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isoh 11-27-2000 10:56 PM

Damn clever!
I just pre-spent a little of my XMas money and bought a large capacity float tube off E-Bay from a kindly gent who fishes in Washington state. He related to me a trick for inflating it. Some of you may already know about this, but to me it's the most innovative thing I've heard all year.

Take an old scuba tank -- one that's too old for continued underwater service (you can pick these up for next to nothing at a scuba shop). Rig the float tube's filler nozzle to the tank outlet (a little sketchy on the details, but it sounds like a doable winter project). Open the valve with the nozzle in the float tube and whoosh!! You're done in under 20 seconds. Just be careful not to over-inflate!!

I've seen some battery operated pumps that can take as long as ten minutes to do the same job.

One detail I'm still a little unsure of is filling the tank: does anyone know if scuba tanks can be filled using a "regular" air compressor such as might be found at a gas station?

artb 11-28-2000 04:38 AM

RE:Damn clever!
Hi Al, Another means of filling a float tube is a small tank that Sears sells to carry in a vehicle to inflate tires, and whatever. It is about the size of a scuba tank, and requires nothing as most float tubes I have seen uses inner tubes.
Al, please be careful using a float tube, read my post, if you haven't already, in "Gear spoken here" One almost killed me. I gave mine away, and I haven't heard from the guy since. At any rate good luck. Just don't stumble walking backwards with fins on. I am going for an inflatable raft this year.

isoh 11-28-2000 05:56 AM

RE:Damn clever!
Sound advice on all fronts, Art.

The Sears tank would solve the problem of how to regulate pressure, which in a scub tank is upwards of 3000 psi when full.

jared 11-28-2000 02:15 PM

RE:Damn clever!
Al --

If a scuba tank is "too old" for underwater service (and I'm not sure what
that means exactly) -- I am going to *assume* it means that it would also
fail a hydro test...if that is the case, it is unsafe and illegal to fill
such an old you're looking at one shot with how ever much air
is in the darn thing and then toss it.

I respectfully must advise against the whole idea.


juro 11-28-2000 04:03 PM

RE:Damn clever!
Al - because I like you so much (not because I am argumentative ) I agree with Jared... I looked into this for re-inflation of tires after 4x4 oversand escapades on the bayside beaches. They're not like the backside where you can inflate at the parking lot - in fact Quivett requires a very long ride over potholes and stones before running to the nearest gas station over a mile past the rutty road.

I talked to scuba shops on the topic and although they seemed up on the idea, the things they said about inflation and safety measures turned me off.

According to them you can only fill at a dive shop, and the tank must be tested regularly for integrity in the concrete test tank. He said a tank is effectively "an air bomb" and "if one blows in the test tank, everyone in the shop knows it". He said it would not be a great idea to leave it in my truck between trips and to watch temperature extremes.

Despite this the tanks are capable of incredible filling power, unlike the tire tanks which I heard can't re-fill all four of my tires from 15 psi. I would probably need two tire tanks, where the scuba would cover multiple trips.

After this evaluation I decided to look into portable gas compressors and concluded that two tire cans is the way I will probably go if I decide to buy Oversand permits for anywhere besides the backside or the Race.



artb 11-28-2000 08:41 PM

RE:Damn clever!
I looked up the Sears tank, It is $40 in the last Tool Catalog I have. It is a 9 Gallon tank and can be pressurized to 125 psi. Has a tire nozzle, short hose, and gauge. I have one and it works good. I do, most of the time use a small 12 volt compressor to pump up the tires in my truck after I come off the sand, takes about 15 minutes to do 4 tires. If anyone is interested in the tank let me know I will find the Model No. Please be careful using a float tube! Whether it is boats, or scuba I can usually find a way to get in and out of trouble. Do not use an old Scuba tank, Do not leave any tank full of air in a hot trunk, it might go boom!

isoh 11-28-2000 09:34 PM

RE:Damn clever!
Oh sure, like 3000 psi could really do any damage. Next you'll be telling me it's not safe to juggle blasting caps or climb ladders with razor blades in my mouth. [img]" border="0" align="middle"> Seriously, thanks for the words of caution; wouldn't want to win myself a Darwin award.

Just to be fair to my Washington friend, I think "too old" simply means used. I sort of filled in the blanks. That said, the cannister is sounding like a more sane choice for my purposes.

Wait! I have it. A Honda generator and commercial grade air compressor in the trunk. I could store the gas for the generator under the hood, right next to the manifolds <img src="[/img]

Roop 11-29-2000 04:37 PM

RE:Damn clever!
Hey AL,

I'll say what others forgot to add in their well meaning messages - congratulatoins on the float tube and welcome to the brotherhood!

Let's hit a few ponds this weekend if there isn't too much ice.


PS I just leave mine filled up.

juro 11-29-2000 05:34 PM

RE:Damn clever!
A regular down at Blue Northern once told me about a mondo snapping turtle that he encountered while in his float tube. Apparently it was very interested in his dangling legs. Made me nervous just listening!

Lesson - paddle back to shore when you pee!

isoh 11-29-2000 05:50 PM

RE:Damn clever!
Roop - I'm in!

I just hope my tube arrives in time. With the car I drive, I'd have to strap it to the roof to leave it inflated. How's your assualt vehicle fairing these days? Last time we spoke, it sounded like it was destined for the mechanics or worse.

Juro - I had a snapper experience on the Taunton River last year. I was wading near the Berkley-Dighton bridge when up creeps a turtle the size of my car tire (see above car reference for sense of scale). I wouldn't have even noticed had it not nosed my knee. I nearly peed <i>before</i> getting out of my waders

PeteGray 11-29-2000 06:06 PM

RE:Damn clever!
YIKES!...Even after allowing for the standard cold water shrinkage factor, so much for co-ed naked float tubing in snapping turtle country!
Photos at 11:00

Whatever...don't forget your PFD!

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