On my boat I put the frig/freezer along the sidewall in the galley
. There was a five foot long section available. I built up the area underneath the planned box with blue/pink insulation
board until I could get a depth
of 6 inches and then put a piece of plywood
for the bottom inside of the frig/freezer.
- - I then went out and purchases the plastic bins that would be inside the frig/freezer and hold the foodstuffs. These I placed on the plywood
and they set out the final dimensions of the inside of the frig/freezer. I wanted at least 5 to 6 inches of insulation
boards between the box and the hull
and no less than 3 inches in the front and sides.
- - Once the interior
dimensions were set then I proceeded to built the layers of insulation boards and R-Max Plus to achieve the maximum R-value possible.
- - The top of the box thickness was set by the thickness of the Glacier Bay vacuum panel refrig hatch
- - I wanted redundancy in the box so purchased two CoolBlue 12VDC pallet style air cooled units - one set for freezer (5 deg. F) and the other set for the refrig at 35 deg F. Cold plates were then installed on ledges built into the box and the pipe routed to an area underneath the Force 10 Galley
stove where I mounted the pallets. Because the hull
was curved outward - as the box's vertical height grew I could build an offset ledge for the cold plates without interfering with the plastic bins that were to hold the foodstuffs inside of the unit.
- - I made a "false divider" wall out of R-Max Plus and kitchen laminate material that divided the freezer half of the box from the refrig half. The idea was that if one CoolBlue system failed I could remove the false wall and make one large refrigerator
until the bad system could be fixed or replaced.
- - As it turned out when one system did fail all I had to do was hole drill some 2 inch vents between the freezer and refrig and I was able to keep the freezer section operating. There was no need for fans or other devices to circulate air as the cold plates extend the whole length of the outboard
- - Over the years (10 so far) the unit has degraded somewhat and now needs half a day of running to keep things properly frozen/refrigerated. A lot of that has to do with how many times we open the box and remove things. AH draw for 8 cu ft is about 100 to 150 AH per day depending upon ambient temperatures and how often we open it to get a cold beer
or soda or food
- - The whole system was designed for KISS - that is single
pallet air-cooled compressor/condensor and controls and one holding plate per box section. I only wish I had been able to get more insulation thickness in the front and top.
- - One major minus was I did not wrap the whole box in clear plastic sheeting between the actual internal box and the layers of insulation panels/boards. Kollman is adamant about preventing any water
leakage to get into your insulation layers. Dropped cans and other sharp objects have put some fractures and holes in the bottom of the box over the years and I fear water
has leaked into the layers of insulation.
- - After thoroughly researching all the online ideas and examples of how to build a boat refrig/freezer, it became apparent that any side opening door would be a major problem with keeping the cold inside the box. It makes sense as the freezer unit my mother keep in the garage is always a top loader/opening. The hours needed to keep the whole system proper would escalate dramatically if there was a side opening door.