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Old 11-01-2013, 13:14   #1
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Marine Air Conditioning

Being an HVAC technichian I'm naturally curious, do many cruisers use a/c on boats. Do they hold up well? When there is a failure do you just call a residential HVAC contractor for repair or does someone specialize in marine refrigeration?
I guess I'm just wondering if theres a living to be made in marine refrigeration or if it just gets wrapped up with other machanical jobs by the boatyard or maybe marine electricians or someone.
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Old 11-01-2013, 13:55   #2
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Yea you could make a decent living doing installation and repair of marine A/C and refrigeration. It's not rocket science but some of the more sophisticated systems are a little tricky. There are courses you can take and if you are a HVAC tech already you would be ahead of the game.
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Old 11-01-2013, 15:52   #3
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

I think I'm sufficiently trained I just wondered about the market for it. I can work anywhere there's refrigeration I'm just curious about making a living around a marina.
It may not be rocket science but if you understand the phsycometrics of refrigeration when you tune a system it will operate on much less power and provide a greater coefficiency of performance than a system some guy just charged to make cold.
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:03   #4
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

We have a MarineAire reverse cycle water to air heat pump on Persistence, our 2003 Hunter 356. We have been on the boat a total of 760 days and we run the air from the time we get to the dock until we leave. When we leave the dock, we start the generator, so the interior is kept a cool or toasty 72-74 degrees while we are on-board. In the ten years since we bought the boat, there has not been one thing go wrong and I am kinda amazed that nothing has broken on it. (I am an Architect, so I am used to things that don't work right when installed today.)

Based on our experience in Tennessee and Kentucky, you might have a hard time making a living. Before I started a business doing repairs, I would talk around and see how much failure is occuring in your area.
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:25   #5
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

Repair would be a waste of Straightrazor41's talents. Design and installation would be a better fit for his skills. I know that I'd want the best bang per watt used, for fridge, freezer, and AC, and a guy like Straightrazor41 could provide that. There is where I think the market is.
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:33   #6
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

Plenty of work if you just put a card up on the marina bulletin board. Not sure if it would be full time status, but decent side money. I know I take my gauges and vaccum pump with me everywhere.
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:45   #7
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

There may be a few markets you could make a living doing nothing but HVAC but I think they'd be limited to places like Annapolis and Lauderdale with a huge number of boats.

Modern marine air condioners seem to be remarkably reliable but the other side of the coin is that when you do need repair, qualified tech's are very difficult to find.

I think to make a living you should have a few other weapons in your arsenal.
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Old 11-01-2013, 16:49   #8
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

Mr Razor.... I say if you put a card up like the suggestions, you would make enough dough for your extra boat toy gizmos... $25-50 bucks to walk down the dock and peek at a system for a few minutes, and I bet everybody would jump at that...
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Old 11-01-2013, 17:11   #9
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

Thanks for all of the input, todays residential HVAC products aren't designed to be as relable as years past. I'm glad to see that the trend hasn't carried over to the marine industry. with a water source system your components are't exposed to the weather or widely varying temperatures so if properly maintained they should get 20+ years of service. my son will graduate college next year
, when I mentioned making a living I was just thinking of supporting myself in a cruisers life style. Just money to keep myself and my boat going, sounds like the thought may have potential.
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Old 11-01-2013, 17:22   #10
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

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Originally Posted by familycruisers View Post
Plenty of work if you just put a card up on the marina bulletin board. Not sure if it would be full time status, but decent side money. I know I take my gauges and vaccum pump with me everywhere.
That's funny, I think I might be the only one with gauges and a bottle that we keep at the lake. And it's come in handy a few times.
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Old 11-01-2013, 17:43   #11
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

Galveston Bay is one of the larger boating areas in the US. There are many AC/refrigeration guys around and most also do additional services such as electrical, plumbing. I don't know if any that just do AC work. Going rate in this area is $75/hour and up for certified techs.
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Old 11-01-2013, 19:44   #12
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

I think it would be wise to take some training in Marine AC. The differences not so much in the actual AC system but in everything else connected to it and the differences in running lines, ducts, etc. Check out Webasto Marine Comfort -*Air heater, water heater, water station for boats and yachts -for increased comfort on board
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Old 11-01-2013, 20:03   #13
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I think it would be wise to take some training in Marine AC. The differences not so much in the actual AC system but in everything else connected to it and the differences in running lines, ducts, etc. Check out Webasto Marine Comfort -*Air heater, water heater, water station for boats and yachts -for increased comfort on board
Compressors a compressor, a reversing valve, start components, condenser, evaporator, metering device. Be it a/c or refrigeration, from scroll, to screw chiller its all pretty much the same.
Knowing how to use a meter and read a wiring diagram are the biggest hurdles for most. A meter, gauges and a 10in1 and you got about 90% of calls fixed.
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Old 11-01-2013, 20:05   #14
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

Quote:
Compressors a compressor, a reversing valve, start components, condenser, evaporator, metering device. Be it a/c or refrigeration, from scroll, to screw chiller its all pretty much the same.
Maybe you would like to actually read my post above that you quoted.
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Old 11-01-2013, 20:07   #15
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning

Really go to school to figure out ducting?
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