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Old 05-15-2009, 07:48 AM   #21
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

{"Tim, we would prefer to use the 12 volt function of the fridge as oppose to propane. That is just our preference and in setting the boat up for cruising, recharging the batteries at anchor will be a priority. Replaceable battery power is better for us than another propane device."

This is a very ,very unusual choice as on AC or DC the cooling system in a absorbtion fridge is far less efficient than a compressor style. The RV units will use far more actual energy in use , however it works well for most RV's.}

With tens of thousands of miles and over 17 years of cruising I can not recall any serious cruiser that uses propane to run their fridge and that is both sail and power boat owners, so I am not sure that this is at all unusual. Perhaps it is not for your cruising area but we have covered a good portion of the watery part of the planet. I do NOT suggest an RV unit for your boat. If you are stuck with one that is one thing but if you have a choice, do not. There is a reason Dometic no longer offers a propane option on any of their marine refrigeration units and I believe Tim is right in his concerns. If the boat does have a propane stove and/or fridge, be sure it has the proper regulators, cut off switches and sniffers or you will most certainly have issues with any surveys and with insurance if you plan to have the boat covered. Advice on a discussion board is one thing but if the installations are not correct you may have problems down the road. Chuck
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Old 05-15-2009, 10:20 AM   #22
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Chuck,

Thanks for all the info. I too have never seen a serious cruiser with a propane fridge/freezer. I'm assuming you don't recommend the RV style front opening fridge/freezer because of it's inefficiency due to it's lack of insulation.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #23
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Tim, It would not be my first choice, but it is what we have on the boat now and I have to say it does a pretty good job. There are front loaders made for the marine market by Dometic and others that are similar to but not the same as the RV models and if we had to replace our current unit would probably use one. Our current fridge keeps the food much colder and freezes even Ice Cream, which the old Adler Barber on our sail boat would not do. If I had to design my own I would have a top loader but if it meant redesigning the galley and cabinets I would stay with the front loader with a 12 volt/110 volt combo. Chuck
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:14 AM   #24
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

"I'm assuming you don't recommend the RV style front opening fridge/freezer because of it's inefficiency due to it's lack of insulation."

RV fridges are BIG inside , one reason for the choice,

If there is room any fridge can be made far better with a couple of inches of GOOD insulating foam glued on.

Weather a front loading is "less efficient" really depends on who (adults or children) is aboard.

The few ounces of air lost when opening the front loader is no bother , but holding it open , while deciding what to remove may change the temperature of the food .

And a poorly maintained unit will may leak air out the door seal, an energy HOG!

But EZ to cure.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:45 PM   #25
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Is the fridge issue at the top of your boat shopping list? If so, you'd be the first*I've ever met.*In looking at boats you will find at least 20 more relevant issues to be be concerned with - those that cannot be so easily changed out or upgraded like a fridge. Suggest you start your boat shopping and then start posting queries.

Last but not least, look at Monk 36s. Besides being a generally outstanding vessel, they are designed to use a "full size" fridge. The later versions made in Canada are very well finished. 2008 was their last year of production.

Good luck. What is your budget by the way?
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:00 AM   #26
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

" If so, you'd be the first I've ever met. In looking at boats you will find at least 20 more relevant issues to be be concerned with - those that cannot be so easily changed out or upgraded like a fridge."

And every one has a "solution" AFTER you define your desirements to go cruising.

If you are a M>M , (marina to marina) boater almost ALL the equipment will be quite different from the anchor out as much as practical crowd.

There is a huge difference in the equipment on a South cruising boat , (24/7 air cond) and a North cruising boat (24/7 heat).

What are your DESIREMENTS??
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #27
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Certainly a fridge is not the most or nearly the most important issue. I am learning about the different types of equipment on board a boat and am trying to get opinions on these different types of equipment.

My first and most important issues with any boat is resale. I am nearing retirement and I must get out of the boat easily without a huge financial penalty. That being said, I believe a sundeck type as opposed to a sedan would be my choice due to the extra space afforded by the V berth and the island queen in the main stateroom. Also additional seating area above the stateroom a sundeck affords is nice as opposed to the rather small area in front of the transom on a sedan. A single engine as opposed to a twin due to fuel economy and maintenance issues would be my choice. However getting into the 38 ft range, it may be difficult to find a singe engine and surprisingly it seems many twins in the 36 - 38 ft range are cheaper than singles. I will not consider a gas powered trawler/ motor cruiser.

I am not now actively looking for a trawler as I must first sell my sailboat. My time frame on purchasing a trawler is in the next 2 to 3 years. This time frame will allow me to get familiar with the different* types of trawlers as well as the equipment on them. I am looking in the 50 to $75,000 range 34 to 38 ft and one built in the mid 80's. I believe this price range eliminates the monks, ocean alexander's, grand banks and other high end boats.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #28
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Refrigration and Trawlers

Quote:
timjet wrote:

I am looking in the 50 to $75,000 range 34 to 38 ft and one built in the mid 80's. I believe this price range eliminates the monks, ocean alexander's, grand banks and other high end boats.

*

*


Speaking only from my experience and observations with Grand Banks boats, it elminates all but the woodies and oldest fiberglass models.* $75,000 could get you a wood GB36 but it would be in only "fair" condition.* In the current economy it could get you a wood GB32 in "very good" condition but that's a smaller boat than what you've said you want.* In this economy $75,000 might even*get you a 1970s-vintage glass GB36 in "iffy to okay" condition.* The GB36 and GB42 were switched from wood to fiberglass halfway through 1973.

However if you want a newer, pre-1988 GB36 you will have to be prepared to shell out between $100,000 to $150,000 or more depending on condition.

The original molds for the GB36 and GB42 made a fiberglass boat that was identical in dimensions to the original wood models.* In 1988 American Marine started using new molds and both boats got a little bit longer, a little bit wider, and noticeably taller for more interior volume and headroom.* The 1988 and newer GB36s tend to cost more partly for this reason.

The GB36 was available as a single-engine boat throughout its production run from the mid-1960s through the early 2000s, and they are not uncommon.* The GB42 was also available as a single or twin but most tend to be twins.* The single-engine versions I have seen or heard about have been mostly older models, wood or early glass.

The only propane refrigerator I've had experience with was on a canal boat (narrowboat) in England on our first canal trip in 1990.* Propane fridges were the norm back then, and they were terrific.* It did a great job of keeping things very cold with no worries about draining batteries.* However, this was in an older boat and I have no idea what the safety requirements are in the UK for this type of vessel.* All the newer narrowboats we've used since have had DC refrigerators.* Narrowboats generally do not have shorepower capabilities so there is usually no need for an AC/DC refrigerator.

Our GB36 has a Norcold AC/DC refrigerator-freezer in it that was installed by the PO in 1997.* We bought the boat in 1998 and the refrigerator has been running perfectly all this time (it will probably quit tomorrow now I've said that).* We leave the unit on 24/7/365, so perhaps that's somewhat responsible for its reliable performance so far.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 20th of May 2009 11:11:50 AM
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:19 AM   #29
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

IF you can thrash about on this site,

http://www.floridamariner.com/wcms/

and find the advertisements ,

I think you can cut your cost in half , or get way more boat for $75K.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:01 AM   #30
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Boat buying is not that complicated if you have done a lot of pre-purchase work. With boats, you definitely get what you pay for if you are well informed. Some like a project boat because they are handy. Some like a fininshed vessel because they have money or lack time. A project boat will always cost more than you bargained for and a finished vessel will too because new add ons are enticing.

If you want to save money, charter. Boating is not cheap but there are lots of cheap boaters whose less than seaworthy vessels currently litter the docks and lay on the hard like lost souls.
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Old 05-22-2009, 05:12 AM   #31
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

"If you want to save money, charter."

When I started on the airline , an old Captain commented.

If it Flies , Floats , or F***s its better to rent it than buy it.

Truer words were never spoken.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:27 PM   #32
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Having had propane, engine compressor driven and DC refrigeration on several different boats, I decided on the last for my present boat.*

Pioneer has two fridges, 130 liter and 70 liter and a 90 liter freezer.**These are all stand alone, off the shelf units. They are different brands, (Isotherm fridges, Evakool freezer) but all use the Danfoss compressor system. BD35 in the fridges and BD50 in the freezer.

Removal for repair is easy (the freezer had an internal*corrosion problem) and efficiency is remarkable.*Mine run on 24V but they will also run on 12V. In summer, two 80W solar panels will keep them operating all day*- and top up the batteries.

In winter, when the sun is lower, I sometimes need to run the genset for an hour a day,*of course,*the lower ambient temp means less load on the refrigeration.

On the marina, I simply have the battery charger on.**

The freezer is set to -18degC and cycles between this and -13degC. which is cold enough to keep everything solid. However, I've discovered that it is much more efficient when full, so I fill the larger gaps with water-filled plastic bottles. The cycle time is normally 9 minutes on and*11 minutes off.

As an experiment, filled with water bottles at ambient temp, (around 24degC),it took 3.5 days to get down to*to -18deg C, so having stuff prefrozen makes a huge difference.

With DC refrigeration, a E meter or battery state-of-charge meter is very important. Battery banks and charging systems must be up to the job.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:48 AM   #33
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Refrigration and Trawlers

With DC refrigeration, a E meter or battery state-of-charge meter is very important. Battery banks and charging systems must be up to the job.


True , this is the hassle as many fridges will use close to 100A a day.

That requires 200A of batt bank per day with the hassle that it takes a LOOONG time to being a bat set back to 100% full. OR the cruiser slow death method of 80%full to 50%full with an E meter.

Spiral batts can be charged faster so a big alt and pri$y batts are a start.

Least engine time is an engine driven pump and "Cold Plates (eutetic plates).

This usually requires a custom box and the eutetic plated eat a bunch of room inside the box.

On our 90/90 we get 3 days of 5F freezer and only require 2 hours of engine time BUT 6 inches of freon blown insulation and almost 10,000BTU of cold plate turn a big hole in the boat into a modest sized top loading fridge and freezer.

A custom box DC large eutetic plates , and a very fancy monitoring and charge system is probably the simplest way to go, short of propane.

Most distance cruisers are all in sail boats , where the heel angle makes propane really hard (EZ on multihulls tho) as the entire unit must be gimboled.

IF a fridge location on a trawler is well above the WL, a simple tray , say 4 to 6 inches deep and vented overboard will handle the possibility of some vented gas before the safety cuts off the gas.

On our Trawler the unit is simply located on the self draining after deck.In a custom box to keep the rain off. A nice part about propane is the life of the unit , ours is at least from the 1960's and works great.

-- Edited by FF on Thursday 4th of February 2010 05:50:18 AM
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:11 AM   #34
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Another course of action that may be the simplest , but not the cheapest is a fridge freezer that is made for "Off Grid " use.

Top of the line is Sunfrost with 12v or 24v danfloss compressors and lots of good insulation.

Nova Cool is another brand that is common.

Much of this stuff is "house sized" not RV sized so getting it aboard might not be easy.

The electric loading is 1/2 to 1/4 a common house fridge , and the efficiency is even higher when the 10-18% of most inverters , and the poorer performance on non sine wave juice are figured in.

www.sunfrost.com/

You get what you pay for .

Alt energy folks figure its 300% more efficient (and cheaper) to NOT use power than do the big recharging charging dance.

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Old 05-26-2010, 08:12 AM   #35
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

When going to boats, refrigeration was one of thing hardest things to figure out. I knew I wanted several things. 1 was to have a large refrigeration area to keep drinks cold, meat, produce and stuff like that. and 2 was a large freezer so I could store a lot of food for long term taking advantage of cheap pricing in some places while saving money in areas where food is more expensive. I planned on long offshore voyages. On a sailboat that means one of 2 ways. Either 12v or engine driven. Neither is ideal. And neither I or my wife likes hanging upside down in a cold box trying to find something. But front opening boxes waste energy. So when I first started looking at trawlers in yachtworld and seeing all those home style refrigerators, I was like "amazed" wondering how that could be. I am still wondering.

To me a boat refrigeration system is "EXPENSIVE".
I know some will say , no mine ain't. And I am sure your right. But what do you use it for and where do you go with it. Many don't leave the marina. So a home style 110v is ok. but get out for a few days and you have a warm box and spoiled food.
If you have 12v box. then you probably have dead batteries or you run the engine or genset a lot to charge them up. It is inefficient.
I think the best combination is a well insulated box with both a 12 or 24 v evaporator and a engine driven cold plate system. And this is of course expensive. But while motoring the cold is free.... sorta, and when at anchor a robust battery bank and charging system with multiple sources is needed. That is large batteries, large charging systems, and solar and or wind power to keep them charged up. You could just go with that but then when it breaks down, and it will, the engine driven plates will be there for backup. If you just have a small box and not a lot of food, then it might not matter much, but if you have a freezer full of steaks, fish, butter, ice cream, chicken... etc it will mean a lot of money thrown away, and more important, eating canned food for a while. Yuck.
The new Isotherm and frigoboat stainless steel boxes with danforth compressors are nice. And can be run with 12v or 110v. But the box size is smaller. A well designed 4" insulated frige and 6" freezer with both dc and engine systems is expensive, but IMO worth is for the piece of mind and versatility. It is only cost effective IMO is you are living aboard and cruising full time.
Bob
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:40 PM   #36
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Refrigration and Trawlers

We don't have dead batteries because we manage amps in and amps out carefully. Our two fridges and one freezer use 25-30 ah per day at 24V.

In summer, if we are anchored and not going anywhere, the 2 x 80W solar panels pretty well take care the refrigeration (and everything else) and in winter we may need to run the genset once a day for*one hour max.

I can't see the point of having an engine driven system as well as 12/24V. When the engine is running, there is plenty of electricity available to run the refrigeration.

An engine driven compressor is an "open" system which requires considerable maintenance and regassing since it relies on seals at the compressor shaft to keep the gas in. In my experience, and I have owned both types, the engine-driven system is much more likely to fail than the Danfoss 12/24V compressor which*is hermetic - totally sealed.

Isothem have a ASU system which detects when the engine is running (higher voltage) and goes into "supercool" mode so that sort of negates the argument that an engine driven compressor will pull down faster.

All the Danfoss 12/24V compressors and components are available in kit form with evaporator plates to suit many different applications. You can even have brine tanks if you wish, and a choice of air or water cooling - or even a cooling loop fitted to a thruhull. Just build a well-insulated box and choose and fit the approriate components. They are even pre-gassed and snap together.

When on a marina, we simply plug into shore power and use the batterycharger to keep the fridges and freezer running.

Examples of what is available can be found at this website www.fridgetech.co.nz. but all this stuff is available world wide.

-- Edited by Bendit on Wednesday 26th of May 2010 02:55:30 PM

-- Edited by Bendit on Wednesday 26th of May 2010 03:01:28 PM

-- Edited by Bendit on Wednesday 26th of May 2010 03:02:19 PM
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:09 AM   #37
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Jeff,
Agree with you.
I have a combination of domestic and danfoss equipment.
In the wheeel house I have a 90 lt frig (all frig) and a 90 lt freezer both LG.(240 V)
On the back deck I have 2 x 110 lt Eva Cool frig / freezers (55 lt frig/55 lt freezer) that I run on 24 V be it either shore power supply or inverter battery.
They chew a bit of power but I run my main eng or gen some hours each day when I am cruising so all is charged up. I am yet to install some solar panels but they are on the to do list just to decrease the gen run time.
I am a motor boater and do not mind the hum of a nice quiet running diesel engine.

Benn
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:23 AM   #38
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

On a previous boat I had a eutectic under the seats but it stopped working so I purchased a 5 cubic ft upright freezer and a 5 cubic ft I think they were bar fridge and ran them off an inverter

I had a 12 volt generator and I would run this for 1 hour morning and lunchtime and 2 hours at night to keep the batteries charged.

It all worked very well and a lot cheaper to set up than expensive 12 volt gear.

Allan
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:16 PM   #39
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Refrigration and Trawlers

It seems you are going about it backwards?* First address the power options and then refrigeration as the power is the key.* We have a 10 KW main gen, 5 KW cruise gen off the main 671, three 8 D batteries with 3000 kw inverter, propane and a cold plate.*If you know the power source and weather tied to a dock, under way or anchoring then you can address the refrigeration options.

Since we have most of the options, I would rank then in the following order highest to lowest;

3 way AC/DC/propane two on the back deck
2 way AC/DC main galley refrigerator no place to vent.
120 only refrigerator would not have
cold plate have but do not use as it takes to much power, and*we use as storage.

Anyway, have the power sources and then decide the kind of refrigeration.***


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Thursday 27th of May 2010 12:17:49 PM
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:56 PM   #40
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RE: Refrigration and Trawlers

Hi Benn,
I also have an Evakool freezer (90L) in the cockpit. I should have bought a "marinised" one since I have had a few corrosion problems and had to get a new evaporator plate. I didn't know that they did marinised versions until after I bought it!

The wheelhouse frig (with an icebox) is an Isotherm 70L and the galley frig (no icebox) is an Isotherm 130L. The galley frig is incredibly efficient. I reckon its cycle rate is only about 25% running and 75% fan only. The total average current draw for all units is 1.1 amps at 24V.

Jeff b
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