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Old 02-02-2019, 05:17 PM   #1
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Latest fridge replacements?

My two Isotherm 49-series fridges are getting replaced. Both have had their plastics fail on the doors and one can't keep from icing itself up inside. Not really a tragedy as they appear to have been installed over 12 years ago.

The challenge is finding refrigerator-ONLY units. Not ones with those useless shoebox-sized freezer compartments.

The flybridge location is pretty generous. I can go a bit wider than the 49-series. A previous owner had the doors and frame altered on the starboard side (you can sort of make it out in the attached picture).

The cockpit, however, is a bit more of a challenge as it's behind a louvered door and we're inclined to keep that look.

Anyone have brand favorites to recommend (or avoid)?
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:52 AM   #2
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Looks like we're heading toward some Vitrifrigo units. One drawer-style on the flybridge, another regular hinge door in the cockpit. They're about the only folks making units WITHOUT the useless tiny freezer box.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:15 PM   #3
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Isotherm makes one as well. I have been distracted from our fridge shopping but I remember seeing several options, Isotherm was one, VF may have been another. Sure marine has a pretty good list on their site with a great product finder that can sort by dimensions.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:35 PM   #4
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We have a large Vitrifigo in our boat. It did not cool well until I put two vents in the cabinet, one high and one low. On the low vent I added a 50 mA fan blowing into the cabinet. The fridge had terminals on the circuit board that supports a 500 mA fan. It cools very well now.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:45 PM   #5
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I've used both types and never had any luck with the Isotherm, the tiny freezer door replacement was half the cost of a new fridge.
I bought a Vitrifrigo Larder fridge as we have a separate freezer, it was expensive but the admiral says its worth every penny.
As Comodave points out, good air circulation is critical for efficient cooling, I used a hole saw to put a row of 1'' holes along the back of the fridge to help thermal circulation, as the hot air rises it draws cool air from the bilges, we're extremely happy with it. The defrost drain hose is placed in one of the holes so that it drains straight in the bilge without making a mess.
One point to remember with ALL fridges and freezers is to remove them every 4 months and with a vacuum and small paintbrush clean the heat exchanger grill at the rear as the static attracts dust, which impairs performance.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
We have a large Vitrifigo in our boat. It did not cool well until I put two vents in the cabinet, one high and one low. On the low vent I added a 50 mA fan blowing into the cabinet. The fridge had terminals on the circuit board that supports a 500 mA fan. It cools very well now.
I don't recall the brand but we had one in the old boat that also had the fan power option. Adding it did help.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:53 PM   #7
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It's a challenge, but the starting point for these has been NO FREEZER BOX. Then it was fit into the 'same' spaces as the Isotherms. When underway the one up on the flybridge would have the tendency for things to roll out if the door was opened while up on plane. So switching to a drawer style works around that. The drawer will already be sliding open but at least the beer won't come rolling out. But the one in the cockpit is behind a louvered door and I didn't want to require fully opening that to just get into the fridge.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
When underway the one up on the flybridge would have the tendency for things to roll out if the door was opened while up on plane. So switching to a drawer style works around that. The drawer will already be sliding open but at least the beer won't come rolling out.
A possible solution would be a pin. Some of those have reversible doors. Both sides have place to insert a pivot point to reverse the door. In that case make some type of pin to slide in the pivot for the fb refer.

Or make some type of clip that holds the door closed and fastened to the top of the refer. The clip has to be moved up to open door.

I hate it when my beer is out of control. Me on the other hand ......
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:38 PM   #9
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The door stayed closed just fine. It was only when you opened it while up on plane (slight bow rise) that stuff would roll out. The drawer style will keep that from happening at all.

Although I do have to confirm that there's enough outward space to allow the drawer to fully extend....
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:24 PM   #10
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This past summer I installed a NovaKool RFU8220 with 206 liters capacity. My wife was adamant that any new fridge have a bottom freezer (who was I to argue) and the NovaKool units are as reasonably priced as we get in the marine world. We initially intended to install the RFU900 at 258 liters capacity however it wouldn't fit without major alterations to the cabinet. Seemed to run a lot at first however that turned out to be a case of not having enough in it.
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