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post #4 of Old 03-08-2005
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Chip, there are a number of relatively good value systems available these days. Rather than getting hung up on one brand, I''d suggest you consider the following characteristics - each of them will make your system easy to live with:

- 12V powered
- compressor is water-cooled (a Frigoboat thru-hull is only one way to do this); e.g. on our last two boats, we''ve cooled with water from our fresh water tank (no corrosion, easy plumbing)
- rebuild your Ericson ice box, it''s not ready for a reefer; consider isocyanurate closed cell foam (cheap at Home Depot); you can leave the existing box in place and just add add''l internal insulation, followed by a new liner made out of hygenic, inexpensive, easy to clean 3/16" PVC sheet
- contrary to advice such as you will receive from Kollman, I''m convinced that a good value holding plate system is far more efficient to live with; Isotherm is one excellent product example of this

Just keep in mind that your ice will not come from the compressor you install, but instead from the batteries. Having a DC system adequate for your type of boat & reefer use is often the bigger challenge, and it can make the price jump, too.

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