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Old 07-22-2020, 09:04 PM   #1
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Which A/C Manufacturer

I'm coming up on needing to replace all 3 of my dying A/C units. 2x 10k and a 16k. Sizing will need to stay about the same, but which units should I buy?

The current units are Marine Air Vector Turbos, around 10 - 12 years old (so after they were owned by Dometic and basically the same as the current Dometic Turbo). The newer versions of the same are not an option for replacement, as these units have been absolute crap in terms of reliability. All 3 are dead or dying from 1 or more refrigerant leaks. And all 3 have had leaks fixed previously and 2 of the units were replaced under warranty for refrigerant leaks early on. I think only one of them has gone more than 2 or 3 years without needing attention from an A/C tech, which is far worse than the original Marine Air units from 1986 (worked great for 20-ish years with minimal attention before they started to have issues).

At the moment, I'm leaning towards the Webasto FCF Platinum as replacements, although the MarinAire units look decent as well, just with limited reviews. Flagship supposedly makes great units, but they don't do reverse cycle, so I don't want them. The electric coil heat is way too power hungry for the amount of heat they produce, so I'd rather avoid it. The Velair variable units are a very interesting option, but too expensive and limited reviews, so I'll pass for now.

In this situation, what would the rest of you buy?
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:41 PM   #2
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Flagship Marine ...
Superior quality materials.
Superb customer service
Non-proprietary parts
Made in the USA
Competitive prices.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:56 AM   #3
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I have put Mermaid units in 4 different boats and had great success with them.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:06 AM   #4
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MarinAire units get my vote.

I replaced 3 (6, 9, 16 btu) about 5 years ago and all have been problem free, customer service great.

Was headed toward Wrbasto, but their dimensions didn't fit my location spaces.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:09 AM   #5
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It appears that MarineAire is a different company from The old Marine Air (acquired by Dometic). The former is a made in China product. The old Marine Air (and Cruisair) compact units have been replaced by the Dometic Turbo (DTU (relabeled DTG),or the ECD model lines. The ECD looks a lot like the old Cruisair STX units in our boat. Their “Turbo” unit appears to be a very recent design with a composit condensate tray and mounting structure. Anyway, I believe their old designs are gone. So be careful about comparisons. Same for MarineAire versusMarine Air. One important feature for me is that Dometic made provisions to use the old Cruisair or Marine Air wall control units, so no need to cut more holes in the woodwork.

I’m presently dealing with an electronic issue on one of my old Cruisair units, which I’m pretty sure was a result of a faulty power cord into the boat, and not the unit itself, which had worked fine for 15 years. But no matter...Cruise Air and the old Marine Air(without the “e”) are history. I do like the Dometic DTG for a replacement candidate.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
It appears that MarineAire is a different company from The old Marine Air (acquired by Dometic). The former is a made in China product. The old Marine Air (and Cruisair) compact units have been replaced by the Dometic Turbo (DTU (relabeled DTG),or the ECD model lines. The ECD looks a lot like the old Cruisair STX units in our boat. Their Turbo unit appears to be a very recent design with a composit condensate tray and mounting structure. Anyway, I believe their old designs are gone. So be careful about comparisons. Same for MarineAire versusMarine Air. One important feature for me is that Dometic made provisions to use the old Cruisair or Marine Air wall control units, so no need to cut more holes in the woodwork.

Im presently dealing with an electronic issue on one of my old Cruisair units, which Im pretty sure was a result of a faulty power cord into the boat, and not the unit itself, which had worked fine for 15 years. But no matter...Cruise Air and the old Marine Air(without the e) are history. I do like the Dometic DTG for a replacement candidate.
The units I've got now are the early version of the current Dometic Turbo (they were called Vector Turbo at the time, but they look identical). Same composite drain pans, etc. Their reputation is better than my experience, but the ones I have work well while they're working, but have been terribly unreliable at keeping refrigerant in the systems.

I'm well aware that the MarinAire units are unrelated to the old Marine Air, but they're also the least expensive unit to have a sound shield on the compressor and only slightly more expensive than the Webasto units. The MarinAire controls look nicer than the Webasto setup, but I don't think I care too much either way.

Realistically, compressor noise is only a concern on the 16k unit, the smaller ones are mounted in a way that you only really hear fan noise. The 16k has a return vent right in front of the compressor, however. But this should be less of an issue for the Webasto, as compared to my current units, the compressor is at the other end, which puts it further away from the vent.
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:05 AM   #7
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Recently installed a Marinaire 16k unit. I love it.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:07 AM   #8
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I ended up ordering a Webasto FCF Platinum 16k for the salon. Once I've got it in and working, I'll see how I feel about it and then decide if I buy 2 more for the staterooms or if I buy something else for those.
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:02 PM   #9
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AC Soft Starter needed?

Time to replace a 20yo 12K btu Aqua Cal self-contained marina AC. The unit powers up and the reversing valve clicks but the compressor is inop in AC and heat.

MarinAire 11K btu looks good for a number of reasons. I'd like to avoid a "soft start" capacitor if I can. More $ and another thing to break.

Others have posted of their satisfaction with MarinAire => did you needed a soft start (Smart Start, etc.)?

The MarinAire site claims 14A starting current (120v). This seems amazingly low. A similar 12k btu Webasto specifies Starting Current 45A.

Starting current is brief, <1 sec. My pal Larry has the Webasto and his amp meter shows 46A, but don't blink or you'll miss it.

The ac will run on a 20A circuit with (often only) 30A shore power.

What have other MarinAire owners found?
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Old 06-19-2021, 05:18 PM   #10
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The new Turbo DTG unit from Dometic looks good to me and I will be replacing my old one. 16k unit runs about 10 amps with pump. I have a 3.5kw Next-Gen and it doesn’t change sound when the compressor comes on. About $2,500.00
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:19 PM   #11
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If MarineAire claims their 11KBtu unit starts with 14 Amps, then I bet it already has a soft starting micro-processor installed. My new Dometic DTU 10KBtu unit had a heck of a lot more starting current than 14 Amps before I added Micro-Air Soft Start micro-processor (not a simple capacitor as you implied). There are a number of advantages to softer starting you should pay attention to before discarding the idea.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:48 PM   #12
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Rich - I agree with you 14A starting current sounds too good to be true, hence I am asking of those with a MarinAire of their experience.
You said, "There are a number of advantages to softer starting you should pay attention to before discarding the idea." Other than reducing starting current, can you elaborate?
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot Fast View Post
Rich - I agree with you 14A starting current sounds too good to be true, hence I am asking of those with a MarinAire of their experience.
You said, "There are a number of advantages to softer starting you should pay attention to before discarding the idea." Other than reducing starting current, can you elaborate?
1 reason is , it protects sensitive equipment from that sharp low voltage spike and the subsequent bounce that follows.
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Old 06-21-2021, 11:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot Fast View Post
Rich - I agree with you 14A starting current sounds too good to be true, hence I am asking of those with a MarinAire of their experience.
You said, "There are a number of advantages to softer starting you should pay attention to before discarding the idea." Other than reducing starting current, can you elaborate?
There is less shock to every connection and wiring associated with the jolt. Less motor/bearing shock. Less of a hit to the generator. Less noise in the middle of the night. In my case it allows a mere 3.5 KW genny to run a 13.5 KBtu and a 10 KBtu air conditioner at the same time.
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