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Adding refrigeration on an O'day 35

DannyS

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May 27, 2004
923
Beneteau 393 Bayfield, Wi
I'm starting to think about adding refrigeration to one of the ice boxes on our boat. Currently, we have a Dometic chest style refrigerator/freezer that lives under the nav station and I love that setup. It's an easy solution for weekend trips or cruises less than a week. On longer trips, we have to get creative in our food choices. So if you've installed refrigeration on a 34' or 35', did you use the fore or aft ice box? Where did you install the compressor? And did you beef up the insulation around the box?
 
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Likes: damauney
May 26, 2004
168
- - Oriental, NC
Danny
Same boat with same interest. Interesting no replys. Apparently previous owner had one in mine in aft ice box with evaporator on aft wall, hole for lines in aft box side. I can't figure where compressor was. I was thinking about Seafrost cold plate with compressor mounted on hull mounted shelf above water heater.

What are your ideas?

Good winds
DaveM
 

DannyS

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May 27, 2004
923
Beneteau 393 Bayfield, Wi
Hey Dave, I was leaning toward the front icebox just for ease of access but the aft sure would be easier to punch through to the lazarette where the compressor could live. Although, that locker sure get filled up quickly with dock lines, fenders etc. that if there were another location for the compressor, I'd like to know about it. I had a fleeting thought last fall that it may fit behind the stove/oven. There is quite a bit of dead space there.
 
May 26, 2004
168
- - Oriental, NC
Danny I think the compressor on mine was under the galley drawer stack but not mounted. Struck me that heat build up would be pretty bad. High on hull above water heater is non-used space for me and out of the way. Just my thinking.
 

DannyS

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May 27, 2004
923
Beneteau 393 Bayfield, Wi
Yes, I think that is a very viable option. Thanks for your input.
 
Jan 27, 2008
2,994
ODay 35 Beaufort, NC
Danny, I've never used refrigeration so I can't help here, sorry. I can get about 5 days out of ice and frozen food with the cooler by the sink. Longer in colder weather. I did have a friend with a Catalina 38 and he had to run the motor a lot to keep up with the electrical drain from it. He ended up adding either solar or a wind generator (can't remember which) to keep up with the load, after that he was very happy with it.
 

DannyS

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May 27, 2004
923
Beneteau 393 Bayfield, Wi
One step ahead already Jibes.I added two 65 watt solar panels a few years back to keep up with the Dometic chest fridge/freezer. Good things to keep in mind when adding to electrical demands.
 
Sep 29, 2008
3
Oday 34 Sandusky, Ohio
I added refrigeration to my 82 O'day 34; selecting the aft ice box simply for ease of access. The compressor was installed in the lazarette with the lines running through the bulkhead. Also added a blower to the lazerette with an inexpensive thermostat control
 
Sep 29, 2008
3
Oday 34 Sandusky, Ohio
I also added spray foam insulation between the bulkhead and the icebox. I was warned not to use the super expanding foam, two cans of the medium gap filling variety was just enough. I have 4 size 27 batteries on the house side and am researching solar charging systems now.
 
Sep 16, 2014
169
Oday 272 Ventura
I added a EU2000 generator to keep up with my Dometic fridge/freezer when at the islands. I have a smaller dometic and it doesn't use much power. Sometimes after a week of cruising Santa Cruz Island that EU2000 comes in handy.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Danny on Kestrel we have two G27 wet batteries, and with all our electronics, AP, radio, lights and fridge, etc etc we never come CLOSE to running out of the happy power range at the end of the sailing day or the next morning. We might get by with one if we needed. We typically charge for 30 mins on way to anchor.

Just a Lake Superior data point.... underway the hull is cool, the air near the compressor is cool, and the power requirement manageable. Our duty cycle at night is very low, maybe 20%??
 

DannyS

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May 27, 2004
923
Beneteau 393 Bayfield, Wi
I'm not too concerned with the power consumption. Like I said before, we have two, 65 watt solar panels that top us up by noon when the sun shines. We already have the Dometic Fridge/Freezer and would probably not have them both if I decide to do a permanent install on one of the iceboxes so I'd guess the power consumption would be pretty similar. Probably the best location for me would be to mount the compressor in the cockpit lazarette like DaveM suggests. I knew that would most likely be the spot but just wanted to see if anyone had any better ideas.
 
Oct 7, 2008
360
Oday Oday 35 Chesapeake Bay
A previous owner converted the aft box to refrigerator/freezer. The compressor is under the sink. I have not had any problems with it for the last 6 seasons. The drain was removed at installation (I assume) so it builds up condensation and has to be dried out after a week or so. A few nights on the hook has not depleted the batteries noticeably.
 
Sep 23, 2009
1,450
O'Day 34-At Last Rock Hall, Md
The compressor for our fridge aft is on a high shelf out ot the way in the cockpit locker next to the shore power cord fitting. I put a cork in the drain to keep fridge water out of the bilge. Power consumption has not been a problem except on very hot days. I need to add better ventilation to the engine compartment so the compressor can run cooler. On very hot days I keep open the locker overnight to cool the space. I may add refidgeration to the sink ice box someday .
 
May 30, 2006
282
Oday 34 Chesapeake Bay
This post has a few years on it. I'm getting ready to add refegeration/freezer ane was thinking the ice box near the sink, however the aft icebox would allow for more room. I've got 320 watts of solar powering 2 GC T-105s.

Any "lessons learned" that you can share would be appreciated.
 

RoyS

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Jun 3, 2012
1,121
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Regarding old ice box conversions: Most old ice boxes are deep top loading types. This design was fine with the bottom filled with ice. Once converted to refrigeration you have a very deep refrigerator. What are you going to do? Fill it with food and beer? You will not see the stuff on the bottom until Fall when you empty it out for the Winter. Consider building stackable boxes that fit in your space. You can lift out the top box and then the bottom box for total access.
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May 30, 2006
282
Oday 34 Chesapeake Bay
Thanks, I've noticed that the portable refer/freezers have baskets for the same purpose so was thinking that would be a good approach to prevent the "lost" products. Is the freezer section inside of the Isotherm evaporator and the cooling air spilling into the remainder of the box?
 

dmax

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Jul 29, 2018
441
O'Day 35 Buzzards Bay
One thing that would favor the ice box next to the sink for refrigeration is that running the engine for a while heats up the aft icebox considerably in warm weather.
 
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Likes: SailingCal21
May 30, 2006
282
Oday 34 Chesapeake Bay
Good point. Been looking at the Isotherm self pumping system that replaces the galley sink through hull with an integrated condensor coil. They recommend that the compressor be located under the sink. Seems like a great alternative to an air cooled system.

The forward icebox is certainly more convenient to access. I use that one instead of the aft ice box. The attraction to the aft one for me is the increased capacity. I'm assuming that in any case I'll end up adding more insulation which will consume some of the volume.
 
Aug 17, 2010
266
Oday 35 Barrington
I have a Dometic CF-50 refrigerator/freezer - possibly the same model as in the OP - on my O'day 35. This unit: Dometic CF 50 - Electric Cooler

I keep it under the nav. station where it is a perfect fit, and it suits my needs well. It will automatically shut off if the voltage gets below 12.4 VDC (several voltages settings are selectable), and it uses minimal amp hours. The cost of the entire unit was <$700. When I compared the cost of an entire 50+ quart refrigerator to to the cost of an ice box conversion (compressor, evaporator, and cold plate ~$2300) it was a no-brainer to get the complete unit. Cleaning the unit is easy, as I can pull it out from under the nav. station (need to remove the companionway ladder), and wash the interior. The unit is secured in place with a luggage strap that keeps it from moving while we are underway. This setup served me and my crew well for over a month while I brought my boat from Rhode Island to Florida.

I primarily store drinking water in 1 gallon bottles in the aft ice box (there are a couple of bottles of wine in there too), and use the forward ice box for canned goods, UHT pasteurized milk (bottom) and bread (top).
 
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