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Old 06-02-2010, 16:55   #16
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Yeah on the quiet anchorage!
Just for figures, I figured about 3K for solar, charge controller and batteries to be able to supply those 60 amp hrs/day for a SMALL fridge with some backup and without discharging below 50% to try and make the batteries last. Then the unit and the maint. Still worth it if you have it, imho. But as a lux...
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Old 06-02-2010, 16:59   #17
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1.5 amps, wow! How small is your box? Things are getting better all the time!
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Old 07-02-2010, 18:28   #18
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1.5 amps, wow! How small is your box? Things are getting better all the time!
It's using about 3 amps when on, but averaging 1.5 24/7 considering the off cycle. We had an 11 cu ft ice box that we carefully insulated to 6.5 freezer/refrigerator. Of course, more efficient in the winter than the summer. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 07-02-2010, 18:39   #19
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Thanks. 6.5 sounds pretty darn big. More than enough for the leftovers. Actually bigger than I would expect at that draw. Things have gotten more efficient.
Tropics?
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Old 08-02-2010, 19:46   #20
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Iceboxs.....you gotta be a masochist to have one on a boat. Hauling ice, removing melt water, running out of ice altogether.

My first boat had an icebox built into the cockpit seat. It was fairly big, you could fit 2 cases of 24 beer into it and a block of ice on top. Which we did the first weekend out sailing. The ice lasted about 6hrs, the cases became soaked and disintegrated, and the beer was all over the bottom in about 3 inches of water. Hmmm.

Crawling under the cockpit I found the Icebox was a simple fiberglas box raised up on legs til it hit the underside of the cockpit seat. No insulation what so ever. I used a coleman cooler for the rest of the summer. But the icebox did make a nifty lifejacket locker.

Espina has a built in box of stainless steel, insulated with some sort of batting. Its not fiberglas as the boat was built long before fiberglas battens were common. I think its wood fiber or maybe fleece. It isn't asbestos. It has two levels in it, a raised shelf for the ice with a rim about an inch high and the food goes in the lower area. There was a drain but that was plugged so now the ice melts and the food drowns unless you stay on top of it. I'm going to put the blocks of ice in a battery box and use that to lift the water out. I have to get that drain re-done at some point.

Sabre Dance has a foam insulated reefer with a cold plate in it. 1978 vintage and I expect it will kill my batteries in short order. I haven't run it yet. I'm thinking that will be something to test this summer as I work on her, to keep the beer cool.

I suspect a rebuild is in order, as the newer units use way less power. I can also see about increasing the insulation. But for myself, I think a reefer is the way to go.


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Old 09-02-2010, 05:24   #21
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Thanks. 6.5 sounds pretty darn big. More than enough for the leftovers. Actually bigger than I would expect at that draw. Things have gotten more efficient.
Tropics?
I'm not now cruising in the tropics. We spend most of our time between Maine and the Bahamas. Certainly the ambient air temperature at the heat exchange unit will be the factor most affecting efficiency after the box insulation. A well vented location outside the engine room would be best. They often end up in the engine room and do well, but spend more time in the running cycle. As mentioned, my technautics "cool blue" draws 3 amps while on, so adjusting the thermostat also affects to on cycle length and my total energy needs. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 28-03-2010, 22:01   #22
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Still weighing my options on this.

We will be living aboard dockside for a majority of the time so I will be on shore power. As for time away from the dock, we can just adjust our eating habits to accmodate the lack of a refer.

I am looking into the various retrofit packages available. We'll see.
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Old 04-04-2010, 18:36   #23
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Does anyone use propane or diesel fired fridges? They are popular with the off grid crowd and RVers but I am not sure they would stand the tilting involved with sailing.

I recently emailed the guy who is redesigning the Crowley Icey Ball. It is intended for third world countries with fire and not much else. He said he is still working on making it strong enough. It would be perfect for me. Heat it up after morning coffee and Ice for the day!! (Adam Grosser and his sustainable fridge | Video on TED.com)
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Old 05-04-2010, 22:43   #24
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We had a fridge/freezer and an icebox big enough to have a bath in. I converted the icebox into a freezer unit and still use ice in it, when I can get it. I use the freezer unit to keep it cold, longer. We can keep our block ice for about 2-3 weeks and it takes beer from room temp to frosty in 15min.
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Old 05-04-2010, 22:57   #25
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For years and years I did a daily ice run while on the hook. All you need to make it happen is a great dink and a hefty enough engine to get it up on the plane. (And cruising plans where you'll always anchor within a few nautical miles of an ice machine.)

At some point we realized that most of our cruising plans were being decided by the availability of ice. That's right around the point where we discovered the freedom (and tyranny) of refrigeration.

But there are times, these days, when I'm on the hook and I feel like making an ice run in the dink just for the heck of it.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:29   #26
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Those who remember refrigeration units as expensive, clunky, fragile, power hungry things should look at today's technology. They just aren't that way anymore. The new 12V Danfoss variable speed compressors are small (grapefruit size), extremely power efficient, very robust and the costs of the systems are reasonable (certainly far less than the 4k mentioned). You can expect to install and forget these systems, with the exception of making sure the cooling fins are free of dust bunnies once a year or so.

The ONLY people we have met out here with refrigeration problems have either older engine driven units with pulley alignment or mounting issues and long hose runs, or they have 20+yr old 12V systems. The single problem with the 20+yr old 12V systems is loss of refrigerant due to pinholes in the aluminum evaporator plates and the general unavailability of R12 refrigerant today. This should probably be expected at 20 year intervals.

Of course, you must have a well-insulated box to begin with. If the box on the Newport 30 is insulated well (I'll bet it isn't), you should be able to install a quality reefer unit yourself for under $1,000 and expect it to use 25-40 amp hours per day. Probably less in Portland.

We cruise full time in the tropics and have a 4cf freezer set at 5* spilling over into a 6cf reefer set at 34*. The system uses 50-60 amp hours per day (I continual measure this through a meter) and hasn't provided a lick of problems in many years of continual use.

If you are living aboard full time and can afford the 30Ah daily power, why would you not have refrigeration? I'll bet no one has an icebox at home as their primary food keeper, and fresh foods are much more readily and easily obtained when you can drive to a major supermarket at whim.

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Old 22-04-2010, 12:57   #27
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Does anyone use propane or diesel fired fridges? They are popular with the off grid crowd and RVers but I am not sure they would stand the tilting involved with sailing.
The big problem is carbon monoxide! On the RV its vented to the outside. On your boat, it builds up inside.
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Old 22-04-2010, 13:50   #28
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I still love my ENGEL.

2.7amps on freeze mode and about 1.5 to keep my beer at 29*.

I have an 85watt solar panel and a 400watt (only in my windiest dreams) wind generator and 2 160Ah batteries. They keep up with the fridge all year. It will run off 110vac when available and automatically switch to 12vdc when the 110 goes away. Nice since you don't ever have to worry about forgetting to turn it on or off and having all your beer get warm.(or your food go bad)just leave it plugged into both all the time.

I almost never use shore power even when at the dock just to keep my batteries working. I hear letting them sit without discharge for to long helps them die quicker.

Check out the ENGEL. They ARE pricey but I've never seen one break or wear out.....m
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Old 22-04-2010, 14:08   #29
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Two problems with gas powered fridges. The first is they need to be run on the level. Even a multi can heal enough to cause a problem. At anchor, they should work okay except for the second problem. The flame can blow out and the combustion gases need to be vented. They have to be installed where they will not be exposed to wind which could blow out the flame. Assume most of the modern fridges have a thermocouple to turn off the gas if the flame goes out which does negate the problem somewhat.

They should have a way to capture the combustion gases and vent them overboard. This would require some pretty elaborate metal work as they are designed to vent to the surrounding environment. You'd have to find a way to capture the gases.

I lived on gas refrigeration for many years and they do work though forget self defrosting. Gas consumption is a bit high for a boat but a 10 gallon tank will last for a couple of months with a 10 cubic foot frig.

With the efficiency of modern dc fridges and solar/wind power, think that would be the best way to go.
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Old 22-04-2010, 18:11   #30
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The gas and diesel fridges I know must be vented to the outside. They have a small stovepipe that wouldn't be any more trouble in a boat that in a house, cabin or RV. Just like a propane boat heater, solid fuel or diesel stove The diesel/kerosine fridge uses an aladin lamp wick and is rather efficient. Might help keep the diesel tank fresh...But if they have to be run on the level I guess a few thousand bucks in solar pannels is in order...and a larger battery bank, charge controler, and the 12v fridge unit itself...seems like 3-4K to me......(that's alot of ice but way more convenient!)
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