Sunday, May 31, 2015

Saturday 053115– in Spencerport NY
Weather/Sea   rain/ cool
Captain - John C. Kwak
It is a rainy cold day in Spencerport with fog on the canal, because the canal water is warmer than the air. Therefor we are staying here for another night.  A good time to write the following report.
This is a report on the air conditioner installation and operation.
At the Defender sale in March 2015, I bought a 12000 BTU reverse cycle air conditioner/heater.
It is made by WEBASTO, FCF SERIES, FCF115:V0012000GS so it only runs on AC 120 volt power.
Because it runs on AC we only run it when the boat is hooked up to shore power. Dutchess does not have a generator.
The unit is installed under the port bunk in the salon with the air duct run into the wet locker and up to a discharge on top of the locker about 12” from the deck. This heats and cools the salon effectively and the Vee berth if the door is open.
The unit has a separate control box that comes with the control cable attached to the air conditioner you only have to make a power cable and connect to the water pump and a power cable to connect to the AC panel and 20AMP Fuse. They recommend 30 Amp fuse but the 20amp fuse that I had,  seems to be holding fine. I checked the amperage with fan and pump running it draws only 13 amps.  This unit is heated and cooled by using the water around the boat. Therefore it has a water pump that is turned on by the control unit.
Dutchess had an extra 1” thru hull that I did not plug because it was too close to the forward looking sonar.  I plugged 7 thru hulls  in the hull in the early stages of refit and changing the plumbing but that is another story! This thru hull had a FORESPAR Marelon OEM Thruhull and valve installed by me which was plugged off in case someone opened the valve.  Because I had no purpose for this valve at the time it was installed it did not matter that it had a vertical hose barb with only 2” under the floor boards. So now that  I wanted to use this valve for the cooling water I could not connect a hose on the barb. I called FORESPAR makers of the Marelon valve and they promptly decided that I needed the horizontal hose barb. They sent me 2 new top units, I unscrewed the vertical hose barb and installed the horizontal barb. Only 4 bolts that screw into captive nuts in the base and some skinned knuckles and all was well.
Now to make the hose connections, well the valve is 1”male, the strainer is ¾”female,  the pump is ¾” female and the air conditioner is 5/8” male.  So 1” hose to a 1”to3/4” reducer, ¾” hose to strainer, 3/4” hose to pump, ¾” hose a to ¾” to5/8” reducer , 5/8” hose to air conditioner.  OK we have water to the air conditioner now it has to be discharged thru the hull. There is an existing 1” discharge for the Macerator pump which can only be used 3 miles off shore, so not too often. I decided to plumb into this hose using a 1”by 1“ by ¾” plastic tee, a 1” plastic ball valve with 1” hose barbs from the macerator pump and a ¾” plastic ball valve with  5/8” hose barbs for the discharge from the air conditioner.  The 1” discharge thru hull is exits about 6” above the water line but it is plumbed as high as possible using a 1” Forespar vented loop. This prevents outside water from siphoning into the boat.
We started the air conditioner 4 days ago but no water came out of the discharge, I loosened the hoses at the unit and let some air out until the water flowed and retightened the hose clamps.  Turned the unit on and EUREKA it worked and cooled the salon nicely. Today is nasty and cold so we tried the heat cycle and it works marvelously.

Isn’t it nice when a plan comes together and it actually works?


  1. Hi John, good to hear that everything came together for your A/C! We're following your Spot and blog, keep reporting. Bob and Ann

  2. Hmm I wonder if the manual had anything about priming the system before you start it.... nice to know.

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