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Old 29-09-2020, 13:09   #1
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Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

My galley down design is driving me nuts.

You need to have the stove/oven, sink and refrigerator in a small area in a properly designed kitchen, even on a boat.

I want to use a decent size home refrigerator/freezer, but due to the fact that boats aren’t square, they don’t fit!

What do you think the feasibility is of cutting the back of the refrigerator near the bottom 1/3 to match the hull shape?

I’m actually considering building a custom front opening refrigerator but I’d much rather modify an existing one to save time/money.

Is this possible?

The refrigerator would be placed athwart ships so the backside of it would need a curve cut out of it to match the hull it needs to cozy up against. The most would be taken from the very bottom of the refrigerator, then less and less cut off as you go higher up the refrigerator, matching the curve of the hull.

The bottom 1/3 of the refrigerator is the only part that would need modification.
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Old 29-09-2020, 13:34   #2
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

Most home refrigerators the bottom 1/3 in the back houses the mechanical bits - compressor, controls, tubing to the evaporator, tubing to condenser. It might be possible to move these on some refrigerators without violating the reefer box itself. Would be very dependent on the exact models, etc. Otherwise I think you'll find evaporators and condensers take up a fair amount of the back of most boxes, and once you start cutting into those I suspect it will lose its feasibility.
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Old 29-09-2020, 13:50   #3
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

I would think using a standard marine compressor/condenser unit back in the engine room would be a better solution. You could make a custom top loading box, using house construction type foam board, and get better insulation value than home most home fridges.
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Old 29-09-2020, 13:57   #4
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

As noted you will most likely be cutting into critical bits in the fridge if you cut away the section you propose.

Custom build one in or buy a smaller unit that will fit.
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Old 29-09-2020, 14:10   #5
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

My cat's down galley had a home style/apt style fridge. Not full size, but that style. What's the depth you have available?
Most fridges have the cooling radiator on the back top ~2/3 dont they? So the bottom actually isn't the deepest part.
How about two small ones one for freezer and the other for fridge?
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Old 29-09-2020, 17:33   #6
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Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

I tried this a few years back.

It did not end well.

The first horrible discovery I made was that the condenser coil was plumbed into the shell of the fridge, unlike the fridge pictured above.

After four hours of carefully extracting it from the poured foam in which it was encased I bumped it slightly at which point it cracked and all the gas escaped.

The whole lot went on the rubbish pile after that.
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Old 29-09-2020, 17:46   #7
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

Not to burst your bubble, but home fridges are very inefficient in general, depending on constant availability of ac current to make up for it. Are you planning to run generator power 24/7/365? I’d hate that, personally.

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Old 29-09-2020, 17:53   #8
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

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Originally Posted by mlydon View Post
Not to burst your bubble, but home fridges are very inefficient in general, depending on constant availability of ac current to make up for it. Are you planning to run generator power 24/7/365? I’d hate that, personally.

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1400 watt solar array, generator backup. Ought to cover it.
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Old 29-09-2020, 17:59   #9
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

Build a high quality built in unit.
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Old 29-09-2020, 18:00   #10
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Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

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Originally Posted by mlydon View Post
Not to burst your bubble, but home fridges are very inefficient in general, depending on constant availability of ac current to make up for it. Are you planning to run generator power 24/7/365? Id hate that, personally.

Matt


My thought too, but SailorChic (I think) did some numbers on it a few years back and it was better than expected. Not great, from memory, but not horrendous.
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Old 29-09-2020, 18:02   #11
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

Poster Bill Seal got it right. Build a box and fit the compressor somewhere you dont want noise. Get a Samsung scroll compressors.
Id build two boxes with thick 4 insulation. One freeze top load.
Refer front door maybe draws.
We have two commercial 24 refrigerators. The top a door, the bottom two draws. Freezer top load.
Drawings would help...not engineering, just a sketch.
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Old 29-09-2020, 18:04   #12
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

Oh boy. I thought it was you to be a bad plan. I guess it’s pretty much confirmed.

This problem is getting quite frustrating. What I truly need is a shallow depth, but very wide, side by side refrigerator/freezer. Something like 18” or 20” deep and 48+” wide.

My hulls are extremely narrow at the cabin sole. None too wide at the bridge deck level, I have a very high bridge deck and a very short girlfriend.

The perfect storm of a design nightmare.

A dorm refrigerator doesn’t work well on the bridge deck because it’s quite high to reach. The cabin sole can’t go higher because the headspace above gets too short.

Then there is the matter of if I could use just one refrigerator/freezer instead of a refrigerator and separate chest freezer that I would save significant power.

I have a spot at the aft most watertight bulkhead where the doors of a refrigerator could open forward toward the bow and it would have a square area to exist.

However, this is a mile/kilometer from the galley I’m trying to relocate to approximately the center (in a fore and aft sense) near the dagger board trunks.

I could put up with the long walk back to the refrigerator at the aft watertight bulkhead, but that also puts a lot of weight aft I’m trying to move forward.

This galley design has been killing me because they don’t make a refrigerator that will fit and I really don’t want to build one or go against the design philosophy of the boat which is:

“Use simple, non-marine, off the shelf components that are inexpensive and easily replaced... have no through hulls below the waterline “
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Old 29-09-2020, 18:11   #13
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
My cat's down galley had a home style/apt style fridge. Not full size, but that style. What's the depth you have available?
Most fridges have the cooling radiator on the back top ~2/3 dont they? So the bottom actually isn't the deepest part.
How about two small ones one for freezer and the other for fridge?
Actually, this is the kind of refrigerator I was picturing doing this to.

See how you could cut into the bottom of it and move the compressor (theoretically)? You could leave the condenser alone on the back.

The issue is I’m trying to see if I can fit it with the condenser coils up against the outboard side of a hull.

Because my hulls are so narrow at the cabin sole, it would take up the entire cabin sole and not allow passage through past the refrigerator if I just put at the hull centerline .

I should make some drawings
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Old 29-09-2020, 18:17   #14
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlydon View Post
Not to burst your bubble, but home fridges are very inefficient in general, depending on constant availability of ac current to make up for it. Are you planning to run generator power 24/7/365? I’d hate that, personally.

Matt
Absolutely!

Household fridges don't have decent insulation and therefore are heavy on power use.

Don't think about butting the fridge up against the hull as the heat from the seawater will go straight through the hull and insulation and then into the fridge.(You must allow air to circulate around the unit)

I notice the catamarans around Florida use household fridges but they have enormous array of solar panels too so power does not seem to be a problem.

https://www.keoghsmarine.com.au/ARTI...-REFRIGERATION
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Old 29-09-2020, 18:57   #15
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Re: Getting Desperate- Modify the Shape of Store Bought Refrigerator?

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Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
Absolutely!

Household fridges don't have decent insulation and therefore are heavy on power use.

Don't think about butting the fridge up against the hull as the heat from the seawater will go straight through the hull and insulation and then into the fridge.(You must allow air to circulate around the unit)

I notice the catamarans around Florida use household fridges but they have enormous array of solar panels too so power does not seem to be a problem.

https://www.keoghsmarine.com.au/ARTI...-REFRIGERATION

1400 watt solar array.

And they use around 70 amp hours in a 24 hour period.

When the sun is up I have oodles of excess power. It’s during the overnight, when it uses 35 amp hours that I have to worry. But 440AH battery bank gives me plenty of power.


It’s a geometry problem, not an energy problem.

And just out of curiosity I checked. My hull has an R value in excess of 4.2.
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