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    diving gear / hookah

    I am planning to place diving gear onboard my 490. Mostly for maintenance purposes or to inspect the running gear in a pinch.
    I've been a recreational scuba diver for decades but considering a hookah system for this purpose, mainly to save space. I've never dived with a hookah system.
    Interested in hearing from folks keeping dive gear onboard, tanks or hookah and if you would do anything different.
    2005 Meridian 490
    Twin 330 Cummins 6BTA5.9-M3 / ZF 80 A – 2.0
    Tacoma, WA

    #2
    It’s a safe bet since you most likely won’t be going deeper than 6’. We’ve used them for hours on end. The only issue in our area is your suit, if it’s a dry suit, consider your suit connection device, if your using a 7 mil, no issues other than a ton on weight on your belt.... Where are you moored?
    Chris & Kari
    Nauti Angel
    1989 4588 Tacoma, WA

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      #3
      At one point in my long diving career, I was using double steel 100s. I find the 30 cu ft pony bottle I now keep on the boat lots easier to handle. If all you want is the ability to check things out "in a pinch", I'd suggest a small pony. It'll last a long time when you're only down a few feet taking line off the prop. Hookahs involve someone managing the line, keeping the line out of the gear, and making sure you're not breathing CO.

      My open water instructor said, "Never hold your breath"; my cave diving instructor said, "Always hold your breath".

      Cheers
      Lynn
      100T MMC 2307794

      Comment


        #4
        Chris / Lynn awesome insight thank you! Never considered the pony bottle that might work well....
        2005 Meridian 490
        Twin 330 Cummins 6BTA5.9-M3 / ZF 80 A – 2.0
        Tacoma, WA

        Comment


          #5
          We have had a hookah system for the last 10 years or so - works great for all underwater maintenance - changing zincs, cleaning running gear, through hull grates, removing crab trap lines, etc.
          Mike
          "Allante I" Rayburn 75
          Previous: '97 4788

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            #6
            Have tanks, compressor and hookah and prefer the hookah for u/w boat work...you will want 100’ of hose for 50’ boat and hose floats on surface which is nice....I connect to a 90 cuft tank and have never had an issue or gotten low on air...also have a spare air for a quick 1-3 min check is there is a simple task or visual...great for retrieving my wife iPhone when it took a swim last summer
            Mark
            USCG OUPV
            1990 4588
            Carlsbad, CA

            Comment


              #7
              I have used both SCUBA cylinders and a "hookah" type set up for boat repair.

              We boat in Lake Superior, so a dry suit is required. I found wearing a cylinder to be quite cumbersome, especially when doing repairs like replacing a prop or shaft/struts.

              So I switched to using a long hose that I made for decompression stops when we dove mixed gas. The hose was approximately 125 feet long, connected to a 100 cu.ft. steel cylinder on board.

              That was a lot easier to deal with in the water, just needed to be careful with the hose around the running gear.

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                #8
                I had a 75ft second stage hose made, so i can leave the tank on the boat, and do my thing... it isnt ideal for going very deep, but it can allow you to retrieve a fouled anchor or do the in water boat work... much cheaper than a hooka/brownie set up, and a tank takes less space....

                and I can still strap the tank on and do a normal dive...

                but the hooka/brownie would omit the need for buying air, and carrying tanks back and forth to the boat....


                NU LIBERTE'
                Salem, OR

                1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
                5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
                N2K equipped throughout..
                2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
                2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
                '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
                Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

                Comment


                  #9
                  All useful ideas. However, since the SCUBA first stage is involved in equalizing pressure (i.e. delivering the correct pressure to the second stage) as the diver descends, I'd be quite cautious about going more than a few feet deep while the tank and the first stage are on the boat. Yeah, I know it works. The safety margins are thinner, though.

                  Cheers
                  Lynn
                  100T MMC 2307794

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Not sure I understand the safety margin, with the first stage on the boat, it wouldn't adjust for the ambient pressure the second stage is at, so the only issue is the breakaway pressure of the second stage is higher.

                    We got around that by increasing the first stage pressure, so at 125 feet for the decompression stop, the second stages were easier to breathe from.

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                      #11
                      I used to dive on my boats for maintenance, over the years, using conventional dive equipment. One day I saw a hookah type suitcase air supply and bought it out of curiosity. It’s small, compact, all in one size was very alluring. When it’s closed up for storage, it’s only about 28in w x 11in h x 10in d. I tried it and was instantly hooked.

                      I have never dawned my dive tanks since getting my compressor, due the convenience of just plugging in, put on my dry suit and jumping in. I only have a 50ft airline, but it seem more than sufficient for working on my 5788. I generally set it midship and can do most everything I need. My draft is over 5 ft and beam is over 17ft. If I’m working in the stern, I generally reset the compressor at the stern so I have extra room to maneuver. maybe someday I’ll splurge for another feet of airline.

                      I have a couple friends that used a similar unit for their sailboat and they, too, have been quite happy. In warmer waters they simply use a shorty wet suit.

                      I hope this helps,

                      BJ
                      OMEGA
                      5788

                      BJ
                      OMEGA
                      5788

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have a hookah setup on board. It's been great and saved us a few times. It's small and lightweight. It can run on the generator or inverter. I keep it in one of the storage areas under the master bed. Super convenient. This is the one we have: https://airlinebyjsink.com/products/e160

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