Replacing a Marine Air Conditioner

From the blog of Blue Turtle Trawler
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Randy with both AC units – old one on the left (white color) and new one on the right (black).

Randy with both AC units – old one on the left (white color) and new one on the right (black).

Last week, while I was busy provisioning for the Dry Tortugas, Randy was busy installing a new air conditioner in the forward berth. The old CruisAir AC had quit working on us and rather have someone come out and charge it and invoice us $400, we decided it was time to put that money into a new AC. Randy had read somewhere (online) that once a marine AC is over 7 years old, it’s difficult for it to keep a charge and it’s usually time to replace it. Since we’ve owned Blue Turtle for 5 years and knowing that the AC wasn’t fairly new when we purchased her, we decided it was best to replace it. Also, we live in Florida year-round so we MUST have 2 fully functioning AC units.

We actually replaced our aft cabin AC (the larger of the two) 2 years ago when we had issues with it. We’d had a marine AC company come out and work on it and recharge it twice which ended up costing us almost $700. We bit the bullet and bought a new one and have been very happy with it. In fact, it freezes us out most the time. 

The new unit in place.

The new unit in place.

Since we are based in Fort Myers Beach, we are lucky enough to have a local company that manufactures marine AC units right here in Fort Myers called Mermaid Manufacturing. Randy purchased one of their units and installed it himself. We did run into some issues initially with it not blowing cold enough and they fixed it immediately by giving us a new compressor. What’s great about this company if you live in the area, is that if you run into any issues with the unit you can take it out and drive it to their shop where they can fix it.

New insulated duct work.

New insulated duct work.

Since the forward berth AC needed to be replaced, we purchased another AC unit from Mermaid. Randy pulled the old unit out of the v-berth closet and installed the new one which wasn’t an easy feat since it was very tight quarters. He also installed all new insulated air ducts. The new unit is performing nicely now along with our other one and we will stay cool this summer!

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