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Old 31-12-2023, 08:18   #1
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Should we put in AC

So I am trying to decide if we should install one of those Mabru 12v 12.5kbtu AC’s into our moody 425. My plan was to put it in the engine bay (there is a spot for an OEM generator that was never installed) so it would blow back into the aft cabin and at least let us sleep comfortably.

We have 1600watts of solar and 540amps of lithium at 12v. So we could easily run it all day (it takes 50 amps at 12v for max) and a decent chunk of the night.

Does anyone have experience with these units or with marine AC’s in general. We are leaving on a circumnavigation and I’m trying to decide it it’s worth the $7-8k it will cost us to have installed
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Old 31-12-2023, 08:34   #2
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Re: Should we put in AC

We installed one- a Mermaid 16k BTU- on our boat - a number of years ago and it keeps things quite cool- at night, almost too cool summertime Gulf of Mexico. But unless we were on a dock, we usually have found little need for it. It takes up a fair amount of room I would like for other storage- in our case we lost a fair amount of one of our hanging lockers. As always, a matter of priorities. I encourage spares for it ( like anything else mechanical) particularly start-run capacitors, circuit breakers, and over-pressure switches. In our experience, those are most likely to fail. Not terribly expensive, but critical if you’re in an out-of-the-way gunkhole on a calm, sultry night.
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Old 31-12-2023, 08:52   #3
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Re: Should we put in AC

We installed an A/C to run off the batteries, but we almost never use it at night. Maybe once in a while a quick cool down before bed. It’s mostly used to cool off the cabin a little if cooking or working is too hot.

We are currently using it more as a heater than an A/C down in Florida. Off the dock, some heat before bed and then a heated blanket.

If interested, I did a whole write up on different A/C choices with lithium/inverter:https://www.clevermariner.com/post/c...-from-the-dock
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Old 31-12-2023, 09:09   #4
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Re: Should we put in AC

If you will spend time in ports/marinas in summer weather you’ll find it invaluable since most sailboats don’t ventilate great if not headed into the wind.
But if you’re going to be anchored always, and have hatch awnings for rain, you may not use much
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Old 31-12-2023, 09:47   #5
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Re: Should we put in AC

"decide it it’s worth the $7-8k it will cost us to have installed"??????
How much time do you think you will really **need** it?
Seems most circum-cruisers balance needful items, consumables and spares against weight and storage available. $4-7 k might be better utilized ?
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Old 31-12-2023, 09:53   #6
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Re: Should we put in AC

A/C is great if you're tied to a slip in a marina, as the airflow is minimal. Add Starlink and it will simulate being at home. You will be cozy in your salon watching YouTube videos.
Countless times we’ve noticed most dock neighbors holed up in their boat, a/c humming, Starlink linking, while we are out exploring the area, making local friends and living the cruiser life.
I guess my point is; adding too many comforts takes away some of the adventure.
We have several, lithium powered, portable fans about the boat. They clip wherever we want them. The battery lasts a couple of days. USB charged.
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Old 31-12-2023, 13:12   #7
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Re: Should we put in AC

The only cruisers that have been in the tropics and recommend against it are those who never had it. That kind of sums it up.

A/C is radically different with the introduction of units like the Mabru. Others who post comments like “cool it down before bed” etc. have the old on/off types, not the variable rpm units.

Boats with A/C don’t have mold, mildew. They can cook dinner inside in comfort while it pours rain and all hatches and portholes need to be closed. They don’t need to cover their bodies in deet to keep mosquitoes away
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Old 31-12-2023, 15:12   #8
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Re: Should we put in AC

Air conditioning may cost you more than money. I remember being anchored in the lagoon at Suwarrow in the Northern Cook Islands, one of the most magical places visited during our 22 years of cruising. We were there four weeks. There were a dozen or so boats in the anchorage during our visit. All except one boat had at least a couple on board. But there was one boat that we all assumed was a single hander. On the night before that boat departed, the skipper mentioned that his wife was on board. We were puzzled, we had never seen her on land, snorkeling, or at the nightly happy hour/potlucks. The skipper then said, “Well, we have A/C on board and my wife simply will not come on deck”. Sad.
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Old 31-12-2023, 15:37   #9
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Re: Should we put in AC

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The only cruisers that have been in the tropics and recommend against it are those who never had it. That kind of sums it up.

A/C is radically different with the introduction of units like the Mabru. Others who post comments like “cool it down before bed” etc. have the old on/off types, not the variable rpm units.

Boats with A/C don’t have mold, mildew. They can cook dinner inside in comfort while it pours rain and all hatches and portholes need to be closed. They don’t need to cover their bodies in deet to keep mosquitoes away
Incorrect. We’ve had it before and don’t feel the need. Letting yourself acclimate to the weather is a beautiful thing. Each to his own.
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Old 31-12-2023, 20:02   #10
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Re: Should we put in AC

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Incorrect. We’ve had it before and don’t feel the need. Letting yourself acclimate to the weather is a beautiful thing. Each to his own.
You didn’t read the examples I listed? You are not liking to cook inside with all hatches and portholes closed in the blazing sun. And your boat doesn’t get acclimated, it molds.
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Old 01-01-2024, 03:28   #11
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Re: Should we put in AC

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Originally Posted by SV Confianza View Post
We installed an A/C to run off the batteries, but we almost never use it at night. Maybe once in a while a quick cool down before bed. It’s mostly used to cool off the cabin a little if cooking or working is too hot.

We are currently using it more as a heater than an A/C down in Florida. Off the dock, some heat before bed and then a heated blanket.

If interested, I did a whole write up on different A/C choices with lithium/inverter:https://www.clevermariner.com/post/c...-from-the-dock



Good writeup. Please keep us posted on how this works out.
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Old 01-01-2024, 04:21   #12
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Re: Should we put in AC

If you are going to spend any time in the tropics, and if you have the space, power and funding to install it I would definitely do it.
Before we had our AC, which we usually only use in a marina or on hot, rainy, buggy nights on the hook we often suffered and didn't sleep well.
We would be enjoying a nice tropical breeze with all of the ports and hatches open and then the rain would start. After jumping up and frantically closing everything up, we would lay back down and start sweating. Until, the rain stopped and we would open up again, only to repeat the drill in another hour. This scenario happens often in the tropics, and the admiral was not at all pleased with it.
I categorize the nay sayers along with those who think that a watermaker is not necessary and they live on a quart of water per person a day. They either don't cruise in the tropics or they have never had the luxury of being comfortable during hot, steamy nights.
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Old 01-01-2024, 17:37   #13
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Re: Should we put in AC

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You didn’t read the examples I listed? You are not liking to cook inside with all hatches and portholes closed in the blazing sun. And your boat doesn’t get acclimated, it molds.
I read your examples, yet we’ve had no problem being without AC while anchored.
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Old 03-01-2024, 13:03   #14
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Re: Should we put in AC

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The only cruisers that have been in the tropics and recommend against it are those who never had it. That kind of sums it up.

A/C is radically different with the introduction of units like the Mabru. Others who post comments like “cool it down before bed” etc. have the old on/off types, not the variable rpm units.

Boats with A/C don’t have mold, mildew. They can cook dinner inside in comfort while it pours rain and all hatches and portholes need to be closed. They don’t need to cover their bodies in deet to keep mosquitoes away
I just don't understand how this is such a game changer. Based on what I can find on the power usage of the Mabru, it will still use about the same power throughout the day as one of the more efficient traditional options. It uses less in a given moment, but it runs a lot longer.

I have had a really hard time finding actual real world use power comparisons vs traditional systems, so I am happy to be corrected!
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Old 03-01-2024, 13:24   #15
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Re: Should we put in AC

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I just don't understand how this is such a game changer. Based on what I can find on the power usage of the Mabru, it will still use about the same power throughout the day as one of the more efficient traditional options. It uses less in a given moment, but it runs a lot longer.

I have had a really hard time finding actual real world use power comparisons vs traditional systems, so I am happy to be corrected!
The savings are 50-60% and it’s whisper quiet and without startup surge.
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