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Old 10-21-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
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Fridge and Freezer size

So I'm looking at boats with different fridge and freezer sizes. Just as with fresh water tanks, the sizes can vary as much as 300% for the roughly same size boat. So, assuming you aren't nautical camping (roughing it), how much fridge and freezer space do you have / need / want for 2 people for a week or so?

Ted
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Our refrigerator is 5 cubic feet and the freezer is 2.5. We could go bigger on the refrigerator but not by much. The freezer size has been perfect.

A second 2.5-4 cubic foot refrigerator on the fly bridge or back deck, if it looked like it belonged, would be a plus. You could shut it off when it's not needed so you wouldn't be trying to cool air. Having guests or right after a major provisioning run, space is at a premium.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
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I'll second what larry m said


I do not know the capacity of our refrigerator freezer but it is a full height marine model vitrifrigo.

It has plenty of room for a weeks perishables and more than that for frozen food, this being for two adults.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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OC, I would let it be a sticking point because you can always pack food and drinks in coolers if need be.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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It would depend on your boat(available room) and what kind of boating do you do. On my 32 I had a Norcold that was about 4 cu. FT and that was sufficent for a few days at a time and on my 48 I have a 14 cu. ft that I could stock up for several weeks. Obviously I like the larger fridge, can pack food and lots of beer but it really boils down to how much room you have.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
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Larry M, appreciate your analysis as someone who is full time cruising. Guess I need to try only using about half of my home refrigerator to see how that feels.

Working with a cooler and ice for supplemental space is a deal breaker for 2 reasons. Would like to be able to go for a week or more without replenishing, and acquiring more ice just adds to the problem. Second, I spend my summers running day trips where food is stored in Ice chests. Temperatures vary a fair amount depending on air temperature and ice melt. Also, anything that isn't in a waterproof container is subject to much higher humidity levels from the melted ice its sitting in or above.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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More fridge and more freezer usually = more demand for electricity to run them. That has to be one consideration in how big you go. BruceK
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:57 AM   #8
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To maximize available space, we use UHT milk. We buy a case of 12-1 liter boxes. One liter at a time in the fridge, the rest stored in the dry goods locker. We have also found that condiments eat up valuable room. We try to buy small sizes that fit on the top shelf and keep the variety down. It's amazing how many little containers of "stuff" you can accumulate.

As we eat through the refrigerator, we replace food stuff with beer or the 1 liter boxes of juices. Trying to cool air is pretty inefficient and with a full refrigerator things don't move around when we are underway.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Diver, sometimes we are anchored in the boonies for a few days. Also some grocery prices in the Bahamas are 2 to 3 times US prices. We lift the arm on the icemaker and fill it with frozen food. The frig is 5 cu ft including a small freezer compartment at the top. Of course that all will be full. Then we fill a large Igloo ice chest with ice including a couple of blocks. That will last for several days. We use the food out of the ice maker first. By the time that is gone, the ice has mostly melted. Then we turn on the ice maker for its original intended purpose. That will get us through a couple of weeks.

With a good inverter, battery bank, and generator life is pleasant hanging on the hook. We carry 160 gal of water, 450 of fuel, and have a 60 gal. holding tank. Those things are also important in the equation. Of course a good dinghy is imperative for this kind of cruising.

We also carry very few soft drinks. (you can't carry enough of those for a week with 4 teenagers) We use various flavored teas from Crystalite. It takes very little space in the small envelopes. We each have Turvis insulated tumblers that hold ice well. For snack stuff we buy cases at Costco that have individually wrapped foil packs. They are stored in the bilge, and not bothered by humidity. Even when we have 4 teenagers on board we do pretty well.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
............. Guess I need to try only using about half of my home refrigerator to see how that feels.............
Everything on a boat (except for the QE II) is a compromise. My refrigerator is small and the freezers section is also small. We keep cold drinks in a cooler but yes, we run out of ice.

There are several ways to get around the small refrigerator/freezer issue. Grocery stores have a variety of food items that don't require refrigeration. Obviously, canned and dried vegetables, meats, fish, and fruits, but there is a pretty big selection of complete meals that need no refrigeration and can be heated in a microwave oven in two or three minutes. Breakfast bars can take the place of bacon and eggs. Individual packs of condiments don't have to be refrigerated.

Camping stores will have an even bigger selection.

I wouldn't let refrigerator size be the deciding feature on a boat choice unless everything else was equal. And it won't be.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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Dry Ice can also extend the frozen food in a good ice chest for a week to ten days, if your frezzer space is limited.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
So, assuming you aren't nautical camping (roughing it), how much fridge and freezer space do you have / need / want for 2 people for a week or so?

Ted
GB36s only have galley space for an undercounter refrigerator. The previous owner of our boat installed a new Norcold refrigerator-freezer the year before we bought the boat in 1998. I think it is a Model DE-490 but I could be wrong on that. In any event, it is a little over 3 cubic feet. About a quarter of the space is occupied by the upper freezer compartment. It's a pretty well thought-out interior arrangement for something that small and it always surprises me how much my wife can get into it.

This is enough for a three to five day cruise for the two of us depending on what the menu plan is. But for longer cruises we carry a large ice chest on the aft deck with block ice in it. Our longest cruises to date have been a tad over three weeks. The combination of the refrigerator/freezer and the ice chest has worked out great since restocking the ice chest with blocks is not a problem in this area and up north. These were cruises with other couples, sometimes in their boat and sometimes with us in ours. So we were carrying more food than we typically do for just the two of us.

A larger refrigerator/freezer would be nice but since there's no place to put it we do fine with what we have. The boat also has an ice box under part of the L-settee equipped with an external thermometer and an overboard drain. We use it for dry storage, mostly of beverages like wine and other stuff that doesn't have to be kept cold. It doesn't have a lot of insulation and it's located directly over the starboard engine so we aren't sure how effective if would be as an actual icebox. We should load it up with block ice sometime and find out.

We have seen similarly sized GBs with a stand-alone horizontal freezer mounted up on the flying bridge. That would be a good way to go, too, if you had the power for it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #13
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We use a Dometic 110 qt. freezer. It also has a built-in refrigeration compartment good for a 12 pack of beer.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:55 PM   #14
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Being we are a live aboard and have children/grandchildren come stay we had to increase the refrigeration/freezer. In the galley we have a Norcold 7 ft, two 3.6 ft domestic on the back deck, and we had/have a 4 ft ice chest box. . The main Norcold 7 ft can last us for 1 to 2 weeks, the two back deck 3.6 are mainly used for drinks/ice cream/seldom used stuff. The Norcold 7 ft original was on the boat and has run 24/7 for 16 years with no problem, the two domestic 3.6 we added when we remodeled the back deck and have run 14 years.

Since we are a live aboard we use the ice chest/box as storage. The plan is to convert the two on the back deck to AC/DC/Propane, and maybe re commission the ice box. The compress stop working, but the box/plate and connections are still in place. Anyway we can get by for at least two week and longer if we conserve.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:47 PM   #15
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The Coot's refrigerator/freezer is fairly small. (Owner of immediate previously-built Coot had house-sized unit installed in lieu of the saloon's desk.) If going out for longer than a long weekend, I'd bring an ice chest to supplement.

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Old 11-04-2012, 09:13 AM   #16
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One More Time Around: Freezer/Refrigerator Findings
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