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Old 11-26-2013, 08:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
...If you use a "cheapo" compressor...the recommendation from the pros is to bypass the steel tank as they tend to flake rust unless you put a decent filtering system in.
Our present compressor is tank-less so no problem but at 1.5 hp, it is bigger than it needs to be. We had a 3/4 hp tank-less/oil-less compressor that went with our last boat that I wish we had kept. Unfortunately the compressor manufactures no longer make them. If you do find one, make sure it can deliver the required CFM at working pressure. Here's a picture of our current system.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:37 PM   #22
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Yup, compressor capacity is important. I originally installed a smaller compressor (pic) and found that I kept running out of air - probably because I was a heavy smoker in my younger days, and the old lungs are not as efficient as they could be. Anyway, I shelled out for the next size up and it does the job just fine. The manufacturer's numbers on the two units are shown below.

Senco PC-1010 (smaller unit)
1.0 hp peak, 0.5 hp running
0.7 CFM @ 90 psi

Senco PC-0968 (larger unit)
1.5 hp peak, 1.0 hp running
2.2 CFM @ 90 psi
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:10 PM   #23
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To echo a lot of what's been said here, here's been my experience...

First, I dive for TowBoat US in Maine in the summer - every dive is about cutting lobster pots from running gear. I also like to be able to dive on my own boat for the obvious reasons while we're cruising.

I carry 2 filled tanks and a full complement of diving equipment including a 7 mil suit which is good for cold water diving in any conditions we'd encounter (45 degrees and higher).

2 years ago I put a pretty inexpensive oilless compressor onboard mounted in our lazarette. I think it cost less than $150 on sale at Harbor Freight. It took some calculations to determine what was needed but I decided on a 6 gallon, 3.4 SCFM @ 40 PSI tank. I got two sets of tubing - 50' and 25'. The idea was to use the shorter tubing as needed but the full 75' would be enough to get to any place on our 53' boat (inside or outside). I added a $40 air filter for use when diving just to keep anything that might get into the tank from going through the tubing and into me. It also needed a variety of inexpensive brass fittings and connectors - Harbor Freight was a good place for those - they are wonderfully inexpensive.

You need a different regulator than the normal high pressure regulator on a normal SCUBA setup. Any good dive shop can set up a low pressure regulator for about $100. It's a good idea to have some type of harness to wear it too.

I've used the full setup about 4 times to dive on our boat - examining things, changing zincs, etc. I completely cleaned our water line from the water which took two 1-hour sessions - I've only been on the system for 1 hour maximum at no deeper than 6'.

The 120v tank will easily run on my system inverter which is quite nice in many situations.

So I'm really happy with the whole setup. What I didn't consider from all of this was the new uses of the compressor. It's nice to be able to pump up fenders, blow out various lines and drains, and use some air tools (I've used it for all that too now). Air tools are incredibly inexpensive - grinders, sanders, drivers, etc. I also had a yard specify a paint gun for me to play with and I'm just starting to get into that too.

The hardest part of the whole thing was figuring out the specs needed. My 6/3.4 specs have worked perfectly and I'd get the exact same thing again if I needed to replace it.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:51 PM   #24
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For anyone even considering a home made hooka...search thre web...read at least 100 threads/posts with all the info you are willing to trust...

Some basics are...the deeper you go, the more pressure and volume you will need. I gleened that if you only go to 6 feet, then barely 2 cfm at 40-50 might be OK for you. To 15-20 feet you may need more like 2 cfm up around 80-90 psi and to go deeper you'll need even more depending on your regulator.

Most common regulators willl work just fine with no adjustments but not all.

The knowlegeable posters post, in all those posts that I read though, the pressure ratios and volumes based on average regulator pressures and you can pretty well determine what your will do or what you need.

You will also read of all the dangers (and I do agree if you have NO Scuba training...you may consider some) but almost all of the other safety issues have been squashed by large numbers of people who have been doing it for a long time with no ill effects. Somewhere between all the chicken littles, the pros with reasonable concerns and those with enough on the ball to weigh it all and overcome the dangerous issues....you can risk manage and money manage to you own level.

I had an old compressor, a decent regulator setup with an octupus secondary that I used the cheaper backup one, some thoroughly cleaned cheapo pvc air hose and a $4 fitting at Lowes and I was good to go. I have made a dozen dives of 5-15 minutes and couldn't be happier.

Your life, you decide...but I proved to myseld what info was accurate and what was inflammatory after going slow, taking precautions and thinking through each step including increasing time on the air on dry land to see what was working or not before ever entering the water. I fiigured any issues might show small warning signs and I only progressed when satisfied all was OK.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:54 AM   #25
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Just a couple of words from someone who uses a hookah rig every day:

1- I cannot stress how important it is to use only Grade-E breathing hose. Some of you are talking about using fuel hose or pneumatic tool hose or whatever. Non-breathing hose can offgas toxins, like dioxin. Maybe you are OK breathing this, but I am not. There is a reason the U.S. Navy developed a mil-spec for breathing hose.

2.- Regarding 2nd stage regulators- you may be fine using an off-the-shelf SCUBA 2nd stage. I know plenty of hull cleaners that use them with a hookah rig. But I also know those whom have had problems running a SCUBA reg on hookah. I personally have always used regulators that have been set up to run on the lower pressure delivered by hookah and have had about 19 years of trouble-free (and almost maintenance-free) service from them.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:13 AM   #26
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When I bought my boat I planned to set up a hooka rig, and I was going to get my scuba certification also. I have A-fib atrial fibrilation so on a visit to my cardiologist I asked him about it he said not to use any type of compressed air, so that put a halt to those plans for me. Has anyone else with heart problems else discussed this with their dr. I am not sure if my is just extra cautious.?
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #27
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Our boat is set up for more serious diving, with an on-board 8 CFM breathing air compressor that is plumbed for mixing gas (Nitrox, Trimix), a custom fill station in the cockpit, tank racks in the Lazzerette and a sturdy ladder.

I find having the tanks filled and available makes it easier to recover fouled anchors or clear lines from another boat's running gear. Hooka rigs are very good for cleaning hulls, but I prefer the freedom of tanks and already had breathing air compressors and boosters.


Tank rack, folding bench and fill station:

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Old 11-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Boydski View Post
Our boat is set up for more serious diving, with an on-board 8 CFM breathing air compressor that is plumbed for mixing gas (Nitrox, Trimix), a custom fill station in the cockpit, tank racks in the Lazzerette and a sturdy ladder.

I find having the tanks filled and available makes it easier to recover fouled anchors or clear lines from another boat's running gear. Hooka rigs are very good for cleaning hulls, but I prefer the freedom of tanks and already had breathing air compressors and boosters.


Tank rack, folding bench and fill station:

Thanks for making me spend more money, Scott!

I like the idea of a hookah setup, but I've been on tanks since 1979, and feel more comfortable with a traditional scuba setup. Current plans are to install a standard SCUBA tank compressor onboard and carry 4 tanks onboard.

We might install a hookah system, but its unlikely.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:58 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Boydski View Post
Our boat is set up for more serious diving, with an on-board 8 CFM breathing air compressor that is plumbed for mixing gas (Nitrox, Trimix), a custom fill station in the cockpit, tank racks in the Lazzerette and a sturdy ladder. I find having the tanks filled and available makes it easier to recover fouled anchors or clear lines from another boat's running gear. Hooka rigs are very good for cleaning hulls, but I prefer the freedom of tanks and already had breathing air compressors and boosters. Tank rack, folding bench and fill station:
Very nice setup! Also does your aft station come in handy when docking?
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:00 PM   #30
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I forgot to mention that tanks also make it easier to raid your buddy boat's crab pots (stealth mode). I usually leave a dollar $ bill or a can of beer in the trap, just to let them know how tasty their crabs were...
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:03 PM   #31
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Very nice setup! Also does your aft station come in handy when docking?

I never really use the aft station. I can see pretty good from the flybridge and the Admiral is pretty good at letting me know if I'm getting too close to something, so even when backing in, I generally do it from the flybridge.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #32
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I forgot to mention that tanks also make it easier to raid your buddy boat's crab pots (stealth mode). I usually leave a dollar $ bill or a can of beer in the trap, just to let them know how tasty their crabs were...
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #33
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I never really use the aft station. I can see pretty good from the flybridge and the Admiral is pretty good at letting me know if I'm getting too close to something, so even when backing in, I generally do it from the flybridge.
Yeah when we looking at 47's we didn't see many with them, the only reason I see that would useful is when fishing.
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