Some early development photos
Life for the G-Box began in 2008. I wanted to have cylinders that mount externally to the box so that I could run any cylinder size, make and configuration of my choosing, also particularly useful when I went on holiday where sometimes cylinder choice isn't great. I wanted to be able to use up to 4 cylinders or various sizes of cylinders or mount batteries and drysuit bottles - the flexibility to do whatever I wanted! From a safety and practical point of view gas leaks from 1st stages can also be identified easier and far quicker than in an enclosed box!
Of course there were already a number of products in the market place but to me they all shared the same drawback - none of them were as adaptable or particularly good looking! Now to some of course this isn't a problem but for me styling without compromising function has always been important. I don't want to dive an advanced diving product in something that resembles a waste-paper basket, a section of sewer pipe, or a meccano set! I wanted something that was built to a 'factory' standard, that had great looks and a smooth hydrodynamic low-snag profile, strong for rolling around on UK boats yet light enough to travel with. So, having designed and developed products for high-end sportscars I felt that I could make a better job of it.
The G-Box mark 1 was fabricated from welded stainless steel rods and plates, a formed base and a GRP rear cover with a 3 point fixing. The GRP cover took me over 50 hours alone to design and hand shape before producing the master mould. Two of these boxes were produced and were an instant hit, drawing many admiring comments and numerous requests to make more.
The downside was that, like many one-offs, they were prohibitively expensive and the cost and labour to go into production, would have been far too high.
Mark 2 - similar look, new design
A few years passed and as one of life's fettlers I began to work on an idea to improve the G-Box. Building on a successful platform I was very keen to keep the attractive design but to lighten the overall weight and simplify the rear cover fixing. With the patient assistance of Robin Spence, a fantastic fabricator and expert welder the G-Box mark 2 was born, sporting an all new marine-grade anodised aluminium section that was slightly wider and of completely new design. An improvement on the original stand was also made, adding bars in the corners forming large D'rings for clipping equipment to. The rear cover was again remoulded due to the slight increase in width and now featured a single hidden fixing at the base to tidy things up. As the ultimate finishing touch I then went to the huge expense of have a carbon fibre rear cover made for my own G-Box. We made three mark 2 G-Boxes, including one for a good friend whose pestering finally paid off !
Mark 3 - production units
The admiring comments and gentle pleas continued from fellow divers to put the G-Box into production and following a bad motorcycle accident in 2011 I finally relented and made the decision to commence manufacture. The Mark 3 and final production version is therefore a result of 5 years ongoing development and a large number of hours deep diving in both salt and fresh water. There are subtle differences to the Mark 2 with a couple of minor tweeks to the aluminium box. The stand is now produced by specialist marine fabricators and the rear cover I now having professionally vacuum formed in ABS from one of my old motorsport contacts. The optional Carbon Fibre cover is being produced by a composites specialist who supply bodywork to many of the big factory teams in the World Superbike Championship.
4 separate UK companies produce the parts that make the G-Box to my exacting standards, all of whom are specialists in their field. The G-Box is a product without compromises and unrivalled in design and fabrication. I have many customers who have dived all the other boxes available who agree that the G-Box stands head and shoulders above them in every regard - I am sure that you will agree with them too when you become a member of the G-Box family !