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hathanger 03-05-2005 02:55 PM

Ericson 35'' 1984 - I need a refrigeration system for the warm waters that will be very
cost efficent, reliable, and easy to maintain. Any recommendations ??? Chip

GordMay 03-06-2005 01:41 AM

Goto Kollmann Marine (refrigeration forum):
Lotz of good info''.

brainstormers 03-06-2005 08:51 AM

Hi, Chip;

Look into "Frigoboat":

This is a very electrically-efficient keel-cooled system. The components can be installed in your present icebox in an easy weekend.

WHOOSH 03-08-2005 06:33 AM

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.


RLK 03-10-2005 06:41 AM


Jack I would like to know why you believe a holding plate is more efficient on these small systems. You said, “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”.

There are many good systems out there with options to fit all boaters needs. I hope everyone needing a refrigeration system for their boat will watch the slide show on my web site. This is the same presentation I use in my seminars of what works and what does not.

RL Kollmann

Denr 03-10-2005 07:49 AM

In the course of your investigation I would also give the BD3 system from SeaFrost a look, mine has performed flawlessly for years.

Mysun 03-16-2005 07:29 AM

Look at EZ Kold in Picton Ontario. Inexpensive cold plates with custom options -each is made to order.


Nereus32 03-23-2005 05:46 PM

Anyone have an opinion on the good. ol'' fashioned SuperCold Machine from Waeco?

GordMay 03-23-2005 11:58 PM

Goto Kollmann Marine (refrigeration forum):
Lotz of good info''. Richard recommends the Adler-Barbour (Waeco) Cold Machine.
Gord May

WHOOSH 03-27-2005 06:58 AM

To maintain the continuity of the thread, I''ll ry to answer Mr. Kollman''s question. We have lived aboard for four years with an evaporator-type refrigeration system (water cooled BTW), both in seasonal (Maryland) and tropical (FL to USVI) waters. We have also lived aboard 4+ years now with a DC holding plate (vs. evaporator) system, also water cooled - again, in a mix of seasonal climates and tropical conditions (from N Europe to the Caribbean). For boxes of comparable size and insulation - a bit of a judgement call, I admit, but faithfully offered as accurate - I found the amp/hr consumption of the evaporator system to be twice that of the holding plate system (55-60 amp/hrs vs. 30-35). But this isn''t really about the numbers; we can see and feel the difference measurably. Evaporator boxes are typically placed near the top of the box, and it''s here where the heat is absorbed by the freon coils in the evap plates. There is no cold mass to speak of there, just those thin plates. What we notice in the warmer climates is that, the minute you open the box and the warm air has a chance to reach inside (while you''re rooting around for that tub of yogurt at the bottom...), the box temp rises noticeably and there''s nothing to address this except for the system to kick on and pull down the temp of the box via the plates again. In warmer climates, you tend to dig into the box more often and a 50% duty cycle is not unheard of, even with good ice box construction. When this happens with our holding plate system, the compressor doesn''t come on nor need to; the cold mass is not appreciably affected. I assume that it is this human variable, diving into the box repeatedly in warmer climates, that is often not represented in efficiency comparison tests...but we certainly can see it in our little corner of the world.

There are indeed a lot of good systems out there, altho'' what I find is that people are often a bit myopic about choosing systems based solely on cost or promised energy efficiency or the newest sliver of technology. I''d just encourage one to fold in ALL of the issues that - ultimately - effect one''s satisfaction with a reefer choice. Flexibility with one''s cruising lifestyle (which is why I recommended 12V systems above), whether installation requires a hole in the boat bigger than any thru-hull you''ll find in a chandelry, familiarity of the product in the cruising grounds you plan to occupy, and the quality of the box you are asking this thing to cool are all examples. And surely consider water-cooling, preferably using fresh water on a closed loop circuit from one of your FW tanks.


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