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Old 06-05-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
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Wink Prairie 29 AC

We are in the process of installing air conditioning on Straycat. We have a 16000 btu Marine Air unit and are trying to decide where to install the thru hull and discussing how the discharge water will be eliminated. Some boaters simply send the water into the bilge to be pumped out by the bilge pump. Others have a direct line discharge overboard. Any suggestions or experience for the most effective cooling?
We are installing our unit in the "electrical" closet and would also like to know how or where other boaters directed the ac air within the salon/berth area.
We are really looking forward to using the ac here in Florida.....Can't come too soon for me.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:44 AM   #2
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By discharge water, are you referring to the raw water or the condensate produced by dehumidification?

Raw water is always discharged through a thruhulll about 6" above the water line. Condensate is often dumped in the bilge or sometimes to a shower sump where it is isolated from the bilge and pumped overboard.

Somebody makes an aspirator type device that lets the condensate be sucked into the raw water discharge.

David
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:15 PM   #3
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Hi Straycat,

Our 16000 unit is installed on the Starboard side in the "couch" area. Cooling water is discharged overboard as described by David. Condensate is dumped into the shower sump. The unit works very well and is effective in the heat of a Fl. summer.
John
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:51 PM   #4
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On my P29, the AC unit was in the hanging locker(same place you are referring to I believe) basically underneath the helm. The return air was in the companionway to the V-berth underneath the electrical panel and the cold air was discharged into the salon basically at the helmsman's feet. A 16BTU unit will still struggle in the heat of the day as the P29 has so much window area and open space but gets quite cold at night.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sortie View Post
Hi Straycat,

Our 16000 unit is installed on the Starboard side in the "couch" area. Cooling water is discharged overboard as described by David. Condensate is dumped into the shower sump. The unit works very well and is effective in the heat of a Fl. summer.
John
Thanks to all of you for your info. We have also considered placing the ac unit in the salon inside of a built in " seating area much like we had on another boat. If we leave it in the locker area, we need to run the ac air up higher then the floor of the nave station. Cold air falls and would not be useful from that area. We thought of running some oblong shaped ductwork through the storage area in the salon and up a wall to disperse the air.
If situated in a seating area in the salon, where did Sortie run the ac air to in relation to the air intake. They should not be located near one another or the unit will not work properly. Is your through hull located in the engine room area of the boat. We still need to get that installed as well.


As for the cooling water, we will also need to install a through hull for that as well.


Our condensate will flow into the bilge. We have a shower sump, but it needs to be turned on with a switch, not automatic....don't think I want to hear that constantly.


I assume that the ac unit in the salon would give greater cooling then in the electrical closet. Any photos of the install on your boat Sortie? Thanks again guys.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:53 PM   #6
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Stray cat,
Yes it does work better when above deck. Will get some picture for you. We are presently on the hard for a bottom job. Hopefully back in next week.

John
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:50 AM   #7
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AC. Thanks for the input. We hope the bottom job goes well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sortie View Post
Stray cat,
Yes it does work better when above deck. Will get some picture for you. We are presently on the hard for a bottom job. Hopefully back in next week.

John
In this heat the job is a bear. Stay well, Rick & Donna
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:40 AM   #8
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Wondering Sortie, if you have completed your bottom work yet. Would really appreciate some photos of your AC install in the salon. Where did you locate your through hull for the water supply, and raw water discharge? We are approaching the beginning of deciding the best area to install the unit. For the best results, my understanding is that the return air and AC air should not be located next to one another or on the same wall and height. Straycat has a propane heater located on the nave station, just below the electrical panel. Leaving the unit in the closet, our return air would be on the wall beneath the door. We would need to layout the AC discharge in a more central location. Friends of ours have the discharge overhead above the door, between the head door and the locker door. There is no unit on the boat now, so no idea how efficient the AC would work in that set up. Thanks again for the info from everyone.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:45 PM   #9
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We have a set tee on the stdb. side It runs from the rear bulkhead to the area where the refer is located. After the refer is the helm station. The set tee serves as a couch and storage area. the fwd part is where the AC is located.

The area immediately behind the helm is a raised area for the AC duct work. There is a pipe running from the duct area to the fwd. cabin. We also have a grate that can be opened into the engine room in case you need some cool air.

We are happy with set up. It works well for us. There was some bad sub flooring in the main cabin, near the cockpit. As a result we redid everything inside, thus the different dinette and the set-tee.

John
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:21 AM   #10
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Thanks a million. The photos and text are great help. You did a superb job in the renovation. We are printing out the photos to use in our installation.
Peace, love and joy, Rick & Donna, Straycat
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sortie View Post
We have a set tee on the stdb. side It runs from the rear bulkhead to the area where the refer is located. After the refer is the helm station. The set tee serves as a couch and storage area. the fwd part is where the AC is located.

The area immediately behind the helm is a raised area for the AC duct work. There is a pipe running from the duct area to the fwd. cabin. We also have a grate that can be opened into the engine room in case you need some cool air.

We are happy with set up. It works well for us. There was some bad sub flooring in the main cabin, near the cockpit. As a result we redid everything inside, thus the different dinette and the set-tee.

John
What a great layout. Our boat has the galley on the port side which includes the refer.
However, the layout on the port side could be used for Straycat and the refer space utilized for storage. A few questions please?
Did you just draw a straight line from the left side of the nav station back to the door? Locating the exit ac as you have, do you have enough cold air? As it was explained to us, the duct work would be more effective exiting higher.
Looks as though the storage area for the AC is sound proofed. Like that it is separate from the storage area.
What did you do with the storage area remaining under the wall on the port side? At the moment, we have access to that area by removing panels attached located at the base of the starboard wall.
Where is the thruhull for your AC located? Our our autopilot is located, at the bass of the head in the berth area, we will need to position it, the pump, in a different location since it is magnetic and would interfere with the autopilot. Thanks again! Donna
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #12
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I recently added AC to the Prairie 29's big sister, the 36. The actual locations won't help you, but here's two things I learned that might:

1) The Saloon is like a greenhouse. I'd say 80% of the cooling needs are there. I knew this would happen, but I'm still amazed how much solar heating the big side windows and doors introduce.

2) Tape or hang the thermostat in different places and try it out in different heating/cooling modes for a while before drilling any holes to mount it permanently.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice. Our side windows do slide open and we have no helm door, but do have the aft door and without ac, we use a screen that snaps in place, also added by the former owner. To this I added a long zipper across the top and down one side to allow easy egress of the doorway. I used a sleeping bag zipper which has a tab on both sides of the zipper.

We also, thanks to the former owner, have two canvas roll up awnings one on each side over the big windows, which we always use at anchor. They make a huge difference with the sun. We also keep the windows open when it rains as the awnings keep out the rain in all but blowing conditions.

The former owner had custom drapes installed which help with the heat accumulation. Of course, we may only use the ac at night to sleep, but it would also be nice to derive comfort during the daytime if necessary.

We really appreciate all the advice and will work this into a plan for our boat. Do you have your delivery ducts located up high? Donna Cass
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:44 PM   #14
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Donna; Lets see if I can answer your questions. Basically I did draw a straight line for the set tee. Our layout is the galley to the port side, but not along the entire side. Our sink runs port - stdb . There was a overhead storage cabinet which we removed. The original dinette was a U shaped area with a table and storage underneath . This was the area of bad sub flooring. This dinette was replaced with a traditional dinette arraignment. Consequently we lost that storage under the port side decks.

The storage under the set tee is a great addition and the area is separate from the AC, which is yes insulated. Directly below the storage area of our set tee is the location of the gen set, so that area is also insulated.

The best AC is to get the duct work exit as high as possible. We struggled with this, decided that we wanted the clean look as much as possible. Our cabin door was in bad shape, and was replaced with a custom made thick door that provides much better insulation against the heat/cool. Our windows were even in worst shape with lots of leaks. We replaced all windows with tinted window, much tighter fit, resulted in fewer air leaks and no water leaks. We add a heavy gauge privacy screen on the outside windows and heavy drapes with lining to protect against the sun. The results are dramatic in making a cooler area. It worked well and we are pleased.

I agree with Capt. Tom, play with the placement of your temp equipment looking for the right combination. Your right the cooling does not stretch back to the stern as well. However, the new door and the cockpit cover help a lot. The cockpit cover can be left as a shelter or raised as a Bimini cover. Our thru hull fitting was already located in the area near the engine thru hull, just fwd. of the engine near the stdb. stringer.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the kine words regard the result. It ended up being more then I originally thought. We are very pleased and love our trawler.

John & Sue.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:52 AM   #15
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Donna:

I like the idea of roll-up awnings! Just last night I went to sleep with all the hatches open, knowing I'd have to wake up to close them when it started raining. I'd like walk-around, permanent awnings like I've seen posted here (sorry, forget who) but they'd have to be halfway up the flybridge side and that would look stupid.

We just bought a commercial-grade sewing machine and enough fabric to do window and door coverings all around, as well as two types of screens (the fine white mosquito netting type and the normal window screen grey stuff). We already installed cellular blinds on all the windows but the front. They do help, but I think having something on the outside will help more.

The genset that came with this boat is a 7.5KW diesel that's bolted right to the stringers. It really rattles your teeth, and I'm hoping not to have to sleep with it running very often! So "breeze management" is pretty high on my list. I've even been looking at those breeze catcher hatch covers that the sailboats use a lot.

Oh, and the ducts are up as high as they'd go, but still only half-way up in the saloon. The diffusers point up and down, so that helps keep the air circulating a little. I've had good luck running a table fan, too.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:02 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=CaptTom;171243]Donna:

I like the idea of roll-up awnings! Just last night I went to sleep with all the hatches open, knowing I'd have to wake up to close them when it started raining. I'd like walk-around, permanent awnings like I've seen posted here (sorry, forget who) but they'd have to be halfway up the flybridge side and that would look stupid.

We just bought a commercial-grade sewing machine and enough fabric to do window and door coverings all around, as well as two types of screens (the fine white mosquito netting type and the normal window screen grey stuff). We already installed cellular blinds on all the windows but the front. They do help, but I think having something on the outside will help more.

The genset that came with this boat is a 7.5KW diesel that's bolted right to the stringers. It really rattles your teeth, and I'm hoping not to have to sleep with it running very often! So "breeze management" is pretty high on my list. I've even been looking at those breeze catcher hatch covers that the sailboats use a lot.

Oh, and the ducts are up as high as they'd go, but still only half-way up in the saloon. The diffusers point up and down, so that helps keep the air circulating a little. I've had good luck running a table fan, too.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:14 AM   #17
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Our awnings are miniatures of those on motorhomes. Made of aluminum and attached to the side walls of the boat. They roll up to just under the overhang of the upper deck and are adjustable. Most often, we open them all the way making them perpendicular to the windows and still allowing us to see out. Friends of ours are considering similar awnings that hand roll and attach to the rails when open. The only negative with ours is the need to roll one up when going forward or scrunching down under them to get past. Not a big negative as far as we are concerned. The frame is aluminum and the canvas is attached by running a hemmed edge through a channel. We reconditioned them an in time I will replace the fabric..an easy job.

Did you make screens that attach on the outside of the boat over the windows?
Our windows though old, do not leak, but I hate the inability to clean the exterior of the windows that have screens....considering removing the screens and adding them outside.

Thanks again for your information.! Donna
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:19 AM   #18
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Sortie, where did you have your door made? It looks great! I want to send a photo of our swings for anyone who is interested. Donna
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Did you make screens that attach on the outside of the boat over the windows?
Our windows though old, do not leak, but I hate the inability to clean the exterior of the windows that have screens....considering removing the screens and adding them outside.
We haven't made anything yet, still working through some other projects. The plan is to make panels that snap to the outside of the doors and windows. First will be sunbrella for shade and privacy. Then, for the windows, a screen panel for each opening window with sunbrella (scraps from the first project) hems around the outside to hold the snaps. Finally, I'm thinking a half-and-half panel that's sunbrella over the non-opening window and white mesh over the opening window.

One of the best investments I ever made was a commercial-grade snap tool.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #20
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CaptTom,


I have a Prairie 36 which I plan to add ac to in the off season. Where did you end up putting the units and what size?

Apologies for hijacking the thread!!

Thanks,
Rick
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