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Making a float (uk)

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portinfer

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Hi
I was planning on buying a dive float but recently came across some high density foam in a shed.

It is pale blue and about 4 inches thick - it is used for insulation in cavety walls.

It seems pretty hard and dense and strong.

I was planning on sticking several sheets together then shaping a sort of fat torpedo shape.

Then painting it a bright colour. Maybe an oil based spray paint.

I dont think that the paint will eat the foam but this could happen - I'll try a test first.

This is just a float so that boat users can see me.

I was thinking about a line underneath with a weight or something. How do you stop it from drifting too far ? I am not keen to attach it to me as I swim / spear in weedy areas and would prefer it on the surface to mark a general area that a diver is in - I suppose that I could drop a 10 metre line down with a weight to anchor it to the bottom - any ideas ?

Should I tape it up too to stop it splitting too much ?

Any one making floats ? !

Ed
 

YakDiver

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Is it really worth making your own you will have to buy a flag, but for £9.5 they do a cheap one at http://www.apnea.co.uk/shop.html
or a better one at £20 it is not worth the hassle not unless your on a tight budget.
If you have it anchored you will have to make sure that you don't drift too far away from it, it is very easy to do
YakDiver
 

Alison

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Hiya Ed
This is one I made (with some help :) ) Ive had a couple of this nature but Ive binned them both in favour of an inflatable Omer bouy which is much lighter for me to carry :)
 

portinfer

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Made one - didn't take too long.

Basically I joined 3 sheets of this foam together with wire nails as I discovered that all the adhesives "eat" it.

Then I shaped it - then I put a hole in one end and added some plastic tubing to stop the rope ripping the foam.

Wrapped some electrical tape around all of it and added a 10m length of thin rope that I found on the beach.

Added a spare caribener (climbing gear - it's a large clip) to the bottom and a weight from a window sash that I found in the garden and voila ...

Tried it yesterday and it works really well - of course I have nothing to compare it to but it fits in my dive bag, is really light (without the weight) floats well (it stands vertical in the water when the weight line is taught) and I can roll up the rope onto the sash weight (a cast iron bar about 30cm long) and clip the weight onto the top for swimming around.

Really happy with it - I don't have a digital camera but might post a diagram.

Easy to make and free (if you hae the parts).

Mainly made it as I had "issues" with a jet ski the other day which nearly involved me unleashing the full force of my mates Picasso Century 100 towards their fuel tank....

Ed
 

Mal_Function

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Here in Australia I used boogy board foam. First i shoved it through a planer thicknesser, shaped and welded a 4mm stainless bar, sandwiched the bar between foam layers and glued it with contact cement. Then i shaped it using an electric planer and finished of with a belt sander. For ballast i simply pushing lead into pre drilled holes and filled with more foam and glue. An instant indestructable, cheap float. Had it five years, been constantly bashed over rocks and exept for the paint it still looks and works excellent.
 

ben

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Ed, i resisted the urge and just got one of the baywatch style torpedo life floats.... think it was about 25 quid from http://www.aspli.com. Just add your line and put some big clips on it and away you go. They are foam filled and ridgid plus you can screw into them without any bother. Easy to cary and the rails down the side are more than suitable for strapping a spare gun to !
 

portinfer

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This is from a couple of years ago... the original one I made is still going strong but I bought an inflatible one last year from subprof. Works well but the older rigid foam one is good for rough rocky ground :)
 

pelagicbeing

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I am also considering making a new float after diving off Swanage last weekend and nearly getting a new haircut twice! having x2 boats come within 5 meters of me!:rcard Unfortunately i didnt have a speargun at the time, only a glare! :naughty

I was using an Omer round float, with small diver down flag, which clearly didnt make the blind bit of difference. Whether it was not seen or not understood i can only guess.:confused:

I have looked at the Omer Atoll float which has a 300mmx300mm flag on a 1000mm approx pole, but think that converting a cheap boogie board might make a more visible float, cause less drag and better for storing water / cameras etc. for a long days diving.

Does anybody know of a waterproof fluorescent orange paint that is durable that might work (for the board)?

Also any ideas on where to look for a large'ish waterproof diver down flag? 300mmx300mm approx. Checked the link above but couldn’t find one.

Thanks in advance for any help. Will post picture of the end result for anyone interested.

Pelagicbeing
 
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pelagicbeing

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Ed,

Hi, you mentioned about getting float line tangled in kelp? Forgive me if i am teaching you to suck eggs etc. But on my float i have a 30 mtr length of hollow transparent plastic tubing (approx 5mm thick), and i am constantly crawling through kelp beds and find that this hardly ever gets tangled or caught on anything as opposed to a line, due to its thickness and buoyancy.

then again i dont spear fish, so i dont know if that is any use?

Just thought i would mention it in case.:)

Pelagicbeing
 
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