Back in the day… …Cruisers had many little tricks for preserving fresh food on board the cruising boat. None of those tricks included a Frigoboat keel cooler refrigeration unit. You can probably google preserving fresh eggs and find that eggs can be kept for a very long time without refrigeration. Ok…we’ll save that subject for another day.
These days cruisers want produce, dairy and meats as fresh as possible for as long as possible. So, we will burn electrical amp-hours to attain this goal. Cat Maudy has two refrigeration systems. One is the galley fridge (mostly working properly) and the other is the storage freezers. The storage freezer system is a freezer only system. It is not working – Jane wants me to get that running this summer. The two storage units are located in the aft cabins and the compressor is in the starboard engine compartment. These are both Frigoboat systems.
The freezer only system is water cooled. It uses “Cold Plates” for storage area cooling. The galley fridge is a Frigoboat Keel cooler system which uses an evaporator box for cooling. We rely on our galley fridge. This has got to work, period.
The following diagram basically depicts what our system looks like and differs in actual model of the compressor and evaporator.
The compressor is reeeeeally small and fits a shelf adjacent to the storage box and above the keel plate. It hums quietly. When you lift the storage hatch you can hear the coolant gurgling through the evaporator. It will make ice in the small evaporator box but the aggressive frost buildup is just a hassle to deal with so we try to keep thermostat set so that storage box stays just cool enough.
Just enough is just right and draws the least amount of amp-hours on our battery system. So What The Frigoboat? Well when we put Cat Maudy in the water in ’06 it was already nearly winter, and we didn’t mess with it until the spring of ’07. The fridge wasn’t working so Woody Sherrod (the marine fridge specialist) stopped by and purged the system then re-charged the coolant. It worked for a year and a half and never missed a beat.
Until now. Woody Sherrod tried several times to revive our frigiboat refrigeration but not gonna happen this time sweetie. So, Woody suggested that we install a Super Cold Machine. This refrigeration has a air-type primary heat exchanger with a water cooling heat exchanger as an option. This is what we did. We don’t the water side plumbed yet but that won’t be a big job when we choose to do it. Thanks Woody! If you are in the Baltimore area and need heating/cooling help call Woody at (410) 752-2870.