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Old 09-10-2014, 13:52   #16
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

portables and/or off the shelf fridges may be less stress up front. Power consumption at anchor can be a problem. If you have the capacity (meaning, you have a generator) you can swing it but will be listening to the put put for hours a day. Or be tied to shore power at the marina. The portables just don't have the insulation to be efficient. Remember, the OP said "freezer". If that wasn't just a misprint, then he needs some serious insulation to freeze that ice cream, make ice for the pina colades or freeze the mahi mahi. Priorities, right?

If he meant fridge and not freezer, he has more leeway.
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:16   #17
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

Before I rip everything apart to add insulation, I'll go the portable route and run the generator or add as much solar as possible etc.
If he converts his fridge to a freezer, what's he going to do for a fridge?
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:31   #18
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

My fantasy is to have 2 separate units, side by side, powered by 2 separate compressors. Each unit will be insulated to R 30. Each unit will be able to be a freezer. Neither will be very large. Each will have freezer capacity.

On a longer cruise to isolated areas, how much refrigeration capacity can you use? Perishables will do just that, and in short order no matter how good your fridge is. I would use a cooler for that. Freezer capacity is useful for freezing meats for use while on passage, freezing fish caught during passage or at isolated destinations. It will also be used to make ice to fill the cooler to keep it cold in the event I have perishables that need cooling. Separate compressors, while more costly, provide redundancy in case of breakdown. One or both could be used as refrigerators if need for freezing is no longer present.

That's the fantasy, anyway. Really, for long crossings or long times at anchor in an isolated area, what is the ongoing need for refrigeration as opposed to freezing capacity?
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:33   #19
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

I already have a refrigerator, and I don't want a portable on a sailboat. Other people have working freezers on their boats, so I want to make one as well.
I now understand I have to get my insulation as efficient as possible, which I will investigate about this weekend.
In the meantime what about the actual freezer unit and manufacturer?
120 or 12 volts?
Water or air cooled.
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Old 09-10-2014, 14:58   #20
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

Most folks will recommend you use the sealed Dometic units. Most reliable and efficient compressors on the market. Lots of companies use them, Isotherm, Adler Barbour, Coolmatic. The issue is to choose the system that works best for you - components and installation vary. But the heart of the system is the condensing unit.

The issue of what type of unit to buy, water cooled or air cooled, has been debated heavily on this site. Folks will tell you water cooled is essential. The guru, R Kollmann (see kollman-marine.com) highly recommends air cooled. He has been doing this for years and will tell you that air cooled has been used on large and small applications. Very efficient with less complexity and less prone to failure.

When you water cool, you are adding components that wear out. Water cooling requires pumps, which fail and expose these components to sea water, which is corrosive, of course. I have read of keel cooler failures, pump failures, leaking, etc.

I am considering mounting mine in the bilge, up off the "floor". You need to make sure there is room around the unit with proper ventilation.

If you are still considering water cooled, some folks have proposed using one of the water tanks as a heat sink. Plumbing your water cooler into an internal fresh water tank may be an option. Still have to contend with pump failures but no exposure to salt water and no extra holes in your hull.
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Old 09-10-2014, 15:55   #21
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

My icebox is at the back of the boat, the compressor/condenser is in the lazarette, no heat or noise in the boat. I believe some units can run quite long refrigerant lines and still work well
If the condensor is properly sized, air cooled works great, even in pretty high air temps
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Old 09-10-2014, 16:04   #22
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

a64pilot, that is intriguing. I will be looking at that. Long lines may have a downside but having the condensing units in the cockpit area would solve lots of issues. How long can they be? Should the high pressure side be insulated? So many questions!
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Old 09-10-2014, 16:14   #23
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

you know third day sells one is on this site perhaps he would be the one to ask
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Old 09-10-2014, 16:15   #24
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

Although I see high sides insulated on a cooling unit I believe they shouldn't be as your trying to get rid of heat on the high side, why insulate it?
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Old 09-10-2014, 16:18   #25
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

I know nothing of this system, but it advertises the lines can be up to 50' long
http://www.cruiserowaterandpower.com..._Overview.html
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Old 09-10-2014, 16:38   #26
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

Jolly Roger have a look here Refrigerators and Freezers for Boats – Neptune's Gear Ltd for info on what you can do, and my experiences with OZEfrige. All is NOT lost with your system...
Email me from that site if you want any further info.
Cheers
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Old 09-10-2014, 19:20   #27
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

Well, here's my opinion for what it's worth. But it is after many hours of research including reading the reports and long term results from a number of forum members.

Portable units can be an excellent options. From every report I have read by owners of the Engel units they are reliable and use minimal power.

For long term, live aboard it's hard to beat a built in unit.

You will absolutely have to do something about the insulation in the existing box if you want to turn it into a freezer. Even to use as a fridge it needs major upgrade. I had the same problem with the original fridge in my Pearson. Ended up doing a full rebuild. Pulled off the counter top and cut the fiberglass liner into pieces to get it out. Reinsulated the cabinets, cut the old box down to a smaller size, glassed it back together, back into the cabinet, put the cabinets back together. It was a really, really big project but long term I think it's worth it.

Water cooled. All my research and the opinion of many experts; don't do it. My box is about 9 cu ft, including a 1.5 cu ft freezer section. In mid summer in Florida, daily temps in the mid-high 90s, night time lows around 80 in my test run after the initial cool down I was using less than 50 amp hours/day. Hard to imagine it would be any hotter in the Caribbean so I see no reason at all to go water cooled. Water cooled is more expensive, more complex, more potential failure points and in my personal experience not needed.
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Old 09-10-2014, 19:31   #28
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

A couple of other comments.

Regarding adding heat to the cabin from the air cooled unit, didn't do a controlled test but subjectively I could not tell the difference in the boat on the days I tested the fridge vs the days it was off.

This may be helped by the location of the compressor. The unit comes with about 12' of line that allowed me to mount the compressor unit under the floor in a high, dry spot. Even when I lift the hatch over the compressor I don't feel any significant heat coming out.
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Old 09-10-2014, 19:57   #29
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

Tests are not needed in order to determine that, if you take the heat from your reefer box and dump it into the interior of your boat, your interior warms up.
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Old 09-10-2014, 20:45   #30
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Re: What's the best modern freezer unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Tests are not needed in order to determine that, if you take the heat from your reefer box and dump it into the interior of your boat, your interior warms up.
Of course it does. That's basic thermodynamics, law of conservation of energy and all that.

My point is, the heat removed from the fridge and the additional heat generated by the compressor unit were not enough to make the cabin noticeably warmer. This is my subjective observation in really hot, midsummer, Florida weather.

I didn't get a thermometer and measure the temps in different cabins, lockers and boat spaces but if I didn't feel warmer then that's good enough for me.
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