Jud - s/v Sputnik

Hookah/floating shallow dive compressor - anyone?

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Anyone here own a hookah/shallow dive compressor? (12v) Or, alternatively, ever built one?  It’s been on my list to get or make (having seen a useful article on making one yourself to save $).  It seems like an extremely useful thing to have (for various reasons/jobs).  Any thoughts?

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8 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Anyone here own a hookah/shallow dive compressor? (12v) Or, alternatively, ever built one?  It’s been on my list to get or make (having seen a useful article in making one to save several hundred $).  It seems like an extremely useful thing to have (for various reasons/jobs).  Any thoughts?

Yes, bought a Hookamax 12 volt with 2-100 foot hoses and regulators. It's paying for itself in hull cleanings, but hope to expand its utility. 

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I put one together a few years back but I built it around a Rolair JC10 110V compressor. If you've got a good inverter on board, it can work well for diving the hull. If you want to go any deeper for recreational diving, I'd get something bigger. The JC10 has been replaced by a newer model but the specs are very similar:

https://www.rolair.com/products/air-compressors/hand-carry/jc10plus

I put an in-line air filter on the output and then used a diving-rated air line I bought from Air Line:

https://airlinebyjsink.com/collections/accessories

Because the compressor uses a tank, there's no need for a heat transfer hose on the compressor output.

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12 minutes ago, justsomeguy! said:

Yes, bought a Hookamax 12 volt with 2-100 foot hoses and regulators. It's paying for itself in hull cleanings, but hope to expand its utility. 

We have the same unit and the same result, has more than paid for itself multiple times over.  Has held up fine, steal tank is getting a little rusty and you have to be religious about draining condensate.

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Hey IStream and Just Some Guy (and Sassafrass!) - Thanks a lot for the info.  I’m also curious about size/stow-ability.  (This would only be for occasional maintenance purposes, not recreational diving.)

Longer term, if out cruising for months or more, it seems like quite a useful thing to have on-board (per Patrick Childress below).

The approaches you each describe - can you give me a rough idea of how big (L x W x H) your whole set up is?  The next trick for me is to figure out what would fit on board easily - the 12v or 120v version.  (I have a deck box, roughly 14” x 14” x 40” (34cm x 34 cm x 1m) that I once built which mounts on deck aft of the mast for storing wet things like suit, folded up crab trap, dinghy anchor, etc.  We’re only 33’/10m long, so storage is limited.)

 )

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I've got one on the sailboat, for maintenance and as an extension to snorkeling. 12V with it's own LFP battery so it can go in the dinghy. Used it a few times and it is handy. Realistically unless you are very practiced at free diving you aren;'t doing much maintenance on the hull without something like it. 

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Just now, DDW said:

I've got one on the sailboat, for maintenance and as an extension to snorkeling. 12V with it's own LFP battery so it can go in the dinghy. Used it a few times and it is handy. Realistically unless you are very practiced at free diving you aren;'t doing much maintenance on the hull without something like it. 

Yeah, I dove on my boat late last month to attack the growth, wearing a reasonable dry suit/booties/mitts — but no neoprene hoody - couldn’t find it!  Water very cold - my head wasn’t happy!  I ended up spending over an hour in the water, constantly surfacing because it was just too hard to hold my breath with my head so cold.  Not a pleasant experience (and it was tiring) - reminded me I need a hookah!!

What brand do you have, do you know?

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The 12vhookamax is big and a little clunky.  That said there is no reason it couldn't be permanently mounted and wired somewhere below decks.  You just need access to the drain and pressure switch. Comes with a quick connect for the hose and regulator.  It's so easy to use with minimal setup, which is why we probably use it so much. 

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7 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

What brand do you have, do you know?

Trying to remember the brand. It was built by someone in Canada, nice high quality kit. Uses a diaphragm compressor with 2 pumps (that bit looks like a Gast pump), one can be plugged to save power for one diver (the unit supplies two divers). Whole thing with the battery fits in a Pelican box that is about 18 x 10 x 10. Not including the hoses and regulators, which are in a mesh bag and take some space. It will run about 1/2 hour on the battery. The compressor has no tank, there is a sausage for air storage made from PVC inflatable boat stuff, floats on the water in line with the hoses. The sausage deflates and folds up with the hoses. 

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24 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

...steal tank is getting a little rusty and you have to be religious about draining condensate.

I went with their newer aluminum tank for that reason. 

Still always drain. ;)

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They seemed rather large and expensive, and we weren't quite sure where to store one.

Instead, for bottom cleaning I got a spare regulator and I put on about a 30-35 foot hose. I can leave the tank on deck at midships and pretty much hit the entire side of the boat without moving the tank, with all the ease of snorkeling but none of the hassles of my dive gear.

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The JC10 Plus compressor fits in an 18" x 18" x 18" space, which isn't bad at all. The bigger storage issue is the hose, which coils to about 30" in diameter. 

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23 minutes ago, DDW said:

Trying to remember the brand. It was built by someone in Canada, nice high quality kit. Uses a diaphragm compressor with 2 pumps (that bit looks like a Gast pump), one can be plugged to save power for one diver (the unit supplies two divers). Whole thing with the battery fits in a Pelican box that is about 18 x 10 x 10. Not including the hoses and regulators, which are in a mesh bag and take some space. It will run about 1/2 hour on the battery. The compressor has no tank, there is a sausage for air storage made from PVC inflatable boat stuff, floats on the water in line with the hoses. The sausage deflates and folds up with the hoses. 

Is it the Sea Breathe 2300-F Floating Dive Unit ( battery powered electric snorkel that allows 1 or 2 divers to “float” a fresh air-supply ) ?

https://www.seabreathe.com/products/two-diver-float-unit

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4 minutes ago, IStream said:

The JC10 Plus compressor fits in an 18" x 18" x 18" space, which isn't bad at all. The bigger storage issue is the hose, which coils to about 30" in diameter. 

Are you talking about rigging an air compressor tool to make breathable air?

Rolling your own is a different discussion from buying an hookah setup. There are legitimate safety concerns about making your own you need consider, though if done right it is much cheaper if you avoid the funeral costs.

Either way, in recent times it's not something we'd easily have space for without removing something of similar volume and getting rid of it.

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Yes, that's what I'm talking about and I did take those safety concerns into consideration. The JC10 and similar units are oilless, the particulate filter is considered by many (but not by me) to be optional, and I didn't hesitate to buy the breathing-rated line from a reputable supplier rather than cheaping out with an industrial air line. Beyond that, what are your concerns?

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I confess to buying the parts to make a 12V hookah system, but never got around to it.  For one thing, the amperage draw is pretty large, so it had to wait until I upgraded my battery bank.  But... the compressor and hose sitting on the garage floor take up just as much room as my MaxAir (Coltri) HP scuba compressor.  They don't weigh as much though.  Part of the justification would be that it could also serve to inflate the dinghy and SUP.  On the other hand, I probably need the exercise.  

I don't think there's room for both systems on my boat, and if I have to choose, I vote for the scuba system.  I have a couple of pony tanks that are fine for shallow stuff like bottom cleaning.  

The marina sent around the annual rules "clarification" a few days ago and highlighted "no swimming" and "no scraping the hull."  It remains to be seen if they'll enforce them.  

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25 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

Are you talking about rigging an air compressor tool to make breathable air?

Rolling your own is a different discussion from buying an hookah setup. There are legitimate safety concerns about making your own you need consider, though if done right it is much cheaper if you avoid the funeral costs.

Either way, in recent times it's not something we'd easily have space for without removing something of similar volume and getting rid of it.

Remember you are betting your life that you are a higher quality home handyman than Red Green.

Except in rare cases, building your own diving compressor is about as smart as assembling a do-it-yourself surgery kit.

Find a better place to save a couple of hundred bucks.

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I think BJ's approach is smarter and much simpler for simple bottom cleaning. Breathing from a tank on the surface probably means you have 2 hrs of air in a bottle if you're not scrubbing too hard.

Our gas powered scuba compressor was about 14 D x 16H x 38 W and close to 80 or 100 lbs. And noisy. Never forget noisy.

Don't "scrape" the hull. Just "polishing" it.

Hard to get around the swimming restriction except make small bubbles.

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7 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Remember you are betting your life that you are a higher quality home handyman than Red Green.

Except in rare cases, building your own diving compressor is about as smart as assembling a do-it-yourself surgery kit.

Find a better place to save a couple of hundred bucks.

Yeah, that was my general takeaway from researching the topic.

Just because you CAN do it doesn't always mean you should.

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23 minutes ago, toddster said:

The marina sent around the annual rules "clarification" a few days ago and highlighted "no swimming" and "no scraping the hull."  It remains to be seen if they'll enforce them.  

Does that include your local hull cleaning divers?

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That's the Hookamax in all it's Glory.  The aluminum tank would make it a no brainier.  I don't mind it as is.  We have a dive compressor lots of tanks etc and my wife is a Naui dive instructor, she was not for it at first but has since been pretty happy.  You can spread your bottom job out over several days with little effort on setup and put away.no shore power or generator required. It's just easy. The only time we had a issue was when we got hit by lightning and cooked the batteries, I still used it for a quick and dirty. And am hoping the whole lightning kaboom is not a regular thing.

IMG_20191129_123549602.jpg

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3 hours ago, Salazar said:

Is it the Sea Breathe 2300-F Floating Dive Unit ( battery powered electric snorkel that allows 1 or 2 divers to “float” a fresh air-supply ) ?

https://www.seabreathe.com/products/two-diver-float-unit

Yes, it is a Seabreathe! But not the floating, rather the deck unit without the enclosure. I mounted it in a Pelican case myself with the battery. Looking at the website now it looks kinda expensive, don't remember what I paid. But it is all quality stuff. 316 stainless quick connects, good hosesand hard anodized aluminum compressor, about 8 years now and nothing is corroding. Considerably more compact that some of the pictures being posted. I'm sure you could assemble something for less.

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Be aware there are risks associated with hookah diving, even with commercial equipment, same as any compressed air diving.  Hazards include lung damage due to improper breathing technique, ear injuries, entanglement,  decompression sickness if spending a lot of time at the limit of the hose  length (60 feet typical) involving extenuating factors (like flying or preexisting health conditions), and  air supply contamination, usually carbon monoxide from a nearby internal combustion engine.

Not to be an alarmist given that we're discussing boat maintenance here, 10-15 foot deep dives, but  hookah diving is over-represented in both recreational and occupational diving fatality statistics,  and should be approached with respect.

 

 

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1 hour ago, chester said:

puh ricey!

They do sell simpler ones for quite a bit less money, if you intend to leave the compressor on the boat, and not go reef diving with it.

For example $1,395.00 https://www.seabreathe.com/collections/single-diver-deck-units/products/single-diver-deck-unit

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The HM was $875.00 plus minus.  For a good hookak system $1500 down seams a reasonable budget.  This is certified breathable air.  Not a home Depot pancake comp plus bits.  So far the buck a ft model has held true NA west coast other than Pac panama which they were trying $150 up for 40' boats. Bit swimming in raw sewage is well spendy..

 

We have had people ask us about going to extent of house 100' etc which is nuts.  It's for working on the boat that's it.

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A proper dive tank is a simple and economical solution. Been carrying and using one for maintenance for 12 years of world cruising. A powered compressor seems complicated, expensive.

With either, as a hookah setup, it really helps to have a higher pressure regulator setup. Otherwise getting enough air thru the long hose when working hard can be tiring.

Getting fills has never been an issue, but I suppose it could be in some areas.

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I'm a big fan of the rolair 10, low db rating, interesting to see it can do double duty though there are numerous cautions, as noted, against doing so. The inverter thing is a problem away from power for small boats,  makes the 12v look better.

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FWIW, I bought the exact same compressor that “Hookamax” uses, but with a bigger tank.  I don’t recall the price just now, but it was certainly not more than $200.  These issues have all been hashed out at length elsewhere, so I won’t go into cleaning and filtration.

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7 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Just because you CAN do it do it doesn’t mean you should.

7 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Except in rare cases, building your own diving compressor is about as smart as assembling a do-it-yourself surgery kit.

Find a better place to save a couple of hundred bucks.

Maybe.  I just remembered that what first made me think about making a hookah set up was an article I came across by James Baldwin, who’s nothing if not very methodical and thorough.  (I’d forgotten about this article - his boat is only 28’, so he’s very pinched for space:  https://www.atomvoyages.com/articles/improvement-projects/393-diy-dive-hookah-for-boat-bottom-cleaning.html)

However, it may well be worth it in time/effort if a quality product is available (as it sounds like above it may be, especially something that fits in a Pelican case).  I’d be doing max 6’ depth diving - purely for maintenance.  I’ve always wanted to learn to dive - now sounds like a good reason to do a course and learn safety basics.  (And especially since the waters around here are clearest in winter, with little plankton.)

But the tank at the surface idea for basic hull maintenance seems to make much more sense  - mechanically simpler/no machinery!  I like it,  especially since it could be dual-use - for use diving elsewhere.  Key would seem to be knowing what equipment to get - which is where advice from a dive shop seems like the way to go?  

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46 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Maybe.  I just remembered that what first made me think about making a hookah set up was an article I came across by James Baldwin, who’s nothing if not very methodical and thorough.  (I’d forgotten about this article - his boat is only 28’, so he’s very pinched for space:  https://www.atomvoyages.com/articles/improvement-projects/393-diy-dive-hookah-for-boat-bottom-cleaning.html)

However, it may well be worth it in time/effort if a quality product is available (as it sounds like above it may be, especially something that fits in a Pelican case).  I’d be doing max 6’ depth diving - purely for maintenance.  I’ve always wanted to learn to dive - now sounds like a good reason to do a course and learn safety basics.  (And especially since the waters around here are clearest in winter, with little plankton.)

But the tank at the surface idea for basic hull maintenance seems to make much more sense  - mechanically simpler/no machinery!  I like it,  especially since it could be dual-use - for use diving elsewhere.  Key would seem to be knowing what equipment to get - which is where advice from a dive shop seems like the way to go?  

Fuck no. Trust us anonymous dorks on the internets.

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21 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Fuck no. Trust us anonymous dorks on the internets.

What makes me think I don’t KNOW WHO YOU ARE?!? :-) :-)  Me, I’m transparent: Jud

(The last line in my post  just above was a friendly encouragement to anyone who has such a surface dive tank set up for underwater maintenance —BJ Porter, El Boracho, anyone else?— to spill the beans and what they have so I can blindly copy it :-) )

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2 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

But the tank at the surface idea for basic hull maintenance seems to make much more sense  - mechanically simpler/no machinery!  I like it,  especially since it could be dual-use - for use diving elsewhere.  Key would seem to be knowing what equipment to get - which is where advice from a dive shop seems like the way to go?  

I can put by SeaBreathe on the deck or swim step (or garage door, in my case) and do the bottom. Or put it in the dinghy to go snorkeling. But the biggest second use for it is as a compressed air source. I've used it to pump up the fenders, blow out the water lines for winterization, and a few others I can't remember. I suppose you could do those with an air tank too, but you might be filling it more often.

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The auto filling dive tanks are the simplist solution by far. Cold water or even warm water you get a good 30-60 min or so then the tank refills itself.  Super easy no machinery it just fills itself!!

 

In all seriousness, I don't think a hooka is ever a realistic tool other than local boat work. Would not use to explore a local reef.

Anyone who says they can clean the bottom on one tank is full of shit.  Maybe wipe it down, but why rush it and do a shitty job.  I spend about the same amount of time on the prop and rudder as the bottom, because I'm not in a hurry.

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My local dive shop had some relationship with a commercial shop in the big city. They assembled what a commercial diver might use: a nice fat 15 meter hose and a first stage regulator adjusted for some higher pressure. The second stage seems generic. That, an aluminium tank, mask, a rag, some weights, good endurance and proper SCUBA refresher courses is all one needs to service the bottom. Tank stays in the boat.

3 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

The auto filling dive tanks are the simplist solution by far.

In all seriousness, I don't think a hooka is ever a realistic tool other than local boat work. Would not use to explore a local reef.

Anyone who says they can clean the bottom on one tank is full of shit.  

I’ve been surprised by how easy the tanks have been to fill ashore. Lotsa dive shops around the world. And the big yachts, too, if ya schmooze.

I have indeed put the tank in the dinghy and explored shallow reefs with the hose as the tether. Kinda cool if no proper gear is aboard. Cannot go deep because no pressure gage, although the long high pressure hose does give considerable warning of the end.

I am indeed full of shit, yet I regularly clean the bottom of this 50 foot monohull on a single tank.

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The tank on deck or in the dinghy option is by far the easiest, lowest cost & maintenance solution. Your friendly local dive shop should be able to put the whole thing together for you for not a lot of $. As far as how long it takes to clean the bottom/how much air you need, it depends directly to how cruddy you let the bottom get... which is a function of the waters you're sailing in and how long you let it go. Better, easier, and quicker if you catch it early, but that's not always possible of course.

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This has been interesting to read. My boat has a 20'.7 waterline, draws 4.25'. She spends most of her life in a fresh water slip. I can clean the upper 1½ to  2 feet pretty easily with a mask and snorkel, but below that gets tough, at least for an old geezer.

I've wondered whether a simple hose going up to the surface, sort of like a 4-foot snorkel, without compressed air, would work. Any thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Bull City said:

This has been interesting to read. My boat has a 20'.7 waterline, draws 4.25'. She spends most of her life in a fresh water slip. I can clean the upper 1½ to  2 feet pretty easily with a mask and snorkel, but below that gets tough, at least for an old geezer.

I've wondered whether a simple hose going up to the surface, sort of like a 4-foot snorkel, without compressed air, would work. Any thoughts?

No, it is impossible for a human's chest muscles and lungs to overcome the difference in pressure between the surface (where you would draw the air from) and the 4' depth where you wish to breathe in.

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On 11/30/2019 at 2:51 AM, El Boracho said:

 

I am indeed full of shit, yet I regularly clean the bottom of this 50 foot monohull on a single tank.

Posting while drinking rum negates my filter, I'm sure the tank solution works fine, I'm glad with the setup we have but it's not for everyone

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1 hour ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Posting while drinking rum negates my filter, I'm sure the tank solution works fine, I'm glad with the setup we have but it's not for everyone

As an aside...More than convincing evidence indicates that diving the bottom is a pointless waste of air and effort after a night of proper drinking.

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On 11/29/2019 at 11:06 PM, SASSAFRASS said:

Anyone who says they can clean the bottom on one tank is full of shit.  Maybe wipe it down, but why rush it and do a shitty job.  I spend about the same amount of time on the prop and rudder as the bottom, because I'm not in a hurry.

Use bigger tanks.  I myself am fond of HP120s.

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4 hours ago, Bull City said:

This has been interesting to read. My boat has a 20'.7 waterline, draws 4.25'. She spends most of her life in a fresh water slip. I can clean the upper 1½ to  2 feet pretty easily with a mask and snorkel, but below that gets tough, at least for an old geezer.

I've wondered whether a simple hose going up to the surface, sort of like a 4-foot snorkel, without compressed air, would work. Any thoughts?

Those setups lead to medical complications, because you bleed into your lungs as a result of the differential pressure.  People have died.

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18 hours ago, Bull City said:

This has been interesting to read. My boat has a 20'.7 waterline, draws 4.25'. She spends most of her life in a fresh water slip. I can clean the upper 1½ to  2 feet pretty easily with a mask and snorkel, but below that gets tough, at least for an old geezer.

I've wondered whether a simple hose going up to the surface, sort of like a 4-foot snorkel, without compressed air, would work. Any thoughts?

 

16 hours ago, Salazar said:

No, it is impossible for a human's chest muscles and lungs to overcome the difference in pressure between the surface (where you would draw the air from) and the 4' depth where you wish to breathe in.

 

14 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

Those setups lead to medical complications, because you bleed into your lungs as a result of the differential pressure.  People have died.

Shite!

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On 11/29/2019 at 9:28 AM, SloopJonB said:

 

Except in rare cases, building your own diving compressor is about as smart as assembling a do-it-yourself surgery kit.

 

As someone who has built and earned his living with DIY hookahs for over 25 years, I can tell you that every recreational/light commercial level hookah rig that you can buy is not only based on an air compressor that was designed for a different purpose, but can be pretty easily duplicated by anybody with minimal handyman skills and with off-the-shelf components easily sourced by anybody reading this. The hookahs you can buy are not built using purpose-built or proprietary parts and you can DIY the same safe, reliable unit for a fraction of price.

Furthermore, many of these lower-end hookah retailers are using cheap, Chinese-built compressors and charging an arm and a leg for them. The aforementioned Hookamax is a prime example:

12-volt compressor from Hookamax- $700

E89OYz.jpg

The exact same compressor found all over the internet- $390

N4yy3n.jpg

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17 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

Those setups lead to medical complications, because you bleed into your lungs as a result of the differential pressure.  People have died.

As previously mentioned, it is physically impossible to breath underwater with a snorkel at a depth greater than 3 feet. It is unlikely that you would hurt yourself doing it considering that you would be literally unable to do it.

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1 hour ago, fstbttms said:

As someone who has built and earned his living with DIY hookahs for over 25 years, I can tell you that every recreational/light commercial level hookah rig that you can buy is not only based on an air compressor that was designed for a different purpose, but can be pretty easily duplicated by anybody with minimal handyman skills and with off-the-shelf components easily sourced by anybody reading this. The hookahs you can buy are not built using purpose-built or proprietary parts and you can DIY the same safe, reliable unit for a fraction of price.

Furthermore, many of these lower-end hookah retailers are using cheap, Chinese-built compressors and charging an arm and a leg for them. The aforementioned Hookamax is a prime example:

12-volt compressor from Hookamax- $700

E89OYz.jpg

The exact same compressor found all over the internet- $390

N4yy3n.jpg

You got a model no.?  I have a new bottom and would like to keep it clean, and yeah, getting way too old for the snorkel.

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1 hour ago, fstbttms said:

As previously mentioned, it is physically impossible to breath underwater with a snorkel at a depth greater than 3 feet. It is unlikely that you would hurt yourself doing it considering that you would be literally unable to do it.

I'm not questioning you, but I am surprised.

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12 minutes ago, Bull City said:

I'm not questioning you, but I am surprised.

Imagine being in a pressurized airplane and trying to breathe from a hose that leads to the exterior. Same result.

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I so wanted to post the ginormous air tank pic I found but I'm too much of a intertard.  Since the bottom whisperer has rolled in this one will probably get filed away.  In non-defense defense of the evil chineeze Hookamax it came with 100' of breathable air hose, a regulator, a inline filter, strap and catch and a brass quick connect.  I think it's a good product several happy years of use cold water and tropics. I don't think it's someone trying to rip off customers.  At the end of the day do your non-forum homework.

I 100% think advocating Harry homeowner approaches to breathable air is probably stupid.

 

And Barocho I have not been drinking rum, just flying non stop for 25 hrs with three customs checks.

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I am not going to go into all the details but what every you use you want to make sure it is oil free.  It's very bad to breath oil.  Which means pump and the line should be breathing air quality. 

 

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7 minutes ago, seaker said:

I am not going to go into all the details but what every you use you want to make sure it is oil free.  It's very bad to breath oil.  Which means pump and the line should be breathing air quality. 

 

I think today you would call it vaping and with the expected results

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Imagine being in a pressurized airplane and trying to breathe from a hose that leads to the exterior. Same result.

Yes, 25,000 feet up is one thing, 3 feet under water is another.

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48 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

IIn non-defense defense of the evil chineeze Hookamax it came with 100' of breathable air hose, a regulator, a inline filter, strap and catch and a brass quick connect.  I think it's a good product several happy years of use cold water and tropics. I don't think it's someone trying to rip off customers. 

Oh, yes, they are ripping off customers. Or at least intentionally misinforming them. Their whole pitch is that when you buy from them (and to be fair, there are other hookah sellers out there doing the same thing) you are buying some kind of special purpose-built underwater breathing device. The reality is that they are frequently selling cheap generic junk (any of which you could easily source yourself), slapping their label on it and then marking the price up 100-200% or more. 

Here's my favorite Hookamax item; the "Float Option". A $50 pool toy- yours for the low, low price of $225 :lol::

707uQh.png
 

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19 minutes ago, Bull City said:

Yes, 25,000 feet up is one thing, 3 feet under water is another.

18,000 feet up is about the same as 30 feet below, FYI.

You are connecting a high pressure area - your lungs - to a low pressure area. It is also like having a boa constrictor wrap around your chest.

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18 minutes ago, Bull City said:

Yes, 25,000 feet up is one thing, 3 feet under water is another.

Under standard conditions atmospheric pressure at 25,000 fee is 5.5 psi and at sea level is 14.7 for a differential of 9.2 psi.

Three feet of water would create a pressure differential of 1.3 psi.

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4 hours ago, fstbttms said:

As previously mentioned, it is physically impossible to breath underwater with a snorkel at a depth greater than 3 feet. It is unlikely that you would hurt yourself doing it considering that you would be literally unable to do it.

Sure, if you're deep enough you can't breathe in at all (though you can exhale).  At intermediate depths where it is barely possible to breathe there is a hazard.

Swimming Induced / Immersion Pulmonary Oedema (SIPE / IPE) is what this is now called, and it can occur in a minor way while swimming or snorkeling on the surface.  Some people are more susceptible than others.

 

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57 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

18,000 feet up is about the same as 30 feet below, FYI.

You are connecting a high pressure area - your lungs - to a low pressure area. It is also like having a boa constrictor wrap around your chest.

Yes, I get that. 

45 minutes ago, KC375 said:

Under standard conditions atmospheric pressure at 25,000 fee is 5.5 psi and at sea level is 14.7 for a differential of 9.2 psi.

Three feet of water would create a pressure differential of 1.3 psi.

I've looked at some snorkel & scuba sites, and they all concur that a foot or so is about all your diaphragm muscles can overcome. Amazing.

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58 minutes ago, Bull City said:

Yes, I get that. 

I've looked at some snorkel & scuba sites, and they all concur that a foot or so is about all your diaphragm muscles can overcome. Amazing.

I would have thought you could handle more thant than three feet but just for fun let's try a thought experiment (why look up facts when you can just make shit up). Let's say the area you are expanding (chest or diaphram) is a square foot - at 3 feet in depth breathing surface air it would be as if you where expanding your chest with 200 lbs weight on it. That would get old pretty quickly.

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56 minutes ago, KC375 said:

I would have thought you could handle more thant than three feet but just for fun let's try a thought experiment (why look up facts when you can just make shit up). 

Tried this. A couple of feet is doable, but hard work. Can believe that you could cause a pulmanary edema if you tried hard enough.

To clean the hull, I used a 40 cuft tank hung off a weight belt / bit of rope in a hillbilly sidemount configuration. Or sometimes just hung in the water and breathing off a 7 ft hose. No problem cleaning our 37' hull on a tank.

I also did it regualarly on breath hold, but it took 1.5 times as long  - most of which was spent on the prop. I kinda enjoy it in warm water wearing a thin suit, but it's a bit much like work if I need to wear a drysuit.

I'd just as soon freedive as use a hooker for checking out a reef. Hooker only seems to make sense if you have a job taking a couple of hours in shallow water - I don't have many of them. (And would just use a couple of tanks anyway - a G of O2 under the boat would be good for cleaning bottoms with a hangover.)

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19 minutes ago, Se7en said:

I'd just as soon freedive as use a hooker for checking out a reef. Hooker only seems to make sense if you have a job taking a couple of hours in shallow water - I don't have many of them.

Priceless.

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So, for a geezer, with no scuba training, who is only going to clean the bottom, is there a cheap electric hookah set-up that could work off 110 volt?

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8 minutes ago, Bull City said:

So, for a geezer, with no scuba training, who is only going to clean the bottom, is there a cheap electric hookah set-up that could work off 110 volt?

With your life expectancy, you could probably just use a Miele vacuum on "blow".

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Seems like the pros/cons of hookah vs. tank (purely for basic underwater maintenance).

Tank pros:

-simple compared to mechanical “complexity” of hookah systems

-can use tank for normal scuba diving elsewhere

-cheaper than hookah system 

—>con: have to get tank filled   Seems like could be a hassle (or even not possible), depending where you are.

 

Hookah pros:

-can be used anytime/anywhere (no need to go get a tank filled)

-can use to inflate other things (inflatable, fenders)

Cons: more expensive than basic tank/gear set up for shallow diving (unless you can make your own *properly*); is mechanically more complex (possibly maintenance-requiring) compared to a tank


Each set up seems to require *more or less* the same amount of room to store on board
 

Conclusion: get a bigger boat and have both!  I can, actually, see having tanks on board maybe one day...maybe...

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1 hour ago, Bull City said:

So, for a geezer, with no scuba training, who is only going to clean the bottom, is there a cheap electric hookah set-up that could work off 110 volt?

Of course there is. If you want my advice, you buy a Thomas 1207PK80 compressor and a pre-made hose/regulator assembly from one of the reputable hookah retailers. Plug and play. No bullshit accumulator tanks and associated plumbing needed and a bulletproof, top of the line compressor all for much less than the equivalent Hookamax, Gator Gill etc., etc.

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1 hour ago, Bull City said:

So, for a geezer, with no scuba training, who is only going to clean the bottom, is there a cheap electric hookah set-up that could work off 110 volt?

The reputable manufacturers of hookah setups recommend that you get training for them, unless you have prior training and experience with SCUBA.

Why not take a SCUBA class?  I promise it won't be the worst $500 you've ever spent, and then you'll know the answers to all these questions firsthand, and can make informed choices on whether to use a tank on your back, or a tank on the boat, or a compressor.

It will, in any case, be more fun than spending $500 on ... a hookah.

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

Priceless.

I presume you're enjoying his use of the word "hooker"?

I certainly did. ;)

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It’s such a waste to use a tank of 3000 psi air for hookah diving. That’s a lot of energy you burn through a regulator. Imagine a diaphragm pump that would entrain surface air along with the tank air. Can’t you make at least 10 times as much 30 psi air that way?

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8 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Priceless.

Will it make it better if I promise to keep my mind on the job in future? 

Or is the idea of diving on Hooker now embedded too deep?

Hookah is probably less risky... and less expensive.

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3 hours ago, Se7en said:

Will it make it better if I promise to keep my mind on the job in future? 

Or is the idea of diving on Hooker now embedded too deep?

Hookah is probably less risky... and less expensive.

have you seen the prices of those rigs?  getting a hooker to do it might be cheaper.

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Another vote for the dive tank/long regulator solution. Less fuss. That said, I really only use it to change zincs or do complicated tasks, since my boat is a daggerboard cat and I freedive; it’s good practice 

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On 11/29/2019 at 5:34 PM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Maybe.  I just remembered that what first made me think about making a hookah set up was an article I came across by James Baldwin, who’s nothing if not very methodical and thorough.  (I’d forgotten about this article - his boat is only 28’, so he’s very pinched for space:  https://www.atomvoyages.com/articles/improvement-projects/393-diy-dive-hookah-for-boat-bottom-cleaning.html)

However, it may well be worth it in time/effort if a quality product is available (as it sounds like above it may be, especially something that fits in a Pelican case).  I’d be doing max 6’ depth diving - purely for maintenance.  I’ve always wanted to learn to dive - now sounds like a good reason to do a course and learn safety basics.  (And especially since the waters around here are clearest in winter, with little plankton.)

But the tank at the surface idea for basic hull maintenance seems to make much more sense  - mechanically simpler/no machinery!  I like it,  especially since it could be dual-use - for use diving elsewhere.  Key would seem to be knowing what equipment to get - which is where advice from a dive shop seems like the way to go?  

Well, I pulled the cord (actually, that crafty, evil-looking balding billionaire Jeff Bezos required me to push a button that wasn’t really a button, and I didn’t even push it, just touched a screen...amazing trick...and then I kept getting suggestions for more “buttons” to “click” to seamlessly buy yet more and more stuff...) on components for a shallow dive hookah.  Minimal investment, maximum death risk.

But seriously.  I had a good read through James Baldwin’s article above, and watched his YT vid and he’s a very thorough kind of guy in all of his projects —anyway, he uses a 12v oil-less air pump (all components spec’d in the article).  Bottom line - it worked for him, so it seems like a reasonable plan.  For what I want it for, for my minimal needs, it’s probably just fine.  (And realistically I’ve no room to store a “full on” compressor on board.  Unless I can make the argument to my wife for a larger boat :-) ) 

If I survive, I’ll report back on the set up in the New Year :-)

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On 12/4/2019 at 7:26 PM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Bottom line - it worked for him, so it seems like a reasonable plan

What could possibly go wrong?

Sample size of 1

 

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21 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

What could possibly go wrong?

Sample size of 1

 

On thje bright side, that's a 100% success rate.

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8 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

What could possibly go wrong?

Sample size of 1

Sure.  But 6 ft depth at the max.  Someone on board above.  Start very, very slow and shallow. Surface periodically, etc. etc.  Carry a knife and light.  Trust me, I plan to be very cautious.

James Baldwin did note in his article that the smaller compressor he originally got wasn’t quite adequate to keep up to his breathing, so he upsized, which I’ve done too.  Trust me, I plan to be very cautious.  There’s a couple threads here I wanna keep reading here! :-) :-)

There’s also apparently a way to attach a small accumulator tank for an extra reserve - makes sense.

I wish there were more compact hookah compressors available.  Everything I’ve seen just looks so big. To fit on a 33’ boat, along with everything else. (And like 30A draw at 12v.)

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At the risk of muddying the waters....   I inherited a couple of small 12V compressors that may be promising- their larger models may be worth considering for a compact solution:

https://www.viaircorp.com/compressors     (looks a lot like the one on the hookamax.)

They are made for the auto biz; inflating tires and firing airbags, but they are nice little units.  The DC motor is handy, not sure I like the inverter route. 

It takes some power to supply breathing air quantities. You'll want at least 1.2 cfm at the working pressure. (about 80 psi)

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It's good to note the duty cycle rating (if any) on the unit as well. My JC10 is rated for 2.3 cfm at 90 psi, which is plenty of air on paper but it's only rated for 50% duty cycle so it's effectively 1.15 cfm if you want to get full like out of it.

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5 minutes ago, Kirwan said:

At the risk of muddying the waters....   I inherited a couple of small 12V compressors that may be promising- their larger models may be worth considering for a compact solution:

https://www.viaircorp.com/compressors     (looks a lot like the one on the hookamax.)

They are made for the auto biz; inflating tires and firing airbags, but they are nice little units.  The DC motor is handy, not sure I like the inverter route. 

It takes some power to supply breathing air quantities. You'll want at least 1.2 cfm at the working pressure. (about 80 psi)

I like James Baldwin’s solution for a pump since the one he uses is for a bait/live well tank, designed to supply clean air.

Re: size, I’m going off his calcs/specs, as he’s “done the homework”.  Seems like what he designed and built has worked...but caution is the watchword...

 

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8 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I like James Baldwin’s solution for a pump since the one he uses is for a bait/live well tank, designed to supply clean air.

 

His compressor is no more designed to provide "clean air" than any other oilless compressor is. The compressor he chose is used primarily for fish tank/pond aeration because it has the correct size, power requirements and output, not because it is special in any other way. The fact of the matter is that there is no compressor purpose-built for this application. Every hookah system ever bought or DIY'd is based on an air compressor that was designed to do something else.

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10 minutes ago, fstbttms said:

His compressor is no more designed to provide "clean air" than any other oilless compressor is. The compressor he chose is used primarily for fish tank/pond aeration because it has the correct size, power requirements and output, not because it is special in any other way. The fact of the matter is that there is no compressor purpose-built for this application. Every hookah system ever bought or DIY'd is based on an air compressor that was designed to do something else.

Thanks - that was just an assumption on my part (and you know what they say about assumptions :-) ), since it’s for fish tank aeration.  Appreciate the info - good to know that oil-less compressors are, so to speak, generic in terms of the quality of the air they put out.

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17 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

...good to know that oil-less compressors are, so to speak, generic in terms of the quality of the air they put out.

I don't know that I would go that far. But I do know that the compressor I prefer is also used in medical and dental offices, so I am confident that the air it provides is safe.

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23 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I like James Baldwin’s solution for a pump since the one he uses is for a bait/live well tank, designed to supply clean air.

Re: size, I’m going off his calcs/specs, as he’s “done the homework”.  Seems like what he designed and built has worked...but caution is the watchword...

 

That compressor looks small to me, but it's hard to argue with actual experience. I couldn't get a continuous 60lpm at 50psi from the Via air compressor for an experiment at work, and it drew a lot more than 120 watts.    Then again, for a hookah, it's only flowing 1/2 the time or less; accumulator volume (even if just the hose) means a net flow rate of half the breathing rate (minute ventilation; I've seen ).  I'm seeing SAC (surface air consumption) rates of around 30 lpm, and you only need to compensate a tiny bit if staying under 10 feet depth.

Absolutely get an 'oilless compressor', but I'd also worry about the manufacturer doing bad things like adding assembly lube (remember, these are mostly made in China).  Maybe a disassembly / cleaning before trusting my lungs to it. Fastbottoms has enough hours on these things that he'd know (massive understatement).... but I think he recommends a reputable brand.

Looks like others are going this route as well.... from the Ama