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Old 08-06-2017, 03:17   #16
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Lived on a boat in the tropics for a few years and very seldom wanted air con but I was anchored 99% of the time. However, like Pelagic the times I needed it the most was when anchored on a hot, muggy night when the bugs attacked. Then it comes down to getting eaten alive or closing all the ports and hatches and going below to die of heat stroke. It is also nice when tied up in a marina on the rare occasions that I did.

For what it's worth we are also no longer young and my wife has occasional "heat sensitivity" but has found that turning up the air con cools the room but doesn't cool her.
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Old 08-06-2017, 03:27   #17
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Sounds like you haven't gotten to the "watermaker" discussion.
From my experience, we didn't need the A/C at anchor, except when sitting through torrential rainstorms; couldn't keep the hatches open, relative humidity at about 1000% - so we ran the genny, made water, did laundry, watched movies and topped up the batteries (solar not optimal when overcast).
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:54   #18
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

I say YES to the air conditioning. If you don't use it you don't. But if conditions are that you wish for it it is great!. I'm currently on a mooring and the current keeps the boat pointed out of the wind. On the 90 degree 80% humidity days the air conditioning makes it nice inside instead of sitting in a sweat puddle.

Also when anchored in a swamp area, you can let the bugs eat you or you can go below close up the boat and turn on the AC.
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:59   #19
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

We have lots of glass... and both high heat and high humidity especially in July and August... sometimes bugs when its very still out.. and our natural ventilation isn't great, especially when we have to close up for rain... so we use the built-in ACs a lot during those periods and when in marinas.

Having AC and using it when you want it... seems slightly better than not having it when you feel you need it... and messing around with portable units wouldn't ring my chimes.

The cost of built-in marine AC, spread over a boatload of years, can be fairly reasonable...

Ditto genset cost, assuming additional appliances like water heaters, washer/dryer, etc... and those pesky batteries will want bulk charging from time to time anyway, probably even with solar onboard...

It is often just easier to solve the problem during the shopping/purchase phase -- buy with installed genset and AC -- than it is to add those same systems after the fact.

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Old 08-06-2017, 05:00   #20
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

We spent seven years living aboard our 40' boat in San Diego with no air conditioner. There were only about 10 or so nights we wished we had one.

Spent three summers in the Sea of Cortez north of Santa Rosalia with no air conditioner. It took a while to get used to the heat but, by the middle of the 2nd summer we seldom felt bothered or annoyed by the lack of AC.

The only time we really regretted having no A/C was while tied to the dock in Santa Rosalia. And, occasionally in the Puerto Escondido inner harbor where there was not much breeze.

While in Mexico we had a great Spectra watermaker and thus an unlimited supply of fresh water. Every day my wife and I each took many quick, short, refreshing showers while standing on the swim step.

We've been in SW Florida for three months and could not stand living aboard without air conditioning.

My wife has always (we've owned the boat 22+ years) wanted a washing machine. We've lived aboard about 10 of those years and spend a lot of time in very remote locations. She is a clean freak and the lack of a washing machine is very disturbing to her.

Water, Power, Space - that is all you need for AC and a washer/dryer.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:32   #21
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Holly, if you are buying a new boat get the A/C installed by the manufacturer. as the work to install later if you change your mind will be huge. You will find that most people will consider A/C an important feature for re-sale when you decide to sell. As with most things in expensive upgrades, the people who say they don't need it are also the same people that can't afford it.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:58   #22
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Been in the tropics for 18 months now. We don't have AC and have never felt we needed it. In fact, we actually dislike it when we go into places with it. After leaving those places, I always feel hotter than when I arrived.

As to a washing machine. We use a Panda for our family of five (we tried the spinny egg and it didn't work). The Panda is not automatic (you manually fill it and drain it), but it easily runs off our inverter.

Personally I agree with your husband.. Simple is best!
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:30   #23
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

I suspect this is very regional. The US east coast has some muggy harbors where life without AC is not worth living.

I would tend to follow the AC but no generator group, since it is in marinas where it is most vital. As for age, I started cruising ~ 35 and I'm 56 now--I don't think age has changed either my or my wife's heat sensitivity.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:38   #24
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

If you are going to sail in the tropics, especially during the rainy season(s) AC is required. The "breezes" issue is completely moot when you have all the hatches closed because of "vertical rain".
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:10   #25
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

I agree with thinwater that it is regional, depending on the local climate. In Florida, you need to have AC. In Socal where I sailing, mostly what you need is a dehumidifier. It is dry and warm during the day then it gets to 80% relative humidity and cold during the night. Ideally, you want to maintain the boat at 50-60% humidity which is not possible without a dehumidifier. I have both an AC and a dehumidifier and I rarely use the AC. All of this at the dock where most people spend most of time.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:29   #26
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

I agree with Rourkeh, if you are buying new, get the builder to add it and you won't notice the extra expense as much because it's rolled into a lump sum. If you are buying used, figure about $3000 per unit give or take. On the Chesapeake there are days that are very still and 100 degrees, so AC is a very welcome comfort. In the tropics, any time you stay at a marina, you can't rely on a strong wind to cool things off like at anchor. It's one of those things that you use it if you have it and wonder why you didn't do it earlier! Of course, I am not a big fan of temperatures over 90............(pun not intended)
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:35   #27
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Check out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBo...5HI5CXFsCxOhmA
Gone with the Wynns vlog where they spend a lot of time talking about how they have set up their boat with Lithium and solar. You can also check out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIy...Uhlfkd34f8FrEg
Catamaran Impi as they have moved to Lithium as well. You can check in with both of them and ask about AC on Lithium & solar only.

We are in the process of specing a new catamaran ourselves and are looking to install around 1200 AH Lithium and 1200 W solar. Will also likely be installing a small high RPM genset like a Diesel Generator 3kW high rpm - MARINE for those cloudy days.

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Old 08-06-2017, 08:36   #28
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

We sailed in Asia for 12+ years, then 3 in the Medd, and now have completed 3 seasons in the E. Caribb. We have 2 aircons installed, 1 for the mastr suite and 1 for the rest of our 43' boat, and a genset; the aircons are critical when in the tropics....and in a marina. But when we're out and about, I don't think we've ever used them! There's almost always some breeze, and if not we do have multiple Hella 12vDC fans mounted around. Having the fans is a must!
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:36   #29
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

As others have said, it all depends on your local climate. In northern Europe there is no need for aircon. Been there, done that. For years. Wife sensibly does not like cold rain down the back of neck. So moved over a dozen years ago to the Med. First boat there no aircon. Second and current boat came with it. In the Marina there is now absolutely NO WAY that I would want to be without it.

We also have a generator. As I generally use the aircon on shore power the generator would be ditched week before aircon.

Actually, the generator would also go before the washing machine.

Past a certain age comforts are generally worth paying for. If you can afford the sort of boat you suggest you can probably afford the comforts. The financial pain of boat ownership is an unavoidable part of the deal so why go into denial?
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:41   #30
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

If you plan on being anywhere south of the southeastern coast of the United States during the months of May June July August then air conditioning is a must. Anyone who says otherwise has not spent substancial time in the Bahamas or Caribbean during the summertime.
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