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Old 16-03-2011, 05:48   #1
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Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

I am looking at purchasing a hookah for shallow diving. (max 12m)

I like the idea of the floating type that I can either tow or leave in the dingy and I also like the idea of a 12v battery model so I can have a spare battery charging on solar power while I am out diving.

I realize the petrol driven models are far superior, but they also have draw backs and are a lot more expensive. (heavy, corrosion, filters, petrol, fumes etc)

Does anyone have firsthand experience with a Power snorkel ???
(by Power dive)




I would like to know how well they work, ease of breathing (one or two people), reliability, if they are prone to overheating, how long the battery lasts, if they are convenient or too big and heavy, value for money, if you have to stop and let them cool down every 20 minutes, how long the diaphragm & motor lasts, life span of the battery etc etc
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Old 16-03-2011, 07:59   #2
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Re: Power snorkel 12v electric floating hookah

I have never used one, but judging from the picture in your post, it looks very cheaply made, almost like a toy. And the price (almost $3000) is completely outrageous. I'd keep looking.
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:05   #3
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Re: Power snorkel 12v electric floating hookah

Sorry for the thread drift, but this question is also on my mind, and it strikes that fastbttms will be the guy with the answers.

Is a hookah a decent solution for those of us who need to peek under the waterline from time to time? And maybe for casual play underwater in the anchorage?

Or would we be better off learning some basic diving skills and buying a rudimentary dive bottle, regulator, etc.?
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:18   #4
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Re: Power snorkel 12v electric floating hookah

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Is a hookah a decent solution for those of us who need to peek under the waterline from time to time? And maybe for casual play underwater in the anchorage?
They are excellent for these uses. They're small, lightweight and easily portable. Perfect for use on a boat. Tanks are large and heavy, require refilling and potentially dangerous if damaged.

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Or would we be better off learning some basic diving skills and buying a rudimentary dive bottle, regulator, etc.?
Regardless of how you supply your air, if you are going to breath compressed air underwater, you should take a scuba course first.
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:25   #5
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

OK, great. There is a wide choice of these, and many much cheaper than the one mentioned by the OP. For example this looks pretty robust:

Hookamax Dive Systems

An entire 12v kit including the float is less than a grand.

Unfortunately I can only supply 230 volts AC or 24 volts DC on my boat -- these are made only in 120 volts or 12 volts!
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:35   #6
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

1) You shouldn't be diving until you've taken a proper course. My doctor (of all people) got really into scuba on a vacation and never took a class. She loved it right up until she almost died, and now she's scared to death to go back in the water. She told me the story of what happened and the dive violated about ten "never break these rules" conditions that she would have known if she was trained properly.

that being said, and apologies if that's a little curt ...

2) A tank lasts *a long time* if you just stay at the surface with it or go down 10' or whatever. For the occasional anchor checks, hull cleanings, and zincs, a tank can last you a month or more.

I just got back from lobster diving for an hour or so in 8-12' of water and went from 3000-2000 pounds. Checking an anchor would take ~5 minutes, so do the math from there. For cleaning the bottom you can do a lot of it with a snorkel but especially for zincs and anything you need to concentrate on, I use my regulator.
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:37   #7
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

God, and I could also clean my own bottom. This starts to sound even economical.
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:48   #8
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

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God, and I could also clean my own bottom. This starts to sound even economical.
There are some reputable people doing bottom diving, but there are a lot of idiots who overcharge and replace zincs whether they need to be or not. It costs about ~$40/month around here to have a regular monthly bottom diver. The water is warm enough and there's enough sunshine that growth is pretty quick.

For the ~$500 that a PADI class will cost plus some of the required gear, you'll pay for it within a year. If you buy your own full scuba equipment (I went really basic / inexpensive), the payoff might be two or three years.

But you know the job is done right and at least for me I got a lot more confidence knowing the bottom of the boat, knowing first hand what the thru-hulls looked like, the prop, zinc wear, grounding damage, etc.

Diving the anchor is a great way to sleep good at night and I've probably found at least a couple of hundred bucks worth of stuff on the bottom that I've been able to use or sell.
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Old 16-03-2011, 08:53   #9
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, great. There is a wide choice of these, and many much cheaper than the one mentioned by the OP. For example this looks pretty robust:

Hookamax Dive Systems

An entire 12v kit including the float is less than a grand.

Unfortunately I can only supply 230 volts AC or 24 volts DC on my boat -- these are made only in 120 volts or 12 volts!
There are two brands of hookahs I would stay away from- Hookamax and Gulfstream. Both widely available on craigslist and eBay, both based on bottom-of-the-line, hardware store compressors. Both manufacturers trying to convince you that their gear is purpose-built for the job and of the highest quality. Neither is true. In addition, you could build your own using identical components for much, much less. If you want to buy a recreational-level hookah I suggest you look at Super Snorkel or Brownie's:

Model SS-E

http://www.browniedive.com/electric-diving-systems

I am not sure you are going to find an electric hookah anywhere that runs on 230v AC.
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Old 16-03-2011, 10:33   #10
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

How about Octopumps... OCTOPUMPS HOOKAHS

Anyone have experience with them? They use a Honda commercial engine on one of their models--that's good--but they don't say much about what kind of air compressor they use.
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Old 16-03-2011, 10:49   #11
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
There are some reputable people doing bottom diving, but there are a lot of idiots who overcharge and replace zincs whether they need to be or not. It costs about ~$40/month around here to have a regular monthly bottom diver. The water is warm enough and there's enough sunshine that growth is pretty quick.

For the ~$500 that a PADI class will cost plus some of the required gear, you'll pay for it within a year. If you buy your own full scuba equipment (I went really basic / inexpensive), the payoff might be two or three years.

But you know the job is done right and at least for me I got a lot more confidence knowing the bottom of the boat, knowing first hand what the thru-hulls looked like, the prop, zinc wear, grounding damage, etc.

Diving the anchor is a great way to sleep good at night and I've probably found at least a couple of hundred bucks worth of stuff on the bottom that I've been able to use or sell.
I love it. I pay about $500 for a lift and scrub every four months, and I never know whether there will still be an anode at the end of the prop.

So if I can eliminate even one of those a year (water is too cold here to do it other than in the summer), plus have a cleaner bottom during the intense sailing season, plus be more sure about the condition of anodes and prop, it will be way more than worth it.

I've now spent a couple of hours researching it and consulting with one of our forumites who happens to be an avid diver, and I think I've come around to the idea that regular, modest, used scuba gear is probably the way to go -- not so bulky and more versatile than a hookah. The acquisition cost is much less than a good hookah and it only costs 3 pounds to fill a scuba bottle in the UK.

And there's a PADI training center literally across the street from my marina!
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Old 16-03-2011, 11:03   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n
How about Octopumps... OCTOPUMPS HOOKAHS

Anyone have experience with them? They use a Honda commercial engine on one of their models--that's good--but they don't say much about what kind of air compressor they use.
Maybe I'm nitpicking, but the web site has misspellings that bug me. Plus, they call their compressors, "pumps". They are not pumps. I find this very unprofessional and annoying. But maybe the biggest red flag is the photos of their breathing hose. Looks to be orange in color and if this is the case, it is probably not Grade E greeting hose but rather pneumatic tool hose, which is unsuitable for use in a hookah rig. I wouldn't even consider buying an Octopump until I knew where that breathing hose came from.
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Old 16-03-2011, 12:58   #13
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

I've got several thousand hours on a hookah and I would never hump tanks again.
Get a basic scuba course and to save money, and get a quality unit, consider building your own hookah, if you're handi. It's a whole lot eaiser than building a water maker.

Kenny
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Old 16-03-2011, 13:20   #14
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

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I love it. I pay about $500 for a lift and scrub every four months, and I never know whether there will still be an anode at the end of the prop.

So if I can eliminate even one of those a year (water is too cold here to do it other than in the summer), plus have a cleaner bottom during the intense sailing season, plus be more sure about the condition of anodes and prop, it will be way more than worth it.

I've now spent a couple of hours researching it and consulting with one of our forumites who happens to be an avid diver, and I think I've come around to the idea that regular, modest, used scuba gear is probably the way to go -- not so bulky and more versatile than a hookah. The acquisition cost is much less than a good hookah and it only costs 3 pounds to fill a scuba bottle in the UK.

And there's a PADI training center literally across the street from my marina!
What do you mean, too cold, I did my first ice dive on the Hamble at night to repair a hull seam. I was in a 5mm semi dry suit, it was cold but I was only in for 10 minutes.
Be aware the harbour master can get a bit upset about diving, even tried to tell me it wasn't allowed, but there is no bye law against it.
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Old 16-03-2011, 13:31   #15
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Re: Power Snorkel 12vdc Electric Floating Hookah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, great. There is a wide choice of these, and many much cheaper than the one mentioned by the OP. For example this looks pretty robust:

Hookamax Dive Systems

An entire 12v kit including the float is less than a grand.

Unfortunately I can only supply 230 volts AC or 24 volts DC on my boat -- these are made only in 120 volts or 12 volts!
I would say that the woman in the picture for the 12V system has larger tanks...it makes the system look cheap
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