This is kind of a "how long is a piece of string?" question, but hopefully someone will be able to put some boundaries on things for me.
Quick backstory: Our boat was fitted with a new galley
in the mid 90's and as part of the fitout scored a pretty well made top loading engine
driven eutectic freezer
of 136 litres capacity. The insulation
was generous, and still appears to be dry and in good condition, though I concede that appearances can be deceiving. Alas, the engine
bay components of the system were completely and totally buggered (due to raw water
leaks) and are now at the scrap metal recyclers. So, in other words, I have what appears to be 136 litre top loading, well insulated box in a good spot in the galley
The boat also has an upright, 120 litre Fischer & Paykel fridge, which had me REALLY confused until I realised it had been retro fitted with a 12 volt Danfoss compressor
, rated for a 160 litre fridge. The upright fridge is in an inconvenient spot in the passage
to the rear cabin
, and is mounted so that on a starboard tack everything falls out if you open the door.
The Danfoss draws about 4.5 amps and has no trouble at all keeping the fridge cold, running for about 10 minutes per hour on average. So clearly it is in ok condition.
There's what we have.
So, bolt of lightening moment, I wonder, should I transfer the Danfoss to the chest freezer
box, and I will have (hopefully) a decent 136 litre fridge that won't chew up every spare electron on the boat and I won't have to change tacks to make a sandwich.
Then, I asked myself, is 136 litres adequate for coastal cruising around Oz? If not, can I do something clever with the spot I have created, say fit an Isotherm
unit suited for the 400 litre fridge to a well made and insulated chest like the one we already have, and there's enough space there to build a box up to 400 litres with good insulation
, which may be more than I need. (FWIW, storage
space on our boat is very generous, so building a big fridge in that spot is not a problem.) Then the 136 litre box becomes the freezer, and the bigger unit becomes the fridge. (not sure if the Danfoss will be able to freeze 136 litres, so I might have to shrink that box with a bit more insulation). In the interim, I feel like the 136 litre fridge should be adequate for weekending and the odd longer journey.
But I realise I have NO idea about how much fridge space we need on a boat.
What sort of volume should I be planning on for a couple who are serious cooks without being food
snobs, who plan to coastal cruise
Does my proposed dual cold storage
solution make sense, or have I missed something important?
On the power side of the equation, we have a pretty decent old wind generator
(Aerogen 6, just refurbished, up to 350 - 400 watts generating capacity, ) and I have just installed 280 watts of solar panels
with a MPPT regulator
, with capacity to install another 200 watts on the Bimini
. There is also a Hitachi 100Amp dedicated house bank alternator
on the engine. There are no other major drains on the battery
, and we are planning to fit at least 200 USEABLE amp hours of SOME sort of battery
technology, not sure if it will be lead acid, lithium or some other technology.
Ideas? Will this layout work? Is there a better approach? How much fridge volume do you think we will need? Is 136 litres of fridge likely to be adequate, in which case should I simply supplement it with a dedicated portable 12 volt freezer when needed, such as a Waeco, around 40 litres or so?