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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After looking at all the options and talking to the available vendors at the Annapolis show over the weekend, I think I've settled on buying the Marine Air (Dometic) 16k BTU retrofit unit to replace my dead AC unit. It comes with just the parts I need and none of the stuff I already have in place.

I wasn't able to get a local vendor to give a competitive price, so it looks like Defender will get my business and it will be a self install. Based on what I see the install should be within my limited skills though I fully expect to hit some snags.

Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone had any reason to dissuade me from this brand. I'd like to go with the Cruiseair Turbo but I'm not willing to pay another grand. The Webastco was the least expensive option but I don't see a lot of support for the brand in my area. Marine Air seems the "mid-range" choice and has local product support if I have issues down the road.

Anyone have Marine Air horror stories?

Defenders Boat show prices are good through the end of the Power Boat show so I have a couple of days yet to pull the trigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PS, what you going to do with the old one?
I hope to recoup some of my costs by offering it on craigslist/e-bay/local sailing rag.

The compressor and condenser are fine and there is a brand new ~$400 control head that'll come with it. I was lead to believe the control unit housed the "Brains" but apparently its is in the electronics box and that is what needed to be replaced. (Circcuit board was damaged by a power surge from a boat 3 slips over getting a lighting strike.

I got a quote of $800 to fix my unit by installing a Universal control system, which I found available online for $400. I have the info for the part at home. However, having already bought the unneeded control head, I didn't want to sink even $400 more and try to install the new control unit.

Also the Universal control requires different configurations depending on the brand its interfaced with (Hence the $400 charge for install).

The plug and play nature of a full retro-fit seems easier to me and I get a warranty, thus my quest to find the most reliable unit in my price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I Have nothing but good to say about Dometic / Marine Air. - long time customer.

Seek out a LOCAL Dometic / Marine Air distributor/supplier, as many of these folks (if you negotiate intently & 'politely') will usually beat 'boat show prices', and deliver the unit to your boat to boot.
Alas, I live in the land of inflated prices and my local guy hemmed and hawed and would never come right out and quote the unit that Defender offers (Which btw was sitting on the table directly in front of him at the boatshow).

Despite my repeated requests, the local guy insisted he had to see my boat which he has now done a provided a quote for the Cruiseair Turbo unit (at over $1000 more than the Defender Marine air unit) which is not what I requested.

Basically his quote for just the unit for me to install is a few hundred more than I'd be willing to pay if he installed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought I'd update the my wife and I got the 16k btu MarineAir Envriocomfort installed this weekend. Very straight forward replacing the existing unit with no real big uh-oh's.

Hoping for good service out of this unit. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry I missed your thread, I would have told you to contact the jerks at flagship marine.
They make a good product without the computer boards that the marine air has. Also great prices.
They are a bit snobby thou. Glad you did not get the websto, heard very bad things about them. I have an old marine airrr I think they are the same. One lasted 20 years, the other is still going. I replaced mine with a mervair but thats what was for sale local....
I considered them and got a quote early in my research. I liked their concept of no PCB's but their unit was over $1000 more that what I paid for the MarineAir.

Also there was some bad press about their units sold under another name or something and not standing up to the warranty.

Lastly all the vendors in my neck of the woods Sell and Service Dometic, so I figured if I ever need service they'll be more able to help - question is can I afford their help. lol I would have liked to go with the CruiseAir Turbo but again I had to beg to get a quote from vendors at the Annapolis show and it was also a grand more than Defender.

I'm hoping this unit is running in 10 years. If so, I'll feel I've gotten my moneys worth out of it and anything beyond that is bonus.
 
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