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travlin-easy 07-05-2012 02:54 PM

Too hot to sail...
99-degrees at the head of Chesapeake Bay at noon today, good breeze earlier, but seems to be dying down. Too hot to sail, at least for me.

One thing that came to mind yesterday was the thought of rigging an automotive air-conditioning unit to the boat's engine. I really don't believe it would consume much in the way of horsepower, especially for the larger engines, and you could completely eliminate having to have a noisy AC generator onboard.

Essentially, you could air condition the entire cabin anytime you are running the engine. The tiny air-conditioner in my Dodge Grand Caravan cools the entire van in just a matter of a few minutes, and when set to high, you could hang meat in the van after running it for about 15 minutes.

Has anyone ever looked into this?

Gary :cool:

Tim R. 07-05-2012 02:59 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
And how fast does your van heat up again when in direct sunlight?

I think your idea would work(especially if you limit the areas you are cooling) but it would warm up pretty quickly once shut down. Just about any boat with an enclosed cabin is going to have significantly more volume than your van. We have 2 AC units built into our boat that run off shore power or engine driven generator. The temp goes up pretty quickly when the AC is shut off.

Barquito 07-05-2012 03:01 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...

you could hang meat in the van after running it for about 15 minutes.
Hey, I could make jerky in the cabin of my boat! It was 103 degrees in Milwaukee yesterday. I was working all morning, trying to re-install deck hardware. Just about passed out.

My suggestion while sailing: Don't go down wind.

msmith10 07-05-2012 03:12 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
yesterday was a nice sailing day on Western Lake Erie- 6-13 knots through the day, but it was 97+ degrees with bright sun. No dodger or bimini on my boat- I just couldn't do it.
Then the thunderstorms hit early evening.

nolatom 07-05-2012 03:38 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
Hot down here in New Orleans too, though not as outlandish as the temps up north.

Still, during a tues evening sail, we went from hot to very cool in a couple of minutes, and the big spike of 50-knot squall wind was just far enough west of us that we got 20 knots, no rain, and 92F became 72F right quickly

The instruments don't lie...

Data Retrieval

After that it was pleasant, except for all the dark clouds and lightning several miles off to the east, which I thought would get us, but didn't, though we got 25 knots from that one, which peaked at 40 off to our east. Here's the graph on squall no. 2, note the windshift(s).

Data Retrieval

We were double-reefed and rolled the jib in or out to suit the (changing) conditions. Ended up under bare poles and lifejackets at the very end.

But between the nearby storms, we saw a nice sunset.

So a little nerve-racking but how else can we beat the heat? ;-)

travlin-easy 07-05-2012 04:10 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
I have AC on the boat, but it's 110-AC powered, which means you stay tied to the dock in order to run it. The boat cools down to about 72-degrees in less than an hour, and that's when it's in the mid 90s outside. Because of the balsa core, which is fairly thick, the boat tends to remain fairly cool for several hours. Also, the white topsides of the boat tend to remain fairly cool, even in direct sunlight.

I see a lot of boats out on the bay with dark blue hulls, and I often wonder just how hot they must be inside the cabin when that late afternoon sun is blazing down on the hull.

Gary :cool:

twenty1knots 07-05-2012 04:17 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
I dont have blue hull but - Last week on a 103 F day while at dock I measured the temp of my boat exterior with an IR thermometer. Cabin top was 126 F and it is white. I also have grey painted areas which were 160 F. water temp was 85F.

johnnyquest37 07-05-2012 04:20 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
Steve Dashew addresses the idea of running compressors off the engine for a freezer in his book "The Circumnavigator's Guide." The same principles would apply for automotive type A/C. I didn't pay that much attention to this section of the book, but recall discussions about increasing alternator size, sizing the flywheels and other technical aspects of having a "belt-driven" refridgerator. In a car there are hundred of HP at work, so diverting some of them to cool the interior is probably not too much a burden. It is likely a whole different thing to cool the interior a boat with just a 20-40 HP power plant. But, if you figure it out, please let us in on it.

SEMIJim 07-05-2012 04:21 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
I'm on vacation this week. The Admiral and I are re-reminded of why I stopped taking vacation around Independence Day. They go like this:

Day 1: Saturday, June 30

First day of a nine-day vacation/holiday. Good day to decompress. Plus there are heat advisories and the probability of severe storms. Not supposed to be any air, to speak of. It does get hot, but the humidity never gets all that bad, was perfect air for a gentle sail, and it never stormed.

We should've gone for it. We really should have... (you'll see why...)

Day 2: Sunday, July 1

Hotter than blazes. Humidity to high heavens. No air.

Day 3: Monday, July 2

See Day 2

Day 4: Tuesday, July 3.

See Days 2 & 3, plus severe storms, on-and-off, the entire day. Uh ohhh... A neighbour's tree fell--into our yard. Gonna have to do something about that.

Day 5: Wednesday, Jul 4 - Independence Day

See Days 2-4, plus scattered severe storms throughout the area. Thousands now without electricity. We spend the day with friends, in and around their pool all day. We did at least stop by and check on Abracadabra--make sure everything was ship-shape and her mooring was still solid.

Day 6: Thursday, July 5

See days 2-5. Just returned from pulling 16 km of wild grape vines out of the tree that was taken down (that's certainly what led to its demise), and cutting everything up into stackable bits--in 32C heat and steam bath humidity... in the sun. But, hey: I got to play with the Mighty Stihl Chain Saw :)

No. Flippin'. AIR.

Day 7: Friday, July 6

High temperatures predicted to break records. I don't know if it ended-up doing that, but I believe it did at least tie the old one. Wind barely hit 5 kts out on the lake, and was changing direction all day long.

I stayed home and cut the lawn.

Day 8: Saturday, July 7

Hey, it's only supposed to hit 95F today. Was like a steam bath out there this morning. Haven't ventured out since. Here's what I did, boat-related: Called up the local WM and had 'em set some stuff aside for me, did some rope work and cruised boating forums all day. Yay.

It's only 90F, now, and it looks like there's finally air out there! C'mon Sunday!

Lawn looks nice.

Day 9: Sunday, July 8

Hal-le-lu-jah! The heat, humidity, random and not-so-random rain and storms, and calm winds finally relented on this, the last day of my vacation. Partly-to-mostly sunny. Temps around 30C or so. Winds out of the north, slowly clocking to the northeast, started out around 10 kts, eventually increasing to 15. Perfect!

We brought along the son of one of my best friends. Young man took a Jr. Sailing course a few years ago, and, this year, was anxious to get on a sailboat again. He had a good time. We had a good time. It was terrific out there today :).

Today was such a great sail, I don't even care about having gotten skunked for the other eight. I'll take what I can get, and be thankful for it.


deniseO30 07-05-2012 04:45 PM

Re: Too hot to sail...
I won't even try to deal with the heat.. past couple of years have proven to me that I can't physically handle it. within an hour I'm stricken with red face, throbbing headaches, profuse perspiration.. I have to wait for cooler weather! Oh well!

Belt driven ac compressors from autos can cool a whole house capacity wise. I believe you'd be taking 3 - 5 hp to run it.

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