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Old 06-07-2013, 09:46   #1
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pros and cons of marine ac?

I usually don't post ... spend too much time reading and researching the threads

but, i have a couple questions. there has been much discussion on air conditioning -- and its alternatives.

what are the pros and cons of marine ac? i realize up front costs are greater, but are they superior to using a window unit, or portable, or hatch ac? what about maintenance? is a thru hull a possible danger?

i'm having a boat built, and i'm unsure of whether a marine ac unit is the way to go. but with high temps and humidity i know i'll need something
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:57   #2
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Re: pros and cons of marine ac?

The window, portable and hatch units must be taken off and stowed when not in use. If you are just living in a marina, then this isn't as much of a problem. You also need a good place to mount them where they can put the cool air in the part of the boat you want. You need to accommodate the condensation, which often isn't plumbed conveniently. They tend to rust if not well-protected.

Fixed systems generally cost more but provide controlled ducted central air to precisely the parts of the boat you want cooled (and heating if you have the reverse solenoid). They don't require much maintenance beyond keeping the strainer clean. In general, they are larger BTU outputs than window and portable units. A thruhull for them isn't any more dangerous than any other thruhull.

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Old 06-07-2013, 10:05   #3
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Re: pros and cons of marine ac?

Quote:
Originally Posted by echo59 View Post
I usually don't post ... spend too much time reading and researching the threads

but, i have a couple questions. there has been much discussion on air conditioning -- and its alternatives.

what are the pros and cons of marine ac? i realize up front costs are greater, but are they superior to using a window unit, or portable, or hatch ac? what about maintenance? is a thru hull a possible danger?

i'm having a boat built, and i'm unsure of whether a marine ac unit is the way to go. but with high temps and humidity i know i'll need something
Not sure where you are located, but your last indicates someplace south.

A/C adds a lot of creature comfort and is very important if resale value of the vessel is of importance. Even here in the Pacific NW, we use ours sometimes in the summer. They are energy hogs, so generally are used at the dock or with a quiet small genset. Whatever you decide to do, I strongly recommend that you look at including a keel cooler so you can have a closed system. You will have a small reduction in efficiency using a cooler, but IMO this small disadvantage is far outweighed by the advantage of not having sea water circulating through the equipment and boat. Most of the problems associated with marine a/c are eliminated with a closed system using coolant.

We used Flagship units, made in Florida, and are very happy with them.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:09   #4
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Re: pros and cons of marine ac?

Not clear if this was already covered, but one option I have seen is to mount (permanently) an air cooled unit on the roof somewhere. I think some RVs may be set up this way. It may be less expensive and avoid the thruhull, but I do not know if you would be able to direct the cold air very effectively through the boat. I guess it depends on the type of vessel. Also, I would expect that you would want to cover the unit pretty well when underway in bad conditions.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:16   #5
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Re: pros and cons of marine ac?

I had considered the r/v roof mount...my boat is a small pilot house...but i don't think i like the visual of it at all, but the same could be said about a rigged up window unit. that said, i do have my concerns about the thru hull.

i have considered using a portable ac unit (the ones that vent via a hose through a window) but haven't read much good stuff about them actually cooling all that well

we're in chicago...so lake michigan is our boating area. it gets HOT here and the humidity is killer at times. just want to be able to cool off at the dock.
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