We have a 37 ft. Endeavour
sailboat that does not have A/C installed. However, the boss (wife) likes to have A/C for sleeping, on our trips in July and August when it often gets over 90 degrees during the day, and not a lot cooler at night. Installing an onboard boat-specific A/C and a generator
to run it, and all the other electrical
things required is not in our budget
or within my skill and dexterity level. And I also don't want the electrical
complexities that would come with it either.
So... here's what I've come up with:
While tied to shore power
, this setup works great for us. I bought a 5000 BTU portable (home window type) A/C unit for about $100. It weighs 37 pounds (not too heavy to lug around for an old guy). It draws 515 watts. I then made a replacement hatch
door out of marine plywood
, cut it out to accept the A/C unit and varnished it to afford some additional protection from the salt
air. I then bolted the A/C unit to this hatch
cover. It slides in pretty good in the slot the original hatch cover slid into. So I can fairly easily get it in and out and store it below in a fairly minimal amount of space. This A/C unit is very functional and cools our whole below deck
space when hooked to shore power
. That was the easy part.
Now to get the A/C unit to work while moored or anchored:
I bought a Honda
2000i portable generator
($1,000) which can easily handle the 515 watts the A/C unit draws. The Honda
is very quiet and when I put it in the cockpit
and run the A/C, we can hardly hear it. The Honda unit only requires its "eco" mode to run this small A/C unit, and just hums a little (can barely hear it whether standing in the cockpit
and not at all down below. The A/C is also pretty quiet and is not at all disturbing so as to inhibit us from falling asleep after a good day's sail and a little reading. And I'm sure the Honda generator will not disturb any neighbors at anchor
, as the Endeavour
has a deep cockpit and a high bridge deck
that retains the humming sound of the Honda unit. So far... so good.
I think the only downside to this setup when we're not on shore power is storing the gasoline necessary to run the Honda generator. I can put up with this in order to have A/C whenever we want it (provided we don't stay away from shore power for too long at a time - which is fine, because the boss likes to tie up to a marina every few days anyway.). And the overall low cost of the whole project
definitely fit the budget
of us two old retired folks.
Has anybody else tried something like this?