Hooka type dive compressor system

Middle of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

I generally post to Sailnet.com, the forum "Gear & Maintance" to as questions about this kind of stuff. They have a great following and seem to answer quickly.
 We are anchored in La Cruz Anchorage in Banderas Bay, Mexico and it is very active echo system. Every two weeks or sooner we need to clean our bottom; we have a 36’ boat.
 We have been using a dive tank and an old Hooka yellow hose with a regulator that was given to us. We connected that to a stage one and then use a div tank on deck. We need to dinghy in the tank and take it for re-fill which is not easy every two weeks or so.
You can see the dive tank on the starbord side.

The problem is the dive tank air gets used up quickly. There is no solution for this that I am willing to do, like holding my breath etc. It could be the regulator on the yellow hose is a low pressure regulator for a Hooka setup. A say 30 pis regulator and the tank is much higher so air is getting out even when we are not breathing. Any way this is not diving forum so I will skip all that and just say we want to get rid of the tank. But it is a money thing.

We have plenty of solar power on the boat so we would like to use a 12v compressor to supply endless amounts of air at a price we can afford, we are retired and on a small fixed income.
We have found one we think may work fine. We could sell our current system here in Mexico where the prices are high for dive equipment to recover some of the costs.

 This system can be had with a 35’ hose, regulator and compressor. Uses 10 amps and is affordable. We can clean most of the bow are with a snorkel so 35’ seems enough. We do the keel are and zincs and prop with the tank the rest we get with a snorkel.
So after all this does anyone have any experience with this system?

The system seems like it should do the job we are wanting it for, cleaning the bottom of our boat.

*mask not included For those wanting to use a more conventional regulator a Promate regulator is included. 12v Hookah diving air compressor Power:120w 12V Weight: 9 lb *battery not included Lightweight aluminum with easy carry handle Uses our long life, oilless, efficient, DC motor designed for clean breathing. One of the advantages of this system is the low power draw of 10 amps of safe 12v DC current. With the average deep cycle marine battery you will have enough power for all day use. Also you can put the compressor and battery on a float and not be encumbered by the length of the hose. Satisfaction Guaranteed. Rated for 5 meters of depth. 25 ft (35 ft available add upgrade to cart) diving dedicated , food grade hookah hose, brass direct screw connection to air compressor Nose clip and ear plugs included. With this kit you will be swimming with the fishes! Please leave feedback and please tell your friends. International Customers give a minimum 6-10 business days for arrival.
diving-us.com dive system


Our plan here is this:
Check and fix any leeks from the dive tank to the regulator. 

We switched out the regulator that came with the yellow hose to the one that came with the dive tank. I think the yellow hose regulator is rated for a lower psi and air is being forced out when I am not breathing it. Check for leaks at other places also. I am not convinced it will not leak so we will stop at Vallarta UnderSea to heave them check the fittings. We also pick up the re-filled dive tank today. 
 If we can get 2-3 bottom cleanings from one dive tank then that will make life a lot easier for the rest of this cruising season.

This summer we will purchase the Resun MPQ906 DC Air Compressor Pump 12V unless we find even a better one of the same type. There are at least a few of these type of pumps available and this is so far the best I have found. So are rated for more air and some are 6v, 12v and 24v.

The regulator that comes with the kit, along with the pump and hose is not really a regulator. It does not regulate the air flow. The air just goes through the regulator and if you do not breath it goes on out into the water. 

You can get a less expensive kit with a snorkel with the yellow hose attached to the snorkel and it does the same thing. So once we get the pump we will connect a snorkel to our existing yellow hose and use it that way. This is not a problem as I have a C-Papa machine that I breath with at night because I have Sleep Apnea. The breathing machine acts the same way as the Resun MPQ906 DC Air Compressor Pump.I was tempted to use the C-Pap machine for the bottom cleaning but do not want to take the chance of messing it up.
So there you have the plan. I will let you know the final outcome just in case this all works out good it may help others.


We just left Vallarta UnderSea and Armando calibrated both of our regulators. The one originally on the yellow hose had a small leak. He corrected it and test the other. Both are now working perfect. Armando also gave us some O rings for the dive tank valve. We connected the stage one and the yellow hose with the other gear and tested the whole thing and found none.

The tank should be stamped with the pressure rating. In our case I think it may be 2400 because last time we got it filled the tank gauge read 2000 but it could have been somewhat higher as I did not look that good. I’ll check that out again. We had just got it hydro’static inspected and filled. Our tank is an old one and a smaller one. Does not hold the volume of air as the newer tanks do. I can get just abot a bottom cleaning out of one tank if the prop and bottom are not bad.

Juanito and our boat to the left.

Thompson Compressor (I think used for nail guns)

"The Thomas 1020 (in your second set of pix) was the hull cleaning industry standard for years. They went out of production for a couple of years and hookah makers and hull cleaners moved on to other compressors (the 1020 is available again, but is difficult to find and much more expensive than it used to be.) I now use the Thomas 1207."

DeWalt 150 PSI 2.6 SCFM compressor. Shows water traps.
Supports two divers and is used by the crews cleaning bottoms on the docks for a living.

Two diver setup on this compressor.
After watching this video I decide the 12v system was just to rinky dink.

 DeWalt 150 PSI 2.6 SCFM compressor. 
Supports two divers and is used by the crews cleaning bottoms on the docks for a living.
 A friend who was a professional diver cleaning boat bottoms bought the Harbor Freight 6 gal model and is happy with it. 

We here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico do not have a “Harbor Freight”. 

So we thought at Home Depot in Puerto Vallarta we could get the Porter-Cable 6-Gal. 150 psi Oil-Free Pancake Compressor but what were we thinking! No way, at least not now.

He says for as much as he cleans his boat bottom on his 40’ sail boat is is fine. He no longer does it for a living. Also another friend who was a dock mate with us in San Diego got the 2 gal model and had to return it as it did not supply enough air. He got the 6 gal Harbor Freight model and was a happy bottom cleaner.

They may have had them at one time but not now. They could be dis-continued as I think the  DeWalt one we bought could be. We do not see the  DeWalt one on the  DeWalt web site now. So we left Home Depot and went to a tool store. They sold some of the “Trooper” brand items but had no “Pancake Compressor” types. Then off to Bucerias to another tool store who said they do not carry the  Porter-Cable 6-Gal. 150 psi Oil-Free Pancake Compressor any more. That their  DeWalt 6 gal is over 4000 pesos (well over $300.00 USD) and to get it at Home Depot in Puerto Vallarta but he would have the water traps in next week. OK back to Puerto Vallarta and a stop at Cosco but no luck so then to Home Depot and pony up for the DeWalt 6 gal Pancake Compressor. Home Depot had another brand a “Husky” but we did not like it. There were too many parts exposed and it was taller making it hard for us to store. We paid about twice as much by the time we got the  DeWalt out of Home Depot but we consider it money well spent. Actually it was about $100.00 USD over the non-sale price of the Porter-Cable 6-Gal. 150 psi Oil-Free Pancake Compressor.  Things are just not easy here in Mexico when trying to buy a specific brand or model no matter what the store. Add in the language barrier as we speak limited Spanish. Debbie does speak some Spanish now but still it is hard to get the point across. We think we can run the  DeWalt on the inverter and eliminate the Honda EU 2000i generator. The  DeWalt draws 10 amps.
So we went out and purchased a DeWalt compressor. Fits in our forward hanging ocker which is really a storage locker as our close are rolled up as they are not cotton, they are a light breathing easy dry non wrinkle fabric.
We will clean out the hanging locker soon so this compressor sit in here nicely.

We had gone o the tool store in Bucerias, Mexico and ordered a water separator or water trap and then went back this week and they forgot to order it. He said that his friend at another sore in Mezcales had what we wanted (he called him) so we drover there but guess what. He did not. 

So we had him order the one that we liked, this one. It will be in, in yet one more week but the bottom can not wait that long or it will get real hard to clean so we got a temp one for now.
We did find a simple one that will get us by a a paint store with some more looking. We also picked up some nice air fittings  that will not rust.
We also picked up some SS scrubber pads for cleaning the water line. At dinner with Danny and Debra on S\V Cyclades they told us these SS pads do a real nice job on the tough spots along the water line.

 We went to Vallarta UnderSea and Armando put our dive tank regulator back together for us. Now we will sell the tank and regulator setup. As we suspected it is worth a lot more here than in the US. Easily enough to off'set the Depot air generator and extras we purchsed.

Surf safari

Middle of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

Surf safari!

We were on a quest for our" 6-Gal. 150 psi Oil-Free Pancake Compressor" when we were in some traffic with this tour truck from Vallarta Adventures .

Puddle Jump party crashed

Middle of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

We crashed the Puddle Jump party so we could say good-bye to some of our friends that we will not see before they leave. It was held at the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Jack, crew on S\V Pied-a-Mer III.

Dick Markie, Dockmaster at Paradise Village Marina, talking with Andy Turpin of Lattitude 38, the sponsor of the event/Pacific Puddle Jump

Ken on M\V Oogachaka-  blog

Pam of s/v Pied-A-Mer III (in the blue shirt talking with fellow "jumpers".

Eric of s/v Pied-A-Mer III (with hat on) talking with Andy Barrow, Commodore of the Vallarta Yacht Club, host to the event with Lattitude 38 magazine.

Alan and Laura of s/v Rhapsody (facing the camera) talking with other "jumpers".

This sail fish was put into the back of the pick up as we were leaving, 
caught from a sport fisher boat.

Finished off the galley vent luvores

Middle of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

Little by little..

Varnishing on stove handle and sides done

Beginning of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

Tis oven handle feels much nicer and looks nicer and now stays clean.

We varnished the teak on both sides of the stove. This little bit makes the sove are look much nicer.
The rest of the galley area we will varnish this summer when we do not cook and the boat is not bouncing around at anchor.

Cleaning anchor chain - untwisted - let it all out

Middle of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

We were expecting some weather so we went out away from land a bit and re-anchored. We cleaned and untwisted the chain as itame up.

Cleaning out barnacles with a round file, also some sea grass. The chain is getting cleaner and this is getting easier each time we re-anchor, about every seven days now.

Bringing in the chain while holding it straight.  
We remove the wheel from the bracket in the anchor locker to make cleaning and untwisting the chain easier.

Twisting chain to get it str

Washing off after wire brushing.

Wire brushing. We wire brushed about every foot of chain.

All the 180' of chain is out. It is down to the 125' of  rope. 
We let out all the chain but enough to use the chain stopper as a weather system was coming.

Looking good.

The last time we raised the chain which we just did after the weather passed we did not remove the wheel in the anchor locker and the chain looked good. Not much file cleaning and wire brushing was easy. Still removing some of the old growth and we are getting a system down.
After a week of swells and afternoon blount's the weather passed.

Debbie did some more sewing on dodger sun screen

Beginning of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

When making the dodger "shade", Debbie used the existing dodger pieces as patterns for the 90% Phifertex material.  While it was a good start, it wasn't perfect so these alterations were made - zippers and longer sides.  

The front piece is 3 separate pieces connected with two (jacket) zippers for ease of rolling up when a breeze was wanted!
We used Dot-fasteners along the top to match the existing ones used for the regular dodger pieces.  We couldn't do them all as we ran out of them :(
It sure is nice to have front shade!!

Tony from Morrelli Sails

Beginning of March 2014 - La Cruz Anchorage Banderas Bay Mexico

First off this was a good experience.

 Tony of Morrelli Performance Sails gave us suggestions about the sail stack type pack and will make some changes after the "Puddle Jumpers" leave and it is not so busy, we are in not any hurry.

  •  Remove batons in the sail stack-pack and put in PVC pipe and have the pipe curve up to the mast so the zipper closes easier on the stack-pack.
  •  Re-do the sail stack type pack for ease of use. Removing zipper in front and adding snaps on both sides.
  • Re-work the reefing system. 
  • The hook system we have is pulling the sail back and that is not good for the sail. Put three pad eyes on the mast, one for each reef point. Attach a snap shackle to each pad-eye that will connect to the sail at each reef point.

Add a 5” cleat to the boom for a reef line.

  • Add two pad-eyes to back of boom for sail stack pack to attach to instead of the topping lift.
  •   Add a half ring to end of the boom for tying the boom off to move it away from the solar panels for shading and for a preventer line.

  •  Sand battens at mast end for sail shaping. He can do that on a belt sander as we do not have the equipment.
  • Add three layers of sail tape to the end of the top batten where it is rubbing against the back stay. As a layer or two gets chafed off it can be replaced. Debbie did this, done
  •  Take two turns on the forward side stays to bend middle and up of the mast forward slightly. This will also tighten the two side back stays as they are a bit loose. This we did and just purchased eight new SS cotter pins. We had to make some further adjustment to the side back stays.
  •  Purchase a longer shackle for the tack.