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Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       01-17-2010, 2:50 AM Reply   
Another crazy thought I had... why not hard wire a small electric air compressor in my boat? It would make filling up tubes so much faster and easier. Boating with small kids means tubes are part of the deal (please no tube haters... stay on topic).

So here's my idea.

1) Buy a small 12V air compressor capable of 150psi. Something like the one below...

2) Mount it inside one of the lockers so it's out of site (up high on the outer wall of one of the lockers).

3) Hardwire it... I have no idea how this works. Couldn't the standard 12V wire that normally goes to a cigarette lighter be modified and hardwired to either the battery or fuse panel? What about tying into some other nearby electrical source? People hardwire radar detectors in their cars all the time. Isn't this the same concept. Help!

Has anybody attempted anything remotely similar?

Does anybody know how hard it would be to hardwire?

Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-17-2010, 5:05 AM Reply   
Compressors suck at filling tubes. They are designed to produce air pressure, not volume. What you want is an air pump just for filling tubes and air beds. Check the outdoor isle at wally-world or something like a sports authority. They plug into an ACC socket and will fill or deflate a tube in a few minutes. origkw=air+pumps&pg=2&parentPage=search

Sorry, cant make the link work, but it's a 12V air pump by Air Head, and cones with a couple different sized tips.

(Message edited by chpthril on January 17, 2010)

(Message edited by chpthril on January 17, 2010)

(Message edited by chpthril on January 17, 2010)
Old     (rio_sanger)      Join Date: Apr 2007       01-17-2010, 6:50 AM Reply   
Let me help Mike here, this is what you want... roduct%20Listing%20Ads&LNM=Primary&ref=tgt_adv_XAS D0001
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       01-17-2010, 7:03 AM Reply   
i agree compressor is no bueno
Old     (motorcitymatt)      Join Date: Feb 2007       01-17-2010, 8:59 AM Reply   
The pump in the target link above works perfect. They could make the cord a little longer. It barely makes it from the dash to the sunpad. Or maybe I need a 12v outlet in the rear locker??? Project Time :-)
Old     (motorcitymatt)      Join Date: Feb 2007       01-17-2010, 9:06 AM Reply   
The pump in the target link above works perfect. They could make the cord a little longer. It barely makes it from the dash to the sunpad. Or maybe I need a 12v outlet in the rear locker??? Project Time :-)
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       01-17-2010, 9:33 AM Reply   
The 12v outlet pumps work ok for small to medium tubes but we have one of those monster three seaters from Costco. And it's not the kids, the blasted women like to cruise around on it. Those little pumps won't even fill it unless you have 30 minutes to wait so I added a Xantrex 1000w inverter and use the Airhead 120v Hi-pressure pump which needs a AC style outlet. Pumps that monster up in ten minutes!

Old     (the_right_kind)      Join Date: Oct 2005       01-17-2010, 9:46 AM Reply   
We take a small generator and a small shop vac to fill one of these but I like the idea of an inverter.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-17-2010, 9:47 AM Reply   
If your going to go the 120 to 12 v route this is the best and fastest inflator I have ever come acrossUpload
These hand pumps are SUPER fast you can fill a tube in a min or 2 they require no power and Like I said they work awesome. We used one on a rafting trip and I was amazed at how fast they filled a 4 person raft Upload
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       01-17-2010, 10:08 AM Reply   
second the inverter i bought a cheap one from harbor freight works great
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       01-17-2010, 10:20 AM Reply   
The only reason i got the Xantrex was because Costco had a special on them for $60! The 120v pump is rated at 750w so a big inverter was needed. The one Grant shows above is rated at 917w!
Old     (skier12)      Join Date: Mar 2006       01-17-2010, 10:37 AM Reply   
My friend is a diver and he uses his spare tank to fill tubes in literally a few seconds. He keeps it in the back locker so it also provides some extra ballast.
Old     (johnny_gatsby)      Join Date: Sep 2009       01-17-2010, 11:01 AM Reply   
wow..that was tight! Excellent response time..quality answers.
Old     (jimmy_z)      Join Date: Jun 2009       01-17-2010, 11:55 AM Reply   
Here is the one I use. Has both high pressure and high volume. Coleman Inflate-All.

Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       01-18-2010, 5:54 AM Reply   
Cobalt puts them in factory stock.

Razzman, very nice rigging there pal. I see a Blue Seas ACR, correct over current protection, marine rated wires and connections. Not the typical Ski boat electrical work.

Very nice indeed.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       01-18-2010, 6:12 AM Reply   
if you go inverter, use a lawn blower and you can fill any size tube in seconds.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       01-18-2010, 6:38 AM Reply   
There are lots of cheap ipmellor style inflators that are good for low pressure, high volume uses. Because the hose needs to be big it's easier to have a long power cord than a long hose. At that point you may just as well have a lighter plug on the end.
Anyway, don't go with the piston type you have in your picture, DBC.
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       01-18-2010, 10:00 AM Reply   
The reason I showed that pump in my original post is that I like the idea of having the air unit (whatever type it is) mounted out of sight with the coiled up air hose because it can be pulled out to wherever you are blowing up the inflatable, then quickly retract back to its hidden location.

I know I can buy a simple pump that plugs into the 12V socket, but I was hoping for something a little more integrated, and always powered up (i.e. hardwired).
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       01-18-2010, 2:24 PM Reply   
DBC, while that's a good idea there's a couple things to remember. First, most compressor of that type (especially cheap ones) don't have a high cfm so it might actually take longer to pump an inflatable with one of those than the 12v pump! The one you show says "can pump a tire in 3 minutes) and i'll bet you it's a small tire too! While 150psi is good for it's size what you need to know is how long will it take to get there! Second, while a much smaller issue some are air/oil operated and they do blow the seals and create a mess when they do. Not saying this one is but research it. For the amount of coin it costs it's a cheap experiment though.
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       01-18-2010, 3:44 PM Reply   
^^^ I am not married to that compressor, or any compressor for that matter. Thanks to all for the education on the difference between compressed air vs. volume of air. Now that I understand that...

My questions that remain are:

1) What pump is best at filling tubes fast and has a long hose?

2) Can I mount it in the locker?

3) How would I hardwire it so it's always got power?

Make sense?
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       01-18-2010, 4:03 PM Reply   
1) Don't know. Goggle is your Friend using size dimension and CFM as your guide.
2) Yes provided there is at least some ventilation.
3)Cut off the lighter plug and connect some 14/2 tinned jacketed boat cable using shrink type butt connectors. rout the cable to your helm console securing it every 18" or better. Strive to run it where the factory would, out of the bilge etc. Connect the positive end to an accessory switch with a fuse within 7 inches. Connect the negative end to the main DC negative buss.

If you don't have an unused switch and the unit has an integral switch you may attach the positive end to the switched side of your battery disconnect switch. Again with the fuse.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-18-2010, 4:07 PM Reply   
Yes, you can mount it in the locker.

You should have extra circuits in your boat for accessories. Just run the wires under the gunnels & punch it in.

But why? What if someone wants it in the bow area? Or on shore?

My boat has like 4 DC outlets scattered throughout the interior. And I carry one of these AC/DC battery boxes with a blower in it. You can plug your inflatable pump in to it, whether it be AC or DC. Also works for charging your cell phone or laptop or jumping a dead truck/boat battery or pumping up a flat tire!

(Message edited by bill_airjunky on January 18, 2010)
Old     (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       01-18-2010, 5:41 PM Reply   
I also have an inverter. mine is big enough to run just about anything....even a blender

I bought 1 of these:

the 4 horsepower one works wonders on the giant islands and tubes
Old     (jtnz)      Join Date: Sep 2007       01-18-2010, 6:40 PM Reply   
The 5 in 1 Power Packs Bill mentioned are great, I bought my Dad an 8 in 1 for Father's Day. It gets a lot of use. Jump kit, USB and 240v outlets (for iPods and phones) flash light. It even has a pull string kinetic generator in case it goes flat.

(Message edited by jtnz on January 18, 2010)
Old     (rio_sanger)      Join Date: Apr 2007       01-18-2010, 7:25 PM Reply   
I'm with Bill K on this, why does it need to be hard wired? Seems the short hose would be somewhat limiting.
The portable aspect is something to consider. You may want to inflate on the beach, or a dock, or a houseboat etc.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-18-2010, 8:34 PM Reply   
8 in 1? Nice.... I see they have one with a solar charger too. Mine's been great. And that just makes it even better. We take it boat camping & use the power on shore, in the tent, in the boat, wherever it's needed.
Old     (puckinshat)      Join Date: Sep 2003       01-18-2010, 10:27 PM Reply   
The best thing I have ever used to fill a tube is a leaf blower, hands down. 3 seconds to fill a 1 person tube, 10 seconds to fill a 4 person.
Old     (cab13367)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-18-2010, 10:49 PM Reply   

I've done exactly what you are thinking about. I have the 12V version of Razzman's pump (similar to this one: It draws 28 amps so you can't plug it into the 12V socket - it comes with alligator clips so you can connect it directly to the battery. I cut the alligator clips off and hard wired it to the distribution block under the dash, then ran the wire under the gunnel and under the seat. So it lives under the rear seat behind the driver's seat when not in use and I pull it out when needed and it's ready to go. The wire and hose is long enough to reach the tube sitting on top of the sun deck. I have a big three seater tube like Razz and it takes less than 5 minutes to fill the main chamber.
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       01-19-2010, 6:01 AM Reply   
Mark, I have no doubt about that one but who's gonna carry a leaf blower on the boat? Wait, i'm sure there's gotta be somebody that does it! I guess you could always blow out the cheetos as well with it j/k
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-19-2010, 12:08 PM Reply   
I can't imagine why you wouldn't have a leaf blower on your boat.


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