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Old 28-07-2014, 06:07   #31
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

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Dergon-what did the crusair set you back ?

It was pricey. $3,500 for the unit itself plus ducting, hoses, strainer etc. (btw - I misspoke above. We have the 8000 btu unit, not 18000 )

Then it was another $2,500 for install. -- I don't do any of that stuff.

Call it $6k all done.
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Old 28-07-2014, 06:24   #32
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

We used a portable single hose unit for one year. The two problems were that because it exhausted hot air, it was in effect sucking warm air in from the outside. An air conditioner that recirculates interior air is much more efficient.

The other problem was what to do with the condensate. Our unit had a tray which had to be emptied twice a day. We could have attached a hose of course, but then would have had to drill a hole in the floor.

So after one year we replaced it with a "marine" air conditioner--much more expensive, but also much more efficient.

As I write this, I am looking at a $100 5000 BTU window air conditioner in our house and I wonder if anyone sells a coolant to water heat exchanger and duct kits to convert this to "marine" use.
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Old 28-07-2014, 06:52   #33
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

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I have a question-- Are your boats insulated? Upper hull,under floor decking and, super structure ?
Tartans have an air gap between the ceiling and the deck, but no insulation. I imagine a boom tent or shade would enhance the cooling.
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Old 28-07-2014, 07:17   #34
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

Canibul,
Has the a/c unit ever worked better? Perhaps it needs to be "tuned up" -- for example, if low on refrigerant only a portion of the evaporator coil will effectively be used. If the condenser is 21 years old, perhaps it has reduced flow and heat transfer. What is making all the noise? Is the compressor noisy, or is it the fan that blows air across the evaporator? Of course you can replace it and get a new unit that works, but a little debugging might save you a few dollars. On the other hand, you might find that by the time you've replaced the compressor, condenser and fan you might as well have bought a new unit.
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Old 28-07-2014, 07:36   #35
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

The a/c hasn't worked better in the two years we've owned it. Judging by the layers of dust I vaccumed off of it, I doubt it's been serviced in a long time. I can buy Freon here, but I don't know diddly about how to tell what's in it, or measure if it needs refrigerant, or how to put it in. And the stories I've heard of the local "air conditioning experts" here don't make me want to call a local repairman to do it. There are no restrictions on what you can call yourself here.

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Old 28-07-2014, 07:42   #36
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

Canibul, If you don't know how to service a/c (or reefer) and want to learn, Doolin's Trouble Shooters Bible is a good place to start. After taking a look around, feel. How cool is the low side on the compressor? Is it cold right after the capillary tube? Be careful touching the high side input to the condenser, it can be hot, but is the output of the condenser cooler than the input(is it transferring heat) ? Is the unit marked with its rating (in W, BTU/hr or tons?) A gauge set may not be necessary in a critically charged system, but can be had for only $50-$100 if you do need it.
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Old 28-07-2014, 08:05   #37
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

Thanks for the info. I'll have a look. basically, I've come around to the approach that if i can't do something myself here, it won't get done. I won't hire locals to do it in most cases, any more. Totally throwing money away, and I'm still going to have to learn how to fix it after I've paid them and they've left.

Right now I'm waiting on a new March pump, should be here tomorrow or Wednesday. That will fix the a/c to the point where I need to figure out how to recharge it.

I was looking at the portable homeowner a/c units, and saw that one of the popular brands is Lasko. Well, I've had quite enough personal experience with the quality of their products already. I decided to stick with the US made system and see if I can make it work better.

I have no documentation on it.
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Old 28-07-2014, 17:56   #38
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

They few Marine AC units I have experience with seem to be sealed units, that is there is nowhere to hook gauges to. I assume you could cut into, install the valves, pull a vacuum and recharge with refrigerant.

A 16K BTU os so Marine AC without the install kit as you don't need that is about $1,500 or so less I'm sure if you can shop around, but I have no idea as to price of getting it to you, I seem to think your in a difficult spot to receive stuff?
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Old 28-07-2014, 18:06   #39
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

No, it's not especially difficult. It's just expensive. Customs duties and fees typically add about 46% of the value of the merchandise, and then there are other fees tacked on.

I would assume something like this would be too much for Fed Ex. DHL might take it on, here. But it's expensive. Other alternative is sea freight from Miami, which is cheaper and takes a week or more after the shipment gets to their docks in Miami. The taxes are even higher, as there's a stevadore union contract here that adds a lot to the sea freight charges, and then the government taxes the mandatory sea freight insurance. I typically end up paying almost three times what something would cost in the US if I could just walk into a Costco or Lowes, or even a West Marine.

Freight can be a hassle. Not all suppliers will ship international. The Turks and Caicos don't even show up on the list of countries in many online ordering packages. West Marine will, and so will Defender. I pay a yearly subscription and numerous other tacked on charges to a forwarding company in Sarasota, so I have a US address to get stuff sent to, but it's not ideal. One advantage is that they will consolidate smaller shipments and this saves me Fed Ex charges and customs processing fees. It's not without some glitches. Things go missing. I'm presently shopping around for another courier/package forwarding service.
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Old 28-07-2014, 18:49   #40
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Re: Marine Air conditions for Sailboats

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We are testing and so far pleased with the LG portable self evaporating AC as replacements for our 5 MarineAir salt water cooled units (50' trawler). $250 at Home Depot or Wal Mart for an 8,000 BTU 8 Amp unit. Attachment 84931 here's a pic of one temporary installation, vented through a portlight, although we plan to install them in closet/cabinet space. Attachment 84932We have the battery bank/inverter and solar power to run one unit for 8-10 hours and recharge the banks the next day, but that's irrelevant to the use of these units as standard AC. Jay and Karen Campbell on Largo, Palmetto, FL


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Jay I tested exactly the same way but found that as per the manufacturer's' guideline the hot exhaust hose had to be straight for about 24“ and to have gentle bends otherwise unit would overheat and shut down.

Of course my criteria in the Philippines was 35C.

This link showed my eventual semipermanent solution which has worked great for years.


Shore Power Cooling system for a 30 foot boat
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Old 28-07-2014, 19:18   #41
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pirate Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

Marine Electrician On Call.

Boat AC my specialty. Expert on all boat systems except poop systems ... I don't do poop! Yes I poop most days but I'd rather not talk about that! Geez!

Send money and plane ticket. ASAP, I'm in a hurry to get outa Dodge.


Canibul, send that private jet for me...gots to get gone!



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Old 28-07-2014, 20:31   #42
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

LOL....it's great you don't do any toilet systems..... Hate to catch some of those blue crabs...)
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Old 28-07-2014, 20:51   #43
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Re: Marine Air conditions for Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Jay I tested exactly the same way but found that as per the manufacturer's' guideline the hot exhaust hose had to be straight for about 24“ and to have gentle bends otherwise unit would overheat and shut down.

Of course my criteria in the Philippines was 35C.

This link showed my eventual semipermanent solution which has worked great for years.


Shore Power Cooling system for a 30 foot boat - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Not sure if this thread is only interested in Marine units but here is an update on my portable unit like Jay is using. Mine is 7,000 BTU and I paid about $300 for it locally.

It has been on the boat about 3 weekends now. You can see the exhaust it just shoved through the forward hatch for now. Also the companionway boards are out and the saildrive is out - i.e. the boat is not sealed at all - LOL.

I am abusing the heck out of it and running it on a 300 meter extension spool. Yesterday it quit and I thought I had fried it. Actually the water holding tank filled and needed to be drained. 6 or 7 full days of no air recirculation (i.e. open hatches) before the tank got full seems pretty good. Drained the tank and it fired right up.

The unit will go into the cabinet (mocked up) transversely just aft of the head and by cutting the current seat pan I can lower its profile to about 50 inches above the seat. It should come even with the head aft bulkhead.

I am still contemplating the venting but It may go into the cabinet behind the head and vent out the side of the boat. I am toying with using rectangular profile PVC.

You can see I am abusing the heck out of bend angles on the vent - So far no issues and it's knowking about 15 degC out of OAT without any sealing on the boat. I dropped in the companionway boards one afternoon (about 32DegC OAT and it was very comfortable inside with no sealing on the overhead hatch or saildrive.

It's actually a godsend for working on the inside of the boat right now. I literally had to stop work between 1-3PM due to heat and now can work straight through.
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Old 29-07-2014, 05:21   #44
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

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Tartans have an air gap between the ceiling and the deck, but no insulation. I imagine a boom tent or shade would enhance the cooling.

I also have a boom tent. But I do not need that in any way to make the A/C work down below even on the hottest days.

It is purely for cockpit shade. (We have no dodger or bimini)
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Old 29-07-2014, 05:49   #45
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Re: Marine Air Conditioners for Sailboats

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I also have a boom tent. But I do not need that in any way to make the A/C work down below even on the hottest days.



It is purely for cockpit shade. (We have no dodger or bimini)

The difference may be that I am in S Florida....


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