Warm Weather Sailor
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts
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Before I got refrigeration I used to think I wanted an engine drive system. This was because I was familiar with them from chartering as most charter boats have an engine driven system. When I started cruising full time I opted for a 12v system. In my mind it is by far the better system for cruisers.
Most 12v systems are cheaper to buy and easier to install.
Cruisers spend most of the time at anchor and you don't want to run your engine twice a day just to keep the reefer up. Wth solar and wind there is no need to run the engine. The downside is that you will require a larger battery bank.
A friend of mine opted for engine driven before he took off cruising. While he was still here he had to empty the fridge at the end of every weekend. With a 12v you can keep it running with shorepower charging the batteries and don't have to lug everything home Sunday night. When he was in Venezuela for the hurricane season, the marina was very reasonable but he was segregated with other engine driven fridge boats in an undesireable section of the marina because he had to run his engine every day.
Just my two cents on what's the "better" system for cruising.
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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