Installing Air Conditioning in E380

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Leslie Newman

Guest
Finally decided on how I want to install air conditioning in my 1994 E380. Don't want to sacrifice any water tanks or book case, so going to use the hanging locker in the V berth. Since 99% of the time just me and the wife, we have the whole stern berth for stowage. The unit is advertised as extremely quiet and hoping not too noisy. I can add some foam insulation inside the locker if needed.

Installed the circulation pump/strainer in the settee beside the salon water tank (in front of galley sink). Have a spare thru hull under the sink for raw water intake and running a hose to the strainer is going to be easy and everything is well below water line.

The Marine Air unit in the locker. I chose a 6,000 btu system. Mainly because it fits in the locker. And my Honda 2000 will run it on the hook. I know it is a little undersized, but we used a 5,000 BTU window unit in the companionway last summer and were for the most part comfortable. I figure on a super hot summer weekend where we think the boat A/C won't handle the heat we can supplement the Marine Air with our window unit and deal with stepping over the window unit a couple days.

Unit in locker. Nothing hooked up yet, but I worked out running the hoses, wires, condensate drain.
The speaker is going to get removed and that is where the supply grill will be.

I'm planning to run a single 4" duct to a teak supply grill in the salon bulkhead and just dump all the air into the salon. Have the return in the V berth, putting a filter grill in the side of the locker. It will be a high return, which is really what you want for cooling. Hopefully on all but extreme days this unit will handle cooling the main salon and V berth. We plan to keep the stern berth closed off most days.

Getting my thru hulls in order. One for wash down, the other for the A/C. I am planning to pipe in fresh water feed so when done with either wash down pump or Air conditioning I can pass some fresh water through the lines. That is why I have the extra ball valves with pipe nipple so I can connect fresh water lines. I have a back flow preventer setup so fresh water flows and salt water cannot enter my fresh system.

Will post more as the project progresses the next few weekends.
 
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sharonov

Member II
6000btu for E38? Summers are probably not nearly as hot and humid as here in Houston. We recently upgraded 12000btu to 16000btu on our smaller E32-3 and that made it just about adequate. When water temperature gets high these water cooled units struggle. Also watch for the crossection in return air. Ours was not sufficient and we had to add an exra intake grill.
 
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Leslie Newman

Guest
6000btu for E38?

I don't think Virginia is as killer hot. As stated, we used a 5K window unit in the companionway last summer and it kept the boat comfortable. We're not trying to keep it freezing cold in the boat, just knock down the humidity a bit. And I think if we close off the stern berth as we did with the window unit we'll be fine. But if it ends up not cutting it I'm deciding where I would mount a second small unit. Maybe starboard side book case as I saw another member post. I prefer two smaller units rather than one large as I could run only one system on milder days. Everyone has different requirements for their systems. Another item we have is a white colored dense mesh tarp we use as shade over the cabin top. This helps knock down the direct sunlight and provides some relief to the A/C system. I guess I won't have to worry about the unit short cycling.

The rule of thumb for sizing the air conditioning is 14 BTU per cubic foot of space. If an area below deck or after sunset you can use 10 - 12 btu per cubic foot. Extreme heat figure 16 - 19 btu.

With your 16K unit factoring 14 btu that is 1,142 cubic feet of space. But if sizing for extreme conditions you could use 19 btu per cubic foot. So your 16K unit now only handles 842. Probably about right for very hot areas. My 6K unit at 14 btu would handle 428 cubic foot space. But most days around here won't be extreme, so I'm thinking 10 btu which is 600 cubic feet. That's maybe salon and v berth space, hard to calculate the cubic feet with all the odd shapes.

Anyway, an experiment, ready to make adjustments as needed.
 

kiwisailor

Member III
Blogs Author
Finally decided on how I want to install air conditioning in my 1994 E380. Don't want to sacrifice any water tanks or book case, so going to use the hanging locker in the V berth. Since 99% of the time just me and the wife, we have the whole stern berth for stowage. The unit is advertised as extremely quiet and hoping not too noisy. I can add some foam insulation inside the locker if needed..

My boat came with an AC unit that we used a couple of times when in the slip. The issue I have with them as they cool down humid air a lot of condensation will form on the evaporator the unit will have a tray to catch this and a drain tube to the bilge. So my experience is it provides a nice cool boat to sleep in, but then fills my bilge with water. I prefer to have a dry bilge.

Make sure you can get a drain line to the bilge from the install location.
 
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Leslie Newman

Guest
Make sure you can get a drain line to the bilge from the install location.

Thanks. Already thought about that. Condensate to the bilge is a bad idea. There are various means to keep that water going overboard. You can drain it to a box that contains a pump to pump it overboard. Saw that setup on a Youtube video. My plan is to have two above water line thru hulls, one for the circulation water and one for the condensate. I have also heard about some device that allows the condensate to use the circulation water thru hull, but need to research that a bit more. If not done properly circulation water could backup into the drain pan, which would be a mess.
Also thinking of adding an emergency drain pan under the A/C unit as a backup in case water spills out of its pan. Have a pan made to fit that cabinet. same kind of deal you'd have for an air conditioning system in the attic of a home.

I know my unit is small and most likely will struggle on extreme days. But also I know that you don't want to oversize a unit as it will short cycle and do a poor job of removing humidity. I am thinking one small unit to start and then if this summer it proves insufficient I will look at where I can add another small unit. I sized my circulation pump so it can handle two units. I would only need to route a second water line and mount the A/C unit. My worse case I remove the 27 gallon water tank in the salon and mount the unit there. I just didn't want to give up that tank. We don't need it cold in the cabin, just would like to get some of the humidity out and knock the temp down a few degrees.
 
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Leslie Newman

Guest
Have just about finished the air conditioning installation. Again, it is a 6,000 BTU unit, so small. But, we are just wanting to knock down the humidity a bit on the worse days. So far it has cooled the boat fantastic, but it's mild outside except one Saturday we arrived to an 84 degree boat. The unit cooled it down fairly quick to 71 degF.

I installed the MarineAire unit in the port hanging locker. Supply duct runs right to the salon bulkhead where I located a 10" x 6" grill. Return is an 8" x 10" filter grill located in the forward side of the locker. Fit perfectly there. The A/C unit is high enough in the boat that I could install a thru hull for direct drain of the condensate.
I installed two thru hulls in the upper part of the cabinet directly below the locker. These handle the condensate and the exit for the circulation water. I installed ball valves as I did not want water possibly entering the condensate drain. And underway I will just feel better having these openings shut off.

Only things remaining to do is figure out the best location for the temp/humidity sensor and decide where to mount the control panel.

I tested this past Sunday and my Honda 2000 generator will run the air conditioning and battery charger at the same time, and it stays at ECO idle while the air conditioner is running full out. Air conditioner started fine off GEN power. We aren't looking for ice box temps in the cabin and will see how it does this summer. I like the fact it takes up just the one locker and draws little power. And I did not sacrifice my salon water tank, which was another possible location for air conditioning.

Supply grill...
AirConditioningSupply.jpg

Unit in the locker. With the locker doors closed there is a 3-1/2" distance between doors and coil, which per the installation manual is fine.
AirConditioningInCabinet.jpg

Thru hulls (this was a lot of work)...
ThruHulls_2.jpg
 
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CPeregord

Sailing Reckless
Have just about finished the air conditioning installation. Again, it is a 6,000 BTU unit, so small. But, we are just wanting to knock down the humidity a bit on the worse days.

Superb work! I will definitely be using this as a reference to installing my own unit. Thanks for sharing!:cheers:
 
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Leslie Newman

Guest
Have just about finished the air conditioning installation. Again, it is a 6,000 BTU unit, so small. But, we are just wanting to knock down the humidity a bit on the worse days.

Superb work! I will definitely be using this as a reference to installing my own unit. Thanks for sharing!:cheers:

Thanks. My first time installing air conditioning into a boat. Lots of planning as I could not find a good thread on what to do for an E38.

IMPORTANT !! DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM DISCOUNT MARINE SUPPLIES. I had a really bad experience with that online vendor. It is not worth the couple dollars you'd save on price to deal with these characters.

Here are a few more pics....

Thru hull locations on the outside.
ThruHulls_3.jpg

I used these Groco IBV750 flanged adapters so I could screw on a 45 degree elbow and then use ball valves. These adapt the NPS thread used by the thru hull to NPT used on a ball valve. Where I wanted to locate the thru hulls on the outside prevented me from using a seacock as it would stick out from the hull too far, be too close to the bottom of the cabinet above the thru hull. If I lowered the location of the thru hull I was worried I would be touching or into the boot stripe on the outside. I had just enough room after mounting the adapters to the hull to screw on the 45. Then a nipple and ball valve. Then the barb fitting. It worked out good, but took a lot of planning and trips back and forth to the local hardware store for bronze fittings. Drilling that first hole through the boat was scary. I had used a hose hooked to a thru hull bringing in the seawater to find the water line in the cabinet. So I was pretty certain where I was coming out above the stripe.
I also decided to purchase the Groco seacock backing plates as I just wanted to get the job done and not have to fabricate backing plates. And I did not want to use wood as the backing plate.
These adapters are not thru bolted. I opted for the threaded studs that come with the Groco backing plate. Used bolts screwed into the threaded studs. This is still a strong installation.
ThruHulls_1.jpg
 
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Leslie Newman

Guest
Feedback after using the 6,000 btu air conditioning

So, as some remember I installed a small system, 6,000 btu. My reasons for this was space and electrical load. Ended up the unit I selected fit into the V berth port side hanging locker. And the unit did not require I add an additional electrical panel with more breakers. I was able to use one of the existing breakers in the existing panel and keep using a 30 amp service. Also this 6K unit will run off my Honda 2000 generator without adding any type of easy start.

We took a ten day vacation over July 4th week recently. It was pretty hot here in Virginia. I can report that the 6K unit did cool the boat. On the really hot days (upper 90's), in the middle of the day, it did not make the boat super cold, but it did knock the temperature down by more than 15 degrees. If we left the boat closed up the unit ran almost constantly and it would cool the boat down to in the 70's. If we closed off the stern berth the unit did much better. This was more than fine for my wife and I. We were comfortable. And during the evening, after the sun set the cabin would go down to the 60's if we wanted it that cold. So cold that we had to adjust the thermostat up. And the unit cycled on and off. One thing we noticed was it really got rid of the humidity.

So you won't have an icebox with a 6K unit. But, since our boats are not really that large in the cabin as compared to more modern boats, the smaller unit can keep the boat comfortable.

Last, we were on the hook one night that was really hot and humid. We ran the Honda 2000 all night and used the air conditioning. It was really cool in the cabin and very comfortable. The Honda runs the air conditioning in is ECO mode and it ran more than 8 hours on a single tank of gas.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Nice. What about the noise? Is it quiet enough to sleep with the AC running?

I’ve got one mostly installed*, but haven’t had a chance to use it yet. The sea-water pump I have seems loud, during testing, under the V-berth.

*Mostly because it was on Craigslist for $300, not so much because I needed one.
 
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Leslie Newman

Guest
Nice. What about the noise? Is it quiet enough to sleep with the AC running?

I’ve got one mostly installed*, but haven’t had a chance to use it yet. The sea-water pump I have seems loud, during testing, under the V-berth.

*Mostly because it was on Craigslist for $300, not so much because I needed one.

The fan is noisy, but not horrible. I really have not cared and we both sleep fine. Worth the noise for the comfort.

The pump I installed under the settee in front of the galley sink, so it is fairly quiet.
 

Hcard

Member II
6000btu for E38? Summers are probably not nearly as hot and humid as here in Houston. We recently upgraded 12000btu to 16000btu on our smaller E32-3 and that made it just about adequate. When water temperature gets high these water cooled units struggle. Also watch for the crossection in return air. Ours was not sufficient and we had to add an exra intake grill.
Hi, do you still have the boat and the AC. I am planning in putting one in my boat and would very much appreciate your comments. Many thanks.
 
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