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Old 21-09-2012, 00:49   #1
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Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

I've been pooling my money in the past few months and making preparations to pull the trigger on a catamaran. The question I have is that there seems to be quite a few cats that we run across that don't have a/c or generators, which are on our "required" list. Keeping in mind that we have a budget of 150k, I'm wondering if these items can be added to an existing boat without completely gutting it. Surely this has been done before and somebody else has come across this predicament. I'd hate to pass on a solid boat (looking for one between 38' and 42') just because it is missing something that I could add after the purchase. Thanks for any and all help.
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Old 21-09-2012, 00:55   #2
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

AC and genset can be added to any existing boat. It happens all the time. If you are doing it yourself it may take awhile as it is no easy job. I would first price them out and if you wish someone else do the install get a labor quote as well. You will quickly gag and may remove them from your "required" list as it will be a large percentage of your $150k budget.
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Old 21-09-2012, 01:12   #3
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

Yes, I've done a quick search for marine gens, and they aren't cheap, but was really wondering if adding one is more trouble than its worth, or if I should increase the budget and find a boat that already has them on board.
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Old 21-09-2012, 06:04   #4
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

it cost us approx. 10k for diesel generator and all the needed acc and install. A good A/C will cost around 3k for a 16k unit. Not sure about install for the AC. We found we barely ever use the A/C while cruising. Basically just use it at marinas during the summer mionths. As far as the generator, if I had to do it over again I would buy two Hondas and bridge them together to run all ac electric items. With two bridged together, I think they would run the A/C.With two of the 2000 units you would have almost the same as a 4.5k generator.
It looks like the Hondas are running around $1500, so for the price of a diesel gen and install you could almost have A/C and generator
Honda Generators - EU Series Parallel Capability
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Old 21-09-2012, 11:31   #5
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

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Originally Posted by JusDreaming View Post
As far as the generator, if I had to do it over again I would buy two Hondas and bridge them together to run all ac electric items. With two bridged together, I think they would run the A/C.With two of the 2000 units you would have almost the same as a 4.5k generator.
It looks like the Hondas are running around $1500, so for the price of a diesel gen and install you could almost have A/C and generator
Honda Generators - EU Series Parallel Capability
I know this is a popular setup particularly with the Gemini folks but it has to be brought on deck to setup and use and there are there wet weather issues how were you going to handle it if you did use the Honda's?

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Old 21-09-2012, 23:17   #6
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

If your on a budget I'd suggest the Honda generator and one of these new stand up air conditioners that have a hose that you run through a window to exhaust the hot air. They cost about $300 and will take the heat out of the cabin on the hot stuffy nights.
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Old 21-09-2012, 23:35   #7
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

The only time you really need AC is in a Marina, Out on the pick you are out a bit from the shore and you pick up all the nice sea breezes,

The PO sold the generator on my Gemini as it was just dead weight,
I am totally self sufficient with power, Solar, Wind generator, Alternater from the diesel, Is all that is required,
I dont have AC, and I have found it totally unnessary, On my boat any way,

I only run the diesel for hot water, or into and out of Marina's to get food and diesel, That tops up the batterys,

But I dont run the diesel just for power, Its just not needed as every thing else does the job very well,
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Old 22-09-2012, 02:42   #8
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We bought a portable AC a couple of years ago when we were stuck in a marina in hot weather. Powered by shore power it's not a problem. Not powerful, but close everything up and rig an outlet for the hot air to a suitable hatch and you're done. I used cardboard and duct tape. Cost was about $400.
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Old 22-09-2012, 05:37   #9
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

I've bought a boat recently. My experience thus far? LESS is BETTER. Especially at your budget, unless you really luck out, you'll be fixing things. Actually, regardless of budget, you'll be fixing things. Unless you enjoy fixing things, the simpler, the better.

I agree with Mr. B. the only time you need AC is at marina.
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Old 22-09-2012, 06:20   #10
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

Boy you guy's that only need AC at the Marina, must go to different anchorages then we do ! LOL how bout those nights when theres no, or little wind and the bug's are out ?? I find that we use it at anchor at least half the time ! But we are older and love our comfort !! so we have a genny and a AC,but not in a Cat! If we were looking at cats we would look for one already equipt with both ! Ive done the install on a Mono hull and it gets EXPENSIVE !! just our 2 cents
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Old 22-09-2012, 07:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie
Boy you guy's that only need AC at the Marina, must go to different anchorages then we do ! LOL how bout those nights when theres no, or little wind and the bug's are out ?? I find that we use it at anchor at least half the time ! But we are older and love our comfort !! so we have a genny and a AC,but not in a Cat! If we were looking at cats we would look for one already equipt with both ! Ive done the install on a Mono hull and it gets EXPENSIVE !! just our 2 cents
Bob,

You'd best come to Australia then. I agree with Mr. B, haven't needed aircon unless stuck in a windless marina. That said there are some places where it can get pretty bad but not where we are.

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Old 22-09-2012, 08:05   #12
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

A lot of us would love to come down there ! But it's way to expensive for us to vist !!25 yrs ago we were welcomed with open arms and loved our year there! But things have changed or so we have heard!! And it's just to much money and crap to deal with !! Lots of fine places up aways that it's still fairly in expensive to vist!!
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Old 22-09-2012, 11:01   #13
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

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Boy you guy's that only need AC at the Marina, must go to different anchorages then we do ! LOL how bout those nights when theres no, or little wind and the bug's are out ?? I find that we use it at anchor at least half the time ! But we are older and love our comfort !! so we have a genny and a AC,but not in a Cat! If we were looking at cats we would look for one already equipt with both ! Ive done the install on a Mono hull and it gets EXPENSIVE !! just our 2 cents
Good points. Installations on a cat will be quite expensive. There's more volume to heat and cool and greater runs of wiring and ducts. I have well over 100' of water hoses to distribute my hydronic heating system coolant. One of my disappointments is the large electrical demand and complication to heat my cat in the PNW. It's the opposite of figuring AC needs but the same net issues. Cost, maintenance, volume, energy needs (btu's, amps, $$$) are all greater on a multihull.
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Old 23-09-2012, 13:22   #14
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

The new trend in air con is the so called smart start units. The old style compressors use about 2 to 3 times the juice just to get turning. After that they use much less. The smart start units don't require the massive start up juice. Some of these smaller units claim they can run off a decent inverter or small genny. I think one says they can run off the Honda 1000w gen. Many are reversible for heat too and are self contained so you can install them in an out of the way place without ducting. So, it doesn't have to be a major PIA or huge expense.
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Old 23-09-2012, 13:30   #15
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Re: Adding A/C and generator to a Cat

These are the units I was talking about.
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