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Old 05-08-2017, 18:26   #1
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Sticker shock: air conditioner

Looking through the option list for a new boat is definitely a sobering experience. On the list I was looking at the most expensive of all the options was air conditioning, priced at about $16,000 for two 12,000 BTU units.

Well at Home Depot I can 12,000 BTU airc onditioners for $350 each. In fact, I have one such unit in my window as I write this.

So, can I save $16,000 by buying the air conditioners myself, or is there some installation nightmare that would make this infeasible?
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Old 05-08-2017, 19:00   #2
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

You are being hosed with your price quotes.
Check out these:MarinAire Online Products, Boat, Yatch, Marine Air Conditioners & heat pumps
I just ordered two for my boat and two to stock down here in La Paz, Mx where it's really hot baby!
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Old 05-08-2017, 19:14   #3
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Sticker shock: air conditioner

You buying a new French Cat?
Your not supposed to worry about the cost, just the monthly payment
All your options are likely similarly priced, it's how a boat can sound much less expensive than it really is
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Old 05-08-2017, 19:18   #4
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

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Originally Posted by jsc7 View Post
Looking through the option list for a new boat is definitely a sobering experience. On the list I was looking at the most expensive of all the options was air conditioning, priced at about $16,000 for two 12,000 BTU units.

Well at Home Depot I can 12,000 BTU airc onditioners for $350 each. In fact, I have one such unit in my window as I write this.

So, can I save $16,000 by buying the air conditioners myself, or is there some installation nightmare that would make this infeasible?
Well, y'all can get a nice 12,500 BTU cool/3500W heat Heat Pump for just $245 from Newegg, with free FedEx shipping; on sale for another 5+ hours today, then the price goes back up a little. I bought another one a few days ago (as a spare), delivers Monday.

It's a little sobering to think of a comparison. An air conditioner is just that, measured in the same output units (12,000 BTU is commonly called a 1-Ton unit), They all (today) use similar amounts of power to produce the same BTU's.
There's no particular 'magic' to any of them.


So why such a huge difference in price? Yeah, the expensive ones are designed for marine use, there might be a few extras, like the ducting.
But when you get down to what it does, cool and dehumidify ambient air (and heat- heat pump), a few minor compromises to save a huge amount of money seems reasonable to me.
You can buy TEN of these for ~1/4 the cost of one of your quoted units, And FIVE for the ones mentioned by "Third Way". With a little custom fitting work, if desired, you can hide most of it in the woodwork. Now that I have another one, I'm going to disassemble one and do just that.
And the 'working bits' inside look just like any other air conditioner. Same 120V power, same R410 refrigerant, even has a nice remote with lots of features.

You can easily adapt one (or more) to use aboard, all you have to do is keep it fed with some power .

Disclaimer: I have bought some of these DeLonghi units, they are simply the most AC bang for the buck you can find anywhere, 1 Ton+, plus a heat pump that really outputs some efficient heat (~3500 watts worth).
And I've had one going continuously for almost two years without a glitch.
Even though they are listed as "refurbished"mine have come out of the box looking brand new (and I examined them closely and couldn't find a trace of prior use).

Link to:
"DeLonghi PACRAN125HPEKC 12,500 Cooling Capacity (BTU) Portable Air Conditioner Include heat pump "
Dehumidifies while conditioning. (removes 54,95 pints/24h of excess moisture)
"Dehumidifying only function (removes 86,65 pints/24h of excess moisture)
Fan only function.
3 fan speeds (including QUIET mode to ensure the maximum quietness).
24h digital timer and thermostat.
Exclusive condensate recirculation system with NO DRIP TECHNOLOGY: more efficient and more user friendly
Easy access washable filter.
Handles and casters
Pinguino PAC AN125HPEC for heating, reaching up to 3810 Watts of heating power
Manufacturer Recertified"

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16896101473
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Old 05-08-2017, 19:38   #5
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

No "portable" A/C is worth buying
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Old 05-08-2017, 19:50   #6
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

Two 12000 BTU marine air conditioners should be about five grand or less installed by a professional. The self contained units are not very hard to install if you can run wires and install plumbing. You will probably need to install a thru-hull and seacock to supply the water.
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:09   #7
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

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No "portable" A/C is worth buying

Would you like to back that bull up with some actual reality-based facts?

An air conditioner is an aircon, period. They chill and dehumidify an incoming ambient airstream and disburse the conditioned air to a living/equipment space.
No magic involved, only a few different designs commonly used, and most are very similar if we're talking air exchanger, non-water or ground heat exchanger ones.

The one I mentioned is in fact a very high quality device in every respect.
And at that very reasonable $245 price point/12,500BTU unit (I actually checked on what it would cost me to ship one FedEx, about $75, Newegg is shipping for free to customer), you could even buy one and see for yourself.

A portable, like this one, is slightly less efficient (EER/SEER rating) because it exhausts the waste exchange heated air outside via a duct (doraded), which is made up via 'air leaks'.
But does everything else exactly the same as any other AC unit.

And I guess you totally missed my statement that I've had one of these working hard, both cooling and heating (mostly cooling here in superheated S. TX) non-stop for over two years, without a hitch. And with occasional power failures, it even has that handy 'restart as before' feature.
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:13   #8
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

Not saying the optioned aircon price is reasonable, but there's a big difference between a domestic off-the-shelf window unit supplied in a box from a store and an installed marine sea water cooled aircon with through hulls, water pump, plumbing, remote sensor and controller, condensate drainage and wiring and ducting run through the boat.
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:19   #9
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Sticker shock: air conditioner

If nothing else the portables are BIG, you lose s lot of space to them, the Marine units are much more compact and more easily hidden under a bunk or something.
Then there is the air factor if you will, you have to have an exhaust air duct.
I have a portable air conditioner bought for my house bedroom when my rental house AC was on the fritz, as it dumps room air out of the exhaust hose, it effectively cools about like 6K, when it's a 12K.
There are two hose units that actually draw outside air in one hose and dump heat out the other, they should provide way more cooling, but you have two hoses to deal with.

If it's only meant to be used at the dock, a window unit in the hatch with some homemade shroud is the cheapest way. Or in the companionway
Looks a little Ghetto though, cause it is, but it does work.

Except for the thru hills, installing AC's is easy, anyone can do it. Took a weekend to install both of mine. Mine are on separate thru hulls and separate water pumps, most Pro installs will use one thru hull and one pump. Guy at the Marina I'm at now in his I think big Viking cruiser was cleaning his AC strainer the other day, he said he had six AC's all on one thru hull and on one pump. Clogged strainer or bad pump and all AC's are inop. To me that's simply stupid, so don't want a single point of failure, sort of negates the purpose of having multiple units
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:25   #10
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
No "portable" A/C is worth buying
That's certainly helpful......
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:27   #11
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Not saying the optioned aircon price is reasonable, but there's a big difference between a domestic off-the-shelf window unit supplied in a box from a store and an installed marine sea water cooled aircon with through hulls, water pump, plumbing, remote sensor and controller, condensate drainage and wiring and ducting run through the boat.
The portable I mention can be placed almost anywhere convenient, needs one 5" exhaust duct (upgrade this w/better duct). It has almost the exact same power requirements, BTU/Watt, as any other type AC, so the power source is the same (yes, a water-cooled unit 'should' use a little less power, but do they actually, and all that hassle of the plumbing and additional 'control' bits...).

The advantage of the one I cited, as you just nicely confirmed, is it's utter simplicity compared to a "marine" unit.
No maintenance, stone cold reliable, no holes in the hull, no plumbing (except ducting if you like), etc.
And should it eventually fail, a very inexpensive, drop-in, replacement is waiting in the garage. Like I hinted, buy more than one and you're still way ahead $$-wise.
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:28   #12
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
You are being hosed with your price quotes.
Check out these:MarinAire Online Products, Boat, Yatch, Marine Air Conditioners & heat pumps
I just ordered two for my boat and two to stock down here in La Paz, Mx where it's really hot baby!
Rich, good source. Take it you know this brand and long term reliability?
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:49   #13
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

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Originally Posted by Tx J View Post
The portable I mention can be placed almost anywhere convenient, needs one 5" exhaust duct (upgrade this w/better duct). It has almost the exact same power requirements, BTU/Watt, as any other type AC, so the power source is the same (yes, a water-cooled unit 'should' use a little less power, but do they actually, and all that hassle of the plumbing and additional 'control' bits...).

The advantage of the one I cited, as you just nicely confirmed, is it's utter simplicity compared to a "marine" unit.
No maintenance, stone cold reliable, no holes in the hull, no plumbing (except ducting if you like), etc.
And should it eventually fail, a very inexpensive, drop-in, replacement is waiting in the garage. Like I hinted, buy more than one and you're still way ahead $$-wise.


Yes but it's as big as a foot locker turned on end, and you have to fix it in place somewhere and run the duct out of a port light
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:50   #14
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

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Would you like to back that bull up with some actual reality-based facts?
Main fact is we're talking on a boat, but for myself just as true for an RV, and even in a house, a window or split mount is **much** more effective once it really gets hot these are relatively useless.

Not to mention big and ugly with that fat hose jury-rigged out a port hole?

No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingriki View Post
That's certainly helpful......
Of course it is if true.
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Old 05-08-2017, 20:58   #15
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Re: Sticker shock: air conditioner

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If nothing else the portables are BIG, you lose s lot of space to them, the Marine units are much more compact and more easily hidden under a bunk or something.
Not at all that big, and when I strip one down to the 'works' inside, exactly the same as any other AC unit. They even use the same Danfoss compressors I think, fans, and evap/cond coils. Yes, it takes up a little room, just another unavoidable 'boat' tradeoff item, but a 'marine' unit also takes up space (and no AC isn't an option as far as I'm concerned, in superhot11monthsoftheyear S. TX).

Then there is the air factor if you will, you have to have an exhaust air duct.
I have a portable air conditioner bought for my house bedroom when my rental house AC was on the fritz, as it dumps room air out of the exhaust hose, it effectively cools about like 6K, when it's a 12K.
Not even a 50% loss, I guesstimate ~10-20%, a minor tradeoff. And when I disassemble one and refit it, it will have an incoming external exhaust air feed and almost no extra loss.

There are two hose units that actually draw outside air in one hose and dump heat out the other, they should provide way more cooling, but you have two hoses to deal with.
Still far less complex than a 'marine' unit.

If it's only meant to be used at the dock, a window unit in the hatch with some homemade shroud is the cheapest way. Or in the companionway
Looks a little Ghetto though, cause it is, but it does work.
A window unit needs to be removed/replaced on ship's movement, a portable doesn't need to move at all, it's part of the 'furniture'.

Except for the thru hills, installing AC's is easy, anyone can do it. Took a weekend to install both of mine. Mine are on separate thru hulls and separate water pumps, most Pro installs will use one thru hull and one pump. Guy at the Marina I'm at now in his I think big Viking cruiser was cleaning his AC strainer the other day, he said he had six AC's all on one thru hull and on one pump. Clogged strainer or bad pump and all AC's are inop. To me that's simply stupid, so don't want a single point of failure, sort of negates the purpose of having multiple units
My responses embedded above, these words to satisfy CF error about not having sufficient 'words'.
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