I'm working on the multi-year process of getting my dream job going. I'm hoping in about 3-5 years to be operating tourist charters out of Puerto Vallarta
. I've been doing research
and there seems to be a strong market there for short day trips and such.
For my plan to work I'd be looking at refitting a larger powered yacht and also living aboard
. I'm not worried too much about the logistics of power versus sail for liveaboard
purposes as this boat won't really be doing too much long-distance travel (at least not for several years). It's also a bit of a training vessel for me as it will allow me to learn some of the intricacies of the sea while not having to take the plunge directly from land to sail (my only sailing experience was in college racing
In Puerto, it looks like the money
is on a big power yacht making short fishing/snorkeling/beach excursion trips. Also though I'm going to have to provide a fairly high level of comfort to compete. Basically, higher than I'd need for myself.
The boat that I'm looking at is an older 100' steel
yacht. It's a mechanically sound vessel with a decent layout and all the rest. It does not however have an HVAC
system installed. Being (1) steel
, and (2) Mexico
, I''m thinking keeping a hundred feet of boat cool is going to be an issue.
I remember my old apartment in Mexico
used to turn into a virtual microwave oven
. Because the money
is going to be coming from providing a comfortable environment
to the customers, I want to include cooling
in the planing. Right now it's still in the stage of looking at the viability of purchasing
this boat (basically how much is it going to cost me in the end).
I have to redo the insulation
and all on this boat and as such will be treating a lot of the surfaces. I've been thinking about the viability of a radiant cooling/heating system. These are the ones you see in newer houses where liquid is circulated through a series of tubes embedded in the walls or floor providing passive heating
For a boat I am envisioning the following system:
A trailing intake tube weighted down to draw cool water
from below the boat. A small DC pump to bring that water
up to an insulated holding tank
The cold water would be held in the storage
tank only for a short while as it would be constantly cycling back out through an exhaust
. Basically it's just holding temp, not volume.
On the flooring
surface of the boat (and possibly some of the larger exposed hull
areas) I would install these tubes. I'm probably going to use an artificial product that looks and feels like natural stone tiles for much of the flooring
(looks real but is resin based and weighs very little and is flexible enough to deal with expanding and contracting metal). These also conduct heat about the same as a tile floor would. So with no cooling system they would just provide enough of a temperature barrier to keep the metal from burning feet. But with cooling would provide a comfortable surface. Also, with the cost of teak
going through the roof it comes out being cheaper.
The tube-cooling system is mechanically very simple: you simply evenly disperse the liquid throughout and use a circulating pump strong enough to keep things moving properly. It uses either water mixed with anti-freeze or a special liquid. The water never leaves this system but only cycles through it.
What I am thinking is that all I would need were two main heat exchangers for the system. One for cooling would simply draw cooling effect from the cold ocean water, and the other could be tied in to draw heat from the engines' and gen set's cooling systems for warmth in cooler climates.
This system probably won't provide all the heating
and cooling I would need. But, It should take care of 30-50% of it. If anything it should take the edge off of HVAC
expenses with very little energy usage.
I'm doing some other design mods to the boat to ensure natural airflow at least in the public areas of the ship. This will take care of some of the cooling as well.
The nature of the charter's I'm planning are motor
somewhere, sit for a while, motor
somewhere, sit for a while, etc. So I don't want to have to run the engines / gens all the time. I can include the cost of diesel
in my business plan during cruising, but when we're just sitting I have a hard time justifying burning all that fuel
just for cool air.
So what do you guys think of this, would it likely work? I know this is a longer post than most, and that most of you don't deal with the issues associated with a larger vessel, but I'd appreciate your opinions from a systems/engineering standpoint.
To me it just seems that cooling the boat is more logical than cooling the air in the boat. And even though this is a large power vessel, I would rather do some work up front and have a more efficient vessel with a lower cost of long-term operation.
Let me know what you guys think...