Portable Boat Air Conditioners

Portable boat air conditioners buying guide. Features and models to look for when buying a small, mobile marine AC for small and large boats.

Spending summer weekends on boats is fun but when the scorching sun is over the head all the fun is gone. Portable boat air conditioners are a must that keeps the environment inside the boat's cabin cool and comfortable, especially during the night. The portable AC fits rightly on the cabin deck or inside of any small boat and keep the surrounding, refreshing and enjoyable so that the nights can be enjoyed to its fullest.

A good portable air conditioner for boats needs to be purchased wisely keeping in mind the size of the boat and its capability to support the model.

Portable ACs for boat cabin are mainly designed for spot and direct cooling, but if the cooling capacity is higher and the cabin size is smaller, they can provide comfortable air conditioning of the whole boat cabin.

Popular compact AC models

Unfortunately, the selection of the portable boat air conditioners is not great as with portable room air conditioners, RVs or cabins; but I have found few which might be of interest to you.

When searching for the manufacturer or model, use the following search keywords: portable boat air conditioner, 12-volt portable air conditioners or portable marine air conditioner. Hope it will help you find the right cooling unit.

Several different types that are simple by the design are review here; they are not using compressor, evaporator and other elements found on room air conditioning. They are either using 12 V battery, which is great when boating or 110 V when docked and from the grid. These small units are used mainly in marine industry, but they can be used as the car air conditioner, RV, or when camping.

12-volt portable AC is ideal to use when boating, but most of the time you won't be using it, as there is enough breeze to provide a comfortable environment. During the night, when sleeping,  or resting you want to have one. The cooling medium on these 12-volt portable AC is the ice or cold water.

Cruisair Carry - on 7000 BTU Portable Air Conditioners


Cruisair Carry - OnCruisair Carry - On

Cruisair Carry - On is the portable air conditioner, specifically designed for marine environment and for boats that cannot use seawater-cooled air conditioner. Carry-on AC can fit any hatch of standard size on boats that are up to 30', which is larger than 12x12".

This portable air conditioner for boat has the power to pump 6720 BTUs of air. The control panel is situated on the bottom of the unit that makes it easy to control. It needs 115V 60Hz to run and draws about 6.9 amps, used mainly from the dock marina shore power. The components inside the unit are made of corrosion free material and the outside body is made of durable polymer, which ensures that the unit last longer without getting damage.

The unit also has air deflectors made of tough plastic, which distributes an equal amount of cool air in the cabin and ensures that the circulation of air remain constant. The price of this portable boat air conditioner is reasonable and is quite less compared to the water cooling system that is built in many boats.


They are easy to be installed without any special tools required and can be mounted on any standard sized hatch on 30' boat. The unit cools the air in no time with the help of a tough deflector that diverts the flow of the air making the cabin chilled. It is ideal for a marine environment and the waterproof hatch cover provided with the unit protects it from rain and insects.

Adjusting the fan speed and thermostat from the cabin are features that make this compact air conditioner a good buy. The outer body of this marine portable air conditioner is easy to be cleaned. It also has handles on both sides that make it easy to carry by two persons. Sturdy body ensures that the unit is safe even during harsh climatic conditions.

12-Volt Portable Cooling Systems by Swampy - MightyKool MW1

MightyKool MW1MightyKool MW1

MightyKool MW1 is one of the most popular portable boat air conditioners made by Swampy. MW1 model is designed for one to two people for cooling in dry climates, mainly, and is using the Evaporative Cooling System.


MW1 portable AC is equipped with the Internal water container that holds water for one to three hours of cooling. You can also avoid refilling the system by using the Automatic Filling System through a float that is connected to an external water source. In the humid areas, the system can use the energy efficient fan and still provide refreshing breeze.


MW1 is designed mainly as the 12-volt portable air conditioner for RVs and boats, but it can also be used in your home on 110-volts when using AC/DC converter. Other great advantages are its compact size that doesn't require complicate installation and low noise level of 59 dBA when working on high speed.

This 12-volt portable AC is not using the pump, but the Custom Cooling Pad System. Custom Cooling Pad System is what saves the energy and keeps the size small.


Marine portable air conditioners are the right choice to make life comfortable and easy on board. Cabins inside a boat tend to become heated up as the roof is exposed to direct sunlight for the extended period of time. In this situation, air conditioning units that are portable make the air inside the cabin cool so that the boaters can have a sigh of relief. Whether it is a weekend with friends or family, a fishing trip or just a getaway far from land, portable boat air conditioners make living on the boat in summer season easy.

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