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Old 07-05-2010, 10:33   #31
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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
I'm in the HVAC business and have always wondered why they don't zone air conditioning systems on boats.
There are some manufacturers of chilled-water systems that are zoned, and certainly those megayachts have zoned systems. But mostly, you don't see zoned systems on small boats because it really isn't practical or necessary and the expense vs. the minor inconvenience of closing down a vent doesn't compute to us cheapskates!

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Old 07-05-2010, 11:01   #32
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[QUOTE=jacket_fan;448395]Mark, thanks for the comments. Did you do the installation, or was that done before you got your Manta? (By the way, Mantas seem to be great boats)

"If one of you is absolutely set on constant AC as a requirement for cruising, your cruising life will be a short one."

Could you elaborate a bit on this comment? Is it because to enjoy the cruising life you must forgo air conditioning or is it because cruising is like camping for the rest of your life which includes minimal creature comforts?

Our systems were installed by the previous owner of our boat. They are component systems with separate compressors and evaporator/blowers and ductwork to the cabins. Separate components allowed the system to be setup in the most non-obtrusive and space saving way for our boat.

Please don't take my comment too harshly. You don't have to forgo AC (we have it) or be like camping (we don't) to cruise. What I meant was that if anyone is expecting cruising to be just a continuation of their previous life, or an extended vacation, or defines cruising as requiring a particular piece of equipment that will break down and leave them without for long periods, then that person will be disappointed and the cruising lifestyle will never get established in place of the previous lifestyle. The end result will be that cruising will be abandoned for the lifestyle the person is more comfortable with.

Cruising is hard work and a completely different lifestyle. You will work very hard at accomplishing things that you barely even recognize doing in shore life (grocery shopping, laundry, making water come out the tap, getting the stove to cook, etc). The only similarity cruising has to a vacation or charter or magazine article is that all of these tend to occur simultaneously, but separately, in the same locations. It has taken us two years to recognize this and change our expectations until we fundamentally abandoned our old lifestyle and embrace the new one.

If there is one thing we have learned, it is to never have a mandatory requirement.

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Old 07-05-2010, 13:20   #33
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A lot of advise here, all I can say is you should listen to Mark on "Reach". He is actually doing what you want to do, cruising in a warm climate.
OK, I installed a NextGen 3.5 genset with enclosure (you need the enclosure) this unit is 200lbs and puts out 30 amps. Do not over size your genset you need to run it hard, at least 60%+ load. professionally Installed around $10K.
We also installed 2 cruiseair 12,000 BTU reverse cycle A/C units (around 100lbs total) the newer Turbo units under load use about 9 amps each.
Cost installed around $11k. This is on my 36' Mahe cat.
Like Mark (who we met in the Exumas last winter) we run the genset and A/C to dehumidify and cool the boat before bed (we also charge the batteries and make water or heat water at the same time). The load on the genset is around 85 to 90%. Just charging the batteries while running the gen is not enough, I don't know of any battery charger that will draw near 15 amps AC so you need to run other things when the generator is running. The gen uses about .25 gallons of fuel an hour.
We cruise for about 4 months per year, all in tropical climates. The A/C units are more than enough for our boat which is based in Florida thru out the summer.
Hope this helps
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Old 07-05-2010, 13:36   #34
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Hey, Fish - A real unique system. I hope it is working out well for you.
I have a Rich Beers engine driven compressor on my starboard engine that runs a cold plate in my freezer, not A/C.

I'm scratching my head wondering why you want a boat. If the admiral is insisting on A/C, what else is she insisting be on the boat? Could it be that your wife really wants a bunch of Caribbean time shares? Same view, nice A/C, umbrellas in your cocktails, no one gets seasick and maid service to boot.
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Old 07-05-2010, 20:07   #35
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There are many variations on the air conditioning machinery configurations these days. You can choose the one that fits your boat's needs. The single pallet units take up half the space of the old split units with a compressor in the engine room and the evaporator in the cabin plus lots of insulated piping between them. In original construction the piping can be put behind sidewalls, etc. but in after-market installations ripping out sidewalls, etc. is not simple or probably not very desirable since single "all-on-one pallet" systems are available.
- - If your boat is large enough and your budget is large enough to accommodate long stays in marinas at various islands, then the air conditioning becomes an important comfort item. Marinas are typically sheltered out of the main wind patterns and while the folks anchored "outside" are getting delicious trade winds for cooling, wind gen's, etc., the folks in the marinas are sweating buckets due to no wind. So your lifestyle has a lot to do with whether A/C is important or not.
- - In marinas in places like Trinidad A/C is a necessity with temps hovering around 100F plus or minus 10 degrees. Lack of wind with the high heat and humidity makes for instant jungles growing inside your cabin unless you can reduce the temperatures and suck out the excess moisture. The are a couple of guys there that make their living renting hatch A/C units to all the boats without built-in A/C.
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Old 07-05-2010, 20:54   #36
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Rick
Why are you trashing a guy who wants A/C on his boat? Lets face it, I would rather have what the the First mate wants and have a boat than not have a boat. My wife wanted A/C, a Watermaker, generator and Sat phone. She got them and I get to cruise the Bahamas and the Keys. I'm happy, shes happy and your not. Sorry that you get to go out a week at a time, don't take it out on the rest of us.
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Old 07-05-2010, 21:11   #37
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Like I said in an earlier thread in which I was thoroughly bashed for the method. We're using an automotive AC. Why? Because I already had all the parts and it works. Yes, We've gotta run the engine to get it but it's better than not having any.

Which ever method keeps mama happy, is what works.
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Old 07-05-2010, 21:30   #38
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Rick
Why are you trashing a guy who wants A/C on his boat? Lets face it, I would rather have what the the First mate wants and have a boat than not have a boat. My wife wanted A/C, a Watermaker, generator and Sat phone. She got them and I get to cruise the Bahamas and the Keys. I'm happy, shes happy and your not. Sorry that you get to go out a week at a time, don't take it out on the rest of us.
Now Scott, I was just making a point
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Old 07-05-2010, 21:49   #39
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Now Rick
What was your point? My point is to "To each his own" what ever gets you out on the water exploring is what makes ME happy. I have meet so many people cruising the last 3 years, in everything from "floating condos" to 29 foot monohulls with no ammenities. The fact is they are all living THEIR dreams. and that is what it is all about.
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Old 07-05-2010, 22:00   #40
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My point Scott was that having A/C at the dock is one thing. Expecting it off a genset or battery bank implies A/C 24/7 under sail, and this is something else altogether. Nice amenities for sure, but not that one would associate with traveling the world's oceans in plastic boats where engines are auxiliary power. Hell, why bother with sails at all?

Now for folks who have unlimited cash, I imagine new rules are made every day. But for you to expect this to be treated as 'normal' is ridiculous. It's not normal. This original poster's needs do not seem to point to a sail boat.
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Old 07-05-2010, 22:05   #41
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Sorry Rick but more boats have A/C than not in hot and humid Florida. Once again this is not about what you think is normal, it is about what gets you living the dream.
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Old 07-05-2010, 22:09   #42
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Sorry Rick but more boats have A/C than not in hot and humid Florida. Once again this is not about what you think is normal, it is about what gets you living the dream.
Yes they do Scott. I agree. But at the dock Scott, not under way.
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Old 07-05-2010, 22:10   #43
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To be honest, I've not been bluewater yet except on cruise ships. if your making passage you probably don't need a/c anyway would you? A bit cooler out in the blue overall or not?
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Old 07-05-2010, 22:21   #44
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Your right you do not need A/C most of the time. We rarely use it while cruising. As I stated earlier and as Mark on Reach has stated, it is nice to dehumidify and cool the boat before bed on a hot night at anchor.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:37   #45
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Rick, thanks for your input. I would like to clarify a couple of things and you can trash the newbie all you want, I don't mind.

I do not expect the have A/C on 24/7. We do want the option of A/C in a marina or anchorage. Let me give you a couple of examples. We have chartered with the Moorings a half dozen times. After the first, the ladies have requested that the A/C be turned on prior to starting out so they can unpack and complete the nesting process they seem so concerned about. This is a big deal to them. I realize this is not something cruisers do, and once underway, you do not schedule work below deck during the heat of the day.

The second reason our boat will have A/C is from sleeping in a leeward anchorage. We were in Belize with little wind at anchor. During the night it was hot and every hour or so a shower would blow through and we would close the hatch. This became very irritating to the wife and for me for that matter. It got quite stifling and miserable. Same sort of thing during a week at St Lucia. Except we had A/C and all was well.

Another thing I suspect is that after a while your "blood thins" and you become more accustomed to the heat and humidity and have less need for the respite of A/C. So far, our experiences have been weekly exposures. Not enough time for acclimation. Also, we expect to have frequent visitors. We would like to make them comfortable.

Perhaps you are right. Maybe I am just trying to limit the misery. It very well may be too much of a crappy lifestyle and we will absolutely hate it.
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