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Mermaid Hunter
5,674 Posts
Things like this are truly personal...
This is about the only thing you posted in this thread that I can agree with. It's all downhill from here.

Myself, I don't like the top-load counter fridges/freezers because they take away counter space...duh..which can be used for scattered/unorganized space.
Ideally, on a mono hull, I'd like to have pull out fridge/freezer that's under dedicated disorganized space above.
Top-load refrigeration and freezer space is certainly a compromise but there is little disruption for an organized cook. Mise en place. Cooking is a fundamentally organized activity. To do otherwise is more time consuming, inefficient, and--at sea--can be dangerous.

Although I can make pizza that would kill you and me, I really have no real need for an oven. I think ovens are more of a chick thing.
That is an extraordinarily sexist statement. I think you owe our distaff members an apology, and while you are at it one to the males @T37Chef who you imply are incapable.

Fridge thing....
The portable fridge/freezers out now are pretty darn efficient.
People are spending a lot of money building in-counter, permanent installs to be efficient.
No. The portables are more efficient than portables used to be. They can't even come close to a properly installed, well insulated permanent refrigerator and/or freezer. Consider Ah/day/cu ft as an efficiency metric. @deniseO30

Small counter top space is naturally cluttered, for me - a magnet for junk.
Which makes your counter space ineffective for cooking, time consuming to secure to go sailing, and potentially a hazard underway.

I will experiment with racks, net hammocks, etc.
I'll use the oven for some type of storage.
That depends on what you are planning to store. Racks can be useful for cans, jars, boxes, and containers and of course pots and pans BUT you need a way to secure items. Racks and net hammocks may be okay for foodstuffs aboard a marina queen or a boat whose anchor is screwed to the bottom but underway you will make oranges into juice and apples into sauce. The most appropriate use for net hammocks is for clothes and children's stuffed animals.

The only items suitable for storage in an oven are permanent and disposable baking pans, and perhaps your cast iron bake- and cookware. Anything else gets in the way of the primary mission of the oven.

The capt may have felt it was safe because a woman was onboard to supervise in case there were problems.
Still, it's not recommended.
First, I am that skipper and I take personal offense at your boorish sexism. It takes some doing to offend both women and men in a single sentence. By the way Donna's role in the galley on this trip was once washing the dishes (once) and eating my food.

Second, "not recommended" by whom? You? What credentials do you have in either naval architecture or the culinary arts to make such a recommendation?

An oven aboard provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and greatly broadens options. While there are certainly stove-top expedients like a pressure cooker with no seal and the Omnia they are nowhere near as good as a real oven, even a small one.

I strongly recommend an oven with a thermostat on the lower burner and a broiler for anyone who plans to use their boat and cares about eating well. If a boat has an existing oven without a broiler definitely get a grill but offshore they tend not to be helpful; there are some other mitigations. If your oven has no thermostat get a good oven thermometer you can see through the window - people survived for centuries on that basis.

In a two week delivery discussed elsewhere in SailNet we used the oven for stuffed shells; lasagna; bacon; baked chicken; steaks; roasted cauliflower; roast pork loin with potatoes, carrots, and celery; and probably something else that slips my mind. I didn't get around to baking bread or making cookies this trip.

I commonly bake cookies when engaged by yacht brokers as a skipper for sea trials - the smell in the boat makes everyone happy and fresh cookies make discussion of issues found proceed with more civility. One local broker tells me my cookies have saved a couple of deals.

On one of the trawler forums I participate in there have been long discussions with participation by men and women about the selection and use of ovens.

On Facebook there is a "Cooking on a Boat" group that regularly addresses oven use.

In short, an oven is an important element in any kitchen or galley. To leave an oven out of galley remodeling plans is short-sighted. You might as well say that a toilet doesn't really need a seat.

Mermaid Hunter
5,674 Posts
"Work triangle" should apply to gallery layout imho
In principle I agree with you. In practice on smaller boats it's often a "work point." *grin*

Since I wedge myself into the galley I regularly end up with some interesting bruises from the safety bar in front of gimballed cookers. I am still looking for a more elegant and thermally robust padding solution than a pool noodle.

What I've looked at is amp draw for both built ins and portables to keep a certain temp level, regardless of the thickness of insulation.
You can see insulation quality directly in current draw, measured in amperes (amps, A). Disregarding insulation is ignoring a primary factor.

Again, only considering current is insufficient. Duty cycle, directly affected by insulation and compressor efficiency, is important. Box size is important. Consider an Engel MT45F-U1. 1.5 cu ft box (pretty tiny) drawing 2 A at 50% duty on a warm summer day. That is 16 Ah/day/cu ft. Compare that to an Isotherm SP2051 cooling a 4 cu ft box, well insulated, drawing 2.5 A at 20% duty cycle on that same 72F day. 3 Ah/day/cu ft. Clearly a more efficient solution. Even more exciting is that the solution scales. Don't need 4 cu ft? A couple of big insulation blocks in the bottom of your box will decrease duty cycle, increase insulation, and make food easier to reach.

I've not yet found solid info that the built ins are surpassing the latest portables, but that's something to check...and to post about, please.
You haven't looked very hard. Five minutes on Google provided a wealth of specified, tested, and anecdotal data. The two links above are the merest tip of the iceberg.

Keel-cooling is far from new. Frigoboat has been selling keel-cooled refrigeration for about 20 years and Isotherm for at least 15 years.

Without engaging in yet another dissertation, the thermodynamics are quite simple: liquid-to-liquid heat transfer is more efficient than liquid-to-air so any water-cooled refrigeration will be more efficient than an air-cooled one. Consider further that a conventional water-cooled system has the electrical load of the sea water circulation pump that keel-cooled systems do not have and the specified efficiency of keel coolers is apparent. Obviously there is one less noise source as well.


The numbers with reefers are all suspect. Who is to say that a mass-market boat builder installed a box optimally?
I agree that some skepticism is appropriate, particularly since some production boats don't have the option of factory refrigeration - that makes buyers dependent on whoever the brokerage selects for commissioning.

And of course keel cooling, which would seem to follow the laws of thermodynamics, is so widely panned by so many people.
Some people can be quite vocal without understanding what they are talking about. "I heard" is not a credible footnote.

q; what to do about that ice box lid in the counter top?
a; put a cutting board on it!
Sure. I have a cutting board that drops onto the gimballed cooker which gives me a level cutting service in any conditions. I also have small boards glued to the bottom of the sink covers so I can turn them over and have more prep/cutting space.

Mermaid Hunter
5,674 Posts
Most of the "keel cooled" units I've seen use the keel or drain the cooler as an addition to the fan cooled condenser. The reason for this is; if by chance the boat were on the hard the keel cooler would not work very well and cause high condensing temps thereby causing high amp overload on the sensitive 12 volt compressors.
Your point is well taken regarding conventional keel coolers. The Isotherm SP series use modified seacocks as the refrigerant to sea water heat exchanger. Isotherm specifically addresses the use of their products on the hard. As long as you don't put the plugs in the sink drains the drains act as chimneys. You suffer the inefficiencies of air cooling of course but on the hard where shore power is generally available at least part time that is less of a factor.

And someone suggested an engine drive. Assuming the cooling worked well the advantage to me was that I could recharge the batts as I cooled down the fridge.
I think the day of engine drive refrigeration, indeed any holding plate refrigeration, is past. 12 VDC is a better solution. As with anchors, the availability of something better does not make the previous solutions less good. I personally would not replace a working holding plate system but I wouldn't install a new one either.

A 12 VDC refrigeration system with an L- or J-shaped evaporator takes up less space in the cold box, keeps the temperature in the box more stable (good for the food), does not require manual intervention to maintain temperature, and can be pretty energy efficient. A 12 VDC system also allows using battery power originally derived from a number of sources: main engine alternator(s), generator, shore power, solar, wind, even water. That provides a great deal of energy redundancy. While if the battery bank fails entirely there is a problem, that problem is a whole lot bigger than just refrigeration. Battery banks are pretty reliable and if a single cell fails you can take that battery or pair out of the bank and soldier on.

Mermaid Hunter
5,674 Posts
the refridgeration would be a holdover plate running off the engine directly so no power involved just need to runn the engine twice a day for 15 mins each which is normal for setting and picking up anchor
My experience is that keeping holding plate refrigeration at appropriate temperatures takes much more than 30 min / day especially in warmer climes.
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