The original AP Diving Buddy Self-Sealing Delayed Surface Marker Buoy Closed (SMBC - SMB Closed). Much copied but never bettered.
A high visibility signalling device and more. There's no doubt that safety should be a top priority for anyone hitting the water. This Buddy Self-Sealing Surface Marker Buoy Closed (SMBC) with a unique internal valve helps to get you noticed.
A real gem of a product, the 1.4 metre long by 20 cm wide orange sausage shaped SMBC was developed in the early 1990s and quickly became a standard part of most divers' kit.
The Buddy SMBC is simply inflated by purging a regulator or air gun in the open end. The really clever bit is in the mouth, where a unique self-sealing baffle – or duckbill valve – is forced shut forming an airtight seal on inflation and preventing the buoy from accidentally deflating on the surface.
The Buddy SMBC also features a stream-lining flap that closes over the mouth when used in a current to prevent any sea-anchor effect. It also has an over-pressure/dump valve which prevents the buoy from bursting and allows deflation after use. Because the SMBC stays inflated it is easy for the surface crew to track or for the diver to hold aloft and wave if separated from the boat. It can provide you with extra buoyancy in case of a BC failure.
The Buddy SMBC can be used as a delayed-action SMB for making a hanging safety or deco stop. Simply attach a line or reel and you have a superb delayed action decompression marker buoy.
Alternatively the Buddy SMBC can be inflated at the start of a dive and towed as a standard surface marker for drift dives. The SMBC is pulled upright by tension on the line and clearly marks the diver's position.
The Buddy SMBC is one of the best SMBs we've ever seen, which is why we dive using them. It is available with high visibility contrasting Red and Yellow sides. Perfect to get noticed no matter what the weather and water conditions are.
The all Red version is ideal for use as a standard Signal Buoy. For an emergency signal you can use the all Yellow version to warn the surface support of an impending "out-of-gas" situation (or any other prearranged communication).
A message slate, strobe or identification marker can be attached to the top eyelet of the Buddy SMBC to provide further information to your surface cover crew.
All Buddy SMBs roll up neatly for pocket storage, external attachment or other stowage.
Dimensions: 1.4 metre long x 20 cm wide
Colours available: All Red, All Yellow, or Red and Yellow contrasting sides
Why the Different Colours?
There are usually three choices for SMB colouring: all red, all yellow, plus one side red and one side yellow. Studies have shown that red and yellow are the two most visible colours at sea, with each colour performing better than the other depending on the conditions.
Red is far and away the most common SMB colour. Convention has it that it's the "standard" SMB colour.
There is a convention used by more advanced divers that a yellow SMB is an emergency signal, to be responded to by sending down a cylinder of gas, or a rescue diver, or both. These divers carry both all red and all yellow SMBs so they can signal their surface support as appropriate.
Some divers, like us, prefer the two-colour red and yellow SMBs as their main SMB because these are ideal for high-visibility across the widest range of conditions. And most people on the surface don't know the distinction between red being standard and yellow being emergency. You still have the option to carry a second emergency all yellow SMB.
What We Think...
- The AP Diving self-sealing dSMB quickly and efficiently inflates by purging a second stage regulator into its base.
- It comes in red, yellow, or our favourite red and yellow, and is kept rolled up by a handy press stud that is easy to release for deployment.
- The eyelet at the top allows attachment of a small strobe, slate or reflector.
- This is our favourite DSMB, especially when combined with the AP Diving Buddy Pocket Reel.