What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-07-2015 Thread Starter
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What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

I'm shopping for our next boat and have found two nearly identical sister ships. One has 12,000 BTU reverse cycle (which my wife wants for those hot muggy Chesapeake nights at the slip), and the other one lacks it. Since we actually would install this if we bought the boat that lacked it, the difference in boats' values (to us) - and hence difference in offer price - is influenced by this installed cost.

Could someone give us a rough idea of what would be the all-in installed cost for a system like this? Compressor, water pump, circulation system, ducting, control panel, electric, labor to install? I would hire this out (not gonna try installing this myself) because 1) I don't trust myself drilling/sealing holes below the waterline and 2) want to do it in the offseason without risking losing any time from the too-short sailing season.


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post #2 of 20 Old 10-07-2015
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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

We went through this a few years ago when we bought the Beneteau. At the time the fixed price quote we were given to install an AC (I can't remember if it was 12k or 18k) was $5,000. However this was dependent on the boat already having the air handeling conduit run.

On modern boats it is pretty common to instal the conduit on all builds, even if that boat isn't going to have AC installed anyway because the cost to go back and do it if the buyer changes their mind is so high. So it is very likely that the boat already has the necessary plumbing, but I wouldn't count on it. As I remember the cost to run the conduit and plumbing was an additional 3-5k, but I don't have it on my comparison spread sheet.

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post #3 of 20 Old 10-07-2015
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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

If you are just going to use air in the slip, you could get a portable unit instead. They mount over a hatch and don't need any plumbing or ducting, just a standard extension cord.
Leave it in the car when you go sailing and take it home during the cooler months.
They are relatively cheap and a good alternative to a built in unit.

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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
If you are just going to use air in the slip, you could get a portable unit instead. They mount over a hatch and don't need any plumbing or ducting, just a standard extension cord.
Leave it in the car when you go sailing and take it home during the cooler months.
They are relatively cheap and a good alternative to a built in unit.
I have seen those before. In fact, I have something similar on my current boat. I want reverse cycle.


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post #5 of 20 Old 10-07-2015
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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

I think we spent $2,500 to install a 16K unit. It was a replacement for one that wasn't working.
If you could get a discount on the boat I would put a new one in that way you know what you have, and it all new.
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-07-2015
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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

It is really impossible to pinpoint an installed cost from a keyboard..

For example do you already have a spot/shelf for it or will one need to be custom fabricated? If custom fabricated do you want the Rube Goldberg or the done correctly job? The done correctly job will usually require extensive glass work, building a shelf, glassing in all exposed marine ply then gelcoating it. This is TIME CONSUMING and we've not even begun to install the AC unit.

Now we have a seacock to install. Do you want the Rube Goldberg install or the done correctly install? Does your hull have core? Are we going to set it up with valves for winterizing?

Now we move to ducting. Do you want the Rube Goldberg or the done correctly installation? How many bungs do you have that will need to be drilled and refinished for a done correctly job? Can we locate the supply and return where they should be or are we taking short cuts and putting them where it is easiest usually resulting in a poorly performing system....?

Now on to the electrical side. Thermostat placement? Heck we could place it right next to a duct, like I have seen numerous times... Does not work....

On a 30A shore power vessel, a done correctly installation for a 10K BTU to 16K BTU unit will ALWAYS have a second complete 30A AC shore power system installed & dedicated to the AC/reverse cycle system or to have the 30A 120V system re-wired for 50A 120V or 120V/240V... Either way done correctly is costly and does not include scabbing onto an empty slot on the vessels main existing 30A AC panel.....

You SHOULD NOT run an AC & water heater on a single 30A shore power vessel yet hack jobs like this are done every single day and shore power cord / boat fires occur at surprisingly high rates. In reverse cycle mode many of these devices draw 11-15A, all by themselves, not including the 1A +/- for the water pump, stack a water heater on that, & a battery charger, and now our crappy "Twist-Lock" shore power cord sockets are all of a sudden glowing red hot....

Just like anything on a boat the price varies based on the quality of the work done. Perhaps 85% of the AC installs I see on boats are outright hack jobs. Many owners will go for the quick & dirty hack job then complain AC systems are not reliable or don't work well or are too much maintenance.

I have a beautiful AC unit in my shop right now that had been soooooo badly installed the owner finally told me to just rip it out entirely... Damn thing was held in by rusty sheetrock screws driven directly into the hull core..

If that is the kind of work you want then the price will be lower. If you want quality work this can easily run 35-80+ hours depending upon the complexities of your particular vessel. Most boats were not set up for AC from the factory so adding it, and doing it correctly, is not a small job..

Ideally YOU need to detail exactly what and how you expect this job to be done, then have folks quote it. If you don't detail everything corners will very likely be cut.

For example:

Pump Seacock Expectations: Must be installed so core is cut back and then potted to 100% protect the core from water intrusion should the sealant on the seacock fail. The seacock shall be a proper seacock with integral flange and through bolted (unless Marelon 93 Series). It shall be either Forespar Marelon 93 series or UL Marine bronze of 85-5-5-5 bronze composition. All metals in the below water seacock including adapter, seacock and thru-hull fitting shall be galvanically compatible eg: 85-5-5-5 bronze. Yellow brass or non marine bronze shall not be used anywhere in the below water line intake system. A fiberglass non-rotting backing plate shall be used, not plywood. Hose shall be wire reinforced, below waterline rated, wet exhaust /engine grade hose. A bronze intake strainer by Groco or Perko shall be used, not plastic. PVC hose shall not be used. All connections in the seacock to pump system shall be double clamped with AWAB 316 SS brand hose clamps.



This is but one example but if you don't go into the job with a description like this, for EVERY step, you will have corners cut..
mgmhead and northernsquirrel like this.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 10-07-2015 at 10:46 AM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-07-2015
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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

tell us about the boat you're looking at! Size?

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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

Denise,

For years we have said our next boat would be a Catalina 320. We've looked at some others recently and reconfirmed that C320 is the right one for us. Nice roomy accommodations with decent sailing performance for a boat that length and beam.

The C320 boats that I've seen with pre-installed AC have a ~6"x6" blower vent in the galley, a larger return vent in the aft berth starboard side, a small ~3"x3" blower vent in the aft berth port side, and a thermostat/control panel on the electronics panel above the nav station. So all the ductwork is in the aft 1/3 of the boat. I have not seen vents in the forward v-berth, so one needs to have fans to help circulation. Getting a duct up there would be very difficult. However, our planned sleeping arrangements are such that it is more important to have the AC in the aft berth anyway, so we can deal with the nonideal circulation.

The very end of the C320 production run (Mark II models) reportedly have a full-length hull liner that includes ducting for AC in the V-berth area. But those very new boats are out of our price range. I'm basically considering 1999-2001 model year, which are in great shape if kept properly, and totally trashed if not well kept. We have seen examples of both.

I have not inspected the location of the compressor and other components, but I believe they are either in the rear lazarette or maybe under the port cockpit seat. The boat listings that show BTU ratings generally show 12,000 BTUs for this model of boat.

I'm not looking for a binding estimate, just for a rough figure that I could use to offset the offering price for boats with/without AC.

Contrary to what I said before, I might consider a hatch system. But the hassle of hauling it around the boat and the potential for mildew or sole damage from condensation soaking underlying cushions or cabin flooring are something that I don't want to deal with.


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post #9 of 20 Old 10-07-2015
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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

Well there's a 2 C-30 at my club for sale one is a tall rig the other is a standard rig. no AC but they are going to go to hell in a handbasket if they sit much longer!

AC into a boat is not terribly complicated. Hatch types.. you are right. H E A V Y !
I like the stand up portable units.

But built in is great if the layout is well planned

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Re: What is installed cost of 12,000 BTU CruiseAir Reverse Cycle?

Oh contre,

We have used a hatch unit for the last 10 years on our C&C 35. When not in use it sits on the floor UNDER the filler of the V berth completely out of the way. As far as difficulty putting in the front hatch....no sweat. Lower the spinnaker halyard down the hatch, my wife winches it up as I guide it into p,ace from inside the boat. Takes 5 minutes to install. We also have as sumbrella cover my wife made for multiple days of use.

New they are around 1200 on sale. Much simpler than you think. No worries about clogged intakes ingesting eel grass sitting at the slip with very little water moving across the thru hull intake.

That's not saying I wouldn't want one if it came with the boat, but having the hatch one is certainly fine.

We find the V berth even on 90+ degree days 65 degrees and with a fan pointed into the salon, the temp there is a dehumidifier 70.

Good luck on your search. 32 Catalina would be a nice upgrade. Course that 44 Mason😍😍😍😍


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