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Old 11-12-2011, 10:58   #16
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

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For AC summertime in FL or Caribbean.

1. At a marina, YES.

2. At anchor, 95% of the time if you have good awnings, no, BUT I have spent an occasional windless night being eaten alive by mosquitoes and noseeums when it was too hot to close the hatches but the bugs too bad to leave them open. On those rare nights I would have paid double for an AC which of course then would require a generator to power it.

I agree wit AC being a big thing if in a marina, which I think is why my boat has AC but no generator as would only use the AC when in a slip.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:08   #17
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

The only place I ever cruised where I really craved AC was in Bodrum marina one hot August with the Meltemi blowing like Satan's breath, and the waterfront discos thumping all night. Miserable!
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:12   #18
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

I would think a fan would work for me where I envision traveling. Although I'm more concerned with cool nights and a heater.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:24   #19
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Re: Does one need a generator and/or AC

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Also, the sun can be blinding when it gets close to the horizon, making it hard to enjoy your sundowners in the cockpit. Make up a rectangular tarp out of a woven synthetic fabric to hang vertically from the bimini as a sun blocker. The breeze is from the east so you won't be blocking it. I've forgotten the brand name of the fabric, but it comes in different "weaves" that block 75% or 95% of the sun, but you can still see through it from the cockpit. One of those little things that makes life on board more pleasant.
We bought about ten yards from Lowes when they had a sale on. It's a plasticky or nylon like fabric with a fairly open weave. Hemmed it all around and put some grommets in it. We hang it from our arch. Ideal for cocktail hour as the sun is punishing just before sunset. Ice in a drink will last another minute or so.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:56   #20
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

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For AC summertime in FL or Caribbean.

1. At a marina, YES.

2. At anchor, 95% of the time if you have good awnings, no, BUT I have spent an occasional windless night being eaten alive by mosquitoes and noseeums when it was too hot to close the hatches but the bugs too bad to leave them open. On those rare nights I would have paid double for an AC which of course then would require a generator to power it.

The above is VERY good advice well worth taking into consideration. I have lived, boated, camped and sailed in south Florida all my life so I'm a bit tainted. I feel about the summer heat the same way people who live way up north feel about snow. Your cruising stlye is going to dictate if an A/C unit is worth the investment. You won't need to use it all the time. In the summer there can be great breezes that in good conditions make open hatches wind scoops almost blanket weather. But like skipmac says above, I've been caught many times in windless conditions during the summer without A/C where your choice is to bake in your own sweat or get eaten alive by noseeums and swamp angels. Swamp angels have no problem flying out to your boat anchored well offshore. Baking in a closed up boat is far better. But if you have an admiral on board who you want to have spend time with you down here during the summer better think hard about an A/C.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:34   #21
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

I concur with those who say life in a florida marina requires AC for comfort sleeping. Spent years on the chesapeake with no AC, but moved here a couple years ago and had to install the AC. Also got new screens made to keep the noseeums out. On a mooring or at anchor, the breeze may suffice for comfortable sleeping.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:44   #22
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

I think so much depends on the person.

My wife and I are planning on cruising in the future and Genset and A/C will be high on my list. If it was go without or not go, then we'd do without. But if we can afford to do it with, that's my preference.

We've been in the BVI both with and without. When we go with, we do use it. Why not, we have it after all

The times we've been without, were in January and July. January was very comfortable and not needed. July was comfortable with a breeze. Had there been no breeze it would have been uncomfortable. We did have shore power A/C that trip and did enjoy it the first and last few nights when we were at a slip. Middle of the trip we were on moorings the whole time and it wasn't uncomfortable. We also didn't get much overnight rain.

Last trip in October though, we would have been very uncomfortable without it as it was hot and hardly any wind.
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Old 11-12-2011, 14:58   #23
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

Thank you for all your input. This is a great forum and great information resouce.Thanks again.

I am from Alaska but for the past many years have traveled the lower 48 in an RV so am really familiar with most areas. I have never been to the Bahamas or other offshore islands so am really curious as to the living conditions there. An AC and generator take up a lot of space and maintenance dollars. As I have been shopping for boats I have run across many..many..many boats with significant engine hours and earlier years (1990 ish) yet the genset has less than 100 hours. This cannot be good on a generator.

Your responses have convinced me to stick with getting a genset and A/C. The bug factor convinces me more than anything else. When we sailed in northern florida we wore insect repellent, long pants and had a fly swatter in each hand. luckily most of the biting flies and no seeums sleep. But then the mosquitos came out.

Thanks again and hopefully we will be in the islands this year and get to meet some of you.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:59   #24
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

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...Your responses have convinced me to stick with getting a genset and A/C. The bug factor convinces me more than anything else. ....
Lance,

If you do go ahead with your generator decision, whatever you buy, ensure that it's located in a position that allows you to get at the thing without difficulty. Too many folks shoe-horn a generator into an inexcessable position and then, because of the difficulty of getting to it, skimp on the maintenance, and then bitch about it when they have difficulties with the machine. Some generators require less maintenance than others and I would make that a high priority on my selection criteria.

FWIW...
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Old 13-12-2011, 20:51   #25
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I've had 2 boats with gens. I use mine to cook & charge the 8D house battery. The Westerbeke 8.0 diesel on my current boat has 1310 hours & the mains have 1425 hours. The Westerbeke has been very dependable & is quiet with out a sound shield. I'am sure a gen. that gets used regularly is in better shape than one that's 15 years old with less that a 100 hours. Good luck in your search.
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Old 13-12-2011, 20:58   #26
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

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How miserable would we be without it?
A lot depends on the boat.

My boat has six large hatches on deck, plus numerous opening ports. The most I ever need are a few good 12v cabin fans.

A lot of powerboats, on the other hand, have virtually no provision for ventilation. They become AC dependent.
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Old 13-12-2011, 21:00   #27
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

When we lived at a marina in South Florida, we had a drop in AC in our salon. It made things bearable when it was raining out or if there was 95 degrees with 95 % humidity.

During our circumnavigation, we never had AC or a genset, and we did fine in good comfort.
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Old 13-12-2011, 21:11   #28
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

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A lot depends on the boat.

My boat has six large hatches on deck, plus numerous opening ports. The most I ever need are a few good 12v cabin fans.
Well sure but look where you live. SF where the weather is beautiful and cool all the time. I should be so lucky.

But on the other hand, last time I was in SF, even in August the ocean temp was freezing. Had to wear a dry suit to dive Monterrey Bay. In south FL I can dive in 2 mil wet suit in Jan.
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Old 13-12-2011, 21:17   #29
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

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Well sure but look where you live. SF where the weather is beautiful and cool all the time. I should be so lucky.

But on the other hand, last time I was in SF, even in August the ocean temp was freezing. Had to wear a dry suit to dive Monterrey Bay. In south FL I can dive in 2 mil wet suit in Jan.
My boat, which is optimized for Baja, spends a great deal of time in the Sacramento Delta during the summer months, where the temperature is often higher than anything anywhere in Florida. We will often go weeks at a time where the daily high exceeds 100 degrees, and yet are quite comfy with our cabin fans.

I stick to my original point: it depends on the boat.

BTW: I've logged a couple thousand dives in Monterey Bay in a wetsuit. Not really a problem if you know what you're doing.
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Old 13-12-2011, 23:30   #30
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Re: Does One Need a Generator and/or AC

Hasn't anybody heard of screens. When the bugs come out, put up the screens. Screens will reduce air flow a bit but not all that much. The only place I would've liked AC was Norfolk, VA. Something about 100/100 temp/humidity that's not comfortable. Spent a summer in Tahiti with temps in the 90s and high humidity most of the time. Very comfortable because of our awning and wind scoop. We had no fans but would've been nice for a few evenings that summer during that short period of time when the winds were changing from sea to land breezes. If it was too hot below during those times, just sat in the cockpit where it was almost always comfortable.

If you are hanging in a marina, a portable unit may be a necessity as you don't the breeze you do at anchor. Of course being from Alaska, you may be like my relatives in Seattle. They turn the A/C on when I'm just getting comfortable in my down jacket.
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