Blowing Bubbles

Being an avid diver, the decision and analysis around 'what diving equipment' we would included on our boat has been you could say...a process.  Wait, actually everything we have added to the boat has been...a process!  Shocker I know.

So, when evaluating what to do for our dive setup, a lot of factors came into play.  The largest frankly being our kids.  It is absolutely unrealistic to think Sarah and I would actually dive, and leave the kids on the boat unattended.  Well, unless that is they are acting up...grin.

So, the traditional approach, for us to use tanks, gear up and go was not really 'realistic'.  In addition, we will be having a lot of friends and family visit, most of which are not divers either.  So, what did we do...and why?

In short order, an onboard compressor and tanks were ruled out.  Logically, we would just not use tanks enough to justify the weight and expense.  How much weight?  4 80cu tanks = 140lbs.  Portable compressor = 80lbs+.  Dive weights = 30lbs+.  Total weight 270lbs.  That is a LOT of weight...not to mention expense ($10k - $20k).

Hookah on boat
The next option, an installed hookah system (low pressure air compressor on boat, with integrated breathing lines) on our boat.  This would have been a good option to use for simply checking the anchor or cleaning the bottom of the boat.  Not a very good option for exploring reefs at anchor (unless you are anchored on one!) - since you are tethered to boat and limited by length of line.

Self contained hookah

So, where does that leave us?  Blowing bubbles in the shower?

The compromise is this - an independent hookah system, that can be easily transported by dinghy to remote areas/reefs - all while allowing non-divers the experience of diving (shallow depths) and the experienced divers the ability to dive down to 90ft - without the excessive weight!

The system we purchased in Miami will support up to 4 divers, allow us to dive up to 4 hours, weighs only 58lbs, and is easily transportable via our dinghy.  In fact, it turns our dinghy into a floating dive platform.  There are special rubber mounts on the bottom of the compressor that allow you to place this in the dinghy and literally 'drift dive' without having to swim back into the current to the dinghy. 

The bottom line, this is the best overall balance for our boat.  Non-divers can 'snuba'.  Kids can 'snorkel'.  Divers can 'dive'.  Whew, no bubbles in the shower after-all!


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