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Old 08-03-2006, 17:27   #46
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I, too, am interested in the electric snorkel units. "Sea Breathe" makes a few models. I like the idea of a 12 volt unit and, like most that responded, my intent is inspecting and servicing the hull. They are not cheap at $1200 to $1500, but having once sheared a shaft and having the prop jamb the rudder, I do know that exterior repair while holding your breath is not a real option. Perhaps a few of you guys could buy now and give me a report by May ? Thanks !

Larry
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Old 08-03-2006, 18:04   #47
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A Little Cost/Benefit Analysis

Quote:
They are not cheap at $1200 to $1500
That's 240-300 tank fills @ $5 a pop.

A tank would require roughly double the storage space, from the looks of the dimensions of the smallest Sea-Breathe units (plastic on-deck models that run $1200). And, of course, it's a pressurized container at around 3,000psi., so will need to be secured well.

The 12v machine will theoretically provide air to the limit of the house battery, vs. roughly an hour and change (minimum) on a full tank used within ten feet of surface for maintenance/repair. Don't know if that's a real difference, in practical terms.

I can always get two 30min. dives @30ft. out of my super-90 aluminum tank, so I'm being very conservative about my "hour minimum" estimate: actual available time would likely be significantly greater

Scale still tips toward the tank for me. Again, my bias is that I'm already a diver.
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Old 08-03-2006, 18:10   #48
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And I am not, but have the interest. I think it is the storage issue that really keeps my attention. Friends and family that dive have a lot of gear. I also have a construction background, and looking at that little compressor, I gotta wonder how long it will last. I plan to call and check out warranty issues. I will report back. You may be right Capt - if I can find a spot on 35' to stow a tank.

Larry
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Old 08-03-2006, 18:26   #49
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Sea Breathe shall not be liable for, any malfunction, damage or wear caused by faulty installation, misapplication, abrasion, corrosion, inadequate or improper maintenance, negligence, accident, tampering, substitution of non-Sea Breathe components parts or products, improper storage, or other misuse. All warranty claims must be made in accordance with "Warranty Claims" below. (which says they have a "reasonable" amount of time to try and fit it....bla, bla, bla)

That's not much warranty for that much cash.
My gut says a couple of seasons and dumpster.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:22   #50
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Take a look a Keene Engineering
http://www.keeneengineering.com

I believe their systems may be a little more solid.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:20   #51
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Last time I was at Coral Bay (NW Australia), there was a number of hookahs being used by tourists. These were powered by a battery and floated on a small circular inflated float. Mainly used by people to get up close and personal to the coral reef abt 15m from the beach.
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Old 09-03-2006, 13:31   #52
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I've used both types of Hookah setup with good results. One setup was just an 80cuft tank lashed to a swim platform on a bay boat. 50ft of hose was about the limit due to volume/pressure limits. Worked great for lobster diving in shallow waters.

Gas powered 'floatie' units should be used with a extension tube that raises the exhaust gas well above the breathing air intake, or vice-versa. I've seen several units that had 'lost' the extender tube still being used.. but not by me. I'm not real interested in breathing any more CO than occurs naturally.

PJs Song has a fixed electric hookah compressor feeding two 50ft lengths of hose. Have not used it yet nor will I until it gets some maintenance. Also, its location under the aft bunk is close to the genset exhaust hose.. I'll check that thoroughly before I'll trust it.

IMHO, Hookah rigs in general:
Positive: less cumbersome for the diver, (usually) smaller space requirement onboard. Also provides a good compressed air source you can use for other things aboard (inflators, clearing lines, etc).

Negative: more limiting on the diver (depth, radius, etc), plus little warning of when your air supply is running out (as compared to a tank). If you drain the batteries / run out of fuel while at 30ft you'll not soon forget it.
Compressors need more maintenance than a tank.

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Old 10-03-2006, 08:13   #53
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I like the idea of surface supplied air systems because you can be more self sufficient. It is tough to decide to use an engine-driven or electric-driven compressor unit. However, here are my concerns in using surface supplied air:

Non-certified divers probably have not learned the important safety practices using compressed air. Therefore, please get training for each person using surface supplied air systems.

This machine IS life support, so it THE one machine that you must maintain better than anything else you have ever used.

As others have mentioned, it is imperitive to keep all engine exhaust away from the air intake - the diver will die. This applies to the exhaust from any engine, whether it be the dive unit, engines or generators on your boat or other people's boats.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:09   #54
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I hope no one minds my reviving this old thread. I love the idea of a hookah on board, and our (prospective) boat should have no power driving it, with 24v power supply and generator on board. I'm wondering whether any of these can be used for any tasks besides breathing -- can you inflate your dinghy with them?
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Old 06-04-2009, 13:12   #55
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I hope no one minds my reviving this old thread. I love the idea of a hookah on board, and our (prospective) boat should have no power driving it, with 24v power supply and generator on board. I'm wondering whether any of these can be used for any tasks besides breathing -- can you inflate your dinghy with them?
You can with my home-built unit. A small compressor from HD and the 2nd stage reg from my dive equipment. The unit tops out at 125 psi so very large truck tires rea out! Anything needing 100 psi or less is certainly doable.

AND YES THE SMALL COMPRESSOR FROM HD IS OIL LESS. I believe just about all, if not all, of the small air compressors on the market tody are oil less.. A very very good filter is needed.
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Old 06-04-2009, 20:32   #56
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was shown one of these systems the last time I was in the Bahamas. As far as I understand he used it for maintenance on his boat. The issue he outlined, though, was that people spearfishing (ie. the locals diving for lobster) would have so much time to spend down there that they would pick apart the reefs and destroy the lobster populations. Lobster populations were at a low point in our area (Long Island) because of the ability to fish them continuously.
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Old 06-04-2009, 23:53   #57
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real life experience with seabreathe

I purchased a seabreathe 12v unit last year. I used the hookah for bottom maintainance all last summer/fall for my boat and friends in the marina. so far I would say I have 15 hours on the unit with no problems. I have a dinghy with an electric start outboard and use the group U starting battery to power the seabreathe compressor. battery life is great since I have never had to worry about the battery going dead, even after 2 hours of use the engine starts up effortlessly. this allows me to tow the dinghy along with me as I go.

the seabreathe system has a small reservoir which gives a few breaths of air to reach the surface if the compressor stops. the hose is about 60 feet long, but the compressor is not strong enough to maintain any serious depth for long, maybe 50' for a few seconds to find a dropped tool. the deeper you go the harder you have to suck to get enough air, so its best to stay shallow, around 25 feet is ok depending on how much of an air hog you are. the bends are not a major concern with seabreathe since you cannot stay at serious depths for long enough for the nitrogen to build up, but I would cautious anyway. even though you can purchase and use the seabreathe without diver training, I would recomend training to anyone. I do not have diver training, but I do plan on taking a class in the future.

I regard the seabreathe unit as a powersnorkel for recreational use and not viable commercial option for diving. my suggestions for use would be, bottom maintainance, shallow reef diving, and retreiving lost items at minimal depths. for these uses I give the seabreathe unit an A+ in ease of use, durability and small storage space.

if you need to go deeper, get a scuba setup.

Joey
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