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Old 05-11-2012, 06:11   #46
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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Originally Posted by captainUni View Post
That's what i thought. So if i only use it at the dock with shore power hooked up, i would image it would be ok. For me, i don't do extended cruising only day cruise so power consumption wouldnt be an issue since my boat's receptacles go out when shore power is disconnected, unless i run it to an inverter then it will be a different story. Thanks for your input.
I also kept a small apartment style household refrigerator on board for a couple of years and you're right. This can be very suitable if you are not expecting to keep foods cold or frozen for longer term cruising. Adjustments do need to be made to secure the refrigerator. I rigged an automotive seat belt to wrap the box and the door closure when day sailing.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:56   #47
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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Originally Posted by captainUni View Post
That's what i thought. So if i only use it at the dock with shore power hooked up, i would image it would be ok. For me, i don't do extended cruising only day cruise so power consumption wouldnt be an issue since my boat's receptacles go out when shore power is disconnected, unless i run it to an inverter then it will be a different story. Thanks for your input.
Some units, even expensive ones, have warnings along the lines of "this end up". Most units are also not designed to be bumped or bashed. Not to say they are not usable at a dock, or even short cruises, just that there are limitations. A more expensive unit like an Engle also seems to be more robust in a marine environment.

That being said for a lot of folks a big box store unit makes a lot of sense.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:51   #48
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

I had the same problem on my c-45. Poorly insulated and the refrig unit had failed. The replacement compressor was going to be in the 900 to 1500 range. I pulled out the bottom of the icebox and there was enough hidden space boxed out to put a 50 gallon tank in there. After cutting out a hole big enough I went with a home depot 250 dollar chest freezer. In order to keep it very frozen it only runs 15-30 minutes every 6 hours and it uses 70 watts with a little more for the 10 second start up surge. I did do an insulation test which consisted of a 5 gallon home depot bucket full of ice placed in the unit and how long until the ice was gone. The built in was normally under 8 hours. the HD freezer around 24+ hours. Cost wise and power wise it works pretty good.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:52   #49
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Good to hear! For a day cruiser like myself i just can't justify spending $900 or more on a Norcold refrigerator or other refrigeration system!
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Old 12-07-2013, 20:52   #50
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

By the way, as a follow up: After taking in the advice and opinions above, we went the icebox route. We added additional pink foam board insulation to the existing icebox, just as you would for a good refrigerator conversion. We added 6" of insulation against the hull and the engine compartment and 1-2" (or as much as we could fit in) against interior bulkheads and the top.

But we didn't add a refrigeration unit. We could always do that in the future, but so far, even in the hottest summer along the Carolinas coast, the icebox arrangement works very well. Eighty pounds of ice will last about a week. Block ice lasts longer. The beer is always ice cold, and there's plenty of ice for cocktails. Food keeps very well, although we've learned that meat really needs to be in contact with the ice in a sealed plastic bag to last longer than three days.

The electrical system is much simpler to maintain and happier than on our old boat with refrigeration. Shopping for ice once a week is a little bit of hassle and expense, and if we lived on board year round, we might tire of it. But it's not nearly the hassle and expense of maintaining the higher capacity electrical demands of refrigeration.

So, thanks to all for your input. I hope this update is of some use to someone else.
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Old 12-07-2013, 20:57   #51
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Thanks for reply. I guess I want something more permanent. I'm thinking just buying a small fridge in Sears.
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Old 21-02-2014, 10:51   #52
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

We are in the midst of trying a grand experiment, moving permanently aboard and cutting the lines from shore. I'm in the process of building a superinsulated ice box for the boat, and we will have an ice maker for when we run out and absolutely must have ice, but I'll keep everyone abreast of how this works out.
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Old 21-02-2014, 12:38   #53
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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We are in the midst of trying a grand experiment, moving permanently aboard and cutting the lines from shore. I'm in the process of building a superinsulated ice box for the boat, and we will have an ice maker for when we run out and absolutely must have ice, but I'll keep everyone abreast of how this works out.
Not sure what you consider 'superinsulated' but the fridge I built for our Endeavour has...



... 4 inches in the walls and 7 inches in part of the bottom and 9 inches in the rest. The bottom is where you need it the most.



There is 3 inches in the two lids and the box has double lids on the top. The ones you see above with others above them in the countertops (see bottom picture). The box is a little under 4 cu. ft. with a ...



...1/2 cu. ft. freezer section and uses less than 25 amp/hrs. per day and that is in Florida temp of high 80's inside the boat.



It has worked great and was a good addition to the boat and the whole build can be found here...

Endeavour 37 Interion Mods Index

Good luck with your build and not having to look for ice sure frees up how you can use the boat and it doesn't take much solar to run one of these if they are well insulated,

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Old 20-03-2014, 11:04   #54
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

Just an idea, but for small boats, and not full time cruising, would an ice maker (cheap tabletop type) be an in between solution? run it while powering, put ice into an ice box or chest. If you have a decent inverter, you might get away without investing big$ in extra batteries, solar, controllers etc. Remember, I'm just thinking from the perspective of ultra low budget cruisers. As one can afford more solar panels, you could run it more on solar- less on engine. Anyone tried this?
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:10   #55
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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Originally Posted by pappa gasket View Post
Just an idea, but for small boats, and not full time cruising, would an ice maker (cheap tabletop type) be an in between solution? run it while powering, put ice into an ice box or chest. If you have a decent inverter, you might get away without investing big$ in extra batteries, solar, controllers etc. Remember, I'm just thinking from the perspective of ultra low budget cruisers. As one can afford more solar panels, you could run it more on solar- less on engine. Anyone tried this?
I doubt it work well. Or at least not for long. Smaller pieces of ice melt faster than larger pieces. In other words, a single 5lb block of ice will last longer in the cooler than 5 lbs of ice cubes.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 20-03-2014, 16:08   #56
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

Quote:
Originally Posted by pappa gasket View Post
Just an idea, but for small boats, and not full time cruising, would an ice maker (cheap tabletop type) be an in between solution? run it while powering, put ice into an ice box or chest. If you have a decent inverter, you might get away without investing big$ in extra batteries, solar, controllers etc. Remember, I'm just thinking from the perspective of ultra low budget cruisers. As one can afford more solar panels, you could run it more on solar- less on engine. Anyone tried this?
Haven't tried this yet, but we're intending to do so, running on block ice when we can and the ice maker when we need to. Will let everyone know how it works.
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