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Old 07-10-2016, 08:25 PM   #1
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City: Currently - Aransas Pass
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Southern boats....air conditioning...

I am looking for information on what other owners do concernin running the A/C units on their boats while not on the boat. I am located in the coastal bend of Texas on the Gulf Coast.

Do you leave yours running on a higher setting, turned off completely or something entirely different? Currently I have mine on a dehumidification setting that runs each unit two hours a day at twelve hour intervals. In the weather we are currently having the internal temperature inside the boat can reach and occasionally exceed 100 degrees.

My primary concerns are issues with the cooling pumps, the through hull becoming blocked by a piece of trash or becoming clogged with grass and just overworking the compressors and causing premature failures. There is also the risk of a cooling hose rupturing and then pumping salt water into the bilge.

Looking forward to hearing from other owners.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:42 PM   #2
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We don't run the A/C's while we are away. I sleep better away from the boat when I know all the seacocks are closed. When we are gone we use a dehumidifier from Lowes on a timer. I have it on a counter and it drains into the kitchen sink. We also have a couple small fans in the lower cabins to circulate the air. Doesn't cool the boat, but does a great job keeping the humidity way down while we are gone, has done wonders for boat smells and keeps the mold at bay.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:45 PM   #3
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I've seen some boats with a 110vac portable air conditioner to keep it cool.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:00 PM   #4
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I don't like to leave the AC running while I'm away from the boat for the reasons you mentioned. I have a portable dehumidifier, I set the desired relative humidity and it drains into the galley sink then overboard. I have a portable AC unit, like folivier mentioned, at home it works well, I have never tried it on the boat, it seems to me it would work fine venting out through a window.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:12 PM   #5
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We leave ours on but turn the thermostats up.
We go there every day or couple of days to check on things.
Still thinking about getting a portable unit.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:24 AM   #6
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Leave mine on set at 80 degrees. Did all the installation myself to make sure all plumbing was done correctly. If I was worried about a plumbing failure sinking my boat, I wouldn't sleep on it with the AC running. The AC systems have auto shutdown protection for system failures. I do check on my boats every few days, but worry more about external stuff such as dock lines during bad weather, other boaters not being careful, and the occasional mischievous teenagers.

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Old 07-11-2016, 05:41 AM   #7
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It depended on how long we were going to be away from the boat and how hot it was. So, sometimes in the "dehumidify" mode, sometimes set to 80 degrees. We had a Pfifertex screen for the large lower helm windows, and the side windows had an "eave" that covered the side decks which helped a lot.

I kept all my plumbing and hoses very well maintained and updated so never worried about a failure causing flooding any more than I would for any other house we ever lived in. The A/Cs shut down if not getting water delivered due to a strainer clog and in turn can be set up to turn off the pump as well, so no worries about equipment stress or failure.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:53 AM   #8
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dkasprzak

Do a search I started a thread a while back on this. I used up two a/c's, roof top and portable, last year trying to keep the inside of LUNASEA cool. This year I am using the old attic fan method, open vents in bow and fan blowing out in stern seems to be working.
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:02 AM   #9
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I trun it off and open a hatch
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:00 AM   #10
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Mostly leave it on but in our case here on mobile bay and with a shallow slip the water is pretty muddy. I have to clean out strainers and blow out the lines at least once a week especially when we have unusually low tides. I do usually set temp at around 80 though.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:49 AM   #11
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We leave ours own to keep humidity down and to keep temperature at a reasonable level. We do the same with our house. As to any risks, we have bilge pumps and alarms with the alarms set up to send us text messages. We also have someone checking daily where our boat is stored and there is full time security with part of their job keeping an eye on things. In addition we can always do a quick check of the boat through the web and cams on board.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:36 AM   #12
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BandB, what alarm system are you using for bilge pumps?
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:06 AM   #13
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I tried the AC humidity control method, then just leaving the cabin door open to the enclosed aft deck, then a dehumidifier and lastly a cheap 12" fan with some tea tree gel in cups in a few places.


The dehumidifier and fan worked best within limited temperature ranges but the fan and tea tree gel was the easiest and always left the boat smelling good.


Very important however to have a clean dry bilge and a clean cabin to start.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:24 AM   #14
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We only run the ac when we are on the boat. We run several fans while off the boat and will bring on a dehumidifier once repaired.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:29 AM   #15
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From being in business and knowing what can happen with anything electrical when un attended. I would NEVER leave my boat electrified . and even just the 12volt system for the bilge pump is enough that something can go wrong and usually does when you least expect it.

edit;
Yes I do know sometimes we just have to Leave something on or running.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:37 AM   #16
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I most cases I leave at least one unit on.

If all I care about is lowering the humidity I'll use a dehumidifier set to drain overboard one way on another.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
From being in business and knowing what can happen with anything electrical when un attended. I would NEVER leave my boat electrified . and even just the 12volt system for the bilge pump is enough that something can go wrong and usually does when you least expect it.

edit;
Yes I do know sometimes we just have to Leave something on or running.
With that kind of fear, I'm having a hard time visualizing you living aboard let alone taking a nap on a boat. Certainly a boat's electrical systems need to be squared away and periodically checked, but were not talking tube and wire in a hundred year old house.

Ted
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:37 PM   #18
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Ted wow, you really misunderstood me lol
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by folivier View Post
BandB, what alarm system are you using for bilge pumps?
Intelisea.
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
With that kind of fear, I'm having a hard time visualizing you living aboard let alone taking a nap on a boat. Certainly a boat's electrical systems need to be squared away and periodically checked, but were not talking tube and wire in a hundred year old house.

Ted
I felt like you for many years. However, this past 4th while I took a quick siesta, I was awaken by breakers, AC units going off and on in rapid fashion with reverse polarity red lights blinking on the AC panel! Cutting off everything AC I eventually found a very overheated (to the point of melting) power cord plug that's attached to the boat. Lost a tv, charger and a few other items fried. If I was not onboard know telling what could have happened. So now I'm a Denise convert with new power cord, better connections and leave only my charger and refrig circuit on.
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