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Old 13-04-2015, 18:21   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Thailand and Laos
Boat: Bavaria 37 (2007)
Posts: 448
Images: 17
any experience with deck mounted AC unit?

I currently have a standard inboard marine AC unit, the type that uses sea water through the heat exchanger and frankly it is a pain in the arse. It gets an air bubble in the water line everytime I go out that requires bleeding the line before I get back and even worse, the cooling plates frost up in the high tropical humidity and becomes a solid block of ice reducing its cooling efficiency. I have to manually turn it off every couple of hours to let it defrost.

I notice that some of the long term liveaboards around me have fitted standard domestic window units on their saloon roof with makeshift ducting through a hatch. I dont want to go down that path because I think it looks ugly and would have to be removed everytime I go out.

So I have been looking at those low profile units they make for caravans and RV's. They are low enough not to interfere with my boom or rigging but I have never seen anyone here in Thailand using one to ask for their feedback.

Any comments would be appeciated, especially about robustness and corrosion resistance.

Thanks in advance
"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde
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Old 13-04-2015, 20:51   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pensacola, FL
Boat: 1969 Roamer ChrisCraft, Riveria, 46'
Posts: 133
Re: any experience with deck mounted AC unit?

A good friend had one on his boat in Florida. It was well sheltered from sea spray and such. I serviced it several times. It worked well, was water tight for rain, but I would not want it installed anywhere a wave could hit it. The salt air would corrode up the condenser fins and require a good cleaning every year. After about 5 yrs the condenser is shot and the compressor will cutout due to thermal protection. But compared to the cost of marine units and servicing, it was a cheaper option that didn't require half the maintanence.

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deck, enc

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