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Old 15-04-2021, 16:54   #1
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Question Air Conditioning Install Cost?

I'm in the process of pricing out a new Lagoon 450. One option that's very expensive is air conditioning. They want $25k to install Reverse Cycle CRUISAIR (48,000 BTU).

For anyone who's had A/C installed in their cat ex-factory, what was the approximate cost (East Coast of US) and would you recommend having A/C installed after market?

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 15-04-2021, 17:30   #2
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

Lots of tradesmen in Lauderdale and West Palm that can give you price. But there is no reason you need reverse cycle A/C - just another thing to break.
If you ever need heat, buy a oil filled electric radiator.
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Old 15-04-2021, 18:03   #3
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

Have no idea about the cost of A/C on a Lagoon 450. But, I would imagine, that it's not the cost of the actual A/C unit, or the water pump to run it, or the thru hull fittings needed. Most likely, the main cost, is running ducting through out the boat.
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Old 15-04-2021, 19:09   #4
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

I agree with Davy - the big cost is installation. I've replaced dead units but reused existing ductwork and plumbing. I can't imagine how much labor is involved in doing it from scratch.

Are they quoting you a single aircon unit? Usually this sort of thing on cats is done with multiple smaller units. That gives you individual control in different areas of the boat, which likely heat and cool differently based on how the boat is facing the Sun.
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Old 15-04-2021, 19:15   #5
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

I just replaced my 20 year old Cruise Air system. Old was 3 condensers in the stern that went to 6 evaporator/blower units in the cabins and salon (2 for each condenser). The main unit was a 30,000 btu and the two that went to the cabins were 18,000 btu's, so a total of 66,000 btu's or a little over 5 tons. These were heat pumps so we had not problem. I can't imagine a single reason to not install heat pumps. There were linesets that ran all through the boat and a ton of electrical wiring. Also, there was only one very large water pump for the system which ran no matter if one or all three units called for cooling.

I pulled them out and replaced the salon unit with a 16,000 btu Marinaire. It has a 6" duct that I split to two outlets. This single unit will cool the boat about 10 degrees below ambient temp during full sun days. At night it will cool the boat completely. If we left the doors to the cabins open there wouldn't need to be any more a/c. But I did install two more 6,000 btu units in my main aft cabins. So the total a/c on the boat is 28,000 btu's - half of before. The new units are self-contained and I installed them myself but have been a mechanical contractor since birth. A big differences are the sound levels - super quiet, the power draw, way lower, and the humidity level, way lower. I think it cost about $6,000 for the units and parts, but there were already units there so it was less then with a new install. I would guess for this install from scratch you would have another $2,000 in parts. It took 6 man days to pull the old units out and put the new units in. That was with pretty skilled labor and we did it right - all of it. I'd think that a new system, not counting the thru-hulls, would add another four man days on to the install. So, 10 days, 8 hours, 80 x $100 = $8,000. Any regular company would mark up the parts, so those would probably go to $12,000 with the thru-hulls - so a total of $20k. If you did all 4 cabins - I can see it costing $25k. I did like the fact that it only cost me $6k plus my time and that it works so well. We don't need a/c in the front cabins so that wasn't an issue anyway.
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Old 16-04-2021, 09:46   #6
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

Does anyone know of a qualified AC installer in the Melborne Fl. area?
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Old 16-04-2021, 11:00   #7
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfin View Post
Lots of tradesmen in Lauderdale and West Palm that can give you price. But there is no reason you need reverse cycle A/C - just another thing to break.
If you ever need heat, buy a oil filled electric radiator.
Yep, while I have always been intrigued by the reverse cycle units, the heater only works if you're in 40 degree water or warmer. Ironically, when you need the heater, the water is always colder than that - you'd think they'd come up with a way to preheat the incoming water so you could actually use the darned thing when you need it.
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Old 16-04-2021, 12:03   #8
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

If you are buying direct from factory, see if they will put in the ducting & thru-hulls and leave the A/C install to you. Ducting after everything is sealed up can be a challenge...

When we were pricing, the one person we were told would install an A/C wanted $250/hr. We decided I would install it myself, with a little help from my brother. If you're not terrified of taking a 4" hole saw to your new boat, you can do it yourself too. We were fortunate in that there was an unused thru hull we could use for the inlet, but still had to drill holes for the ducting and discharge. (There was a person in our marina that used lines tied to the mast and other points to heel his monohull over while he drilled a new thru hull for his A/C inlet.)
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Old 16-04-2021, 23:14   #9
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

Installation costs are the pricy side of the equation. Watched a guy work for weeks to install new heat systems in a boat that had reverse cycle heat pumps. This brand new power boat is going to Idaho where heat pumps don't work for the coldest 2-3 months when you need them most. The issue was the ducting and hose runs for the new heated hot water system, diesel heat with remote fans. The builder did not leave any access, through runs etc for any other system. It was a nightmare to do a 1st class job.
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Old 17-04-2021, 18:41   #10
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Re: Air Conditioning Install Cost?

We just installed a 16k in a friends 42ft monohull. Thruhull, water pump outlet etc no problem. Running 5in dia ducting was a major nightmare and some is still visible in areas. I canít imagine being happy wit that on a new boat.
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