Hookah Diving


Branford CT
Any one use a hookah setup for bottom cleaning? Tired of holding my breath and the diver guy is cutting into the beer fund.

Looked at the brownie and simular with 12v oil-less compressors- I have a Senco oiless, can I use that? (kiddin, kind of...) Pros, cons, suggestions?

Even thought of hooking up a 1"id hose to a snorkel, I'm only reaching a depth of say 6 1/2'

Patsy is right, a tank and a long hose is a much cheaper solution if you're just cleaning your bottom.

In French Polynesia I regularly dove with a guy who used a hookah, down as far as 60', no problems. They definitely work, but they're also a lot more expensive than a tank, cheap regulator and a long hose.

Have used long hose and large bottles doing stern gland work on a 35m fishing boat offshore, Worked great, lighter, easier to move around (near propellor and rudder) than with scuba, also commercial guys bottom cleaning bulk carriers with big bottles, especially working upside down on the bottom of hull. A good solution, for a yacht a "normal" sized dive tank will be all that is needed, just need to source a long hose. And a attachment to secure the hose to belt/bc, to avoid dragging on 2nd stage in your mouth.


black swan

yep bought a hookamax about ayear ago, $750 for the base model. Cleaning the bottom down to the 8ft keel is easy and the job gets done better when you have time to look at what you're doing.

Even better, get a mate to share the cost!!



New member
Sheethead a standard 80ft aluminum tank should give you at least an hour, possibly more if you can control your breathing and you're not working too hard. Getting a 50ft hose isn't a big deal any dive decent shop can you one. If you're going to the CT River Race on Saturday you can stop at Diver's Cove Rt 9 Exit 3. They should have everything you need.

Any one use a hookah setup for bottom cleaning?
Yes, over 20,000 times during the last 18+ years. :p

Any oilless compressor can be the base for your hookah rig, but the typical off-the-shelf hardware store compressors tend to be noisy, short-lived and can provide funky-tasting air. But if you are not trying to earn your living with one, they are probably adequate. A hookah unit is superior to tanks (either on the dock or on your back) in many ways. Electric models are smaller and more lightweight than tanks. They are more easily transported and stored. And there is no need to schlep a hookah down to the dive shop and pay for refills periodically. Most importantly, you will never run out of air in the middle of the job. If you end up using a gas-powered compressor, it is critical that you mount the air-intake several feet above the engine to avoid breathing exhaust fumes.

Regarding your snorkel-and-hose idea? It is physically impossible to breath with such a device below about three feet.

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Branford CT
The snorkkel and hose idea was inspired by a few adult beverages, not going there... Besides, one of my smart ass mates would put their finger in the hose just to fuck with me, hell I would if it were one of them...

Tanks seem more economical but if I have to bring it to a dive shop every other time I clean the bottom, guessing about 20 times for the season, the Hookah Max may get the nod, should pay for itself in the first year.

Thanks for the input y'all

And Mark- No one would let me borrow a dinghy, guess my reputation proceedes me... fackers... I am going to try to get to the finish and help handle boats at the dock.

...the Hookah Max may get the nod, should pay for itself in the first year.
While they represent their products as purpose-built high-end dive gear, in reality "Hookamax" hookahs are based on cheap, Chinese-built, Home Depot style compressors that use mild steel accumulator tanks, definitely guaranteed to rust in a hurry. Hell, they even sell a floating model which incorporates a $30 inflatable pool toy that you could buy at any Walmart (Hookamax only wants $250 for their "life raft.")

This isn't a high quality hookah on the level of say, a Brownie's unit. It is bottom of the line stuff. Not saying that an $800 Hookamax unit wouldn't get the job done for you, just saying that for probably less than half the price, you could put together the exact same rig yourself. Or for the same price, you could build a hookah of much higher quality.

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Been using the Brownies thing for a while on bottom of boat and mooring work. I think it is the way to go. I can usually get two cleanings of a 42 footer out of a tank. Remember that for waterline and next 2 ft down you can use snorkel. Source a second tank to reduce trips to fill.



Super Anarchist
I actually use a home built hookah set up using one of my old regulators and a Home Depot compressor. If you're going to go that route, first of all, make sure it's oil-less. Sounds obvious, but people have done dumber things. Next, make sure you use an inline moisture filter. Pneumonia's neat and all, but highly overrated. Third, you'll be surprised what kind of CFM human lungs can cycle air at. An entry level compressor won't usually cut it. Especially if you're like most of us and tend to breathe faster in uncomfortable situations (low visibility, creepy under boat conditions).

Or best advice, just go by what Fast Bottoms recommends. It's hard to argue with experience. I only use my setup a few times a year. A tank in place of the compressor would be more sensible in my situation except for the fact that our local dive shop closed and I don't want to drive a half hour each way to fill my tank every time.