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Old 21-10-2014, 16:13   #16
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

Bunzy

You can dive almost off any sailboat, especially if you are young & strong. Mono-hulls and cats alike each has some place to stage gear. Many dives I've stepped off a mono or cat through the gates with a giant stride, likewise off the sugar scoops on cats. No big deal, just make sure you are prepared for the drop. Kick forward to the anchor line or mooring, relax and head on down, couldn't be much easier unless the current is ripping.

Alternatively rig your BC and hang off the side, then gear up in the water, recovery is the reverse. Throw out a long polypropylene hang line to help recovery. We generally have our dink in the water ready to go, with a vhf, just incase, on every dive off the boat.

On occasion we have towed the dink along with us as we are diving, with cord or 200lb test, in any areas where we are not sure of the currents or we intend to go down current. Flying a dive flag and again ready to go with VHF, water and beer if it's our last dive of the day.

I've use both portable gas compressors and fixed electric, either will do the job and will open the door to remote dive sites. Which is better is a choice dictated by your wallet and expectations. Be advised that gas-powered compressors are noisy, and may not make you too many friends. At times we have put a noisy compressor in the dink on a long, long painter and attached the filling tanks so that they hung over the side getting a cool fill and keeping the decibels down.
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Old 21-10-2014, 16:24   #17
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

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Originally Posted by Bunzy View Post
I'm wondering if anybody scuba dives from their sailboat or dingy and what they would recommend as far as features on a sailboat to make diving possible.

My wife and I are in our mid twenties and are looking to set ourselves up for some open ended cruising in the next few years. Most likely our plan would involve buying a boat in the chesapeake and sailing to the bahamas then on too other parts of the world. The south pacific is high on our bucket list so we want a boat that can be outfitted to get us there. Budget wise the cheaper the better as we would like to go sooner rather than later but if we could be reasonably outfitted i.e make it to the bahamas with 30k into a boat that would be great.

Back to the diving we want to be able to dive in remote places for extended periods of time. So the first concern that pops into my head is storage room for a compressor, fuel and tanks. Any thoughts on this?

For boats I have been doing some research and the tartan 34c stands out as a possibility. Will a 34ft boat have the storage room available for scuba gear and everything else one needs to sail? If this is to small roughly how big do I need to go for two people.

What issues does scuba diving present on a sailboat that I'm not thinking of?

Thank you very much for your help!
I think you should get up with clownfishsydney.
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Old 21-10-2014, 17:18   #18
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

Some years ago two mates and I spent two seasons diving the Caribbean; San Blas, Belize, Bonaire, Caymans, Jamaica, Bahamas, South Florida, Virgins, Windwards. We used a Bauer portable unit to fill tanks, at the end of the trip it had just under 1000 fills on it. Averaged 18-20 minutes per 80 (we also had a couple of 50s, but mainly used the 80s). If you do the math that works out to about 300 hours of very noisy runtime. Discounting the hurricane seasons that was about an hour a day of time when our neighbors didn't like us very much (we tried to anchor at a distance as compensation).

A couple of thoughts:
  • You'll need to know how to maintain the compressor and the purification system (particularly if oil lubricated). Carry spares of all filters, etc. as you will not be able to find them easily. Same for lubricants if used.
  • A sugar scoop is great for diving from the mother ship. Even if not large enough to get out on, it provides a convenient place to take off and set gear
  • An inflatable is much easier to use when diving from a dinghy than a hard dink, but will need to be large enough for divers + gear. When diving from the mother ship we frequently had the inflatable in the water behind to use as a "dive porch".
  • Gasoline is a pain to store, but if you have it for an outboard already...
  • We just kept a bucket of fresh water around for masks and regs. The rest of the gear didn't get rinsed too often. Fully support the watermaker idea, but not a necessity. Really what you need to rinse is anything that can corrode, and regulator is #1 on the list. Computer/camera if you use either.
  • You'll need to be better at securing your boat and/or dinghy than the average cruiser. Many great dive sites aren't that will protected, so you'll be anchoring (where allowed) in less than ideal conditions. Add to that trying to avoid damaging the very locations you are going to dive for their beauty and it becomes a challenge. Do your homework, find out if there are moorings, or sandy areas nearby for anchoring, or other options.
  • It may seem obvious, but with a gas compressor you really need to make sure your air intake and exhaust never meet. Vigilance is required, not a set it and forget it kind of thing.

With age and experience would probably recommend the hookah route as some others have suggested, but can understand the desire to use bottles.
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Old 21-10-2014, 17:51   #19
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

Hey all of you. Join the scuba divers CF social group and lets get some of these discussions happening on there. It's been kind of dead.

Ken
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Old 21-10-2014, 18:04   #20
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

You can put together a solid cruising boat for $30k if you keep it simple.

Check out this site for inspiration:
http://atomvoyages.com


That means mask&snorkel for free diving. The Bahamas are shallow.

Once you get going you will learn so much and will keep yourself so busy that you don't need scuba gear for entertainment.

The Tartan 34c is a very solid boat that has crossed many oceans and circumnavigated. Lot of bang for the buck.
Go soon. The younger you are the less reliant you'll be on creature comfort.


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Old 21-10-2014, 18:35   #21
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

$30k outfitting a T34C to get started diving in the Bahamas is very doable.

The boat has a very shallow draft board up, and has a very large cockpit for its size. Both features are big positives for Bahamas cruising/diving. A swim platform would be nice, but *shrug* can't have everything. Too small for full-time liveaboard (for us), but we spend summers on ours. Can be had cheap, can also be found abused to worthlessness, take care.
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Old 21-10-2014, 19:13   #22
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

So I have been an avid diver/instructor for many years and have a Crealock 37 which supports my diving habits. I assume the amount of storage of Tartan 34 is at least that of my Crealock 37.

What you need

Compressor to fill tanks.

Rare to find another boat who is going to be willing to fill your tanks.
Small compressors are noisy and take awhile to fill a tank (~20-30 mins). Isolated dive sites tend to be distant from dive shops. Might be lucky to get
fills from a liveboard dive boat on occasion.

I have a Bauer Junior mounted in a teak/fiberglass box on the cabin top in front of the mast - its run by a 5hp gasoline engine.

I tend to use low pressure tanks - tanks that are full at 2475 psi, for less wear and tear on the compressor. In the past I have used Faber LP 95cft tanks but may go smaller in the future.

The Bauer is rated at just over 3cft/min. I also have a Rix 6 which is rated at just over 6cft/min but the box will need to be rebuilt as it is a bit larger then the Bauer. The Rix does not use oil to lubricate compressor so no filter is required on the output air. The air produced is quite moist so a decent water trap is required to avoid rust issues with steel tanks. Currently I have 208 electric motor driving it but it came with a gasoline engine. With either compressor you need to careful not to suck the exhaust fumes of the gasoline motor into the air intake of the compressor. I typically fill when the wind is blowing and have a flexible corrugated plastic tube that I attach to the air intake and use a halyard to run up the mast.

Diveable dinghy
I don't dive from the sailboat. It gets anchored in a safe place. I load the gear into the inflatable, motor to dive site and dive from it. Willing to anchor the dinghy in spots I would not anchor the sailboat. Some locations it would be good to buddy boat with other diver(s) so you have two or more inflatables at the dive site.

Current dinghy is an Achilles inflatable with a roll up floor - 11 feet long with a Mercury 2 stroke 15 HP motor. Am able to plane with 2 divers and their gear. Great dive platform. Am also able to deflate the boat, pack it into its bag and stow it below when going offshore. 2 stroke motor is much lighter and smaller then a 4 stroke motor. You will need to buy one used in the US or buy it new outside the US.

Fresh water to rinse the gear.
Decent gear will hold up quite well without being rinsed off after every dive.
When I am on the boat and diving I am typically diving every day. I usually rinse the gear before I pack it up for an extended time.
As I am land based right now, the gear does get soaked in fresh water after
every day of diving.

Marc
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Old 21-10-2014, 20:31   #23
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

I should probably state that my undergrad was in Fisheries Biology and while my career has taken me away from fish I see sailing as a key to doing some serious diving in places that are only boat accessible. Might also be a platform for research someday. I was quite inspired by Matt Rutherford at the Annapolis boat show. Bottom line though, diving is a big deal to both my wife and I.

As much fun as hookah's can be I like to be self contained and free to explore/ go deep on occasion. So for my diving habbits I think a compressor is about the only way to go.

The Tartan 34's seem to be quite readily available, inexpensive, shallow draft, and blue water capable. I'm by no means set on one though I plan to consult with a good marine surveyor before embarking on the boat search and will go for the best deal I can find. 30K is what I consider a starting boat budget not including dive gear (compressor, dingy, scuba gear, etc.). Anybody ever fitted a compressor below decks on a 34' boat before?

The first thought that comes to mind with a compressor is stow it below deck and run it above deck in a well ventilated cockpit or even better the dingy. The second thought is man that looks like a pain dragging a compressor around even though I'm young and plenty strong enough. MarcHall do you have any issues with salt tearing up your compressor since its deck mounted ?

The other thought I had was using a small generator to power a below deck compressor but as clownfishsydney mentions the starting power draw is much higher unless some sort of soft start could be rigged up.

Thank you all very much for you comments and suggestions.
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Old 22-10-2014, 01:40   #24
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

My compressor is a Bauer Junior II electric, mounted below deck and run with a Northern Light 6kw generator with no problem.

Not familiar with theTartan 34 but, hard to see how you would installed all this below and stil have space to store scuba gear plus all your other cruising gear.

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Old 22-10-2014, 05:56   #25
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunzy View Post
The first thought that comes to mind with a compressor is stow it below deck and run it above deck in a well ventilated cockpit or even better the dingy. The second thought is man that looks like a pain dragging a compressor around even though I'm young and plenty strong enough. MarcHall do you have any issues with salt tearing up your compressor since its deck mounted ?

The other thought I had was using a small generator to power a below deck compressor but as clownfishsydney mentions the starting power draw is much higher unless some sort of soft start could be rigged up.

Thank you all very much for you comments and suggestions.
If the compressor is powered by a gasoline motor finding a place to stow it below in a boat with a diesel auxilary is problematic. You want to keep the gasoline fumes out of the boat. Also the compressor is around 100 lbs, so
pulling it out of locker and placing it in the cockpit or up on the deck can
be an issue. Using a block and tackle off the boom would probably be part of the solution.

Running the compressor off an electric motor requires a substantial generator.
A previous poster mentioned a Northern Lights 6kw to power a Bauer compressor and that sounds about right. You need to consider if you have space on the boat to dedicate to a generator. Benefit of extra electricity being generated while tanks are being filled which could be used to make water, top of the batteries, etc.

You could add a hydraulic pump belted onto the boat's diesel and powering the compressor off of that but that would require running a 40hp+ engine to fill tanks.

There used to be a company which made a unit with a small air cooled diesel (~6hp) that was used primarily to drive an a large 12V alternator but could also run a compressor and/or a water maker. This could all be placed below decks and runs off of diesel which you would already have a tank for but again on a Tartan 34 it may be difficult to find the space for it.

I opted for a gasoline powered compressor mounted in a box in front of the mast. I had the teak box built for me but when it was delivered it was way too flimsy. So on the inside of the box I added a couple of layers of fiberglass cloth so its pretty strong. Its also quite dry. The box is done like a bread box with the only opening being on the bottom where it mounts to the platform that the compressor mounts too - pretty watertight so no issues with saltwater corrosion.

The boat has adequate solor power to meet the normal energy budget including the refrigeration. Was not able to meet the needs of the water maker with solar panels but will be upgrading the water maker to more efficient Spectra water maker, increasing insulation on the refrigerator and have replaced all the light bulbs on the boat with LEDs. Not really insterested in running the diesel to generate electricity, make water or run the refrigerator. Not interested in installing a generator on the boat but these are my biases. Not really interested in storing gasoline on the boat to drive the compressor or the outboard but its a bit of necessary evil.

Marc Hall
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Old 22-10-2014, 06:30   #26
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

re: compressor on t34c
I think it may depend on the location of the fuel tank. If the tank is under the port setee, there is a very large space under the cockpit, forward of the quadrant that is good for mounting a compressor (sometimes you'll find a fuel tank there, or a hot water heater). This will fit a generator as well. Dive gear will probably live in the quarterberth.

She's not a big boat as far as cruisers go, and you'll essentially be dedicating most of her 'free' space to dive equipment.
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Old 25-10-2014, 16:42   #27
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

http://www.bauer-kompressoren.de/en/...anus-140-lmin/


You may have seen these, if so I apologize. This is the best compact scuba compressor I've seen.


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Old 15-11-2014, 16:41   #28
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

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The Beneteau 281 looks to have about the same internal volume and waterline length as the Tartan and is a much more modern boat for about the same price and probably a much lower operating cost.

Going up the Beneteau line (311, 343, ...) they all look to be much more suited to diving than the Tartan.

But why the trouble and expense of Scuba or even Hookah gear on a small boat? Chances are you'll hardly use it.

Why not put the money into a small inflatable/outboard that you can get into from the water and just snorkel? You're young and by the time you've been snorkeling for a few months you'll be fit enough to dive to 30' or so.

What makes life most enjoyable when snorkeling is a nice camera. I use a basic Panasonic Lumix but the better ones go deeper and may take better pictures.
hi I am a dive instructor and use panasonic lumix for all my teaching (have three) they are rated to 40metres so no issue and quite compact without all the strobes
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Old 15-11-2014, 19:11   #29
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

Bill's got the right idea with the hookah rig, for most diving. I'll also carry scuba gear, for any emergency. But figure I'll get them filled wherever possible.
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Old 15-11-2014, 19:38   #30
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Re: Boat Requirements for Scuba Diving

It's not cheap to set up your boat for scuba. If the equipment wasn't onboard when I bought Palarran I wouldn't invest in it knowing how much we dive now. We have the Bauer Junior II electric run off a large generator so that's not a problem. But you have to get the Oxygen cylinder, weights, bcd's, regulators, etc also. I'd guess we carry near $8k worth of equipment in order to dive 8 times per season. Mostly we don't dive much because the boat is in the Med and the diving sucks. No fish and algae covered rock is about it.


One of the other reasons we don't use the equipment much is there isn't a lot of time to do so. Maybe your vision is sitting day after day lazying around and diving but for us we work too much. You have to go get food and cook it, clean the boat, repair it, maintain it, sail it, deal with port officials, and explore on land. In the end, spending a whole day just diving is difficult.


When I've used dive outfits is seems easy. You show up, do a little prep, dive, tip, and leave. It's a lot more work when you have to get all the equipment out, set it up, load it on the dingy, find a dive site, dive, return, refill, and restore the equipment. I hope you do it but just realize it's not easy or cheap.
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