SM Clima 4th AC Unit in the Galley

amelliahona <no_reply@...>

Francisco emailed me an enquiry about installing the 4th Air Conditioning (AC) unit in the galley of my SM.  I thought I would respond here rather than in a personal email just in case someone else had similar questions. 

I have had my SM in the Caribbean for 10 of the last 13 years I have owned her.  In that warm climate, the saloon AC simply isn't adequate.  Keeping my wife happy was high on my priority list.  Therefore, I purchased a Climma compact AC/Reverse Cycle Heating unit (Climma 10EH, drop shipped from Italy to Antigua per arrangements made with Coastal Climate Control for $3,650 US in 2006) and installed it beneath the galley sink in the deep, virtually un-useable bilge area (un-useable due to difficulty in accessing the area beneath the door mounted swing out garbage can).  Coastal Climate Control also provided technical assistance and the "T" duct, vents, and flex duct etc.  This has been the single best addition I have made to the boat.  I installed an additional pump (March 220 volt 50/60 hertz, magnetic impeller) in the engine room for the sea water supply.  I used the sea water manifold outlet previously used for the anchor wash down for the supply to this pump.    I had long ago changed over the anchor wash down pump to a fresh water system.  The outlet for the seawater was plumbed into a "Y" in the outflow from the desalinator's thru hull.  The pump get's its power from the Climma AC circuit board that comes with the AC unit.  The circuit board control panel was mounted on the bulkhead at the aft of the sink.  I used the "Compressor" circuit breaker on the 220 volt AC panel for the power supply voltage to the entire system.    The front panel of the sink removes in its entirety with two screws and allows access for service and installation.  There was already a cut out in the kick panel of this panel that provides for air return to the evaporator.  I utilized PVC pipe and 4 inch insulated flex duct to tie into the existing fresh air ventilation system to shoot AC air into the quarter berth/battery compartment cabin area with a " T" to take AC air to a vent just towards the back of the dishwasher lid (see pictures in the Photos Section).  One flex duct is run beneath the dish washer then vertically in the aft inboard corner of the cupboard area (not visible when the cupboard door is open, you have to reach inside and aft to feel it). A second duct comes off the "T" and runs behind the vertical fridge, through a cutout in the fore and aft bulkhead that the fresh water dipstick is mounted on (lower aft corner), behind the companionway steps to a vent mounted on a block of African Mahogany matching wood on the starboard side of the companion way steps that properly spaces the vent to be directed into the quarter berth.  I welded up some damper handles that penetrate the PVC plumbing ducts and to those I attached some circular plastic discs to act as dampers to control direction of airflow.  I did this so I would be able to select AC air (95% of the time in this position) or to use air via the existing fresh air circulation fan system.  I glassed in a marine plywood shelf in the bilge area on which the unit sits and is bolted down with the provided clamps.  I place some thick rubber material beneath the unit, like Amel did, to provide some sound dampening.   I installed the  shelf about 1/2 inch too high and therefore had to fabricate some spacers to raise the existing shelf that sits above the AC unit so it wouldn't rest on the top of the compressor.  That step would be un-necessary if I had planned better.  My unit had condensation drain hose outlets at both ends of the tray.  I plumbed these to run level behind the upright fridge and "T" ed them into the main bilge gray water drain hose that runs the length of the boat from the forward head shower etc. On very rare occasions, if I run the unit for a prolonged period, then sail immediately on a starboard tack some condensate water (a couple of cups at most) will not drain properly and end up in the deeper part of the bilge beneath the shelf.  I check that area often (easily done by opening the garbage-can-door and inspecting with a flashlight) to assure that no water is accumulating.  The sea water hoses must be carefully position to assure that they clear all machinery in the engine room yet line up with the ports on the AC unit and are sealed with expansion foam to maintain the water tight integrity of the engine room.  The engine room/galley bulkhead in this area is double thick with an air-space between of about 2 inches.  The thermostat is electronic and I mounted it in the port speaker panel above the stove and ran the wiring down from near the 220 volt panel.  This unit has been wonderful.  It run's on 50 or 60 hertz (even though labeled as a 50 hertz machine.  I did have a choke on the control circuit board burn up while within the one year warranty period and Coastal Climate Control Fed Ex ed me a replacement under warranty to Grenada.  I have had no trouble since.  I purchased a half dozen of the failed chokes for about $12 US and repaired the board so that I now have a spare board.  The originally specified sea water pump proved inadequate even though by all specifications it had adequate sea water flow (perhaps the warm Caribbean sea water was the culprit), so I replaced it with a larger pump ( March LC-3CP-MD 220 volt 50/60 hertz ).  The system has been trouble free except as noted and cools the galley during cooking, will freeze you out of the quarter berth, and makes the saloon comfortable without necessarily running the original Amel installed unit.  I would do this install again in a heart beat.  I would guess it took me about six 1/2 days (about 25 man hours) to complete the install.  

I am happy to answer any additional questions.

Sincerely, Gary S. Silver, MD
s/v Liahona
Amel SM # 335

amelliahona <no_reply@...>

I just posted a couple of more pictures of the 4th AC unit install.  One showing the failed choke on the control circuit board and one showing the March sea water pump and plumbing. 


amelliahona <no_reply@...>

I just was browsing and see that the Compact 10 has been changed quite a bit, including some sort of change to the condensate drain functionality that would prevent the occasional problem I have with condensate drainage.  

Gary Silver