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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to finalize the purchase of a boat that is supposed to splash on Friday. The boat has a Frigoboat keel cooler. When the yard placed the boat on the stands last fall the cracked the keel cooler. The owner noticed it 8 weeks ago and the yard agreed to repair what they broke. All good so far. At the survey I was told they would be receiving the replacement part last Monday. The part is still "in transit". The launch has been planned for at least 6 weeks now.

The keel cooler is essentially a bronze plate with 1-1/2" NPS thru hull threads. No water flows thru it. The existing crack means that it can no longer be trusted to hold back water. Assuming the part doesn't arrive in the next couple days, the only solution I see is to pull the thru hull cooler and replace it with a capped thru hull fitting.

Delaying the launch is difficult as we have plans that would affect us doing the delivery the next month or so. The yard is 300+nm away from our home port, so having to go back there is out of the question after the delivery.

A non functional refrigerator for a season is disappointing, but not a deal killer on the sale. We have an escrow set aside already. In planning for worst case scenario (the part is not received in time), My thought is to have the yard install a 1-1/2" thru hull with a cap. Groco part #TH-1500-W has NPS thread for the nut and NPT thread to allow a cap to be installed. Also we would then need a financial compensation for the missing part and labor to install it at a local yard to us. This isn't a win scenario for anybody, but it seems to make us whole as the buyer. Unfortunately this is the scenario that would have benefitted us to have a buyers broker, but we never tried too hard to get one when we were shopping for the boat. Does this sound reasonable to the fair and balanced members of SailNet?
 

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Do you have a pic of the crack?

Sounds like your plan would get you underway, if all agree to it. Depending on how you plan to use your boat, an operating fridge may be worth waiting for. I could not go a season without a fridge.
 

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Do you have a pic of the crack?

Sounds like your plan would get you underway, if all agree to it. Depending on how you plan to use your boat, an operating fridge may be worth waiting for. I could not go a season without a fridge.
That depends on how much time you are needing to store cold food. Before I had a refer I used block and ice cubes... and did so when the refer was in need of repair. Ice is a PITA but works. Ice is readily available on all fuel docks and yacht clubs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not worried about lack of refer immediately. After the 5-10 day delivery, it will probably only be day sailed this season. I talked with the N American rep for Frigoboat and they have an add on air cooled condenser that is typically used by liveaboards when they are hauled out. The refrigeration system uses self sealing valves at quick connections so they said we could disconnect the keel cooler and connect the air cooled condenser until the next haul out.
 

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I want to hear what your insurance company has to say about this "fix" below the water line. Have you talked to your surveyor about your plan to patch this? What does he think about it?
 

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I'm not worried about lack of refer immediately. After the 5-10 day delivery, it will probably only be day sailed this season. I talked with the N American rep for Frigoboat and they have an add on air cooled condenser that is typically used by liveaboards when they are hauled out. The refrigeration system uses self sealing valves at quick connections so they said we could disconnect the keel cooler and connect the air cooled condenser until the next haul out.
That would have been my answer, too, but I'm amazed that a replacement Keel Cooler can't be obtained more quickly.

That said, the installation of the unit is with an o-ring making the hull/part seal; if the tube leading into the boat isn't compromised, it shouldn't leak.

I only know this due to having had a wreck on a limestone shelf, banging for 3 days in 8-10' surf, and having the seller company (dealer) visit me on the hard and assuring me that I didn't even have to renew the caulking we'd put in - though, I did.

If it doesn't leak now (but the system is compromised by the crack), just swap out the water for air until you have a more convenient time to deal with it. But I'm still amazed that it should take so long to get a replacement KK. You're dealing with the folks in Maryland, I think it is? Coastal Climate Control?
 

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More than once I’ve found a vendor is pinned down to a short list of parts suppliers, from which they receive wholesale pricing. I was able to acquire the part myself, at retail, overnight. Ultimately, I paid the same, as the vendor would have charged me retail.

Once, I was told a transducer was not available nationwide. Anywhere. I had found one at Jamestown Distributors. I bet him a six pack that I could have one overnight to his office. He paid up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TL;DR: No problems. There wasn't a crack. Refrigeration on a boat is amazing.

Closing came and went, and so did the delivery home. I figured I would follow up on this thread. So here is the full story now that I can see in 20/20 hindsight. During the initial showing the owner saw a "crack" in the keel cooler as a cradle pad was resting on it. The yard owner glanced at it and said it was his fault and he would fix it. The yard ordered the part from Frigoboat (Veco Spain). Word has it in 9 weeks the part was in the USA waiting to be unpacked from a shipping container and clear customs. I didn't look at it as I was told it was cracked and will be repaired by the yard at their expense.
Here is where I come into the story. At 7 weeks into this process, I had my survey. The surveyor and yard owner know each other. The yard tells the surveyor that the part is on order and will be replaced at the yard's expense. I still didn't look at it myself. I was slightly overwhelmed with the process that this part slipped my mind. The surveyor verbally mentions the broken part to me (I already knew this info), but does not write it in the report. Reason being so as not to affect the insurability of the boat I assume. The surveyor also left out a dead battery as I told him one was already on order to replace it.
Launch day approaches at the end of week 9. I find a single keel cooler at Coastal Climate control. They have a bunch more on order, but they are all stuck on a container waiting to clear customs. (Notice the trend on the parts availability for specialty parts?) I forget if the one at Coastal Climate had or didn't have zincs, but I told the yard about this piece. The yard owner goes to look at the version on the boat to make sure he could use this part. Upon taking off the pad, the "crack" is actually a casting mark or seam. I show up on launch day with a scraper and sand paper to really look at the part. I never looked at it previously because I was told it would be fixed. Upon scrapping and really close inspection, it really was a casting mark. There were no issues. Everyone had big headaches for nothing. The boat launched without issue, and the refrigerator works amazingly.
 
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