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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I've recently become a member because I read a thread on Hookahs here, so wanted to get involved in the community. I am interested in the concept of a Hookah for diving in shallower waters. In all the posts and threads I've read here, there is little mention of which is a better technology for powering a Hookah and why.

I see that the gas engine could run longer than the 12V DC power, but other than that is there any good reasons for getting one over the other.

I agree that if one is not a certified scuba diver, they should at least take classes so they know what they're in for using a Hookah. So this debate is moot in my case. I will get instruction.

Can anyone add to the debate of gas vs 12V DC or point me in a direction where I can do further research? I would really like to hear from those who use the Hookah and why they chose what they use now.

Any help is appreciated.. Thanks,

Dennis
 

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Dlt,

For us, it was a matter of safety as we were cruising.

We would NOT store a gas powered device below deck (in the cabin), even if all the fuel was used. It still has fumes that could make for a very bad day! Just like our outboard that lives on the stern rail.

The electric is stored in our aft cabin and is about the size of a large tool box. We carry one or two 30 Ah AGM batteries for it. Each lasts about 30 min for the two of us. We pop the gear and batteries in our dink for use.

When cleaning the hull, we just connect to the house batteries and have almost unlimited time.

I also think our unit is smaller than a gas powered unit, it does not have a floating collar so is smaller. an important aspect for our boat.

Greg
 

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Gasoline will give you more power and longer run times in less space and weight. That's the pro side of it.

Gasoline is also supposed to explode, which can be a concern on sailboats if it explodes someplace besides inside the engine cylinders. And gasoline combustion, even in the right place, always produces large amounts of carbon monoxide, which can kill people very easily. If there's any carbon monoxide source near the air intake of the hookah...ooops. As the Mad Hatter said, "It was the very best of butter." So some folks would argue that a CO source just doesn't belong anywhere near an air supply source.

And a gasoline engine will require some routine maintenance, i.e. oil, that an electric simply will never require.

But a jerry can of gasoline will give you much more power than a jerry can of electricity will. Whichever one suits your boat and budget.
 

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There is another alternative. A number of years ago I converted to electric propulsion and have a Honda 2000 generator on board for battery charging of the propulsion bank while at anchor. I also use it to power a 120 volt Hookah compressor for cleaning the bottom and prop. Both the generator and hookah compressor stay on deck so travel from the boat is limited. But, it works very well.
 

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Anytime you have an internal combustion engine running around a dive compressor, you have the potential for catastrophe. Obviously, with a 12 volt unit that is not a problem, if you have the battery power to operate the unit. With solar and windgen charging, there is no reason to run an internal combustion engine when using a 12 volt hooka rig around the mother ship. Putting a couple of batteries in the dink as Delezynski suggests, is a viable way to go mess about, off the boat.
Unless you have a specific need for a hooka rig that can run for hours away from your boat, you are probably much better off with a 12 volt unit than a gas driven one. We have a "Deck Snorkel" and love it for it's convenience, quietness and size. One of the best investments I've ever made. Even at sea, should I need to go over the side to repair something, the compressor is in the cockpit, safe from spray, lines and people. You cannot do that with a gas powered unit!
 

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The Deck Snorkel is the same one we have and use. Got ours in 2003 and have used it all along the Pacific coats and the Sea of Cortez.

With the new one you get an inflatable accumulator. Nicer than our large yellow solid tank.



Greg
 

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Talking to the diver who just prepped my boat doing the zincs and getting rid of the slime I asked exactly the same question. He said
Get a tank.
One big one and one little.
If you don't have a certificate say you are using it for paintball.
You don't need a certificate to fill tanks. You can fill tanks most everywhere now.
Key thing is to remember to breath. You will be using the thing at 6-10' so don't get too excited.
Tank with regulator and even a long hose is still a couple of thousand cheaper than a good hookah.
Tank is easier to store safely or put in dinghy for exploring.
Then if you decide you're really into it blow the money on a hookah.
He thought for my boat given the way it's set up an electric made sense.
Third thing on the list after water maker and hydrovane.
 

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Talking to the diver who just prepped my boat doing the zincs and getting rid of the slime I asked exactly the same question. He said
Get a tank.
One big one and one little.
Tank is easier to store safely or put in dinghy for exploring.
Then if you decide you're really into it blow the money on a hookah.
He thought for my boat given the way it's set up an electric made sense.
Third thing on the list after water maker and hydrovane.
I actually used a tank first with Brownies Third Lung hose setup. I found the tank was very heavy to have on board. It was stowed low in the cockpit locker requiring moving a lot of stuff to get to it. Heavy to lift out of the locker too. Getting it refilled required additional logistics and additional expense. It also has to inspected by a dive shop from time to time even if it was hardly used. The small electric unit sits on a convenient shelf and is ready to go when needed. I find it much more convenient to use than the tank.
 

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No we were just chatting as he was putting stuff away. I am totally ignorant about this but totally intrigued by the idea. I have no wish to deep dive pick up lobsters or wreck dive. So mentioned this technology as I would like to do boat stuff and shallow diving. Above was just what I understood him to say. Please educate me further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dlt,

For us, it was a matter of safety as we were cruising.

We would NOT store a gas powered device below deck (in the cabin), even if all the fuel was used. It still has fumes that could make for a very bad day! Just like our outboard that lives on the stern rail.

The electric is stored in our aft cabin and is about the size of a large tool box. We carry one or two 30 Ah AGM batteries for it. Each lasts about 30 min for the two of us. We pop the gear and batteries in our dink for use.

When cleaning the hull, we just connect to the house batteries and have almost unlimited time.

I also think our unit is smaller than a gas powered unit, it does not have a floating collar so is smaller. an important aspect for our boat.

Greg
Greg, good point about the gas which I hadn't thought of... You're right, you would have to store gas to run it. Ummmm..

Thanks for responding.
Dennis
 

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No we were just chatting as he was putting stuff away. I am totally ignorant about this but totally intrigued by the idea. I have no wish to deep dive pick up lobsters or wreck dive. So mentioned this technology as I would like to do boat stuff and shallow diving. Above was just what I understood him to say. Please educate me further.
I would be concerned about air quality from anything other than a dive facility (and from anything other than a dive tank, for that matter).

I'm not an expert either, but I am a certified diver and I also used to breath 100% O2 in an aircraft, using an oxygen mask. When we have these discussions I get the feeling that some people think that breathing from a questionable source is like, say, catching a whiff of diesel fumes from a bus. In my opinion it's more akin to huffing from an aerosol can, which turns out OK for a lot of people but also kills several people in the U.S. each year. When you're underwater, that breathing system is all you have. Whatever is in it goes directly into your lungs and possibly into your blood. Trace amount of oil, solvents, corrosive residues, etc. There is no holding your breath until the bus pulls away from the curb.
 

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My wife and I are both certified divers. BUT, the space for our 2 diver hooka is half of what dive gear would take up.

Also, once you use the tank, you are now carrying and empty tank and can not dive again until you get it filled. At times, not all that easy. If anything happens after that tank is used up, what do you do?

Greg
 

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My wife and I are both certified divers. BUT, the space for our 2 diver hooka is half of what dive gear would take up.

Also, once you use the tank, you are now carrying and empty tank and can not dive again until you get it filled. At times, not all that easy. If anything happens after that tank is used up, what do you do?

Greg
Not sure if that was meant for me, but I should correct myself anyway. I didn't mean to say only a dive tank, but only a dive tank or other air supply properly designed for underwater breathing.
 

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Not sure if that was meant for me, but I should correct myself anyway. I didn't mean to say only a tank, but only a tank or other air supply properly designed for underwater breathing.
I agree completely! Compressed gas breathing (compressed air, OR mixed gas) can be very dangerous if not properly trained. I see to many people take it very lightly.

I got my first (of many) certifications in 1968 when I was in the US Navy. I have seen a lot of mistakes made over the year. Most made it OK, some not so much. :(

Greg
 

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Talking to the diver who just prepped my boat doing the zincs and getting rid of the slime I asked exactly the same question. He said Get a tank.
When I was younger I used to tank dive. After one season I gave it up. The tanks are heavy and I was lucky to get 25 minutes of downtime on them before they needed a refill. The dive boats have a compressor, you don't, and you pay for re-fills even on the dive boat. The diving regulators are usually more expensive than their hookah counterparts as you need two stages to get the correct breathing pressures from a high pressure tank.

Went back to free diving.

I now use an electric hookah for bottom cleaning my 37 foot sailboat. Love it but it only has a 50 foot hose so I won't be using it for spear fishing or exploring.
 
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