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Old 01-09-2019, 10:07 AM   #1
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Mini-Split Ductless A/C.. Talk me out of it.

Argument 1. They wont hold up long term. I hear the same thing about the rooftop units but i've had one on my boat for a decade and it still works. Here's the kicker a 12,000BTU mini-split can be had for just over $500 so who cares.

Argument 2. They put out heat which have to go somewhere. True it's annoying but my rooftop unit is mounted under the flybridge steering wheel and I can mount the mini-split anywhere. I guess what i'm saying it how bad can it be since the rooftop unit puts out heat right @ my feet.

Argument 3. They're ugly.. Many boat things are ugly and thats why we hide them. I could easily make a "box" but my boat is a 1979 and while I really do my best to keep it looking good it's no megayacht. Function over fashion is the trawler way after all . I'd probably just hang it off the back of the flybridge at least it'd be a talking point at the dock.


The coleman rooftop unit I have works and does a pretty good job but it's crazy loud. I've added a thermostat but in the summer the thing has to run all day anyway. I'll keep it to help the other unit out. I also have a R2D2 stand alone unit in the v-berth but it's in the way/want to ditch it.


Basically @ $513.99 or for a 12k BTU(449 for A/C only) I can't see much of a downside and i'm not interested in a traditional boat A/C(don't want more thru hulls/expensive).
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:49 AM   #2
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Mrwesson, you da man

... and when yours gives up the ghost, go pick up a digital inverter model and you can even run it off your batteries/inverter for a couple of hours.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:48 AM   #3
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I think itís a great idea.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:09 PM   #4
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Mrwesson, you da man

... and when yours gives up the ghost, go pick up a digital inverter model and you can even run it off your batteries/inverter for a couple of hours.
I looked and couldn't find it but the ones i'm looking at are advertised as inverter and the 12kBTU model pulls 10 Amps but doesn't draw as much hard start amps(and about 5 amps lower than my rooftop).

1500watt inverter would run it but I'm not aware of one that will run on 12v.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:23 PM   #5
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We put in one of the 110VAC Pioneer 12k BTU models. It keeps the boat about 15 degrees colder than it is outside - not great, but plenty good to keep from sweating too much in there, cheap, and perfect for bringing down the temp at night when you want to sleep. Even though it's mounted high above the helm, the cool air sinks nicely down into the cabins.

I have to give myself a pat on the back for the installation - we totally nailed it. I'll post pics when I get home, but we managed to install the exterior unit inside the flybridge enclosure and created external vents which pull air through for it. The interior unit we fit above the helm and found a beautiful fireplace grate to go over it. Honestly it looks nicer than it used to.

We've had it for 2 years and it still works great.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:28 PM   #6
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I didnít realized those units were so cheap now. Thought they were more in the $1000 range.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:47 PM   #7
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We put in one of the 110VAC Pioneer 12k BTU models. It keeps the boat about 15 degrees colder than it is outside - not great, but plenty good to keep from sweating too much in there, cheap, and perfect for bringing down the temp at night when you want to sleep. Even though it's mounted high above the helm, the cool air sinks nicely down into the cabins.

I have to give myself a pat on the back for the installation - we totally nailed it. I'll post pics when I get home, but we managed to install the exterior unit inside the flybridge enclosure and created external vents which pull air through for it. The interior unit we fit above the helm and found a beautiful fireplace grate to go over it. Honestly it looks nicer than it used to.

We've had it for 2 years and it still works great.
NICE!

If you only have 1 unit on your boat that's pretty amazing. I have a 15k and 9k btu unit and match that performance currently on my 34' Mainship(lots of windows).

I will keep the rooftop unit to help but hopefully mainly depend on the 12k unit mini-split. Not really much choice on that one since a hole was cut for the rooftop unit(suspect it caused some rot but didn't install it).
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I didn’t realized those units were so cheap now. Thought they were more in the $1000 range.
They were but have recently come down in price(significantly).

I originally got the idea from a BBC show I watch called Top Gear(travel/car show) where they do a special in Burma where they take used trucks across Burma and build a bridge(hilarious) they traditionally modify their vehicles halfway and one of the presenters installed a mini-spit AC on top of his crane truck.



Last pic just for fun. I'm a huge fan of the show(now canceled/moved to amazon prime as Grand Tour).
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:52 PM   #8
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NICE!

If you only have 1 unit on your boat that's pretty amazing. I have a 15k and 9k btu unit and match that performance currently on my 34' Mainship(lots of windows).
We did a fair amount of insulating because we're in Boston. Pink foam in all the ceilings and behind all the wall planks.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:44 PM   #9
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I didnít realized those units were so cheap now. Thought they were more in the $1000 range.

Yes, I think the inverter technology ones with a SEER of 16 or greater go for that. The one for about $500 must be bare bones. He said it draws 10 amps AC for 12,000 which indicates a SEER of about 12.


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Old 01-09-2019, 02:00 PM   #10
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We did a fair amount of insulating because we're in Boston. Pink foam in all the ceilings and behind all the wall planks.
I did the same but my side windows are single pane so there's not much I can do there.

Pics of your install would be a huge help there's not many out there(you can PM me if you don't want to share).

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Yes, I think the inverter technology ones with a SEER of 16 or greater go for that. The one for about $500 must be bare bones. He said it draws 10 amps AC for 12,000 which indicates a SEER of about 12.


David
I misquoted the amperage @ 10 it's actually 8.6.

Seer 15.5 for the one I have bookmarked @ $530 I can get a Seer 18 for around $600. I'm stuck on 115v but the 230v models have better numbers across the board.

Not sure what you mean by bare bones it comes with everything needed to install(includes "kit) and even has wifi. It's obviously a knockoff or rebrand and not up to the same level as LG or Samsung..

Another positive I just found out is that you can buy replacement condenser(the outdoor part) that's most likely to rot out for around 2-$300..
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:58 PM   #11
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I would go with the 18 SEER. It may take a while to pay out the extra $100 but you will be doing our planet some good.


By bare bones, you said exactly what I meant- likely a Chinese copy of a Korean made unit. What is the brand? I sure like the price of the outdoor unit.



David
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:17 PM   #12
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Here's the photos.
You can see I installed the condenser inside the flybridge helm enclosure. You can see the vents I installed above the windshield. You can see the air handler for the mini split behind the grate. You can access that part right behind the condenser in the flybridge helm enclosure.
To run the AC, you just leave the door for the flybridge helm enclosure open (as photographed).
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:21 PM   #13
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As a side note, those vents I installed help kill all that mold shown in the photo. The whole inside of that enclosure was gross when I bought the boat.
Also, I'm surprised to say that the condenser has no corrosion on it yet, after 2 years.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:06 AM   #14
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I recall that the units were as high as SEER mid-20's with HEPA filters. Would love a HEPA here in the Middle East
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:13 AM   #15
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The Euros have been dong this for 2 decades.


They just hang the compressor on the stern rail.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:53 AM   #16
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I remember seeing one of these units on a "Real Ships" trawler. The outside unit was mounted just in front of the heliport.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:53 AM   #17
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I would go with the 18 SEER. It may take a while to pay out the extra $100 but you will be doing our planet some good.


By bare bones, you said exactly what I meant- likely a Chinese copy of a Korean made unit. What is the brand? I sure like the price of the outdoor unit.



David
I might go with the 18 SEER depending on features. They are typically no name brand chinese air handlers with toshiba compressors. There's tons of them on ebay.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:59 AM   #18
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I might go with the 18 SEER depending on features. They are typically no name brand chinese air handlers with toshiba compressors. There's tons of them on ebay.
Many of the Chinese appliances are just fine. We buy them like crazy here because they are cheaper than the Jap/Kor brands. If it wears out/breaks in 4 or 5 years then throw it away. By then the technology has improved anyway.

Minisplits are awesome as long as you can place the condenser someplace that is not an eyesore and where the noise doesn't bother you. A

lso, isn't it wonderful to eliminate a seacock/strainer/water pump/minnows in the strainer/etc???
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:04 AM   #19
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I misquoted the amperage @ 10 it's actually 8.6.

Seer 15.5 for the one I have bookmarked @ $530 I can get a Seer 18 for around $600. I'm stuck on 115v but the 230v models have better numbers across the board.
Quick search just pulled up this example: 12 kbtu, 8.4 amp, SEER 25. The startup draw isn't listed (locked rotor) but it is not going to be 6X like with a typical motor. My digital inverter refrigerator had a 1X startup draw because it ramped up to speed and was variable speed.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12-000-BTU-...-/352441317369
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:05 AM   #20
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Westiculo, that's really nice. Why do you have the vents covered with plastic? Did you eventually place some screened trim pieces or louvered in there?
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