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Old 09-08-2010, 17:15   #16
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I had a propane/DC/AC powered unit in my motor home. If they are even a little bit out of level they don't work. Performance under propane is poor at best. Performance over all is barely adequate. They do not like to take in unfrozen food to freeze. All in all I don't think they would work well in a boat.

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Old 09-08-2010, 18:47   #17
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FWIW, leave the freezer on the dock, freeze water jugs or "blue Ice" and you are good for a week with a well insulated ice box!
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Old 09-08-2010, 19:19   #18
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I'm sure I will get set straight here but I have always wondered about the "elecrolux" fridges that run on propane or diesel/kerosine. The ones that are commonly in R/Vs and off grid houses otr camps. I thought that perhaps heeling would upset the process but just the other day talked to a cruiser who used a propane version for twenty years without a hitch while mostly living aboard and cruising. He said it was used a 5lb bottle a month. Why aren't they more common in boats? They aren't cheap to buy but overall it sounds pretty good.
I have a factory propane system in my boat for the range and oven only. ABYC compliant propane systems in boats are pretty complicated and for good reason. Propane in confined areas is explosive.

I don't believe you will find a propane refrigerator approved for use on a boat.
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Old 09-08-2010, 21:37   #19
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George that only works if you spend most of your time in a marina. I will spend almost no time in a marina, so I need a functioning refer and freezer.

Ron is right on, plus the propane powered refer units require them to be level to work, which obviously won't work on a boat.

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Thomas
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:41   #20
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George that only works if you spend most of your time in a marina. I will spend almost no time in a marina, so I need a functioning refer and freezer.

Ron is right on, plus the propane powered refer units require them to be level to work, which obviously won't work on a boat.

Regards,

Thomas
Hmm, I guess the guy who used one without a hitch for twenty years of circumnavigating didn't know that...

" Spent a lot of time on our ear and the frige worked great the whole time. Never an issue. We just had a propane sniffer in case of leak, but it worked till the tubes finally rusted out 20 year into it. No power draw, just a 5 gal tank of gas every month. Great system. Loved it and would use it again in a heart beat."
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:15   #21
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There area few boats that use propane fridges. The most notable one being the Gemini 105. It is a catamaran and hopefully does not exceed a 5 degree list. But even rough weather will reduce the efficency of these units. The other problem is that the back of the unit must be vented outside just like a propane locker. The Gemini does this by mounting the fridge on a bulkhead next to the cock pit so the heat and potential leak vents into the cockpit and overboard.

I had partial ownership in a PDQ 32 that vented into a forward locker. I was never happy with this system being inefficent and potentially very dangerous.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:08   #22
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Hmm, I guess the guy who used one without a hitch for twenty years of circumnavigating didn't know that...
I guess he must have had some way to freeze those water jugs while he was away from the dock too! Then again, maybe he mostly ate canned food and fish, that would work. As for me, I like the ability to carry frozen food, and make ice cubes. Personality flaw I guess, but I'll stick with an on board refrigeration system that works away from the dock.

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Old 10-08-2010, 10:53   #23
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I'm sure I will get set straight here but I have always wondered about the "elecrolux" fridges that run on propane or diesel/kerosine. The ones that are commonly in R/Vs and off grid houses otr camps. I thought that perhaps heeling would upset the process but just the other day talked to a cruiser who used a propane version for twenty years without a hitch while mostly living aboard and cruising. He said it was used a 5lb bottle a month. Why aren't they more common in boats? They aren't cheap to buy but overall it sounds pretty good.
I think the big problem is a stove pipe sticking up out of the deck over the galley. On a sailboat it would be impractical.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:53   #24
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I had a propane refer/fridge on my first boat in the early 80's, a 32 ft. catamaran. After trying for months to make the thing work at the slight heel of a cat I jerked the thing out and threw it over the side.
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Old 12-08-2010, 16:19   #25
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I think the big problem is a stove pipe sticking up out of the deck over the galley. On a sailboat it would be impractical.
Don't quite understand that one..my stovepipe for the dickensen gally stove works fine and there are plenty of propane, diesel and solid fuel heaters out there...

I guess some have had luck with the amonia abrsorbtion frige and others haven't. Just seems like the silence and efficiency would be nice not to mention the simplicity and being able to save those amp hours for other things. I don't want propane on the boat anyway but the kerosene ones almost convinced me that a frige/freezer might be worth having on board!
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Old 12-08-2010, 18:16   #26
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Don't quite understand that one..my stovepipe for the dickensen gally stove works fine and there are plenty of propane, diesel and solid fuel heaters out there...
We're not talking about a heater or cooking/stove, but a refer which are normally in the galley, which is usually right under the entry way. And that is where a stove pipe would be sticking up if it were so. Propane refers usually have a stove pipe. And a stove pipe right were one handles the lines or under a dodger is not a good idea.

I hope that makes it more clear.
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Old 12-08-2010, 18:29   #27
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We've had our Technautics "Cool Blue" operating for eleven years without incident and drawing about 3 amps. When we returned to our boat yesterday our freezer/refrig was not operating, but the unit was flashing an error code. With technical support quick and eager 11 years after my purchase we are having a part sent to re-establish function. Any of the 12V units with the air-cooled Danfloss compressors like Technautics seem to offer the best in Refrig/freezers. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 13-08-2010, 08:47   #28
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I tend to agree with Capt Force. A propane fridge works well when level since it uses the same principal as the ammonia absorption system. To use this in a boat means a costly refit or a dangerous installation. The only way I can see it bein used properly is in catamarans that vent the gas and heat into the cockpit which must have proper drains.

My current catamaran uses an air cooled Danfoss compressor with large evaporator plates. Even in the tropics this works well and is inexpensive. If I could add more insulation without major surgery I would
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Old 13-08-2010, 11:31   #29
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I discovered a cheap and easy trick that really helped reduce the amount of time my refridge cycles - I covered the top and around 4 inches more all around the doors of the top opening reefer with a sheet of neoprene - the stuff that wetsuits are made of. Not only did it insulate the top but it prevented air flow around the edges of the doors. This reduced the electrical draw during my last 4 day trip even though it was as hot as it ever gets in Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. You can buy sheets of different thickness neoprene on the web very easily - You have to buy more than you will need but it is worth it.

Bonus - It also creates a large area of non skid surface.
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Old 13-08-2010, 12:03   #30
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Janice,

Do you have a photo you can share?
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