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Converting “Dry Box” to Freezer?

Dec 21, 2020
49
Catalina 310 Lake Hefner
Anyone converted the “Dry Box” next to the current fridge to a separate freezer compartment with a spillover to the current fridge?
If so, did you use the existing Cold Machine and evaporator?
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
768
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
The “dry box” in my boat already has a drain to the bilge
 
Dec 21, 2020
49
Catalina 310 Lake Hefner
The “dry box” in my boat already has a drain to the bilge
I’m not asking about whether or not it has a drain installed. Has anyone converted the box used as a dry storage place into a separate freezer? If so, did you replace the original compressor and evaporator or is the original system capable of freezing a separate compartment and still providing enough cooling to the current fridge via “spill over” AKA convection? Thanks.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,669
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
is the original system capable of freezing a separate compartment and still providing enough cooling to the current fridge via “spill over”
Good question.

Most likely, no. But the answer would involve performing the sizing calculations based on box size and amount of insulation.

With great insulation? Maybe. With OEM "non" insulation, it's a stretch at best.

Good luck.
 
Dec 21, 2020
49
Catalina 310 Lake Hefner
Good question.

Most likely, no. But the answer would involve performing the sizing calculations based on box size and amount of insulation.

With great insulation? Maybe. With OEM "non" insulation, it's a stretch at best.

Good luck.
Certainly not with no insulation. I’m also curious if there is insulation on the Dry Box. A few posts indicated there was. I’ll check specs for Cold Machine CU 100 and post them here in case anyone is interested.
 
Dec 21, 2020
49
Catalina 310 Lake Hefner
Certainly not with no insulation. I’m also curious if there is insulation on the Dry Box. A few posts indicated there was. I’ll check specs for Cold Machine CU 100 and post them here in case anyone is interested.
“The robust and reliable ColdMachines are specifically designed to survive the rigors of the harsh marine environment. Providing exceptional performance in hot and humid conditions, with erratic or low voltage, and continuous use. The easy-to-install cooling units, when coupled with a VD-series evaporator, provide up to 15 cu. ft. (424 l) of custom refrigeration or freezing.”
These specs are for the new unit but 15 cu ft is a huge size. I eye ball calculate our Dry Box area at no more than 2 cu ft and the current refrigerator at 3.5 at best.
I think it’s up to the task. I had a wrap around evaporator in my previous boat and a small Isotherm which is similar to the Cold Machine and used the Danfoss compressor. It worked great. It was a 3 cu ft freezer and a 4.5 cu ft converted Wal Mart fridge used as a spill over. On to the insulation question and wait and see if anyone has actually done this or if I’m going to be the first
 
Aug 29, 2016
102
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
What's the amperage draw for the Cold Machine? Is it the potential battery draining monster?
 

leo310

.
Dec 15, 2006
415
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
If you look at the time and cost to convert the dry box to a cooler you may want to look at just buying a 12 volt cooler. That's what we did the cooler cost $125 and I used a $10 controller to maintain the temp. To convert the box I would have to drill a 2.5" hole in add a fan and a controller for the fan to maintain a temp and that's with out adding foam insulation and taking every thing apart.
 
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Likes: Alansails
Oct 3, 2011
774
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Our Dry Storage box does NOT have a drain to the bilge, I would lean toward what Leo said...
 
Dec 21, 2020
49
Catalina 310 Lake Hefner
Good question.

Most likely, no. But the answer would involve performing the sizing calculations based on box size and amount of insulation.

With great insulation? Maybe. With OEM "non" insulation, it's a stretch at best.

Good luck.
The dry box is about 2 cu ft. The current refrigerator area is about 3. The manual for the Cold Machine says the small evaporator we have should work for 4” insulated boxes with a small freezer section of up to 9 cu ft total. Based on this information, my existing hardware and boxes should work. I’m going for it as everything is already out.
What's the amperage draw for the Cold Machine? Is it the potential battery draining monster?
yes, refrigeration is power hungry. The plate on the Cold Machine in our 2004 310 says 5 amps. That’s running. So daily use depends on the amount of run time. At 100% all day it would pull about 120 total amps. The Isotherm in my former boat freezing 3 cu ft and cooling 4.5 cu ft with four people cruising in the Bahamas used about 80 amps per day. We had 2 x 150 watt solar panels that gave us about 75 amps of total power per day. Sometimes more.
If you look at the time and cost to convert the dry box to a cooler you may want to look at just buying a 12 volt cooler. That's what we did the cooler cost $125 and I used a $10 controller to maintain the temp. To convert the box I would have to drill a 2.5" hole in add a fan and a controller for the fan to maintain a temp and that's with out adding foam insulation and taking every thing apart.
Hi Leo. Thanks for response. Dometic’s instructions call for a 3” hole 1/2 way down the dry box freezer compartment with a 1” spillover across the top. No fan is necessary. I lived with a similar set up in my previous boat for a year with 4 of us. We could go almost three weeks without re provisioning. We also ate meat every night. Not much fish as we didn’t catch much. ☹ The amount and type of insulation is still unknown. When I drill the 3” hole between the spaces, I’ll let everyone know what I find. Not interested in any more crap laying around inside. Moving down from a 41’ ketch is making storage a challenge.