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Old 02-09-2013, 16:52   #31
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Re: Dive hookahs

I carry an aluminum 80. It's there for maintenance and emergencies, not sport diving. Changing zincs 6' under the water (and 6' inboard of the beam) is beyond stupid to try without supplied air of some type.

Likewise, clearing fouled lines on the prop in the dark with just a mask and snorkel is hard as hell and the last time I tried I was in the best shape of my life clocking a 1:36 half marathon time. Unfouling an anchor at depth? Screw that with a hookah.

Hard to imagine how a hookah with all of its hoses, not to mention the maintenance, is easier to carry around then a regulator, single tank, and compact bc.
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Old 02-09-2013, 16:54   #32
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Re: Dive hookahs

Regarding the cost of a diving course, it's worth the money if you're going to be going underwater using supplied or compressed air. Terrible place to skimp on a few hundred bucks.
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Old 02-09-2013, 16:58   #33
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Re: Dive hookahs

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
You may be dating yourself here. Most certification agencies discontinued the old "blow and go" training exercises decades ago because they were inherently unsafe, even when supervised by an instructor.
.
I have to wonder how much of the 'discontinue' was caused by the exercise being unsafe and how much was caused by fear of litigation...

We completed many emergency assents of this type in my training, starting with a ~40' one in my Open Water I course. Never saw a person have a problem as the instructor took their time and built up to it. This wasn't a 5 day abbreviated course though either.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:08   #34
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Re: Dive hookahs

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I have to wonder how much of the 'discontinue' was caused by the exercise being unsafe and how much was caused by fear of litigation...

We completed many emergency assents of this type in my training, starting with a ~40' one in my Open Water I course. Never saw a person have a problem as the instructor took their time and built up to it. This wasn't a 5 day abbreviated course though either.
I'm a padi divemaster and unless they changed the course material for open water (in the last year) we basically have the students do a CESA (controlled emergency swimming ascent) from a depth of 20-30 feet. There are different ways of doing it, but we would have people keep their regulators in their mouths but blow bubbles the entire time as they went up.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:25   #35
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Re: Dive hookahs

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Hard to imagine how a hookah with all of its hoses, not to mention the maintenance, is easier to carry around then a regulator, single tank, and compact bc.
Are you kidding? An electric hookah is far and away simpler, smaller and more lightweight than any SCUBA setup. Maintenance? What maintenance? Rebuild the compressor after a few thousand hours of use, maybe.

Here's what I use:



It's all of maybe 12" long by 9" high. Weighs 26 lbs. 50' of air hose and a 2nd stage reg, and you're good to go. No running out of air, no air refills, no high pressure tanks to worry about, no BC, no octopus, no 1st stage reg etc., etc., etc.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:32   #36
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Re: Dive hookahs

Still not seeing it. A dive tank is 12" longer roughly the same width, and can be happily stored on the rails, transom, bottom of a locker with crap all over it and spray, etc.

Fouled anchor in 50' of water... that hookah better be able to smoke pot for all the good it will do you. Muscling an anchor around while the regulator is getting ripped out of your mouth, to say nothing about descending around an anchor chain with a hose tethering you.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:35   #37
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Re: Dive hookahs

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Fouled anchor in 70' of water... that hookah better be able to smoke pot for all the good it will do you.
Likewise your 80cf AL bottle when you're out in the middle of nowhere and out of air.
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Old 02-09-2013, 17:44   #38
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Re: Dive hookahs

Hiya Rebel! ++

I second your advice! Just lay on the table your professional opinion and experiences, then leave it at that. No point in convincing anyone! Going into great details about why one should/shouldn't do something is a waste of time.

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Old 02-09-2013, 17:59   #39
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Re: Dive hookahs

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Hiya Rebel! ++

I second your advice! Just lay on the table your professional opinion and experiences, then leave it at that. No point in convincing anyone! Going into great details about why one should/shouldn't do something is a waste of time.

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Wow. No vitriol there.

Let's face it- both systems have advantages and drawbacks. As with everything related to boating, either is a compromise.
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Old 02-09-2013, 18:03   #40
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Re: Dive hookahs

Years ago before I met her, my partner went to a luncheon with several executives from Alcoa who were interviewing a couple of young engineers just graduating from university. As they finished ordering lunch in a very high end restaurant in Perth, Australia, one of the exec's making small talk, asked one of prospective employees,...'so, David, what did you do on the weekend'? He replied straight faced,... 'oh, I went down on a hookah'. You could have heard a pin drop! Never forgot that! Phil
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Old 02-09-2013, 18:06   #41
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Re: Dive hookahs

I guess my primary love for tanks is because that's what I know, it's what I dive with, and if the **** hits the fan I know what to do. I've cleared snags, used my alternate regulator, let a buddy use the alternate, have my buoyancy dialed in, etc.

Working on a bucking boat in a seaway is super dangerous and I would just really prefer to have the gear that I've spent the most time in with. I've had a line wrap on my prop and it's a real pain in the ass to clear. The poly line literally melted into a ball and wrenched the shaft zinc against the hull.

A pro-diver friend of mine who does welding on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico uses ship's supplied air and hardhats so tanks aren't for everyone and he's perfectly safe, but he also is a full professional and spends nearly as much time (or longer) in a decompression chamber as he does actually diving.
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Old 02-09-2013, 18:08   #42
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Re: Dive hookahs

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A pro-diver friend of mine who does welding on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico uses ship's supplied air and hardhats so tanks aren't for everyone and he's perfectly safe, but he also is a full professional and spends nearly as much time (or longer) in a decompression chamber as he does actually diving.
I think you'll find that most (if not all) hard hat divers will tell you that SCUBA is not appropriate for commercial dive operations.
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Old 02-09-2013, 19:45   #43
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Re: Dive hookahs

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Wow. No vitriol there.

Let's face it- both systems have advantages and drawbacks. As with everything related to boating, either is a compromise.
Is there really anything to add to that?

Especially from a guy who as more time underwater than many here do sailing?

It's not like he's making it up..and there's plenty of experience posting to confirm both have their advantages....having worked with professional divers for the last 35 years...and seeing all the rigs used...again...they all are appropriate for the individual and the job.
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Old 02-09-2013, 22:19   #44
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Well I guess both sides of this discussion will hate me lol


I carry a 12v airline system and a 15l tank with scuba gear.

The airline is for hull cleaning and any other work needed underwater and the tank is for the scallops and one day the crays.
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Old 02-09-2013, 23:08   #45
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Re: Dive hookahs

Wife and I dive with an Octopump hookah and 6cf pony bottles just in case. Yes we sometimes dive deep when conditions are good. By deep i mean 80+ and thats both of us at that depth. You must control your breathing while that deep or you will be working hard for each breath.The Octopump is a cheap knockoff of the airline or brownies systems but the heart of the system is the Honda GC160 and its very reliable. The pump not so much. Ive rebuilt it 3 times in 5 years and had one catastrophic compressor failure. Still all of the "your gona die comments make me chuckle". I will agree tho if you dont know what your doing its easier to get in trouble with a hookah. The biggest error I see people make when using the hookah is they are constantly turning around. If you keep turning in the same direction you are setting up the line to kink.. " ask me how I know . When we can afford it we plan on getting a Bauer JR compressor to fill tanks. Until that day tho we are sticking with the hookah. We just get to far away from civilazation to make constant runs back to civilazation for refills. There is one other advantage a deck mounted hookah has over scuba that hasnt been mentioned yet. Your attatched to the boat. Wont be getting swept to far away if the current increases. Many years ago mid 80s while diving off of Fowey rocks In Miami I surfaced only to find my boat a good mile away. Seems the anchor decided it wanted to take a break. Needless to say I had a long swim. Guess im fortuanate to have grown up surfing and spear fishing. In fact as kids we would freedive all day and cover many miles without ever coming ashore for a break, so the mile i had to swim was just a pita, not an automatic death sentance.
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