We have an ancient Adler-Barbour Cold machine, water cooled, aboard Jo Beth. And I'm at my wit's end with it.
When we can get water to it, it works fine. The difficulty we have lies in getting water to it. Jo Beth is an '84 34. The compressor is installed directly beneath the trash bin and it's an icebox conversion. The seawater intake is a through hull/seacock positioned beside the galley sink drain through hull. It uses a little electric magnetic centrifugal March pump for seawater delivery.
The problem lies in keeping the system primed. Sitting at the dock, running the unit constantly is fine. If we're off the boat more than a few days, we have to re-prime. If we go sailing and heel more than 5 degrees, we have to re-prime. If we turn the refer off while sailing and then back on when we return to the dock, it's 50/50 that we have to re-prime. If we have a diver scrub the bottom while the unit's running, and he/she blocks off the intake, we have to you-know-what. Oddly enough, if we motor and don't get wake-rocked too often, we're ok.
When we arrived at the boat this afternoon and started our priming ritual, the nipple from the pump broke off. We have now are back to an icebox for the foreseeable future. We've had enough. I think it's time to start shopping for a replacement.
We like the idea of a keel-cooled unit. We're open to an air-cooled unit, but really don't know where we could exhaust the heated air. I'd like to hear what others have on their boats, their pros and cons, and what you guys would suggest.
For the record, I'm good with keeping it an honest icebox. The admiral, however, isn't!
Thanks in advance!
I will add that if anyone has a suggestion for resolving the priming issue, I'm all ears. Replacement of the system is still planned for the future, but if we can coax this along just a little longer, that would be a good thing.