The cool water around an anchored boat looks inviting, but nobody wants to be forced to dive into those unknown depths. Besides, the skipper probably wants to get moving, so there’s no time for a swim. One alternative is to fit an above-decks alcove with a misting tent. Tiny nozzles on this metal frame discharge an evaporative mist. Better yet, though, a powerful marine-specced air conditioning unit will really cool things down.

Reviewing Marine Air Conditioning Principles

It’s simple enough, with cold water floating around a boat, a sultry weekend in a tropical region can soon be made comfortable. The air conditioner simply uses a seawater pump to bring a stream of this chilled water onboard, then the system ducts deliver this precious cooling resource to a boat’s various cabins. Ideally, those ducts will supply vents that are installed high-up on a cabin’s walls. Otherwise, the only part of a hot crewman’s body that will feel the chill is his ankles. As for the air conditioning options, there are two. Generally speaking, there are centrally located models, which use a closed-loop. That loop uses water-cooling and refrigerants to maintain a body-comforting coolness level. Elsewhere, maybe on a smaller craft, hatch-fixed portables carry out a similar duty.

Optioning Alternative Marine A.C. Solutions

Just like those appliances used in overheated homes, marine air conditioners have developed to satisfy different room sizes. That should be cabin sizes, to use the correct terminology. The Carry On 7000, as sold by CruisairDometic is small enough to fit over an open boat hatch, yet it provides close to 7000 BTUs of cooling power. Remember, however, a 115 Volt power supply, plus 6.9 Amps of ship power will be needed to keep this compact marine AC unit functioning. Optionally, on a larger vessel, any of the FCF Webasto units will provide full centralized cooling, but a commensurate rise in cooling power will be required to keep a larger craft comfortable, especially on a hot day at sea.

The options don’t stop there. Split systems are available for mid-sized boats. For really big ships, closed-loop chillers send a silent chill into the cabins of sweat-soaked crew members. Just be aware, though, air conditioners are power-hungry machines. Granted, they have access to all the cold water in the world, but they still require active fans, valves, and compressors. If these under-the-hood components are to fulfil their purpose, they’ll need plenty of electrical energy. Tied up at a dock, there’s usually an umbilical line to take the load off a boat’s generator. At sea, however, a generator upgrade might be needed to provide plenty of power overhead.