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Old 08-06-2017, 17:08   #46
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

really depends on where you plan on sailing, I installed one on my boat I do not use all the time but it makes a big difference no only cooling but heat as well, on your size boat I would say yes, but you can always add one later
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Old 08-06-2017, 18:58   #47
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Lots of people want to rough it and be hot. I dont. I grew up in the tropics and so am not afraid of heat but when we are in the Caribbean the trade winds work fine at anchor but in marinas we would die without air. More accurately I would die because my wife would be gone. And in Chexapeake Bay or south of there in the summer it is ungodly hot wherever you are.

An running the AC for a night or two dries everything out. Realy a good bonus
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Old 08-06-2017, 19:30   #48
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

As several others have stated no need for an air con at anchor even in tropical waters. It is always a sea breeze no matter what the direction!

I have had boats with them and without and the only time it was appreciated is when in a sheltered marina in the tropics. The rest of the time they are a real burden with regards maintenance , cost and weight. A big generator is needed which is expensive, noisy and unless very well insulated actually creates a lot of heat in its own right which heats up the boat. Marine air cons are quite complex with water cooling and all the related problems such as blockages, fouled filters, corrosion etc. I would never have another one. If you do find yourself in a marina in the tropics for a spell you can always buy a cheap domestic one and mount it over a hatch using coreflute (plastic corrugated carboard) to provide a good fit. Much much cheaper and reliable than marine aircon.

If you go without aircon you can be totally solar powered to run fridges, washing machines via inverters etc etc. A small portable generator such as a Honda 2000 is sometimes useful on rare occasions. On a Cat you can have acres of solar panels and they are now quite cheap. A proper marine air con and generator is likely to cost 20K upwards and really hurt your sailing performance especially being a cat. Probable weight 300kg and up.

Good luck

Andrew
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Old 08-06-2017, 22:24   #49
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Thank you for the perspectives! Wow, didn't consider the bugs on a humid, hot day. Yes, first world problems but I can see creature comforts are going to matter. I'm fine downsizing to two pairs of shoes and giving up ice cream but for as hard as I've worked over the last 30 years, I don't want to choose between getting eaten alive by bugs or dying from a hot flash because my husband wanted to go old school in retirement and ditch the A/C.

Based on everything I've heard from you guys, it's going in the manufacturer's invoice. The Skipper just doesn't know it yet ;-)
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Old 08-06-2017, 22:50   #50
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

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Originally Posted by Holly3785n View Post

Based on everything I've heard from you guys, it's going in the manufacturer's invoice. The Skipper just doesn't know it yet ;-)
LoL....explain it to him this way;

You can
Have Hot Love
or
Hot Sweaty Love (by yourself)
.. Your choice!

and you will find that the familiar hum of the generator makes a useful sound barrier if you have guests on board
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:16   #51
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

You WILL need/want A/C in marinas in the tropics...period. You have shore power to run it, so you don't need a generator for that, as others have noted. The important point I would add is that it also drys things out. The tropics are humid, and all those pleasant breezes flowing through the boat at anchor are bringing in salty moisture and after a while the salt builds up and holds the moisture in all the porous materials. Upholstery, linens, towels, cloths, etc just keep getting damper and start to get musty and mold along with the woodwork. We pull into a marina, crank that baby up and do all the laundry and interior cleaning every couple of weeks. Couldn't do it without A/C.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:28   #52
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

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As with many-many other things on this forum, it's all about money. People cruising/living on cheap boats get used to the level of comfort they can afford. They better like it because often there's not much of a choice.
If you're thinking to buy brand new catamaran, it's better to listen folks on boats worth $500K or more. They chose different level of comfort, and their opinion most likely will be very different.

Good point about who you are getting advice from.

Can you live without air/con? Sure but if you are buying a $500k boat it's probably not a question of "can" but do you "want" to live without air/con.

If you are at home on a still 95 degree humid day and are quite happy with nothing but a small fan, you will probably be happy on a boat with nothing but a light breeze.

Going along the east coast, we often turned the air/con on to get the humidity down and on calm days, keep the bugs out.

And then there is resale values. People buying boats like this will generally want air/con and will discount a boat that doesn't have it because retrofitting is typically much more expensive than getting it new from the factory when everything is open and it's easy to run ducts and wiring.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:30   #53
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

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As others said....if you are in a Marina in the Tropics with Temps above 33įC you need AirCon!

For a No Gen and Drydock solution... I came up with a "cake and eat it" idea that works great on Stargazer.

I installed a 0.5 HP dripless Window Aircon in my aft cabin to cool the Owners area and even the engine room when the door is open

After Start it draws only 1-2 amp 220v and runs easily on invertor.

After testing, I installed permanently with compressor section in lazarette, insulated well so that only return air circulates and kept escape hatch below for emergencies.

The hot air escapes out the large deck hatch
will post photos
Nice install Pelagic. Well done!
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Old 09-06-2017, 21:55   #54
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

We have now lived on our lagoon 450S for 10 months sailed 9,000 nm we have 1700 watts of solar. Plenty of battery, but at times when needing to make water and we have been without sun or at sea for a long time with auto pilot and all the instruments running we do find we need generator. There are times with certain power tools. We don't use the air con unless we are at a marina. But it is a must in our opinion the marinas have no wind and you are sitting in hot protected area. However there is times where we have been so tired and so hot. We fire up the gen turn on the air and enjoy a good nap!!! If you can afford do Gen & Air! If you are really you g to live-aboard full time. It will help you stay in a happy marriage/partnership. As for a washer we are plumbed but haven't found a 220v that fits. But we can live without.
Good Luck and happy cruising
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Old 10-06-2017, 00:13   #55
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

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Most women don't like boats. .
Wifey B: Where do you come up with statement like that? Most of our friends are women and they all love boats. I love boats.
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Old 10-06-2017, 00:16   #56
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

We have air conditioning in our land home so we're definitely going to have it in our other home, our boat.

Warm temperature is not conducive to good sleep. We sleep in no warmer than 72 degrees but sleep experts recommend 68 degrees or below.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:10   #57
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

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We have air conditioning in our land home so we're definitely going to have it in our other home, our boat.

Warm temperature is not conducive to good sleep. We sleep in no warmer than 72 degrees but sleep experts recommend 68 degrees or below.
Spend enough time in the tropics and you will find that 77 (25įC) is cold at night
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:16   #58
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

Iíve lived on boats in the Sea of Cortez and Thailand/Malaysia. It gets hot. AC is nice but two things I have against it: 1) If youíre boat is air conditioned you donít want to go out into the heat. Whatís the purpose to have a boat? (Perhaps you should add a TV, a couch, and some potato chips.) 2) The necessary generator adds weight (and takes up space). If you like to sail thatís somewhat detrimental. And 3) The most common reason people have for being stuck in marinas and not going sailing is ďWeíre waiting for parts for the generator.Ē On the other hand, living in heat without one affects your ability to count.

I met a boat where they ran an automobile-type AC off the engine, just as an engine driven refer for about an hour a day during which time they also used it to charge the refer, make water, and charge the batteries. This is what Iím considering for my next boat. It may not be powerful enough to cool the whole boat but maybe just a room or two. For me, since Iím relatively tolerant to heat and get by usually on those computer fans, I probably wouldnít use AC that often. I, also, donít intend to cruise Florida in the summer. Of course, it puts the load on an engine instead of the generator. But at an hour a day for a short time I think the added wear is reasonably small. Itís easier for me to maintain one motor than two. And anywhere there are cars in heat (Hmmmm!) there are auto AC-repairmen.

Anyway, thatís a possibility. There are others: Sail in Norway. Anchor near a bar. Make friends with people whose boat is air-conditioned. Once, some friends and I went to the new opera in La Paz because it was air-conditioned
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:23   #59
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

I lived near the equator most of my life, last few decades never any A/C even in added concrete jungle heat.

If you're willing to put up with the uncomfortable months/years, acclimation does come, and fans are enough.

But once you've made that investment, it is important to avoid A/C as much as possible, bring along warm clothing when going to the cinema or visiting fancy restaurants and hotels.

I find it very liberating to be able to say visit hill tribes upcountry, make friends and stay as long as I like without suffering from the heat.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:41   #60
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Re: Help us settle the Air Conditioner debate

If you have AC, you can always just not use it.

If you have no AC, then you have no option.

Our boat is berthed on Lake Ponchartrain, and without AC, it's very uncomfortable for most of the summer.

Having "extra" equipment gives you options. Even if it just runs off shore power, it could be the difference between comfort and misery.
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