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Old 08-05-2018, 09:33   #1
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A/C in aluminum hull

Iím not much for wanting A/C on my new project, but I feel I do need to consider it being down on the third coast where the Texas heat is plenty. Iíve not spent time in an aluminum hull in this heat, but it would seem like the recipe for an oven. My intention is to use A/C since I'm going to turn this into a live-aboard (and do work) while I save to cruise for a long while.

Iím curious to know what others would do. Mainly, what I wonder about is if there was an A/C aboard, I would expect that there be plenty of condensation causing standing water in the hull. Even with insulation, it would seem thereís still going to be a bit.

I wonít be at the stage of putting an A/C in for at least a year, but would like to start thinking on it. Can anyone speak a bit on how to handle this?
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:42   #2
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Re: A/C in aluminum hull

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Originally Posted by Cutter42 View Post
Iím not much for wanting A/C on my new project, but I feel I do need to consider it being down on the third coast where the Texas heat is plenty. Iíve not spent time in an aluminum hull in this heat, but it would seem like the recipe for an oven. My intention is to use A/C since I'm going to turn this into a live-aboard (and do work) while I save to cruise for a long while.

Iím curious to know what others would do. Mainly, what I wonder about is if there was an A/C aboard, I would expect that there be plenty of condensation causing standing water in the hull. Even with insulation, it would seem thereís still going to be a bit.

I wonít be at the stage of putting an A/C in for at least a year, but would like to start thinking on it. Can anyone speak a bit on how to handle this?
Is this aluminum hull insulated? If not... why not? If it is not, it will be miserable in just about any climate except maybe San Diego....
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:51   #3
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Re: A/C in aluminum hull

Currently it doesn't even exist. The build starts in June and will take ~3 months to complete. Then it gets trucked to my locations where I will finish it out with help. I'm researching the insulation.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:43   #4
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Re: A/C in aluminum hull

First, you should insulate the entire hull and deck above the waterline. Once insulated, it will stay cooler in hot weather, and warmer in colder weather, and no condensation problems. Without insulation it will be an oven in the heat and a freezer in the cold, with lots of condensation problems.

Based on your post, a temporary solution will probably suit you best. Purchase a 12-16k btu window A/C system (or one made for RVs) and set it on top of an open deck hatch. Make an insulated cover for it so that it is sealed and will direct the air flow below. Works great, cheap, used it successfully many times, as have many long-term dock dwellers.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:49   #5
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Re: A/C in aluminum hull

AC dehumidifies, if there would be any condensation, it would be on the exterior of the boat.
Many, if not most boats are not insulated and either deal with it with excess AC capacity (my way) or Sun shades.
Sun shades usually are great even at anchor when or if you have no AC.

Iíd say if you donít expect to have AC power once really living aboard to do the temp AC route as ďrealĒ Marine AC isnít cheap, but if you intend to live aboard in a Marina on the Tx coast, I would install real Marine ACís.
I have a 16K in the Salon that will cool the whole boat, most of the time, and a 6K in our Stateroom that cools it just fine and the boat when itís not real hot.
July and August heat, usually requires both.
Boats are inefficient to cool, but your not cooling 3,000 sq ft either.
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Old 09-05-2018, 17:44   #6
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Re: A/C in aluminum hull

The French appear to build quite a few aluminium boats and the specs usually include about 60 mm of commercial, or automotive grade polyethylene insulation above the waterline. Garcia also include thick foam core insulation under the floor.
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