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Old 12-15-2016, 05:12 PM   #1
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Brownie ' s Hookah Systems?

I've thought about getting a Brownies system as an alternative to carrying scuba tanks. The application would be for coping with a line in the prop or unfouling an anchor. Anyone have any experience with these?
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:31 PM   #2
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Gasoline or electric?

If you already have the scuba gear, get a long hose between the first and second stage of the regulator. Then just leave the tank on the boat.

Ted
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:37 PM   #3
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No experience with Brownie's system but we have an AC hookah with 60' of air line. It's great for cleaning the bottom, changing zincs, checking the prop, etc. We can run it from the inverter or generator. No tanks to fill or store but I'm not a regular diver (I am PADI certified).
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:32 PM   #4
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Gasoline or electric?

If you already have the scuba gear, get a long hose between the first and second stage of the regulator. Then just leave the tank on the boat.

Ted
It has been a while but IIRC, not all regulators will perform very well with the primary sitting at the surface. (or, in other words, you're basically working with a non-compensated regulator at that point... the deeper you go the lower the flow and the higher the open force on the secondary in your mouth)

probably not an issue for 10-20f just thought I would mention.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kev_rm View Post
It has been a while but IIRC, not all regulators will perform very well with the primary sitting at the surface. (or, in other words, you're basically working with a non-compensated regulator at that point... the deeper you go the lower the flow and the higher the open force on the secondary in your mouth)

probably not an issue for 10-20f just thought I would mention.
Regulators and scuba diving were my business for the last 40 years. Any regulator produced in the last 25 years and most produced in the last 40 years will work fine in this application down to 40'. The reduction in intermediate pressure is only about 20 psi with a 40' differential. At 10', the difference would be in discernable.

Ted
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:32 PM   #6
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I've thought about getting a Brownies system as an alternative to carrying scuba tanks. The application would be for coping with a line in the prop or unfouling an anchor. Anyone have any experience with these?
I have one. And have had a couple.

I love them. I tell people it's like snorkeling with unlimited air.

But if you're thinking about using it just for getting line off a prop or un-fouling an anchor once in a while, a tank and regulator or a tank and a long air line would be more cost effective.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:00 PM   #7
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Brownies equipment has an excellent reputation.
As I've gotten older, I've decided that I prefer surface supplied air over dealing with tanks.
I made a 110 volt hooka rig from an oil free Sears 3/4 hp compressor. It worked ok for cleaning the bottom and changing anodes.

I also bought a cheap regulator, cut the hose and added about fifty feet of vinyl hose. I could leave tanks in the boat and do the same shallow water things.

The homemade long regulator works fine. I'm not thrilled with the homemade compressor rig. If you decide to go with a compressor buy a professionally made one.

If you want to go more than one breath deep, buy the good stuff.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:33 AM   #8
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I have an oilless 110v compressor and 60ft (3 x 20ft) of Brownie's hose plus regular second stage regulator. Compressor draws fresh air from cabin. Perfect for cleaning props etc. Just be anal about washing hose, regs etc thoroughly in fresh water and drying properly before stowing. Would not be without it.

If going this route, an oil-free compressor is essential. Make sure compressor draws from clean fresh air. Engine room may not be ideal source. Brownies hose is certainly safe for breathing-air. Some other types may not be - more info needed here.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:44 AM   #9
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I've thought about getting a Brownies system as an alternative to carrying scuba tanks. Anyone have any experience with these?
I earn my living with hookah rigs and have owned a Brownie's 110-volt setup. While Brownie's gear is generally high quality (with maybe the plastic hose fittings being an exception), it is quite expensive. I have built my own hookahs for many years now (something you can easily and safely do, BTW), but if I were to consider buying a commercially-available unit, I'd personally go with Air Line by J. Sink.

Air Line Diving System | The Air Line by J. Sink
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:42 PM   #10
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I've used the floating 12 volt hookah systems before to help clean my buddy's boat bottom. Not Brownie's but a Power Dive unit (Australian made).

It worked well with two people at under 20 feet depth. One person is good to 40 feet.

I'm hoping to find one under the Christmas tree.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:50 PM   #11
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Still have my aluminium dive tank. Put in on the dive platform attach regulator and 60 ft of air hose (yellow good quality) with mouth piece. Enough hose to do bottom,props thru hulls. Bought hose and month piece for $125.00 at marine flea market. Will keep this set up until tank fails inspection.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:12 PM   #12
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Just remember always pack one of these...

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Old 12-16-2016, 04:32 PM   #13
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I have a copy of the Brownies with two 50 ft hoses. Works great for bottom or prop work and for getting something to eat while driving over shallow reefs. Paid for itself many times over. I bring it out of the bilge so fresh air is available and plug it in 110vts.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:00 PM   #14
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Having once needed to free dive multiple times to clean off a fouled prop, and then being an exhausted 65 year old, I invested in a hookah set-up powered by an inexpensive Sears compressor from our generator. I never looked back. Working under the boat became a pleasure rather than a chore!! In the Bahamas, I was even able to inspect and change zincs while watching barracudas eyeing me up. A hookah (excuse the expression) gives one a whole new perspective on life!!! Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:37 PM   #15
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Just remember always pack one of these...

Ah! The good old "spare death".
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:48 PM   #16
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I earn my living with hookah rigs and have owned a Brownie's 110-volt setup. While Brownie's gear is generally high quality (with maybe the plastic hose fittings being an exception), it is quite expensive. I have built my own hookahs for many years now (something you can easily and safely do, BTW), but if I were to consider buying a commercially-available unit, I'd personally go with Air Line by J. Sink.

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

Thanks for the tip. I hadn't heard of this company - I'll check them out.
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