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Author Topic: Adding A/C  (Read 4193 times)

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Rick Johnson

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Adding A/C
« on: July 20, 2008, 08:15:00 PM »

I've finally decided that I need to add an air conditioner to the boat, due to the heat of the Texas summers.  I've read the project pages and studied the forum postings.  I think the forepeak would be my best option for my Cruisair 16k btu unit but wondered it anyone might have any other suggestions, tips, hints, pictures or warnings.  Cutting holes in the boat is always something I have to plan long and hard before the first cut.

Thanks for any help.

Rick
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Rick Johnson, #1110, 1990, s/v Godspeed, Lake Travis, TX

Terry Forshier

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 05:59:08 AM »

The AC in my boat is in the locker between the head and the chart table. This seems like a good place because the vent to the main cabin and rear cabins are not too long and a lot of cool air exits them. Seems like the run from the front to the aft cabin might be a long run for the AC to travel. Also my AC is water cooled and it seems to me the entrance and exit holes are better placed amidship. It will be interesting to see where others have them placed. Terry
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Ken Juul

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 06:41:41 AM »

There are only a few places the A/C unit will fit.  Under the Vee berth, the locker Terry mentioned.  Depending on the size of the unit, it might also fit under the forward settee cushion.  I think I recall someone putting one under the seat in the head.  So size of the unit will partially determine where you can put it.  Running the ducts may also have some input on where you place it.  I did not install mine.  They put a 12k btu under the settee and run the ducts on the stbd side.  Because of the icebox and stove they could not run a duct to the aft cabin.  I'm forced to push cold air into the aft cabin with a fan, which is not ideal but works.  They also put a 6Kbtu under the vee berth to cool the forward cabin.  My thru hull is located in the vee berth hanging locker.  Access is easy, when the berth isn't made, gets kind of tight when it is.  It also comes out of the water when heeled so I must either close it before sailing or reprime before I turn the A/C on. 
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Ken & Vicki Juul
Luna Loca #1090
Chesapeake Bay
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John Sheehan

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 07:38:32 AM »

Rick,

Our A/C unit is installed just to the port of the head sink under the countertop.  A small platform was built off the hull to support the unit.  The through hull and strainer are under the sink.  With this location the quarter birth (main storage area) is easily conditioned and all the ducting goes along the port side just below the shelving thus still keeping the storage space behind the port seat backs.  Another advantage of this installation is it is much quieter in the V berth where we sleep.  Our system is a 16 K unit and it does great for both the heating and cooling.

John
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John Sheehan
Sea Shell
2003 MKII  # 1642
Gulf Breeze, FL

Joe Kern

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 09:00:21 AM »

Ours on our MKII is under the seat just forward of the salon table.  Vents to the v-berth, main cabin and aft cabin.   Thru-hull, strainer and water pump are under the head sink.  Digital control on the port bulkhead wall.  It is a 16,000 BTU MarineAire.   Also has heat.  Works very well, location is easy to access and venting is out of the way and efficient.

Joe
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Joe Kern
2005 Catalina 34MKII
Hull # 1717
Merritt Island, Fl

Rick Johnson

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2008, 01:04:06 PM »

OK, now I'm rethinking my plans.  I thought the forepeak would be the most common place to install the AC unit, but it seems like that might be wrong.  My thought was that I didn't want the weight on the port side due to the list we already have.  Does the ease of installation offset the negative of adding to the list? 

Cheers,

Rick
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Rick Johnson, #1110, 1990, s/v Godspeed, Lake Travis, TX

sedelange

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2008, 05:59:39 PM »

Rick,

When I bought my 86 model, the A/C was installed in the wet locker forward of the head. To regain space I moved it to the port side of the V-berth, aft of the forward water tank. I installed two 5" ducts back to the salon, one on each side, and a 4" duct back to the rear cabin.

Steve DeLange
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Steve E DeLange
1986 C34, 1971 C27
Galveston Bay, Texas

Ken Juul

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 05:54:29 AM »

Hi Rick

I'm not ignoring your email, decided I would reply here for the good of all.  If you have specific questions that won't help inform the masses please feel free to send me another note.

Some of your decisions will be determined by how you use your boat.  If you sleep in the Vee Berth, then cooling the aft cabin isn't that high a priority.  If you sleep aft then it is.  Ease of access for cleaning/maintenance is also a thought.  Its a pain to remove all the stuff/cushions and then bend down into the vee berth hole to service the front one.  The one under the settee is simple. 

Joe's installation sounds perfect, but the MKIIs have a bit more room to run duct work aft.  I mentioned earlier that my cooling stops in the galley, the easy fix would be to give up the galley cubby holes, counter level under the sliding door cabinets, and run a duct aft in that space.  Admiral prefers the storage and will live with the fan. 

If you decide you want it on the stbd side and it won't fit under the forward settee an option would be to remove the stbd side water tank and put it there.  Being on a lake I would assume there is plenty of access to fresh water.

Think about how you use the boat, the placement should become obvious.  Be happy to send pictures of mine if desired, but it will be a couple weeks before I'm back at the boat.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 06:00:01 AM by Ken Juul »
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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Chesapeake Bay
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Stephen Butler

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 08:13:59 AM »

Just want to reinforce Ken's and others point that how a boat is used, is critical for decisions to add "anything."  We have been "kicking-around" adding A/C for 3 years.  We sail in Florida during the summer and the weather can be a challenge for sleeping.  However, when aboard, we are seldom at a dock, but rather are sailing, or on the hook...without sufficient electricity to power an A/C.  When on the hook, we usually have sufficient wind and fans to keep the temperature low.  However, when at a dock, A/C is a MUST-HAVE.  We finally decided to purchase a portable marine CruiseAir port A/C.  We keep it in the aft cabin, and can mount it and have it running in about 5 minutes.  It keeps the boat "sleepable" during the night, and tolerable during the day.   We are now considering a smaller built in unit just for the v-berth cabin, where we sleep, as this could possibly be powered when not at a dock.  Just a thought.
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Steve & Nancy
Wildflecken II
1990, #1023

Roc

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 02:48:25 PM »

John,
Sounds like you installed your AC in the same place I did, under the head sink.  Question....where is your intake vent (supply vent)? Based on where you put it, how do you minimize sucking air from the bilge area and getting most of it from the living spaces. Also, out of curiosity, where is your main exit vent to cool the salon area?

Thanks!
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

BillG

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 05:46:13 AM »

If anyone has pics of an A/C installation in the head, I would sure like to see them.
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Bill
Rock Hall, MD

Roc

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 09:15:00 AM »

Bill G.  I'm on Red Dock #55.  You can come by and take a look at my installation.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

John Sheehan

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 09:23:33 AM »

Roc & Bill,
Attached (hopefully) are photos of the cabin vent and the A/C mounted under the head sink.  The Cabin vent has inside measurements of 7.25 x 5.25.  The photo under the sink shows the shelf that was fabricated to mount the A/C unit and the water pump.   In the background are the strainer and the intake opening that goes through to the quarter berth.  The inside opening of the intake is 11.25 x 9.  There are also 3.5 x 3.5 outlets for the V-berth and the quarter berth.  However, I close off the vent in the quarter berth so we get a good flow through the main cabin and back through the quarter berth to the A/C intake.  We have never noticed any problem with air from the bilge since the bilge is kept dry as much as possible and we get good return flow through the intake in the quarter birth.

We do a lot of cruising and storage space is at premium which is why the under the sink installation has been great for us along with it being much quieter in the V-berth where we sleep.

John
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John Sheehan
Sea Shell
2003 MKII  # 1642
Gulf Breeze, FL

Roc

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 12:46:34 PM »

John,
Thanks for the pictures!  Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like the way you have the AC unit positioned, the unit intake is not facing the intake vent you cut out of the aft cabin panel.  Although the unit intake is facing away, and able to draw from the surroundings, do you feel you are getting good air flow from the cut out you made? 
Thanks!
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

John Sheehan

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Re: Adding A/C
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 01:14:03 PM »

Roc,
There has always been plenty of flow.  The boat cools down quickly when we turn the system on. 

John
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John Sheehan
Sea Shell
2003 MKII  # 1642
Gulf Breeze, FL
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