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Old 07-07-2007
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C27 marine air conditioing - has this been done?

I've got a 1986 Catalina 27 and I am considering installing a water cooled marine air condition unit. I would not use a carry on a/c or window unit nearly as much beacuse of the hassle and weight involved in setting it up. Does anyone know the best install location for the unit, duct work and water pump? How about BTU for Florida (I was thinking 9K or 12K becasue of the summer heat). The holding tank is under the V-berth. Wouldn't that location pump that bad smell all over the boat?
Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-08-2008
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Some of the marine AC units are quite heavy also (mine's about 75 lbs), but they do not protrude on deck. I had a Mermaid AC unit installed in my Corsair 36, and found that I needed the 19K btu unit, because the 14K was too small for my boat AND the way needed to be ducted. The unit I installed was a dual phase unit, meaning it has heat pump capability as well as AC. My unit is in the compartment with my batteries. Since it requires inlet and outlet through-hull fittings and it generates water (condensation), you may have a difficult time assessing where any "water" is coming from if it is near your holding tank. I actually have a venturi circuit that sips the condensate out with the outgoing AC water, but it puts a restriction on the flow, so the pump has to have sufficient throughput to utilize this. And, yes, it will probably make the rest of your boat aromatic. You might be able to make an isolated inlet ducting circuit that prevents the air from the V-berth from being used by the AC though.

Another consideration is when I clean my inlet water trap I cannot avoid spillage, particularly since the person who installed my unit put the water outlet just below the waterline and did not install a shut-off valve (since corrected). When I get a spill or a leak I have a path to my central bilge pump from my AC location, which you may not have in your V-berth.

I also took apart my AC control box and increased the delay from virtually no delay to about 1 min between starting the pump and the compressor. This minimizes the power surge of the AC and now, I can use my Honda 2000i generator to run my AC/heat while on the hook.

I hope that this information helps you.
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Old 05-13-2008
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Marine AC for C27

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilDrag View Post
I've got a 1986 Catalina 27 and I am considering installing a water cooled marine air condition unit. I would not use a carry on a/c or window unit nearly as much beacuse of the hassle and weight involved in setting it up. Does anyone know the best install location for the unit, duct work and water pump? How about BTU for Florida (I was thinking 9K or 12K becasue of the summer heat). The holding tank is under the V-berth. Wouldn't that location pump that bad smell all over the boat?
Thanks for your help.
I just finished installing a Mermaid 9K unit on my '87 Catalina. I tried my best to figure out how to mount the AC unit up under the V-berth, but I could never work out the ducting issues. There's just not enough free space there.

I ended up installing a shelf inside the port lazarette, right above the batteries, for the unit to sit on. I removed the small access door behind the galley sink and used that opening for the return air. The shelf sits at the same level as the interior countertop, so there's still plenty of room to get to the batteries underneath.

I installed one 4" outlet in the same bulkhead as the return. It blows out over the galley, and since it's located right there at the AC unit, it puts out a good bit of air. (A 6" outlet would be even better, though.) There's another 4" outlet in the starboard quarterberth, with the duct work running across the engine compartment. The last 4" outlet is at the base of the port settee opposite the head. That ductwork runs back through the storage area under the settee, through a bulkhead, then under the stove, then back to the engine compartment where it ties into the other ductwork.

I moved the electric water pump from under the galley sink and installed the through-hull there, along with the 110v AC water pump. The water exits the boat at the stern, alongside the bilge pump and engine exhaust outlets.

I decided on the 9K unit because I'd like to possibly be able to run it off a Honda generator. I'm not sure that you can run a 12K unit off one, but maybe you can. If you can fit a 12K in there, I'd go for it. I can already tell it's going to be running full time when it gets hot.

Hope this info helps.

Lee Scott
Shelby, AL

Last edited by oldjags; 05-13-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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