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Old 14-02-2016, 09:36   #16
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

I used a Bauer Utilis compressor for 10 years. It wasn't necessary for the Caribbean, but was great where there were no dive shops or dive boats. I didn't have to worry, but I heard that the shops in Tahiti wouldn't refill you tanks unelss they had a FRENCH hydro.

It took more time to set up the compressor than to fill a tank, so we would tend to dive and fill in bunches. We would also fill fellow cruisers tanks when we dove with them.

As I recall, we did about 2000 fills in 10 years, so we were paying a bit for the convenience, as I bought the compressor for $4k and sold it for $1k. The compressor needed new filters after so many fills, so we had to keep them in stock.

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Old 14-02-2016, 11:02   #17
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

If you buy tanks, go with steels, an HP 100 is about the same size of an aluminum 80 and you don't carry lead weight with steel tanks either.
Once you dive with steels, you'll hate aluminum tanks.

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Old 14-02-2016, 11:26   #18
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

Think we save the $ for now and make a call a few weeks into the trip
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Old 14-02-2016, 11:56   #19
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

Hafto to say I cant stand to listen to a gas powered compressor charging in a anchorage, very noisy, would use a electric motor off a invertor, which I use, those small 5 HP Hondas or whatever are NOISY and need to be on deck to stay cool, last time I was up in the sea of Cortez I had to pick up and move due to the constant running of above described scenario.
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Old 14-02-2016, 14:26   #20
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

Originally Posted by EvilRabbit View Post
Debating installing an elec compressor (Bauer Junior II) or simply getting a few extra bottles and filling up as needed in local dive stores.

Mainly for use in Caribbean.

Any advice?
I have been scuba diving for 20 years with tanks. Then I did a trial dive with a hookah, unit on a friends boat, it run by a heavy gas driven compressor. I loved the difference of not having to dive with a bulky scuba tanks. So much so I bought a gas driven compressor, after a year it seized after its demise, like you I was wondering should I go back to scuba tanks as the gas driven compressor took up prime room on the boat then the issue of also carrying more petrol (gas) fuel to run it plus dive tanks.

Problem of running a heavy compressor its bulk and carrying extra gas and setting everything up on the deck for a dive was resolved

As in this last year I noticed at the marine the repair divers, where using a electric hookah diving compressor the size of a normal tool box Running by 12 volt Batteries.

Since my bulky gas compressor seized I wanted to keep diving with a hookah unit as I felt more liberated diving then with tanks. I bought a well made second hand electric diving compressor with all its hoses and fittings for two people build into the same size tool box as the divers where using at the marina on line.

Now I tap into the boats battery banks to run the compressor in which the solar cells and wind generator to keep them fully charged. No more Gas required!
I can now dive as long as l like up to 15 meters deep with two people. Most important I regained boat space taken by the old compressor and gas tanks. And I regained my love for diving as it is far faster to suit up and dive with no bulk or tank weight to get in the way. Also carrying an extra battery one can dive away from your boat from your dingy, the air hose will always direct you back to your boat for added safety.

I reasoned when I first started diving with a hookah I can always hire diving tanks if I wanted too as mine where out of date but I still have my regulators. Not once have I needed or wanted to go back to tank diving.

Hope my experience is of some help.
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Old 14-02-2016, 23:47   #21
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

Hello every body,
We have a Bauer JUnior II with electric motor.
In the Carabean it's probably cheaper, if you consider only the refill.
But what dinghy do you have ? Is the dive shop "on the beach" ? How do you transport your tanks + extra tanks. Extra tanks take also space. If you have a compressor you need to have 1 liter special oil (0.36l each oil change), spare air filter, some air filter cartridge (can't find them easy, to order by Bauer). Minimum genset 6KW, needs 17 amps at starting electric motor and 11 amps at running.
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Old 15-02-2016, 04:16   #22
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

Agree with Natraps on this topic.
It very much depends on how much diving you expect to do.
While it's true there ARE dive shops throughout the Carib the logistics involved in getting air fills is not to be underestimated or taken lightly.
This could mean significant alterations in your itinerary and some serious hauling.
For instance: The Bahamas has great diving, but there are not dive shops on every island. Great dives off West End...but closest dive shop would be Lucaya about 40 miles away. Would need to secure boat somehow, off load tanks into dinghy, run them into the shop (hope it's open!) off load them to shore (hope there's a dinghy dock and it's close!) and wait for the fill then reload and return to your boat. Call it 90-120 minutes round trip.
You do one dive.
Then you have to repeat the whole process again.
It gets old quick.
And that's IF there's a shop somewhere within your nav range AND they're open.
If you dive a lot, you will really appreciate the freedom of having your own compressor, and as someone else mentioned, filling others tanks is a highly barterable skill.
Go electric if you have the juice. Quieter and no gas to store.
We have an AireTex electric compressor. About half of what a bauer costs, US built (company in Texas is great for parts and customer service).
Fills an AL 80 in about 20 minutes.
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Old 16-02-2016, 01:27   #23
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

We have a Bauer Junior II with Honda petrol engine. It fills two tanks in about 30 minutes (from the normal 100 bar after a dive in tropics). It is actually quicker on the petrol engine than the electric one back home. Yes, it is noisy, but as you will probably only fill a couple of tanks a day, not too bad. Maintenance is easy.

As to running an electric one on a boat, as pointed out, you need at least a 6kw genset to run. Anything less will not work.

It sounds like lots of places to get air in Carribean, but in Pacific, even on Great Barrier Reef, very few places and mostly none where you want to dive.

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compressor, Cuba, scuba

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