Monday, 1 October 2012


It was 4 years almost to the day from the last time that I was heading down the M6 to Otter Watersports in search of a new drysuit. My current suit is a Britannic telescopic and I had enjoyed using it and I was interested in a new one.

Once I arrived, John Womack (Jnr) checked the computer for my measurements and went to look for a suit. Unfortunately or fortunately as I looked at it, there was not one to fit my size and john offered to make me a made to measure suit. This was great as it let me choose things like seal type, pocket location, colour and most importantly the suit would fit like a glove. (I’m still a growing lad and my current suit was feeling a bit tight, Hence my trip back to Otter Watersports)
In those 4 short years there has been a considerable development in the Britannic suit. Firstly the material has changed again. My first Britannic suit was made of a heavy weight indestructible material which kept me dry for over 11 years and I’m sure its still going strong. My current suit sported a much lighter material which was stated to be just as strong. I certainly found no problems with this and I found the lighter suit advantageous. For my new suit a new material known as Britannic armour skin would be used. This tough material is smooth and shiny on the inside and helps when donning the suit.
I like neoprene seals and the neoprene now used on otter suits has a special webbed design that stops you putting a thumb through a seal when donning the suit. This was certainly of interest to me as a month previously I had done exactly that.
Ever put your legs into your suit and  then noticed the internal braces are tangled up. The new Otter suits now come with braces that sport quick release clips which can quickly sort out the tangles without removing the suit.
Another improvement was too the boots of the suit. In the past I have always noted that the boots wear down in the same place, most likely due to fin abrasion. The boots on new Britannic suits now come with a redesigned boot with a larger protected section on the front of the boot. This should stop the wear and tear.
Lastly I noted on my current suit that the elasticated strap connecting the umbilical part of my suit was wearing away the fabric where it ran between my legs. On the new suit John has added a Neoprene sleeve to stop this happening.
The new suit comes with valves and hoses and a bag that doubles as a changing mat and you have a choice of hoods.
So for me my trip went well. I travelled down by car on my own (as the train fare was more expensive “what’s the point of that”?) Fuel for the 400 mile journey cost me £60 and its worth trying to car share if you plan a visit.
Even with a Hefty fuel bill I’m very happy that I travelled down. I received a great deal on my new suit and it fits me very well. I’m looking forward to many years of untroubled diving in it.
Mike Clark

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