Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Kona, Hawaii
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Re: Should I ditch the refer on my PSC34?
Lived aboard for 3 years, cruised to SoPac and recently solo'd to Hawaii without refrigeration. Buy better quality beer and you don't need it. Used block Ice when we were living aboard and it would last for 3 days or so not a big deal to replenish. Didn't bother to buy ice with current board that I've lived on for weeks at a time and sailed to Hawaii. Fresh stuff kept for 3-4 days in SF without refrigeration and everything tastes better at room temp in any case. Cruising wasn't an issue as only a freezer would solve long term storage issues. Fresh veggies weren't readily available so a reefer would have been virtually useless except for beer in any case if you are going off the beaten path. The only I missed was a glass of cold milk occasionally which would have run out quickly on a passage.
Maintaining refrigeration seems to be a major headache for boats with it. Seems like the refrigeration owned the boat's owners. When it went down, which it seemed to do quite often, they'd immediately pull up the anchor and sail hundreds of miles and hang in some polluted commercial harbor waiting to get it fixed. Knew several boats that blew through the Marquesas and Tuamotu's virtually without stopping so they could get their refrigeration fix. Missed some of the best cruising out there just so they could have a cold beer.
Refrigeration is a nice to have item for cruising but certainly not a necessity. Like all the other toys on a boat, the more you have, the more time you spend keeping them going almost to the point where they become your full time occupation. Almost left out the most important negative for refrigeration, the systems eat electrons like there is no tomorrow. You'll definitely need a couple amps of battery stowage, several hundred watts of solar, and a wind generator dedicated to keeping the reefer cold. It's either that or run the engine every day or install a generator.
Last edited by roverhi; 07-16-2016 at 03:49 PM.