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Old 07-11-2012, 07:22 AM   #1
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Pot warps & dive stuff

Every couple of years or so we wrap a pot warp in the wheel. When we had a twin engine boat, it was no big thing. We'd proceed on the remaining engine and deal with the wrap later when we were on our mooring, at anchor or on a float where the water might be warmer for me or my wife going under or where a diver might be readily available.

Now we have a single engine boat and we wrapped our first pot the other day out in the middle of a bay where the wind was blowing and the water was cold. It wasn't a bad wrap so we were able to limp a mile or so to a mooring we knew of.

However, two unsuccessful dives later I realized that I must be getting older as I no longer could deal with the cold water long enough to clear the wheel. (We lucked out when a lobsterman wrapped a warp right in front of us, donned a wet suit, freed his wheel and then came over and did ours as well).

So my question to those of you who are diver savvy: What sort of wet suit might be suitable for short dives in 60 degree water? I see a lot of different types of suits available online but the mind boggles at the choices of types, thicknesses etc. Would a hood also be advisable?

Then there is the problem that my lung capacity is a bit less than it used to be. It would be nice to be able to take a few breaths while under the boat so one could get the job done in one foul swoop rather than having to come up for air a couple of times.

I don't want to go to the time and expense of buying full scuba gear and going through the certification training. Also, I'd have to travel quite a distance to get any training.

There are some "mini" scuba tanks such as THIS but they are still pretty expensive and you still need to go through certification training in order, as I understand, to be able to buy the gear and to refill it.

I know, I know! I really should bite the bullet and get the training but is there something simpler, less expensive, available that would allow one to get a few breaths 4' underwater?


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Old 07-11-2012, 07:47 AM   #2
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The best wet suit is the one that fits the wife. Tell her you'll be lookout
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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This was big when I was diving, still around so it must be a good product. Spare Air Spare Air - the smallest redundant SCUBA system available with enough air to get you to the surface in an out-of-air emergency.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:53 AM   #4
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The best wet suit is the one that fits the wife. Tell her you'll be lookout
She has done the diving stuff in the past on our former boat but, for some reason, balked at doing it with the present boat. Which is a shame since she really doesn't need a wet suit.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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We both have 3 mil surfer wet suits. There are cheap (~$100 at a boat show) and for 1/2 hour to 1 hour they keep us warm enough. I also use a weight belt with 7.5 lbs of lead.

We have an electric hookah that I use unless I'm doing a very quick inspection to see if in fact we do have a problem. It's a 1.5 hp oil-less air compressor with 60 feet of airline and a regulator.

We first used this set up years ago just to change zincs. We did this in a marina. It helped to test us and the system. Before I go over the side I always have the tools laid out and Lena standing by just in case.

Trying to free dive with a snorkel and sort out what the problem is can be dangerous and no fun.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #6
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Suggest first that you install a prop shaft rope cutter. There are several brands. I use the "PropProtector" cutter. I've wrapped a lobster pot line twice over the last 7 years, cruising in areas with fast current drags the float underwater. The first hit, PropProtector cut the line cleanly. The second time, it cut the line, but i had a couple of feet wrapped around the exposed shaft and cutter. I was able to limp to calm water, free dive the boat, and remove the rest of the line. Well worth the price.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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Suggest first that you install a prop shaft rope cutter. There are several brands. I use the "PropProtector" cutter. I've wrapped a lobster pot line twice over the last 7 years, cruising in areas with fast current drags the float underwater. The first hit, PropProtector cut the line cleanly. The second time, it cut the line, but i had a couple of feet wrapped around the exposed shaft and cutter. I was able to limp to calm water, free dive the boat, and remove the rest of the line. Well worth the price.
We put this on our shaft right after we got the boat. May have saved us in the past for all I know. Didn't this last time. Or maybe it was what prevented a really bad wrap and allowed us to limp our way onward.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #8
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My boat came equipped with a "Shark" brand cutter similar to Dewhatty's picture above but only has the circumference blade. I have cruised a good bit in trap infested water along Florida's West coast so far haven't wrapped one or maybe the cutter has worked whenever I ran over one.
It's there and I'm not about to take it off, or speak badly about it!
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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I don't know where you get'em but I have seen those hose things mounted on an innertube.
I don't think they are good for more than 6 or 8 feet underwater.

Sounds like it would work in your situation.

The only thing I can use here in Alaska is a total dry suit.
the water is never more than about 48Deg.

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Old 07-11-2012, 04:59 PM   #10
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Like the others have said the electric Hookah is a good way, the shaft cutters and I would have at least a 5 mil wet suit or a drysuit in water that cold.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:31 PM   #11
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I have been asked about building our hookah. The only part that was hard to get was the fitting from the airline to the regulator pig tail. A commercial dive shop in San Diego had it. The threads are different as per an OSHA regulations so that breathing air and working air don't get intermixed. The oil-less air compressor is 1.5 hp. A 3/4 hp oil-less compressor with or without a tank will work. The 3/4 hp compressors without a tank are no longer built that I can find. This is pretty standard set up for the guys who clean bottoms outside the US.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:11 PM   #12
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I don't want to go to the time and expense of buying full scuba gear and going through the certification training. Also, I'd have to travel quite a distance to get any training.

There are some "mini" scuba tanks such as THIS but they are still pretty expensive and you still need to go through certification training in order, as I understand, to be able to buy the gear and to refill it.

I know, I know! I really should bite the bullet and get the training but is there something simpler, less expensive, available that would allow one to get a few breaths 4' underwater?


[/QUOTE]

-----------------------------------------
Yikes!!
Scuba diving is not something to take lightly, even scuba diving down just one atmosphere (about 33') can be dangerous. Many injuries and fatalities occur within this depth. Breathing compressed air, tank or Hookah, puts you at risk even in shallow water. Also If your not in top shape diving is physically very demanding and not being properly trained only complicates the stress factor.

A simple gear failure, mask, regulator, dropped weight belt or hanging up under your boat can put you in immediate danger and leads to a "panic reaction." A panic reaction often leads to a gas embolism and is a very real danger even at relatively shallow depths and they are often fatal.

For shallow diving an inexpensive wet suit, mask, weight belt and a PADI card is a good start. Either rent or buy a used 80 cf tank. Later, If you decide you want to pursue open water diving you can upgrade your equipment to fit your needs.

Go to:

http://www.padi.com/scuba/padi-cours...s/default.aspx

You can do a lot of the PADI scuba certification course study on line now and this may fit your schedule better than attending a regular all classroom training.

Be Safe
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #13
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Can't offer anything re wetsuits or breathing underwater but I am curious about something---- are the pot floats hard to see or do they get pulled under the surface by too-short lines or is there a ton of slack in the lines that let them be bellied way out from the floats?

In other words, what contributes to the possibiity of running over a pot float and its line?

Out here it's not lobster pots but crab pots. The commercial ones for the most part use sinking lines and the floats are pretty easy to spot druing the day with any sort of visibility. Where it can become tricky is in fog or if it's rough (for here) water where the floats are hidden in the waves much of the time. In calm water we can see the floats on radar almost right up to the boat. One has to be vigilant at the radar but it's possible to pick your way through them in the fog.

If there's a current running it gets much easier because the line is always slanting out up-current from the float. So as long as one is down current of the float, even if its by just a few feet, you won't pick up a line.

Is this all the same with lobster pot floats and lines in your area or is there some other aspect that makes it harder to avoid them?
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:56 PM   #14
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I carry dive gear but have never used it. Also carry a Spare Air for emergencies like MOB.

I purchased 3" Spurs but never installed them (in fact I have two NIB sets if anyone on the list is interested). In 10 years with this boat (and over 30 years with singles in the PNW$ have not wrapped a line but there was a 52 Navigator next to us at Ganges last year who was on his 3rd commercial diver of the cruise. He had twins <grin>
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:41 AM   #15
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A 3mm wetsuit is too thin to be comfortable for any length of time in 60 water, IMHO. 5mm or even 7mm is a better bet, especially if you are unaccustomed to diving in cool water.

As far as a hookah goes, most any oilless air compressor (electric or gas-powered} will do the job. Minimum horsepower should be about 3/4hp. I don't recommend the cheap Home Depot, Chinese-built POSs, but they will work. The most popular compressor used by hull cleaners is the Thomas 1020. They used to be affordable, but currently are going for about $750 new. Runs on 10.5 amps of 110 volt AC.



Air hose is another item that can be an issue. Many people think that buying the cheap pneumatic tool hose from the hardware store is the way to go, but this is a big mistake. Air hose that is not rated for breathing air can offgas toxins that you will breathe. Use only Grade-E breathing hose from a reputable manufacturer. Any scuba shop can set you up.

If you want to purchase a commercially available hookah, here are the best suppliers, IMHO. It ain't gonna be cheap, however:

Surface Supplied Air NEW

Air Line Diving System | The Air Line by J. Sink

Here is a 12-volt alternative:

Sea Breathe, The Electric Snorkel
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:17 AM   #16
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Talk to your boat builder before purchasing your next boat.

A well with cover to access the prop/shaft has been common on some boats for close to 100 years.

Other wise the shaft mounted cutters work much of the time.

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Old 07-12-2012, 07:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Can't offer anything re wetsuits or breathing underwater but I am curious about something---- are the pot floats hard to see or do they get pulled under the surface by too-short lines or is there a ton of slack in the lines that let them be bellied way out from the floats?

In other words, what contributes to the possibiity of running over a pot float and its line?

Out here it's not lobster pots but crab pots. The commercial ones for the most part use sinking lines and the floats are pretty easy to spot druing the day with any sort of visibility. Where it can become tricky is in fog or if it's rough (for here) water where the floats are hidden in the waves much of the time. In calm water we can see the floats on radar almost right up to the boat. One has to be vigilant at the radar but it's possible to pick your way through them in the fog.

If there's a current running it gets much easier because the line is always slanting out up-current from the float. So as long as one is down current of the float, even if its by just a few feet, you won't pick up a line.

Is this all the same with lobster pot floats and lines in your area or is there some other aspect that makes it harder to avoid them?
Back East crab pots (and I'll bet in a few areas further North the Lobster pots) can be so thick that you almost can't avoid them even when you can see them. Meaning less than a couple boat lengths between pots.

Often lines are picked up where you have new ones and old ones pulled under by current, old line without a float on it (previously hit or a ghost pot), in the narrow ICW channel (not supposed to be) and no room to manuever, etc..etc..

If you think picking up the line is bad...wait till it winds up the pot into your prop and the wire encases your prop...or still worse..one time I had the re-bar in the pot wind around my assistance towing boat's prop and it stopped a 454 cold at cruise throttle.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #18
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Back East crab pots (and I'll bet in a few areas further North the Lobster pots) can be so thick that you almost can't avoid them even when you can see them. Meaning less than a couple boat lengths between pots.

Often lines are picked up where you have new ones and old ones pulled under by current, old line without a float on it (previously hit or a ghost pot), in the narrow ICW channel (not supposed to be) and no room to manuever, etc..etc..
Sometimes they are so thick that there are no boat lengths between them.

Add to that the fact that some of the pots have a smaller toggle buoy in addition to the main buoy.

In theory, that should make it easier to avoid the buoys as the tide/wind/current should stream the two buoys in a straight line so that one can pass downwind/down current/tide of the buoys.

In practice, it ain't that easy when the pots are really thick and there is a good chop running cross ways to the tide/current. Then add in fog and a relatively narrow passage and/or other boats that are also doing the lobster pot avoidance dance and the fact that some of the toggles are sucked under by the tide/current, some are not and some of the buoys are tangled up with others. And some of the lines are floating lines when they should be sinking ones and they can "belly out" sideways between the two buoys.



How To Avoid the Maine Lobster Trap - Maine Power and Sail Yacht Charters - Penobscot Bay Marina Services

Navigating among lobster buoys on the Maine coast
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:13 PM   #19
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The cutters work most of the time, however I had line wedge between one rudder and the hull, with the helm 3/4 over to starboard the boat was unresponsive until I went in and cleared the jam. I am PADI certified, and used a boat mounted tank with a long air line, in open water with 3 to 4' swells.

The 12 v DC hookah compressors do not deliver enough air to maintain a large working person much below the surface, the engine driven and 110 volt do make enough air for 40 to 60 feet, but also make 100 decibels in the noise department. That may not be a big deal unless you are nto expecting it. You cannot depend on just any big box home repair store 'oiless' air compressor to not pump something undesireable even with filters, such as exhaust fumes, and you cannot get away from it underwater. I have seen many bottom divers using self assembled systems, but they are always certified and have extensive experience with their equipment.

That the 12 v hookah either store bought or individually assembled is not much good for recreational diving because of the volume limitiations and therefore the attainable/sustainable depths are less than 10 feet for an active adult, the only time one would use such a set up is in an emergency, and thus the user is not the most familiar with the best practices, and as said somewhere else, predictably not the most ideal conditions.

Definetly do not plan to dive without PADI training, consider that the time you may need to actually do a dive will be in less than optimum circumstances, and require strenuous physical activity.

Getting certified is not that hard, and much less expensive than drowning/breathing exhaust/having a panic attack underwater/ getting the bends etc, and believe me it is great fun.

I resisted for a while before I took training, and since the my wife has her certification as well. I initially thought I had no desire to dive into the murky deep and expose myself to the bends, etc, but most of the diving I do is in thirty or forty feet of water in the beautiful Bahamas, and it really is a pleasure. I thought of myself as a strongswimmer, but having the dive training has improved even my snorkeling as well as my confidence level in the water.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:26 PM   #20
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i have the spare air tank, for little jobs like what you mention.
i got the "self" refillable version, so you can fill from a tank or at a dive shop.
it is also good to have for situations where you need to breathe for a few minutes (such as freediving/spearfishing and yes i am really considering to take the dive training this year)
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