How to Make a Portable SCUBA Tank Rack

How to Make a Portable SCUBA Tank Rack
Divers gain experience and improve skills by diving regularly, usually at local dive sites. For car-pooling divers with their own gear, adding a portable scuba tank rank improves efficient packing and transporting tanks safely. Dive shops and online retailers offer portable tank ranks that can accommodate between two and six tanks. Innovative divers can quickly build their own tank rank to save money and customize the organization to fit their car. Water enthusiasts already have supplies at home; otherwise supplies can be found at discount stores.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape Marker Foam swimming noodles Thick rope (at least 1/4-inch thick) Knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Foam swimming noodles
  • Thick rope (at least 1/4-inch thick)
  • Knife
Step 1
Measure the height of your tallest upright tank, from the floor to the curved section (crown) and write this measurement down.
Step 2
Measure and cut foam swimming noodle(s) to two equal lengths corresponding to the height of the tank (step 1). Note: for a portable tank rank for more than one tank, cut an additional length of noodle per additional tank. For example, a tank rack for two tanks needs three lengths; three tanks require four lengths.
Step 3
Measure two inches from each end of each noodle and mark this measurement. Mark the opposite side of the noodle because you will be cutting a hole through the noodle.
Step 4
Bore a half-inch hole through each end of the noodle, two inches from the end (measured in step 3).
Step 5
Thread one end of rope through each end of noodle, to create a rack that looks like a rope ladder (with the foam noodles as rungs).
Step 6
Tie a double-knot at the end of each piece of rope, to secure the end rung of foam noodle in place. Make sure the knot is large enough that it will not slip through the bored holes (triple-knot the rope, if necessary to create a large-sized knot).
Step 7
Place the string of noodles on a flat surface and push the end noodle (first noodle) flush against the rope knots. Push the second noodle at least 18 inches away from the first noodle.
Step 8
Place your tank on the ropes, with the first noodle lying against one side of the tank. Position the tank perpendicularly against the ropes so that the ropes span the width of the tank.
Step 9
Push the second noodle flush against the side of the tank to hold it in position. Note: do not push the noodle tightly against the side of the tank.
Step 10
Mark the rope just outside the second foam rung to indicate the ending position of the rung.
Step 11
Remove the tank and measure the length of rope from the knot to the marked end of the second rung (marked in step 10). Write down this measurement.
Step 12
Tie a double knot near the marked position for the second rung, making sure the knot is located on the outside of the second rung because these will hold the noodle in place against the rack. Note: the knots can be tied up to one inch past the marking to provide flexible adjustment.
Step 13
Measure and mark the required length for a tank from the second set of knots (completed in step 12) using the measurement from step 11.
Step 14
Push the third noodle next to the second noodle (the double-knot should lie between these two pieces).
Step 15
Tie a double-knot near the latest set of markings on each rope (marked in step 13). Remember that the placement of the knots do not need to fall exactly on the markings, and can be placed within one inch of the markings to provide room for adjustment.
Step 16
Repeat steps 13 to 15 for each subsequent noodle, if needed.
Step 17
Tie a triple knot (or large knot) at the final foam noodle. Measure two inches of rope and cut to finish the tank rack.
Step 18
Place the portable tank rack in the trunk of your car, SUV or van and orient the noodles to point to each side (towards the back wheels). Place your tanks between each foam noodle and slide each rung against the tanks to better secure the tank's position.
Step 19
Roll the foam rope ladder to a more compact size to store in your trunk when not in use.

Tips & Warnings

 
Consider placing ankle weights at each end of the tank rack to help prevent the rack from sliding.
 
Consider placing ankle weights at each end of the tank rack to help prevent the rack from sliding.
 
Reduce damages from the tanks to the trunk interior or prevent explosion during a rear-end collision by transporting tanks in a tank holder that orients the tank horizontally (i.e., pointing side to side towards the wheels). Tanks that point to the front and back of the car (i.e., towards the passengers) can be propelled dangerously towards the engine (and passengers) if the car is struck from behind.
 
Reduce damages from the tanks to the trunk interior or prevent explosion during a rear-end collision by transporting tanks in a tank holder that orients the tank horizontally (i.e., pointing side to side towards the wheels). Tanks that point to the front and back of the car (i.e., towards the passengers) can be propelled dangerously towards the engine (and passengers) if the car is struck from behind.

Article Written By Regina Edwards

Regina Edwards has been a freelance writer since 1990. She has penned video scripts, instructional manuals, white papers and abstracts. She has also ghostwritten diabetes journals. Edwards is a scuba instructor and Usui and Karuna Reiki teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Saint Joseph's University.

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