Deco Diving 101 – Stage Bottle Rigging

In this blog, we look at the components of stage bottle rigging and how to set up a stage bottle for open circuit diving. Read on to find out more. First up, let us define some important terms: 

What is stage bottle rigging?

Stage bottle/cylinder rigging is the equipment used to attach and secure the stage bottle to the buoyancy compensator or harness.

What is a bolt snap?

A bolt snap is a small, brass or stainless-steel clip with a manually operated, spring-loaded slide gate.

Why does stage bottle rigging matter?

Properly rigging your stage bottle is an extremely important part of preparing for a decompression dive. The stage bottle contains the decompression gas needed to safely reach the surface, so an inaccessible or lost stage bottle is a significant concern.

What are stage bottles rigged with?

Stage bottles are typically rigged with nylon webbing, lines, or straps that loop over the cylinder neck and extend along the length of the cylinder, almost to the bottom. The lower end of rigging is secured to near the bottom of the cylinder with a stainless-steel clamp called a "jubilee band". The rigging must be tightly secured against the cylinder without bulges or warping.

Stage bottle rigging has two functions.

  • It secures the upper and bottom bolt snaps, which prevents the bottle from rotating while in the water.
  • It makes it easier to handle the bottle while in the water.

Stage Bottle Rigging – Essential Setup Info.

1.     Bolt Snap Positioning.

Bolt snaps are permanently secured to the top and bottom bands of the rigging. The top bolt snap is positioned at the "shoulder" of the bottle, approximately 50mm from the bottle’s neck. The bottom bolt snap is attached to the opposite end of the rigging and is secured with the jubilee band approximately 45mm below the top bolt snap. The jubilee band is adjusted up or down the bottle to regulate the amount of free webbing between the clamp and the bottom bolt snap.
  • This distance determines where the bottle sits when it is attached to your body during the dive.

2.     Aligning the Rigging.

The webbing or line is positioned along the side of the bottle so that it is aligned with the bottle valve outlet. This orients the decompression regulator up toward you when the stage bottle is carried alongside your body.
  • This orientation streamlines the stage bottle and regulator and minimizes contact with the bottom/obstructions.
Elastic hose retainers are placed around the bottle, either before or after the point where the webbing is secured.
  • These retainers hold the decompression regulator hose close to the stage bottle to prevent entanglement.

3.     Decompression Regulator Attachment.

The decompression regulator is attached to the valve so that the regulator second stage is neatly streamlined.
  • The regulator hose should not protrude out from the sides of the bottle.
It should be routed down the length of the bottle and doubled back toward the bottle’s neck and held in place by a clip or retainer. The submersible pressure gauge (SPG) is frequently mounted on the decompression regulator with a 15cm high-pressure hose. The hose can be doubled back so that the SPG can be easily read while the cylinder is attached without rotating the cylinder.

Stage Bottle Rigging - Find Out More.

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