Stanley Yacht Services: You Leave Your A/C Running ... But Is That Cool?

Friday, April 20, 2018

You Leave Your A/C Running ... But Is That Cool?


Stepping into a perfectly climate-controlled wheelhouse or main salon can set the tone for your entire cruise. After all, who wants to invite guests into a floating sweat lodge? And, if you're like some of our clients, you know there are certain benefits to leaving your air-conditioning system running at all times.

That being said, before you tape the A/C breaker in the "ON" position, you should be aware of some of the pricey pitfalls this cool convenience can present. From plastic bags and jellyfish, to equipment failure and bad luck, several factors should be seriously considered lest you sink your boat. Literally.

A/C Pros & Cons

There are several steps you can take should you opt for the more cautious approach of turning your A/C off when you leave your boat for an extended length of time. For example:
  • Set up a dehumidifier - place it in the galley sink so excess moisture pulled from the air drains away safely. Products such as DampRid® are also helpful.
  • Plug in simple electric fans - these can be used throughout your boat to keep air moving. Place air fresheners nearby for clean, fresh scent.
  • Install solar vents on hatches - to facilitate the escape of hot air in the cabins.
  • Fasten solar screens to windows - fabrics such as Textilene® can protect your interior from glare and excess heat, protecting your wood finishes.
On the other hand, maybe you prefer to keep your floating paradise cool and crisp at all times. If you plan on running your A/C non-stop after you leave the dock, you might want to:
  • Insert chlorine tablets in sea strainers - this will cut down on barnacle growth, etc. in raw water intakes and hoses.
  • Double clamp those raw water hoses - routinely check for proper placement and fit.
  • Inspect hoses for cracks - a deteriorating hose can burst unexpectedly.
  • Keep a close eye on sea strainers - be prepared to remove & clean regularly.
  • Schedule regular bottom cleanings - unplugging thru-hull intakes is part of the job.
If you're ready to make a bigger investment, you may even favor a remote integrated system controller. The ability to remotely monitor and control your boat's systems is becoming increasingly popular and financially feasible. From high-end interfaces, such as the one offered by Yacht Protector, for example, to the more moderately priced Boat Command, solutions are available that allow you to start your A/C in advance of your arrival or turn it off in the event of say, a high water alarm code sent to your cell phone. So, problem solved, right?

Not so fast.

No matter what, when it comes to running your boat's A/C, whether you choose to keep it on "at all times" or "only as needed", you should always consider hiring a competent management team located near your vessel to maintain and inspect your systems and/or take corrective measures as needed. Nothing beats a set of real eyes and hands on board and at the ready! And, you know what we're going to say ...

For smooth sailing and zero stress ... call SYS!

[This article was first published Nov. 18, 2014 and has been updated to reference newer technology available.]
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