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Old 20-05-2011, 16:36   #1
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Propane Refrigerator / Icebox

Anybody have any sailing experiance with one of these? I built a home that was 100% off the grid and we used one of these units. Seemed to work great and without hassle. Never heard of one in a boat though. Seems like if you were using propane for the range, this would be a good option.
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Old 20-05-2011, 17:20   #2
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Re: Propane refigerator/icebox

We had one on our last boat. For a boat with an outboard engine, it made sense. As she was a catamaran, no gimbals were required to keep the unit reasonably level. I've read of them being gimbaled on keel boats, but can't quite picture that.

So for that specific application, a propane frig worked very well. At least after I modified the installation by following the manufacturer's directions. (why can't boat builders read installation manuals?) Good air flow is needed, and a small blower helps.

However, these are really rv units, not made for the marine environment, so don't know how long they will last. I had to clean and paint some rust, but it still was working when we sold the boat at 10 years.
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Old 20-05-2011, 19:31   #3
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Re: Propane refigerator/icebox

They are standard on the Gemini 105 cats
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Old 21-05-2011, 11:55   #4
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Re: Propane Refrigerator / Icebox

Our freg works great on our boat being a Gemini 105MC catamaran and use little propane too.
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Old 21-05-2011, 20:00   #5
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Re: Propane Refrigerator / Icebox

I had one on my old boat, I pulled it out to run some other wires and found that the heat coming off it had charred the back and wood trim. I don't know how it did not burn the boat up. I thought it was putting out alot of heat. I left it in the dumpster.
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Old 21-05-2011, 20:11   #6
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Re: Propane Refrigerator / Icebox

Propane flame refrigerators pre-date the electric compressor versions. But they work by using an open flame to heat the gas mixture that results in the cooling process. I really don't think you want a burning flame inside a sailing vessel. The stoves are bad enough.
- - A sailing vessel is designed to rock and roll and in a seaway pound and crash - not exactly the motions conducive to a stable burning propane flame.
- - There is no real savings to be had by not switching to compressor driven refrigeration, so why press your luck.
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Old 23-05-2011, 11:53   #7
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Re: Propane Refrigerator / Icebox

Propane fridges have to be kept level. That is why you sometimes see them on cats, but very rarely on monohulls. Even on a cat, I would shut off the propane if the seas were enough to rock the boat noticeably.
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