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 New Refrigerator
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Initially Posted - 05/30/2022 :  14:55:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've had a number of projects in the works and I'm finally getting around to documenting them. I hope someone finds these notes useful.

One of the major issues I have with the galley is the lack of refrigeration. The ice box, in my opinion, was less than useful, difficult to use and to clean. So I decided to install a 12v dc refrigerator.

First, I'd like to point out, it that step zero of installing a 12v dc refrigerator is working out an energy budget and implementing upgrades to the dc electrical system to support the refrigerator. Short of something exotic, such as heat or AC, the number one drain on your batteries will be the refrigerator. I will cover my electrical system, version 6.0, at another time.

There are a number of power budgets available online, so I will not bore you with the details. The numbers I came up with to support the smallest refrigerator I could buy is: it draws 4A, 5.3hours per day, or 21.2 Ah or 267 Wh per day.

The unit I choose is the Isotherm B40, 1.4 cu ft.

Originally I had planned on installing the unit where the ice box is currently located. That turned out to be a less than optimal. While I actually got it to fit, it was difficult to access, took up all of the counter space, and frankly, was ugly.

So I chose to relocate it to on top of the port side settee. I was more that glad to give up some sitting space to extend the galley. (even though, I had just made new cushions for the port settee). I made no changes to the settee itself (so I could reverse it if I did not like the results). The plan was to build a box to house the unit, which will just drop in from the top, and anchor it to the existing settee. I would detach the compressor from the unit and mount it in the storage space below the settee. So first, here is an oak frame of the box, it is just big enough to house the unit, and sit on top of the settee without overhanging.

And here is the box installed, with panelling of King Starboard. The aft side of the box fits in where the original wood bulkhead was installed (and is anchored with screws).

While the unit comes well insulated, I inserted 1 inch foam insulation in the insides of the box when possible, as additional insulation. Notice the cleat that anchors the front of the box to the back of the settee.

Here is a pic of the unit installed, from the top. As you can see, there is a small gap at the bottom (more insulation installed later) and it sits right on top of the settee. The original hatch sides back into place, separating the two spaces.

The compressor is detached, and installed directly below, and there is no circulation of air from the storage cavity into the unit frame box. We don't want the heat of the compressor to affect the unit.

And finally here is the finished product. The unit comes with a lift off top, which I painted Pacific blue to match my settee cushions, and installed a handle. the box is trimmed with the same teak pattern used in the galley.

I'll have another posting about other galley projects (pressure hot and cold water), under mount sink, new faucet and the mystery container in the corner where the icebox use to sit.

Overall, I would call the project a success. I use it all the time now. In general, I leave it off, since I'm on a mooring ball, and limited by solar power. But the first thing I do when I arrive is to turn it on and cool down any drinks I have on board, and put any lunch or snacks I bring into the unit to keep safe.

The project took much too long to complete and I had to stop and rethink the project several times. But, now that it is finished, I'm very happy with the result.

"Frayed Knot" 1989 C-25 WK/SR #5878

Edited by - bjoye on 05/30/2022 14:59:16

Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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Response Posted - 05/30/2022 :  15:28:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice project, and nicely done! Good decision to add insulation. It should be energy efficient.

Steve Milby J/24 "Captiva Wind"
previously C&C 35, Cal 25, C25 TR/FK, C22
Past Commodore
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Response Posted - 06/01/2022 :  06:57:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice work! Great solution. Thank you for sharing.


Craig Flowers
Champaign, Illinois
SV April Fool
C-25 SK #824
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1st Mate

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Response Posted - 06/01/2022 :  11:35:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice project! Thank you sharing the photos, always helps me.

1982 Catalina 25 SR FK
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