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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

When I bought my boat last year the fridge/freezer was non-operational. It hasn't been a big deal because my wife and I just weekend cruise, but I'm at the point where I'm investigating replacing the old components with new. I don't know much about marine refrigeration, and what I do know I learned from doing research on Sailnet.

My boat is a 2000 Beneteau 361 with I assume original refrigeration equipment. I have a top-load "freezer" which houses the evaporator coil and adjustment dial, and a little fan blows from that compartment into a "fridge" compartment that opens in the front with the hinge on the right. In all, I estimate about 6 cubic feet of fridge/freezer space. The compressor and blower fan are under some cabinetry 5 or 6 feet away.

My thinking so far is to replace the compressor with the Dometic Coolmatic CU-85 and the evaporator with the VD-15 Circulating Air unit (which has a capacity of 7 cu. ft.). Does this sound like I'm going in the right direction?

I had thought of going with the Dometic CU-100 ColdMachine cooling unit and the VD-153 evaporator (and mounting it with the door facing up), but saw it's capacity is 15 cu.ft. and though perhaps that is overkill. But would it make sense to go with the higher capacity unit? Would such a unit in a 6 or 7 cu. ft. space be more efficient?

It looks like these things are meant to be easily installed. So I'm hoping to do it myself. Is there anything I'm missing? :)

Thanks for any input!
 

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The marine refrigeration guru is Richard Kollmann

Kollmann Marine

Right off the bat I'd say that if you are willing, you might rebuild your box to a top loader and add insulation while you're at it, but see if the Kollmann site can't offer some good suggestions

It's better to have a cooling unit sized to your box, similar to the concept of air conditioning a house: "If the system you install is too large for the space, it will short cycle. In other words, the compressor will not run long enough to dehumidify the space and will limit your comfort. In addition, it will cycle on and off more frequently, increasing operating costs and reducing the system life. Proper air conditioner sizing is critical to optimize performance."
 

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anybody have any luck fixing the adler barbour stuff?
 

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You might want to take a look at the Isotherm SP units. They pipe the refrigerant through a thru-hull for cooling purposes. Its the same principle as the water to air air conditioning. Whats nice about them is no water pumps and better efficiency. I recently purchased one but have yet to install it. The boat required a thru hull for the sink/shower discharge. I can use the one thru hull for two purposes. Hopefully this unit lives up to my expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all, I'm not really interested in changing the cabinetry, but would like simply to pull out the old (broken) and put in new with the existing fridge/freezer set up. The Kollman Marine website DID show what appeared to be the other 15 cu. ft. evaporator coil (without the door) in a freezer space about the same size as mine. So maybe that's the way to go, and having an "up to" 15 cu. ft. capacity evaporator coil in a 6 to 7 sq. ft. space wouldn't be problematic?

Otherwise I'm still looking at the VD-15 evaporator as my (so far) first choice.

As always, thanks for all the input. I'm hoping to hear from folks who have done what I'm envisioning. :)
 

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Call Rich at Cruise RO Water. They make custom refer units and can sell you just a cold plate or the whole system. They are top of the line without the top of the line price. Their systems are easy on the power too. You can get the system to fit in your existing box I think.

CoolBlue 12v Marine Refrigeration

P.S. I don't work them, just like their them and their products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Wcoast sailor, that sounds like a pretty good option. It seems expensive compared to the Dometic components I've been considering, but if it's really as easy an install as they make it sound, with the five year warranty, it could definitely be money well spent in my opinion.
 

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Before undertaking a major component replacement, have the current system checked . 2006 is still a recent boat. Quite often with the Adler / Barber systems the brain box fails, it is an easy change out...If there is still freon in the system, it may come to life. Good luck!! David
 

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I just want to second multihullgirl's statement about sizing it properly. This is not a case where bigger is better.

It is very easy to remove the old Adler-Barber unit and install new unit. The 2 new units come precharged with freon and you simply install the new unit and connect the piping, breaking the seal. Easy peasy! All manufacturers use the same compressor which is bulletproof. Good luck!

Tod
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all, I definitely want to size the unit appropriately for the space being cooled, which is about 6 to 7 cubic feet. That's why I'm leaning now toward the VD-153 evaporation which cools up to 15 cubic feet, along with the appropriate compressor. I think the VD-15, while in a convenient small package, the capacity is at the upper range of my space needing cooled. So rather than have a marginally effective refrigeration unit, it makes sense to me to go with the next step up. Plus the VD153 is the unit with a door so I think that adds a little versatility.
 

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The volume guides are only that - guides. A much more important issue is the amount of insulation. A small poorly insulated box is going to need a higher capacity unit than a larger well insulated box. With your side opening box, that will result in increased loss of the cooled air and increase the load. I would go with the larger unit.
 

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You were already given Richard Kollman's link. Why not ask him? He's very good and helpful.

Another source I've heard good things about is Sea Frost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good idea, Stu. I'll see if I can find his email address and I'll reach out to Mr. Kollman.
 
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