Sharing the lessons #6 - It's a hookah but you can't smoke it
Updated: Dec 18, 2019
A few weeks ago I was asked by someone on Facebook to please post details about the hookah rig which we use on Lady Roslyn when needing to dive under the boat.
This piece of equipment is a real asset to have onboard. It makes diving under the hulls a quick and easy task.
We have an electric Paramina dive compressor, 3 scuba tanks, and 3 full sets of scuba gear with us. In the 4 years we have owned Lady Roslyn, I have probably used the hookah rig attached to a scuba tank on the deck, around 25 to 30 times and in the same time I have not once used our scuba gear in the traditional way.
I regularly use the hookah when needing to clean the hulls of Lady Roslyn. A couple of weeks ago I used it when I needed to change our Volvo propeller zincs (see blog post “If you think it’s difficult, zinc again”) and the photos used at the bottom of this post were taken at the end of the 2019 season when I was fitting black plastic bin bags, secured with cable ties, around the sail drives and propellers to prevent marine growth during winter storage in the water.
Initially, we had 50 metres of high-pressure hose attached to a regulator at one end and a tank coupling and pressure gauge at the other end. We found the 50 metre length of hose too cumbersome to roll back up, so I had the hose cut into 2x 25 metre lengths, with a spare coupling in case we need to join the two lengths together in future. So far, the 25 metre length works perfectly and I have never needed to join the 2 lengths back together. We can swim around both hulls of Lady Roslyn and to the depth of the bottom of the keels with the scuba tank standing on the bow or the stern engine bay lid.
The end with the regulator on has a small stainless steel carabiner about a metre back from the regulator on a short rope so that it can be clipped to my weight-belt. This prevents the regulator from being pulled from my mouth as the hose plays out. At the shallow depths of the hulls and keels, a pressure gauge is not needed because I am always within 2 metres of the surface and the jobs I am doing are usually done quickly.
If you are a certified scuba diver with scuba tanks onboard and the means to easily refill them, a hookah rig is a great addition to have.