Practical Boat Owner - - Practical -

Air con­di­tion­ing on small yachts has now be­come very af­ford­able, costs partly driven down by the au­to­mo­tive mar­ket where al­most all mod­ern cars now have AC built in.

A small, fixed unit suit­able for a 25-35ft boat can be in­stalled in the main cabin or sleep­ing area pro­vid­ing there is some spare locker space and a handy con­den­sa­tion drain point. Power can come from shore­power, a genset or in­verter via re­new­ables.

For a tem­po­rary main­spow­ered so­lu­tion, Cruiseair Dometic’s Carry-On 7020 is de­signed to fit in a stan­dard boat hatch, and run on shore power (or the boat’s 240V if you have it). Other boat own­ers sim­ply use a house­hold stand-alone unit when in port.

Small 12V or 24V por­ta­ble units are avail­able which run air over a reser­voir of wa­ter for a cool­ing ef­fect, one ex­am­ple be­ing the Aus­tralian Transcool which runs al­most silently off bat­tery power con­sum­ing just 1A. It costs around £350 and is made from GRP and ma­rine grade stain­less steel.

Cheaper still are sim­ple hacks to keep the boat cool nat­u­rally. Th­ese in­clude putting re­flec­tive film over the win­dows, in­stalling win­dow blinds, adding large tents or adapt­ing sails, fit­ting a lot of fans, and hav­ing tem­po­rary hatch cov­ers to re­flect the heat.

And don’t for­get all that lovely su­pery­acht in­su­la­tion. That will help keep the boat cool too.

other ways to keep a boat cool are to fit re­flec­tive film to the win­dows...

transcool’s evap­o­ra­tive air cooler runs on 12V or 24V as well as mains

... and use a sun­shade, even if it is just an old sail that’s been rigged up to do the job

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