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Air Conditioning on a DE38
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Nereus
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August 13, 2021 - 8:50 am
Member Since: June 11, 2010
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It's hot this time of year and Nereus (DE38) is now in the water and will mostly spend it's time along the east coast and in and out of marinas. So, AC would be a valuable addition. Anyone have experience with adding AC to the DE38? What type, what size (BTUs), where it was installed, duct routing, etc.

Thanks in advance,

Paul

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Leo Uhran
Port St Lucie Fla
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August 13, 2021 - 11:03 am
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Hello Paul.

I put A/C in my '77  38 2.5 yrs ago. I don't have photo's but what I did was this.

I placed the unit in the storage (sail) locker under the single pilot birth. I made a marine plywood floor for the unit to sit on level inside the bottom of the locker. I cut the rectangle intake return vent into the face of the seat (under Nav table) I ran the A/C drain to the lower  forward corner and snaked a 1/2 inch drain hose thru the wall to the bilge in front of the engine. I put the thermostat on the same fiberglass riser around the corner from the intake vent (facing the companion stairs)

Because my boat originally had A/C long since removed (Left side of the boat, no ducting all was gone) . I decided to install all new vents and ducting down the right side of the boat all the way to the V-berth. There was a thru hull intake and a overboard thru hull.  (There are some things you need to know about these if you have them. Mine are located leftside ( looking into engine room on the right side) aft just above and not too deep below the water line) I'll explain at the end of this.

I purchased a Flagship Marine (Stuart Florida) 16,000 btu heat and air conditioner with a March LC3 610 GPM pump. I chose Flagship because they are an industrial marine AC mfgr with coast guard and navy quality machinery and contracts. These units are bullet proof and more liken to a house AC not like a marineair or coolbreeze, dometic, etc . They are comparably priced but not cheap. This was a complicated extensive ducting install. I did it myself to help offset the install cost I can explain in more detail later where I drilled all the 6 inch diameter vent holes thru the bulkheads. I used 6 inch main duct and came off these with 4 inch to the registers in 3 places. (2) in main salon (1) in V-birth. My entire boat luckily has all new ceiling insulation (2inch) and wood covered. Not a headliner. So I have  no heat/cooling loss thru the ceiling. I can keep my interior about 78 degrees on a really hot 98 degree day.

About the factory? A/C thru hulls.  If mine where done originally by the factory it was poorly thought out. 1st problem is the intake is barely far enough below the water line. because of this the pressure to feed to the strainer is minimal and then up to the pump hardly works. I overcame this, with a nice clean looking, clever plumbing job. I would have to explain in detail and show you pictures. Everything works perfectly. Another issue with intake barely far enough below the water line is if you had a wind strong enough to heel the boat over at the dock you can expose the intake and suck air into the line and cause an air lock bubble. This actually happened to me..

Do your research. Send me an email address (text) my cell is 772-631-8340  and I will take photograph's of everything I did, where the strainer and pump is mounted in the engine compartment and plumbed, all the bulkheads I had to go thru and locations of the registers.

Not to scare you... but I needed Flagship service help (wiring, pump&plumbing install) with the installation and the rate was stupid expensive!  My total cost for all the pieces parts & labor I needed finally totaled out at $5629.00. There's a lot to consider. But she now has a 1st class professional heat and air system that I'm very pleased with.

 

Leo  Port St Lucie, Fla.

SV Paper Moon - Hull #136 

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Nereus
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August 13, 2021 - 11:31 pm
Member Since: June 11, 2010
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Thanks for your input. How did you decide on 16k BTUs.

Nice pic looks familiar.

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Scott Carle
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August 14, 2021 - 9:52 pm
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On Valkyr we had horrible experiences with marine ac units.. however it was the consumer units he mentioned above not the brand that he put in. I would never ever put marineair,  coolbreeze, dometic, in again. We replaced ours twice in 3 years due to compressors dying. Finally we just yanked everything out and recovered the space for storage. Unit was located in the compartment under the bookshelves forward in the starboard side of salon. water was pulled from through hull maybe 18 inches under the water line in the port side of engine room with line run forward. Exit was above water line in starboard closet in vberth. Condensation line originally ran to main bilge under engine.. Horrible thing to do to your boat as it kept it constantly wet. We put in a box bilge under floor in vberth that the chain locker, shower pan and ac condensate line all ran to and it pumped to a second through hull near the one in the vberth closet. The effect of running anchor locker water, shower and the condensate to a separate small bilge box was that valkyr became bone dry. Most of the time even the main bilge was dry.

 

For air conditioning we would pull the butterfly hatch off the salon and set a 8000 btu window unit on deck aft and above the hatch. Then use some of that mylared bubble wrap sort of material you can get at home depot to create a split duct from ac unit to hatch. We used HVAC aluminum tape to put it together with. The split part was a partition that went between the intake and the cold air output. You could control the unit with the remote pointed up in the duct. Best 180 dollars we ever spent. Worked trouble free for years and would keep the boat 72 to 77 degrees in high nighty degree weather. Power bill at dock without ac averaged a 35 a month.. 20 a month of which was a fee just to have the meter turned on. average hottest month power bill was 50 to 55 dollars. So average electrical usage was 15 to 30 dollars a month a month in summer.. we heated in the winter with 1 or 2 1500 watt electric floor units and in coldest months they would keep boat in upper 60's to mid 70's.. bill topped out at 65 a month in winter... We had a vented propane heater on the bulkhead beside the companionway facing the chart table that could smoke you out of the boat it put out so much heat.. however it was old and the got really flaky to not working so we mainly used the electric units.

 

Ac unit also worked well because it was under the hard dodger and out of the sun all the time. Hard dodger kept the salon area cooler also as it covered the ceiling 100 percent to shade it.

 

One of the secrets to them working so well was we have fans port and starboard on the overhead in the galley, salon and vberth. The were the carframo siccero fans that could do multiple speeds and point in any direction. At 100+ each and 6 of them it was a decent expense to buy them. However we could setup circulation patterns in the boat to move air forward or aft or rotate it around to keep it very comfortable. They sipped power and moved a lot of air quietly.

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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jimha
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August 15, 2021 - 5:45 am
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Scott, your reply reminded me of our time in Guam where we had to live at a marina for 3 years.  Did the same thing as you with the window a/c but made the duct work using the cardboard box it came in wrapped with a garbage bag.  Worked great and chucked the whole thing when we left Guam.  The hardest thing was climbing over the companion way hatch to get in and out of the boat.

Cheers,

Jim

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Leo Uhran
Port St Lucie Fla
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August 15, 2021 - 4:17 pm
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Paul,

I had a Pierson 365 ketch before the Downeast. After calculating the area it worked out to a 16btu unit. I installed a new Marineair unit and did all the ducting then too.. It worked great but noisy. The DE 38 is only a little bigger, so I went with 16k again. I have carframo 2 speed fans throughout the boat to circulate the air. My Cirroco's all died out and at $100 a piece aren't worth the money. It does the job great and heats well also in the winter months. My boats super insulated. There is no heat treat transfer in thru the cabin ceiling at all, bow to cabin. I think that is a big help.

Your boat is beautiful, interesting we have the same color scheme. As soon as Scott sends me a couple photo's of the trailboards he may sell me I'll be putting them back on. I prefer the original look of these vessels.

Leo  Port St Lucie, Fla.

SV Paper Moon - Hull #136 

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Scott Carle
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August 17, 2021 - 4:17 pm
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jimha said
Scott, your reply reminded me of our time in Guam where we had to live at a marina for 3 years.  Did the same thing as you with the window a/c but made the duct work using the cardboard box it came in wrapped with a garbage bag.  Worked great and chucked the whole thing when we left Guam.  The hardest thing was climbing over the companion way hatch to get in and out of the boat.

Cheers,

Jim  

? you had it on the companionway? ouch! Yeah I have seen that done it is a pain to maneuver around. Would be easier to use and control but climbing over it is not fun. We went with midship butterfly hatch in overhead.. out of way and worked really well.

Scott

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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Scott Carle
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August 17, 2021 - 4:18 pm
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Leo Uhran said

Your boat is beautiful, interesting we have the same color scheme. As soon as Scott sends me a couple photo's of the trailboards he may sell me I'll be putting them back on. I prefer the original look of these vessels.

Leo  Port St Lucie, Fla.

SV Paper Moon - Hull #136   

hint hint. 🙂 lol.... been crazy around here.. will try and get that soon.

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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jimha
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August 24, 2021 - 8:13 am
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Scott,

Perhaps I was not clear, I did do the same as you with the A/C in the middle, butterfly  hatch.  Still had a problem getting into the boat climbing over the main hatch boards.  ( Showing my years)

Cheers,

Jim

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