I've been reading up on A/C installation and it occurred to me that my plan may have a flaw. I originally intended on mounting the A/C unit under the forward seat of the dinette in my 31', but that space is open to the bilge.  Although we'll only be using the A/C dockside when the engines aren't running, should we have a fuel leak or something I wouldn't want my A/C sucking up and spreading those fumes about the cabin. 

My second option is to put it in side the hanging closet after cutting an access door in the v-berth. I know there is a floor in the hanging closet, but I'm not sure how airtight it is from the bilge. I may have to look at it and see about using some caulking to seal it up.

Thoughts? Advice? Where is your's mounted?

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Mine  is  in  the  Vee.  Be advised  there is no actual separation  of  the  bilge from remaining  cabin save the  sole.  I think  this  is  true  for  nearly  all models,   There are vent holes in closets, slide storage with  the  hull as the flooring  and the list goes on, the  engine  room  is separated  from  the  cabin but not  to the  hull  and it is vented separately.  You  should  install  the  AC so  intake  is limited  to  cabin  air.  This  can  be  a  challenge, I know  it's  time  to  check  the  seal when  the  smell  of  hot engines  add to  the  cabin  odor.

I figured if I put it under the dinette seat I could put a big return air grill on the wall under the seat. It's the easiest and most non-conspicuous place to put a large return vent.

Christopher, that’s not how this works. There is a return grille and an outlet vent, both go directly to the cabin. It doesn’t suck air from the bilge, even though it is mounted there. Almost all ac units are mounted in the bilge, they have figured this out lol

Actually, it can. There is no duct connection on the outside. The blower sucks air through the fins and discharges it through the duct work to the vents. the only way to prevent air from being sucked in from the bilge area would be to connect a huge duct from the return grill to the fins directly. This whole square area is what the intake passes over.



Chris Wickersham said:

Christopher, that’s not how this works. There is a return grille and an outlet vent, both go directly to the cabin. It doesn’t suck air from the bilge, even though it is mounted there. Almost all ac units are mounted in the bilge, they have figured this out lol

Look at the installation pics for my unit

Here's the installation pics of one of the AC units I installed on our old 38 Sedan. This wheelhouse unit was a 16,500 BTU AC with resistance heat !  This was really neat because our winter storage yard was 105 miles from our home, and during spring commissioning which usually took about 4 or 5 weekends, we slept in the boat rather than drop some coin on motels. Because this was a resistance unit, we had heat without being in the water --- nice ! BTW Chris, the boats 30 amp power supply handled the load fine, and we were also using a water heater (which you don't have). I only had to install a second 30 amp service after I installed a 19,000 BTU unit in the v-berth. The attached pictures show the 16,500 unit installed in the wheelhouse closet. Pictures are worth a thousand words ! You'll see in the pics 2 discharges into the wheelhouse. What you don't see is the third discharge going into the lower salon. Either one of your installation ideas are OK, and you don't have to do any sealing or caulking as long as you are sucking cabin air and discharging into the cabin. Word of caution --- You should have at least 2 discharges, otherwise the unit might freeze up during high humidity operation.

Attachments:

OK, here's the last 2 AC installation pics ---

Attachments:

My plan was to install it under the dinette seat. I want on 6x12" (or there abouts) coming out of the cabin side of the hanging closet, a second 6x12" (or there abouts) coming out the vberth side of the hanging closet, and then I want to run a 4x4" to the head somehow.

I plan to install a teak grill in the bottom of the head door to help with circulation, and another return grill in the wall of the dinette seat for return air to the unit. 

Dick Morland said:

 Word of caution --- You should have at least 2 discharges, otherwise the unit might freeze up during high humidity operation.

Mine is under the front Dinette seat, vented out the top of the shelf through the closet. The return is below the drawer opening on that seat. I think it’s a good location considering the size constraints of the 31. One day I will put a vent into the V-birth. Don’t worry about putting A/C in the head, how much time do you really spend in there anyways.  Mine will draw air in from the engine compartment, I had a fuel leak and if I turned the A/C on it woukd draw thise fumes inti the cabin. The best way to prevent this would be to build a box to house the unitunder the seat so it can only draw from the cabin. 

When I installed mine another member in FL used the same unit under the dinette aft seat and used a discharge to the helm area since it was FL!

Chris, Where ever you end up putting it, it is advisable to not have the cold air blowing in the direction of the return. All manufacturers will tell you to put your supply/outlet vents as high as possible and your returns away from them. If you don't, the unit will pull in cooled air and be very inefficient. Go to the ocean breeze website, there is much info there. Good luck. There is nothing like a cool boat.

Mine has a unit under the sink and one in under the forward bed.

I’ve discovered a few flaws, in that both returns pull air from the bildge... which isn’t always fresh air and circulates a bit of musty Odor about even with an immaculate bildge.

The forward unit also has a ton of condensation and I found that the mattress is mildewed from that.

I’m building return ducting so both pull from the cabin and not the bildge, and sealing off the underside of the enclosure on the forward area.

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