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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I do have rear curtains, but we haven't cruised enough to know whether that would be worth it or not. I can always add it later if we start cruising more and longer distances. Just this past weekend I was able to connect my transducer to my chartplotter to give me an accurate boat speed, so I'll be able to monitor my fuel usage more closely now. 

My unit is kind of a frankensteined unit. It was originally a 240V, 16500btu unit but it has since been converted. The compressor was changed and replaced with a 115V, 12000btu unit. 

Timothy "Tim" Miller said:

Mine wasn't that efficient but it is bulky.  I really wanted to run under the cabin space between hull and supports but no room for that.  The extra 2' of beam of the 35 gave more options.  What Btu unit do you have?  Don't overlook the option of a helm discharge.  Curtains from hardtop to the deck will give relief especially with close discharge of a 4"

I really wanted to run under the cabin framing and above the hull but there isn't room without doing formed ducts so there were holes cut in closets etc.  The good news is, the cabin gets cool!

If I were going to do that, I would run the duct under the port window, through the head wall, and through the shelf right under the window. I would then enclose all of that with hardwoods. It would be functional and decorative. 

In fact, that was my first thought when installing this unit. I was going to run a duct under the port window so that I could run a 4" vent into the head. It would have looked something like this. A simple box made out of hardwood. Here's a crude drawing of my idea.



Timothy "Tim" Miller said:

I really wanted to run under the cabin framing and above the hull but there isn't room without doing formed ducts so there were holes cut in closets etc.  The good news is, the cabin gets cool!

it is really Ocean Breeze, install and routing http://commanderclub.com/photo/albums/installation-of-seabreeze-ac-...

This with the under Vee versus under the dinette seat.  On the 35 the dinette seat would be against the helm offering cooling with a short direct connection.  Not sure if you could use the space under the walk and vee to route a duct.  If so you may be able to route both fwd and aft cooling vee and helm.

Looking through all the posts on this subject no one mentioned the condensate water drain.

withe unit under the front dinette seat I’m not sure there is enough elevation to be able to drain overboard with a through hull. The bilge would be off limits also. So it seems like a shower sump or something would work. Just wondering how everyone else handled it?

Why would the bilge be off limits? That's where both of my units drained. We're not talking about large quantity's of water and better yet, It's nice & pure distilled water, just like the stuff I buy in the supermarket for my CPAP humidifier :-)  Seriously, your bilge pump will easily handle the condensate load from the AC's. It's really about the same as a dripping faucet.

That’s also where mie drains. I would not want a through hull condensate drain as water that can go out can just as easily come in through that hole. Plus it’d leave runs down the side if the hull. I can run my A/C all weekend and the bilge pump might come on once. 



Dick Morland said:

Why would the bilge be off limits? That's where both of my units drained. We're not talking about large quantity's of water and better yet, It's nice & pure distilled water, just like the stuff I buy in the supermarket for my CPAP humidifier :-)  Seriously, your bilge pump will easily handle the condensate load from the AC's. It's really about the same as a dripping faucet.

Thanks for input. We decided the bilge is the way to go...

Christopher, you are correct...You need to seal the compartment from the bilge.   The AC fan will pull significant air and if the installation compartment is open to the bilge, you will circulate odors, fumes from that area into the cabin.  Under the dinette seat is a very logical place, plenty of room and easy to have good return air, also easy to seal off the compartment.  Take the time to seal the compartment and you will have a far more pleasant cabin at the end of the day plus you will be circulating conditioned air.

I thought I had posted a photo of the A/C installation. I built a floor under the dinette and sealed it off from the bilge with expanding foam. I cut a return air hole in the front of the dinette, and the drawer space will serve as a second return air grill.

Christopher, you are correct...You need to seal the compartment from the bilge.   The AC fan will pull significant air and if the installation compartment is open to the bilge, you will circulate odors, fumes from that area into the cabin.  Under the dinette seat is a very logical place, plenty of room and easy to have good return air, also easy to seal off the compartment.  Take the time to seal the compartment and you will have a far more pleasant cabin at the end of the day plus you will be circulating conditioned air.

I'm surprised Darin Haselhorst hasn't chimed in yet, so I will. We did exactly as you are planning. Mounted under the forward dining area. Put the grille for the return facing the side bunks. One word of caution. We had to carefully trim a square 4-6" area out of the wall between the seat and the hanging locker right at the hull edge to accommodate that unit. Depending on size you may have to as well. But the unit ran great and you could hang meat in that 31. Good Luck.

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