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  #11  
Old 07-16-2014
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

I have found the biggest mistake made, when installing air conditioning, is either insufficient ducting size or multiple ducts of different sizes that become terribly imbalanced. Sometimes there is little choice, as there is little room. However, there is more to proper distribution than just routing whatever ducting fits.

We have three units aboard. The one that works best has essentially no ducting. It blows from one vent above the air handler in the master stateroom. The other two will run multiple cabins. The salon has the largest ducting, where the units are located and they get smaller as they travel foreward into the staterooms. Technically, I think this should be the opposite. While the salon is easy to cool down, the forward staterooms are not. To get them too cool, you really need to refrigerate the salon. I suppose there are worse problems.
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

I installed Mermaid Air conditioning (company is in Fort Myers, FL) myself on my IP 31 a few years ago, after moving to Florida. Their instructions are very good and installation is very DIY friendly. Their service is wonderful. If you call them you actually speak to a knowledgeable human. Just adhere to the instructions, and be cool.
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain conrad View Post
I have a portable unit I bought at home depot drain into the bilge 10,000 btu works fine.
I vent out of a dorad vent and secure it when I'm underway $300.00
I thought about getting one of those for my boat. I have a small window unit that I place over a hatch with a custom cover I made from a storage bin. The good thing is I don't have to leave a seacock open, as my inboard AC requires.

The really sad thing, is that this $200 AC cools the boat really well, actually maybe even better than the quite expensive installed MarineAir system in the boat (which costs quite a bit more than $200).

Since I don't use the AC anywhere but at the dock, I think if my Marine Air ever goes out, I am not replacing it.
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

I agree with everything others have said. I installed two 120 volt units in my Down East 45 shortly after I bought it three years ago. I haven't touched them since, and they are a life saver for us here in Titusville. I had never done this before and if you want to read how it was done go to my website. Schooner Britannia, a Brigantine Schooner being renovated.
One thing I would advise: get the outlets as high, and as straight as you can. Mine are ultra-efficient, being made of plywood and straight from the fans into all the cabins and heads. We have 75 degrees when itís 95 outsideóand it works from our generator when at anchor.
Itís not rocket science, just common sense really, and of course money and work.
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
I agree with everything others have said. I installed two 120 volt units in my Down East 45 shortly after I bought it three years ago. I haven't touched them since, and they are a life saver for us here in Titusville. I had never done this before and if you want to read how it was done go to my website. Schooner Britannia, a Brigantine Schooner being renovated.
One thing I would advise: get the outlets as high, and as straight as you can. Mine are ultra-efficient, being made of plywood and straight from the fans into all the cabins and heads. We have 75 degrees when itís 95 outsideóand it works from our generator when at anchor.
Itís not rocket science, just common sense really, and of course money and work.
Nice web-site. Love the square sails!
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

How loud are the marine a/c units?

I've considered having an a/c unit installed on my boat. My yard advises that the best location would be up high in the wet locker in the forward stateroom. It would need essentially no ducting in that location as it would cool the stateroom and blow straight back into the salon.

My concern is that it might be loud, being right next to the berth. Are some units quieter than others?
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

The combined units are a bit loud. They also make split units, where the only noise in your room is the air handler. However, even the air flow noise can be loud and, due to the poor insulation, cycles on and off frequently.
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiminri View Post
How loud are the marine a/c units?

I've considered having an a/c unit installed on my boat. My yard advises that the best location would be up high in the wet locker in the forward stateroom. It would need essentially no ducting in that location as it would cool the stateroom and blow straight back into the salon.

My concern is that it might be loud, being right next to the berth. Are some units quieter than others?
This is how mine are installed. I listened to some units before I decided, but I came to the conclusion they were all about as noisy as each other. My aft unit is in the master cabin and the forward unit in the foc’le. I reduced the compressor/fan noise considerably by using 1” thick foam all round. I also reduced the wind noise by building a V shaped baffle just before the outlets.
Whatever the noise, it’s till better than 100 degrees in the cabin at night in Florida.
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

My boat had a Carrier RV external unit when I bought it, which aren’t cheap either. The problem was it only blew cold air into the cabin where it was mounted above, and we had to transfer it to the aft cabin hatch at night, then back to the main hatch in the daytime. It was also as noisy as my installed units, but it couldn’t be insulated, and needed about six fans to direct the air into other areas. An external unit, whether Carrier or window unit is okay for a small boat with say, only one cabin and saloon, but not if you want to direct air to other areas, like the heads. But then they are much cheaper than a purpose installed system.
Mine was expensive, but we prioritized it above nearly everything else, and are now as cool as any house. And we can get toasty warm in winter, without it being boiling hot in one cabin and cold in another.
I also think a neat installation is bound to add to the resale value, over a similar boat which doesn’t have AC.
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Last edited by Jolly Roger; 07-17-2014 at 08:44 AM.
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Re: Marine Air Conditioning Install

We have had a King Air 16,000 BTU unit installed in a nook under the settee return in the saloon on our boat since 1996. The original unit lasted 16 years and died in 2012 as, unbeknown to me, the fellow that did the original install didn't do the condensate drain properly and it would periodically wet the underside of the compressor which eventually rusted through. Considering its age, rather than simply replace the compressor, I decided to buy a whole new unit with electronic controls rather than analog as on the original. The unit is very efficient, easily run from our 4.2 KW generator, and very quiet with the fan speed varying up or down automatically depending upon how far the ambient temperature is from the set point on the electronic thermostat. Tho' centrally mounted, with a few small Hella fans to move air around, the unit keeps our entire boat very comfortable, even in the heat of the summer in Southwest Florida, and can keep the boat a cold as a meat locker if permitted to do so. Best of all, the service by the company has been exceptional.

A few tips: Most condensate pans are designed with only one drain outlet which only works properly if the drain is oriented fore-n-aft on or near the center line of the yacht. Our unit is mounted cross-wise and so was made with drain lines on either end of the pan and will so drain to the bilge regardless of what tack we take up as we leave an anchorage (for example). Secondly, ours came with a March MDX air-cooled raw water pump which is problem free and efficient. Some folks have fitted Cal pumps that have proven problematic as they were originally designed for submerged (and so water cooled) applications and are subject to failure due to differential expansion between the motor housing and the pump-chamber housing, causing leakage and early demise. (And they are costly to replace!). Lastly, it is wise to install the raw water lines with unions at convenient locations so one can easily disconnect the lines and thereby back-flush the cooling coils and, occasionally, recirculate a solution of RydLyme or a similar material to clear out deposits that may accumulate. (We do that as part of our annual maintenance regime.)

FWIW...
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