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Old 01-21-2018, 09:23 PM   #1
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Factory Installed AC Units

Has anyone serviced the factory installed AC units on a late 80s KK? My 54 has 3 and all work but before I head to Alaska I’d like to get them checked out and serviced. Would appreciate any insights or experiences you have had keeping these in good running condition. They are Cruisair units.

Thanks
AC
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:33 PM   #2
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Not much to service If they are working about all you can do is keep a eye on the water pump and lines making sure they are clean
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:36 PM   #3
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Don’t they have refrigerant that needs to be monitored? I’m curious since the midship one seems to work slightly less well than the other two.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthurc View Post
Don’t they have refrigerant that needs to be monitored? I’m curious since the midship one seems to work slightly less well than the other two.


I don't know how you can moniter the gas unless you have a sight glass or you fell the temperature isn't right then it may need re gassing
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:52 PM   #5
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Don't know where you are. Also don't have factory installed A/C. Have 3 Cruise Air units (with SMXII controls IIRC) in our KK48 that a PO had installed on the east coast. I estimate they are approaching 20 years of age. When we purchased the boat it came with some spare refrigerant. Had one unit display a low pressure indication & stop chilling or heating. Had them all serviced by Hobson @ Sure Marine in Seattle. I think he knows his stuff. He found a leaking fitting which seemed to resolve the issue & he topped up the refrigerant. Then about a month later that unit again faulted & would not function properly. Hobson was booked way out & we were close to our departure date for MX.

Another service guy who was working on the boat gave me a name (Sasha IIRC). He discovered a very small copper capillary tube had a hole blown in it & the PC board had failed. Board connection configuration had changed. Couldn't find old style. Couldn't get a new unit in for replacement in time (and would have cost a bunch). Sasha pulled the unit, repaired the tubing, modified the new style board to mate to old style connectors, charged everything, and we were back in business. Wasn't cheap as was a lot of his time plus a new board. However, much cheaper than a new unit. Worked fine the remainder of the summer as we moved South. Will see how long it holds up as it will likely get a lot of use this year in MX.

I think either Hobson or Sasha could check your units if you are in the Seattle area.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:56 PM   #6
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Yep, I’m in Seattle, that’s super helpful, thank you.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:02 AM   #7
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I used AMC Cliffv’s Marine Service in Seattle to check out my reverse cycle units before going to Alaska last summer. They were helpful and efficient, adding some gas to one unit and giving me some pointers for better heating results, such as starting with a lower fan setting. Cost $100. BTW, I called Hobson first and he was booked way past my trip departure. Cliffv’s from now on.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:24 PM   #8
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Hi Arthur, we ended up replacing 3 of the 4 on our 54. I think a lack of TLC and running them 24 /7 had taken the life of the units away. The original unit works well . The new units are great too and the newer controls also help. The water pump was also changed as it was plumbed to service all the units. I would do it differently in the future having two pumps with the ability to split the load. On the list but buried on page 14
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:48 PM   #9
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Super helpful, what units did you put in? Did you replace the water tubing/piping as well? After all my research it sounds like you run these until they die, limited service options. Ballpark costs would be helpful too.
So far mine are ok except the pilothouse but it bakes the master stateroom so I’m rerouting the vent to below the pilothouse window versus a huge run to blow down on it.

Thanks!!
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:49 PM   #10
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Just realized you said 4, what zones do you have, I have 3...
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:00 PM   #11
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We used Cruisair. Did not actively change the water pipes other than where it looked like I should. We did this in late July in FL. It was more of an emergency repair than a planned outage. As such I know I paid more than I should have. I was told the compressor had seized up but all my reading since says not likely. More likely valve work. Either way the most pragmatic outcome was to replace given we were living on board at the time. From memory the 16,000 unit for the main salon was about $3.5k. The other units were 12,000 units and somewhat less. The pump and motor was around $700. Maybe a little less. As you say the units are very modular in construction and the technicians rates deter you from ‘repairing’ unless it is remaking an end on the copper pipe and recharging. Good luck. I was trying to cool but I understand your intent too.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:30 PM   #12
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I do need cooling... just only 4 weeks a year... max
I’m super curious about how yours is laid out, so is the master stateroom and pilothouse separate units?
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:34 PM   #13
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I changed out both my A/Cs. They were 10 years old and the condensate pans were seriously rusted. They offered to change out the pans but, I opted for new units (Marine Air) after I questioned them about efficiency of the new units. The new units have plastic condensate pans. The S/W pump, Little Giant, supplies both A/C units. I don't like the one S/W pump but, that's how it was plumbed and I do carry a spare pump.
The new ATs have a small A/C in the owner's stateroom. I think they eliminated one of the units that assisted both in providing the fwd stateroom and the pilot house and saloon. Results: gaining some drawer in the pilot house. Not wanting a running A/C in MY stateroom, I will leave it as is, both units in the pilot house
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:14 AM   #14
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All 4 heat pump are on the Strb side aft of the engine. The raw water pump is there too. The units themselves are located in the foreword cabin, master, pilot house and main saloon.
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