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Date: 4 April 2016. Air Conditioning.

janice142
 

Last year was much better than the summer previous in that I had access to a power cord and was able to run a 5000btu Haier air-conditioner. I bought the smallest and least expensive wall-banger* unit sold. In checking it also used the least power at 455 watts. That was a big selling point.

*Wall-banger: your standard room air-conditioner commonly used in houses, apartments and trailers.
 

Side Note: RV roof-top units start at 1300 watts, thus necessitating a generator such as the HondaEU2000.
 

CORRECTION: 9 August 2016. Today I've  been looking with a friend for a generator to power his 1300btu air-conditioner. Reviews lead us to believe that the 2k generators will not start the a/c.
 

I recommended he purchase a Yamaha 3000 with an electric start. It's bigger, heavier and will require a permanent installation. That unit also appears to be a good long-term solution to powering the a/c.
 

The Honda2400 would work too but who wants to pull a cord every time you need to cool off with air-conditioning?!?

 


 

My experimenting netted a few results. Today I will share what I learned and how I am going to apply it to this summer's expected heat wave.
 

In 90 degree weather with the sun baking my boat I use a 5000 BTU Haier. She cost me $130 through New Egg. The temperature settings are numbered 1 through 10.
 

I set her to cycle on and off and save power.
At midday the air-conditioner does not cycle.
 

Generally #3 (of ten) is quite sufficient. It keeps my galley area comfortable. When the temperature is in the 90's I have moved it to #4. That puts the inside temperatures in the upper 70's or low 80's. It is comfortable without being cold. I do not do cold.
 

Seaweed has a lot of windows in the galley/dinette area. Great views are a part of the life I so enjoy.


The main cabin size 7' by 11 feet including the area in front of helm.
 

Forward of the helm is usually tidy when I'm underway solo.
This photo was taken during a sea-trial for the BOB engine.


 

There are a LOT of windows and Seaweed is a bit drafty too. My forward cabin is 8' long and narrows at the bow. Insulation in Seaweed is nonexistent.
 

The windows are wonderful for views however they let in a lot of heat in the summertime.

 

My cabin is 8' long and narrows at the bow. Insulation would no doubt help in cooling and heating the boat.
 

Skipper is relaxing on my bunk. Behind her head is access panel to my anchor locker.

 

5000 BTU is more than sufficient to cool my boat when placed in the pilothouse door. I tried it in the hatch of my forward cabin. That failed. The bunk area turned into an ice-cube factory. Even with a large box fan drawing cool air out of my cabin the galley did not get cool.
 

In the doorway the 5k BTU Haier worked fine. It was just butt ugly. It blocked my doorway. Plus have I mentioned how awful it looked? I really did not like it.
 


The wood over the a/c unit blocked the rest of the doorway. It looked dreadful too.


Seaweed is my home. I am pleased with her and want my boat to look good at all times. A shabby wall-banger tucked into the door with wood to hold it in place and keep out the hot air... well, it just was not me. So this year I had to come up with a better solution.
 

And I have.
 

Tomorrow I'll be helping to put together the nifty new hood. I'd heard good things about Scott at Moby-Cool and gave the gent a call. Phone: 407-435-9733. He's a boater too, and designed the shield. Scott was most informative.

I decided the Moby-Cool hood would enable me to mount my wall-banger in an unobtrusive manner. A few days later my custom made hood arrived. Yeah!!!


I have tweaked it. I am woman so you know I had to improve it a little bit, right?!?
 


Soon I will mount the hood/shield and air-conditioner on the overhead in my galley. I've got the pieces ready for assembly.
 

Eventually I would like to move the Fan-tastic Vent fan forward to my pilothouse. That is going to take someone braver than I. You see it will require cutting a 14" square hole in the pilothouse overhead.

In retrospect that is where I should have installed the Fan-tastic fan originally. The pilothouse is the highest point of Seaweed and since heat rises the fan would be perfect there.


One step at a time, eh?!? 



 

So it looks like my decadence level continues to increase. Seaweed has definitely improved over time. Life is great afloat. I know how blessed I am and wish everyone could be as happy as I am.
 

One thing I always stress especially to folks new to boating is that you get out here and see what you want First before adding the extras. A marine air-conditioner while wonderful is going to be considerably more expensive than my solution.

I am glad I waited. For approximately $300 I have an air-conditioner for Seaweed. Do not price marine units unless you have a thick wallet. Check Defender for marine gear, including air conditioners.


Both Defender and West Marine used to have great paper catalogs. They are definitely wish books for boaters.

 

As I am out here more items come to the front of the "gosh, that would be great to have" while others fade away. Next on the Decadent Scale of Happiness is the air conditioner installation. It has been a process.
 

Moby-Cool is a definite Decadence item. It's going to allow me to have an air-conditioner mounted permanently and ready for immediate use. I can run it through my inverter when powered by the engine's alternator. That is a bit convoluted and the full explanation of how I will do it is coming soon.
 

In the meantime I am moving anchor chain, playing in Algae, and staying busy.

 

Lots of new stuff -- I have at least six projects underway and none of them completed. Seaweed looks like a hardware store exploded parts, screws, bolts and washers everywhere. It is always this way when prepping to get underway. And soon Skipper and I will be off at anchor.
 

First though I will be heading for the Madeira Beach McDonald's. That is because they have a dinghy dock. What could be better than fast food on the waterfront with a dock for boaters?
 

Hoping to see you out here. Don't forget: if you spot Seaweed along the waterway be sure to give a call on Channel 16. I am always listening.
 

Thanks for reading.
 

Update. 10 July 2016. More information on my Moby-Cool solution can be found in the Moby-Cool a/c cover Tweak article.


Do you have an RV or marine air-conditioner aboard?
And, did you opt for a regular a/c unit? How do you power yours?
 

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