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Thread: Ericson 32-3 Refrigeration

  1. #1
    Principal Partner GrandpaSteve's Avatar
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    Ericson 32-3 Refrigeration

    The Ericson brochure claims the 32-3 icebox is a "6 cubic foot insulated ice box with insulated top and lid". I believe them regarding the insulation, my block ice lasts all weekend.

    To add electric refrigeration, the price of the Isotherm VE150 is tempting, but it says it is for refrigerating 5.3 cubic feet. My goal is to keep a 12 pack of beer and condiments cold between visits (not extended cruising). I'll still put a bag of ice cubes in when I am aboard, and still use block ice when I am cruising for a few days.

    I'm wondering if the 5.3 cubic foot unit will be up to that task?

    Any opinions appreciated.
    Last edited by GrandpaSteve; 03-30-2017 at 07:08 AM. Reason: punctuation
    1987 E32-III "Glory Days"
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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question

    Our ice box volume is less than yours, altho our Isotherm conversion is working fine.
    Bob M, up in Pt Angeles, is installing a similar model in his E-34.
    I am pretty sure that Bob found the guys @ Sure Marine in Seattle to be as helpful as did I.

    While you might have a dealer closer to your home, it might not hurt to dial them up.
    They were patient and helpful with me before and after the sale.
    http://www.suremarineservice.com/iso...sion-kits.aspx

    I would guess that the sizing of the evaporator plate (or freezer box) is the only "variable" for our small ice boxes, given that there are only one or two compressor sizes.

    Regards,
    Loren
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 03-30-2017 at 07:51 AM.
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    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    My guess is that the beer will be cold with such a unit.

    It's easy in the slip, with nobody opening the top all week and the engine not running hot nearby.

    Ventilate the installation. Cooling the icebox makes hot air, and that hot air needs to evacuate or the thing works against itself.

    I have a big cowl vent on the cockpit coaming right over the compressor.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  4. #4
    Principal Partner GrandpaSteve's Avatar
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    I removed a rusted-out non functioning unit when I bought the boat (the boat listing touted "12V refrigeration!"). The compressor was installed starboard and aft of the engine. Actually quite an accessible open area. I think there is a lot of ventilation there, but I can add a flexible duct lead from one of the transom cowls.
    1987 E32-III "Glory Days"
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  5. #5
    Innocent Bystander tenders's Avatar
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    I have the previous model 32 and find that, at least the way I use my boat, that 12V refrigeration is not as helpful as you'd think.

    It uses a lot of energy, ice is required to cool things down quickly initially anyway, and I'm not cruising long enough to push the envelope on cool-vs-cold food.

    Solution: block ice, ice frozen in jugs, and a portable ice maker, $80. Run the ice maker from an inverter at anchor or when on shore power. Once it gets going an ice maker can make quite a bit of ice over the course of a few hours, and it shuts itself off when the water tank is emptied so you aren't likely drain your batteries if you forget about it for a while. If you put the made ice into bags or Tupperware containers, you can run the melt through the ice maker again and refreeze it endlessly.

    When I lived aboard in SoCal I did use the 12V Adler-Barbour reefer constantly, but I was on a dock and had the battery charger on 24/7. This was bad for the batteries and a small 110V fridge would have been better. I have considered cannibalizing a dorm room-style fridge for installation into the icebox, but the AB system has not had the decency to fail since I bought the boat in 1991 and I haven't had the heart or the time to rip out a perfectly good system.
    1969 Ericson 32 #112 • Atomic Four
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    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    My electrician says that recharging of batteries at the dock while running a fridge is not harmful to the batteries, but in fact good for them.

    I wonder who's right. Tom?

    Some units can use AC or DC. That better?
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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Electircal

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    My electrician says that recharging of batteries at the dock while running a fridge is not harmful to the batteries, but in fact good for them.

    I wonder who's right. Tom?

    Some units can use AC or DC. That better?
    We are about to again power up our almost new refrigeration system for another season. It always stays on 24/7, at the dock or away. It's a 12 volt system. Our last house bank made it 9 years.
    I have never heard that running a 12 load while on shore power charging might be bad for the batteries.
    Of course, as they always say: YMMV.

    (I have not tried a system with an AC option.)

    I understand that these modern fridge conversions are extremely efficient, and our experiences seem to confirm this.
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 03-30-2017 at 12:23 PM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
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  8. #8
    Principal Partner Bolo's Avatar
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    Ref in 32-3

    We bought our 32-3 (1987) with a ref unit installed and never had any problems with it. In fact, I think it's the only thing on the boat that we never had a problem with too. Doesn't seems to run the batteries down too fast but need to recharge about the third day on the hook. Don't know what we have installed but can look next time I'm down.
    Bob Skalkowski
    1987 E32 III (#722) - "Vesper"

  9. #9
    Principal Partner GrandpaSteve's Avatar
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    Lots of good input, thanks. Seems like a worthwhile upgrade to me.
    1987 E32-III "Glory Days"
    Hull #711
    Slip in Rock Hall MD.
    Home in Downingtown PA.

  10. #10
    Principal Partner GrandpaSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    My electrician says that recharging of batteries at the dock while running a fridge is not harmful to the batteries, but in fact good for them.

    I wonder who's right. Tom?

    Some units can use AC or DC. That better?
    I think the difference may be that a modern charger and high quality batteries are not degraded by this kind of operation.
    1987 E32-III "Glory Days"
    Hull #711
    Slip in Rock Hall MD.
    Home in Downingtown PA.

  11. #11
    Principal Partner Tom Metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    My electrician says that recharging of batteries at the dock while running a fridge is not harmful to the batteries, but in fact good for them.

    I wonder who's right. Tom?

    Some units can use AC or DC. That better?
    The batteries don't know or care what is running off of the charger. All they care about is that their terminal voltage is higher than their open circuit voltage at that state of charge. In other words, the batteries are taking some charge current.

    If the charger can't supply enough charge voltage the batteries discharge until the voltages are equal while the fridge is actually running, and then when the fridge cycles off the voltage picks up. This is the same as when the bilge pump kicks on, or whatever.

    Assuming a 3 stage/float type charger of sufficient size, I don't see any advantage or disadvantage for the batteries. There would be an advantage if the charger is capable of overcharging the batteries as overcharging would be reduced. If the charger is too small, 5 amp or maybe 10 amp, there would be a problem.

    Obviously, it will take longer to charge the batteries if there are other loads on the charger. An AC-DC unit removes the load while at the dock, but adds another failure mechanism to the mix. I would be more inclined to buy a properly sized charger than spend money on the AC-DC unit unless your boat is a dock queen and is always on shore power.

    I personally run my Adler-Barber 24/7 so I have a cold beer after driving 2 hours to get there, and ice for the admiral's cocktail. It also reduces the amount of stuff we have to carry back and forth. That's important because every year the hill from the boat to the parking lot gets higher, longer, and steeper.
    Tom Metzger
    E-34 Xanthus

  12. #12
    Innocent Bystander tenders's Avatar
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    It is ENTIRELY possible, likely in fact now that I think about it, that it was the charger and not the reefer wearing my batteries out back then. Three-stage chargers did not exist then, at least they did not exist to me; it was a one-stage marine charger that only gave up the ghost last year after a mere 25 years of service. But back in the day the reefer had been the only reason the charger was on all the time, or needed to be.

    Fully acknowledge the criticality of maintaining the temperature and level of the admiral's liquids immediately upon arrival at the flagship. There oughtta be a gauge for that, instead of just a siren. No need to get into the intricacies of dipsticks here.
    1969 Ericson 32 #112 • Atomic Four
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  13. #13
    Principal Partner EGregerson's Avatar
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    reefer madness

    I think that the reefer system i installed 10 years ago was the best thing i've done to the boat; then i think how can that be; how about the new main; or the autopilot? But i usually get back to the reefer. It's just so practical. Esp if ur cruising; then it's essential. Just to keep beer cold? Well, depends on the beer; but you'll likely start using it for more. It adds expense for sure, and some maintenance. If your ice box is drained to the galley sink via hose, (chesapeake bay) humidity will condense and drain into the hose; where stuff will grows. So that needs to be flushed out periodically. Other than that, the reefer in not madness.
    Valinor 1987 E34 Hull#243 2005 Volvo Penta D1-30

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    Magic wires waiting to be found

    It’s about 6 degrees outside right now so crawling around the boat just isn’t t going to happen for a few weeks, but sitting by the fire, looking at the manual, I’m finding the words “wire is std” in the electrical plan. Does that mean I’m going to find a pair of 10 gauge wires somewhere near the back of the ice box when I’m head down in the lazarette? Photographic evidence here: Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Filkee; 03-06-2019 at 06:20 PM.
    1985 E32-3
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  15. #15
    Innocent Bystander tenders's Avatar
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    Or, there’s a good chance you’ll contract an STD while looking for it.

    Don’t say they didn’t warn you, it’s right there in the manual!
    1969 Ericson 32 #112 • Atomic Four
    City Island, NYC
    “Muxie Duxer”
    Hair by Mr. Gigi

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