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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-31-2009
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To Ac or not to AC, that is the question

The boat we are considering purchasing has an after market generator and AC system installed. The problem is that the generator is taking up a huge amount of space in the engine room making access for maintenance difficult at best.

The other problem is the duct work, which has been routed through the engine room ( the previous surveyor receommended moving it, don't know what ours will say) and through out all of the storage lockers through out the boat.

Since we are planning on doing a lot of long term cruising, losing precious storage space is really an issue. We are considering removing the ac and generator and simplifying the system. We are planning on sailing the Carribean and I remember how miserably hot it was in the Yucatan in September.

I'd like your opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of going without air conditioning. Your thoughts and experiences are very much appreciated. I should note that we live in Texas so are a bit used to heat and humidity but man- the Yucatan was HOT.

Thanks.
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Old 03-31-2009
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If you are planning on long term cruising, ditch the Air Conditioner, keep the generator to recharge the batteries and use AC power when you need it. If the generator is taking up way to much space like you said, you might want to consider carry a Honda E2000 or Honda E3500 generator in its place.
Get a wind sock for the V-berth hatch to help funnel in the breeze at anchor. I would get a few fans for the interior to move air around like a Hella Bora 12V fan. Placing a canopy tent over the cabin will drop the temp up to 10 degrees. What you didn't mention is what boat you are planning on cruising with.
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Old 03-31-2009
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I didn’t have AC but I did have an gen...I took it out..

One diesel engine on my sail boat is enough.

I'm putting in 900amhr of batteries and a big alt.

I’ll only be coastal cruising an couple weeks at a time a couple or three times a year.

I did however leave a place for one if I change my mind.
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Old 03-31-2009
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I left the boat specs off purposefully, survey is tomorrow and I am superstitious and don't want to jinx anything.

My inclination is to ditch the generator and ac units. The generator is in great shape so we should be able to sell it no problem. That would buy a lot of fans and screens, generators are on the spendy side even used.

I am of the opinion that simple is the way to go when equipping luxury items but I don't want to be down in the Bahamas desperately searching for a yard to purchase install the system we just took out. I suppose it makes sense to do a couple of three-four night trips in the next couple of months and see how we do without it.
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Old 03-31-2009
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This is probably a stupid question, but why would you need a generator when the boat's engine can charge the batteries?
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Old 03-31-2009
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The only time we use A/C is at the dock and there you don't need a generator. When at anchor there is enough breeze most of the time and fans when there isn't.
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Old 03-31-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoC View Post
This is probably a stupid question, but why would you need a generator when the boat's engine can charge the batteries?
The generators sole purpose on the boat is to run the AC units, which is why we are thinking of ditching the whole system. It takes up way too much space and was not installed in the most thought out manner.
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Old 03-31-2009
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SHADE, SHADE, SHADE...it's almost impossible to get enough, but what ever you have will help immensly. We have no a/c installed unit, and in 4 years have only suffered a couple of nights wishing for it.

We do use a/c at the dock, but have those cheap window units, and foam board boxes to direct the cool air.

I used one of those wind chutes over the v-berth while in Mexico. The boar was always cool unless there was no breeze. Then the deck would boil, because we had no shade, shade, shade, shade...

We also have no generator installed, but use the Honda 2k with great success. It is rarely needed, but great to have when needed.

Storage is usually an issue for most, so if you are going to long term cruise, and even if it is seasonal. I would go with the Honda, and window a/c. The window a/c cost about $150 installed with the foam board, and tape.

I have actually sat through 90 mph winds at the dock with this unit still sitting on top of the boat during hurricanes Jean & Francis......i2f
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Old 03-31-2009
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Does anybody know how much AC the Honda 2k can handle? Will it handle a Cruisair 16000 BTU.
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Old 03-31-2009
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I guess I will be the sole dissenting opinion. If you got it, keep it. I can see making the case to not pay to put it in. But the issue for us wasn't always the heat. It was a breezeless day and the noseeums LOVE breezeless days. It was also the rain. WHen it rains (in s fl, for example is every day in the summer about 2:00), that boat turns into a sauna. We also ran our ac when mom and dad came to visit (because they were not used to the heat) and when we had big get togethers of other cruisers because putting that many people down below got hot on our boat.

Cruise for a while with it and if you hate it, then pull it out. I would not put a diesel gen at the top of my list of things to purchase, but if it had it, I would certainly take it. It is a cheap way to charge your batts and run power tools, hair dryers, replinish while running a water maker, coffee maker, etc. All of those items take large loads. The coffee maker, hair dryer, and power tools require a very large inverter or 110 to run. You cannot run any of them off of a "handheld" inverter. We installed, for example, a 2,000 watt inverter just for them.

Keep it - especially the ac. Because when you do go into the marina, there is little breeze, and you will be smoking hot. Of course, this goes back to what level of comfort you want (or want the option of) while cruising. And also worth mentioning, if it is not well known, using your main engine to charge your batteries is very hard on the engine, uses much more diesel than it should, and to be effective, must be properly set up with a high output alternator with MS charger. Much better to run a genset which uses much less fuel and you can propoerly load the engine (like with running your air conditioning!!).

- CD

PS I am from Texas too, but LA'd in S Fl. The humidity level between the two is night and day. That makes a big difference on how hot it feels. I am a bit surprised about FunSailtheKeys response as most of the people I know down there were very much of my opinion. Of course, he has probably been down there long enough to really become accustomed to the temps.
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