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ABK 05-30-2012 10:20 AM

Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
I posted this at Macgregor Owners forum and got responses that have no comment on this plan described below. Possibly your opinion will help...

I have a Mac 25, 1984... The hatch A/C is costly and needs to be removed to sail. The use of a self contained portable unit that needs an outside vent won't fit in the area where the galley was stored. The A/C in a suitcase is not available anymore. The ice chest evaporative cooler seems to be a good idea but I really wonder on it's ability to cool down the cabin. Placing an A/C unit in the companion way is a problem too with the entry and a big first step along with the unit sticking out into the cockpit. Placing it in between the pop top and hull has been suggested but it leaks. The water cooled systems available are worth more that the boat and require plumbing and thru hull hardware.... I read that someone broke apart the window unit and placed components in different places. That sounds like an engineering problem.

Here is my plan. The area in front of the cockpit hatch and just to the left of the keel winch, port side is where I want to place a small window A/C unit. I plan to use straps to secure it in place just behind the table seating area or wood blocks around the base with a strap over top.

I thought about mounting a window shade that will fit around the A/C unit and block the space between the A/C and the winch bulkhead. On the starboard side I'll use the same set up to help block the hot air from spilling back into the cabin. I can crack open the cockpit seat hatch to allow the hot air to exit from the area under the cockpit. I can always add a small exhaust fan there if needed too. I'll run the condensate into the bilge which is nearby.
I understand I can place the unit on the starboard side but I need that space for storage anyway.

So, am I a "MADMAN" in my quest for comfortable nights when in port? What is your thought on this Rube Goldberg set up. Do ya think I'll be melting the fiberglass? Setting the life preservers on fire? Possibly a better system for sealing off the hot air collection space? Should I just forget about it and sweat all night ?

The area under the cockpit is really only for storage on my model... They did open it up in later models as "usable space" I would like to make it usable to collect and discharge "hot air."

What do you think?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


bljones 05-30-2012 11:29 AM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
Just spitballing here, but your boat is a poptop, yes? how about installing a webbing sling to the underside of your poptop with throughbolted padeyes, and zippers on the forward screen. When anchored, unzip the screen, slide the a/c unit into the sling from aft forward so that the unit protrudes through the unizpped forward screen. Plug it in and you are good to go with no major irreverisble modifications to your boat.

CaptainForce 05-30-2012 11:40 AM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
I have a hard time following the description of the proposed positioning of your AC. This is largely due to me not being familiar with the layout of your boat. I will say that, in a former 33' boat, I did place a window unit in the aft end of my quarter berth that exhausted into the lazarette. With the seat locker opened and a large fan blowing the hot air out of the lazarette, this system was adequate (not great). The greatest advantage was to not have any big changes to make for sailing.

chuck53 05-30-2012 03:58 PM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
Food for thought. Since you have a 25, you only need a pretty small unit, say no more than 5000 BTU.
I've got a buddy with a 36 footer that he puts a 10000 BTU unit on deck in front of a hatch and he fabricated a canvas cover to enclose it just like the very expensive hatch units. Works just fine.
Yes you have to move it to sail, but a small window unit will be easy to move and won't be anywhere near as expensive as the hatch units which I believe are now over $1000.

ABK 06-15-2012 08:54 AM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
Installed it om the starboard side and the front is even with the bulkhead.

I bolted 2 2x4's backed with a stainless steel plate. I set the A/C on it and strapped it to the 2x4's. I have a plastic sheet under the a/c unit and will conform it to drain into the bilge today...

I still need to block off the area on port and starboard sides. I'll probably affix a window shade to both sides.

deniseO30 06-15-2012 09:49 AM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
Knowing how hot it gets in our Area I know your desperate, Don't chop up your boat just to be cool. Save your $ until you can get larger boat or buy AC that can work in a small boat. back to one question. it is quite easy to use a window unit's components and build ac for a boat. but most people would still chop up the boat even doing that. The floor standing portable units would work..just make hatch plate for the hot air discharge duct.

paintpollz 06-19-2012 10:21 AM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984

ABK 07-10-2012 05:47 PM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
The project has been completed. Just in time for the 100 degree weather last week. It was a 5000 btu unit and it works great at night. During the day it really can't keep up with the 90 -100 degree weather and i didn't expect it to. But in the evening, it worked like a charm.

I bought a Haier unit (99 bucks), made in China like everything else we buy. For some reason, there is no condensate to drain away. Although I was ready with a liner, tube, drill and grommet, it appears it is unneeded. I assume the condensate evaporates away during use. I didn't need to drill through the Lazerette (although on my vintage 1984 m25 it can only be used for storage anyway) into the bilge for the condensation.

It is located on the Starboard side flush with the bulkhead. I tried to seal the area off with styrofoam bit it was too thin to really handle and I scrapped the window shade idea (no insulation properities). I used some dense foam material that a kind gentleman at a packaging company donated to the cause. It was 100 degrees that day and he was a boat owner too. Also, I must have looked pathetic.

So, I was able to get cool on the cheap. I would have used a stand up model for$300 but it didnt fit where I needed it to go.

Thanks for the suggestions also...

deniseO30 07-10-2012 07:32 PM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
Window units use a ring around the condenser fan that picks up the condensate water and "slings" it onto the coils where it evaporates and helps improve the efficiency of the unit. They may still make enough water to need a drain in HHH weather. good luck!

ABK 07-10-2012 09:04 PM

Re: Your thoughts on my A/C install plan/Mac25 1984
Hi Denise... We met yeas ago when I bought my sailboat from Paul Lodge. I remember that you showed me how to reef a sail. I also remember that you are an HVAC specialist too.

Thanks for the insight on the condensation disappearance. FYI, the A/C was just thru the same heatwave you have been in and it didn't show any condensate so I guess it is working even in the extreme HHH.

If I had the expertise that you have I possibly would have taken apart the unit into components that I could fit in more readily, but I am not that knowledgeable.

I am a member of the Bristol Yacht Club but I have the boat in Somers Point for the season... I needed to sail where I can really sail...

Last summer I chartered a Jeanneau 39 and toured the Chesapeake. It was also as hot then as it has been now.

Do you still have sailboat races on Tuesday Nights at Anchor?

Also, I have shot some sailboat tours at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and you can see them at Sailboat Video Home if you would like to take a peek.

Thanks again,



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