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Discussion Starter #1
(a search of "scuba" both here and in the GD forum resulted in "0" matches, so forgive me in advance if the question/topic has already been discussed)

I would assume in the case of offshore passage making scuba skills would be a plus, but is it necessary?

Your thoughts?
 

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A plus, yes, necessary, no. If the boat is well founded, you should be able to snorkel and get to do most of what you need done. Scuba would be a plus, and make some things easier, like scraping the hull or cutting a line off the propshaft...but not a necessity.
 

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Agree with the dog. I'm planning on getting my scuba ticket next year as it would be handy. However last year I scored a rope around the prop and was able to dive 4-5 times with a snorkel and eventually cut it off. So scuba is not necessary.

Next year I may change the annual haulout to bi-annually and then scuba will come in very handy for changing anodes, scraping the bottom etc. Could all be done with a snorkel, however 45ft is pretty big to do whilst hold your breath.

I may also check out a Hooka, however their pretty pricey down here.

ilenart
 

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A hookah system might be worth it in the long run, as you would have essentially unlimited time rather than just the capacity of the tanks, and you wouldn't have to worry about getting the tanks re-charged.
Agree with the dog. I'm planning on getting my scuba ticket next year as it would be handy. However last year I scored a rope around the prop and was able to dive 4-5 times with a snorkel and eventually cut it off. So scuba is not necessary.

Next year I may change the annual haulout to bi-annually and then scuba will come in very handy for changing anodes, scraping the bottom etc. Could all be done with a snorkel, however 45ft is pretty big to do whilst hold your breath.

I may also check out a Hooka, however their pretty pricey down here.

ilenart
 

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We have three "tickets" to get prior to leaving for our circ:

Diving tickets, as it would be silly to sail over or around the world's reefs without having a good look at 'em.

Diesel/electric repair to at least the intermediate level, i.e. "this can wait, and this requires a pro".

Basic steel welding. (it's a steel boat).

I just finished a good book on the history of diving called "Neutral Buoyancy" and it convinced me I should do this for the fun as well as for the practicality of getting at the boat's bottom.
 

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Aeolus II
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One thing that has always bothered me with Hooka

When you dive, even shallow depths, you are breathing compressed air. That means that anything in the air you breathe is in higher quantities. I have always wondered about the the engine exhaust being sucked into a hooks and hence you would be breathing higher quantities of CO. These things have been around for a long time and I have never heard of problems, but when I took my original Dive Cert course they discussed how tanks were filled and how critical it is to not get any CO in the mix. With the Hookah your air intake is close by to the engine exhaust.

My brother just went on a cruise (big lux ship) and one of the excursions was a device that was basically a Hookah without the engine, instead there was a tank and the long hoses etc. It was called "SNUBA", a combination of Snorkel and Scuba. There was no need for certification because the tank limits your time and the hose limits the depth. You just have to keep breathing to prevent lungs from exploding.
 

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I got my scuba cert and still use just a snorkel first to see if that will work to e.g. get lines off the prop. Getting all the scuba equipment on takes a while and is a pain - so snorkelling will always be the first thing to do and usually it is enough. On the other hand, there are times when snorkelling just isnt enough and for sure you arent going to clean your bottom without scuba equipment.

As for looking at fish and reefs - scuba has ruined snorkelling for me. It is still fun, floating around looking at the strange fishes and creatures. But that is nothing compared to actually being down there WITH them swimming around IN their world instead of just spectating from ABOVE it.
 

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Montgomery 17
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I agree with scuba being a plus but it isn't required.

I was certified a few years ago, but when I go out on my sailboat I really dont want to worry about lugging the tanks/bc/weights/wetsuits and such along. Although its really not that big of a deal the major reason is I don't have but one tank and thats one dive. You can rent them but just for a day without high costs. Then you have to have them refilled. Although they do have special compressors that you can have installed on your boat to fill tanks, but its expesive and takes alot ot maintain.

So, what I have taken up is freediving. Its pretty much the same thing as snorkeling except that you practice your breathe holding skills. Back in the summer I was practicing regularly and could do a static(relaxed) breathe hold of almost 3 minutes. The longest dive I have done is nearly 2 minutes.

The gear is a bit different also. I have a pair of freediving fins, they are the Cressi Gara 2000 HF fins. They are very long and really help you swim underwater. They give you more propulsion through the water with less kicks than smaller snorkeling fins.


Not sure if the image will work but they are the fins.

I pretty much have a normal mask and snorkel, a wetsuit and a weight belt.

I enjoy freediving a bit more than scuba diving because its so easy, relaxing and not that difficult.
 

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I am certified SCUBA diver (PADI advance open water) and so is my wife.
I was "sure" I want to take SCUBA gear with a compressor and everything when I go sailing.
Then I started to look at the costs and the troubles involved.
One tank is one dive. If you do not have your own compressor you need to stay close to filling stations. Then it is easy and cheaper to rent the whole gear there.
So forget to carry your gear without compressor. It is probably better to carry bikes - about same trouble and much less weight.
If you want to have your own compressor be prepared to invest a lot:
1) cost of compressor
2) cost of consumables (special filters and stuff...)
3) cost of a lot of energy consumption (either a very large generator or a dedicated engine to run the compressor. In either case this is another engine on your boat.
4) weight and space for dive compressor, el. generator, dive bottles - probably at least 4, BCDs (buoyancy), weights, regulators, dive computers, ....
5) A lot of water needed to rinse the equipment after dive
6) Be prepared to tolerate noise after each dive - dive compressor is loud and it takes a lot of time to fill the bottles.
7) there are countries which restrict not only usage but even carrying SCUBA equipment on board without special permits, duties paid, ...
I am still undecided for now, but bear in mind that we already own most of the gear except compressor - and I am still not sure I want to take it with me.
Diving gear need good maintenance or it does not last.
If you keep it salty then salt crystals will ruin the valves and do more damage elsewhere
If you rinse it, but store wet you have all sorts of problems from mildew to algae, bacteria growth, ...
It is a lot of heavy, complex equipment - and one crack of the hose can make it unusable. Do you want to carry spare for everything (more costs and weight) ?
So, very tempting, but not easy to achieve.
Of course it is possible - there are sailors with SCUBA gear on board.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
...I have always wondered about the the engine exhaust being sucked into a hooks and hence you would be breathing higher quantities of CO....
Me too, and this is why the hookah system I linked above interests me the most -it's 12V, light and compact.

I tried Scuba once (buddy is an avid diver and gave me a "Come on, just see if you like it" lesson in about four feet of water), but I didn't care for it. My intentions with this are purely repair emergencies beyond snorkel, that's it.
 

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engine exhaust stays low to the water so run the intake hose up high enough to avoid the exhaust. I plan on taking a simple 110v hooka for working on the hull. if I need to run the genset I can get the intake at least 6' above and 20' away from the exhaust port at the stern; maybe further.

i would think we'd hear about problems as there are a lot of these units out there
 

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SCUBA diving is one of the most relaxing sports I've ever participated in. We have wetsuits, weight belts, knives, BC's, regulators but no tanks. I like having my own BC-I feel comfortable with it and know it well. I have my equipment serviced on a regular basis just to make sure all is ok. It doesn't add that much weight on the boat or space. We keep it in mesh bags. However-heat isn't great for the hoses so be careful where you stow it. It's easy and inexpensive in the Caribbean to rent a couple of tanks and weights for the day. And you can usually dive from your dink. Neither of us are air suckers-so even a small tank gives us plenty of time. It's easy if your sailing alone to forget your basic safety rules though-don't dive alone. So if there are two of you-you need two tanks-just as easy to find a local dive shop and rent them. Get your certification-it's a lot of fun!
 

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I have been a certified scuba diver since 1974 and have a rescue diver certification from PADI .But for pure fun it is hard to beat snorkling or free diving. But for serious work underwater you need an air supply. I have snorkled to scrub my hull (32') but it took several hours and I was tired . With a scuba tank it takes about 30 minutes and is much less tiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
...I have snorkled to scrub my hull (32') but it took several hours and I was tired . With a scuba tank it takes about 30 minutes and is much less tiring.
30 minutes?.....wow. Can I fly you to Seattle? :D

Our local marina charges $225 for a haulout and bottom cleaning -not too bad, IMO.
 

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30 minutes?.....wow. Can I fly you to Seattle? :D

Our local marina charges $225 for a haulout and bottom cleaning -not too bad, IMO.
There are lots of hull cleaners in the Seattle area who will clean everything below the waterline and replace zincs as necessary for much less than you are paying for a haulout. Plus, you don't have to take the boat anywhere or even be aboard, for Pete's sake.

Let me know if you want contact info.
 

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I have been certified (NAUI-BOW: PADI-Advanced, Rescue, Nitrox) for a long time (since '77) and wanted to combine the two sports (sailing & diving)
I am new to sailing so for the last couple of years it has definitely been the priority.
Last year I did install a dive ladder to make reboarding the boat easier.
A couple of comments: it takes a lot longer to get to the dive sites - but, if you are already there the diving is the same.
It's pretty hard to get back aboard a sailboat with a high freeboard - especially when wearing a dry suit with additional weight (moreso in salt water).
I have a locker in my cockpit that is dedicated to dive gear. I installed a backplate with eye hooks and a bungy to hold my tanks (I can store three tanks standing upright). The locker is big enough to hold my gear bag with masks, snorkels, fins (3 pairs), BCD (wing with 6# backplate), 2 reg sets plus fishing gear etc. I usually dive in a 3mm wetsuit once the water has warmed up enough.
With regards to air consumption: if you stay shallow i.e. cleaning/inspecting your hull, an 80 cu ft aluminum tank should last about 2 hours. If you stay above 30 ft you should be good for about 90 minutes. Last year I did 4 dives (from 12 - 30 feet) with one tank (each dive was 30 - 40 minutes).
I tried to inspect my hull on a snorkel, but the visibility (and temperature) are not always conducive to that (think 'brail dive').
I guess the ability to fill your tanks will be a deciding factor, but, I believe that having scuba aboard would be not only very useful but also a lot of fun.
The only salt-water scuba/sailing experience that I have was diving off Vancouver island from a friends sail boat. (did the Saskatchewan & Cape Breton and a couple of sites around Gabriolla Island). He didn't have a dive ladder so we had to take our gear off in the water, climb into the dinghy, then pull our gear up behind us and lift it over the gunwales.
I think having a walk-through transom would make life a lot easier for diving.
Hope this helps.

Just re-read Tomaz's post. He makes an excellent point about the importance of rinsing gear in fresh water after each dive. As I sail and dive in fresh water this is not an issue. You would need to have access to large quantity of fresh water to keep your gear functioning.

Getting ready to dive off my boat:



Jumping in:

 

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A hookah system might be worth it in the long run, as you would have essentially unlimited time rather than just the capacity of the tanks, and you wouldn't have to worry about getting the tanks re-charged.
Just a minor correction. While the hookah is not limited as to capacity like a tank is you still must observe your bottom times as you would with a tank.
 

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True, but unlike tanks, you wouldn't need to keep getting them re-filled. :) So if a project stretches out past however long you estimated it would, it won't be as much of a problem. If you've only got two tanks aboard and the job ends up requiring three tanks to complete... you've got a problem.
Just a minor correction. While the hookah is not limited as to capacity like a tank is you still must observe your bottom times as you would with a tank.
 
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