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Old 06-16-2018, 08:24 AM   #1
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Portable ac

Thinking about adding a portable ac unit in addition to my marine Dometic 16.5 unit. Galley and forward cabin get pretty warm in summer cold in winter and was thinking one of the portable units would be simple, inexpensive and moveable.
Don’t need advice on how much better a $5k marine unit would be, of course it would so would being thin and looking like George Cluny but . . . .
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:51 AM   #2
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If you get a portable unit, get a two hose model that brings in outside air to cool the condenser rather than the single hose unit which uses inside air. The two hose units are much more efficient. A 12,000 btu/hr unit costs about $500. But I don't think any of these are heat pumps.

The problem you will have is finding a way to hook up the intake and exhaust hoses to the outside. Easy in a home, but not so easy on a boat.

For a little more money you can buy a mini split heat pump. These are even more efficient with SEERs in the upper teens. But you have to mount the compressor/condenser unit outside and it will have a limited life on a boat exposed to salt air.

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Old 06-16-2018, 09:02 AM   #3
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we used a portable in the front birth for guest memorial day it worked great for them but it was impossible to get any benefit from it two foot out in the galley. i changed the marine unit out last weekend . we now have two 12k units (i messed up and bought the wrong unit the old one was 17k)but it seems to do the job. it was a cosmetic blem and on sale for 900. probably spent 200 more at the hardware store also.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:38 AM   #4
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Sine we bought the boat eight years ago, we’ve had three different 9000 BTU portable floor model A/Cs to cool & dry a bit when closed up during the summer. With each model, the units had trouble making a difference, even after insulating the hot air exhaust. I had imagined that I would disassemble a 12k BTU unit and place it under the helm for cooling the pilothouse. I’ve given up on that. Our current low-hour 9000 BTU unit running all day (sunny, 90 degrees) in the 8 x12 pilothouse could only manage five degrees difference. Unless you have a dedicated, well insulated exhaust, they look like hell and put a lot of heat right back into the space. Window units are much better. My two cents.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:32 AM   #5
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I have a 8000 btu LG in my forward Vberth and a 12k btu rooftop unit(RV style).

The LG is vented through the bilge to the top deck. Doing this vs venting into the bilge made a night and day difference. My portable unit kicks butt and keeps the lower galley @ 72 degrees.

Combined they will get the boat @ 78 degrees from 90ish on a hot fl day. Working on insulation.

I'm looking into another unit in the salon for the same reasons(i'm not thin or looking like George either) and the rooftop unit drive me crazy(so loud).

Will a portable cool your whole boat? No but it'll make a hell of a difference if you set it up right. I also modified it to drain into the bilge on the dry setting which I run all summer(and don't have to empty a tank).
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:36 PM   #6
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We use one in peak summer ( DO NOT GET A 1 HOSE ONLY 2 HOSE) our salon and galley this unit helps bring it down below 75 we tried a 1 hose at first it did very little. My wife made an insulated canvas sock to put the hoses in
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:55 AM   #7
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To those of you who tried and failed a portable were you venting outside or into the bilge?
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:47 AM   #8
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mine was a single hose vented through a port cooled great .it was like a refrigerator in the small room . it would most likely been better at cooling the galley if it was a 2 hose and we blew the air out with a fan . i think the major problem was the air loss pulled air into the room so the fan couldn't blow it out.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:47 PM   #9
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I have 2 portables. A single hose and a 2 hose. 8 & 12 k btu. As others said, the single hose has to draw outside air into the space, so is less efficient. I avoid hot weather so only use them a few days a year. I installed permanent outlets in the cabin wall where they sit. Vents are covered in winter and the unit stored away. Better than nothing. Kind of noisy - and I don't hear well.
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:51 PM   #10
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We had a 10K single hose for the salon/galley and a 5K window unit we adapted for the hatch over the master. We ran both 24/7s for 5 months, in Trinidad, on the hard, living on the boat and never again. The LG was noisy, had condensate to deal with, very poor efficiency and it was a piece of furniture that didn't fit. Between the two of them we could keep the boat at low humidity and in the mid 70's with ambient temps in the 90s.

Because we were on the hard and living on the boat, we didn't have many options. While in the water, give me a properly designed/sized marine AC unit please .
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Old 06-19-2018, 05:46 AM   #11
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"
"For a little more money you can buy a mini split heat pump. These are even more efficient with SEERs in the upper teens. But you have to mount the compressor/condenser unit outside and it will have a limited life on a boat exposed to salt air."

These are used all over euro land , many just hanging from the stern rail , and do not seem to suffer much.

Placed higher with less chance of direct spray might be even better.

And they heat quite cheaply too.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"
"For a little more money you can buy a mini split heat pump. These are even more efficient with SEERs in the upper teens. But you have to mount the compressor/condenser unit outside and it will have a limited life on a boat exposed to salt air."

These are used all over euro land , many just hanging from the stern rail , and do not seem to suffer much.

Placed higher with less chance of direct spray might be even better.

And they heat quite cheaply too.
Surprised I don't see more of these at the marina's in the US.

They hold up well and are efficient.
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