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Old 05-03-2012, 01:17   #1
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Portable Aircon on a Boat ?

Has anyone ever used a domestic portable aircon unit like the one below on a boat when docked or in a marina? It seems to me they'd be OK as long as the air discharge was routed out of the boat.

Just looking for a cheap and easy solution to a marina hopping vacation in the Keys this year. Last year the Admiral said no way again without aircon...
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:35   #2
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

just been through that senario, was advised to steer clear of portable as they are extremely ineficient. We on our 12m sinpson cat chose a split system. magic, so quiet and easily run with our 2400i yamaha gen for those crap days. We also have it on dry cycle while in marina to keep mould at bay in tropics.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:52   #3
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

Interesting Paul, is the exterior part marine proof or can you dismount it without losing refrigerant? Good idea for marinas.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:57   #4
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

Its not uncommon in some Turkish marinas for people to hire domestic aircon units, normally looking smaller than the one you've shown, and usually mounted either over atop hatch (so cold air in, hot air stays out) or in the hatchway itself. Never found a cruiser who carried one around - usually those with the need will go for a fitted unit.
And sorry, can't advise on how efficient they might be.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:07   #5
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

I'll buy a marine one in two years, when I do the final fitting out, right now I just need a two week solution that I can sell on. You make a good point though, maybe it will be better to by a portable marine aircon as it will be easier to sell on.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:15   #6
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

I have one, it works great. I made a fold down shelf on a bulkhead and fabbed up a widget to attach the hose to the nearest portlight. It will knock the inside temp from 90F to 75 in a half hour.... more importantly it cuts the humidity. It runs on my Honda 2000.

I had a hatch type but it was too cumbersome taking it down to sail. There is no room in my CAL28 to mount a "regular" marine AC unit.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:52   #7
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

I removed a 36,000 btu heat pump chiller with 7 electronic controlled fan-coil units.
About the best system you could get, and the most expensive.
But, for many reasons during this refit I removed it all (its for sale).
I installed a very high-end heating system (heating only).
For air-conditioning I purchased one 6,000 btu system ($150) for the cabin. The smallest one on the market is 5,000 ($100) and more than adequate, but the 6,000 has a remote. Important as will not be very accessible.
I also bought a portable system for the saloon. About 14,000btu?? ($450)
It is VERY important for efficiency that they have 2 hoses for the condenser. Many have only one - and will be next to useless, as they use (cooled)room air to cool the condenser and exhaust it.(not very efficient). I have it mounted. but installation is not complete.
The larger portable is for dock use only. The smaller bunk could be used from inverter - if necessary - but usually not.
My motivation is cost. I can't imagine what on a domestic unit is not "marine". And there are no extra holes in the boat. at $150 it is disposable...
I removed over 10 thru-hulls during this refit - including the condenser water intake...
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:00   #8
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllezCat View Post
I removed over 10 thru-hulls during this refit - including the condenser water intake...
That in itself is impressive. At the cost of a portable unit and the resale (cragslist) potential, it's looking like a good option to trial.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:00   #9
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

i saw a small portable in home depot yesterday (maybe 8,000btu @ about $250).
But check for dual hose (intake and exhaust) for condenser - very important...
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:05   #10
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

Another thing. I believe there is no reason why a portable cannot be as efficient as any other unit.
2 hoses (ducts) as mentioned before.
insulate hoses - especially discharge.
edit: posted accidentally instead of uploading photo:
which is off the window kit (plus fittings and hoses). it is plastic so is "marine quality". Should be easy to fit into hatch or port - duct tape or silver tape is good.
short straight duct runs as reasonably possible.And can create duct system over evaporator as necessary (but not too much).
cheers
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:18   #11
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

Paul/Geo, I'll try one, and I'll make sure it's a dual (intake/output) type. I have just the place to put it, and two holes cut already (just need to get rid of the non-functioning instruments there). I'll post to say how it goes. Cheers.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:46   #12
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Re: Portable aircon on a boat?

Absolutely fine in a marina situation.

We bought a small window mounted unit when in Panama. Fitted it over the hatch in our forward berth, cover with tarpaulin to protect from the tropical rain and voila! It worked extremely well for three seasons, which at a purchase cost of under $100 was pretty good going IMHO.

Stowed it wrapped in a sailbag in the aft lazarette when sailing and was always surprised when it just started right up again...

It bought the internal temp in the boat down to a very acceptable level and kept the tropical humidity at bay. We gave it away as we left that area and it worked well for another couple of season we heard.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:32   #13
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Re: Portable Aircon on a Boat ?

My dockmate has a marine unit installed. The compressor went out so he went to Home Depot and bought a window shaker for $88.00. We built a plywood frame for the hatch. They only measure 16" wide and 13" high. They wanted $600.00 for a new compressor for the marine unit. When we opened it up it was the same compressor as the $88.00 unit. He took it out of that one put it in the marine one and it works fine.
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