Before leaving the St. Pete area, I bought a 1.2 cubic foot Frigidaire fridge from Sears for $78. Intending to stop buying
ice even while at the dock. It's strapped in the nav station seat now. It draws 65 watts AC when running. Of course start up load is more.
My 700 watt modified sine wave inverter wouldn't start it, but I was going to use it at the dock only. I have since upgraded to a 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter with 2000 watt surge that was on sale
around $300. This was for my computers
and tools but it runs the fridge fine.
I have 210 Ah of AGMs and a new 80 amp alternator
(internal regulator). I killed a 22 year old 55 amp alternator
last week when I absent mindedly turned off the switch before pulling the fuel
off. Damn it, but I got a larger charger
, wind, or generator
, yet. But I have been using the fridge without a problem and not buying
ice for several weeks now. When I motor
, the thermostat is maxed out in the fridge. At anchor
, I turn the stat down a notch. And then unplug the fridge at midnight when I turn in for the night.
Next morning I start the engine
and turn the fridge back to max.
I'm still sorting this out but I think I could leave it on almost all the time. Several sailing only days in a row would be a challenge. But I think running the engine
an hour in the morning and again in the evening would work. I just don't want to charge at no load on the engine much. Or discharge to 50% regularly. If I'm going to sail a long, long day, then I look for an excuse to motor sail for a couple of hours during the day.
So far I haven't gone below 12.2 volts or had any food
spoil, and the engine has started each morning.
I run it while healed also. It only cost $78. I was spending that much on ice every couple of months.
Still would like to do an ice box conversion in the future. But I would consider a retrofit of the guts from this small fridge and some new insulation
in the ice box. I think it would work.