Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-09-2019, 04:47 PM   #1
Member
 
City: Stuart
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Catmandu
Vessel Model: Seasport Pacific 3200
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 8
SCUBA compressor solution?

Im looking for a scuba air fill solution for cruising. It seems worth it having a SCUBA compressor on board (vs getting your tanks filled at a local shop). Ive read lots of debates about gas vs electric compressors, the hassle of maintaining a compressor on board, the danger of having your own compressor, fumes, maintenance, etc. Im looking for feedback on what folks have done that works. I have a 5kw diesel genset (marginal Im told for a electric compressor) and run diesel on board so Im not excited about running a gas compressor but my dinghy is gas so I always have some gasoline anyway. Anyone have the perfect solution?
__________________
Advertisement

JoeReno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 06:19 PM   #2
Guru
 
City: Anacortes
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 592
That can be a long discussion. You should start with some calculation of what size compressor you need. Could you live with a 2-4 cf/min unit? Bauer various/utilus are serviceable units for something small. Then Rix 3a/6a, also serviceable. Keep in mind, dive compressors on a small boat are going to be relatively slow and fairly loud. If you are doing more than topping up, you wont make friends. Personally, Id go with a full station at home in a sound enclosure. Its usually less hassle to just bring a couple extra tanks with you.
__________________

ghost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 06:38 PM   #3
Member
 
City: Stuart
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Catmandu
Vessel Model: Seasport Pacific 3200
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 8
We fill in port now but it limits time at the dive site in remote areas (i.e. south Bahamas) esp if you want to hang out on the hook. Looking for feedback on what people are actually doing now.
JoeReno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 06:41 PM   #4
Member
 
City: Dana Point, Ca
Country: Us
Vessel Name: Juliet
Vessel Model: Bayliner 28 Classic
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 7
Here is a good site for resource information. The Dive Mate portable can be fitted with gas or diesel motors also. Breathing Air Systems - Home.
Dstancil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 06:49 PM   #5
TF Site Team
 
Insequent's Avatar
 
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Insequent
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 50 Mk I
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,169
I bought a gas one, MCH6 in a box. The cover is weatherproof, but removed when using it, so not sound proofed. I have it up on the boat deck.
https://www.nuvair.com/products/comp...-dock-box.html

It has a Honda motor, and is quite a good unit, and not excessively noisy but in a tight/full anchorage you may well irritate some folks. Just use it at reasonable times of the day.

But it doesn't get a lot of use. I was planning an ocean crossing at the time and wanted to be able to clean nets/ropes off the props as and when required. I think I would go for electric in the laz or ER if doing it again, easy to rig an intake snorkel to get good air inlet.

Your 5kw genny should easily manage a single phase electric MCH6.

Keeping a bunch of tanks in test and full could be a better option, if you have a good storage space for them.
__________________
Brian
Insequent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 08:07 PM   #6
Guru
 
City: Fairport
Country: United States
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,329
I've had, over the years, 3 portable compressors on small boats. We took a gas one with us to San Sal on a 27' boat. Before that, a small electric powered from the 42 trawler's 8kW genset. My last compressor was a 4 man carry gas unit, that we did continuous blending with. Using 250cf O2 bottles to get 33% nitrox in double tanks. We've recharged on top of the Bimini wall while tied to a bouy and had long fill hoses run to the dinghy.
Some other scenarios: We recharged on the beach with a portable. One time, we planted a compressor in the Bahamian woods for an entire week, under a picnic tent, keeping 4 doubles divers supplied with nitrox.

I guess what I'm saying is that many different modes are possible. Bring ear plugs.
diver dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 08:17 PM   #7
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6,686
While it's attractive to own your own compressor, from a cost perspective it's a looser. People visualize doing a lot of diving if they have their own compressor. Reality is they don't. People think after purchasing the compressor, the fills are free. They're not. There is a significant cost to running and maintaining an air compressor. A far better investment is to invest in a dozen used tanks. A retested tank costs about $100. A dozen would cost you $1,200, weigh about 500 pounds, and take up a foot print of 23" x 30". While you will periodically need to find a place to fill them, the time factor is substantially less than the numerous hours to fill them yourself. The only justification for owning your own compressor is traveling in areas where you won't pass a dive operation for weeks or more.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2019, 08:22 PM   #8
Guru
 
City: Fairport
Country: United States
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,329
San Sal has fabulous diving, but the local dive shops won't fill your tanks if you don't dive with them. Yes, if you hang around freeport, bimini, and nassau, you can get fills. But, then you are stuck in those places. The OP mentioned S. Bahamas. You will need a compressor. I'm not even sure if Cat Island even has a compressor.

My mid sized compressor weighed and about the size of 2 x 80's.
diver dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2019, 12:02 AM   #9
Guru
 
City: Between Oregon and Alaska
Country: US
Vessel Name: Charlie Harper
Vessel Model: Wheeler Shipyard 83'
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,305
O C Diver has the best advice.

The best setup is a compressor off a diesel and a tank farm. The small gas motor driven compressors take a long time to fill a standard tank. You burn a lot of gasoline. With 4 people diving, it runs all day, if you have the spare tanks. Otherwise you take a 2 hour break waiting for the tanks.

The compressor intake needs to be where it can draw clean fresh air. An intake filter is a good idea.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2019, 08:25 AM   #10
Member
 
City: Stuart
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Catmandu
Vessel Model: Seasport Pacific 3200
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 8
Great feedback, thanks. My boat is a 32' Cat so there is not much room. The noise is something to think about, seems like most of the electric compressors are 220... have to see it that is possible with my 5kw northern lights - but the getset is fairly quiet and if I run a gas powered compressor I'll probably have to bring it up on the flying bridge and that will just broadcast more noise.
JoeReno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2019, 09:48 AM   #11
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 4,899
5kW NL gennie sold in the US market can be wired for 240v. Most are set up for 120v, but a simple change gets you 240.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2019, 09:53 AM   #12
Guru
 
cafesport's Avatar
 
City: Miami
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 594
My previous boat was a 38 sport fish and I replaced the fighting chair with a 48 x 48 x 40 kill box that could carry 36 luxfer 80s plus suits and other assorted gear. We dove 30 30 trimix which we blended at home and put on the boat. There simply was not enough time or weather widows to be filling tanks offshore to even think about bringing a compressor. We figured If your gonna dive you should just do it right. Ive had Bauer Jrs on boats before. Not anymore, I think investing that money in a performance free diving class or two will give you a safer and better return especially for the Bahamas.
__________________

__________________
Via iOS.
cafesport is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
scuba

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012