I have started to casually consider installing an air conditioning
unit on our Jeanneau
43 DS. If we do it, I plan to install it myself. We are in US PNW
and don't need AC very frequently but it is occasionally needed and when it is needed it gets really bad. Also we eventually plan to sail south to Southern California
so want to have some options.
That being said, I have a bunch of limitations. I can only install a small unit. First of all, we only have a portable generator
and don't want to use it for air conditioning
. So planning to use it on shore power
or in limited capacity on solar
. We have 960 watts of rigid solar panels
, which can pump
in easily 65 amps on a sunny day when AC will be needed (controller is a Victron
150/70, so capped at 70A). We also have 600 Ah LifePo4
, with an option to upgrade to 700 Ah. So a small unit, running either on shore power
or for ~6 hours on anchor
is the goal. We have a Magnum 2800 watt pure sine inverter
. While planning to change it to a bigger Victron
, it is not an immediate goal. So needs to work
with this setup.
Size and space is also another consideration. We have a Webasto hydronic heater
(more of a necessity in PNW) with 4 blowers and it takes a fair bit of space.
These are obviously some significant restrictions, the only practical option I found is a Webasto FCF-6000 (link
). It is rated at 115V/ 4.7 Amps with a starting Surge: 21 Amps. The next bigger unit is FCF-10000 but starting surge is 34 amp, which is even exceeding our shore inlet of 30A, and the capacity of our inverter
which is a no go. FCF-6000 would draw around 540W on average with a peak of 2415W. Average usage is acceptable for us and peak is within the limits of our inverter. We already have an unused thru hull
previous owner installed, so want to take advantage of that.
Now obviously, 6000 BTU is a pretty small unit for a boat
like 43 DS which has good big windows (which we love).
I have two questions: Is this worth the effort on my side? Or is 6000 practically useless? If we could bring the temperatures a bit down it would help. Also, is this something that can be a DIY
install or will I be taking too much on? I am reasonably handy, having installed all electronics
, lithium batteries
with adjusted chargers, alternator
protector, solar panels
, Webasto forced air heater
etc on our current boat
(and the previous boat). But this is a more complex install and electrical wiring
will be more complicated with grounding etc. Wondering how complicated this is.
Any thoughts, suggestions?
Thanks much in advance!