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Dearest Sailheads,

Anyone have experience with hookah systems?

A haul-out in my neck of the woods cost $500 so I'm thinking that a hookah system could easily pay for itself by drastically reducing the frequency with which I have to do them. After all, assuming my paint holds up I only have to go down there once a year to check my zincs and scrape off critters.

Thoughts?

Ed
 

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Dearest Sailheads,

Anyone have experience with hookah systems?

A haul-out in my neck of the woods cost $500 so I'm thinking that a hookah system could easily pay for itself by drastically reducing the frequency with which I have to do them. After all, assuming my paint holds up I only have to go down there once a year to check my zincs and scrape off critters.

Thoughts?

Ed
I bought a Hookah Max system a number of years ago. It works well with my Honda 2000 generator. Don't use it often but, comes in handy for cleaning the bottom or if you have dropped something overboard at anchor. Takes up less storage and is much lighter than a dive tank.
 

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have you considered hiring a diver... or paying for a lift up in the slings, power wash and splash? That can't be terribly expensive.

I hired a diver to clean the bottom he'll do it before I take a few week cruise so the bottom is faster. What is bad is when you let it go too far. Paint can do two seasons.

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If the painting is in the ranger of $1,500 and it last 2 seasons paying a diver could extend it 3 seasons .... maybe
 

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I purchased a Sea Breathe 'deck snorkel' about 7 years ago, and it has been fantastic for us, saving us thousands of dollars. It operates on 12 VDC so there is no possibility of the exhaust from a generator contaminating the air (absolutely the most dangerous risk when operating any sort of dive air compressor or hookah rig) and it can even be operated in the dinghy with a battery for fun diving away from the boat. We have not needed to, but being 12 VDC electric, it could be used in even the most inclement weather offshore to do underwater repairs, keeping the compressor unit in the shelter of the dodger/cockpit.
It's a bit more expensive than most other similar units on the market, but as a professional divemaster, I have never been one to skimp on my compressors or dive equipment.
 
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Dearest Sailheads,



Anyone have experience with hookah systems?



A haul-out in my neck of the woods cost $500 so I'm thinking that a hookah system could easily pay for itself by drastically reducing the frequency with which I have to do them. After all, assuming my paint holds up I only have to go down there once a year to check my zincs and scrape off critters.



Thoughts?



Ed
I am thinking the same thing. With my old boat I was able to change my zinc and clean my prop while breathing through a snorkel. I would also scrub my bottom and keel by snorkel, but it was quite tiring. Now that we have a much larger boat, I wont be able to do that anymore.

The decision I need to make is power source, and size. To me electric is best. I dont want to deal with a small gas engine that is noisy and polluting. 115v would be ok if all I want to do is maintenance work at the dock, but if I am going to fork out the money for a Hookah, I think I would like to use it for recreational purposes too, so a 12v unit would add portability.

And then there is the size. The most cost effective unit is a single diver deck unit, but if I am going to use it to explore a reef, it would be more fun to explore it with my wife or a friend. (Its always a good idea to have a buddy, even if you are tethered to the boat!) So a 2 diver model would be better.

The next dilemma I face is portability. Around here the reefs I snorkel on are not right next to the boat, which will likely be anchored or docked in much deeper water, so diving within 40ft of the mothership will be very limiting. I could take a 12v deck unit and a battery in the dinghy, and just anchor the dinghy in the area I want to explore.

Or I can buy this unit:
https://www.seabreathe.com/products/two-diver-float-unit

This looks like a very nice piece of equipment, unfortunately the price is pretty steep!

I am tempted to design and build my own system....

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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And then there is the size. The most cost effective unit is a single diver deck unit, but if I am going to use it to explore a reef, it would be more fun to explore it with my wife or a friend. (Its always a good idea to have a buddy, even if you are tethered to the boat!) So a 2 diver model would be better.

Or I can buy this unit:
https://www.seabreathe.com/products/two-diver-float-unit

This looks like a very nice piece of equipment, unfortunately the price is pretty steep!

I am tempted to design and build my own system....

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but I purchased my Sea Breathe deck snorkel before I met my sailing partner, at a time when I never expected to do anything but sail alone for the rest of my life. So yes, go with the double unit if you have someone to dive with.
As for building your own, if you are not a certified diver there are a lot of very important things you would need to know to build a safe unit. For instance, the compressor can not use fossil based lubrication, which would be toxic if it entered the air supply. You certainly wouldn't want a motor that could possibly heat up enough to introduce toxic additions to your air.
The quality of the fittings and the storage container are also things to consider if longevity is of interest to you. I had all the qualifications and knowledge to build my own unit but instead used them to pick what I thought would be the safest and longest lasting commercially produced rig. After all, you will be saving a considerable amount of money in the long run so the initial cost would be returned many times over, just a bit more slowly if you purchased a commercially produced rig.
 

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Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but I purchased my Sea Breathe deck snorkel before I met my sailing partner, at a time when I never expected to do anything but sail alone for the rest of my life. So yes, go with the double unit if you have someone to dive with.

As for building your own, if you are not a certified diver there are a lot of very important things you would need to know to build a safe unit. For instance, the compressor can not use fossil based lubrication, which would be toxic if it entered the air supply. You certainly wouldn't want a motor that could possibly heat up enough to introduce toxic additions to your air.

The quality of the fittings and the storage container are also things to consider if longevity is of interest to you. I had all the qualifications and knowledge to build my own unit but instead used them to pick what I thought would be the safest and longest lasting commercially produced rig. After all, you will be saving a considerable amount of money in the long run so the initial cost would be returned many times over, just a bit more slowly if you purchased a commercially produced rig.
Yes, you are probably right. While I have the technical skills and research skills to source the appropriate components, it would be time consuming, and potentially still quite expensive.

Capta, as an experienced diver do you feel that the components used on the Seabreathe rig are sufficiently high quality to warrant the high prices they are asking?
It is really hard to tell from the photos they use on their website, and I havent found any retailers locally that sell them. I was hoping I might find some hookahs at the boat show, but there were none!

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Capta, as an experienced diver do you feel that the components used on the Seabreathe rig are sufficiently high quality to warrant the high prices they are asking?
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Honestly, though the connections on the hoses and the hoses themselves are, as I said around 7 years old and well used, there has been no deterioration on any of them, probably not.
The heavy-duty sealed box seems to have kept the compressor well, as there is no corrosion on it or any of the electrical connections. I did put a heavy duty plug on the cord and install its receptacle in the cockpit, but other than that it is stock. We rinse any parts that come in contact with seawater very well after use, but I have had to do no maintenance on it at all. It comes with plugs for the air intake and outlet on the compressor and the hose ends and I use them religiously when the unit is not in use.
I think it is nice to have a single source for parts should the need arise, as I am down here way south of civilization. I'm perfectly happy with my unit and would only change the choice for a single hose setup instead of double.
 

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You do not need to dive to scrape your bottom. I use an eight inch flexible stainless steel scraper mounted on an 8 ft pole. Working entirely from the surface in mask snorkel and flippers I can clean my bottom in one hour. I am an old fart with a 44 ft monohull so have a rest after doing one side.

I get the hull 99% clean and the prop about 80%.

While I CAN fit a new shaft anode I do pay a diver to do this every year if required. But I usually haul every year.

TOP TIP Mount the scraper at a slight angle say 20 degrees so you can flip it over to do the curves.
 

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You do not need to dive to scrape your bottom. I use an eight inch flexible stainless steel scraper mounted on an 8 ft pole. Working entirely from the surface in mask snorkel and flippers I can clean my bottom in one hour. I am an old fart with a 44 ft monohull so have a rest after doing one side.



I get the hull 99% clean and the prop about 80%.



While I CAN fit a new shaft anode I do pay a diver to do this every year if required. But I usually haul every year.



TOP TIP Mount the scraper at a slight angle say 20 degrees so you can flip it over to do the curves.
I have never used a scraper on my hull, and probably never will. I am not sure how you can reach the entire hull and effectively clean it from the surface, and what about the keel?

I have used a mask and snorkel to clean the bottom of my 30 footer for years, and it definitely required many dives to do it properly.

Cleaning and inspecting the prop, prop shaft, strut on my new boat will also take multiple dives, and every five I can hold my breath for a shorter time. It is quite exhausting.

A hookah is the perfect solution for bottom maintenance imho.

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A toilet paper tube, taped up on one end, with a thumb size hole poked in the side, with a piece of tin foil pushed into it, to form the bowl, works really well, and costs nothing.
I did just as you suggested, but as soon as my wife got it in the water to begin cleaning the bottom, it disintegrated. Any other ideas?
 

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I did just as you suggested, but as soon as my wife got it in the water to begin cleaning the bottom, it disintegrated. Any other ideas?
Lol! The worst part is that your stash gets wet!

I always found a beer can with a dent pushed in the side with little holes poked in it works better, and is more readily available at parties!

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Lol! The worst part is that your stash gets wet!

I always found a beer can with a dent pushed in the side with little holes poked in it works better, and is more readily available at parties!

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Stash? I thought we were discussing bottom cleaning. I'll get her to try the beer can tomorrow. Sounds like it will work better in the water, but what's with the little holes. I should think you'd need bigger holes if you were tying it to your wrist in case you dropped it?
 

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I have never used a scraper on my hull, and probably never will. I am not sure how you can reach the entire hull and effectively clean it from the surface, and what about the keel?

I have used a mask and snorkel to clean the bottom of my 30 footer for years, and it definitely required many dives to do it properly.

Cleaning and inspecting the prop, prop shaft, strut on my new boat will also take multiple dives, and every five I can hold my breath for a shorter time. It is quite exhausting.

A hookah is the perfect solution for bottom maintenance imho.

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I sail in the Eastern Caribbean, the fouling in some places is extreme, regular barnacles, goose barnacles soft and hard corals sea squirts and anemones, none of which will be moved by a sponge or scrubbing pad.

In my post I say quite clearly, you do not need to dive if You do as I suggest and mount the scraper ON AN EIGHT FOOT POLE. I can clean my badly fouled 44 ft mono including the keel in about an hour working entirely FROM THE SURFACE. This despite being a creaky old fart. I get 99% of the fouling off the hull and maybe 80% off the prop.

I have been doing it this way for 10 years and there is the odd scratch in antifouling but no hull gouges. Round off the sharp corners of the scraper with a few strokes of a file.
 

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I sail in the Eastern Caribbean, the fouling in some places is extreme, regular barnacles, goose barnacles soft and hard corals sea squirts and anemones, none of which will be moved by a sponge or scrubbing pad.



In my post I say quite clearly, you do not need to dive if You do as I suggest and mount the scraper ON AN EIGHT FOOT POLE. I can clean my badly fouled 44 ft mono including the keel in about an hour working entirely FROM THE SURFACE. This despite being a creaky old fart. I get 99% of the fouling off the hull and maybe 80% off the prop.



I have been doing it this way for 10 years and there is the odd scratch in antifouling but no hull gouges. Round off the sharp corners of the scraper with a few strokes of a file.
In my world if I am having to scrape hard stuff off my hull it means it is time for new bottom paint. When I clean my hull it is to get the coat of slime that builds up off with a green scrubbing pad. The only scraping I usually have to do is the bottom of the keel where you cant get a good coat of antifouling when the boat is on the hard resting on the keel. My old boat had a 10' beam and 6.5ft draft. Often times you cant even see the keel from the surface let alone clean it properly. The other place I had to scrape was the prop and prop shaft. The prop was folding, and growth got into the gears and caused it to not open or close properly. This meant getting up close and personal. The old boat had a very narrow IOR stern so I could do this maintenance from the surface while breathing. Same went for changing the zinc. I also regularly check my through hull openings for growth which requires getting up close to inspect and dig any critters out. Not to mention checking instrument transducers.
My new boat has a 13ft beam and 7ft draft, so performing the same type of maintenance will be more challenging. My prop is not accessible from the surface so diving is the only option. I cant hold my breath long enough to change a zinc. I would rather put the money into the equipment to do these things for myself rather than paying someone else to do it for me.
Maintaining and inspecting all underwater aspects of my boat myself allows me to reduce the number of haul outs I need to do. Given that even a quick haul and splash can cost me $600, it wont take long for a hookah to pay for itself. It also comes with the added bonus of being able to retrieve lost items, and even just exploring reef areas that are too deep for snorkeling.

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I did just as you suggested, but as soon as my wife got it in the water to begin cleaning the bottom, it disintegrated. Any other ideas?
Oh, no, no, no. You can't take a TP cardboard roll hookah in the water. It's to help you get in the mood for doing unpleasant tasks. And, if it's come to the point where your wife is having to clean your bottom, she's going to need this.
 

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Oh, no, no, no. You can't take a TP cardboard roll hookah in the water. It's to help you get in the mood for doing unpleasant tasks. And, if it's come to the point where your wife is having to clean your bottom, she's going to need this.
I'm with you! I think maybe the double meaning of the word Hookah is lost on Capta.

Although I actually enjoy diving the bottom, and would enjoy it even more with a hookah system. A small hit of Sativa would just motivate me to do a better job!

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Oh, no, no, no. You can't take a TP cardboard roll hookah in the water. It's to help you get in the mood for doing unpleasant tasks. And, if it's come to the point where your wife is having to clean your bottom, she's going to need this.
Oh, no, no, no, back. My wife does not clean my bottom, just the boat's. Boy, this thread is sure heading off on a strange tangent.
 

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I'm with you! I think maybe the double meaning of the word Hookah is lost on Capta.

Although I actually enjoy diving the bottom, and would enjoy it even more with a hookah system. A small hit of Sativa would just motivate me to do a better job!

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I think Capta knows what he's doin'. I think he's just messin' with us. I think it's possible that he has burned some herb in his day, some time in the past
 
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