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Old 08-04-2019, 03:57 PM   #1
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Supplemental Refrigeration

The fridge on my 1999 32' trawler is old and ridiculously small - similar to the mini-fridge you may have had in your college dorm room. While there is just a storage cabinet above it, I assume replacement with a larger/more efficient unit would be prohibitively expensive (I'm moderately handy but pretty intimidated to try this myself). If it's true that expansion/replacement is not an economically wise option (would like some confirmation of this), I'm probably stuck with some sort of supplemental refrigeration such as a 2nd fridge or a cooler. While I haven't researched all the available options, neither excites me b/c: i) finding a spot (other than outside in the rear cockpit) will be tough and ii)I'm concerned about the additional power draw in the case of a 2nd fridge since my current gem is probably a power hog.
I suppose the cheapest option is a high-end cooler (Yeti or Pelican) but would appreciate any advice - I assume this problem is not unique to pre-2K boats. Thx in advance and pls be gentle.
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:07 PM   #2
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Well I guess you would have to define what prohibitively expensive is. You could spend anywhere from $800 to $3000 on a marine refrigerator. Also it depends on what space you have to put it in. Another option is to put in a household refer and power it off an inverter. The household refers are way more reasonable in cost but you would have to factor in the cost of the inverter and wiring. Maybe tell us what you can fit as far as size and what your budget is for the project. Can you cut out some cabinet space to get in a larger refer?
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:17 PM   #3
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Need to measure again tomorrow and will attach a pic - thx so much for the quick reply.
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:54 PM   #4
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There are several threads here on replacing a marine refer with an apartment size 120 volt refer. Do a search and you should be able to find them.
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Old 08-04-2019, 05:34 PM   #5
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We have an AC/ DC portable unit for an auxiliary.

If 120vac fails it swaps to 12vdc automatically. We did this so we could bring a load of Cajun food with us each time we came to the boat. It is roughly 18 x 24 x 36. It will easily run off a cigarette lighter in the car and does not run the car battery down for days. If not on the boat it rides in the back of the Tahoe.

Both compartments are independently programmable for just about any temperature, down to about -10. My ice cream bars are like a brick.

The Cajun food helps me get the best slips, the front of the waiting list, and insures eyes are on my boat while gone.

We have two one is by Wynter, I think. Around $700-800.
Great for camping or tailgating too.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:42 PM   #6
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Where on your GB36 do you keep these units???
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:44 PM   #7
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Great ideas Choices. We have a "car fridge" we pull down to temp at home, load up, and take in the car to the boat, plugged into 12v. Our new one is 40L, enough for a weekend for 2, but we have primary eutectic refrigeration onboard, a fridge and a separate freezer, which of course are "off battery".

If we change boats and acquire a fridge with tiny internal freezer, I would consider adapting a car fridge as the onboard freezer.
As always, look to battery capacity onboard, and amps replenishment ability.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:00 PM   #8
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How much room does the current fridge take?

What are the current fridges dimensions VS the cavity dimensions? Height , width, depth.

What is the current fridge and what is the voltage and current draw rating in amps.

Some years ago I changed out our fridge for a newer one. The front face of the two were the same but I was able to get about 30% more capacity since the cavity was much deeper than the old fridge. The new fridge was able to use much of that depth.

A few more years after that we added a 12Vdc chest type cooler/freezer, Dometic. It does need to be protected from the weather though which I did.

Before you really start you need to pull the current unit out and measure that cavity; height, width, and depth. You may find that even if the cavity needs to be modified it won't be as big a deal as you are afraid of. It may not take a lot. Then you can start looking for a possible replacement
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:33 PM   #9
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An Engel is a great option. It utilizes slide compressor technology and is far more efficient than the Waeco, Dometic or Chinese knockoff units with the Danfoss. Power required is between .7-2.7A @ 12VDC. That's pretty miserly. They're not cheap, but they'll function as fridge or freezer. We don't have one, but lust after one. We have cruising friends who do have, and swear by them. Portable, so it can go in the car for travel as well.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:01 PM   #10
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I have an Engel and Wynter.

The Engel was given to me, and the US factory was near, so I had it rebuilt to new. It will not get near as cold as the Wynter. The Engel has one compartment, the Wynter two.

They really should ride indoors. I have a Europa, so it rides where the table went while stored, and people can sit on them with a custom cushion.

It gives me the ability to go an easy week or more without provisioning.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:06 PM   #11
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My Nova Kool lost its cool on our recent cruise in BC waters. We purchased an Engel unit in Victoria and plugged it in on the cockpit. As said above, it draws very little power and is quick to cool. Good hardware and controls. We are impressed, but it is not inexpensive.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:32 PM   #12
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What model did you purchase?
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:10 PM   #13
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For my fridge replacement I bought a NovaCool 4500 to replace my old Norcold 490
The Nova has been just great.

Should have said so in the first post.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
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What model did you purchase?
I got the MT45F.

https://www.engelcoolers.com/engel-p...e-freezer.html
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:55 AM   #15
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I think we have a Whynter 62. The Engel is a 45.

The Whynter has more features, the Engel is tougher.

The Whynter has run three years non stop, the Engel probably eight.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:07 AM   #16
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Don't buy a Yeti.
I have one and it is no better than a good Igloo cooler but cost 3 or 4 times as much.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:28 PM   #17
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I have a pic of the current setup but not sure how to attach it here (Trawler Forum asks for a URL and I have a file). Current Norcold fridge is model DE0051 - my boat is a 1999 but this fridge looks like a 2011 model. The current fridge specs indicate dimensions of 21.5"W x 18.5"Tall x 21"Deep. The entire face of the space (fridge + cabinet above) measures about 26" wide and 46" high - not entirely certain of the depth at bottom (must be >21" to fit current fridge, but cabinet above is only about 16" deep (assume depth will be my limiting factor when trying to fit a larger fridge in this space). Any add'l suggestions would be most helpful - and thx!
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:23 AM   #18
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75 quart Dometic from camping world here. Dual zone either side can be fridge or freezer, can also make both the same. Auto switch 110-12v easily doubled my capacity but it’s a bit of a monster. 50 or 65 qt might be easier to manage.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choices View Post
I have an Engel and Wynter.

The Engel was given to me, and the US factory was near, so I had it rebuilt to new. It will not get near as cold as the Wynter. The Engel has one compartment, the Wynter two.

They really should ride indoors. I have a Europa, so it rides where the table went while stored, and people can sit on them with a custom cushion.

It gives me the ability to go an easy week or more without provisioning.
We have an Engel and it gets COLD. Gets down to 33 degrees and stays there. By my experience your old Engel, despite being rebuilt, something is off there. Perhaps outdated tech? And, of course it can freeze as well.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:46 AM   #20
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In our Eagle 32, we are lucky in that some previous owner ( or factory ) has built a galley extension / counter top along the starboard side and included a nice double door reefer / freezer just aft of the stove. I'm also wondering how to attach a picture.
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