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Adding AC to 1984 Hunter 34

Discussion in 'Big Boats' started by sailor832, Apr 12, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. sailor832


    Joined Jul 28, 2013
    20 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Lake Norman
    I recently acquired a1984 Hunter 34 and I am considering adding AC to it we live in the Carolina's and it gets a little warm here in the summer. I am looking at a 16K BTU unit self contained and I can think of two places to mount it. One would be on the starboard side with the water heater but not sure about getting ducting to the front and rear cabins of on the port side in front of the water tank this looks like it might be a little easier for running duct work but a little harder to get the intake and drains set up. I have a unused hull fitting on the starboard side that I could use for the intake. Any thoughts or other advice would be appreciated.

  2. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,679 posts, 400 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Just a word, an A/C unit by itself will not provide comfortable climate control for the boat. The biggest culprit is the direct sun beating on the deck; consider adding a set of awnings to leave a space of air in between in order to maintain the cabin top at ambient temperature instead of 30 F degrees higher.

  3. kloudie1


    Joined Nov 6, 2006
    8,257 posts, 722 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Mandeville Louisiana
    I installed a 12000 BTU unit in my 34 back in '94.. Love it! At the time it was the highest capacity unit that would fit I the stbd aft settee with the water heater.. I didn't want to give up any of the other spaces so that is where it went.. I have not run ducting to vee birth or aft cabin, however, I will be running to the vee soon. A fan manages circulation to the vee today and we don't have anyone in the aft cabin. I know of a couple of 34's who've put the units under the nav table to make it easier to run the fore/aft ducts.. Right now, The duct (6" insulated) runs aft under the sink, turns to stbd, and goes into the cubbies under the sliding glass cabinets. It goes forward then up and out the top of the topmost shelf, aft of the chainplates.. There is a big (12" by 6") register there .. Soon (one day?) there will be a 4" duct running forward through the head cabinet through the locker on stbd of the Vee . I think it can be done without cutting anything structural..
    Air Cond Space.JPG Old AC Installation.JPG

  4. kloudie1


    Joined Nov 6, 2006
    8,257 posts, 722 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Mandeville Louisiana
    Picture of the outlet and the box I made for it..

  5. splax


    Joined Nov 12, 2012
    594 posts, 15 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Portsmouth
    installation under the nav station/chart table makes a neat and realtively easy duct runs fore and aft with the exhaust vents located on/in the hanging lockers

    mnmpizza likes this.
  6. Capt Robbie

    Capt Robbie

    Joined Jan 24, 2017
    358 posts, 133 likes
    Hunter 34
    Us Red Bank NJ
    Sailor 832,
    I did my h34 for years ago.
    Did a lot of research and layout for unit and ductwork.
    The perfect unit I found was manufactured by mermaid
    The M16 16000 btu unit fits perfectly underneath the larger seating area starboard side alongside the hot water heater. It's a tight fit but it will fit.
    1) All the wires can be run from the main panel alongside the port water tank through the fiberglass cross beam which are hollow and then into the bildge and then up into the settee area to the unit.
    2) Cut the air intake vent thru the side of the settee which will allow good air flow to the unit and also good access to the units air filter.
    3) cut 6inch hole through the back wall of the sink cabinet to allow for the main ducting. Note you will have to sacrifice one of the chart tube holders.
    4) run the 6 inch duct behind the sink plumbing to the cabinet shelf alongside the sink.
    5) go to lowes and 5 get a transition junction box 12" X 12" plus qty of 5 round 4inch conector and 5 dampeners. And qty 1 round 6inch conector. Also get a 4x6 vent and 4x6 vent box.
    Cut six inch round hole in the back of the transition junction box for the supply duct and four 4inch round holes for the four supply ducts and one 4inch round holes into the top of the transition junction box. You now have a total of five 4inch supplies now to run the ducting throughout the cabin.
    6) run ductwork inside the cubbies underneath the plexiglass storage areas along the cabin. Three supply ducts have to feed the main cabin. run one of the three supply ducts to the corner of the bulkhead main cabin, the second mid ships of the cabin, and the third to the countertop alongside the sink. This will be sufficient to supply the main cabin.
    7) supply number four needs to be run though the cabin bulkhead into and through the head shower cabinet. Then into the v berth starboard locker. This will supply the v berth with cool air however I found that the air supply was extremely weak due to the length of the run and had to install an inline duct fan to increase the cfm.
    8) run the fifth supply duct behind the stove and into the aft starboard lazarette and cut a hole into the quarter berth bulkhead.
    This should have another inline duct fan To increase the cfm.

    Note that if you don't have three cabin supplies and one in the v berth along with one in the quarter berth the unit will ice up.
    The unit needs to have more then enough supplies and the air filter needs to be clean at all times.

    Also note that the unit takes up a lot of power from the main Ac panel. So budgeting your power use is critical, example hot water heater on with your air conditioner along with anything else will trip the breaker. I installed a second panel and shore power supply just for this unit.

    This unit works really well, however on really hot and humid days it struggles. Keeps cabin comfortable but can't preform miracles.
    Like someone else mentioned sunlight on the decks and no insulation on the boat, the unit can only do some much.
    Overall I'm very happy with my unit.
    If I could do it again I might want to install a smaller 5k unit in the aft lazarette to use on the really hot days so that the main unit would not have to work so hard.

    Hopefully this helps.