Bluf: Frigoboat keel
cooled or Isotherm
Magnum for 6 cf fridge/freezer (50/50 split) spillover system for full time liveaboard
sailing the Caribbean
We're currently doing a refit
on our new-to-us boat
and we're going to be replacing the refrigeration
system. We *think* the previous owner might have put stop-leak in the lines and ruined the current
system. We're going to be living on the boat
full time soon (cruising Caribbean) and I don't want to be chasing refrigeration
issues on a system that is already compromised so we're just going to start from scratch.
Right now the boat has a single
with a large-ish evaporator (probably 50"x12", though I didn't measure it) in the freezer
and the remnants of a spill over system (fan is there, but not hooked to anything). The entire box space is about 6.5 cuft divided nearly in half (3cf freezer
, 3.5cf fridge).
Originally, I was just going to replace the Frigoboat with an identical system, which would involve removing/replacing the keel cooler
, and we had talked about doing a true split system with separate compressors for each side.
Now that we've started our refit
and have begun removing old stuff off the boat, we've ended up with several unused thru-hull fittings. So now I'm considering replacing the Frigoboat keel cooled setup with an Isotherm
Magnum watercooled system. This would be a pretty straight forward install on our boat as we already have a thru-hull/seacock with a sea-strainer in place and an overboard
drain right next to the compressor
location (aft cockpit
locker). I should note that the Isotherm SP systems won't work
with our layout due to the 3' max distance between the SP thruhull and the compressor.
So I have a few questions. I think I'm going to go ahead and keep the spillover system and get the fan working properly (with thermostat). Does any one have a compelling reason to go with either Frigoboat or Isotherm? Is it worth the extra effort to remove/replace the keel cooler
and stick with the frigoboat system? It seems I can get the Isotherm system for a fair amount cheaper than the Frigoboat, and I think the Isotherm would be an easier install. I'm not thrilled about having a retired-in-place keel cooler though (this is just a personal annoyance, I hate retired-in-place stuff, it just adds clutter to the boat).
Also, how do you size for a spillover system? Everything is rated for a refrigerator
box of a certain size OR a freezer. Right now I'm looking at the Isotherm Magnum 2507, which is listed as being good for a 4.8 cf freezer or a 14.1 cf fridge. My thoughts are that with my system, the 4.8 cf freezer rating should be enough to keep my 3 cf freezer frozen while the spillover system is drawing off cold air for the fridge side.
This got kind of long winded, so I appreciate it if you read this far and would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!