Air Conditioning On A Pontoon?

Testing MarineCool on a JC TriToon

Published in the March 2020 Issue April 2023 Feature Brady L. Kay

When people first hear about an air conditioning system for a pontoon boat their puzzled face expression is most likely similar to the way a dog looks at tofu turkey. It’s not that the idea of boaters being able to cool off with A/C doesn’t have merit. It’s just that mystery of how could it be possible to cool down the interior of a boat, much less an open-aired pontoon? JC TriToon Marine has partnered with Mist-er-Comfort on some amazing advances in cooling technology over the years, but the latest creation will have consumers taking notice.   

While not exclusive to JC pontoons, Mist-er-Comfort founder Bill Ford and his team have found instant success by showcasing their misting products with JC’s line of boats.

The new patented MarineCool helm system is another upgrade the Indiana-based pontoon manufacturer is now offering on top of the Mist-er-Comfort overhead Bimini misters and floor misters that have become really popular in the last few years.

“Our customers have really embraced the products from Bill and it started with the overhead systems,” says Joe Sparks, the VP/general manager at JC TriToon Marine. “The systems are good but have some limitations when moving. With the floor misting systems together it takes cooling to a new level and I’m especially excited about the newest addition for the captain.”

Like the other misters, the MarineCool system is controlled from the helm station, all at the fingertips of the captain. Instead of pressurizing water, MarineCool takes a low amount of water pressure, mixes it into a head with compressed air, then has a blower behind it to provide cool, refreshing mist that successfully cools the immediate area.

As a self-contained system, it’s easily added to any open-aired pontoon or deck boat. The system uses scientifically proven theories of evaporative cooling and thermal dynamics to remove heat from the air. What you’re left with is a cool refreshing temperature, making a world of difference on those hot days.

Complete Control
The best part of the system – other than the favorable results of course – is the control it provides. You have the ability to dial in the amount of water vapor and the amount of air volume while controlling the fan as well. When you set it just right, you can cool the ambient temperature around the helm by up to 15 to 20 degrees.

Additionally, you can dial it so that it’s really fogging you with moisture, but you can still adjust it to get to the cool temperature you want without getting any moisture on your skin or clothing. No matter what, you’ll always have complete control over the water that turns to mist and the airflow.

“The introduction of the helm system just completed the process and gives our customers several systems to use independent of each other or combined,” adds Sparks. “A large percentage of the sales have gone to all three systems.”

Arizona Heat
Dealers are just as excited with the Mist-er-Comfort cooling systems, especially The Boat Brokers dealership in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., which sells JC TriToon pontoons in an area known for desert heat and stifling summer temperatures.

“The misting system is a very popular upgrade and as of late I have noticed the floor misters gaining in popularity,” says Sam Whaley, a sales rep at The Boat Brokers. “The reason being, the heat we have here on Lake Havasu is extreme and having the ability to mist the floor is a great way to keep feet cooler on the vinyl flooring. I have not used MarineCool yet myself, but I anticipate this summer the helm unit will prove itself to be a great addition.”

For Golf Carts?
While thriving in the boating segment of the industry, MarineCool was actually an idea that was first developed for the golfing industry as CartCool. Ford challenged his engineers to design a system whereby it would cool passengers in golf carts, even when they were sitting inches from the nozzles.

“This was a big issue for golfers who wanted to be cooled, yet the mist was spotting their glasses,” says the Mist-er-Comfort founder. “So we changed the way the water droplets were atomized.” 

The result is the MarineCool system with a nozzle at the helm that helps keep the captain just as cool as the passengers enjoying the misting system that was developed earlier.

Not A Replacement

When Ford first introduced the MarineCool system he thought it would replace the standard misting systems that they now sell to over 38 boat builders. However, early signs indicate that’s not going to be a replacement but rather a welcomed addition.

“What we’re discovering is MarineCool has become an additional way to cool the entire boat,” says Ford. “The captain now has his own cooling system while the rest of the boat is cooled by Mist-er-Comfort’s traditional marine misting system.”

Many Ways To Cool

With the traditional misters you have a couple of options, either in the Bimini top or under the seats. As Ford describes all the ways his system could be used, he starts sounding like Forrest Gump’s pal Bubba, enumerating the myriad of ways to prepare shrimp.

“Experts say in order to cool a person you need to start by cooling their heads so most of our customers still use the Bimini or hard top installation in their designs,” says Ford. “But more and more pontoon boat builders are using floor-mounted misters to cool down boaters. This new method not only cools the boater’s entire body, but helps to cool those hot decks. Pontoon boats in most cases have larger deck areas that get hot when in the sun. The mist when located under the seats now cools the floors, making boating more enjoyable.” 

Pontoon boats are designed to be on the water for long period of times, including during the hottest times of the day, which is where Mist-er-Comfort truly shines. Keeping those on the boat cool and comfortable is the foundation of this system and since many pontoons don’t come with on board water sources, the built-in water tank adds to the ease of installation.

Installed From The Factory
“Mist-er-Comfort customized the components to our helm base,” says Sparks. “We needed a longer lead on the fan and water control and they increased it to 6 feet for us. We needed different mounting wedges and a longer fan body and they revised it. You can't ask for more than that. Bill has been excellent to work with and he has surrounded himself with a very innovative and competent support staff. Those changes and our flip top helm make for a very simple and production-friendly installation.”

The pivoting helm cap from JC TriToon provides easy access to all wiring as well as installing the nozzle and system. Installation from all manufacturers has resulted in few questions as the process is straightforward but for those considering a DIY-project the most important aspect of the installation is the location of the automatic drain valve.

“This device removes the water from the misting line to prevent calcium clogging the heads,” explains Ford. “The location of the valve needs to be lower than the lowest misting head; it’s just that simple.”

Fully Loaded
With the Mist-er-Comfort system, the JC TriToon line of pontoons seems to be in a class of its own and it’s not like JC needed to add any more bells and whistles to its boats. The manufacturer offers pontoons that typically come fully loaded already with a wide-variety of amenities.

The MarineCool system from Mist-er-Comfort is a new option on a JC pontoon that is already offering such popular features as the Shadow Caster RGB 4 zone control center, electric Bimini top, Teak Isle/Boat Outfitters innovative storage options as well as Positron’s wireless phone chargers, revised battery management systems and delayed ignition switches that automatically power down.

In fact, the features on the NepToon 23 Sport HTH we tested are so varied and unique that referring to it as a Swiss Army boat would be wrong when in reality it has become the Swiss Army knife of this JC pontoon.
For More Information

JC TriToon Marine
North Webster, Ind.

Winter SpringsFla.

The Boat Brokers, Inc.
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

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