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Air Conditioning


Mark Pearson
Staff member
I am more wimpy than I used to be. But I choose to blame this on climate change. It has been getting frigging hot here in Portland. Like all time record heat of 116 deg F last month. And today all the thermometers on our boat were saying it was over 100 degrees. Hard to sleep comfortably.

What do our southern Morganeers have for AC units? And where are they mounted/plumbed in?
Does anyone have one of those combo AC and Heat Pump units? Our problem with those, is I think they need electric to run, and we are frequently out in cold weather, away from power, and the diesel heater was a game changer for my wife.

I foolhardily got on Amazon and procured a 5k BTU little unit ($310) that I put in the shower, and plumbed the exhaust out the Dorade box. And we have a bunch of fans to blow the coolness around. It made about 10 degrees difference, but was clearly not enough, still over 90 down below.

When we are out voyaging, we just believe in high air flow via fans, wind scoops, etc. But if we are at a dock with power, I think I want to be cool. But of course, a quick Google search for "marine" air conditioners tells me to expect it to cost 5-10 times more than my little Amazon purchase.

We plan to take Zia south in the next year or two so I think more serious AC might be in our future.

Any advice is appreciated.
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New Member
I have used a standard window unit a/c in the companionway. Filled in the gaps with the foil bubble insulation. I also cut pieces of that insulation to cover hatches and port lights. This was in key west during summer and it made a big difference. During the hottest part of the day the inside temp would get up to high 70’s. I usually set it at 73 and at night it would easily maintain that. Being in the companionway was a bit of an inconvenience but not too bad for a week or so at a time. I went in and out through the forward hatch. If I was full time on board I’d probably come up with different solution.


Ken Kurlychek
We lived aboard in Maryland a couple of hot summers (in a marina) using a window A/C unit in the companionway. We were able to step over it to get in and out of the cabin. We'd put it in the quarter berth or the car when sailing. It worked well for us. Also had inserted foil backed bubble wrap (Reflectix) between cabin roof and ceiling and covered the ports and hatches during hottest times of the day. Inelegant but inexpensive.

Tim Eichel

I'm in St Pete FL---I have a 6000 BTU window AC mounted in my companionway. It works very well and keeps it around 77 in the 95+ degree heat of the day. In the evening it will freeze you out! Its a cheap option but a pain to step over every time you want to go in or out. My next project is installing a central type of marine AC with a water pump.


New Member
I have been enduring 90-100 degree temps lately without AC.

First, I replaced the headliner but insulated every space I could with solid foam insulation sheets. That alone means the boat stays 20 degrees cooler. Next I purchased a large white tarp that goes from the mast to the backstay....total game changer. Last, I installed 4 fans throughout plus a plug in unit to use if need be. I would not want to be on a boat without fans now that I have them installed. Together with the insulation the boat stays very cool without the need for a clunky AC unit!