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post #1 of 22 Old 06-28-2008 Thread Starter
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Installing refrigerator

i have a '78 catalina 30. currently there is an icebox on board. i recently pulled the alcohol stove and now have a vacant space where it was installed. i was thinking of installing a small refrig. kind of like the one you would use at college. i mostly do day sails with the kids and occasionally overnights. i was thinking of using the refrig. mainly to keep things cold during the week when we arn't on board by using the shore power. thus eliminating bringing drinks, condiments, etc. back and forth everytime we go out. i figure for the overnights i could still use the icebox. just wondering if anyone else is doing this?

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post #2 of 22 Old 06-28-2008
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We used a little fridge on our Baba 30 when we cruised up to Chesapeake Bay in 2006. It was great, although kind of in the way. Make sure it's tied down well and the door is latched shut.
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-28-2008
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I wouldn't recommend using a dorm-style refrigerator. You'd be much better off IMHO installing an Engel dual-voltage top-loading refrigerator. It will run at the dock off of shorepower, and it will run off of 12 VDC when away from the dock. Fairly low draw as refrigerators go. Doesn't dump cold out every time you open it.

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post #4 of 22 Old 06-28-2008 Thread Starter
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sd, just looked at the engel. they are pretty nice but $500 vs. $100 . i think i'll end up going the dorm refrig.

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post #5 of 22 Old 06-28-2008
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wchevron, first, dorms are not intended for marine use (will rust faster, at the best) second, you'll need to move all its content to the icebox when you leave the dock, as dorms has very simple insulation, and once you power it off, things starts warming faster, specially if you open the door. I just think not worth it the work !

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In the long run, I think you'll find a dual voltage refrigerator that is designed for the marine environment a far better deal...but YMMV.

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post #7 of 22 Old 06-30-2008
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It sounds like you're looking for quick & inexpensive cold beers. Be aware that you can convert your ice box to a functioning refer with aftermarket products. Waeco, the parent company that makes a very popular unit called the 'Alder Barber Cold Machine' has a very broad line of products that may suit your needs - if not your wallet. Here's a link:WAECO USA

Some are better suited for quick-install, others are more complicated. Everyone will tell you, and it's true, the insulation of the box is very very important. And that can be a big job.

good luck
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-30-2008
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AC fridge

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Originally Posted by wchevron View Post
i have a '78 catalina 30. currently there is an icebox on board. i recently pulled the alcohol stove and now have a vacant space where it was installed. i was thinking of installing a small refrig. kind of like the one you would use at college. i mostly do day sails with the kids and occasionally overnights. i was thinking of using the refrig. mainly to keep things cold during the week when we arn't on board by using the shore power. thus eliminating bringing drinks, condiments, etc. back and forth everytime we go out. i figure for the overnights i could still use the icebox. just wondering if anyone else is doing this?
I've used an AC fridge and left frozen chemical ice packs in it when away from shore and a cheap inverter will work off your batteries in a pinch. For a hundred bucks it's a cheap fix.
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-30-2008
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The problem with dorm style fridges is they leak when not hooked up to power and leak even more as the boat heels and the ice inside starts to melt.

The previous owner of my boat had one. He didn't care, and would let the water drain to the bildge, which, over the course of two years, ruined the cabin sole. I'm now trying to restore the sole, which is beautiful teak veiner, but without much success. I'm afraid I've have to replace the cabin sole completely.

So you will save on the dorm fridge now, but you may end up paying more later.

Yesterday, I ceremoniously took to dorm fridge out of my boat and will replace it with one that can drain properly. In the mean time, I got Coleman's camping fridge, it works with 12V, cigarette plug adapter, and most importantly does not leak. It costs under $80 at Walmart and will give me some time of good service before I get the "real" fridge."

BTW, Since this is my first post here, my name is Alex, I got my first boat 1979 Hunter 33 last August. I have been reading on this forum for a while now, and would like to say hi to everybody and thank all for great advice I always find here. I'm in St Pete, Florida.
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post #10 of 22 Old 07-01-2008
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Also, the all-in-one packaging of the dorm refer will dissipate its heat in the cabin. A split system, with the compressor located usually under the cockpit somewhere, will dissipate its heat where you don't mind it.
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