I was skeptical of portable AC units, but four weeks of experience has changed my mind. An LG 8K BTU portable AC unit can cool the master cabin
of a Nauticat 43 with daytime temperatures approaching 100F. I can run off either the engine
or 30A shore power. However, a second LG 14K BTU can't be run off the same 30A shore power without blowing dockside fuses
(when one of the compressors kicks on). So, a second 30A shore power line is needed for the second portable AC unit. The second one cools the pilot house and galley
areas. While on the hook, our 5KW diesel gen can power one or the other units, but not both.
The LG unit has some technical advantages. Water
is collected by the system into a catch tray that needs to be emptied periodically. So, the system isn't trying to do the impossible: lower ambient humidity and automagically get rid of the water
. Also, the systems come with a small section of tubing for hot air exhaust
. In the master cabin, this is exhausted out one of the portholes. In the pilot house, the exhaust
goes out one of the hatches.
Eventually, we'll get a central unit. But, in the interim, these portables have been very pleasant and effective. Please, note that, for the price
, I would not expect great longevity of the portable units.