Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Thanked 218 Times in 203 Posts
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Depends on what you mean by cruising. We do two to three weeks max and have a 110v ice maker in the salon. Before leaving the dock, it is important that is is absolutely full, as the refrigeration will be off during the day and this keeps it from melting excessively. It essentially becomes an insulated cooler.
We run the generator for 60 to 90 mins very morning and evening when cruising, which refreezes the ice maker and may drop another load or two. As it freezes, you have to stir the cubes once or they will freeze together. We get the most out of this practice by charging phones, iPads, and lights as well as accommodating those that must have a hair dryer, etc.
After two weeks of this practice, we will accumulate about 1.5 inches of a solid frozen block at the bottom, however, the maker has more remaining ice than we've ever been able to use.
If we are forced to motor or motor sail for a period of time, we may run the inverter to freeze while making power off the alternator. Assuming we average about two hours of running the genset per day, that cost approx $6 per day. This will add up over time, but given the conveniences mentioned, it is well worth it to us. Power at a transient dock would be much more.
Last thought.... Since we naturally use the ice for drinks, we have a bottled water reservoir that feeds the ice maker.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.