When getting the boat ready to leave in SW Florida, we had many days where work literally came to a halt because it was simply too dang hot aboard for humans to survive, not to mention the locker room smell that was our constant companion. Our electrician, who had a vested interest in the outcome, suggested we go to WalMart or Home Depot and buy the cheapest, smallest window a/c unit we could find. He volunteered to rig it so it made the inside of the boat more tolerable.
So we became the proud new owners of an $86 Maytag room air conditioner. When needed, it lives on the top hatch with a cruise-air hood nabbed from a marine flea market. It plugs into the boat below and has a clear hose drain over the side (which keeps coming off and creating puddles on the deck, but the comfort below is worth the hassle).
Fast forward a couple of years and we’re getting the boat ready to depart for the Northwest Caribbean. Storage space is limited and we had already determined we needed a stainless marine dehumidifier for when we left the boat in the tropics in the summer. We decided that our trusty little a/c unit would be sold at the next nautical swap meet and it would continue life making some other boater especially happy to have a safe haven for the heat and humidity.
Somewhere along the line, the little a/c unit couldn’t be lived without and we didn’t make it to the swap meet, so literally the day before we were throwing off the dock lines, David’s scrunching stuff under the pullman berth storage when he declares the little a/c unit would fit if we wanted to take it with us. Talking to others on the dock that evening, someone suggested we might be able to sell it at a swap session in the Rio Dulce for far more than it was worth used in SW Florida. And so the little a/c unit was stored below and rode along on our adventure.
Arriving in the Rio Dulce in April, we had imagined the heat and humidity levels of a rainforest and tropical jungle, but the breeze was still good and we didn’t even remember we had the little a/c unit. Until we arrived at the back dock at Catamaran Island Hotel and Marina. Whoosh! It was HOT! This was a hot our temperate midwestern lives had never experienced! Swap meet plans were cancelled and out came the trusty little Maytag a/c unit!
Now, 8 years later, the storage space for that little a/c unit is an absolutely sacred area. Very little is as revered as that little box pumping out cool dry air. Since we’ve had multiple attempts by others to buy it, we could have recouped our money several times, but some things become priceless!
So for now and hopefully forever, our Maytag a/c unit continues to be one of the first things put back in place when we return to Winterlude each fall. Over the summer, we don’t want to pay the increased electricity bill and we just use the stainless dehumidifier. But when we return, the minute the heat/humidity is overwhelming, on goes the a/c. The increase in electricity isn’t as bad as we thought it might be, but after working outside all day in the heat and humidity, returning to a cool dry boat is priceless!
I’ll post more photos when we return to the boat this fall, but for now, this is a similar model, except ours doesn’t have any thermometer or thermostat.