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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-25-2007
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Icebox to Refrigerator

I have a 1995 Hunter 336 and I am looking to convert the ICEBOX to a refrigerator. The Box is under 6 cubic ft.

I received a quote back that seems exceptionally high ($1500+).

I was wondering what is the scope of doing it yourself. What parts are needed (evaporator and condensing unit)? If anyone has any recommendations on either it would be greatly appreciated.

Also, what is involved from the wiring side? I have a blank on my fuse box so I am assuming the wiring component is not difficult.

Thanks!

Matt
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Old 01-25-2007
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You can buy an Adler Barbour setup with precharged lines and matching evaporator plates that install pretty easily for just under $1,000. The lines that come with their evaporator plates are 15 feet long. The condensing unit uses the popular/efficient Danfoss compressor. There are a couple of fellows on the SSCA website that will have one shipped to you for a pretty good price.
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Old 01-25-2007
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Matt... $1500 is a good price for an installed unit but you obviously can do better if you do it yourself. First questions...
Is this just for weekends & short vacations on the bay or is it for long distance, full time liveaboard use? I will assume the former but the following does not apply if we are dealing with full time cruising. It also assumes you are fairly handy and want the cheapest unit that will do the job.
First...buy the Adler-Barbour Cold machine CU-100 compressor coupled with their VD-150 evaporator/coils and thermostat. Defender has them for about $1k...can't figure out the sailnet deal!...but this is the industry "Camry" ....a standard that works well and is universally fix-able with a low amp draw and high reliability. Perfect for bay cruising.
To install...you need to run you 12V lines from your open 15 amp breaker switch to wherever you are installing the compressor , cut a 1" hole in the ice box for the refrigerant piping, mount the condensor and thermostat in the box. Connect the pre-charged piping at both the condenser and compressor ends, plug the thermostat phone jack into the compressor, fill the whole you cut with putty and make some ice cubes! Really about a 2-3 hour job if you have decent tools and good access points and don't have to do any "customizing" . It is surprisingly easy to save 4-500 bucks by doing it yourself.
Here's the installation manual for your review:
http://www.waecousa.com/docs/install...lerbarbour.pdf
Have fun!

ERPS...great minds think alike. Good thought on the SSCA guy as a possible source.
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Old 01-26-2007
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Thanks for the reply's

I am only looking for weekend cruising needs (keeping the beer and the kids milk cold).

I guess I was just a little taken back by the cost of something that seems so simple... but then again it is a B.O.A.T (Bust Out Another Thousand).

Fair Winds (and hopefully warmer weather for those of us in the Mid Atlantic).

Matt
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Old 01-26-2007
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You can buy a lot of ice for $1000. If it's just for weekends, I'd stick with the ice box because along with refrigeration comes bigger battery banks and the associated paraphernalia to keep them charged.
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Old 01-26-2007
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It's not just the money. It's the convenience. When you come back after a weekend you don't have to empty the fridge like you have to do with an icebox. You can leave all your stuff in it and it'll be there ready for you next Friday. Weekend cruising will not normally require larger battery banks. And everything doesn't get wet like it does in an icebox.
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Old 01-26-2007
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You could also look at getting an Engel refrigerator. They have some smaller 12V portable models that are very energy efficient and low maintenance. The one I have is dual voltage, and can run off the shore power at the marina or off the 12V system when I'm out sailing.
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Old 01-26-2007
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I have the Engel 45 refrigerator/ freezer. Works great and I'll second what sailingdog said.

Paul
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Old 01-26-2007
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SeaFrost

Hello,

SeaFrost makes refrideration (including units that make ice). They have units that are engine driven so the don't use any battery power. They also have units that can run on dockside electricty.

My boat came with a SeaFrost engine driven system. It was installed in the early 90's. The system, which included two ice boxed convered to redrigeration, cost over $3000.

So refrigeration is expensive!

Barry
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Old 01-26-2007
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The problem is that the engine-driven systems are probably much more expensive than even a medium-sized Engel, and also require installation, which is either a fair amount of work (sweat equity) or some boat bucks.

The 64-qt unit, which can act as either a refrigerator or freezer, is about $1000.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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