Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-28-2015, 04:32 PM   #1
City: Sydney
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Aljo Grande
Vessel Model: Defever 55
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 3
Dive compressors

I am investigating what type (gas, diesel, electric) and what size of dive compressor I should acquire. We are a family of 5 and will only use it to fill the scuba tanks. What is your experience?

Andre Kunz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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: 3,380
I've got lots of experience with scuba tank compressors and given a choice would never want one on my boat. That said, if the only way to get tank fills because of a remote location, is to have your own compressor, so be it. Smaller portable compressors take a long time to fill tanks, have marginal filtration that should be augmented, and have short life expectancies compared to those used in dive stores. When all costs are factored in over the life of the compressor, it will cost you more to fill tanks off your own compressor than carry them to a dive store.

Given a choice, electric is the best choice provided you have a generator big enough to run it. Diesel and gas require you to maintain a motor that may only get occasional use. They also produce toxic gasses (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide) which must be prevented from entering the compressor intake. For the same capacity electric compressors can often weigh less allowing them to be more easily moved around. Ideally you want to run the compressor outside as they generate a lot of heat. Also operating them at the up wind end of the boat greatly reduces the risk of generator exhaust entering the compressor intake. If this is to be on a large boat with a well ventilated machinery space, the compressor can be mounted below deck provided the air intake is plumbed outside and away from engine and generator exhaust.

If you would like further information, some specifics on your boat and planned use would be helpful.


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 06-28-2015, 07:38 PM   #3
City: Sydney
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Aljo Grande
Vessel Model: Defever 55
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks Ted. The scuba shop is not an option as we want to spend a fair bit of time on the water way off the next shop.
Andre Kunz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2015, 07:43 PM   #4
N4712's Avatar
City: South FL
Country: U.S.A
Vessel Name: Oliver
Vessel Model: Nordhavn 47 Hull# 12
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,601
A lot of Nordhavn's have Bauer Jr compressors.
Thanks, Oliver
M/V Oliver
Nordhavn 47 Hull #12
N4712 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2015, 08:16 PM   #5
Capt.Bill11's Avatar
City: Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 4,553

Talk to these folks: Brownie's Marine Group - The Worlds Leading Innovator, Designer, Manufacturer and Distributor of Surface Supplied Air Diving Systems and Fully Marinized Compressor Systems
They install compressors on boats all the time.
Capt.Bill11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2015, 05:41 PM   #6
Veteran Member
neworleansrich's Avatar
City: New Orleans
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Catalyst
Vessel Model: 50 ft Power Cat
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 69
This year in the Bahamas we have been using a new Max Air 35, powered by a 5hp Honda gas engine. We thought about getting a 220volt unit, but wanted something we could use on other boats.

This is my first summer with a scuba compressor on board. As you may know, there are scuba fill available in Bimini and Nassau, but no longer at Chub or Staniel Cay. If you want to dive off the grid in the Bahamas, get a compressor. A couple of thoughts:

1) We are doing a lot more diving. A lot more
2) We now only carry 4 tanks, rather than the 6 we used to take.
3) Fills in the Bahamas are $10 each, a new filter stack for the Max Air is about $45 and is good for dozens of fills. Gas is minimal. We are already carrying gas for the dinks. Very economical.
4) The Max Air 35 will fill a tank in about 20 min, but you can only fill 2 tanks before you need to let the compressor cool down.
5) The Honda is a bit noisy, but not too bad on the back deck.

The Max Air 35 seems perfect for our needs. It has really added to our cruising enjoyment.
neworleansrich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2015, 06:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
Boydski's Avatar
City: Olympia, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Sea Eagle
Vessel Model: Nordhavn 47
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 201
Hi Andre,

I have a Bauer Capitano on board (~ 8 CFM, electric) that fills tanks in about 15 minutes. I also used to have a RIX oil-less compressor (~ 6 CFM) on one of the dive charter boats and it worked very well (it's designed to run on boats and didn't seem to have corrosion issues like the Bauer does).

They are very convenient when diving in remote locations, especially because I only carry a few tanks rather than a deck full of gear.

The big dive charter boat had a nitrox membrane system on board that filled 14 tanks during a one hour surface interval (hydraulic). It was a lot of work, but each diver usually only brought one tank on board rather than several so it sometimes allowed us to do two trips per day and saved a lot of deck space.

Good Luck,

Scott (Boydski) Boyd
Yes Please, Grand Banks Eastbay
Sea Eagle, Nordhavn 47 (sold)
Boydski is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
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 05:25 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012