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Old 24-02-2006, 02:07   #16
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Spare Air / Pony Tank

I've used a pterol driven Hookah but can't really add much more to the guidance given above but would add one word of caution with petrol driven versions to keep the air intake upwind of the engine exhaust.

On a very still day one needs to take special care. Unless the breeze is blowing the petrol exhaust fumes away from the air intake - you can find yourself trying to breath carbon dioxide / monoxide!

But as we can't fit a rope cutter to our saildrive / prop set up - we investigated the smaller dive tanks to allow me to at least clear any ropes / nets we may pick up.

It seems Spare-Air is the name of the very small tanks (perhaps 12 inches long) which are still sold. But the feedback I got was they were good only for minimal minutes - and if one was actually breating hard - possibly less.

I therefore decided to purchase what's called a pony tank - about 18 inches long and hold about 10 times the volume of 'Spare-Air'.

With a regulator fitted direct to tank top it will allow me to stay under for up to 15 minutes - enough to free my prop of almost anything.

It comes with connectors so it either can be filled at a dive shop or from a regular dive tank.

Sourced mine over ebay from Diver West in the States - great service as it was delivered to the UK inside 10 days and cost half what it looked like costing from a UK supplier.

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JOHN
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Old 24-02-2006, 19:10   #17
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My friend's boat the Seeker is apparently a bigger boat that I had remembered. It's 65ft.

Here is a link to his site. He's mostly for pro-divers in that he is the only boat in the North East that can teach CCR Trimix Instructor Development. Fancy stuff.

http://www.underseaexploration.com/

Here's a blurb about what they teach:

We specialize in advanced, technical level courses, including Closed-Circuit Rebreather, Air Diluent and Mixed-Gas courses. Here is a brief listing of some of the courses we offer: Nitrox, Advanced Nitrox, Decompression Procedures, Technical Diver, Extended Range, Normoxic Trimix, Advanced Trimix, Advanced Wreck, Draeger Ray and Dolphin SCR, Inspiration and Evolution CCR, CCR Normoxic Trimix, CCR Trimix, CCR Advanced Mixed-Gas, Nitrox Blender, Advanced Gas Blender, CPROX, CPR1st, etc.
All of the above mentioned course offerings are available through instructor level.
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Old 24-02-2006, 19:24   #18
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"Spare Air". Thanks. That is what I had. WHen I tried to replace it 10 years ago, I was told by the dive shop that it was discontinued. It is limited to about 6 breaths. As I said, I tend to dive very conservitively, and never let my air get to a critical level. I keep my gear in top condition, and check everything everytime I go down. This has kept me out of trouble so far. I do take the additional precaution of making sure that someone knows exactly where I am diving, and how long I plan to be out. Again, I wander.....
Even when using a hooka dockside, it is a good idea to make sure someone is aware of where you are diving. When working on commercial boats, I would always have my wife on board the boat to make sure no on did anything stupid like start the engine. Probably an unnecessary precaution, but lock out tags are not common place when doing side jobs in a local harbor.
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Old 24-02-2006, 21:22   #19
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Hey Sean.

That's a nice website. Thanks for posting that. Now that's one more that I can add to my "favorite places folder!"
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Old 25-02-2006, 05:42   #20
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Hookah alternative

We don't have room aboard our 28 foot boat for all the equipment one can have to scuba. Our dive shop owner suggested we bring the tank aboard and he would provide us with a 30' line from the tank to the mouthpiece. Now we could keep the tank on board and clean the boat or get in for emergencies. We could also put the tank in the dingy and have more freedom.
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Old 25-02-2006, 10:15   #21
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Irish,

Exactly.

This set-up gives you nearly all the options of the hookah, esp. if much of one's intended use involves boat maintenance/emergency repair, at a tiny fraction of the cost or volume of a hookah. I already have scuba equipment, so for the price of a long low-pressure line, I'm in the game. I'll use the saved money and space for other things.
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Old 25-02-2006, 16:08   #22
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I've thought about putting a decent size air compressor on the big boat... I'm partial to the piston type that are oil filled. A lot less noise and they last longer!

With the oil in mind (Bad news from what I hear to breath... My line of thinking is that an oil and water seperator, plus a carbon filter would be needed. Is this correct?
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Old 25-02-2006, 18:43   #23
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I could be wrong here, but from what I understand, any oil will KILL you. You would be best off getting a "dive compressor." They seem to break down a lot (or at least the two did on the yacht I used to work on), but they are safest.
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Old 25-02-2006, 18:56   #24
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Sean, you are correct. Hookas, and dive compressors work very different from a standard air compressor. Even with a water seperater, it would be a very dangerous gamble, and not worth the risk. hookas do not use oil, and are fairly reliable. Dive compressors are also oil free, but are unreasonably expensive IMO. A used electric hooka can be found for around $500. About the same cost as a BCD, computer, and tank.
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Old 25-02-2006, 19:20   #25
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Actually it can be done. It requires a very special and expensive filtration system to make it safe. But it is a common thing found in Paint shops where the sprayer has a filtered air supply system sent to him. It comes from the normal shop air system.
The system comprises of exactly what Zach has suggested, but it is a "human consumption" grade.
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Old 25-02-2006, 19:28   #26
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I guess the regs are different for different locations. We researched that possibility when I ran a commercial shop, as we started coating tanks. We got our painters certified for confined space, but our paint vendor, who was setting up the compressor for us said that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) would not certify such a set up as you describe. My understanding was that there was no way to prevent oil incursion into the air supply.
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Old 25-02-2006, 19:35   #27
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So how do you guy's have to do it? is it a seperate air supply system? I have been out of the game here for a mnumber of years. I wonder if it has also changed here now as well with all the OSHA rules.
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Old 25-02-2006, 19:40   #28
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We had to install a hooka in the booth. (I forget the official name for that ype of hooka). The nice thing was it was far cheaper in the long run, although our guys hated the headgear.
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Old 25-02-2006, 20:44   #29
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Alan caught me red handed... making the cross over from paint shop tech to boating.

I've read that such setups were common conversions, from old military and large industrial compressors after WWII through the 70's.

Although, that is quite a different beast at a few thousand PSI from the low pressure belt driven garage art. "Just enough to overcome the head pressure and give an air bubble!"

That said: Other than what I've read I dont know my head from a hole in the ground on this topic! It'd take a lot more reading and pondering before I'd put something together that I'd be comfortable using... including a sample sent to a lab. (Where's my sense of adventure? )
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Old 25-02-2006, 20:59   #30
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It doesn't take a lot of air pressure take the suck to a blow and reduce the redness in the face. Remember it is one atmosphere every 30ft. That is ruffly 15PSI increase every 30ft. I am not sure I would want to go any deeper than 30' on a hose. 30' suddenly feels like a hundred if the compressor stops. Then the face goes from Red to blue to....
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