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  #1  
Old 06-02-2011
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Air Conditioning

Has anyone used the portable floor type AC's that vent thru a hose on their boat? If so how does it work? I have a 34' Beneteau and need some sort of quick AC. I read the manual and the only unusual thing I saw was that the unit needed to be upright for 24 hrs before use. I wonder how sail with a good heel would affect that. Thanks Rick
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Old 06-02-2011
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Unless your sailing at 45 degrees 24/7 it won't hurt the compressor in the unit. There is oil in the bottom of most a/c compressors that mixes with the refrigerant when it's running. when upside down or horizontal that oil can "slug" and damage the reed valves in the comp on start up. I've never actually seen this happen after over 40yrs in the ac biz.
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Old 06-02-2011
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Many of these units have a single exhaust hose to spill out the hot air, but no intake hose. Not such a big deal in a large room with open doors in a house, but in a confined space like a boat it can be a problem. If your boat is well sealed you may get poor air intake/exhaust and inefficient cooling. If your boat is more leaky, you'll pull hot air in through all the leaks. Either of these scenarios leads to poor performance. A more proper design would have an air intake that goes through the cooling coils into the boat.

Check to see which design this air conditioner has.
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Old 06-02-2011
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RD, the unit has only one hose, I can see your point.Thanks Denise, I think they said the freon needs to settle to the bottom to work well.

Maybe a window unit on the from hatch would be better.

Rick
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Old 06-02-2011
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I've seen large central air condensers that were rolled even flipped upside down to get them in location. hooked up and started.. never a prob LOL "time is money"
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Old 06-02-2011
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There's a guy in my marina with a C25 like mine...he has one of those free standing units in his cabin. It takes up a fair amount of room but he has it back by the quarter berth, so it's not too intrusive. It's intake draws air from inside the boat, sort of a recirculation mode. He had to run a hose to the cabin wall in front of the cockpit, put a louvered vent cover over it outside, so the louvers open when the unit is running. Water exits to the bilge.

Works very well...it'll ice down that cabin in even our 100+ humid Texas heat. The only issue he had was the exhaust hose. He said it had to be as short as possible and as direct as possible for the unit to work right.
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Old 06-03-2011
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I looked at them last year and found price and size made them unsuitable.Bought a window unit for aprox. $100 LOWES worked fine last yr.It is in the way but worked fine.Around 5000 btu .
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Old 06-03-2011
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We have been using one on Carolena when in the slip for the past three years. Ours also atomizes the condensate and vents it through the exhaust hose, so no water to drip in the bilge. The comment about these units drawing in warm air is absolutely correct. When the unit is running, it recirculates some air over the coils, but it also draws air out of the cabin through the exhuast hose. As a result, it draws in a lot of warm air while also cooling the cabin, which impact efficiency. A dedicated hatch unit like a Cruise Aire, or even a window unit in the companionway would be more efficient. Of course, a water cooled marine unit is the most efficient (we are in the process of installing one of these). The bottom line on the unit you are looking at is that it will likely cool the cabin slightly during the heat of the day, and will make it very comfortable at night, but don't expect miracles. At least that has been our experience. If we had to do it again, I'd go the same route for the ease of use and relatively low price compared to the marine unit we are installing now. It has done well to allow us comfortable nights at the marina during the summer, but it would be nice to have more cooling during the day.
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Thanks all I bought a 6500 btu window unit to put over my front hatch (at least the vee berth will be cool!). My Beneteau has a narrow companionway so I don't think it will fit there. $150 vs $300 for the portable. Rick
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Old 06-03-2011
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I was just about to ask a similar question. I have a 31' Prout with a 5K BTU unit in a cut-in to the cockpit. I had the unit on during a very hot week here in MD (this last week). I bought a thermometer that shows highs and lows for indoor use and it was up to 93 degrees, with the AC on! This is not good for my cat.

So now I am looking for alternate solutions. I'd like a 10K BTU but they are substantially bigger, which means cutting a bigger hole in the cockpit and finding a new housing (currently has a nice little shelf/covering area that would be a real shame to lose).

I have been thinking of this:

Amazon.com: Whynter Eco-Friendly 13,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, Frost White (ARC-13W): Home & Garden

And just setting it up to somehow drain into my manual bilge area, then pump it every night. But the bilge area is in the head and the place that I could vent (small window in the berth) are about 10 feet away from each other.

Thoughts?
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