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Old 03-06-2017, 01:15 PM   #1
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Adding AC..?

we're close to a purchase decision and like some of the Nordic and American tugs, around the 40-foot size. However, we'll be taking it south where AC is a must and many of these tugs are built with no AC.
Has anyone gone through the process of adding AC to a non-AC boat and if so can you comment generally on cost and how difficult the job is...?
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:22 PM   #2
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Try contacting the manufacturer and ask them if the duct passages are already in place. They can probably give you a good idea of what is involved to add AC.

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Old 03-06-2017, 02:49 PM   #3
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You can contact a marine AC company and ask for prices, but my suggestion is to buy one that already has the air conditioning in place. It will be properly sized for the boat, you can test it before you buy, and it will most likely cost less in the long run.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:50 PM   #4
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Any boat designed in the last 30 years can easily accommodate air conditioning. Equipment prices for a 16,000 btu system (which is probably not enough) will run $2,500+ and installation will double that. You probably need one 16,000 btu for the main salon and pilot house and another for the forward cabins. So figure about $10,000.

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Old 03-06-2017, 03:57 PM   #5
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Putting in A/C is not rocket science, just mostly grunt work. I have put systems in 4 different boats. The hardest part is getting the duct work run. If the boat has room for the duct work and places for the units, then it isn't bad doing an install. Also if you do it yourself you will know how to troubleshoot it if it fails. I just finished putting one in a Trojan F32 that I sold. The new owner wanted air and was not confident in doing the work. I offered to help him. The only hard part was getting enough room for the supply ducts hooked to the unit. He has a metal brake so we built a plenum out of sheet aluminum and it fit very well. It would not have fit in using off the shelf elbows, etc. In a 40' boat you will probably need 2 16000 BTU units if you are going to be in hot weather. I personally like Mermaid units because I have had good support from them. But there are other brands that are good also. You can use 1 raw water pump to service both units. Key point is to get the intake through hull down far enough so that the water flows up to the strainer and then up to the pump so that it will prime. If I found the "right" boat and it did not have air, that would not stop me from buying the boat.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the good info!
In this size boat, its true we are seeing in the ones that do have AC, they typically have two if not three separate units.
With this amount of cost, i'd just have to keep it in mind when negotiating the purchase price, plus i'd want a clean installation that doesnt interfere with the engine room or other compartments below decks... makes me think I should lean towards boats that have it from the factory, but i'll keep an open mind.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamrow View Post
I should lean towards boats that have it from the factory, but i'll keep an open mind.
I doubt if any of the boats you are looking at had A/C installed at the factory. Most are installed by dealers during commissioning.

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Old 03-06-2017, 06:54 PM   #8
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When looking at the type boats you are interested in,note where the units are located,and pumps are. Then if you purchase one with out, you will know where to start. Most a/ C's are installed at dealership,but any good a/c company will know where to start. Good idea to contact builder and see what they suggest as to where and how to run duct work and size of equipment. Mermaid has a/c installation kits ,unit,pump,t-stat,and as said great service. Talk to several marine a/ c company s and get a estimate for what they suggest,then put that into your offer.
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:39 PM   #9
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If interested in an American Tug that hasn't already got air conditioning installed, I would suggest that you give the manufacturer a call.
You would likely be put into contact with Kurt and I can assure you he will have all pertinent information about what you actually need to do.
His knowledge of the various boats and systems is amazing!
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Old 03-07-2017, 06:23 PM   #10
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From our research when looking at American Tugs, the boats shipped to the east coast have factory installed AC with an electric range/stove and larger generator to accommodate them. AT's built for the Northwest usually have diesel heat and a propane range/oven. But, you can order a new boat with both if desired. Good luck in your search.
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