I recently purchased a used 88 Hunter
30 that I will be using mostly for Bahamas
cruising of cruises to 3 months duration. The built in ice box is enormous and had been converted to a fridge with a norcold unit. However, the compressor
was broken and seems to be not worth fixing. In addition, the icebox
has not been reduced in size and appears to have little or no external insulation
(can't get at it, but there is clearly little room.).
Having at least some refrigeration
ability is fairly important to me, so I'd love to get some feedback on options I may have.
It seems to me, it's not worth replacing the norcold unit unless the icebox
is reduced in size and properly insulated.
thought is to keep using the ice box as an icebox, adding some interior insulation
and also add a small cooler/compressor stand alone unit such as the one at the link below. My thought is when I hit town, get some ice and live it up for a couple day with all sorts of fresh stuff, but once the ice melts, just keep the basics cold in the cooler/compressor.
Considering the boat will only be used for a maximim of 4 months cruising per year, I'm also a bit tempted to just go with ice., but I really do enjoy having a minimal amount of refrigeration
capabilities, even if it's just cream for coffee, a little ice and a few cold drinks. I'm frequently away from ice purchasing
ability for 7 to 10 days at a time.
Energy - I currently have no solar
. The only charging
is from the alternator
. Unfortuanately I don't have it's output available at the moment. The boat has two batteries I believe with 120 AH each, but one will be reserved as a starting battery
at least at night. I have room to add another. My cruising style is so that I don't sit long at anchor
and move and use the engine
most days, but unless I have energy needs, my engine
time is often minimal.
When I read some of the literature on the compressor/cooler unit, it said typical energy consumtion was 2 AH. However, I have no idea what this is based on. I don't know if this means when it runs, but doesn't run all the time or this is an average per 24 hours of running in moderate climates - makes a big difference.
The shelf I would put this on would allow good ventilation of the compressor
into the cabin
. Exterior ventilation would be difficult. I have room to add some additional exterior insulation and still allow the vents to vent properly.
I'm experienced with epoxy
work so could do a reasonable job of reducing the interior
space in the current
icebox to convert it to a refrigerator
, but I'm not sure I'll have the time prior to my first big cruise
. A mentioned previously one side wall would be difficult to add insulation to. In addition the cooler/compressor meets my space needs for about half the price
. I should note that the top door to the ice box is right on top of one of the sidewalls, making it impossible to add any significant insulation to that side wall without a major countertop and door project
Any experiences with these cooler/compressors or this in general are greatly appreciated.
The unit type I'm considering though I may go smaller:
West Marine: Compressor Cooler AC/DC Product Display