your butt and the back of your head at the same time?
  • Weight of the cylinder. Is it too heavy for you to handle comfortably?
  • Type of diving. Do you technical dive or not?
  • If it's steel, is it a low pressure (LP) steel cylinder (e.g. 232 bar), or a high pressure (HP) one (e.g. 300 bar)?
  • Does it have a DIN valve, or more common A-clamp/Yoke valve, or a valve that can be converted from DIN to Yoke using an insert?
  • If it's a used cylinder, when was it last visually inspected or hydro tested?

Our Recommendations

When purchasing scuba cylinders, the long-term advantages of steel's excellent buoyancy characteristics and long life make it the best choice for most divers, but especially those in cold and temperate waters. Choose a 232 bar steel tank size that meets your needs when it is under filled, putting an end to short fill concerns. For most divers this will be a 12.2 litre (100 cubic foot) cylinder, but some may prefer the smaller 10.5 litre (85 cubic foot) cylinder.

If your budget is tight, then aluminium cylinders initially costs significantly less. If going with an aluminium cylinder, avoid paints, and choose the brushed finish.

For both steel and aluminium cylinders you should choose a convertible valve having a DIN outlet with K (yoke) insert, often described as a 'DIN/K' valve. (That's why we provide this as our standard offering.).

Remember, the standard 207 bar aluminium 11.1 litre (80 cubic foot) capacity cylinder with a K valve is not a "one-size-fits-all" tank. Making the right cylinder choice can significantly improve your diving enjoyment. Please use this list as a guide when reviewing scuba diving cylinders and you should be able to find the right cylinder/tank to last you for years of diving.

For more help buying the best diving cylinder (Tank / Bottle) for you, please see our Buying a Scuba Cylinder guide.

The Scuba Doctor dive shop is your best source for scuba diving cylinders.



Schomberg

Wreck Dive Wreck Dive | Boat access Boat access

Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Wreck Dive Site

Three-Masted Wooden Clipper | Max Depth: 10 m (33 ft)

Schomberg Under Sail
Schomberg Under Sail
Source: State Library Victoria

Level: Open Water and beyond.

Schomberg, the most famous of the Black Ball Lines' fleet of passenger ships, was said to be the most perfect clipper ship ever built. It was designed and built in Aberdeen to beat the very fast clippers of North American designer Donald McKay.

When James Baines, owner of the Black Ball Line launched Schomberg he said, "by the grace of god, this ship under the capable command of Captain Forbes will break the record he has already made". Captain Forbes, who was drunk at the time, replied, "with or without the help of god I'll make the trip in 60 days". However, at the equator Schomberg experienced a number of windless days which slowed the journey down considerably.

Unfortunately Captain Forbes never had another chance to put Schomberg through it' paces. On the same voyage to Australia, only a day's sailing from Port Phillip Bay, Schomberg stranded and wrecked on a sand spit at Peterborough.

The story of the Schomberg shipwreck was almost the nineteenth century's version of Titanic. The Schomberg was built at great expense, labelled the most perfect clipper ship ever built, and designed to be the most comfortable luxury vessel to sail between Liverpool, England and Melbourne, Australia.

The Schomberg ran aground on its maiden voyage to Melbourne on Victoria's Shipwreck Coast on 26 December 1855.

Diving the Schomberg Shipwreck

Schomberg Rock
Schomberg Rock
Source: State Library Victoria

The remains of the Schomberg now lie in 10 m (33 ft) of water on what is now known as 'Schomberg Rock' in Newfield Bay, south-east of the town of Peterborough. The wreck runs north-south along a reef, with its bow to the north.

Schomberg Rock location:
Latitude: 38° 36.833′ S   (38.61389° S / 38° 36′ 50″ S)
Longitude: 142° 53.083′ E   (142.88472° E / 142° 53′ 4.99″ E)

810 m, bearing 298°, WNW

The Schomberg shipwreck site is badly broken up and heavily concreted. Small artefacts such as buttons, and shoe and belt buckles are cemented into a matrix of limestone.

No hull structure is visible but divers can see a large number of railway bridge irons that lie lengthways following the contours of the reef. Large railways following the contours of the reef. Large railway girders are also visible.

Large iron tanks, iron pots, a mast and deck stanchions can be seen at the wreck site.

The site is covered by various seaweeds and plenty of reef fish now inhabit the wreck.

While the Schomberg is best dived by boat, it can also be accessed as a shore dive.


Shipwrecks of South-west Victoria | Source: Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum

Schomberg Dive Site Map
Schomberg Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

South-easterly and southerly winds expose the Schomberg shipwreck to dangerous swells making diving unpleasant and anchorage unsafe. It's safer after a period of northerly weather. See WillyWeather (Peterborough) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.

{{southern-ocean-warning}}
Shipwreck Coast - Peterborough Wrecks
Shipwreck Coast - Peterborough Wrecks

Schomberg Shipwreck History — Built in 1855

Schomberg in Aberdeen, Scotland
Schomberg in Aberdeen, Scotland
Source: State Library South Australia

Schomberg was a large three-masted full-ship rigged wooden ship, built in 1855, by Alexander Hall and Co., in Aberdeen, Scotland for James Baines' famous Black Ball Line at a cost of £43,103. The vessel was 288 ft (88 m) in length, with a beam of 45 ft (14 m), a depth of 29.5 ft (8.99 m) of 2,284 tons. She was described as very "sharp forward", with a long clean run, and "considerable dead rise" at her midship section. She was heavily sparred, with single topsail yards, and three skysails. The mainmast was 210 ft (64 m) high and she carried 3.3 acres (16,000 square yards) of canvas sail.

The frame of Schomberg was made of British oak with layers of Scottish larch fitted diagonally over the frame. An outer layer of red pine was reinforced with tar. The layers were fastened together with screw-threaded trunnels (wooden rails). This design was called the diagonal principle and was said to be similar to the design of Queen Victoria's new yacht. This design feature was found on pieces of hull washed up on the coast of New Zealand and these are thought to be from the wreck of Schomberg.

Schomberg Ship Plans
Schomberg Ship Plans
© Antiqua Print Gallery (Alamy)

No expense was spared in building Schomberg. The ship was designed to be the most comfortable vessel to sail to Melbourne. Special features of Schomberg included ventilation ducts to the lower decks and port holes. Unfortunately the port holes leaked badly at sea. Schomberg has historical significance as one of the luxurious ships built to bring emigrants to Australia, cashing in on the gold rush era. Her First Class accommodation was simply luxurious with velvet pile carpets, large mirrors, rosewood, birds-eye maple and mahogany timbers throughout, soft furnishings of satin damask, and an oak-lined library with a piano. Overall she had accommodation for 1,000 passengers.

The Schomberg is one of only three clipper wrecks in Victorian waters that operated the England to Australia run. While the other two, Empress of the Sea and Lightning, were built by the famous American shipbuilder, Donald MacKay. Schomberg was an attempt to build a faster ship than MacKay and a vessel fast enough to break the sailing record to Australia.

Captain James Nicol "Bully" Forbes, an Aberdeen man, of great reputation, who had become famous at the helm of the Marco Polo and Lightning, was appointed to command Schomberg. Forbes was supposedly the man who gave birth to the phrase "Hell or Melbourne." He was the holder of a record 68 day run from Liverpool to Melbourne.

Schomberg Sinks On Maiden Voyage — 26 December 1855

Schomberg Shipwreck Painting
Schomberg Shipwreck Painting
Source: State Library Victoria

Schomberg sailed from Liverpool on 6 October 1885, under the command of Captain James Forbes, on its maiden voyage to Australia with a general cargo, jewellery, spirits, machinery, and 2,000 tons of iron rails and equipment intended to build the Melbourne to Geelong Railway and a bridge over the Yarra from Melbourne to Hawthorn. She also carried a cow for fresh milk, pens for fowls and pigs, plus 90,000 gallons of water for washing and drinking. She also carried 17,000 letters and 31,800 newspapers.

There were approximately 473 passengers and a crew of 105. It was hoped that Schomberg would make Melbourne in sixty days, setting a record for the voyage, but light winds at the equator dashed those expectations.

Sailing was slow but uneventful. On the 27th day out from port, Captain Forbes sighted a Liverpool-bound clipper called Vision. Forbes and a boat load of passengers rowed across to Vision and enjoyed an evening of dancing on the poop. When the two boats parted, Vision took mail from the Schomberg's passengers back to England.

On Christmas Eve, some 78 days out of Liverpool, the vessel made landfall near Cape Bridgewater. The next day Moonlight Head was sighted. The ship was sailing with strong south-easterly wind and had to tack several times but made little progress. In the evening the wind dropped and the ship was again heading in the direction of Moonlight Head. The gentle breeze made it difficult for the vessel to turn about and the ship was carried in through the breakers and gently ran aground on 26 December 1855 on a spit that juts into Newfield Bay, just east the present town of Peterborough.

Neither the sand spit nor the currents in the area were marked on Captain Forbes' charts. The sails were left up in case the wind strengthened and the ship freed itself from the sand bar. However, the sails were eventually brought down and the anchor let go.

During the night, a lifeboat was launched to locate a safe spot to land the passengers. The boat returned and the crew advised Captain Forbes to wait until daybreak because heavy surf could easily overturn the small lifeboats. At dawn, the ship's Chief Officer saw the smoke of a distant steamer, SS Queen. He sounded the signal guns to draw the steamship's attention to the plight of Schomberg.

SS Queen, which was bound for Melbourne, approached Schomberg and managed to take all passengers on board. Another steamer was sent by the Black Ball Line's agent in Melbourne to collect passenger's baggage. The steamers Keera and Maitland were dispatched to salvage the passenger's baggage and the more valuable cargo. Various steamers assisted with the unloading of cargo from Schomberg however when the weather changed for the worse, the task became impossible. Cargo was strewn over the beach and police had to patrol the area for looters. Within two weeks the Schomberg's hull was broken up and the vessel abandoned.

The wreck and cargo were finally sold to a local firm of merchants however they did nothing to salvage what remained on board and Schomberg was again sold to a Melbourne businessman and two seafarers. Two of the partners drowned as they attempted to row to Schomberg. After that, all salvage attempts were abandoned.

Back in Melbourne, following passengers' complaints, an inquiry into the disaster and the formal trial of Captain Forbes took place. Forbes, also known as Captain "Bully" Forbes, was accused of neglect of duty. Some passengers told tales of dangerous sailing and of Forbes strutting around Schomberg with a loaded revolver. All of the officers on board Schomberg were accused of being ungentlemanly and immoral. Rumours spread of "half naked women" emerging from Captain Forbes' cabin at all hours of the night.

Forbes was apparently playing cards with two female passengers when Schomberg ran aground. By the time he came up on deck and gave orders it was too late. Captain Forbes was finally acquitted on the grounds that there was not enough evidence to show he had not used every precaution necessary to save his ship. Following his acquittal there was a public outcry. Forbes' career was in ruins. It was to be his last command of a fast sailing clipper. He was not to obtain another command with the Black Ball line and he sank into obscurity.

The wrecking of the Schomberg caused quite the public stir particularly in light of the fact the vessel was supposed to be, the most perfect clipper ship ever built. The sinking of the vessel did have further ramifications. Part of the cargo was an iron railway bridge destined to open the railway crossing at Hawthorn. Another bridge was not opened until 1861.

The Schomberg Ship's bell is in the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village Museum, Victoria.

New Zealand Connection — In 1870, nearly 15 years after the wreck, parts of the Schomberg were found washed ashore at Ship Creek (Tauperikaka Creek) on the south island of New Zealand. The Christchurch NZ paper Sunday, 15 March 1975 published an article stating that the remains of a large portion of this ship had been discovered washed up on the West Coast of New Zealand. It is claimed that the major portion of the upperworks (the hull above the load waterline) had broken free from the bottom of the ship and as a partially submerged wreck carried across the Tasman Sea.

See also, west-coast-shipwreck-trail,
Wikipedia: Schomberg (1855),
Heritage Council Victoria: Schomberg,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Schomberg,
A 2000km shipwreck, and
Dive Information Sheet: Schomberg (1855-1855).

This vessel is one of the many historic shipwrecks included in Victoria's shipwreck-discovery-trail. Qualified divers can explore the wrecks of old wooden clippers, iron steamships and cargo and passenger vessels located along the coast and in Port Phillip. Some of these wreck dives are suitable for beginners, even snorkellers, while other wrecks require the skills and experience of advanced divers.

Heritage Warning: Any shipwreck or shipwreck relic that is 75 years or older is protected by legislation. Other items of maritime heritage 75 years or older are also protected by legislation. Activities such as digging for bottles, coins or other artefacts that involve the disturbance of archaeological sites may be in breach of the legislation, and penalties may apply. The legislation requires the mandatory reporting to Heritage Victoria as soon as practicable of any archaeological site that is identified. See Maritime heritage. Anyone with information about looting or stolen artefacts should call Heritage Victoria on (03) 7022 6390, or send an email to heritage.victoria@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Findlng the Schomberg Shipwreck

Over the years we've been provided with different GPS marks for the Schomberg. The GPS marks we know of in circulation for the Schomberg are:

  • GPS (verified):
    Latitude: 38° 37.043′ S   (38.617376499837° S / 38° 37′ 2.56″ S)
    Longitude: 142° 53.574′ E   (142.89290489144° E / 142° 53′ 34.46″ E)
  • Unknown GPS:
    Latitude: 38° 37.000′ S   (38.616667° S / 38° 37′ 0″ S)
    Longitude: 142° 53.180′ E   (142.886333° E / 142° 53′ 10.8″ E)

    576 m, bearing 277°, W
Eastern Maar country
Eastern Maar country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Eastern Maar people of south-western Victoria between the Shaw and Eumerella Rivers and from Yambuk in the south to beyond Lake Linlithgow in the north. This truly ancient Country extends as far north as Ararat and encompasses the coastal townships of Port Fairy in the west, Warrnambool, Peterborough, Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne, and Airies Inlet in the east, including the Great Ocean Road area. It also stretches 100 metres out to sea from low tide and therefore includes the iconic Twelve Apostles. "Eastern Maar" is a name adopted by the people who identify as Maar, Eastern Gunditjmara, Tjap Wurrung, Peek Whurrong, Kirrae Whurrung, Kuurn Kopan Noot and/or Yarro waetch (Tooram Tribe) amongst others. We wish to acknowledge the Eastern Maar as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging.

 

Schomberg Location Map

Latitude: 38° 37.043′ S   (38.617376° S / 38° 37′ 2.55″ S)
Longitude: 142° 53.574′ E   (142.892905° E / 142° 53′ 34.46″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-23 19:44:18 GMT
Source: GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Newfield, 1,149 m, bearing 92°, E
Three-Masted Wooden Clipper Ship.
Built: Aberdeen, Scotland, 1855.
Sunk: 26 December 1855.
Peterborough, Newfield Bay, Shipwreck Coast.
Depth: 10 m.



DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.

The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.

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