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Old 07-14-2015, 06:22 AM   #1
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Refrigeration Alternatives

We have signed a sales contract on a Krogen Manatee and are headed for the survey on Thursday and are quite optimistic about becoming trawler owners. When the deal closes, I'll be back to introduce us.

The boat was a mostly stationary liveaboard for 10 years and is equipped with a standard household refrigerator / freezer which means that it is dependent on shore power or constantly running the Honda air cooled generator that was installed on deck. We are going to need to make some big changes since we are cruisers who anchor out most of the time.

We need to come up with alternative cold storage that can be quickly installed so we can get the boat home and would appreciate experience based thoughts on what would best go in that space.

I'm thinking about two 12 Volt self contained camper coolers, one over the other with one set up as a freezer and the other a fridge.

What about a propane / 12 volt unit? I'm concerned that anything with a front opening door is going to be very inefficient due to the cold air spilling out whenever it is opened.

Eventually, this boat will have a big house bank, solar, and maybe a proper generator. Meanwhile, what would you do?
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:08 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! Hope the survey goes well!

Would just buy a couple sets of earplugs to get the boat home. The refrigerator draws very modest power compared to many other 110ac items such as an air conditioner. The lower the load, the quieter the Honda runs. Very surprised the boat doesn't have an inverter to run the refrigerator off the engine batteries or a house bank when the boat is moving.

Ted
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:30 AM   #3
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Hi, Rodger: Welcome to TF and congrats on finding your boat. As to keeping the essentials chilled on your homeward trip, how about a couple of zero-volt, analog ice chests? Depending on the length of your trip and crew size, it should be possible to travel in civilized comfort, stopping every few days to re-ice.

Those new Yetis sound nice, but my battered twenty-plus y.o. Igloo has a lot of miles on it, and still gets the job done.

Good luck with the survey and let us know how it went.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:50 AM   #4
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You have to balance anything which you spend now and intend to dispose of with the alternative of doing something now which you can use later. A small 110v refrigerator is very cheap. An inverter/charger can be used later. More batteries will be useful later. Since you will be on the move your alternator and portable generator should keep the batteries charged and the refrigeration going.

Propane refrigerator is controversial on a boat. Probably not a good short term solution.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:27 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum! Hope the survey goes well!

Very surprised the boat doesn't have an inverter to run the refrigerator off the engine batteries or a house bank when the boat is moving.

Ted
This is how I've been running my boat for the last 15 years - including a 3 month long summer cruise. It works very well.

Formerly I had a propane/12v/120 fridge that was inefficient, hot and useless. Don't go there.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:06 AM   #6
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This is our inverter set up for our 115 vac refrigerator/freezer cost about $100. You should be able to keep things cool overnite on house batteries or unplug the refrigerator, it should be good for 6 hours plus or minus based on ambient temperatures.
Good luck on the survey of the Krogen 42.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:52 AM   #7
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For the cruise home keep the cost down either coolers or inverter

I would stay away from the propane type

On your cruise home and in your research I think you will refine your needs this is one of the reasons I would keep the cost low for your cruise home
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:24 AM   #8
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I also vote inverter, just make sure its sized right, the startup load on full size refrig can be pretty high.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:40 AM   #9
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Inverter for sure and possibly add an engle freezer/refrigeration chest. We have used ours for over five years now mainly as a freezer for longer trips. Power draw has been minimum.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:58 AM   #10
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.

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Old 07-14-2015, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Inverter for sure and possibly add an engle freezer/refrigeration chest. We have used ours for over five years now mainly as a freezer for longer trips. Power draw has been minimum.
+1 all around. Inverter a high priority, followed by increased battery capacity, followed by modest increase in refrigeration. Have an Engle on boat deck as drink cooler and potential backup to galley 120VAC low power house fridge, backed by 1200AH of AGMs and 3KW MSW inverter managed through Link 2000, fed from a large frame alternator (200A? I forget).
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:11 AM   #12
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I also use a 110 V house type fridge with an inverter. 4 6 v golf carts as a battery bank for it. Can go 2 days on the hook (in New England) that way.

Re the Yeti cooler. I recently bought one. Not overly impressed with it.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:28 AM   #13
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In your original post, paragraph 2 pretty much sums up the boat. I would suggest that the main concern is get the boat home first. Pretty sure your gonna have some issues that would take priority over the fridge. A couple coolers is a cheap way to preserve until you find the permanent solution. Best of luck on the trip home, should the survey be favorable.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:08 PM   #14
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Best of luck with the purchase.

As an aside - if she's been used as a stationary live aboard for the last 10 years, make sure you get a really thorough mechanical survey (engine, running gear, etc). Diesels don't like to sit for extended periods unused.

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Old 07-15-2015, 06:10 AM   #15
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"What about a propane / 12 volt unit? I'm concerned that anything with a front opening door is going to be very inefficient due to the cold air spilling out whenever it is opened."

We are in central FL and a RV propane unit does great at keeping the ice cream hard. Propane does require a bit of maint , mostly in keeping the chimne and gas orafice clean.

a 20# tank on out ancient unit runs for about 20 days , the 50 year newer units will go a month or so.

Installation is more difficult as the vent requirements must be followed or the unit wont work well.

The 12v portion does not work well, its only for holding the box cool while filling a RV with fuel , when no flame can be used.

Front opening is no problem , the weight of cold air is minor to cool, if you don't open the door 25 times a day.
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:07 AM   #16
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We used propane full time the past two years. New full size unit and burned 1.5 lbs/day in Florida which was verified by a call to the manufacturer.
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:55 AM   #17
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Easy solution, you have enough to think about, just get a 1000watt inverter to run during the day when running the engine.

Turn fridge to full cold when running and have it full then at night turn off to preserve the battery's. Next day do the same, this should get you home for the lowest cost then figure out what you will do.

The inverter I recommend is "Go Power" made in Canada, much more robust and reliable then the China crap. You will be able to use the inverter in the future so no extra expense required for the trip home.

Inverters | Go Power!

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Old 07-15-2015, 10:28 AM   #18
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If you can refrain from opening the refer it will stay cold during an 8 hour night. As others have said just add an inverter and turn it off at night.
I have no luck with those camper boxes. Household refers are not bad.


Make extra ice in pots during day running to keep the box cold at night.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:05 AM   #19
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Regarding refrigerator with propane...I love having this option in our RV but my understanding is that USCG forbids their use in boats.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:49 AM   #20
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"USCG forbids their use in boats."

CHARTER BOATS,, not recreational vessels.
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