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Old 12-01-2006, 12:11   #1
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How much Diving do you Do?

I was wondering how often diving certified cruisers go diving for fun? or is is usually a '@!$%@ now I have to get the gear to fix/ retrieve X from the bottom' kind of thing?

Would you do more if you access to airfills?

Does anybody have a scuba compressor onboard that could tell me more about type, setup and maintence for their compressor.

I'm debating whether or not to get one when I get my boat, Besides the "it's another thing to fix and maintain" I love diving and averaged about a dive every 4 days last year ( classes mostly).
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Old 12-01-2006, 16:47   #2
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We charter usually one or two times per year in the Caribbean. We rent BCD's, weights & belt, and two tanks per person, and usually take possible dive sites into itinerary planning consideration. We also take where we can get tank fills into itinerary consideration.

Diving is not our main reason for going sailing, but it's a nice supplement. We love it.

Can't really speak to the onboard compressor question with any firsthand knowledge, but as easily available and low cost as "fills" are, I'd probably lean toward not dealing with the costs and hassles of my own compressor.
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Old 12-01-2006, 23:08   #3
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Not near as often as I would like, but or the past 10 years, I have mostly solo dived. For Christmas, I bought dive lessons for my wife. If she gets into it, we will probably go quite often.
When I started diving about 15 years ago, I did research diving, and would do extensive deep dives every couple of months, but since then, I just have too much else going on. A dive compressor would not effect how often I dive at all, as I can usually get my tanks filled for free, or even if I pay, most shops have deals. The real deal is not having people that I want to dive with, and diving in the same area all the time gets boring.
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Old 28-09-2006, 05:45   #4
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We dive several times a week, year round. After over 40 years messing with tanks, I have settled on the Brownie's Third Lung. Have lived in these little islands a year now, and am finding that more and more we dont even bother taking the hookah. Its illegal to grab lobster or conch with breathing apparatus, and those two critters (mostly conch) are the main reason we find ourselves in the water, so if its less than about 25-30 ft. we just free dive anyhow.
Use the hookah mostly for investigating ancient wreck sites, ballast piles, old ship's fireplace bricks, broken bottles from the 1700's etc. We did recover a 300 lb. admiraly anchor using a 17 ft. skiff and freediving. that was fun.
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Old 28-09-2006, 11:11   #5
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We got certified in bonaire at the beginning of our cruise. We did almost 35 dives in Bonaire and another 30 in various islands around the caribe and Venezuela.

All very large percentage of crusiers we met and know dive. So yes we dive alot and snorkle alot as well.

Our next additon will be a high pressure tank fill for the boat. We missed some great out island diving because we couldn't get refills on air.
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Old 28-09-2006, 18:03   #6
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My location no access to refills. For quite a number of years have had a Bauer 240v compressor in the house, at least 20 years old, never had a problem and she has been abused and neglected but still fills. For the boat have been looking at a Baur Junior11 or Brownie light duty to be run of a generator. Interested in what compressor or set up your thinking of installing.
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Old 28-09-2006, 23:44   #7
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We are installing a Brownie's YP35 next week. My wife and I love diving and researched the compressor quite a bit. The YP35 is a Bauer Junior II core (seems to be universally respected) but they do a lot to marinize the unit and automate the maintenance. The unit is not cheap and the operating cost is probably about the same (often more, sometimes less) than the cost of fills at a shop. The real benefit is the ability to dive in places where there’s no shop, and these remote places are where we're really looking forward to diving. We also like diving walls and find a lot of great stuff deeper than you can reasonably go with a hookah. It was an easy decision for us as we typically dive every third day when in the Caribbean. If you only dive occasionally I doubt the investment makes sense.
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Old 29-09-2006, 04:46   #8
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I would dive deeper than the 60 ft. our hookah easily accomodates, but my wife is new to diving. Never took a course, etc. And I dont want to be in a position to monitor her bottom time, surface interval, etc. Also I wouldnt want to be in a position of making decomp stops on a hookah, so the self limiting nature of it is, I think, good in many regards. Where its bad is that it would be entirely too easy to find something interesting at 50 or 60 ft. and spend an hour or two investigating it... Where else its bad is when the little gas engine suddenly stops. I had that happen once on the Brownies, and traced it to a water leak where the spark plug boot grips the cable.
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Old 29-09-2006, 05:47   #9
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Randy, can you give me some specifics on the compressor. Like you I like diving and I'm very interested in keeping one onboard the boat. What have they done to 'marinze it' and does it need to be kept below or can it be kept on deck in a deck box? Gas or electric? how long to fill an 80? what are the maintence costs on it so far, and how expensive was your unit?

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Old 29-09-2006, 19:16   #10
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Brownie's YP35

First and foremost, congratulations 2 Divers!!! Babies are natural swimmers you know so start 'em young...

Regarding the dive compressor, I have purchased it and we are going to survey the boat this Friday and start the install on Monday. Should be ready to go in 2 weeks.


I ordered the YP35 DF-M (which is a YP35 Dual Filter with Manifold [4 fill whips]). The unit is 36" x 16" x 18" and can be mounted just about anywhere. They have a base you can use to assemble the entire unit in a box frame or you can spread the parts out to be more space efficient below deck (the approach I'm taking). It weighs in at 145 lbs and fills an 80 in about 22 minutes. The dual filter is a bit more expensive than the single but the dual runs about $0.56 per fill and the single runs around $2.00 per fill.


Comparing this unit to the Bauer Junior II (which is a great rig) you will find that the Bauer is designed for multiple applications and easy carrying about, and the YP35 is designed for a boat install. Either could be used quite successfully anywhere (the Brownie uses the Bauer block) but they are each tuned for a particular purpose. Here are some feature bullets that caused me to select the more expensive YP35 for our catamaran:
  • Base and Frame: Stainless Steel, no paint; will not rust.
  • Fittings and Connectors: Stainless Steel.
  • Electric Motor: 3hp Totally Enclosed, Fan Cooled. Higher quality motor is sealed to the environment and is not a source of ignition.
  • Motor Control: Digital Frequency Drive Controller with lighted switch, hourmeter. Ramps-up electric motor to full speed, reducing demand on ship's electric circuits. (Can operate with a 5KW 220V Genset and up, without this gizmo you are going to need an electrical system most boats under 100' don't have)
  • Oil Drain: Easy-Access Oil Drain Plumbed to the front of the compressor. No need to move or lift to change oil. Cap secured on lanyard to prevent loss.
  • Condensate Drain System: Automatic Dual programmable timers for the most accurate and efficient drain cycles. Condensate plumbed into a convenient collection container for clean and easy handling. (having this automated is a key lifestyle advantage if you ask me, some compressors require you to clear condensate very often)
  • Auto Cut Off: Solid-State Pressure Switch Accurate to within 1 psi. Programmed to safely shut down the system when the target pressure is reached in the tank(s). Automated performance allows operator to attend to other tasks while tank(s) are being filled.
  • Filtration: Advanced Dual Tower System provides much more efficient filtration. Processing capacity is 15,000 cu ft @ 80F (approximately 230 tank fills between cartridge changes). Filtration cost per fill: $0.56
  • CO/Moisture Alert: Sightglass Standard.
  • Fill Assembly: 4-way tank manifold. All Kevlar reinforced hoses with stainless steel ends. 5000 psi working pressure. 10 ft main supply hose with quick-connect fitting. Highly polished manifold block. Stainless steel gauge, 0-5000 psi. 4 fill whips with independent control valves and standard scuba connections.
There are lots of good solutions out there, this one just happened to fit our needs best (read: "lowest maintenance"). I would avoid a gas powered system on a boat however. Gas is pretty evil stuff.
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Old 29-09-2006, 20:52   #11
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I am acutally looking at the aquagen. It is a combo dive compressor, dc gen set and RO. It has a kubota diesel and is a a componet setup.

I like the dive tanks for the flexiblity over the brownie setup, though they look interesting.

The reason is I want to have all of the systems without having multiple sets of diesels/electiric motors. Keeps the weight and maintance down. We carry a 12 volt DC sk watermaker but want more output. By having a como unit we will reduce the space and wieght requirements and expand our ability to dive in places you just can't go! It was also allow us to have an emergency pony tank always topped up.
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Old 30-09-2006, 06:32   #12
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Randy Thank you!!

<<The dual filter is a bit more expensive than the single but the dual runs about $0.56 per fill and the single runs around $2.00 per fill. >>

Smart Man!!!! it's always the maintence that eats you up in the long run. The initial Purchase price is usually such a small portion of the overall cost. I'm glad to see the 230 expected life time fills for a filter. I'll be very interested in hearing if you get close to that.

The only problem I have run across with Compressors is the extra cooling effort, not for the motor, but for the compressor itself. If you mount it below deck then make sure that it has an abundant supply of clean fresh COOL air to cool the compressor itself. If it's not cooled properly then the tanks get hot fills to start with and you have a shorter filter life (by as much as 50% in one case I've personally seen. However the on-deck issue means exposed to more salt spray, but in cooler air usually with a breeze. The other thing to watch out for is where your fresh air intake is... We improved the air quality by 50% in college by running ~100' of 4" PVC to outside the Gym as opposed to pulling air from the hallway ourside the aerobics and rowing machines. The CO2 PPM dropped tremendously which was not expected.
My dad was contemplating keeping his compressor in a lazzerette locker with an extension hose to get fresh air from about 6' above the deck. He never did get the compressor due to other reasons.

I'm contemplating a gas compressor partially because I'll have a gas outboard and if you have gas for one then having a little more is not much more dangerous. Read an articale about a family that had a small gas honda compressor that they would put in thier dingy on about a 200' painter while it was filling. But that would be a little rude.

Overall I really like your solution!!!! Please keep me posted as I will be very interested in hearing how well it works!

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Old 30-09-2006, 10:01   #13
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Cap Bil: The aquagen sounds pretty slick. A diesel DC genset/watermaker/dive comp is is a beautiful thing. We have a Newport 400 DC watermaker and a friend just warned me to upgrade the breaker from 30 amps to 40 amps!!

2D: Temperature is key. We plan to be in the tropics almost exclusively so the worst possible dive comp environment. Keeping the unit and air intake cool and clean will be very important. I'll let you know how we did after I've used my first tank or two.
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