SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   General Discussion (sailing related) (
-   -   Engine-driven refrigerator/freezer (

poopdeckpappy 05-29-2007 05:41 PM

Engine-driven refrigerator/freezer
Can someone explain an engine-driven refrigerator/freezer to me and it's pro's and con's if any

I'm seriously looking at a Cal-39

Vasco 05-29-2007 06:37 PM

Before I got refrigeration I used to think I wanted an engine drive system. This was because I was familiar with them from chartering as most charter boats have an engine driven system. When I started cruising full time I opted for a 12v system. In my mind it is by far the better system for cruisers.

Most 12v systems are cheaper to buy and easier to install.

Cruisers spend most of the time at anchor and you don't want to run your engine twice a day just to keep the reefer up. Wth solar and wind there is no need to run the engine. The downside is that you will require a larger battery bank.

A friend of mine opted for engine driven before he took off cruising. While he was still here he had to empty the fridge at the end of every weekend. With a 12v you can keep it running with shorepower charging the batteries and don't have to lug everything home Sunday night. When he was in Venezuela for the hurricane season, the marina was very reasonable but he was segregated with other engine driven fridge boats in an undesireable section of the marina because he had to run his engine every day.

Just my two cents on what's the "better" system for cruising.

poopdeckpappy 05-29-2007 06:51 PM

To be honest, this is the first I heard of a engine driven unit and that was the first ( and so far ) the only downside I could come up with

Thanks for the info

camaraderie 05-29-2007 07:46 PM

Yup...the big downside is that you have to run it every day for an hour or two. No leaving the boat unattended...but if you run the engine to charge your batteries each day it is not bad in that it puts a load on the engine.
Very reliable and simple to fix which is why the charter companies use them.

BarryL 05-29-2007 10:01 PM


I recently purchased a boat (1986 O'day 35) that came with a Seafrost engine driven Fridge / Freezer. I used the system for the first time this weekend. We sailed 15 nm, spend the night, then sailed home the next day. I loaded the fridge / freezer with food and a bag of ice (I wasn't sure how well it would work). I turned the fridge on for about an hour when we were motoring, then another the next day (again, as we were motoring).

When we got back to the mooring and unloaded to go home, the entire bag of ice was still there (and there was ice in the ice trays).

For my use (day sails when we just use a cooler, weekends when we will use the ice box and maybe some longer trips), the engine driven system works well. My boat is on a mooring, so a 12V system would not work for me anyway.

Lastly, Seafrost not makes combo engine driven / electrical systems as well. If it were up to me, I would not spend the money on the system (the PO paid about $4,000 back in 1995) but I'm glad it is there (and works).

Seafrost is available on-line at


sailingdog 05-29-2007 10:33 PM

Not so good for long-term cruisers.. since you can't leave the boat alone.

poopdeckpappy 05-30-2007 12:22 AM

But would you leave your boat unattended for more than 8 hrs ?, I don't know if I could, and in most marinas or anchorages it's not allowed, Dana Point only allows you to leave it unattended for 20-30 mins to TCB if you anchor in the cove

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:26 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome