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Old 12-06-2020, 09:48   #16
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

+1 for a small separate freezer. Store meat, fish (when you have excess) and pre-made meals for easy offshore prep.

Would imagine you could put up a large solar farm on your cat, so power to run a freezer shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Old 12-06-2020, 09:55   #17
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

Depending on how much solar you have or want to ad, I would say the washer is important and maybe make one fridge space into a freezer with some additional insulation.
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:04   #18
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

With a family of 4 / 5 I would get the freezer and try to fit in a washing machine. Otherwise someone will be doing lots of cooking from scratch plus spending hours in a laundry every time you pull into a town. My ex still complains about spending all day at the Geraldton laundrymat doing the laundry for the five of us during our one day stop over (I was shopping & repairing stuff).

Note that you can dismantle washing machines and build in the fittings to take less room.

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Old 12-06-2020, 10:08   #19
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

The laundry is generally a good place to meet other cruisers and locals. Likewise at the hose spigot filling your Jerry cans. Don't want to spend all your time editing videos and ordering replacement parts!
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:35   #20
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

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Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
The problem is it's not just the freezer, it's the extra battery, more solar, bigger alternator. Snowball.
The same is true for a clothes washer. You need a lot of power and water to run it. If you make your own water you need a lot of power for that too.

If you are cruising to remote places a freezer full of you favorite goodies is a very nice luxury.
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:56   #21
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

Freezer - yes.

But I think the answer lies in your cruising grounds as much as anything. We usually go north into remote Canadian waters (probably not this year though) and IF there is a store, it likely has little stock, or unrecognizable stock, or very expensive stock. Nobody's fault, often there is only one road in, or one supply plane, or one boat, whatever. So we do massive provisioning each year before we leave.

On the other hand, if I were cruising in a very populated area, or a tourist destination, I probably wouldn't care.

I'm spoiled, freezer and a washing machine. Life should be good as well as adventurous. Does it complicate the systems? Absolutely yes, but for us it's worth the extra effort (and money). Each family should decide for themselves.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:21   #22
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

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with a family of 4 or 5, that washing machine is going to be useful. Any chance you have room for both even if the freezer is one of the camping types?

WE installed a little 20L freezer over the winter and it has proved very useful for the two of us, even with its limited capacity. We are never going to be more than a couple of days away from shops so it suits us, even though it meant taking a wardrobe out of the stern cabin to make room. The only real issue was finding one that would fit through the door to the cabin which is 14.5" wide.

The result:

My boat lives in a marina day-sailing and some overnights. I installed the 15L version of your freezer to compliment my 40L Engel fridge. The power draw is reasonably small 12v or 120v and work fine with heeling. They work fine for my small boat mostly for beverages and cocktail ice.
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:10   #23
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

Particulary on a boat where the uniform tends to be bathing suite or shorts and T-shirt, washer seems non critical. Most marinas have laundromat facility on site or close by. For me, freezer is critical and second refrigerator optional. Note a full freezer will generally stay cold without power for a day so AC may be a way to keep the investment down if you mostly day sail. For longer sails an inverter or DC freezer is pretty important.
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:25   #24
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

I have yet to see a modern cruising cat family that pays much attention to power use. They just ad more super cheap Chinese solar panels. Even the guys that know better. It's the mc mansions on the water. Just not cheap cracked natural gas nearby. Although, propane is 1/2 price per btu as $2 petrol here in Panama, also.
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:52   #25
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
with a family of 4 or 5, that washing machine is going to be useful. Any chance you have room for both even if the freezer is one of the camping types?

WE installed a little 20L freezer over the winter and it has proved very useful for the two of us, even with its limited capacity. We are never going to be more than a couple of days away from shops so it suits us, even though it meant taking a wardrobe out of the stern cabin to make room. The only real issue was finding one that would fit through the door to the cabin which is 14.5" wide.

The result:
Agreed, the washer will be a big plus and there are several flavors of plug in freezers available for bulk storage since you already have the small freezers for everyday stuff. Marine tech comes to mind but I'm sure there are a lot to choose from.
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Old 12-06-2020, 13:54   #26
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

I never use a freezer

I love my washing machine
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Old 12-06-2020, 14:23   #27
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

Freezer or no freezer.... Aren't they both the same? An efficient compressor with a cold plate in a well insulated box with the thermostat adjusted properly is a freezer. Make the box bigger and vent the smaller freezer portion to a larger box adjacent to the cold plate; then you have a freezer and refrigerator. Open more ventilation between the boxes and change the thermostat setting and it's all refrigerator.

We had an 11 cubic ft. ice box that we reconstructed with extremely good insulation. We added two top access lift doors. One over a two cu.ft. freezer compartment that contained the cold plate and the other over a 4 cu.ft. refrigerator space. The dividing wall had six 1.5" diameter holes with adjustable covers. We used a Technautics "cool blue" system with power supply available from a battery bank maintained with wind generator, solar panel, diesel generator and shore power options.

Having a freezer and a refrigerator is not much different from having either one alone. Why not have both?
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Old 12-06-2020, 14:30   #28
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

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Ice is the perfect energy storage "device". It is a battery that never wears out. The ultimate system would be a freezer that runs when the sun shines. A "wall" of "blue ice" separating the freezer from a fridge compartment rather than the mindless cycling of a fridge, requiring batteries to sustain it. I'm in the process of building exactly this... for at home to operate on solar. A large side by side. The divider mostly removed, and a plastic tank(s) separating the two. The tanks will have euctectic fluid (blue ice). The freezer will run whenever the sun shines, rather than on a thermostat. The blue ice is a battery essentially. It "stores coldness" The thermal mass of the frozen meat, etc, is sufficient that it should last during the hours when the sun doesn't shine... If necessary it can operate on battery power from the house battery bank.

Pound for pound, ice stores the same amount of thermal energy as a deep cycle battery. It requires zero maintenance, and never has to be replaced........ Energy storage doesn't get any better than that! And I won't have to listen to a fridge cycling on and off mindlessly.
You are aware that you are just reinventing the cold plate refrigerator, right? Itís a touch more complex than you describe, especially for frozen food...

They were once popular, but have gone out of fashion for lots of good reasons.
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Old 12-06-2020, 14:33   #29
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

We catch a LOT of fish. We’d be kind of lost without our freezers...
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Old 12-06-2020, 18:31   #30
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Re: Freezer or No Freezer?

We have 1KW of Solar and a Generator - Our RO water maker needs the Generator or mains to Run, so we do not have an issue with power - On good days solar is more than fine, even when the Freezer was running.


Space for the washing machine is more my issue - The current freezer space would have housed a Washing machine nicely with no structural work and easy access to water, drainage and power.


I may look for a new home for the Freezer though.....
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