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Old 14-02-2016, 03:44   #1
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Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

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?
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Old 14-02-2016, 04:03   #2
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

How are yo going to power it? the electric version do take some amps, the portable petrol verison might be more flexible in use. The German Bauer is a far better compressor compared to the Italian Coltri sub and the Bauer took a lot of abuse filling cylinders for a dive club for many years without complaint. At another club we destroyed a Coltri Sub in 3 years with light use.

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Old 14-02-2016, 04:41   #3
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

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How are yo going to power it? the electric version do take some amps, the portable petrol verison might be more flexible in use. The German Bauer is a far better compressor compared to the Italian Coltri sub and the Bauer took a lot of abuse filling cylinders for a dive club for many years without complaint. At another club we destroyed a Coltri Sub in 3 years with light use.

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Current power setup on the yacht is crazy - genset and tons of battery
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Old 14-02-2016, 05:39   #4
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

Anywhere in the Caribbean it is cheaper and easier to fill tanks at the dive shop. In Bonaire we paid less than $5/fill from a dive shop 100 yds from our mooring. The dive shop filled our tanks while we washed our gear in their baths.

Once you get to the Pacific a compressor makes more sense, in Bora Bora they wanted $20/fill.
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Old 14-02-2016, 05:40   #5
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

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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?

We have a Bauer Junior II on board in the Caribbean at the moment. My advice would be to get some extra tanks and forget the compressor - the compressor is quite slow, very noisy, requires maintenance and takes up a fair bit of space. Dive shops are everywhere in the Caribbean so it is much easier to just get tanks filled ashore. For more remote regions (e.g. South Pacific) I think that the on-board compressor will be much more useful.


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Old 14-02-2016, 06:08   #6
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

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We have a Bauer Junior II on board in the Caribbean at the moment. My advice would be to get some extra tanks and forget the compressor - the compressor is quite slow, very noisy, requires maintenance and takes up a fair bit of space. Dive shops are everywhere in the Caribbean so it is much easier to just get tanks filled ashore. For more remote regions (e.g. South Pacific) I think that the on-board compressor will be much more useful.


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Great advice guys - thanks. Just saved a ton of money!
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Old 14-02-2016, 06:12   #7
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

How much diving do you plan on doing? And do you plan to spend much time off the beaten track? While it may be fairly easy to find dive shops, there's still the issue of humping all those extra tanks back and forth. Only you can really answer what would be the best solution for you.
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Old 14-02-2016, 06:23   #8
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

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Originally Posted by thoreed View Post
We have a Bauer Junior II on board in the Caribbean at the moment. My advice would be to get some extra tanks and forget the compressor - the compressor is quite slow, very noisy, requires maintenance and takes up a fair bit of space. Dive shops are everywhere in the Caribbean so it is much easier to just get tanks filled ashore. For more remote regions (e.g. South Pacific) I think that the on-board compressor will be much more useful.


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It sounds like you have made a decision to not get one on board Evil Rabbit. I have one and can echo what thoreed said above. Save the money, space, and weight. Actually, if you don't have dive equipment, you may want to see how much you actually use it before investing $2 or $3k into new stuff, instead of renting.
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Old 14-02-2016, 06:33   #9
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

If you have one and don't use it, its better then not having one and needing it. If you have $3500 to spare, and love to dive, then get one. Not sure if we will ourselves. I may just keep 4 tanks in the same area.
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Old 14-02-2016, 06:39   #10
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

Hi there Evil one! We also looked into the compressor SCUBA equipment subject and decided against it purely on the amount of space all the kit would require.

We have just purchased two Hollis Explorer semi-closed circuit rebreathers. They use a small 5L steel cylinder and we have acquired 6 of these. Each cylinder should give at least 2 Hours of dive time totalling 12 dives of a hour each.

Had two racks made up to stow cylinders on deck - uses very little space.

Once empty will just refill at dive shop.
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Old 14-02-2016, 06:57   #11
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Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

We were/are in the same boat. I would wait till you sail the Caribbean for a while. There's always a dive shop nearby, refills as little as $3. There's usually always another cruiser that offers to refill our tanks as well so our pacific plan will likely mean relying on dive shops and other cruisers as well. It's nice to be able to offer something in return, so brush up on your cake baking or fishing skills. The weight/size/maintainance/cost is a lot less than having a compressor on board. We also enjoy free diving a lot so not having full tanks occasionally isn't the end of the world. We might get 2 additional tanks for the pacific to give us a couple of dives between fills, but so far haven't found the need.
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Old 14-02-2016, 07:28   #12
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

I ordered one, then the supplier messed me around and I cancelled it. Haven't regretted it. I can support what others have said. A fill is easily available and unless you dive LOADS then it is cheaper not to have one. They are another thing that will break and do your head in with. Typical cost $7 to $8.

You do need tanks in date as without that you can't fill. No wriggle room. I got mine re-certified only just in time before end of play.
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Old 14-02-2016, 09:36   #13
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

We love our Bauer Junior II petrol model. However, it is a schlepp to recharge our cylinders - but we dont find it noisy or especially slow. It is very useful as we dont have to faff around relying on dive shops - the time taken to go to a dive shop and back would be in excess of the time it takes us to pump our cylinders, plus we can do other things at the same time. I agree the convenience of a local dive shop is great though and in the case of not already having a compressor I would try without buying one first.

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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?
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Old 14-02-2016, 09:42   #14
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

I bought a Bauer "prius" 3.5 cfm compressor in the mid eighties when diving on shipwrecks in remote places. It made sense then and still does if that scenario is what you're doing, though a hookah rig might be better. I've still got the Bauer: it's got the years on it, but only a couple of hundred hours and I'll sell it for $1500 and I'll pay to truck it to you (that assumes that you're in Conus) (434) 962 5538
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Old 14-02-2016, 10:27   #15
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Re: Att: Scuba Divers - should we buy a compressor?

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Great advice guys - thanks. Just saved a ton of money!
Not so fast, I would say it depends on the size of your boat. If you dive as much as I do, you will love having your own compressor. So often the dive shop might be on the other side of the island your anchored on. If you add up the hassle of have to load unload dinghy then taxis... it pays for it self. U less you never make it past chicken harbor and actually make it to some farther places, dive shops can be hard to find, or they're easy to find, harder to get your bottle there. Buy the gas powered one if you have the space. If not, get the electric one if you have a good genny. I filled my tanks hundreds of times and changed the oil and belt on my maxair compressor with honda motor

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