The weather is delightful here in Key Largo today. It is my favourite type of day. It is raining steadily and the temperature is 82°F (27°C). Mind you; I find this type of day more “favourite” in the summer than the winter… at least the rain part. Yes, there is a reason. The reason is air conditioning.
Air conditioning is “wicked” expensive on a boat. There are many more things which can go wrong with a marine air conditioning unit than a land based machine. After all, land based air conditioning units are not subject to jellyfish committing suicide by inserting themselves into the intake tubes of the cooling system. Land based systems do not offer safe high rent residential property for barnacles and other mollusks. Best of all, most land based air conditioner units can live on a much cheaper “diet” than their seagoing relatives. Land based machines can use electricity provided by the power grid… at around 8 cents per kilowatt/hour. Producing electricity on board costs between 30 and 40 cents per kilowatt/hour. Cool dry air on a boat is many, many times more expensive per BTU than ashore. This is especially true when one adds the operating costs of a generator into the equation.
The M/V Margaret Ashton Cruisaire Duo… now appearing in The Engine Room
Sure… you could do it with solar power but you’d require a hectare of solar collectors and a battery bank the size of the ones on WWII submarines to accomplish the task. There really is no such thing as a free lunch. Living aboard a boat really teaches one appreciation for energy.
Of course we don’t run the air conditioners for our comfort. Jinna and I are much tougher than that. We have the air conditioners for the comfort of the Chihuahuas. The dogs would be absolutely incensed if they were subjected to any sort of discomfort at all. They’ve never lived an uncomfortable day in their lives. They’ve never even been emotionally uncomfortable. When I die I want to be reincarnated as one of our dogs. Heaven wouldn’t hold a candle to that.
Anyway, back to the reason I like these rainy days. The air conditioners get the day off… and so therefore does our emaciated bank account. Next summer we will cruise the The Great Loop… and we’ll be somewhere in the northern Great Lakes of the US during the heat of summer. That, of course, comes at a price too… but at least the Chihuahuas will be comfortable!