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Backplate & Harness
Primary Lights
Back-up Lights
Stage Bottles

Q & A
Why breathe the long hose?
Why umbilical lights?
Why carry 3 lights?
Where do I put my stages?
What about back-up buoyancy?
Why not put a quick release in the harness?
Why only have one depth gauge?

How to...
...share gas
...mark stage bottles
...rig the SPG
...use a manifold
...breathe from a wing
...choose the right gas

Easy to use d-rings
Reinforced wing

Hogarthian Diving
with Doubles/Twinset

The Basic Rig

"More," they say, "is better". Redundancy, back-up after back-up after back-up. Three of everything plus another in a pocket just in case.


As Jarrod Jablonski said, "what you need is best". Be logical, think it through, find the answers. Do not simply apply patches and fixes to a problem, go to the source of it and solve it there. For example an unfit diver can use bigger cylinders to compensate for using more gas, or he can change his fitness level. Solve the problem, don't deny it and skirt around it.

The Hogarthian system, named after Bill "Hogarth" Main, is simplicity itself. At first glance it might seem inadequate, but when you look logically at it, then it all makes sense. Honesty is required.

The whole system functions as one unit, picking or choosing compromises the functionality of that unit. Take it all or nothing. Central are the cylinders, two of them joined by an isolation manifold. The cylinders are bolted to a metal backplate and the diver wears the whole thing by means of a harness made from one unbroken piece of webbing, with no quick releases. On the right waist belt is the light battery cannister, and on each shoulder strap are the back-up lights. There is a d-ring on each shoulder and one on the left waist. When it is worn, a crotch strap holds it all in place. The crotch strap has a d-ring just below where it joins the back plate. Reels are attached here, out of the way and streamlined.

On the right manifold post is the primary regulator and the LP feed for the wings. The primary regulator is attached to a 2m (7ft) long hose. The hose runs down behind the wing, under the light cannister, up diagonally across the chest, over the left shoulder and round the neck so that the diver breathes it coming from the right. The wings inflator runs through a loop on the left shoulder d-ring and the LP feed crosses behind the neck and is attached. On the left post of the manifold is a DIN regulator (the back-up) with the HP gauge, the drysuit feed (if required) and a second stage on a normal or slightly shorter hose. The second stage hangs around the neck on a rubber loop. The HP gauge is clipped to the left waist d-ring.

The light head is either clipped to the right shoulder d-ring or worn on the back of the left hand. On the right wrist is the bottom timer (no computers except when used in "gauge" mode).

Stage bottles are all worn on the left side, top clip attached to the shoulder and the bottom to the waist.

Attitude & the Diver

The most important part of any system is the diver. Everything stems from here. There are two requirements:

mental fitness
physical fitness

Physical fitness is obvious. Diving is stressful, and the stronger the body is then the less effort and energy that gets expended by simply doing the dive and nothing else. Add into that equation additional stresses, like sudden weather or tidal changes, emergencies, problems, etc., and the better the diver's fitness levels then the better the diver's chance of survival. Diving may be fun, it may be painted as a safe picture by the various commercial interests, but realistically we are only one breath away from death on any dive,regardless of depth, distance or gases.

Mental fitness is more important. It is the brain that tells us how to react to any situation and unless we train our brains as much as our bodies then it will not react in the right way. Every skill should be perfected and every response automatic. It is the diver's duty to learn all there is to know about how to perform any dive.

There is also a code to live or dive by:

#1 Don't dive with idiots
#2 Don't believe what the idiots tell you
#3 There is no excuse to not come back alive

Diving is about getting back to the surface at the end of the dive and everything you do should be orientated to achieving that goal.

All this has been said before and in more detail, and a lot better than I will. Here are a few "must read" references:

Todd Leonard's Cave Diving Page
Jim Cobb's Trimix Site
GUE Website
WKPP Website
DIR Video