NorCal Underwater Hunters

General Discussion => General => Topic started by: evanbowers on May 30, 2018, 11:36:35 AM

Title: Dive More Sonoma Air Fill Station
Post by: evanbowers on May 30, 2018, 11:36:35 AM
Hi, I recently started diving and after the weekend sea urchin removal event realized there is no where to fill your tanks along the Sonoma Coast.  I\'ve started the site ( and a fund raising campaign ( to build a station.  It is still in the concept phase but I\'d like to make a self service fill station somewhere near Ocean Cove or Jenner.  If your interested in this, check it out!  Have ideas? let me know =)
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Title: Re: Dive More Sonoma Air Fill Station
Post by: pclark on May 30, 2018, 01:09:34 PM
Hello Evan, and welcome to this group.  Interesting venture you have started here, I don't imagine this will be a simple project. 

A couple ideas come to mind:
-Do you plan on training people to use this machine before letting them use it?  I have used a fill station before after being trained on it and while its not rocket science its not idiot proof either.
-Do you know you need to get the machine checked frequently to know that the air is safe to use.  Machines used for fire fighters SCBA bottles need to be checked quarterly.  I'm not sure about the regulations for recreational use, but I'd imagine lots of maintenance would be required.  If someone ever got sick from bad air, I could imagine the lawyers circling.
-I like most others on this site are freedivers, and we typically say "Thanks, but no tanks".  That's not to say we don't ever use them, but its not too common.  Most people who come to the coast to scuba dive come from far away, and pass by many shops on there way.
-I am also afraid this could take business away from the local dive shops that are already hurting with the abalone closure. 
-What happens if somebody donates to your venture and it doesn't end up happening? 

And if you are truly interested in joining this group, we have a spot to introduce yourself.  Since this was your first post, it simply seems you are just trying to sell us on your venture and not join us.

Title: Re: Dive More Sonoma Air Fill Station
Post by: DG on May 30, 2018, 01:31:37 PM
Lots of good points already made. 

On smaller units air fill can take a long time to fill just one tank and there are ongoing maintenance costs and certs like mentioned.  Bigger units sure do get more technical and liability could be expensive. 

I guess if you lived in an area that didn\'t have tank fills you might want to invest in a home unit but most people have multiple tanks and can get them filled somewhere on the way to a trip.  Living on the coast we often head to the bigger towns for Costco runs or medical appointments and could always have tanks filled during one of those trips. 

Unless you are lucky and live next to a dive shop like I do in Ft Bragg. 
Title: Re: Dive More Sonoma Air Fill Station
Post by: Rob102 on May 30, 2018, 03:25:00 PM
Filling tanks has a large liability issue. The insurance required is prohibitively expensive, which is why many dive shops do not offer this service.

Good luck
Title: Re: Dive More Sonoma Air Fill Station
Post by: evanbowers on May 30, 2018, 04:49:35 PM
Thanks for the feedback. 
- Training is a good idea. Maybe first time sign off? Was also debating connecting with a local shop in the area that might want to run it if that does not pan out. 
- I still need to look into the insurance and maintenance aspects of it.
- I figure most people coming for a day will fill before they come.  Seemed like it would be nice for those coming for the weekend that wanted to dive some more without bringing so many tanks.
- My thought on local business is this might bring people for the weekend that might otherwise not come. Thats just my theory anyway =)
- If someone contributes and it does not reach the goal, all money is returned. If it is funded and it can not be made for some reason then I would return the money. I think I could make something happen though if the goal is reached even if its on a smaller scale.
- One of my primary goals is to see if people are even interested.  If not I'll find something that just works for me =)

I'll take a look at the spot for introducing myself.  Thanks for the welcome!
Title: Re: Dive More Sonoma Air Fill Station
Post by: Viers on June 20, 2018, 08:53:03 AM
I'd certainly be interested in something like this. And I'd want some training before using it for sure. I'd be scared to use it otherwise. lol