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  #1  
Old 07-28-2006
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Dive Gear for Boat

I threw this out on another unrelated thread, but was curious what other comments I could get.

I have always used traditional dive gear, but have considered a third lung (floats on a buoy with a compressor... you just have a regulator). Since space is always an issue on a sailboat, what does everyone use? Do you have a compressor on your boat? Has anyone used the third lung? Nitrox?

Very interested in thoughts, success stories, and concerns...

Thanks.
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Old 07-28-2006
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My experience with dive grear

I sailed on a 50’ Gulfstar Sailmaster with a dive system that consisted of a small Bauer dive compressor run with an electric motor. The boat had a 5 kw genset to run the compressor. It also had two 300 cubic foot 5000 psi cascade tanks. We carried about eight dive tanks. As I recall you could refill all the dive tanks in about an hour when the cascade system was full.

I have seen other boats with just the Bauer compressor and a couple of dive tanks. It takes about an hour to fill two tanks. This seemed to work fine for two or three divers.

I do not remember what a small Bauer dive compressor cost but you can look it up on their web site. Seems like it was 3 to 4 thousand dollars.
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Old 07-28-2006
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I think the size might be more of an issue than the money. 3rd Lungs are several thousand too. I will check out the site. Thanks Mike GC.
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Old 07-28-2006
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NickL,

Mostly shallow dives 30-40 feet. Have you ever used one of those third lungs? Someone talked about CO poisoning possibility off of them????? Thoughts? Looks nifty but I have not used one. I am not convinced it is or is not the way to go.

As far as the rebreathers, I am not certified for that. Have you used one? This too is heresay, but I have heard of a lot of people getting sick on those. Maybe they did not maintain the scrubbers? Other maintenance? I do not know. I have not used one. I cannot speak intelligently about them.

I have a genset and COULD mount a compressor right besdie it. I will probably just do that... but that Third Lung sure does look like fun. Of course, with my luck, I will have some jerk driving a sport fish flip the thing over while I was down there swimming with flipper. The surest way to have a Hatteras or Sea Ray buzz you is to stick a Diver Down flag up... ever notice that??

(Did not mean to offend any of you Sea Ray lovers... just bad experiences)
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Old 07-28-2006
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We considered a third lung and there are some real advantages to it but the tanks provide much greater mobility so we opted for them. In practice we did dive to 80-100 feet on several occasions.

Size is definitely an issue. A 50 foot boat has a lot of room and this one had a mid cockpit so there was an aft deck to work on. The dive tanks were stored on the aft rail. The compressor fit nicely in a deck box that we modified. We cut holes on both sides of the box and had the removable plates installed to allow ventilation for motor and compressor cooling. We also installed a manifold and gauges in the deck box to control the flow from the compressor and cascade tanks to the dive tanks. The deck box sat behind the cockpit. There were two high pressure connections on the deck that connected the manifold to the cascade tanks. The cascade tanks were installed horizontally in the lockers behind the back of the settees. When not filling tanks the electrical, and air hoses were disconnected, the plates put in the box and the whole thing was closed up and could be taken off the boat is necessary.

I am just beginning to consider a compressor for my boat a, 45 foot Morgan. It has only a fraction of the space of the Gulfstar. My thought is to get a motor driven compressor, put it in a deck box and mount it on the deck like a life raft box over the salon. My boat has aft cockpit so there is no aft deck to store tanks or work on. It will not be as convenient as the Gulfstar but I hope to get something workable.
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Mike GC,

Do you have a Genset? Could you fit a electric compressor in the lazarette and "plumb" to the transom for filling?? I guess that was my initial thought. Of course, once again, size may be an issue... not sure yet. But don't you have the room for that on the Morgan?
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... course, I am not sure you have a transom with a platform on the Morgan, do you? Come to think about it, I do not think you do. Still, you could do something similair in the cockpit. I am just trying to figure out what is the drawbacks of this design? benefits of a gas driven?
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Old 07-28-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
The surest way to have a Hatteras or Sea Ray buzz you is to stick a Diver Down flag up... ever notice that??

(Did not mean to offend any of you Sea Ray lovers... just bad experiences)
I think it's the curiousity factor, 'cause we have experienced that many times to.

"Hey honey look . . . some divers are in the water by that sailboat! Let's get closer & see if they speared a shark or something."

I have always been extremely careful about who fills my scuba tanks and if their filtration system is well maintained. It's very easy to get lung infections from bad air compressor equipment. That's a sure way to ruin your diving trip. For this reason, I've not been comfortable with a gasoline powered air compressor, floating in an inner tube, that sucks air just inches from the water's surface . . . and the engine exhaust. I also don't want my life to depend upon the integrity of a thin 70 foot plastic hose between it and me - deeply beneath the surface.

Additionally, there's the problem of how to store another gas powered engine, with an intergated fuel tank, on a sailboat. It's trouble enough keeping the dink motor outside and gas can outside of cabin and bilge spaces.

I'm sticking with my three AL80 tanks, regulator & BCD. They stow much easier and only need an annual visual check (VIP) for maintenance .
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TrueBlue,

I think you are totally wrong. You are assuming they know what a diver down flag is. I think it goes something like, "Er, hm, what was that? Man Billy, I think we just ran over something! Now who was stupiud enough to stick a crab trap out here in the middle of this reef? Maybe it was that boy being friendly over there and waiving at me. Better circle back around and get a closer look."

Thus, another diver fatality.

As far as the Third Lung, I am not advocating them, but I think everyone that is not at a safe depth carries a back-up. Looks like an oversized air-horn tank with a regulator on it.

I agree with having your tanks filled. You have to be careful. Course, you won't know until 70 feet down and this uncontrollable cough gets you... at least then you won't have to worry about that Great White anymore!

Maybe this all points back to carrying your own compressor? You can monitor your own filters, etc? Electric driven off of the Genny???
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Old 07-30-2006
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I am curious about this...It seems to me that most of the diving one would do is at anchor once a passage has been completed. There may be exceptions for the odd having to go overboard to clear the prop work, but for that a snorkel will work just fine. Additionally, literally everyplace I have been thru-out the world where someone just might want to dive...there are dive shops that will fill your tanks.

So this begs the question...why not take two or three FILLED tanks with you. When you get to that dive spot -go diving. As your tanks empty take them ashore to that dive shop and get them refilled for the next leg. You can get a whole lot of tank fills for the price of a compressor you have to feed gas to and probably will break down and run your batts down in the bargain.

I don't mean to sound rude, but this is a no brainer economics wise, especially given that in my experience people over-estimate the amount of times and duration they will spend diving once cruising. And as a bonus certified dive shops will have good air.
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