webasto_ac_1WHILE THE MAJORITYof new boats over 28 feet have air conditioning as standard equipment, boats built before the mid-90s were not normally equipped with air conditioning. Keeping your cool this past summer was just about impossible in BC or Atlantic Canada. It was record highs much of the time. Odd climatic conditions in Ontario and Quebec resulted in lots of rain and cool temperatures. Having a heater would have been good! Maybe this winter is the time to consider adding a climate control system to your boat.

Most marine air conditioning systems use seawater as a cooling medium but the system can also reverse the cycle to produce heat, delivering a full climate control system.

Perhaps best of all is the fact that the compressor system reduces humidity making you more comfortable and removing moisture from the boat.

The costs start under $3,000 and West Marine offers a DIY kit for those of you who are handy. At the International Boatbuilders Exhibition (IBEX) in Miami this past October, Webasto and Dometic were both showing great new A/C products.

The big hurdle for installing A/C in older boats is often the voltage supply. When the system turns on, there is a high draw on start. Also, A/C systems used to need a generator to supply sufficient power.

At IBEX, Webasto announced their dual-voltage A/C and reverse-cycle heating system that operates without a genset. Called the FCF-DV, the new system runs on standard 115-volt AC shore power and then automatically switches to 12-volt DC battery power while away from the dock. The noise and vibration from an onboard generator is eliminated, and the skipper can enjoy a night on the hook in peace and quiet while keeping his or her cool.

During battery operation, the FCF-DV utilizes a built-in high efficiency inverter from Canadian company Xantrex. It contains a high-output, three-stage battery charger, plus a transfer switch and relay that automatically shuts down the inverter when outside AC power is applied.

Anticipating that this will appeal to owners of smaller sailboats andexpress cruisers, the FCF-DV has been kept to compact dimensions – about the size of atypical marine battery compartment. And, it's not a "tack- on" accessory. There is a high-velocity, 3-stage blower and the unit comes pre- charged and pre-wired with plug-and- play connections and a digital control panel. The FCF-DV starts witha 5,000 BTU model with 1,800-watt, 40-amp inverter/charger and an MSRP around $3,000.

Yes, this is a significant investment, especially in an older boat, but adding new A/C will likely increase the boat's value and will certainly increase your enjoyment.Also at IBEX, Dometic introduced their new Emerald Series which is the first marine air conditioning system designed specifically to run on environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant that meets EPA and international requirements for ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocols.

In addition to the positive environmental aspect, the Emerald Series represents a breakthrough in terms of size, capacity, power requirements and ease of installation. To better fit into the spaces in an existing boat, the Emerald systems are split for combining multiple condensers and evaporators in a staged multi-zone system for any given boat. They provide both heating and cooling. Each condensing unit has its own control that manages the temperature of the area independent of other units. It is also possible to run multiple evaporators off a single condenser with separate temperature controls.

If you are thinking about upgrading to a larger boat like a 1980s tri-cabin, this could really work well in terms of installation flexibility.Also, Dometic has introduced another product that will help when consideringa large older boat for an A/C upgrade.

They call it the Smart Start Control and it's an electrical box that is a single-phase compressor motor startup control. It can reduce the startup current spike by up to 65%. There is a current spike that occurs whenever the A/C system cycles on.

That spike can cause brownouts or even trip the breaker, although once the compressor is running, an A/C system has a much lower, steady amp draw. Builders of new boats design and select their systems to all work together, but an older boat may have a generator that cannot handle the startup current spike. So, with the Dometic SmartStart installed, your existing generator may have the capacity to handle a new A/C system.

As a demonstration, the SmartStart was installed in a 37-foot Nordic Tug. The "inrush" or current spike on start up was 77 amps – more than enough to trip the breaker. After the SmartStart was installed, the spike dropped to a manageable 20 amps and the system ran without difficulty. The SmartStart is a small box that weighs about a pound and costs just a few hundred dollars, yet it could make the difference when fitting A/C to an older boat.

Keeping your cool next season may be a much more realistic possibility than ever before. Talk to your dealer or repair yard...or maybe you get out the tools and visit your local marine store!

Destinations

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Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
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Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
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Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

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My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
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Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...

Boat Reviews

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I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
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Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

Marine Products

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The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...