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 How hard to add air conditioning to a small cruise
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109 Posts

Posted - Jun 28 2020 :  14:09:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay - I have been looking for a small cruiser for a while and found one that checks almost all the boxes. It is missing air conditioning. How hard would it be to add? I know it is possible, but is it practical for a 26 footer?


37049 Posts

Posted - Jun 28 2020 :  14:32:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you have space for the unit then you will need a new raw water hull inlet, seacock and pump hull side outlet, water tubing and air ducting outlet grills, AC wiring and breaker along with space to mount controls. Assuming you have sufficient A/C inlet capacity.


Edited by - pdecat on Jun 28 2020 14:33:13
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22546 Posts

Posted - Jun 28 2020 :  14:54:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not too hard but it depends on the boat. You shoud have room under a seat or Berth. But unless you re at the dock you ll need a genset to be cool away from
The dock

1970 Hatteras 53 MY
26' Starfish sloop
12' Westphal Catboat
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Michigan Cooler
4711 Posts

Posted - Jun 28 2020 :  14:58:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's pretty simple. Only took me 2 years. :) (Sure 23 of the 24 months was planning.)

You need to determine where you'll pull water from, how you will run the inlet tube to the unit, where you'll place the unit, where you have the exit thru hull, and how you'll run the ducts. For me, I just replaced a drawer under the dinette seat. The unit fits where the drawer was, the drawer face became the air return panel and control panel. The hardest part for me was to run the air duct to the other side of the cabin, underneath the stairs and shower. I just use a 110 outlet to power it. It's a great upgrade. Good luck.
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6290 Posts

Posted - Jun 29 2020 :  08:27:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can always be on the look out for a used Cruiseair hatch mount AC unit. Sits on your deck with a portion of it sticking in your deck hatch. Has a canvas cover to keep out the weather. 7000 BTU's...plenty to cool down that boat.
I've also seen people take a standard window unit and do the same, making their own canvas cover.
This can be done for a couple hundred dollars. A true installed marine AC, minimum $3000
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george smith

120 Posts

Posted - Jul 04 2020 :  14:49:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In my time I have done hundreds of installs of air conditioning on boats from 21 feet to 45feet. It depends on what year and model you are looking at I have probably done it on what ever you are looking at. It can be done. Let us know
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