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Old 17-01-2011, 10:37   #1
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Air Conditioning

I have the opportunity while the water tanks are out to install a Marine Air
Turbo Vector 16K Btu reverse air unit. For those of you that have air
conditioning, is worth it? Do you use it? Where? How?

I plan to leave the boat in the tropics for extended periods while commuter

Valiant 37

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Old 17-01-2011, 10:41   #2
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I don't have it but wish I did.
The boats in the Med and, will probably end up installing some.

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Old 17-01-2011, 11:51   #3
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they are a lot of work to install .. and expensive. but pulling into the slip on a 100 degree day and turning on the AC is priceless. also good for heating if the water is not too cold. should be a lot of places in the valiant for installation. running the AC in an unoccupied boat is a bit risky .. a hose leak could fill the boat up with a lot of water.
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Old 17-01-2011, 12:15   #4
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If you feel airconditioning is a necessity on a boat, you need a condo. We've sailed in the tropics for years and never felt the need for A/C at anchor. An Awning aft of the mast and an awning/windscoop forward keeps the sun off the deck and the breeze blowing through. The only time things get uncomfortable is in the evening wnen the wind dies as the winds switch from shore to land breezes. A few well placed fans handle this period nicely for the hour or so they are needed.

If you are going to be in a marina most of the time, it's another story as you undoubtedly won't be oriented to the prevailing wind. A hatch A/C would do the job as you'll have shore power to feed the hungry bastard.
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Old 17-01-2011, 12:16   #5
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I agree they are a lot of work to install, but the project is completely manageable if you take your time and plan adequately. Obviously you need to be prepared to lose a lot of storage or tankage of some sort to accommodate the unit, and that's where a lot of the planning comes in. The end result is worth the effort though. I use it everyday, whether its for heat or cooling- even on nice days with the hatches open I still run the fan to keep air circulating. I installed a Cruisair Turbo Stowaway and have been very happy with it.
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Old 17-01-2011, 12:27   #6
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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
If you feel airconditioning is a necessity on a boat, you need a condo.
I never understand why people say this. If I'm in an area where it doesn't drop below 80F at night, I find its a necessity for a good night sleep.

If you can have it, can afford it and want it, why not? If my wife and I can afford it and it will fit in whatever boat we end up living on some day, we'll have it. We won't use it all the time, but I like it cool (if not cold) when I sleep so why shouldn't we have it?

We did just return yesterday from a week in the BVI and we only had shore power and it was plenty comfortable with the breeze, but it was also in the lower 70's at night.
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Old 17-01-2011, 13:18   #7
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I have AC on my boat and a genset as well. We don't use it all the time, but for the occasions where it is hot and there is no wind, it sure is nice. Also when cooking dinner in the evening it is nice to keep the boat cool, then turn it off when the breeze fills in. I agree, if you want it, can afford it, why not?
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Old 17-01-2011, 13:23   #8
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and if you leave it in the marina, I would set up with someone to come and turn it on one a week for 24 hours to dry out the boat, instead of leaving it on full time. that way hoses etc gets looked at.
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Old 17-01-2011, 16:41   #9
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I installed central air on my boat last year. It takes up allot of space and was not easy to get all the necessary ducts in place. You must use the correct number and size of ducts or you will not get proper performance. I spent about $3000 and did all the work myself. In hind sight, I do not use it as much as I thought I would. It is very hot in the marina so it is nice after the sun goes down. During the day, it struggles to maintain the inside 10 F below the outside. This is more common than most boaters will admit. Most boats are poorly insulated (or not at all). The solar load is much higher than you think. You will hear some people say: "my boat is as cold as a meat locker". But most are complaining that it is still too hot inside. I much prefer to anchor the boat outside of my marina and enjoy any breeze that exists or go swimming to cool off. Basically I wish I had not spent all the time and money on something I use very infrequently.
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Old 18-01-2011, 07:12   #10
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If you can afford it then the ac is better to have and not need than to need and not have. Temperature wasn't the major factor when Jane and I lived aboard our 37 Iwin CC ketch however humitity was on occasion a real problem especially in the marina. Install a solonoid valve in series with a bildge float swith plumed infront of the recirt pump and powered from the ac so if the bildge water rises the supply water is secured and the ac is turned off.
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Old 18-01-2011, 07:40   #11
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We have a drop in unit that we use now and again, but it really takes up too much space to take it with when we go cruising. Sometimes it does only keep the temperature 10-15 degrees cooler than the outside air but it does take a huge amount of the humidity out of the air, and that makes a huge difference.

Central air is definitly on the wish list for us.
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Old 18-01-2011, 08:37   #12
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We bought our boat in 2005 with central air, I have sailed all my life Iam 70 now and the importnt thing is my wife loves it we have a honda 2000 and it can run it we dont use it often, but the unit is priceless when it is cold or hot Ole
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:03   #13
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Thanks for all the input, a good mix of varying opinions. I have decided to go for it since I anticipate working from the boat while in the tropics (long hours below decks on a computer). I am hoping 16K Btu with two service air ducts in a Valiant 37 will be adequate. I would also like to run it in reverse air mode on chilly moorings in Southern Cal a few hours per day from battery power off an inverter.
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:48   #14
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You will be glad you have it. I have a 16,000 btuh Marine Aire on our 2003 HUnter 356. It keeps us warm and cool. We use our boat from early March through November on Kentucky Lake. Water temps go from around 40 in early March to 90 and beyond in mid summer. We stay very comfortable through all of these extremes. If the air and water temp is above 90, it usually takes a night to get everything cooled down and then we can maintain temperatures in the low 70's inside the boat. We have a 5kw Northern Lights (insulated and VERY QUIET) and keep it running at all times when away from the dock. That keeps the interior at our temperature setpoint of 72-74 and is always comfortable and not humid.

Trying to run the unit off an inverter will be very difficult. I have a 2000 watt inverter and 2 4D's. I haven't tried but don't think it would start and if so, the run time would be minimal. Consider a generator if you want to make it work away from the dock.

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