Jack Meyer, Houston, TX USA asks:
I was wondering how often you use your AC now that you are in the tropics.
I'm sure you run the Gen everyday to charge batteries and make water.
But do you run it more than that for AC, or is the breeze enough to
make it cool enough without it. Thanks.
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Jack, every time we run the generator we run all three zones of air conditioning, either on cool or heat (60 degrees F or 90 degrees F). Most times this is with the doors open so the air never really gets cool or hot to keep the generator loaded. On a few occasions we run the air for an hour or so at night to cool the stateroom. I will say this is a rare event. Egret has a midship master stateroom. Above the stateroom are the pilot house, flybridge and flybridge shade. The foredeck and boat deck are very well insulated being nearly if not a full 2" thick so the forward stateroom doesn't get much heat, nor the salon from above. We have put two layers of 3/8" close cell foam and Sunbrella covers over the three forward hatches to keep the heat out (or in). This works very well. The salon heat comes thru the rear or port side glass. During the afternoon on hot days we drop the salon shades to keep heat out as well. While on anchor we have screen mesh pilothouse window covers as well as one for the large salon rear glass. In every room of the boat we have 12 volt Caframo fans: 2 in the pilothouse, 2 salon, 2 master and 1 forward stateroom. At night we turn one of the master fans on low (1/2 amp draw) and it is quite cool. Even here not far from the equator we sleep under sheets at night.
I believe the hottest we have ever been aboard Egret was anchored in Washington, DC. This was July 4th weekend and there was NO breeze. Fortunately we were able to get a slip and shorepower.
Sleeping in the Bahamas on the boat before Egret was a different story. It was a small quality trawler but didn't have the insulation and generated a lot of heat. One reason was the foward sloping pilothouse glass. During summer afternoons unless we put a shade over the forward windows the heat was unbearable in the pilothouse. On that boat we ran the air quite often for a few hours at night.