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post #37 of Old 08-01-2018
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Re: beathing apparatus for or bottom maintenaince

Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
I was going to suggest just renting a tank and scuba gear, and forget the hookah stuff. .
I've carried tanks and even compressors on sailboats and IMO they are more trouble than they are worth, especially for bottom cleaning. Tanks are hard to store, ding varnish and chip glass and need to be inspected periodically and certified, while compressors require quite a bit of maintenance and attention. If you don't have a compressor, then finding clean air can be a problem far from civilization. Renting tanks and transporting them back to the boat is just plain a PITA in many places (it's not like we have a car and taxis can be expensive). If you misplace your certification card, have fun trying to get your tanks filled!
Our electric hookah rig comes in a plastic box about the size of a 6 piece toaster. Obviously, the hoses take up a bit of space but take up no more space than a BC w/ regulator. We can achieve neutral buoyancy just fine with a couple of weights, which are considerably cheaper than a BC.
On a sunny day, we make more power than the hookah rig consumes, so it is basically free to operate, but even on a cloudy day, the 15 or so amps it consumes is not a problem to a 500+ amp battery bank. Mostly, we clean the bottom in around 15' of water on a sand bottom, so dropping things isn't much of a problem, and more often than not we have a fishy posse to encourage the removal of the growth on the bottom.
Like the OP, I no longer consider SCUBA diving to be something I am physically fit to do, so the hookah rig is the perfect compromise all the way around. I've done my time below 3 atmospheres, had a ball and now it is time to put my PADI divemaster's certification to rest.

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