Porta Sub on Steroids

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SurfLung
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Porta Sub on Steroids

Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:21 am

Porta Sub on Steroids...
SubMerge UV-26 Diver Propulsion Vehicle
- I just scored a used UV-26 Scooter for an almost affordable price. How in the world did I come to this crazy decision?
- It must have started with Sea Hunt Jerry's Porta Sub restoration. Definitely a thrill and an honor to try that out. But it wasn't very powerful.
- Then SwimJim's tech-dive buddy Eric let me try out his modern black scooter (might have been the same as this one). I "flew" it all the way around Fortune pond at depths of 40-60 feet while wearing just one 50 cf scuba tank... And had half the air left when I finished. Wow that thing is powerful... LIke the Porta Sub on Steroids! But those kinds of scooters cost $4,000 - $5,000.
- Then my dive buddy Tom let me try his Tekna red scooter and that was very powerful too... And supposedly used repairable ones can be had for $400-$500. So I started watching the ads to see if anything came up. But nothing did.
- Then this UV-26 showed up. Retail price is $3800... WAY out of my comfort zone. But this "slightly used" one was priced less than half that at $1500... Which is what the best Sea-Doo scooters sell for and they're nowhere near the scooter that this is. I called my son in Colorado and told him about it... He can be a terrible influence... "If its a bargain price, it's better than money in the bank... You can always re-sell it and get your money back." Well he's definitely got a good point there.
- So I bought it this morning. Wow... I can't believe it. So now if I put a Voit sticker on it... Can I call it a Porta Sub on steroids?
Image
http://www.silent-submersion.com/Products/UV-26/UV-26.html
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

swimjim
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:58 pm

Sweet! Now you'll have to get a pair of fins like Erics with the hole in the end so you can tow Rich around with a bungie cord! :D

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Bryan
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:55 am

Tekna Scooters.....When they are good, they are VERY GOOD....When they are bad....they are VERY BAD.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:41 am

Those Submerge scooters were the scooter of choice we used for some long stage cave dives in Akumal Mexico about 12 years ago. Always very dependable. We would scooter back into a system for quite a distance, drop a stage bottle, scooter a while longer, drop another stage bottle and the scooter, then continue on back-gas and fin power until one of our team of 3 or 4 called the dive for gas management (or until the realization just how freaking far we had penetrated underground in a water-filled cave system sunk in and one of us got the heebie-jeebies in a dark narrow space with lots of restrictions and a lowering ceiling). :D Only once did we have a scooter crap out on us but since our gas management planned for that contingency all worked out. Good times if you like three + hour long cave dives. Good score on the scooter! Brought back lots of memories. Mark

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kgehring
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:05 pm

very cool, add a retro Portasub wrap and have a low maintenance scooter! I just got 2 more Teknas, & 2 Farallons in working condition. Just add new batteries.
http://www.scubamuseum.com
Over 400 vintage regulators in my collection

swimjim
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:57 pm

Nice score Eben. You'll have a lot of fun with that. Now you'll be able to explore parts of Fortune Pond that were previously available only by a long swim or parking on the other side... which is a PIA. See you in Yooper land pretty soon eh! :D

Jim

swimjim
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:07 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6l-7OsrFEo I can see this coming up at Fortune Pond!

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antique diver
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:27 pm

Some of my well-off cave diving friends have those, and they left me in the dirt with my Oceanic Mako! Made the Mako look like a toy.
So now you know why I sometimes dive solo. (not the only reason)

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SurfLung
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:07 am

Other Guys Buy Motorcycles...
- Thanks for all of the positive feedback, friends. My mind is still trying to justify the expense... Must be old habits of frugality.
- My latest self argument is this: Other guys buy motorcycles, snowmobiles, and jet skis that cost 10X as much. This scooter is only expensive when compared to all of the vintage equipment I bought for next to nothing. This argument is working. I can feel the tension releasing and the excitement building. Oh yeah, the UV-26 will pull me and my Mike Nelson tanks way faster than "Blaze"... And will power right through the "deadly current". (Thanks for that one SwimJim... I had not seen that Sea Hunt episode before).
- We're heading up to Fortune Pond in early August and I'm hoping to use the scooter in the great visibility up there. I hope to hear from the seller on a shipping date this morning. :)
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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antique diver
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:18 am

That scooter will tow a passenger. Works pretty well if the primary diver has a 3" ring attached on the back side of his crotch strap, and wears short doubles.
Passenger can hang onto ring, and rides just high enough to allow primary to use fins as needed. Not real streamlined but your machine can handle it. Probably a dozen other good ways to tow, but that worked pretty well for us. Maybe on a short line attached to the ring so the extra diver could have a lower profile behind primary, but he may get in way of primary's feet and fins.

Stclaire
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:36 pm

I'd love to get one of these.

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SurfLung
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:01 pm

Image
- I horsed this beast all the way down the steps to the lake last night using a two-wheel dolly. I was so pooped and sweaty I had to take a break for a nice cold beer and some pizza. Bringing it back up afterwards was easier for some reason.
- Submerge Scooter Instructions said not to run it dry as it wrecks the shaft seals. So I got it down there, into the water, and tied it to the dock. Twisted the throttle and whoosh... It WORKS! In the water, it floats with just about neutral buoyancy. It also floats slightly off center... On purpose. This is to offset the torque when the motor is running. Supposed to aid in the comfort of the driver.
- This scooter has the "Venum" optional speed control... Which I didn't know how to operate last night. So, every twist of the throttle was only producing the slowest speed. But you could have fooled me... That slowest speed was producing a heck of a thrust. I tried the propellers set for pitches 1-9 and you can definitely feel the difference.
- Today I learned how to use the Venum for 3-Speeds. Slow is just the one twist. Medium is two quick twists. And fast is 3 quick twists.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

swimjim
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:15 am

Better have a back up mask handy! Your primary may get blown off! :D

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Bryan
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:24 am

Bring it to White Star
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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SurfLung
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Re: Porta Sub on Steroids

Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:17 am

- Well, I got the UV-26 down to the lake again Saturday and gave it two live scuba tests. Our lake is in dog days right now so visibility was poor. Driving the scooter out to the deep water (and possible better viz) I discovered it does NOT like weeds... They jammed up the prop and stopped me really quick. I got it untangled and just swam/pushed it out beyond the weeds.
- It is really easy to handle in the water... Neutral buoyancy. Once I was out deeper I just nose it over and pushed it down through the green water until I finally could see the bottom at about 15 feet. Sure enough visibility opened up to 10-15 feet but it was cold and I didn't have my wet suit on. I twisted the throttle and the UV-26 sprang to life. I had set the propeller pitch to "2" for VERY slow... And that was about right for such short visibility. Very cold, however with bare skin under the thermocline. So, I went back in and up to the house to put on a full wetsuit.
- Back in the water, I took the scooter back out 26 feet deep and ran it along the dropoff one handed while towing my dive flag with my left hand. It works beautifully. The distance that usually takes me 30 minutes was covered in about 8 minutes... Even running as slow as I had it set. The kids back on the dock said my dive float was leaving a wake!
- Coming back to the dock, I steered a gradual ascent line up through the green water and actually lost sight of the front of the scooter when viz got to zero! Ouch... Visibility usually comes back great in the Fall but for now, I'm going to have to travel for better visibility in my diving. (Sorry I can't make it to White Star this year).
- I'm not real sure how often I'll get to use this thing. In poor visibility its kind of pointless. But I've thought of a few other uses than just flying around: I can also use it to ferry me and a buddy to a dive site we might otherwise have had to swim to. At that point I don't know if I'd have to beach it or if I could just clip it to the dive float and tow it.

BTW - I want to say "Thank You" to Submerge, Inc (Silent Submersion) and Suzie for sending me instructions on the Venom speed control. She also gave me recommendations for pitch settings... Very helpful.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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