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Old 04-02-2016, 10:04 AM   #21
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I think we are ahead of ourselves here. There are many reasons for old AC to not work. It is a big jump to assume a Freon leak. All the failures of my systems have been electronic control issues.


IMO have an expert well known in your area diagnose the problem. Replacing control boards with labor can equal half the cost of a new system.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:17 AM   #22
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Don't recall any 'electronics' in the units we have had on board. Bunch of relays mostly.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:29 AM   #23
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Hi Folks, Well, we're one step closer to owning a trawler. Unfortunately the only way we can do it is thru a LOT of sweat equity and DIYing.
MY question today is air conditioning. The good news is the boat has air. The bad news is it doesn't work
Define "doesn't work"?

Doesn't come on at all?

Comes on but doesn't cool?

Comes on but shuts off?

Only the fan comes on?

Etc.?
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:51 PM   #24
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Survey says "Air Runs". Owner says it doesn't. I haven't been able to substantiate anything yet as we cut the check two days ago and the boat is 250 miles away. My first thought is no Freon. But I could be way off base. The unit is older from what I saw. It was 15 degrees the day we saw the boat so the air wasn't really the first thing coming to mind. It's old enough that it may still be an R12 unit. I believe my buddy still has a stash of R12 though. New units aren't too bad pricewise with the thru hulls, strainers, pumps etc. already in place, but I'd sure like to get it thru a couple years to where the cash stash isn't so tight. There's no doubt in my mind that there will be LOTS of surprises to eat up our little kitty besides the AC .
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:13 PM   #25
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R22 probably. No, make that definitely.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:37 PM   #26
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Survey says "Air Runs". Owner says it doesn't. I haven't been able to substantiate anything yet as we cut the check two days ago and the boat is 250 miles away. My first thought is no Freon. But I could be way off base. The unit is older from what I saw. It was 15 degrees the day we saw the boat so the air wasn't really the first thing coming to mind. It's old enough that it may still be an R12 unit. I believe my buddy still has a stash of R12 though. New units aren't too bad pricewise with the thru hulls, strainers, pumps etc. already in place, but I'd sure like to get it thru a couple years to where the cash stash isn't so tight. There's no doubt in my mind that there will be LOTS of surprises to eat up our little kitty besides the AC .

Well in that case there is no point I speculating till you/we have a lot more information. Not that that will stop anybody from doing so.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:07 AM   #27
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I will say that I bought a boat where the rear AC was not blowing cold air. I had budgeting in the price of the boat that the rear AC was going to have to be replaced. I thought I would at least give it a go and try to charge it up. I have a really good guy here and he charged it up. It has been working since(3 years). I can only guess that the seals were leaking and once they got regular use, they stopped leaking. He kept threatening to use a stop leak product but none was needed. These AC units are 15 years old and they are still hanging in there.

Some people have said that it should be plug and play if you replace them. That is not always the case. The way they made AC units 15+ years ago is not necessarily the same way they make them now. So if you are constrained by space, it may not work! I know this because my guy has been doing this a long time...and I was considering just blowing it off and buying a new unit to "plug and play". He said the unit I have is not made anymore and that a new one would have to be custom made to fit that space. Just a heads up!!!!
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:27 AM   #28
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I bought and installed 2 Ocean Breeze units 3 years ago and can not speak highly enough of them. Made in Ft. Pierce they are a large military contractor, rugged and easy to work on as no exotic electronics. I used Home Depot automatic WIFI thermostats and can set the controls from anywhere.

Big thumbs up on Ocean Breeze.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:19 AM   #29
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Well I guess it is official. If I ever have to replace an AC unit, Ocean Breeze it is!!!
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:11 AM   #30
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I installed Mermaid units when I built my sled. I think they are somewhat similar to Ocean Breeze. Very basic control system, uses household typ thermostats. The biggest complaint I have of Marine Aire, Cruiseair and others is the complex proprietary thermostats and controls that poop often. Then you are stuck dealing with them and their prices.

The Mermaids have been flawless for ten years. Except for one problem: A pooped thermostat. Off to Lowes and 40 bucks later, back in business.

I'm going to look into those web based thermostats. That would be handy when I am on a work trip I can look up temp and change it if needed. Hmmmm...
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:09 PM   #31
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Ocean Breeze has its own thermostat,,, which is a major PITA. It just has to many features. But, they will tell you straight up to just replace it with any thermostat you like, from Home Depot, Lowes etc. The best thing about Ocean Breeze is if you can send Joe a Pic of what you need he can do it. Absolutely plug and play.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:55 PM   #32
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Ocean Breeze has its own thermostat,,, which is a major PITA. It just has to many features. But, they will tell you straight up to just replace it with any thermostat you like, from Home Depot, Lowes etc. The best thing about Ocean Breeze is if you can send Joe a Pic of what you need he can do it. Absolutely plug and play.


I asked for a credit and got one when I deleted their supplied thermostats, the wire colors are standard and any normal heat pump or standard t-stat will wire right up color to color.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:59 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by kulas44 View Post
Ocean Breeze has its own thermostat,,, which is a major PITA. It just has to many features. But, they will tell you straight up to just replace it with any thermostat you like, from Home Depot, Lowes etc. The best thing about Ocean Breeze is if you can send Joe a Pic of what you need he can do it. Absolutely plug and play.


I asked for a credit and got one when I deleted their supplied thermostats, the wire colors are standard and any normal heat pump or standard t-stat will wire right up color to color.

Not a PC board or computer chip to be found only standard relays in a control box (stainless) controlling the units.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:02 PM   #34
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Reminds me of a dock mate that advised another to put JB Weld on a leaking genset exhaust elbow. Sheesh!
Thems are fightin' words! Shouldn't criticize JB Weld - the best invention since Wonderbread
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:37 AM   #35
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You're probably right!�� Some swear by it for a cure all. I know I've used it in the past as a temporary repair, just not where it might hurt me.��
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:50 AM   #36
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What ever you do, don't use stop leak. The previous owner of my last boat did instead of properly finding the leak and correcting. It only ended up costing
9k to replace two units. Sigh...
+++++1
DO Not let a technician put stop leak in one of these systems. It's the same analogy as radiator stop leak, transmission stop leak..... it just doesn't work.

If the unit is more than 10-15 years old, more than likely it will have a leak in the coil. Depending on how much it is ran when it's low on refrigerant, compressor life would be suspect. This is due to the fact that when the refrigerant leaks, so does the oil that lubricates the compressor. The refrigerant also helps to keep the compressor cool. Once that is gone, compressor life is greatly depleted. I service and repair these units quite often. Normally I explain this up front to the customer. I will not be the "refrigerant delivery guy" as mentioned earlier. I will attempt to locate any leaks and repair, which usually ends up in the $400-$600 range, depending on what needs to be repaired. Since most of the units only have a 2 year warranty, a 10 year life is a good life.

On another note, (Some But not all) HVAC guys can work on the units. choose them wisely. Ask them to explain the process they would go through for any repairs. If they recover and re-weigh in the refrigerant, This will be someone who more than likely knows how to service the units properly.

My $.02
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:25 PM   #37
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Well, Good News. The previous owner had the unit repaired! Something about a water line being off. I'll look it over when I check out the boat, but it sure is good knowing I can take this off the list. ted
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:52 AM   #38
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Agree with Ski (#30) regarding Mermaid. Used to use their small units (5-6000 btu?) on a couple of small (25-30') sailboats I owned. Operate with a Honda eu1000i. Good equipment, reasonable, excellent service after sale. Had a mysterious problem with one unit about 18 months after install - after several tweaks per their service guys, no fix - they told me they'd send a custom crate for me to return my unit and they'd repair. The crate showed up several days later - with a new replacement unit inside, and a note with an apology and asking me to return the defective unit "at my convenience". Good people - worth a look.
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