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Old 10-08-2008, 13:18   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wilmington NC
Boat: Meercat 34 (Prout 34) 10meters - Cataline
Posts: 7
I installed an el cheapo dorm refridge/frzr (Lowes - $100 or so) and used it on a 6-month Great Circle Loop trip a couple of years ago. I added no insulation just stuck in in a cabinet and plugged it in an AC outlet on my small catamaran. (I have a 1000w Heart Inverter, and twin 120ah AGM batteries for the house bank. )
We motored most of the time (can't sail the GCL) so the twin engine alternators kept the house bank up.

It did a nice job. I couldn't spend days on the hook with this arrangement but if I added insulation to the top, back and sides, I'd bet it would cycle less.

Do your electrical sums, battery/s capacity, 'hook time' , yada yada yada --
But for $100 I couldn't beat it.


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Old 10-08-2008, 19:04   #17
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Honolulu, HI
Boat: Hans Christian 33 NAKIA
Posts: 54
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I have a friend who uses the guts from a dorm fridge on his boat. The boat is a Bristol Channel Cutter, he built the interior, including the box. They get ice when they can and when they cant they run the dorm fridge guts on an inverter.

When I say guts, I mean guts. He bought a dorm fridge and carefully dismantled it making sure not to kink or puncture anything. He put the evaporator in the ice box and the compressor/condenser near by. It works. Not great, but it works. Oh, by the way, they don't cruise the tropics. They cruise British Columbia and Washington.

Try it, at the worst you'll be out a couple hounded bucks.

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Old 10-08-2008, 19:20   #18
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Sea
Boat: Coronado 30 - Lady Eliza
Posts: 241
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My problem is slightly bigger than that in that I will be headed to Mexico this fall. Based on the theoretical performance I expect I will need a pretty substantial solar setup to support it... Granted I can re-deploy the solar but most of my exploring right now is 50% how to spend less on the fridge and 50% how to spend less on the solar.

I appreciate every bit of input though- keep it coming!

"It is never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot
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