Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-03-2011, 16:26   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY, USA
Boat: Pearson 424, 42' - Kismet
Posts: 57
Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

I'm wondering if anyone can give my idea a quick sanity check...

I have a giant icebox on my 424 (48" W x 18" D x 29" H), and it's insulated "reasonably well" for a 1983 boat (A 5 lb block of ice can last the better part of a week.) Currently it has an engine driven holding plate _AND_ a 110V AC holding plate, both seafrost, both probably 15+ years of age (they are converted R-12 units).

I'm never on shore power, and the shore unit draws about 20 amps @ 12Vdc to run through the inverter, which burns through my battery pretty fast (i have an 800 AH bank, so i can run it, but it really sucks the power out...)

The engine driven unit doesn't work great, I charged it again last year, and by the end of the year I really couldn't get it to be very cold, so i think there's a leak somewhere.

I'd like to rip the whole darn thing out and replace with a new, properly insulated fridge with separate freezer. However this is a big job and almost definitely means replacing the entire kitchen countertops as well, which is more $$$ than i'd really like to spend this year.

As a temporary solution to last this year, I was thinking of taking both units out, and putting in a supercoldmachine with the really large evaporator (like a VD-152)

SuperColdMachine™ QC

100 Series Evaporating Unit

This would give me some refrigeration, draw say 5-7 amps while it ran. The insulation isn't super, but i'm guessing it will do as well as the holding plate, giving me about 3-4 hours of runtime for every hour i could run the old unit.

With the big evaporator, I could put things in it to freeze them, make ice, and say keep the fridge at 40 degrees over the summer months in NY (ok for meat for a day or two, and i can leave ketchup and other non-delicate stuff and beer over the week while i'm gone.)

I have 2 windmills (DF400's) and am going to put some solar on this year as well.

Next year, I'll make a new box, chop the old one up and remove it, and have a new counter laid down. I'd just have to have the coolant evacuated from the unit, and could then take it out, and reinstall after the new box goes in & recharge, correct? I might put a second unit for the freezer, but haven't decided yet for then...

Does this seem reasonable or am i crazy and should just either wait till next year and use ice, or bite the bullet and do all the extra work now?

Basically is installing, then taking it out and putting it back in the new box worth it or more headache than it's worth? Curious as to what people might think!

I've read the kollman docs, so i know the right answer in the long run is proper insulation, but wondering if a stopgap measure might be worth it for the summer...

Thanks,

Matt
__________________

__________________
kismet424 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2011, 17:00   #2
Registered User
 
s/v Breakaway's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chesapeake & BVI
Boat: Cal 34 & Pearson 424
Posts: 221
For our Pearson 424

Hello Kismet,

We have the same cavernous frig on our Pearson 424, and this year we plan to add 4" of insulation. But we are adding it on the inside of the box, not the outside, then covering it with formica. We won't remove the countertop to do this. This costs a few hundred vs a few thousand dollars. This addresses the energy requirement in two ways: the compressor won't run nearly as often, and we won't be cooling alot of empty space. Experience with coolers shows that ice lasts much longer in a full box versus one that is half empty.

s/v Mare Geaux
1978 Pearson 424
__________________

__________________
s/v Breakaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2011, 19:15   #3
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 784
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

Matt, Under the conditions you describe of cruising around NY above Latitude 37 N and not intended to be a 24/7 live aboard you could be satisfied with an Adler Barbour air cooled Cold Machine without rebuilding the present box. Insulation is not as important when you factor in climate conditions and boat’s intended use. A 14 cubic ft box will require ½ the daily energy in NY than it would in a tropical climate like south Florida. My belief is on sailboat’s refrigeration there will be a 4% daily energy increased requirement for every degree increase in seawater temperature. One reason for warm weather high power usage is cooling of drinks and making larger quantities of ice.

If later you fine your power grid will not keep up with the daily power usage of present large box add one or two layers of extruded Polystyrene insulation (Blue Board) to box interior. I also believe the only time other than a power grid shortage is when box’s daily heat load is to great when exterior surface temperature of insulation is more than five degrees F colder than ambient air.
__________________
Richard Kollmann is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2011, 21:00   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: On the Gorge waterway in the heart of Victoria, British Columbia.
Boat: Explorer 44 by Stan Huntingford. Building in progress.
Posts: 30
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

If it were my problem I think I would try to find the leak then see how it performed after that before spending a wack of money on an upgrade that might not be necessary. Did you put any dye in the refrigerant the last time you charged it? Might help in finding the leak.

BB
__________________
Bruce Bevan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2011, 22:02   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Onboard, currently in Samal Island, Philippines
Boat: St. Francis 44 Mk II (Catamaran)
Posts: 54
Send a message via Skype™ to SoggyPaws
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

We have what WAS a similar system, but which we subsequently converted to a 12v system (vs the engine-driven system) by adding a 3/4 HP Leeson motor.

The whole system is now for sale at a great price, as we have upgraded to a more 'solar friendly' system (Frigoboat). Maybe our old system, or even some of the parts, might be useful to you.

See our refrigeration description here:
Soggy Paws 12v Holding Plate Refrigration System

And our 'for sale' posting here:
Refrigeration System For Sale
__________________
SoggyPaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2011, 23:02   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

matt -

when i bought my csy 37 six years ago i had the same problem - a crosby engine drive / 120 shore power fridge/freezer with two holding plates. it wasn't working and looked pretty expensive to fix - and i wasn't sure i wanted engine drive anyway. so i pulled it all out and replaced it with an adler barbour super cold machine.

where the 3 cubic foot freezer had been located i mounted the adler barbour. the 6 cubic foot fridge got the evaporator/freezer. my only regret is that i bought the small evaporator - i recommend the larger one. the smaller one cools the box but the larger one would have given me more freezer space. i also had to put some insulation between the two boxes but that was cheap and easy.

been working great for five years....
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN0553.JPG
Views:	150
Size:	101.3 KB
ID:	25041  
__________________
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2011, 01:03   #7
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Breakaway View Post
Hello Kismet,

We have the same cavernous frig on our Pearson 424, and this year we plan to add 4" of insulation. But we are adding it on the inside of the box, not the outside, then covering it with formica. We won't remove the countertop to do this. This costs a few hundred vs a few thousand dollars. This addresses the energy requirement in two ways: the compressor won't run nearly as often, and we won't be cooling alot of empty space. Experience with coolers shows that ice lasts much longer in a full box versus one that is half empty.

s/v Mare Geaux
1978 Pearson 424
This sounds like a reasonable short term fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Bevan View Post
If it were my problem I think I would try to find the leak then see how it performed after that before spending a wack of money on an upgrade that might not be necessary. Did you put any dye in the refrigerant the last time you charged it? Might help in finding the leak.

BB
And there is good logic in this advice.

A good motto is:
Do it once and do it right so if the leak can't be fixed and Breakaway's idea doesn't jell with you, then maybe wait until you can afford the right solution.
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 12:20   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY, USA
Boat: Pearson 424, 42' - Kismet
Posts: 57
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

Got the new unit installed - all seems well so far!

Thanks for all the replies. Now if it will just get warm i'll actually be able to tell what it's doing

Ordered a wireless thermometer so hopefully i'll be able to figure out what it can do / at what setting and see how it does and whether a couple panels of insulation on the inside make sense. Either way, it looks like it turned out ok. Hardest part was removing all the dead pipe and wiring from 30 years ago
__________________
kismet424 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2011, 14:49   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 243
Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1619.jpg
Views:	159
Size:	427.5 KB
ID:	25564

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1623.jpg
Views:	148
Size:	410.1 KB
ID:	25565

I am very much going to lift on this post. I have a 12 V watercooled Glacier bay unit from 1993 (came with the boat). Not engine driven,battery only. See pics. It seems to be partially refurished (the black bit on the bottom left looks suspiciously new) At the moment sailing around sag harbor but preparing for living abourd 24/7 in warmer climates. Has technology progressed to such an etent that it is worth replacing it? The current one draws 20+ Amps when it is on. Any thought are welcome!
Thanks for your time.
Regards, Ari
__________________
arjand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2011, 07:19   #10
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 784
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

Ari, Boat refrigeration technology has improved but only when daily box heat load Btu are low enough to support the new efficient variable speed compressors output capacity. If you plan on cruising south and refrigerator box is larger than 6 cu ft the boat’s DC power grid and new small compressor system may not support 12 volt refrigeration. With your currant system you can run engine when large compressor is run. Suggest you watch the slide show on my web site and calculate daily 12 volt power consumption for tropical cruising before replacing present system.

Your Glacier Bay unit was not designed for warm tropical climates as the seawater condenser is too small increasing daily running time and increasing motor brush wear. Black item in picture is the compressor probably not original.
__________________
Richard Kollmann is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2011, 07:59   #11
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Endeavour 42CC
Posts: 1,182
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

looks like I'm a bit late but...

Seafrost sells a 12 volt unit that is the same footprint as the 110 volt shore assist compressor. I made the change it it works very well so far. Cleve at Seafrost is very helpful. He helped me get my engine drive running properly. I now have 2 good systems. I also added insulation inside the freezer.
__________________
gettinthere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2011, 05:55   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Maine to Bahamas
Boat: Norseman 447 C/C
Posts: 64
Images: 17
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

Hummmm....Cleave is recommending we replace our Shore Assist with the 12v unit but he thinks we need 2 of them...we also have a SeaFrost engine drive compressor running 3 holding plates...our boats are of similar size, not sure about the boxes...so where are you cruising and what amp draw are you seeing? Thanks Bob Norseman 447
__________________
R2boat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2011, 06:18   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Burnt Store Marina, Punta Gorda FL
Boat: Ta Chiao CT 41
Posts: 23
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

In February we installed a Norcold Ice Box Conversion Unit. I'd take a picture, but it's full (and cold) at the moment.

We didn't buy ours from West Marine...but here's a link to what we have.
Icebox Conversion System
__________________
SeaDoc and his Prairie Girl
Sailing Partner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2011, 06:39   #14
Commercial Member
 
Mark Johnson's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Bern NC
Boat: Searunner 34 Trimaran
Posts: 1,565
Re: Stopgap Refrigerator Work - Is it Worth it ?

On all three of my small cruising boats going back to the 70s, I have been 100% solar self sufficient. I have found that energy "conservation", as expensive as it is initially, is about half of the cost over time, as increased energy production.

Our air cooled, 12V Sea Frost refrigerator, only uses between 25 and 35 Ah/day, depending on latitude. It has worked great for 13 years now.

I suggest that you omit making ice or having a "freezer", limit the interior of a well sealed box to 2 or 3 cu. ft., and insulate to 7" thick.

Larger boxes tend to "not get filled", or are sooo deep that one can't get to the stuff on the bottom. In third world countries, trips ashore to the local market are part of the adventure. There are also non refrigerated means to keep most food.

Without going as far as "camping", trying to replicate the level of comfort and accouterments of a house, will cut down on the enjoyment of cruising. IMO of coarse...

Mark

Attached: This vacuum panel box was = to 7" of insulation, and 2 cu. ft. of interior volume.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	075_75_00.JPG
Views:	100
Size:	161.7 KB
ID:	28139   Click image for larger version

Name:	077_77_00.JPG
Views:	103
Size:	168.5 KB
ID:	28140  

Click image for larger version

Name:	ps_2010_08_25___16_05_47.jpg
Views:	109
Size:	197.4 KB
ID:	28141   Click image for larger version

Name:	078_78_00.JPG
Views:	107
Size:	141.1 KB
ID:	28142  

__________________
Mark Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2011, 07:01   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY, USA
Boat: Pearson 424, 42' - Kismet
Posts: 57
Just an update- went out this weekend and tried the new unit. Was about 80 degrees all weekend during the day, Getting on Thursday evening I filled it with about 24 beers, 2 2 liter sodas 3 gallons of iced tea ( all room temp ) and a bunch of groceries including butter eggs raw meat and cheese.

Started it up (put the perishables in the evaporator to start). Got down to about 45 from thursday pm to Friday am running constantly. By Friday pm it read 34 in the middle of the box, lower at the bottom. Took everything out of the evaporator and put in the 3 ice trays. By sat am had ice and the unit was running about 60% of the time at almost the max setting. As stuff was freezing I turned it down halfway. Temp stayed in the 30's but the unit ran about 1/4 or less of the time.

Will be interesting to see what happens as things get warmer.

I took all the perishable stuff home and put it at the warmest setting. It wasn't running much, so we will see how much it drains over the 2 windmills. Hopefully I'll have cold beer this friday...
__________________

__________________
kismet424 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refrigerator

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
Can a Household Refrigerator Work on a Sailboat ? D Fitzpatrick Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 141 16-12-2014 08:46
Refrigerator Organization 97fxdwg General Sailing Forum 3 07-01-2011 19:39
For Sale: NovaKool Refrigerator canucksailor Classifieds Archive 0 27-01-2010 21:29
Propane Refrigerator steleehin Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 8 22-04-2009 20:57
New Refrigerator PELINDSEY Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 0 01-03-2009 06:48



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:55.


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.