View Full Version : Boat Rules when using Power Heads
02-07-2003, 07:56 AM
Along the same line as the PH discussion thread going on now....
Does anyone here have "Boat Rules" concerning using Power Heads in their boat? ie, Load only in the water or No PH's on the ascent?
I shoot with a couple of different guys. One discourages ALL PH's in his boat and the other says anything goes.:confused:
02-07-2003, 09:18 AM
The Gag Reflex employs a no powerhead rule on its charters. This is brought on in part by the recent accident involving a veteran shooter on this board which has caused (or at least should have) us all to reexamine powerhead usage. Powerheads on many boats and by many divers have been treated in such a lackadaisical way that any gun safety expert would cringe. Ultimately powerheads are commercial fish taking devices and not a neccessity of the recreational diver. Any spearfisherman should have half a dozen different and effective actions or tools in their mental toolbox to deal with an aggreessive shark that do not include powerheading it. In my own experience and talking with many very experienced divers the absolute necessity to powerhead a shark is rare.
02-07-2003, 10:10 AM
I have found that unless the grya suited guy is extremely aggressive a couple of bursts from a octo works. Damn you FA for shotting yourself.
02-07-2003, 11:04 AM
I PM'd to a fellow spearboarder this morning concerning PH's. I have worked with weapons and ammunition my entire adult life and am a subject matter expert in this field (I make no such claim when it comes to spearfishing, many of you guys have that title). I have even personally looked at several manufactured PH's after a nasty incident with a Barracuda 2 months ago. From the ones I saw here were the issues I had with them that caused me to decide against them:
High possibilty of accidental discharge: :
1. It is a pressure activated device, it relies on a balance of enough pressure to detonate the primer at the base of the round when it hits "the tax collector in the grey suit", but not enough pressure to accidentially detonate it by the force of water that the head undergoes when it is launched by a loaded speargun. To me, there is too much of a possibility of it discharging unintentionally, or it not discharging when you really need it.
2. How it is employed. I have read that some guys keep them either loaded or unloaded in their BC's and pull it out when the situation arises. I don't know, realistically is there enough time to pull it out and attach it? In the heat of the moment, will a loaded PH detonate in your BC if you handle it improperly with the adrenalin flowing?
3. Safety mechanisms. Some of the PH's I have seen, especially the homemade ones, don't have much as far as a safety mechanism to prevent if from firing. The safety mechanisms have seen came in the form of a cotter pin that slides through the PH to prevent something from knocking it back. That seems to be a somewhat reliable safety mechanism as long as the cotter pin is built to ensure it does not accidentially slide out, and you remember to remove it prior to firing.
4. Complacency. From the dive trips I have made with 2 divers who carried PH's with them I did not feel too comfortable around them. I saw how they treated the PH as a tool, but not as a weapon that can have some deadly consequences. They were putting their hands over the "muzzle" of PH's or inadvertantly pointing them in the direction of other divers. In the military, a soldier would receive a serious reprimand after a serious butt kicking if he were to do this. A PH should always be treated as if it were loaded. Don't get me wrong, I am sure there are good Steelslingers who know how to handle PH's with respect, and I am just speaking of the ones I saw.
I know each one of you have your own personal contentions either for or against PH's. Some of you keep them to gain that sense of security and confidence when you go down, or now carry them after a bad experience while being part of the food chain on a wreck. I wonder what the ratio is of accidential discharges is compared to those who needed to use them as a means of self defense (not just to protect a stringer). I am willing to bet the overall number of accidential discharges is higher, but we don't hear of it so often because of personal pride. I don't intent to offend anybody, this was just my 2 cents worth. I would like to hear your comments.
Captain, U.S. Army Infantry
02-07-2003, 11:39 AM
I have been around firearms all my life and like you Hector, feel very uncomfortable when someone points a "hot" speargun muzzle at me or puts a loaded PH down on the deck. At the risk of being an arshole in somebody elses boat, I usually just ask them to unload it.
02-07-2003, 01:34 PM
i don't know if any of you have had a chance to use any of ray odor's powerheads but i really like the design and they are reliable.... they fit on the end of your spear tip. the spear tip is the actual firing pin so if the powerhead is not on the end of your shaft then it is impossible for it to go off.
02-07-2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by fernandezh
I have read that some guys keep them either loaded or unloaded in their BC's and pull it out when the situation arises. I don't know, realistically is there enough time to pull it out and attach it? In the heat of the moment, will a loaded PH detonate in your BC if you handle it improperly with the adrenalin flowing? I agree with that comment, and that is why I am curious about Ray O's slip on powerheads. For self-defense, that seems the most workable solution.
The thing that bother's me about powerheads is this: What is the first thing you learn in any gun safety class? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN UNLOADED GUN! Someone who would normally observe that rule when using a firearm, treats the powerhead like it shoots spit balls. It is a gun. Period. It's a gun when it's in your pocket not connected to your shaft, and it's a gun when it's on a shaft. And it's always to be treated like it's loaded. If the thing is pointed at me, "I unloaded it" doesn't cut it.
02-07-2003, 04:22 PM
Barrel not allowed on above 10'.No cocked spearguns onboard.No "thumbpoppers" allowed.No novice spearfishermen allowed to PH until proficient at normal use.The debate over efficiecy and sporting aspects are also a consideration .I have one buddy who only hunts with traditional longbow as he considers long guns and compounds for pussies and lazy rednecks(his words)Bottom line My boat My rules..
02-07-2003, 04:37 PM
**** that, bottom line is "sorry chris"..if you respect the sonofabitch, youll be fine. Its when people get "lazy" around them is when accidents happen. If I still had my boat, I would allow any of my friends, and those of you on the board that I have dove with, dive with them. They are just like mother nature....disrespect that bitch, and she's goin' to bite ya.
p.s. I don't mean to slam on anyone that feels differently about ph's on their boat.....:)
02-08-2003, 06:31 AM
Well said GROUPER55,firearms safety is just common sense.I don't carry my PH so much for protection, I carry it for large fish.as I don't like to loose them due to pulled point.Yes, a powerhead is a gun,so treat it like a gun. If there is a guy on the boat who is new to PH's I make sure to keep an eye on him.I like to dive solo so that eliminates problems that are not caused by me.
02-08-2003, 11:46 AM
I also second Grouper55's response. We usually dive with PH's primarily if we are targeting large AJ's or Cobia. We just get tired of getting the shit kicked out of us.
Safty is always enforced. No hot PH's on the boat. They are to be loaded only after you hit the bottom and unloaded before assent. Don't like the rules, stay on shore. :rolleyes:
02-10-2003, 12:18 PM
If ya think about it. You got a spring loaded gun on the end of a stick and you are in a boat rocking back and forth with equipment all over the deck. People are usually stagering around like drunks at mardi=gras bumping into everything on the boat. No loaded ph's on the boat seems to be a nobrainer. There is nothing to do on the way down anyhow so you may as well load your gun on the way down and unload on the way up.
02-10-2003, 02:31 PM
If you are diving with me, leave it in your car!
I was on the Shearwater out of WPB one day when a local dive store owner, who shall remain unnamed (Not me!) pulled off his wetsuit jacket, and dropped the powerhead he had placed in his sleve. BOOM! About scared 8 or so of us to death, but no one got shot. Blind, dumb good luck no one was killed..
During the St. Pete Open one year a long time ago a guy weighed in his fish while wearing a spearshaft completely through his chest. He went to a doctor friend of mine, Lee Grossbard, to have it removed afterword. Lee said it was a miracle shot, shaft missed everything vital and he didn't kill himself. Guy shot himself when the powerhead went off against a rock and blew the shaft backwards into himself. It's the "every force has an equal and opposite reaction" thing.
In the past I've seen loaded powerheads come aboard both my USCG inspected dive boats with out safetys in place. I've had them handed up to me business end first, by experienced hunters who knew better, including a Marine who taught firearms safety as a job description.
I've learned especially to not trust the guys who say they're safe and know what they're doing. I don't want any bullet holes in my boat. Or me.
02-10-2003, 02:41 PM
i use a slip-on one that i make myself. there is no pin in the unit, it is triggered by the speartip itself, therefore, while it's always on "safety" unless on the speartip. i only use them for protection(i actually enjoy a huge fish kicking my ass), so its rarely on
02-10-2003, 04:13 PM
The DIR guys have saying "don't dive with strokes"I don't let morons like that on my boat.And yes I prejudge a lot of folks that way.If someone ever tries to hand up any loaded speargun on my boat it gets thrown overboard that second.So far my judements pretty good.It hasn't happened .
02-10-2003, 04:23 PM
you are refering to the moron capt gene was talkin about.....right?
sometimes responses a few posts later couldbe mistaken for responses to other posts.
02-11-2003, 07:13 AM
Fishunta,yep.Moron:n:A person who possesses a loaded speargun above the water.I think that was from Webster's
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