Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our air-conditioning situation

It's so hard for me to see the need for AC right now.  I still haven't turned on my AC at home, and until the heat is unbearable I prefer to have a fresh breeze.  Fred however sees any kind of humidity or discomfort as an absolute must for AC. I know that "real cruisers" don't do AC. Unfortunately, we haven't left society yet, and it gets stifling hot in the marina starting in late May. I really wanted air-conditioning on the new boat, but it's the one thing I didn't get. Here's the setup that came with Gimme Shelter.

Now I won't debate that this is a touch more refined the the air-conditioning on The Seahorse.  I actually do miss the Seahorse AC being right above the bed, but then again I never had to lift it out of the boat and haul it up to the bow and back. 

I mean, the previous owner did spend the time to create a custom board in the companionway for the exhaust, which is very well insulated, and it does have a remote control, so you don't have to walk over there to adjust it. Unfortunately, it's just super awkward and in the way.

First, we lose the use of both the aft berth and the chart table.  Neither of which we would be using for anything but storage ... but still. That's a lot of space to give up for air conditioning. Secondly, it drips water everywhere, so you can't leave it sitting on the aft berth cushion. However, to stow it for sailing you have to pull out the cushion and put it behind there, so you can tie it to the wall. The exhaust hose is well insulated, but not flexible and not long enough to be able to move it to the floor. Moving the thing around is admittedly annoying. It's almost too heavy for me to lift at all.

I had hopes that the chart table would be my new laptop writing station -- the spot where my novel would take shape. Because heaven forbid you use your "lap"top on anything but that specific table. (Obviously Mary does not understand my process. I can type out an email or a blog post anywhere, but the REAL writing -- for the real writing you need to be in the zone. I'm pretty sure that zone is at the chart table.) Whether running or stowed against the wall, you can't sit at the chart table with the AC in the aft berth. Then it has to be moved when I need to service the engine.

Then it's even more in the way for everyone.  hehe

Having the air-conditioner in the aft of the boat is another problem. It was only 85 this weekend, and it kept things sufficiently cool, but by June I'm wondering if the cool air will even make it to the V-berth. We may have to go back to having a window unit sit in the front hatch or start sleeping on the pullout in the salon closer to the AC.  It's at least 5 degrees hotter in the v-birth, its really intolerable during the day. While I'm still sleeping at home with no AC just fine, it's different when you're next to a dude and two dogs, and the air in the marina can be really stagnant.   

There's just not a good air-conditioning solution except for installing real marine air, but that's out of the budget for now. There are just too many things in front of it -- like new poop hoses.  

As much as the AC is irritating me, I have to remind myself to be thankful that we at least live somewhere warm. Freezing to death on a boat would be much worse. Very few people are complaining at 75 to 80 degrees.  (I just wanted to get my complaining out of the way early this year.)