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Steel Cylinders

If you are not using steel scuba cylinders, try to use one and you will soon realise what you have been missing.

In general, most experienced divers prefer the buoyancy characteristics of steel tanks to those of aluminium. Steel cylinders are lighter on land than the same capacity aluminium cylinder, but heavier (more negatively buoyant) in the water. This characteristic has many advantages. The greater negative buoyancy allows the diver to remove lead weight from their weight belt, or integrated weight system of the BCD, allowing the diver to better distribute weight by moving it to the rear of the BCD, a great advantage when wearing a back inflation style (Wing) BCD.

With aluminium scuba cylinders, as we breathe the weight reduction of air in them typically creates positive buoyancy at or near the end of a dive. Thus you need to carry extra weight to compensate for this. The steel cylinder with its negative buoyancy throughout the dive allows you to shed the excess lead that is required to keep you properly trimmed while you dive an aluminium cylinder.

Which Size Steel Scuba Cylinder Is Right For You?

Faber Steel 232 bar CylindersDivers in cooler temperate waters most commonly use the following three Faber steel tank sizes:

  • Faber 10.5 Litre (85 cubic foot), 232 bar — This smaller cylinder size is preferred by many women because it's lighter and easier to handle. If you are a diver with a very good surface air consumption rate, as many women are, then this cylinder has enough air capacity for most dives. A pair of these steel tanks is also popular with sidemount divers, and women technical divers.
  • Faber Standard 12.2 Litre (100 cubic foot), 232 bar — This standard size, 178 mm (7 inch) diameter, cylinder size is used by the vast majority of divers. A pair of these cylinders is also the most common choice for technical divers.
  • Faber Standard 15.0 Litre (125 cubic foot), 232 bar — This larger size, 204 mm (8 inch), cylinder size is the choice of divers with a poor surface air consumption rate. However, it's larger size and weight makes it awkward for many divers to use.

Faber 3 Litre (25 cubic foot), 232 bar, 100 mm (3.9 inch) diameter, are the popular choice of rebreather divers.

Low and High Pressure Steel Scuba Diving Cylinders

Faber Low-Pressure Steel — 232 bar — Lighter on land than standard aluminium scuba cylinders, these Faber 232 bar steel cylinders feature a higher working pressure than most aluminium cylinders, thus delivery a larger gas capacity for the same internal volume. The 232 bar Faber cylinders come equipped with a DIN/K type valve that easily converts back and forth depending on the type of First-Stage Regulator to be used in conjunction with the cylinder increasing the versatility of the tank. When diving with these cylinders less weight is needed, making them perfect for divers that use drysuits, or wetsuit divers in cold/temperate waters. The Faber steel cylinders are popular for cave diving and have a strong following among technical divers everywhere. The average working pressure is 232 bar.

Faber High-Pressure Steel — 300 bar — Much heavier than standard aluminium and steel scuba cylinders, these Faber 300 bar steel cylinders use much higher working pressure to provide a huge gas capacity in a small size. Like their low-pressure steel cousins, less weight is needed with these cylinders. A favourite with wreck divers, the average working pressure is 300 bar.

Faber is the leading manufacturer of steel scuba cylinders in the world and is the market leader in Europe and Australia where diving with steel cylinders is the norm. Faber's cylinders are manufactured from deep drawn 34CRMO4 Chromium Molybdenum steel plates to ANSI specifications. This process results in a light cylinder with the right buoyancy characteristics allowing the diver to reduce the amount of weight from their weight-belt. The interior of the cylinders are shot-blasted followed by their exclusive phosphatised coating which creates a perfectly cleaned internal surface, highly resistant to rust. The exterior of the cylinder is triple protected with zinc spraying, epoxy primer coat and polyurethane finish coat for durability.

The service life of a properly cared for modern steel scuba cylinder is widely considered to be 50 years or more. The service life of a properly cared for aluminium cylinder is more controversial. Most dive shops, including The Scuba Doctor, won't fill an aluminium tank manufactured before 1990.

The Scuba Doctor carries an extensive selection of Faber steel cylinder sizes starting with the 2 litre (16 cubic foot) all the way up to the 18 litre (150 cubic foot) cylinder. Faber cylinders are available in 8-inch, 7.25 and 7-inch diameters with working pressures of 232 bar and 300 bar.

All dive cylinders from The Scuba Doctor dive shop are visually inspected and shipped with a current hydrostatic date (except where indicated).

The Other Playground

Wall Dive Wall Dive | Boat access Boat access

Advanced Open Water Rated Deep Rated Inside Port Phillip Marine Park - No Fishing Reef Dive Site Slack Water Subject to Shipping Technical Rated

Depth: 15 m (49 ft) to 50 m (164 ft)

Level: Advanced Open Water and beyond.

The Rip & Tides Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive within "The Rip" (aka "The Heads"). This is a dangerous stretch of water, where Bass Straight meets Port Phillip, which has claimed many ships and lives. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-the-rip before diving or snorkelling this site.

Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

This site lies in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park. The park is made up of six separate marine areas around the southern end of Port Phillip: Swan Bay, Mud Islands, Point Lonsdale, Point Nepean, Popes Eye, and Portsea Hole.

Thirty-one of the 120 shipwrecks known to have occurred within a 10 nautical mile radius of Port Phillip Heads are thought to be within the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park in Point Lonsdale and Point Nepean.

Aboriginal tradition indicates that the Bellarine Peninsula side of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park is part of Country of the Wathaurung people, and the Mornington Peninsula side, including Mud Islands, is part of Country of the Boon Wurrung people.

See also, Parks Victoria: Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park,
Park Note: Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park,
Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park - Map,
Divers Guide - Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park,
Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park Identification Booklet, and
Taxonomic Toolkit for the Marine Life of Port Phillip Bay.

Port Phillip Heads Bathymetry
Port Phillip Heads Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Point Lonsdale Bathymetry
Point Lonsdale Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Point Nepean Bathymetry
Point Nepean Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Popes Eye Bathymetry
Popes Eye Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Portsea Hole Bathymetry
Portsea Hole Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Mud Islands Bathymetry
Mud Islands Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria

You are not permitted to carry a spear gun while snorkelling or scuba diving in Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park.

Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country
Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes the coastline of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-east, the Bellarine Peninsula, and down to Cape Otway in the south-west. We wish to acknowledge the Wathaurong as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.


The Other Playground Location Map

Latitude: 38° 17.342′ S   (38.289033° S / 38° 17′ 20.52″ S)
Longitude: 144° 37.727′ E   (144.628783° E / 144° 37′ 43.62″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-04-29 14:26:11 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: The Playground, 107 m, bearing 215°, SW
Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park.
Depth: 15 to 50 m.
Dive only on: SWF.

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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