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Old 16-08-2015, 22:58   #1
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Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

Has anyone used a portable A/C unit on their boat and if so did it operate ok for you? Trying to figure out if this is an option until we can fix ours properly. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 17-08-2015, 00:37   #2
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

I have no idea what size it was, but a hatch mounted ~50lb window unit kept our Tripp 40 ice cold. Too cold to sleep in actually.
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Old 17-08-2015, 04:46   #3
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

If you are talking about the type that sit on the floor and a hose goes to the window, yes.


If you have the space and window, works fine. We gave up on the marine unit, too many clogged intakes and condensation dripping into the bilge.


If it's just short term to get by, get the cheap unit. If it's longer term, get a dual hose unit. The cheap ones, use air from the cabin (already cooled) to cool the unit and exhaust it outside, so it's always pulling warm air from outside in.
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Old 17-08-2015, 05:24   #4
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, kimmyd.
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Old 17-08-2015, 10:49   #5
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

Hi Kimmy,

While my boat is out of the water I can't use the marine, water-cooled air con, so have been using an 11,000 BTU window unit that I set on the roof over a hatch. Got some heavy plastic and duck tape to make a little hood for the front of the air con so it blows down into the cabin.

Doesn't freeze me out but give it a couple of hours and even makes the aft cabin tolerable........ in Florida....... with temps 90 plus.
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Old 17-08-2015, 10:54   #6
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

Have no A/C Yet for my 40'. Cant wait to hear the options.
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Old 17-08-2015, 11:42   #7
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

I've used a household window unit for many years when at dock or hauled in the yard. (I don't have a ship board system.) I recently wore out a 12,000 BTU window unit and replaced it with an 8,000 BTU unit. The 12,000 was way more than needed and too heavy for me to move around by myself. The 8,000 is turning out to be more BTU than necessary as I usually run it on LOW. This is on a 47 ft cat with the unit sitting on the sliding window ledge. I do have to use a fan to blow cool air down into the hulls from the saloon. Having this allows me to comfortably sleep on the boat while hauled and permits doing inside work when it's stinkin hot in the Chesapeake summer. Sorta the same topic - I also use a small dormitory style fridge when hauled since my shipboard refers are water cooled. Keeps the rum nice and cold.....

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Old 17-08-2015, 14:10   #8
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

what's a great idea!..But,window mounted+hoses means SPLIT ? And,is it fixed,not portable ? I have problems with mine Flagship Aircon- goes off after 20 mins. One of suspection is that water is too hot.So,window split may help...Where sould condensate goes to?
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Old 17-08-2015, 14:36   #9
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

On a household window unit, the condensation drips outside just as it would in a house window installation. For me this means there's water dripping onto a seat in the cockpit. An insignificant problem to keep the rum cold.....

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Old 17-08-2015, 14:44   #10
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

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Originally Posted by YARGESOL View Post
what's a great idea!..But,window mounted+hoses means SPLIT ? And,is it fixed,not portable ? I have problems with mine Flagship Aircon- goes off after 20 mins. One of suspection is that water is too hot.So,window split may help...Where sould condensate goes to?
He isn't talking about a split unit, but a portable one. There is an air hose for the exhaust that vents outside. The good ones use the exhaust to evaporate the condensate and it leaves the same way. They are a little more expensive than window units, but work very well. And most are on casters so you can move them around a bit.
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Old 17-08-2015, 15:15   #11
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

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Originally Posted by kimmyd View Post
Has anyone used a portable A/C unit on their boat and if so did it operate ok for you? Trying to figure out if this is an option until we can fix ours properly. Thanks in advance!!
On my 43ft Irwin I have a 13,5000 btu/hr RV AC unit installed in an aft cabin hatch that also has a heating element.
In the FWD shower stall I installed a foot mounted 13,000 btu/hr AC unit draining to the sump and the exhaust trunk exits to a hatch above.

With temperature control for both I maintain comfort level in the hottest weather.
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Old 17-08-2015, 16:19   #12
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

I am using a cheap 5k BTU unit in the companionway with and without the top board in place. You may want a bigger unit if you're cooling the whole boat. I closed the forward cabin and use a fan to blow cool air back into my aft master cabin. It's cool.
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Old 17-08-2015, 17:13   #13
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

I have an LG "portable" unit that I have been using since I bought my 36' boat. It keeps amidships a nice dry 72 degrees even when it is 90+ with 60%+ humidity topside. The snorkel is directed out the rear porthole.

I think the unit is rated at 11K or so BTU. One nice side effect of having the AC is the dryness below decks. I have the drain from the catch pan on the unit fed in to the bilge and it gets drained daily.

I do not use it underway, just when connected to dedicated shore power.
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Old 17-08-2015, 17:18   #14
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

Why wouldn't a swamp cooler work?
Could be set up w 12v pump and fan ( fans? )
Nothing draining.
Might need a deeper sump to compensate for rocking and rolling.
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Old 17-08-2015, 17:28   #15
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Re: Portable 10,000BTU A/C on a 40Ft.

I think your location plays into whether a portable (one that exhausts via a hose) will work or not. Here in Florida we had a new LG 8000 BTU portable that would only cool us down to 75-77 on a hot, humid 90 degree day.

We replaced it with a cheap 8000 BTU window unit in the hatchway and that unit takes us down to 68 on the same hot, humid day.

I think number of people onboard effects performance as well as the portable worked better when it was just myself -- when it's me, the admiral, and our 3 small dogs it did way worse.
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