Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-07-2010, 07:55   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,249
Compressors Aboard . . . Again

This was asked before, and some of the answers I got were:

Maintainance is a PITA
Not really true. Although, the cost savings is very minimal. It's really all about convenience. Also, as easy as it may be, still would be one less thing to maintain, one less thing to eventually rust away to nothing.

Takes up a lot of room
I found a decent home for it, and with the frame it has, makes a nice extra seat in the cockpit. Bigger issue on a smaller catamaran is weight.

More fun to snorkel with a group than to dive alone, and free diving skills will greatly improve once you get out there
Makes sense, but there are deeper sites that I'm going to really want to hit, that really can't be done free diving. Also, I'm big into underwater photography, as in dSLR housing with strobes. Kind of hard to manage when free diving. What can I say, I just love diving. Snorkeling is a dirty word to me. Not saying that I won't likely dive less and snorkel more, though.

Get fills on shore
This one makes the most sense, and once you get further South...further into paradise, lots of places to get them. Also cost of the unit, plus maintainance costs should pay for at least 500+ dives. The problem I'm having is, up North, not many shops are on/near the water. I guess I could just make my buddies who are looking for free/cheap diving fill my tanks? Also, I've heard most of the Yucatan it can be a real PITA to get fills, since they think you may try to hit a cave by yourself. I do have a freind with a shop in Tolum, though? Kind of limits me to that area, though. On the other hand fills on shore means Nitrox instead of just air.

Crap! Now that I bought this damn thing, I'm really second guessing it.
__________________

__________________
off-the-grid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2010, 09:32   #2
Eternal Member
 
capt_douglas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Boat: Vancouver 36 cutter????
Posts: 620
Send a message via Skype™ to capt_douglas
I've worked on boats with an active dive program and our own compressors.

Maintenance - Oil changes, filter changes, air samples, keeping the metal from rusting, tank bank inspections, whips and fittings inspections and repairs

Space - yes they do take up space, but if the alternative is no diving or a 30 mile dinghy ride to get a refill ashore.... only to find out the compressor's down or the store's closed or they've moved.

More fun - I don't find much in common with diving and snorkeling aside from being in the same ocean. When you snorkel you look down on the fish and critters; when you dive, you're at eye level. Free diving skills do improve but I'm not sure they wouldn't as you're in the water a lot more and there's the challenge and enjoyment of going tankless.

Fills ashore - sure if it's convenient, the price is reasonable, and you're fairly confident that you're getting a good fill (and I don't mean getting 3000psi on the gauge). Some times you can get your tanks filled faster ashore but other times, it's faster on board. At one time you could buy volume fill cards that kept the fill price around $3.00 but lately, I'm seeing $5/tank.

Having schlepped tanks to the shore fill station as well as filling them on board, I'd take the on board fill most every time, especially if the number of tanks you're filling isn't huge. We average about 8 fills/hour depending on the level of air in the tank with the fill system (Bauer and 3x 4000psi 200cu ft tank bank) but with the naked Bauer electric we got 3-4 fills/hour. This is with an AC powered system, not a self contained gas or diesel one. There's a noise problem to solve and someone has to monitor the fill process 100% of the time, and that for many small operations are the biggest obstacles.

If I use $5/tank then I figure I need about 700 fills to break even after purchase, maintenance, power generation, and other costs.
__________________

__________________
Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
capt_douglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2010, 11:47   #3
Registered User

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Isle des Saintes, Guadeloupe
Boat: Voyage 38 Catamaran
Posts: 165
I had a small gas compressor on my catamaran. After 2 seasons I sold it because of several reasons.
1. Storage space and weight, I have only 1500 kg. of reserve bouyancy.
2. P.I.T.A. factor. In the Eastern Carribean there are dive shops anywhere there is decent diving. Fills are convenient and cheap.
3. Over a third of the islands do not permit independant diving anymore, and some restrict snorkling as well.
4. Nitrox vs. air. Nice to be more relaxed as you get older.

I also went from 6 to 4 tanks on board. This was determined by usage. Hardly ever used 6 tanks.
__________________
Billyehh
billyehh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2010, 13:37   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,152
My wife and I just spent a lot of time snorkeling in Kauai. We had no tanks to lug around, there was no rental fee or paying over a thousand dollars per person to own dive equipment, we did not have to worry about getting the bends, we got to see the fish up close and the cost was only a few cents per "dive" to pay for the anti-fog gel. We also did not have to worry about losing a significant investment if the car got busted into.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2010, 14:16   #5
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,249
Now that's the best arguement for and against. Remote locations vs. not allowed to dive from own boat. That I didn't know, and that really sucks. How strictly is it enforced?

I only gave a set of AL 80 doubles a 40 and a 6 for the drysuit.

David there's no thousands, gear is long paid for. Get the right stuff and it will last for years. Regs don't need the yearly servicing they try to sell you. I'm taking the PSI class, so even future VIPs will be free.
__________________
off-the-grid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2010, 20:20   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Roy M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA
Boat: Searunner 40 trimaran, WILDERNESS
Posts: 3,042
Images: 4
So..... which electric (AC and DC?) or gas?
__________________
Roy M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2010, 10:57   #7
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,249
Nuvair Compact 3.5G gas
__________________
off-the-grid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2010, 14:46   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,249
Just looked at Nuvair's site again. Turns out that frame is MUCH heavier than you think. The portable, exact same unit with a different frame weighs 37lbs. less. I'm thinking if I remove the frame entirely, and just mount it to the shelf I made, I could probably get the thing down to about 70lbs. not to mention more compact.

Still debating the no private diving allowed issue, though.
__________________
off-the-grid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2010, 20:30   #9
Ram
Registered User
 
Ram's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cruising Greece
Boat: Cat in the med & Trawler in Florida
Posts: 2,298
Images: 27
I have a gas-Bauer jr.II- and it works very well, I believe it weighs about 80 lbs -I bought the thing new about 8 years ago while I was doing charters in the Bahamas , because fills there were so far from many of the better dive locals, just after I bought it I stopped doing dive charters in the Bahamas so it sits, I’m going to mount it off the back of my cat this winter and use 40 cubic foot tanks that fill in 10 min-
Fills a 80 cubic tank in 20 min.
one thing I learned about these compressors is don’t touch or modify the frame,
I bolted mine down and this stopped or disturbed the natural vibration of the machine while running and it cracked the frame, I took it in and they fixed it under warranty-
I might add I would not have one onboard , if I was not running charters and I did not already have the thing- I would learn to free dive, I still can do 40 feet on breath hold-
__________________
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2010, 22:14   #10
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,895
Depends on where you are

Diving is what got me first interested in the water, then sailing, so for me it is important.

Where I cruise with Stargazer, there are few tourists, no restrictions and great diving. So far I have just been carrying/borrowing enough tanks for 4 dives for local cruising and filling up whenever near a dive resort, but that is not ideal.

The boat already had a Bauer junior electric installed in the lazarette but unfortunately a PO, who did not dive, took it off and sold it.

When I head back towards Micronesia, I will put one back on and to me the value of being self contained in a special dive area far outweighs any other consideration.

I guess it depends on your space, weight and financial budget but I have done about 40 dives at Ant Atoll anchored inside the bay, where often the weather does not allow you to transit from the high island of Pohnpei.

Take a look at #2 video to get an idea of the kind of dive experiences I have enjoyed there….. What price can you ever put on that?

So I guess it depends on where you are.

Pohnpei Videos
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2010, 07:09   #11
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram View Post
one thing I learned about these compressors is don’t touch or modify the frame,
I bolted mine down and this stopped or disturbed the natural vibration of the machine while running and it cracked the frame
The shelf I'm referring to isn't permanently mounted. Just kind of sits in one of the lazarettes, so the machine would still be allowed to vibrate. I'll give Nuvair a call first for their opinion. If that won't work, I guess another option would be to just chop the whole frame down, leaving just the base that everything is bolted into?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
So I guess it depends on where you are.
Or more so, where you plan on eventually going. Tough question to answer.

Do I just store the thing until I really need it? Could be a few years. Like most mechanical things, may not like not being used. Or do I dump it now, and get a new (er new used one) if and when I really do need it? Spend more money, but money in my pocket now. The one I have was barely used and I got a great deal, so I should at least get back what I paid for it.
__________________
off-the-grid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2010, 07:33   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunzster View Post
The shelf I'm referring to isn't permanently mounted. Just kind of sits in one of the lazarettes, so the machine would still be allowed to vibrate. I'll give Nuvair a call first for their opinion. If that won't work, I guess another option would be to just chop the whole frame down, leaving just the base that everything is bolted into?
Will there be enough airflow for cooling in the lazarette?
__________________
Healer52 / Lisa, Rick and Angel the Salty Dog
Currently on the hard, looking for a boat
Healer52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2010, 07:57   #13
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,249
With the lid open I'd think so. I guess that should be the first question I ask them...and the final determining factor on weather I keep it or sell it.
__________________
off-the-grid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2010, 07:59   #14
Ram
Registered User
 
Ram's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cruising Greece
Boat: Cat in the med & Trawler in Florida
Posts: 2,298
Images: 27
Do I just store the thing until I really need it? Could be a few years. Like most mechanical things, may not like not being used.

My Bauer is not supposed to be stored unused and should be run once in a while- opp I have not run it in years and started it up 6 months ago and it worked like new - sooooooooo who knows
__________________
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2010, 08:54   #15
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,895
When cruising I would dive on my hull about once a month so I think you would use the compressor enough and probably make a few bucks filling other yacht’s tanks.

I will buy a new one, but not a high priority until I start cruising away from my base
__________________

__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Troubleshooting Compressors GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 8 30-06-2014 22:11
Dual Fridge Compressors Wessels Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 6 07-06-2010 05:30
Dive Compressors 2divers Fishing, Recreation & Fun 7 19-12-2008 12:24
Fridge compressors - EZ-KOLD chad.lawie Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 6 26-02-2008 19:52
Scuba compressors Borden Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 11-10-2005 09:13



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.