Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Reefer Madness.....Need Recs.

  1. #1
    Contributing Partner
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    184

    Reefer Madness.....Need Recs.

    As we enter season number four with our 34-2 I've decided that I'm tired of stopping for ice every time we go to the boat (The guys at the bait shop call me "Johnny two bags") and that the time to install refrigeration has finally come.
    I plan on using the starboard side icebox and was wondering about the pros and cons of different units others have used in this application.
    Thanks.
    1987 34-2
    Tortuga
    Universal M25XP

  2. #2
    Contributing Partner
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Boston - Maine
    Posts
    114
    I am finding that the bulk of my ice use is for drinks on day trips. For longer trips I freeze gallon jugs of water for the cooler, and get fresh water as the end result, and longer trips are typically planned in advance so this isn't a problem. This is all pointing me towards putting an ice-maker onboard vs. restoring the fridge in to the cooler. Thinking about adapting the wine-rack I never use to shelve in an ice maker. Any extra ice I'd put in the cooler in a bag and I would just run the ice maker when the engine's running or the sun is over the panel. I have the inverter (can't seem to find any affordable 12V ice maker) just haven't tried a maker onboard yet and wonder if anyone here has gone that route.

  3. #3
    Contributing Partner
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    180
    I've got a pretty good refer on mine, but it's not good at making ice (unless I want everything in the ice box frozen as well). My needs are for ice on longer ( one to two week) cruises for drinks and requires I head back to port every 3 or 4 days. I've also been looking at the small AC icemakers the last few days. Not totally happy with what I've found so far. First would really like to find a 12v unit and surprised I haven't seen one yet. Maybe need to check out RV or trucking websites?

    Also have seen a lot of customer comments on the quality of the ice produced. Some of the cheaper units seem to make 'soft' ice which may not last long in a cooler I'm thinking. Others make 'hard clear' ice. Prices seem to range from around $120 to $240.

    Anyway still looking. Would be nice not to have to return to a marina just to enjoy my Gibson after anchoring.

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  4. #4
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Portland, OR. Columbia River
    Posts
    7,604
    Blog Entries
    63

    Lightbulb Ice on hand

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin A Wright View Post
    I've got a pretty good refer on mine, but it's not good at making ice (unless I want everything in the ice box frozen as well). My needs are for ice on longer ( one to two week) cruises for drinks and requires I head back to port every 3 or 4 days. I've also been looking at the small AC icemakers the last few days. Not totally happy with what I've found so far. First would really like to find a 12v unit and surprised I haven't seen one yet. Maybe need to check out RV or trucking websites?

    Also have seen a lot of customer comments on the quality of the ice produced. Some of the cheaper units seem to make 'soft' ice which may not last long in a cooler I'm thinking. Others make 'hard clear' ice. Prices seem to range from around $120 to $240.

    Anyway still looking. Would be nice not to have to return to a marina just to enjoy my Gibson after anchoring.

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy
    FWIW... we find that if we put a bag of cubes from the vending machine into a couple of Tupperware (r) containers and put them in the lower part of our ice box, the nominal internal temperature in there with our refrigeration on all the time is about 36 deg., and that ice remains almost completely un-melted and ready for drinks for 5 days or a bit more.

    i.e. when the ambient temp is that low, the ice melts verrrrrry slowly.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  5. #5
    Contributing Partner
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    180
    Loren, the ice problem has less to do with the ambient temperature than with my crew's affinity for well shaken martinis and gibsons They will easily go through half a bag in an evening if I'm not careful. Just need a way to generate it fast enough to keep up with them. Especially when there are 4 of us on board.

    I've taken to starting with 2 bags in the icebox which takes up most of the room in there and keeps my wife's bottled water icy, but actually will last for several days as long as you don't open the lid every 5 minutes. I raid that for the drinks. I also start with a block and a bag of cubes in the refer. The block to keep things cold so I don't have to run the refer at night or on the hook and the cubes as 'backup' when the icebox is empty.

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  6. #6
    Principal Partner steven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Annapolis
    Posts
    372
    I too freeze gallon jugs of water and sometimes orange juice. Pack several into the reefer.
    Also to conserve coolth a cork stopper in the drain helps. Lots of cold air goes down the drain.

    The big one though is location relative to the engine. If nearby, running your engine for just a little while puts lots of heat into the reefer. Also a nearby engine can defeat a refrigerator. Extra insulation is required on the engine side of cold storage. When next I design a boat the engine (if it is not electric) will be well separated from the cold storage.

    If I am planning more than a few days, adding dry ice can really help.

    --Steve
    Last edited by steven; 06-11-2019 at 05:30 PM.
    Steve and Paula
    Indigo E35-2 #446
    Annapolis

  7. #7
    Contributing Member III
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cabrillo
    Posts
    48
    NovaKool LT 201 with a 2 plate F style evaporator , no freezer compartment. It's a 12VDC only unit, 2A running load, roughly a 50% duty cycle with factory box insulation. I installed it myself in less than a day, the only box improvements I made were an insulated, gasketed lid and a stopper in the drain hole. It has run non-stop for 14 years without a single problem and my beer is headache cold. At 33 N. Latitude a 100 watt solar panel keeps up with the daily power consumption.

  8. #8
    Contributing Member Joliba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Waukegan
    Posts
    230

    Frigoboat

    Several years ago, we converted our icebox into a refrigerator. We bought a Frigoboat keel cooler unit. We installed this completely ourselves. It was not very difficult to follow the directions. One needs to find a place for the keel cooler thruhull and a place to mount the compressor not too far from the icebox. We added insulation and a gasket to the lid as well as a drain plug in the box. We have not added additional insulation around the box. For use in Lake Michigan during our summer season this works very well with an adjustable temperature. This is exceptionally quiet and draws very little current. It works on 12 V only. If we set the temperature in the main box to the upper 30s, we can make ice within the cooling plate box. We added a hinged door to the cooling plate box and can use it as a small freezer compartment. This has been very dependable and I would recommend it. No more ice bags!

    Mike Jacker
    1988 E38-200
    Universal 5432

  9. #9
    Principal Partner markvone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    675
    My boat came with a 12vDC Adler Barbour (now Dometic) CU-200 Super Cold Machine. I have the cold plate vs the small box evaporator. It keeps my E36RH ice box near freezing set on '1' of 10 on 90 degree days with the un-airconditioned cabin at much higher temps and creek water temps up to mid 80s. The CU-200 can use water cooling to supplement air but I don't have that hooked up. Water cooling should lower electrical use, particularly in hot climates. I would investigate the water cooling vs electrical savings if you are going to be off the grid and running the reefer a lot. Isotherm has a nifty sink drain SP thru hull heat exchanger for their water cooled units that acts like a keel cooler and eliminates most of the water cooling issues:

    https://www.sailingindra.com/galley-...-installation/

    The CU-100 Cold Machine is the same unit with no water cooling option, so it should work like mine. There is a smaller CU-85 that unit should work fine (better, less freezing) in your climate. I have to use a 1 inch thick piece of pink insulation between the cold plate and the ice box to prevent freezing the lower level on sub-90 degree days. However, you should also consider your ice making or ice storage needs when you select the unit/evaporator. With my overcooling available, I can move the 1 inch insulation barrier and create a freezer space that will keep a bag of ice frozen or freeze cubes. I also have two aluminum vertical Ice cube "trays" that when placed against the cold plate will freeze and make ice even with out the freezer barrier in place. I assume ice cube trays inside the small evaporator boxes will also make ice.

    On a tip from MaineSail, I run my reefer at the dock with a 110vac - 12vdc power supply wired to a 110vac circuit. I use a 12vdc circuit when away from shore power. This prevents killing my batteries if the shore power goes off and I lose my battery charger while the reefer runs on 12v until the batteries are dead. Or when some idiot forgets to reconnect the shore power cable after sailing. Better warm beer than dead batteries. You need an extra switch too select which powers the reefer (in addition to the AC and DC breakers) or the 110 power supply will back feed 12vdc into your DC panel if BOTH AC and DC breakers are 'ON".

    With two ice boxes on the E34, another option is one freezer and one reefer (or ice box).

    Mark
    Last edited by markvone; 06-12-2019 at 09:10 AM.
    Mark & Ronnie Vinette
    E36RH #21 GLIDE
    Annapolis, MD

  10. #10
    Principal Partner markvone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    675

    AC Ice Maker

    Kevin,

    I have one of these:

    https://www.amazon.com/Koldfront-KIM.../dp/B013XXTFKG

    This is for plugged in at the dock. It works OK. It would work much better in a cooler climate as the unit just freezes water to make cubes and then it melts in an un-cooled bin and drips back into the water reservoir to begin the cycle again. Since my boat is close to 100F inside in summer I leave it off until I'm onboard for awhile. It will generate a bin of ice cubes (1/8 of a 10# bag) in an hour on a hot day.

    For 12vDC ice making I use my reefer cold plate and the aluminum vertical ice cube trays. I haven't timed the process yet but I know it's less than 24 hrs. Another method that works for me is to insulate a small space near my cold plate which will keep a bag of ice frozen so I could make cubes with the trays and store the cubes in the freezer section. See post #10 for pictures here:

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...-refrigeration

    Mark
    Mark & Ronnie Vinette
    E36RH #21 GLIDE
    Annapolis, MD

  11. #11
    Contributing Partner
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    180
    Thanks Mark, that is the sort of unit I've been looking at. Just trying to decide if it's worth the space/hassle to use just so I can stay away from civilization longer. Looks like it only pulls 2 amps which isn't too bad, but would probably want to run it only when I'm motoring or running the engine to charge batteries at anchor. Just haven't decided if it's worth the hassle to have to have someone empty the bin every hour while doing that or not just to avoid having to return to civilization every 3 or 4 days and walk up the dock. Especially when the Admiral doesn't like going more than 3 or 4 days without a 'shore' shower and dinner in a restaurant.

    But some of us dream of spending a solid week tucked into a little cove* with no cell reception reading books and puttering on boat projects with nobody to bother me while still having cold libations in the evening.

    *I've got a little list

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  12. #12
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,091
    Blog Entries
    78
    FWIW, the real value for me is cold drinks waiting at the boat in the slip, all the time.

    Folks stop by, you go for a sail on a whim, or you're just working in the bilge in 90 degrees and come up for a cold drink.

    It's a remarkable luxury. You can cruise for three days with blocks of ice, no problem. But there's never a block of ice just waiting.

    Yeah, we recent converts to refrigeration can be a real bore....
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

  13. #13
    Contributing Partner
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    184

    Ice is nice.....but.

    Thanks All for the replies. I suppose my question wasn't phrased correctly but its not ice that I am after ! I want to install a refrigeration unit in the starboard side ice chest on an 87 E34-2.
    34-2 owners lemme hear ya !
    1987 34-2
    Tortuga
    Universal M25XP

  14. #14
    Contributing Partner
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    180
    That is a real thought Christian. At least for July and August when crabbing is open. We go out 3 or 4 nights a week after work for a quick sail and to pull pots. Wouldn't necessarily need to keep it on board all the time or even keep it on all the time since they supposedly can make the first batch of ice in 10 minutes or so.

    I wouldn't want to leave it running all the time tho even in the summer. In PT they moved us to metered power some years ago and at a rate that makes me believe the Port has some deep connections with certain families of Italian descent. I used to keep a 150w heat lamp going in the cabin in the winter to stave off the mildew, and then found I had a $100+ monthly electric bill for that little luxury. Got other projects to put that cash towards.

    But the instant ice is a very good thought. Knew I must be missing an angle somewhere ; )

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  15. #15
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Oregon - The Gorge
    Posts
    1,643
    Blog Entries
    51
    Perusal of my bill, OTOH, reveals that I am paying a (ludicrous) set fee for power, water, and garbage. Metered use only kicks in if I exceed the quota. Which I don't, even with a heater plugged in all winter. The message is clear: I need to consume more! Cold drinks and air conditioning, coming up!

    I have some used Adler-Barbour cold machine parts sitting on the work bench that I have been meaning to install for a couple of years. The hold-up is that they have different-sized quick-disconnect fittings on them! I'm assuming that I'll be able to put them together using my automotive AC tools and Mad Science skilz. It turns out that those fittings are so expensive and/or unobtainable that it would have been cheaper and faster to shop around for other units that already had the right sized fittings and throw these away. But my blindered-mule phase was kicking in.

    Adequate ventilation in the sail locker is a concern - may have to add some.

    Some battery management devices (e.g. Victron stuff IIRC) has a feature to cut off the output if system voltage gets too low, preventing the fridge from killing your batteries.

    Like Christian, I prefer to maintain cold drinks on board all the time. In the marina, the boat is my Man Cave. And it's my radio shack. And my paddling base. And my bicycling destination. And my downtown condo. At the factory state of insulation, I need to add ice two or three times a week, depending on the weather.

    +++

    Speaking of Mad Science, here's something completely different.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twW36wFmm9U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7YrCtDGI-E

    These guys installed a product called a "keco cooler" which I see is no longer available but... It combined a Peltier cooler (which everyone knows is inadequate on its own for real chilled drinks in the summer) with a raw water heat exchanger. It was really over-priced, but people who tried them say that they worked. Although they didn't make ice. At least not on purpose.
    Here's the thing - all the components of that cooler can be had cheaply from imported parts listed on Amazon and Ebay. The grand total is probably less than $100. Even if your Mad Science is a little rusty, there are plenty of step-by-step instructions on-line from people who use similar devices in brewing or other applications. The only tricky bit is keeping everything on 12VDC. The total power draw won't be any less than a traditional compressor system, but it looks like a fun and inexpensive project. That might end up with useful refrigeration. One that I invested a couple of hours researching one weekend, but didn't take any farther. Yet. I'm guessing that the weak link would be keeping the raw water circulation going day and night.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

Similar Threads

  1. New and Improved Reefer
    By KWay in forum Design & Function
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-03-2015, 11:07 AM
  2. Roller reefer/furler
    By polackrm in forum Maintenance & Mechanical
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-21-2009, 10:55 PM
  3. Reefer giving me the cold shoulder
    By Geoff Nelson in forum Maintenance & Mechanical
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-21-2005, 07:54 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •