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Old 06-12-2006, 06:55   #1
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Drop in Ac

We live in Trinidad about 5 months a year during the Hurricane season and are looking for advice on drop in air conditioners.It is very humid here in the summer and it rains almost daily so every time we leave the boat we must close it up.
The only unit I have seen is the cruisair that West Marine offers at around $900.00.We also want to be able to take the unit on and off the boat easily so we can sail.We are in a marina when in Trinidad so electicity is at hand.
Any help will be appreciated!
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:30   #2
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i have some recent experience with the crusair portable AC. it fits in an overhead hatch and does a good job of cooling my 33' boat except in the hottest part of the day. the canvas hood does not seal as well as I would like ... so I stuffed some towels around the unit and sometimes these got wet from condensation or rain. when you remove it will you store in the boat or in a dock box? it is fairly heavy and bulky but maybe a good simple solution for you.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:38   #3
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The portable is only 4800 BTU's. Our 33 ft CSY (with solid glass deck) with 9,000 BTU's in a built in Crusair isn't great when the hot sun is out, but works just fine after dark. Our 36 ft boat has 16,000 BTU's and can be cool all day. 4800 is not that much for your 37ft boat.

To really be cool you'll want at least 12,000 to 16,000 BTU's / Hr. I would think this isn't going to work very well except at night when the sun is down. If you had a canvas awning it would help a lot. Just getting the sun off the deck will buy almost 10 degrees F on a really hot sunny day.

Maybe consider an awning as well as the portable. The awning is also great on the hook.
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:09   #4
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actually the crusair has 6720 btus. it will not cool on a hot sunny day but does take the humidity out. at night mine could cool the boat down to 68 degrees in the florida summer. also some portable fans will help a lot.
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:13   #5
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A very popular option here in South Florida is to buy a household A/C and build a little dog house for it. The 8000 BTU A/C that we have used for the last 2 years cost us $158 !!! The most cooling for the buck! I also have to agree about the mooring cover. I'm changing boats as we speak, but one of the first things I make for the new boat will be a mooring cover that will go from stem to stern.
Bob
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:28   #6
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If you just want real cool I would agree with the houshold AC as the portables just don't have the BTUs. You just need to be careful with all those Amps running through the boats AC system. It provides a way to test your wiring. I would check the wires running to the outlet and make sure the ground is good. With the terrible power in Florida you don't need anything going wrong.
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Old 06-12-2006, 15:57   #7
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I have to agree on the household "window unit" IF your boat has a bridge deck or you are handy at putting together a box to pass the air into the cabin from a hatch. I have owned two boats with the cruise air portable. My Catalina worked well with the cruise air since the hatches were large enough to push the unit in and out. My C&C has smaller hatches and I have to take the Cruise Air in and out via the companionway, so it stays stored in my garage all of the time and I deal with the heat. Some of the window AC units are tiny and inexpensive. I may just sell my Cruise Air...
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Old 06-12-2006, 16:16   #8
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Thanks every one for your ideas.We have an awning so that is good.We have a small house type that we are renting at the present but it seems to be a pain to take out when we want to daysail.Thought there might be something,cost wise, between the West product and a modified home portable.
We keep the temp at around 77degrees because we do not want to have weather shock entering the heat.
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Old 06-12-2006, 18:17   #9
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We mounted our household A/C over the V-berth hatch opening. Sorry, I don't know the name of the specialty foam board that's commonly used for this, but it has a silver skin on the outside ... also used "aluminum tape" ... now THAT is some handy stuff!!! Tied the whole shebang to the deck with some utility cord. I'm sure we got zero points for style, but just made a 200 NM trip with it attached .... and had no problems whatsoever ... matter of fact, when we tied up in a marina .. we used it!!!
Bob
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Old 06-12-2006, 20:17   #10
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When I was looking into A/c I was worried about draw, wiring in the boat etc, but knew that I needed it on both of my boats to make them useful in the hot, humid Florida summers.
I played with the household a/c units but had difficulty removing them, keeping them safe from theft when in strange marinas, sealing the openings and most of all I had issues with keeping the water out of the boat. I had to deal with a constant flow of water from the unit over the top of the boat.
When I priced out the cost of marine units, my eyes came out of my head as usual with anything that has "marine" in the title.
For one season I had an a/c unit installed on deck from a motor home shop. The look was horrific, however the unit had a built in system to ease the draw upon start up. The unit was grossly overpowered for a 50 ft boat and only lasted two seasons before it started to continually fail.
I had purchased my second boat at that time and wanted to find something small and practical that could work off a small generator or my battery banks.
I purchased three portable a/c units. Two for the 50 footer and 1 for the 26 footer.
I have not had an issue in two years, the boats are not only cool but they are dehumidified. I only ever ran the two units at the same time in the 50 footer. Generally we found it to be over kill.
I have never run the a/c off of the battery pack.
The install was easy, I simply have a exhuast hose that is run out of a porthole. When not in use the vent is stored and the port is closed.
http://www.compactappliance.com/xq/JSP.detailmain/EdgeStar_12000_BTU_Portable_Air_Conditioner___Heat er__Dual_Motor__Silver___FREE_SHIPPING/itemID.11829/itemType.PRODUCT/iMainCat.23/iSubCat.38/iProductID.11829/qx/shopping/product/AP410HS.htm?mtcCampaign=1501
The above link is to a similar item but not the same a/c unit. I purchased my units new off of ebay for 1/4 of the price (scratch and dent)
Just my opinion.
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Old 07-12-2006, 18:28   #11
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We tried the EdgeSar unit in our Tartan 40, and found that it did not do the trick for us at all. Always seemed to be in the way, hard - for us at least - to stow while under way as it's on wheels, and harder still to get out of the boat. Worst of all was the performance. The hose that goes through the window, or port, gets so hot it all but cancels out the air conditioning. Even wrapping insulation around the (6 inch thick?) hose did little to help. That was a year ago, maybe they've improved since then?

We switched to the 48k btu portable and are very happy with it. With full shade awnings it does a fine job until the temperature starts pushing into the 90's, then it's a bit hot during the day, but cools off at night. Hosing off the deck a few times a day helps when it really gets hot. Gonesail is right about the canvas cover, it's hard to get it to seal correctly, but it can be done with a little perseverance. I also like the way it can quickly be stowed, either in the boat, the car, or even in a dock box if you have a large enough one. We live aboard and our goal is to be away from the dock within and hour of deciding to go, so the cruisair works for us. If that were not a consideration I would definitely go with a household unit.

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Old 08-12-2006, 08:34   #12
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the problem as I see with these portables is that they are exhausting air at a fairly rapid rate from the interior .. and some way or another the hot outside air will find a way into the boat to balance the vacuum. it would seem that the best solution is to pay the money and install a marine AC
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Old 08-12-2006, 20:35   #13
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gonesail,
why wouldn't the hot outside air be entering the boat throught the household ac unit, being cooled in the process? how is the box which is the boat different from the box which is the house, from the ac unit's perspective?
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:16   #14
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The condenser is inside the boat on the EdgeStar units, hence the heated air must be exhausted outside, requiring equivalent make-up-air from (hot) outside.
A conventional house-hold air-conditioner places the condenser outside, and can be set to a re-cycle mode, wherein no inside air is exhausted. The inside air only circulates through the evapourater.
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:04   #15
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Drop In AC

I tried the Cruise Air A/C and it did not work. I tried it on our P-36 in CT. The hull is painted blue and there is absolutely no shade until the sun goes down.

I returned it to Boat/US and went to a local RV retailer and purchased a drop in A/C (Carrier??) that they use for a RV. It keeps the boat cool all of the time; day or night and dehumidifies really well also.

It drops into the hatch above the galley and has a moveable vent so that the cold air is directed up and down. We leave the door to the forward cabin open so that we can cool off that area.
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