Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-07-2008, 02:59   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Sea
Boat: Coronado 30 - Lady Eliza
Posts: 241
Images: 11
Least expensive functional 12volt refer solutions

Okay, so I've invested a good 20-30 hours in reading and thinking and it is time to throw myself on the mercy of the court. You guys go get your oars- I will be over here grabbing my ankles.

Current hot ticket item for me is my refrigeration solution. I want to solve this one so I can address batteries and solar...

I posted in another thread a question about using a dorm style mini-fridge. I am still not 100% clear on why/if this won't work. I spent some time on Mr. Kollmann's site and it sounded like installing with proper insulation and ventilation would be fine- but he never comes out and says this so I am not sure if I got the right message. I also called the Technautics guys today and while I love the schpeal- they are WAY outside of my price range.

I am a big sissy and want access to cold water. Food preservation is an added bonus. I *feel* like I've got enough dollars left in my build-out budget to make this happen if I am careful/creative and avoid West Marine style "marine grade" pricing.

The boat has an existing built in refer that does not work. It is a 110 system and about 4.5 feet... Not sure about the insulation- or even how to check without cutting stuff open. I am willing to go there though if modifying it is the right way to go.

I am hoping for 3+ cubic feet and hoping for ice but can live without that. I would jump for joy if I could get this for less than 60AH but I am emotionally preparing myself for 75ish.

Given all that... What is the least expensive approach? Could I get away with an RV/dorm unit and some extra ducting and fans? Could I cannibolize the Norcold unit I mentioned in the other thread to make something in the original built in space? Could I install the Cool Blue system SO DAMN WELL that it actually generates energy and would thereby eliminate my need for solar panels thusly allowing me to reallocate that part of my budget?

Eek,
J
__________________

__________________
"It is never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot
Jack Long is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2008, 03:21   #2
Registered User
 
Eleven's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Southampton UK
Boat: Jaguar 22 mono called Arfur.
Posts: 1,220
Images: 3
From a thread a few months back (Maxing Out?) I remember fridge/freezer installation as lining any convenient volume with three inches of good foam and stinking in a 12V fridge unit with thermostat. Three inches keeps the electrical consumption within reason, under cockpit benches is possible for occasional access, a saloon cupboard from domestic cooler (not freezing). Hope others pick up on this thread for you.
__________________

__________________
Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
Eleven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2008, 04:18   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Wisconsin
Boat: Liberty 28 Custom Cutter - "Native Dancer" For Sale
Posts: 209
Refrigeration is fine as long as you're using shore power, in which case a little cheap mini-fridge is fine (and it doesn't need to be marinized or made from stainless since you can toss it when it falls apart). The moment you leave the power grid you're talking major $ transfers for the refrigeration unit, the power consumption requirements, and the actual power generation. For me, it's just too expensive to have cold food/water when anchored out and off the power grid. Our boat came with an Adler-Barbour Refridge Unit and can operate for two days on the house batteries before needed to hit the marina again for power recharge. Yes, yes, marinas cost money too and are a very expensive source of electricity, but I really don't care to sit at anchor for long periods of time contemplating my navel. That's just me.

My next "cool" purchase is going to be a little window AC unit that will go in the companion way hatch for the hot days in Florida (are there any others?). Inconvenient? Yes. Can I manage the inconvenience for the sake of saving some $? Oh, yea!!!

Good luck with your decision.

Steve
__________________
Liberty28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2008, 05:17   #4
cruiser

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tampa to New York
Boat: Morgan 33 OutIsland, Magic and 33' offshore scott design "Cutting Edge"
Posts: 1,594
I saw a dometic unit for sail in the charleston craigslist for $160 yesterday, it said 3 way so 11o,12 and propane?

We have an adler barbour cold machine. It runs at 5 amps about 50% so were looking at about 60ah. were almost never plugged in. Our solar array is just short of 400 watts, house is 8 golf cart batts. have wind gen. The house bank has never fallen below 12.5v. After I wrapped the cooling unit in fridge with 3/4" foam it makes ice overnight. With a sheet of that aluminum covered foam and a roll of aluminum tape I added at least one layer everywhere and three where it abutts the engine compartment. That helped a lot.
Steve currently in charleston
ps megadock here has free wifi that gets great signal across channel at anchorage.
__________________
forsailbyowner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2008, 20:13   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty28 View Post

My next "cool" purchase is going to be a little window AC unit that will go in the companion way hatch for the hot days in Florida (are there any others?). Inconvenient? Yes. Can I manage the inconvenience for the sake of saving some $? Oh, yea!!!

...Steve
I saw the $1000 hatch units for sale and built my own. I built the housing out of 3/8 plywood and epoxy and put handles on it and painted it. A $90 GE window unit from WalMart slides in the housing. The part that goes into the hatch has baffles to separate cold air from return air. You can adjust the unit by reaching your hand through the air duct and turning the knobs. I run the power from a 12 gauge extension cord through the unit which doubles as extra plugs. The rain hood is made from an outboard motor cover from Academy split up the seam and attached to the housing with SS screws and trim washers.

Total cost including AC unit - about $190. It works like a charm. An added advantage is that if the unit goes on the fritz, replacement window units are available almost everywhere.
__________________
TexSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2008, 20:23   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
Refrigeration is fine as long as you're using shore power, in which case a little cheap mini-fridge is fine
Nothing like lots of electricity and a monthly slip payment to feel great. Sometimes cold beer is enough.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2008, 20:49   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Wisconsin
Boat: Liberty 28 Custom Cutter - "Native Dancer" For Sale
Posts: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexSail View Post
I saw the $1000 hatch units for sale and built my own. I built the housing out of 3/8 plywood and epoxy and put handles on it and painted it. A $90 GE window unit from WalMart slides in the housing. The part that goes into the hatch has baffles to separate cold air from return air. You can adjust the unit by reaching your hand through the air duct and turning the knobs. I run the power from a 12 gauge extension cord through the unit which doubles as extra plugs. The rain hood is made from an outboard motor cover from Academy split up the seam and attached to the housing with SS screws and trim washers.

Total cost including AC unit - about $190. It works like a charm. An added advantage is that if the unit goes on the fritz, replacement window units are available almost everywhere.
Got any pix?
__________________
Liberty28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2008, 21:13   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hawaii
Boat: Tartan T4400
Posts: 167
Really loveour cool blue makes ice no problems. I turn units off at night when noe one is getting into reefer freeze. sometimes reefer freezes water soda if back near plate. Ensure yoou have 4-6 inches of insulation not 3.
__________________
Gudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2008, 01:21   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Sea
Boat: Coronado 30 - Lady Eliza
Posts: 241
Images: 11
Hijackers be gone!

Pblais, cold beer is not enough. I will go without an ice chest if I have to. But I have an envelop of money I set aside for this and I want to make it happen.

Okay, so, nobody is using a home style 110v mini fridge through an inverter as a cruising fridge in the lower latitudes? Fine.

What about the various off-the-shelf enclosed marine units? If so, what brand, what size, what temps are you keeping things at, what cycle times, what total amp hours? Did you do anything special with the installation?

I don't even drink beer...
__________________
"It is never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot
Jack Long is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2008, 04:02   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,220
"What about the various off-the-shelf enclosed marine units? If so, what brand, what size, what temps are you keeping things at, what cycle times, what total amp hours? Did you do anything special with the installation?"
__________________________________________________ ______________


I have a spare 60 liter Fridgefreeze unit for sale. It's a spare because it came with minor freight damage and Fridgefreeze just sent me another one. Paid $1,700 for it. Sell it for $900. (no grinders here). It's in So Cal. The one I'm keeping is in my Islander 36 down in La Paz. Check out fridgefreeze.com.

Apologies for using the spot to sell something. But I really love this thing and I'm happy to tel the world about it.
__________________
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2008, 12:51   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty28 View Post
Got any pix?

Not yet and we're trying to wrap up business and go to Jamaica for a little bit, but when I get back, I will take a picture and post it. BTW, what is the best photo hosting site or is there another way to do that here?
__________________
TexSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2008, 13:03   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
What about the various off-the-shelf enclosed marine units?
There are 12 volt coolers that plug into a 12 volt socket. They are self contained though smaller than a full fridge. We have a small 6 pack one we also use in the car. They make large ones too. Some will freeze but not both in one box.

TexSail:
Quote:
BTW, what is the best photo hosting site or is there another way to do that here?
In your membership you have access to a personal gallery of photos that start out empty. You can upload them and share them with all of us. We love pictures!

From the above title bar see the Gallery, then under select Members, then find you user name, then when you log in you can access the gallery and upload from your hard disk to the gallery and add text descriptions. You can then link them in posts or just "write the picture is in my gallery" and we can go look.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2008, 13:27   #13
Registered User
 
SeaKing's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Shady Side, MD
Boat: Voyage 470 "SeaPaws II"
Posts: 509
check mmair.com for build your own coolers. All the parts to insert. You just build your own box. all proven systems
__________________
SeaKing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2008, 13:51   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
Lots of comments, but little advice.

First - for reduced power consumption you need 6 inches of insulation - and make sure you get the right stuff, cause there is foam and insulation foam.

Second - again to reduce power consumption, it needs to be top opening, cause a door opening lets too much cold out.

third - the type of cooling system will depend on how you make your electricity onboard. If you regularly run the engine to get electricity, the best bet is a holding plate - this runs constantly when the main power is on, and builds up a big lump of ice to keep the system cool when main power is off.
- if you use solar power, then an evaporator and a thermostat is the way ahead. this uses a little power, but frequently.

fourth - how do you cool the condensate (i.e. the stuff that goes into the holding plate/evaporator) two ways, air cooling or water cooling.

air cooling - depends on a good supply of cooler air that you can duct to the right place. It also helps if the ambient temperature is cool. It needs extra power to drive the cooling fan.

water cooling - two types one sucks sea water up and pumps it through cooling chamber - trouble is the pump uses power and crustaceans like the inlet and tend to block it. There is a fresh water variant of this that has cooling pipes on the outside of the hull, but it still needs to be pumped seperately. There is a third variant that uses a bronze block on the outside of the hull. The condensate itself is pumped through this as a natural part of the refrigrant cycle, thus no extra pump power requirements.

To the best of my knowledge all the best of these use a danfoss compressor.

It is possible to purchase a cool box that you can transfer into your car etc, that has a danfoss compressor, but these are expensive ($800)

A good system with good 6" insulation even in West Indies, will use about 35-60 amphrs depending on size and how often you put stuff into it.

It is possible to make a freezer section using this, then add a small hole in a bulkhead between a freezer section with the evaporator plus a computer fan to create a fridge as well.
__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2008, 14:11   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 298
Thanks Paul.
__________________

__________________
TexSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shower solutions! Tspringer Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 11 21-04-2008 04:46
Expensive SSB Comm...? Any better...? CSY Man General Sailing Forum 8 26-12-2006 20:31
Engel Refer Unit Kai Nui Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 27 22-06-2006 06:39
And you thought your raft was expensive Alan Wheeler Health, Safety & Related Gear 6 18-11-2005 21:15
Refer & A/C Corrosion GordMay Construction, Maintenance & Refit 1 18-10-2005 12:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.