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  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
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  2. #2
    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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  3. #3
    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.
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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.
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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.
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  6. #6
    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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  7. #7
    Contributing Member I
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrandpaSteve View Post
    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.
    Have you considered maybe just a portable DC fridge? The good ones aren't cheap (about the same price as the unit you're looking at) but it keep the sodas so cold that when I open them they instantly freeze (you can turn it down)! they'll also freeze fish rock hard. draws no more than 2.5 amps with no peak voltage and can operate in vibration and 30 degrees inclination. compressor/motor only has one single moving part. Engle fridge.

  8. #8
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    my question may be a little off the topic but I saw the remark on the "magic wire" and have a question about a wire connected to the DC panel breaker labeled "refrigeration". I have a Frigoboat refer in the port refer space, the second replacement so I dont know if a refer was factory installed. Anyway, the PO must have rewired the refer so it is wired directly to the house battery bank ahead of the main battery switch (with an inline fuse) so the refer is always connected to the battery even if the main battery switch is off. That seems sensible to me, I also have an AC (shore power) connection so that the shore power powers the refer when I am connected to the shore power, also sensible.

    Now I needed to connect a 12 receptacle for charging my iphone and the PO installed such a plug in receptacle but it is not powered when the house bank is switched on, even with all the ckt breakers on. Looking behind the panel, I see that the ground lead for the receptacle is connected properly but the red lead for +12 V is dangling loose. I am looking for a suitable circuit breaker to connect it so I will have a 10A fuse capability but none are "free". I would like to remove the wire going to the "refrigeration" breaker but do not know what this wire does, I have never turned it on, and the refer works fine. In fact some PO put a piece of black tape over the label. Any ideas what the refrigeration wire does or did do

    Also just below this refrigertion breaker, is another breaker with black tape and underneath is the label, "oven". Also this switch has never been turned on and the oven/stove (natural compressed gas fed) works fine.

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Regarding the interior size of the factory ice box --
    Best just measure it. The brochure info may be uncorrected, plus or minus. Also, if the cooling capacity of the model you are installing is close, it will probably do just fine.

    Because of hull curvature, our ice box interior molding is shaped like (sort of) a larger upper "box" on top of a lower "box" shape. I measured both sections, in inches. Adding up the resulting cubic inch volumes I had the interior total volume. Empirical methods are best for some things.

    Ours was factory insulated with rigid foam on all sides and the bottom, altho the top lid was only plywood. I added a 1" piece of foil-face rigid insulation under the lid and also a thin foam gasket under the lid flange to stop air and moisture from sneaking in and adding to the ice buildup on the evaporator.

    I also added some closed cell foam around the 3 sides of the outside that I could, with difficulty, reach from under the counter. Long arms and modest swearing will be needed.
    These are details that do add up to more efficiency.

    We have an RF remote temp readout (often on sale for about $12.) at Camping World, and can monitor the inside fridge temp while sitting at the nav. desk. Normally about 38 degrees F.
    Enjoying our fridge for well over a decade, we would probably place this "luxury" at the top of the comfort and convenience list for boat projects.
    It really changes being aboard to Living vs Camping out.
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  10. #10
    Principal Partner GrandpaSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabriel View Post
    Have you considered maybe just a portable DC fridge? The good ones aren't cheap (about the same price as the unit you're looking at) but it keep the sodas so cold that when I open them they instantly freeze (you can turn it down)! they'll also freeze fish rock hard. draws no more than 2.5 amps with no peak voltage and can operate in vibration and 30 degrees inclination. compressor/motor only has one single moving part. Engle fridge.
    Here is what I ended up doing (photos taken before the wires were tidy):
    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...l=1#post121961
    1987 E32-III "Glory Days"
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    Slip in Rock Hall MD.
    Home in Downingtown PA.

  11. #11
    Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm Geoff W.'s Avatar
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    Tried adding the foam insulation to the fridge yesterday, as shown here:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I thought it was a pretty slick fit but after running the fridge all night (empty) the top rack shows 25F... The bottom is even colder. not sustainable.

    Maybe I need to try a different thermostat controller? Not sure how modular these things are, but it's frustrating having to do a dance of constant monitoring with the freeze plate.
    Last edited by Geoff W.; 06-10-2019 at 07:57 AM.
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