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Old 08-02-2012, 10:18   #31
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

The first real long blue water cruise under sail I took in 1956, my brother and I sailed from San Diego to Hilo in a wooden klinker hulled folk boat. we had a toilet seat tyed to the shrouds, a wood stove no ice or refer, 20 gals of water and jerry jugs. took 21 days ! we had a blast!! But you know, theres no way I would ever do it again !! I know how, but Why??? with whats out there today no way will i go with out a frig/frez and hot water !!and I don't even drink beer !! and our engine was a long shaft sea gull LOL most everybody on here except for a few don't remember those !! just a old cruisers 2 cents Bob and Connie
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:21   #32
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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and our engine was a long shaft sea gull LOL most everybody on here except for a few don't remember those !! just a old cruisers 2 cents Bob and Connie
Ha! I actually bought your SeaGull 2nd hand when I came of that age around '75 and hated every minute I had it

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:26   #33
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

We have a small Engel fridge (the smallest they sell, in fact). It uses maybe 30-40 amp hours a day and keeps cold. Normally there's no fridge when we're on the hook somewhere, but we had our newborn daughter and needed to keep breast milk cold.

The fridge has been great. 90% of our stuff (eggs, butter, and other normally cooled items included) stays out, but for the things we want to keep chilled it works great. A cold beer every now and then, meats, fresh dairy, and other things in that vein do well in the fridge.

At $800, 30-40 AH, and about the size of a medium suitcase it's been worth it for us. Also, you can flip the knob and put it on a freezer setting. So if you don't need anything "cool" but you want to leave for a big trip with tons of frozen products, that's an option as well.

We've had some really hot days where our former Norcold (nicknamed "Notcold") holding plate system just couldn't keep up and our Engel chugs along no problem.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:49   #34
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

We aren't full-time liveaboards, so I'm always interested in hearing from those with more experience.

When we do cruise we are on the boat for between 30 and 40 days at a stretch, with no resupply (and usually nothing but remote anchorages). Our previous boat had a cooler -- no fridge, so after the first week the ice box simply became another dry storage area. Yeah, I missed the cold beer, but other than that, it was no hardship to eat well, and with style (we are both good cooks), using a combo of dried, canned and fresh food. As has been stated, most foods do quite well without refrigeration. The main exception is animal products: meat, butter, milk, etc.

Our current boat did come with a fridge. I love the cold beer, and we do take more meat now. So is it a necessity? From my more limited experience, I don't think so, but perhaps I'll change once we move on board full-time (date approaching!).
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:06   #35
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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We have a small Engel fridge (the smallest they sell, in fact). It uses maybe 30-40 amp hours a day and keeps cold. Normally there's no fridge when we're on the hook somewhere, but we had our newborn daughter and needed to keep breast milk cold.
Exactly, the Engel fridges are great. When not in use they can be considered regular storage, making up a lot for the space they take.

Let me add here a word about a mistake often made by boats coming to the tropics from moderate to cold climates: do not underestimate the heat. Even expensive boats like Contests or Hallberg Rassys will get into trouble with fridges and freezers that have insufficient insulation. It is not the fridge that stops working, it is moving from moderate to tropical climate that is causing the problems. The heat-load on the box increases so much that the compressor is running 24x7 until that isn't enough anymore either.
Somebody wrote about adding extra insulation to a box in Mexico: that is exactly the right thing to do... replacing the compressor or evaporator doesn't help.

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Old 08-02-2012, 11:07   #36
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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All that preach to go without fridge are living in houses with fridges and freezers and what not

The ones that truly go without are eating cold beans straight from cans because it makes them feel tough and macho

Us wimps on the other hand, have fridges and freezers aboard and prepare meals that are a form of art. Strangely, all those who have no fridge aboard would love to be invited for a cold beer (wonder why that isn't a subject yet) and dinner... while they themselves can never return the favor because they have no cold beers and dinner to serve. Guess what, polarizing starts right there

The end result is that those who can't afford a fridge come up with a thousand excuses and reasons why it is better without a fridge. They still fish for invitations though...

ciao!
Nick.
i was not preaching to go without a fridge, just saying for what worth when i had one on board i could be bothered as i found i could easly do without. In differnt situations my priorities may well change.

you are wrong that i would be fishing for a cold beer, cant stand the crap hot cold other otherwise, Now a glass of realy cold water on a hot day, lol. Thanks for the invertation BTW i dont eat hot beans either so if thats the best you can offer i skip dinner thanks.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:09   #37
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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and lets face it.. your more likely to get botulism from TacoBell or Mc Crap than from one of my curry's...
It'd immunise you from anything for a month
and revitalise your vitals...
Actually, not likely. You may be more likely to pick up salmonella or some other nasty associated with hygiene.

Doing things like leaving rice out, or holding food in a sealed vessel without refrigeration is a prime way to breed the little beasties that produce the toxin. And once you have the toxin heat doesn't kill it, only the bacteria (as long as you get hot enough for long enough).
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:11   #38
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

"When we do cruise we are on the boat for between 30 and 40 days at a stretch, with no resupply (and usually nothing but remote anchorages). Our previous boat had a cooler -- no fridge, so after the first week the ice box simply became another dry storage area. Yeah, I missed the cold beer, but other than that, it was no hardship to eat well, and with style (we are both good cooks), using a combo of dried, canned and fresh food. As has been stated, most foods do quite well without refrigeration. The main exception is animal products: meat, butter, milk, etc. "

Yes, It's do-able. We did pretty much the same thing on a trip to Mexico in the mid 80's. We had a small fridge box and a cheap cold machine.... but we had no way to keep the batteries up. Just had the stock volvo alternator (35 amp?) and two car batteries. We learned to live without it. We'd pick up a convenient block of ice now and then, run the fridge only when motoring to help make the ice last or cool a beer. Used tub margarine, and b ought fresh every chance we got etc. We ate a lot of fresh seafood that we caught though. We also made fish jerky which was excellent... sun dried....
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:25   #39
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
As has been stated, most foods do quite well without refrigeration. The main exception is animal products: meat, butter, milk, etc.
Yes it is stated and might be true for moderate to cold climates, but not in the tropics, which is where most boats that head out for full time cruising go. In the tropics, most fresh vegetables will not keep for 3 hours outside refrigeration. Same for fruits; best you can do is hang them in a net in the shade but open air. The birds and bats will get to it there too. Bats will even come inside the boat to get the bananas.

Most cruisers eat meat and fish. These go bad within hours also. Your only chance is to cook a stew and re-heat it to boiling a couple times a day which might stretch it to three days before it goes bad.

After just a year living aboard in the unpolluted air and eating fresh food, you will start to dislike the chemical tasting preservatives from canned food to the level of not being able to eat it anymore. And that is besides the question if they are healthy or not. There are some exceptions:

- canned sardines, tuna, salmon, mussels etc.
- canned stewed tomatoes
- some canned vegetables like spinach, bamboo-shoots, water chestnuts, patatoes, kidney beans etc.

the rest incl. meats is mostly horrible, but there are exceptions like the stewed duck we got in the French islands. The worst we tasted was the "Chunky soups" from the USA and the "Parmalat" milk from Italy. Those are mostly chemicals I recon.

Somebody mentioned smoking meats and fish. This works great. Also, a good sourdough culture will keep your bread good much longer. But you will need to use it daily without a fridge (can store in a fridge for a week at least before feeding the culture again). Regular yeast will spoil quickly but the dried ones stay good for months. Years if stored in the freezer.

We have found some veggies that are easy to grow aboard: bean sprouts and garden cress. These need no soil to grow. Sprouting in particular can extend time away from shops considerably.

ciao!
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:25   #40
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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do not underestimate the heat.
Even in Southern California you can see it happen. In the winter with upper 50 water temperatures anything stays cool in the in-hull fridge compartments. But when it gets up into the low 70's, it's nearly impossible to keep up. Things stay sort-of-cool and you gobble up insane power trying to keep up.

And while I'm not into the throw-it-away-when-broke culture, it's nice to know that for $800 I can drop in a brand new unit and the swap will take me ten minutes including patting myself on the back.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:32   #41
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

Yeah, On a budget or smaller boat, I would think the small engel would be a great compromise to having solar, wind, high amp alternator etc and the related maintenance and expense. Would one solar panel mostly keep up with the engel?
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:38   #42
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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Actually, not likely. You may be more likely to pick up salmonella or some other nasty associated with hygiene.

Doing things like leaving rice out, or holding food in a sealed vessel without refrigeration is a prime way to breed the little beasties that produce the toxin. And once you have the toxin heat doesn't kill it, only the bacteria (as long as you get hot enough for long enough).
leaving rice out over night has never made me ill (yet) but i do it in such a way as to ensure that roaches dont get anywhere near it,

Food that has been cooked, especial those containg animal protens should be held above 60c or chilled to below 5c. The exception to this is were the food is sealed in a container where all of the content including any air has been heated beyond 87C and held at that tempture for a period of time. That why i would only do that in a presure cooker and then only when i have reheated it to boiling point to ensure that it is full of steam. Then take it off its heat source and total close the vent. Total agree about the toxins, they are only distroyed when you are cremated
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:39   #43
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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Even in Southern California you can see it happen. In the winter with upper 50 water temperatures anything stays cool in the in-hull fridge compartments. But when it gets up into the low 70's, it's nearly impossible to keep up.
Right now it is winter here in Panama. The water temperature at the surface is about 32C which is 90F. Swimming is almost like cooking yourself. The refreshing part is coming out wet into the breeze.

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Old 08-02-2012, 11:52   #44
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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Yeah, On a budget or smaller boat, I would think the small engel would be a great compromise to having solar, wind, high amp alternator etc and the related maintenance and expense. Would one solar panel mostly keep up with the engel?
The Engel uses more energy that a build-it-yourself box of equal volume powered by any Danfoss based compressor. The Engel will be cheaper unless you buy bare components instead of Frigoboat modules.

Today nothing will beat solar not even when the cost is taken in account; we have China to thank for that as the prices came down all the way to cheap. A panel that cost me $700 in 2005 is available for $100 today. If you use them to power a fridge and freezer and take adventage by buying frozen foods when they are affordable and eating from the freezer when the local foods are expensive, you will earn the cost of the panels back within a year or two.

The cost of food and drink are hugely different from one place to another even if they are very close together. a can of beer that costs $0.70 in Miami, will cost $5.00 in Bimini, a merely 50 miles away. That is 7 times as much. Most fresh fruits are unaffordable in the French islands in the south Pacific. A single grapefruit might cost you 8 euro's (yes that is $10.00). This is where canned fruits become important

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Old 08-02-2012, 11:56   #45
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Re: Living Without a Fridge

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leaving rice out over night has never made me ill (yet) but i do it in such a way as to ensure that roaches dont get anywhere near it,

Food that has been cooked, especial those containg animal protens should be held above 60c or chilled to below 5c. The exception to this is were the food is sealed in a container where all of the content including any air has been heated beyond 87C and held at that tempture for a period of time. That why i would only do that in a presure cooker and then only when i have reheated it to boiling point to ensure that it is full of steam. Then take it off its heat source and total close the vent. Total agree about the toxins, they are only distroyed when you are cremated

Rice is the number one thing that makes people sick from leftover Chinese take out. It is the perfect breeding ground when not stored properly. Moist, self sealing (can make the anaerobic environment) and if stored out of the fridge will sit in the danger zone.

People have do things with food storage because they did them in the old days that way (my grandmother did it) and don't get sick. It is dodging bullets. The botulism toxin is one of the most (if not the most) toxic thing on the planet. You can't smell it, you can't taste it, and it is a horrible way to die.

Is your pressure cooker also a canner? Not all are capable.
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